Shamelessly Successful Marketing for the Internet

by Debbie Allen, All Rights Reserved

Thanks to the Internet, it's a lot easier than it used to be to be a shameless self-promoter, says marketing expert Debbie Allen. Here are three steps to promoting your business on the Internet.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.
- Harry Emerson Fosdick

Dot-coms are everywhere we look today. While in Venice Beach, California, I saw a man Roller Blading in a Speedo with his website posted on his butt. Now that is about as shameless as it gets--but it sure got my attention!

Back in the early 1990s people who knew a lot about computers and spent a lot of time on them were called “geeks”. Today, the “geeks” are the few that don’t know about computers, the Internet, and marketing online. We can no longer afford to not be Internet savvy.

There’s hope for all of us, no matter how out-of-it you think you are. I confess that just a few short years ago when someone asked what kind of computer I had I said “Beige”. I’ve come a long way since then.

It is great to think that while you are sleeping away, someone on the other side of the world is discovering you on the Internet. And not only discovering you, but wants to do business with you. Just a few months after redesigning my website in order to get it listed higher on search engines and directories, Australia found me. The next thing I knew I was the opening keynote speaker at the Retail Technology 2000 Convention in Melbourne.

Since speaking in Australia, a client requested referrals to other retail speakers. I sent them my associate Tom Shay, then searched the Internet for a retail speaker in Australia. I found John Stanley, checked out his website, and sent him a message so that we could connect.

John emailed me right back. By coincidence he was going to be in Arizona in a couple of weeks. When we met, he confessed that he had downloaded my website just two days before he received my first email. “I printed out a few pages from your site and they were sitting on my desk. I was thinking, ‘This Debbie Allen and I may be able to share leads and contacts in one another’s country.’ Then I got your email



It’s a small world on the Internet, but fishing there is fishing with a big net. You just never know when or where the next marketing “bite” will come from.

Shameless Promotion Internet-Style
It’s a lot easier than it used to be to be a shameless self promoter. In the bad old days you had to go to networking meetings and press the flesh with a bunch of people who were more interested in getting business than giving it. Or you had to hang out at professional associations and hope someone would throw you a crumb.

Not anymore. The Internet has changed all that for savvy self promoters. Now you can promote yourself at night while sitting in front of your computer wearing ragged shorts and a three-day growth. (Women, substitute no makeup and fuzzy slippers.)

Here’s the three-pronged Internet promotion attack learned by Internet marketing guru Tom Antion.

Prong One: Build a Great Website
. . . and learn how to do it yourself. I don’t mean you have to create the whole thing yourself, just how to update it. This was the best investment in time and money that I made throughout my entire career.

Get a professional to create the main page and the basic look of the site. It has been my experience that many designers know how to design a gorgeous-looking site, but you need to add the content that will help you sell. So, purchase some simple software and take about 15 minutes to become familiar with it. When you are, you can add page after page after page of solid content to your site yourself. You’ll save yourself a ton of frustration overall.

Once you have the site up and running, spend part of your time promoting it and part of your time adding new pages. I teach the big target theory. The more content-rich pages, carefully constructed to attract search engines, you have, the more traffic and business you’ll enjoy.

It’s a small world on the Internet, but fishing there is fishing with a big net. You just never know when or where the next marketing “bite” will come from.

Shameless Promotion Internet-Style
It’s a lot easier than it used to be to be a shameless self promoter. In the bad old days you had to go to networking meetings and press the flesh with a bunch of people who were more interested in getting business than giving it. Or you had to hang out at professional associations and hope someone would throw you a crumb.

Not anymore. The Internet has changed all that for savvy self promoters. Now you can promote yourself at night while sitting in front of your computer wearing ragged shorts and a three-day growth. (Women, substitute no makeup and fuzzy slippers.)

Here’s the three-pronged Internet promotion attack learned by Internet marketing guru Tom Antion.

Prong One: Build a Great Website
. . . and learn how to do it yourself. I don’t mean you have to create the whole thing yourself, just how to update it. This was the best investment in time and money that I made throughout my entire career.

Get a professional to create the main page and the basic look of the site. It has been my experience that many designers know how to design a gorgeous-looking site, but you need to add the content that will help you sell. So, purchase some simple software and take about 15 minutes to become familiar with it. When you are, you can add page after page after page of solid content to your site yourself. You’ll save yourself a ton of frustration overall.

Once you have the site up and running, spend part of your time promoting it and part of your time adding new pages. I teach the big target theory. The more content-rich pages, carefully constructed to attract search engines, you have, the more traffic and business you’ll enjoy.

Keep in mind that a small, targeted list will make more money than a big, general list. With a targeted list you can define the wants and needs of the people on the list and create products and services that they will want to buy.

Getting people to sign up isn’t all that hard. Your great website (Prong One) attracts people you would never have found in any other way. Directories and limited direct mail can get them on the list at minimum cost. Do whatever legitimate thing you have to do to get that email address, and then your promotion is for free from then on.

Prong Three: Product Development
You may have noticed that we have a one-two punch going so far. Your great website pulls in new people, and your electronic direct mail markets back to them. But what are you marketing?

You’ve got to have a product base. You may already have a line of products, but as your customer base grows, you can survey them to find out about needs that you can fulfill. When you find out about what your target audience wants, then you can either adapt your products or create new ones to fill these niches. Your own customers will tell you what they want.

In addition to the traditional hard goods that most companies sell, many businesses have knowledge that people would buy if they had the chance. Informational products in the form of books, tapes, CDs, audio and videotapes, and downloadable products are all very high profit, low risk add-on ventures. These informational products actually make it much easier to sell your traditional or main product line. The whole idea is to distribute good and helpful information to earn the trust of your market.

Once you've earned their trust by exposing them to your knowledge, your customers will become much more comfortable spending money with you. This is especially true on the Internet. Most people are still apprehensive about buying online. If they take the plunge with you and have a good experience, they are very likely to stick with you and buy everything you put out.

So, if you're interested in shamelessly marketing yourself electronically, learn how to create and update a kick-butt website, build a targeted email list you can promote to for free, and develop products or giveaways that showcase your knowledge. Do these three things and don’t be ashamed when you make bigger bank deposits.

About the author:
Debbie Allen is an international professional speaker, business consultant and author of Confessions of Shameless series of books. As a marketing and retail business expert, Debbie has presented to thousands from around the world. For more information or to sign up for Debbie’s free newsletter, visit her web site at at www.DebbieAllen.com.
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