I remember when I started surfing the Internet, it was slow, hard and yet amusingly fun. I was more curious than I was looking for a specific thing. Being human, and we all are, we tend to filter down. When we first found ourselves zooming the information highway, we looked at hundreds resources, maybe even thousands, collecting the information we were looking for, and much more we didn’t need.
When I started doing research on the Internet, I had bookmarked thousands of sites, mostly information that helped me confirm my work, and then there was the stuff I thought might be interesting, or maybe even fun. Over time (years), I found myself going back to sites that were helpful, most of the channels I bookmarked never got my attention.
Today, there are millions upon millions of websites with information, some of it useful, most of it not so much. The biggest change with the Internet today is, mainstream seems to have taken the Internet and made behave like the Matrix. If NET Neutrality has its way, the channels will become fewer, and you will won’t have the choices you have today. You won’t have the freedom to see all that you can see today. But that’s not the story.
You see, you may have noticed that the sites you visit have become a smaller number, and you probably find yourself going back to the same 5 – 10 sites each day to get the information you like, and that’s the story. All the major networks, the major newspapers, all the major news channels, and all the social networks are sharing the same content over and over. The high rotation of the same content has us going to fewer places on the Internet, and nothing seems authentic anymore. Your information channels are shrinking! To compound the problem, you, the Internet surfer, and all your friends are sharing the same thing repeatedly, hence the high repetition on FaceBook, Twitter, and what have you.
What used to be a curious highway, filled with an endless supply of information, has become a small town of gossipers, and many seem to like fewer channels, because its easier, you don’t have to work so hard. The information isn’t as strong as it once was, the quality if you will, has lost it’s ability to hold you to the content for long periods of time.
I have come to the conclusion that the online world has forgotten how to connect with small business owners. Talking in terms of impressions, traffic, page views and links just doesn’t compute. The small business owner doesn’t care about those events unless it means increasing revenue, they’ll make more money from it. Yes they are indicators and bench marks to determine if online efforts are paying off but the real truth is in the cash draw at the end of the day. For small business owners to understand all this jargon you need to keep it simple, dummy it down so to speak.
I recently met with a small business owner and they could care less about what all that stuff meant, they want to improve business that’s it that’s all. More sales, more traffic through the doors, more traffic to their website that they spent a pile of money on. Because at night when they go to bed they are thinking about how to pay the hydro bill, the phone bill and their staff. The problem is still the same even with Internet. Why is it that Internet Marketer’s think the problem changes just because it’s the Internet? Oh, to make it more confusing, there appears to be different types of Internet Marketers!
Granted, a well thought out marketing strategy should include an online presence and a good advertising program, but, the Internet is only one part of it not the end all answer. Cross promotion, making sure your websites address is on all correspondence, letterhead, business cards and the like. You bet!
That business owner told me that all the jargon was too confusing not to mention being told how it all worked! It could be that the person selling the online presence is not looking at the problem from the same side of the table as the potential client. Looking at it as a transaction instead of genuinely wanting to help, to help solve the problem, to sit in the same boat and go on the journey with them. If you did, you would find the client much more open to your suggestions, why, because they will feel you have something to lose too.
Keep it simple stupid (KISS) still rings in my ears, help your clients get there by joining them on the journey. I know you think I’m assuming all marketers are doing the same thing, but when you hear the same story everyday from small business owners you have to wonder what’s up.
Online Marketing is different, it’s not the same as traditional advertising even though the results might be the same. Take the time to help them understand, show them how simple it can be and stop trying to sound so smart because you get it. And if it’s possible, help them and yourself identify the different types of Internet Marketers there are in the world.
I had to share this with you today because it was frustrating to hear another story as to why their online presence was a negative experience, they felt stupid because the person selling didn’t take the time care for them.
Care for your clients and tell the truth, the rewards are great for all parties involved.
There is a movement, a huge idea on how to control the Internet and lock it down so you can’t do what you want or see what you want. In fact, you will pay even more to participate on this open (closed)network called the Internet. I’m not sure I fully understand how but the concept does seem to have merit.
The idea of Net Neutrality isn’t as far fetched as it may sound. There are websites dedicated to this very topic and what you can do to try and stop it. So what does this really mean anyway? The following is taken from a site called: http://www.neutrality.ca
It is the principle that consumers should be in control of what content, services and applications they use on the public Internet.
It’s a simple concept that has wide-ranging implications on how the Internet operates.
“When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end” – Sir Tim Berners Lee.
So what does this mean to your business on the Internet? Well, it could mean absolutely no one will see your site or know about your product unless you pay for a service to let the world know about you. You already pay for Internet connectivity, but wait, this will go even farther.
Net Neutrality even has logo’s you can put on your site to promote the prevention of Net Neutrality. Just when you think you have freedom to use the Internet someone has figured out how to take it from you. I wondered how long it would take for the government to try and do this, it turns out it’s all the ISP’s and TV Executives are the brains behind it all. Most of these TV Exec’s had absolutely nothing to do with the Internet’s development!
Well enough said, do visit the neutrality.ca website and find out more and how you can participate. And here is a video clip for a more formal presentation:
Til next time.