Today, the guest post I wrote for Copyblogger called “Need More Customers? 5 Ways to Get Them to Know, Like, and Trust You” went live, and I’ve been busy responding to comments.
In the guest post, I pointed out that like dating, business is all about forming relationships. You need to get out there and be seen, so people know you exist and can buy your products or services. It’s also a good idea to avoid networking in skeezy places and hanging out with questionable people. Although I mention that idea in passing in the Copyblogger post, I thought I’d go into it in more detail here.
When it feels like the entire online world is ignoring you, you start looking for answers. You read sites about how you “should” be marketing yourself online. But not all marketing techniques are necessarily a good idea.
Most women know what it’s like to go into a dark, dank, smoke-filled bar and realize, “yikes, this place is scary!” It’s one of those life experiences you don’t want to repeat.
As I point out in the Copyblogger post, finding a date can be tough. Here in North Idaho, women have been known to mutter under their breath that if you can find a guy who has all his teeth, you’re doing pretty well. (“That’s a mighty nice tooth, Jethro.”)
Although you may be desperate for customers, when you’re considering your marketing options, I have two suggestions:
1. Stay out of bad online neighborhoods.
2. Watch out for loser partners.
Desperation when marketing is just as bad as desperation when dating.
Stay Out of Bad Online Neighborhoods
For years, countless goo-roos have said that “article marketing” is the best way to get traffic to your Web site. It may bring visitors, but I’ve always held that the whole concept is a stupid idea because you have no control over where your article will end up.
It’s kind of like a bad blind date with Talking Heads music in the background. You’re hanging out with Jethro at a dive bar thinking “how did I get here?”
When you submit articles to article sites, they can end up on scraper sites, link farms, spam sites or malware sites. Do you really want your name associated with any of that?
In contrast, when you do a guest post for a blog, you know where the article will end up. To me, guest posting on high-quality blogs is a far better way to get traffic than article marketing.
Way back when, I put a few articles on Ezine Articles. They aren’t anything I care about and I view them as throwaways. (Kinda like Jethro.)
Watch for Loser Partners
Forming partnerships, alliances, or “joint ventures” can be a great way to introduce yourself to a new audience. Sometimes though, the lure of making money causes people to make poor partnership choices.
Have you ever been out on a date with a guy who says things that are so completely mortifying that you want to crawl under the table? I have. (If you haven’t, consider yourself fortunate.)
A partner that doesn’t share your values is like the loudmouth guy you wish you could ditch. Because you came to the party with the guy, you’re associated with him.
In much the same way, you want to partner with people who share your ethical business standards. Even if you like someone, you may discover that their approach to business doesn’t align with yours.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that the online world is a lot smaller than it may seem. Relationships matter and great people are out there. If you stay out of bad neighborhoods and avoid the sleazy crowd, you’re more likely to avoid Jethro and his friends.