If I Had Only Known Then What I Know Now!
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/23/2006 | Marketing
Hindsight, we all know only too well, is a wonderful thing. For example, if we had only known that the ceiling on membership at a popular site was going to be subscribed so quickly - we would have joined up the minute we heard about it.
If we had only known that niche marketing was going to be so wildly popular we would have focused on that instead of MLM.
If we had only known that Google was going to change its algorithm and the rules of AdWords were going to change we would have...
Stop, stop, stop.
In the world of Internet marketing, you can safely bet that the only constant is the rate of change! There's always news of the latest product dropping into your email inbox. There's always another promise of quick and easy money. Google will keep changing its algorithm, and new search engines are quite likely to pop up to challenge Google.
What can you do about this? Four main things:
(1) Continue To Educate Yourself.
Understand that those who rise to the top of any field - whether it's internet marketing or something else - are good at what they do. This means that they never stop learning. There are always new materials, new techniques and probably new 'experts' showing the way.
Most of us learn in three main ways: (a) from experts who specialize in a certain niche related to our field; (b) from others who are following the same path as we are, and (c) by trial and error, from our own results.
You will find that the more you immerse yourself in the world of internet marketing, the more you will be able to analyze which products, services and opportunities are right for you.
(2) Focus. Pick One System And Give It A Fair Go.
Countless people who start out on the internet with high hopes follow the same pattern. They get excited about a new product or system. They throw themselves into it and invest long hours (and potentially quite a bit of money) in getting it up and running. It might be e-books sold from mini-sites; it might be setting up an eBay business; it might be directory-type sites with text manipulators; it might be AdWords or content sites optimized for AdSense.
Then one day they get wind of another new system (probably one created by someone who claims "the gurus are angry with me for giving away all their secrets..."). Discouraged by the lack of results with the first "opportunity", they decide to let it rest for a while and try the new one. Back they go into the cycle of try-the-new-product, get-discouraged, discard-it-and-try-the-next-thing.
And so it goes on. Months pass. Perhaps years pass. They struggle to pay the credit card bills mounting from buying into every new system that comes along... with very little money coming in to offset their 'investment'. As they look back, they start muttering "If I had only known then what I know now..."
If you can recognize yourself in this scenario, the good news is this: Now you DO know better. You don't know what the next new product will be that's going to set the internet world abuzz, but you do know enough to choose a system that's right for you and stick to it.
(3) Take The Time to Plan.
Give yourself from two to four weeks to regroup. Go through all the products you have on your shelves or on your computer. Make a list. Decide which products you now know (so wise with hindsight!) to be worth keeping. Then analyze the 'keepers' and pick on the best system for YOU to use at this time. (This will depend upon your level of knowledge and which one you would enjoy most. Work with your strengths.)
Finally, devise a game plan. You are going to focus on this ONE method and devise a practical time-line to achieve results. Don't be in a rush. Make sure you give yourself enough time to see it 'take hold' so the money starts flowing in. That will give you the motivation to continue.
Clear the decks, physically as well as mentally. Put all the products that don't fit in with your plan in boxes or on disk for safekeeping. You may return to them one day, but if you've chosen the system that's right for you, you probably won't.
4. Don't Get Distracted by New Products.
Resolve to buy ONLY products or services that will save you time or money in implementing the system you have chosen. Never buy anything on impulse. Print out the sales letter, read it through, then put it aside. Read it through again the next day. Does it still seem so appealing? Check out a few forums to listen to the buzz. If a product doesn't deliver, you'll soon hear about it. If it is exceptional value, you'll hear about that, too.
Some questions to ask: "Will this help me to streamline the business I have chosen? Is it worth the money? Will it make a significant difference?" And above all, "Do I need this, or is it just another distraction?"
Resolve to make this the year you will succeed. No more pocket change. No more "If I had only known..."
You DO know.
So make it work.