On the web, experience could be your worst enemy.

J. Paul Getty once said, “In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.”

Climbing Blogging SuccessThe other day, I was on the phone with a client when he told me, “I get complimented all the time on how “ahead of the curve” I am with my blog, but truth be told, I’m just following you. ” Later in the conversation, we began talking about his former web developer, to which he said, “He’s just satisfied making HTML web sites. The thing is, I don’t know of anyone who has made the jump from HTML web sites to blogs like you have.”

In times of rapid change, experience can be your worst enemy.

I wish I could say that I “saw” the explosive growth of blogging coming and jumped onto that bandwagon. I didn’t. I was literally FORCED into blogging by a client of mine.

Last year (December 2006) I published my first book, Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results. Unfortunately, I began writing the book in March 2005. By March 2006, I began to recognize that the book was NEVER going to happen if I didn’t clear some “emotional clutter” that kept getting in my way. I hired one of my clients at the time to help guide me.

Ernie Moore was a long time client and I knew he was the one to get me moving forward on my book project. Ernie suggested that I launch a blog to help build “buzz” for the book.

My response: “UGH! Blogs are for people who DO NOT KNOW how to code in HTML!”

Blogging opportunityHowever, Ernie was relentless (That’s what a coach is supposed to do!) and wouldn’t let me off the hook. Despite the fact that I had a perfectly good HTML web site waiting to promote my book (Find My Niche.com) I purchased a domain name and launched Beyond Niche Marketing to promote my book.

It took my blog 9 months to emerge from the Google Sandbox, which fortunately just happened to be just a month after my book was published. Last June I ran the log files for both sites and was STUNNED at what I saw. The blog gets 10X+ the number of unique visitors the HTML site gets. VISITORS!!! Not hits… VISITORS! Those visitors also tend to return time and time again.
The reasons the blog site is SO much more popular than the HTML site include:

  • It’s so easy to add a post (a.k.a. FRESH CONTENT) that I do it more often there than I do the HTML site.
  • More content = more opportunities to appear in searches
  • Blogs make it easy to trade links with other blog site owners (increasing PR and authority of the site).
  • The Semilogic theme and plug ins make the site very attractive to the search engines.

The thing is, looking back the development/promotion of HTML site, I worked HARD to get the PR up to 3. HARD! Meanwhile, the rise of the blog site to a PR 4 was positively EFFORTLESS in comparison.

Thus my “conversion” from an HTML web developer to a blog FANATIC.

In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.”

Don’t let experience be your worst enemy!

Pick Your Niche and Target Your Message

It’s common wisdom that all any service professional or consultants needs to be successful is "passion". Let it be known here that passion alone can be overrated. When you’re building a practice, you need more than passion. You need more than a high level of dedication and energy to succeed. You need a plan. A marketing plan with a marketing budget to be exact.

We’ve all seen this scenario played out in some form in your hometown. Typically, it begins as some starry-eyed owner rents retail space. The newly minted entrepreneur then spends his capital on cash registers, inventory and store signage.

When it’s time to open the doors to the shop, the owner is tapped out. The new business, struggling along on the thread bare path of "word of mouth" waits impatiently as bills mount and customers trickle in at a painfully slow pace. Within a matter of months, the newly opened store is finally spending some money on marketing, only it’s being spent advertising a "Going Out Of Business" sale.

To avoid the same fat, you need a marketing plan (a part of your overall business plan).  Your marketing plan should begin with a thorough investigation into your target market.

* Who are your customers?
* Who is the competition?
* What problems do they have?
* What problems can you solve?
* Is someone willing and able to write a check to hire you to solve the above mentioned problems?

Once you’ve answered the questions above, you can successfully pick your "niche" market. The wonderful thing about niche markets is they are tightly targeted. That means your marketing dollars go further.

Marketing is merely a matter of bringing the solutions your target market is looking for to the attention of those who will benefit the most.

By defining those who will benefit most from your goods or services, you narrow your focus. Instead of "spraying and praying" with your marketing message, you’re speaking directly to your target audience. That cuts down considerably on your overall marketing expenses.

Finally, remember that marketing is not sales. Marketing is focused on the sales you’ll make next quarter and beyond. In sales, the focus is upon the sales to be made THIS quarter.