As we near 2012, there are exciting things to look forward to in the coming year. There are also many landmines that we need to be aware that can lead to a lack of efficiency from a cost and time perspective.
In this post I am going to discuss some areas of concern and open up some dialogue on certain concepts that are often misconstrued, misrepresented, and misused.
2012 is going to be your best year yet if you do things right and prepare for the new world of Internet marketing.Ready for some honest insight into what I think 2012 is going to look like? Want to know about something we are giving away to members of Wealthy Affiliate on January 1st, 2012?
Social Ain’t Going Anywhere
Many of you are late to acquire social…many of you are probably reluctant to utilize social media for your businesses, for your website, and as a medium to share information.I am not going to lecture you here, but you need to understand that your business CAN benefit from social media. It can also lead to some major inefficiencies (can be a waste of time) if you overuse it.
You need to find out what works for your business and for your brand. No entity is the same and none should be treated the same.
So which ones should you use? At the minimum you should familiarize yourself with Facebook and Twitter. For 2012 I am predicting that Google is going to take a run at Google+ trying to force it upon people by integrating it much more heavily into search. You can prepare yourself by getting an account if you have not already done so.
There may be new up and comers that you should adopt as well, but it comes to management. It is tough to manage MANY different social profiles at once, so do what works for you.
One of the biggest aspects of social is SHARING. Getting your content out there is becoming much easier thanks to social mediums. Content can become viral very quickly and if you make content quality a core focus of your website, then you will see a significant amount of traffic coming to your site.
Are you still SELLING?
As I explained in a post that I wrote a while back, Hard Selling Ain’t Cool. I meant it. People are spending far too much time online trying to sell stuff. The Internet is not a vehicle for the hard sell, it is a medium people go to get informed…if you can help them out and build a relationship with them, then maybe you are going to be able to turn them into customer…perhaps a lifetime customer.
I am still seeing it all the time. People with weak “promo only” websites, people with review pages that are sell, sell, sell, and sites that are basically a replication of the sales page.
Think of your experience online. Do you go to a site that is a promo and say, “this page is so awesome…I really trust this site!”?
All it will take is you to review your own website or blog as a viewer or get a friend to take a peak to let you know if it is delivering. You are in the people business and if you don’t deliver to your visitor, there are billions of other sites they have to choose from (and they will).
Another issue I still see is people promoting a product because they “think” it will sell rather than knowing the product or being a user of the product. How can you recommend a product if you don’t know it is a good product.
Selling stuff becomes so much easier if you are a user.
Think of all the stuff around you that you use on a daily basis and love. These would be easy for you to sell. If you are going to review a product, know enough about it that you can help someone make an educated purchasing decision. Don’t become a grimy sales person just to earn money, it will only earn you a bad reputation and a short term stay in the business world.
A curator, who are they and does it matter to you?
Search engines are going to become less and less important in our day to day lives. If you don’t believe me, then let me explain the change that has already started to take place.
People are hungry for information, this is a static. People will always want info.In the past people have gone to Google to get information for everything. From news, to how to sites, to content revelation (finding stuff they didn’t know they wanted to know). Now with the influx of tablets, apps, and curation tools and curators (people that don’t create content, rather they distribute it).
Now content is getting found without the help of Google. It is getting found through other mediums. For example, I love many of the apps out there for finding news, Pulse and Zite to name a few.
People will always use search in some form, so don’t think your SEO efforts are going to waste. They aren’t. What you need to consider is the rest of the content mediums that will continue to search for and find content that is valuable and that offers a quality user experience.
You want reach? Think about the end user reading your content, not the keywords within the content.
Is everything becoming FREE?
Not necessarily, but people are much more conscious of their dollar these days and are not paying for things they typically once paid for. Information is a big one, and with the rate at which technology is advancing, there are many services that are using the ad based model to drive their businesses.
As an online business, you can leverage MANY of these free services to drive additional business and to use as productivity tools for your business.
Here are a few of my favorites..
