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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Online marketing: Asking the trust questions

Perhaps with the previous blog posting in mind, I mucked into the debate on when an Ohio-based vendor started the thread
"Internet Marketing And Advertising For Offline Business".

The original poster, Matt Shields, and I have communicated by email. He says (despite my assertions in the thread) that he hasn't used Frank Kern's materials, but cites some other gurus who live in the space of long email promo pages with various devices to get you to sign onto their online info programs. (Shields first appears in my life when he comments on the thread I started reporting on my visit last fall to Columbus, Ohio, to see canvassing first hand. But we've not met yet in person.)

Out of his page, I discerned a lead selling program, which he denies is his actual service -- I just can't quite figure out what it is just yet. This raises the fundamental issue of transparency and trust.

Ironically, as the thread progressed, someone else offering a similar-style Internet marketing scheme popped up, offering a service for HVAC contractors.

Here, I'm scratching my head a little. Maybe these approaches really work and my failure here is in not following up and getting the online marketing religion.

If so, I should have a really solid e-book, lengthy 'squeeze pages' (or whatever), and videos showing me, dressed casually, to set up a sequence of communications via auto responder emails using one of the services the gurus recommend.

Then, I could sell that online marketing course that got me into the "idiot" trouble.

I dunno. Is my alternative approach, listening and understanding the values, issues, and needs of contractors, especially the leaders of relevant contracting associations, and maybe seeing them in person when possible, a better model? (See next posting.)

I can't be sure right now. This blog and my e-letter have generated some profitable business when people call and ask, and our new online publication will soon appear built from relationships developed in both the online and off-line spaces.

My guess is the best approach is to learn something from the online experts but apply it in a much more natural manner, reflecting your own business style and model. But maybe the canned stuff really works.

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