- Websites (blogger.com, weebly.com)
- Authoring Content, Submission (streetarticles.com)
- Social mediums (twitter, facebook, linkedin, googleplus)
- Keyword Research (google external, jaaxy free version)
- Documents, Spreadsheets, Diagrams, PDF creator (Google Docs)
- Image modification (Pixlr, Splashup)
- News alerts, product alerts (Google Alerts)
- And the slew of phone and tablet apps that are out there.
As a marketer, you have a ton of tools that can lead you to an efficient, bootstrapped business without having to spend a ton of money. Not to mention the best Internet business training out there is only $47 per month (shameless plug).
Not everything is going to be free, but as technology prices lower, more and more free businesses are going to enter the market. A user base is worth something to companies and we as users, get to take advantage of that by using many tools and services for free…as well as getting a ton of information for free.
Education should not cost more than a car!
News alert:manufacturing jobs are disappearing and so are jobs that can be outsourced. These may include some of the jobs that some of you are currently doing or know someone that is doing. The content/writing, call center, tech support, programming, manufacturing, even personal assistants.
We (Carson and I) get this, and it is the reason why we have not just created an “info” platform at Wealthy Affiliate. We have created and continue to build new services, technologies, and support mediums into the community.
Info itself has become far less valuable, the way it is delivered, the supporting tools and systems, and the support/communication mediums are where the real value comes in.
I can honestly say that a year from now there are going to be far less $1997 info products slamming into the market.
I am sick of seeing people getting ripped off by these, and I know there are many people that are exhausted from the 1000’s of people promoting a new product like this every week.
I also think that people are going to smarten up to the costs of education within the offline world (I hope). The practical and applied knowledge that you can learn from an education on the Internet (and one that is current) is becoming vital to your function within the work place. If you don’t know the Internet business, then you are probably going to limit your potential as either an employee or a business owner. This will give you the upper hand.
Pretty much everything can be done on the Internet these days, and pretty much everyone is on the Internet several times throughout the day. Why wouldn’t you want to be part of these and educate yourself in it? You are only increasing your value!
Amplifying Efficiency and scalability
Outsourcing is cost effective and can lead to scalability. It is only continue to grow as more people become aware of it as an opportunity to not only make money (through doing the work), and people can leverage cheap labor to get a lot of the tasks completed that they do not want to do and will allow them to grow.
If you are only one person or only a few person operation, it can be difficult to scale. You eventually tap out your resources (there is only so much time in the day), and by outsourcing tasks like website development, content creation, social profile management, etc…it can allow you to focus on growing your business.
Outsourcing has changed though. A lot of people have entered the global “outsource force”, meaning that there are good workers as well as not so good workers. That is life, but you should treat any outsource work you do as a business relationship. It is not simple, it should be done with care.
Not everyone is a good worker, I can attest to that (I would even say that most people do not produce quality). So treat your outsourcing as a company would any hire. Do your due diligence, ask for work samples, and get a small job done before you sign into a big contract.
Proper outsourcing can lead to scalability and is going to be something that is going to continue to be used heavily by online and offline businesses in 2012. Why would you hire local help when you can get the same thing done in a far more cost effective manner online?
Shed the tasks that you don’t want to do and become better at the tasks that you like doing!
New Years 2012 – A Internet Marketing Resolution
We are starting the New Year off with a Bang!
On the week of January 1st – 7th... we are going to be launching a New Years Resolution package to ALL active members of Wealthy Affiliate. We are doing this in pure appreciation for our members and the fact that so many people have stuck with us over the years. 6.5 years later and Wealthy Affiliate is at the top of the game, with a TON of awesome stuff coming in 2012.
Here is the BARE MINIMUM we are going to be offering all members:
- At Least 300 Keyword Rich and Highly Valuable Domain
- At Least 1500 Low Competition, Easy Ranking SEO Keywords
- A Guide to Success in 2012 – Traffic Explosion 3.0 Style!
Lots of things to look forward to and Carson and I personally believe that some of the things that are coming to WA are going to send shock waves through the industry…but are very good and will lead to greater member success rates.
WA is going to be the place to be in 2012 if you are looking to scale your success in the ever elusive Internet world.We wish you all a wonderful holiday season!
Kyle (& Carson)