Stephen Covey wrote about the incredible accomplishment of the Apollo 11 mission in his classic book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. But before they could travel the approximately 250,000 miles to the moon and back, they first had to escape the tremendous gravitational pull of the earth. As he put it in his book:
“More energy was spent in the first few minutes of lift-off, in the first few miles of travel, than was used over the next several days to travel half a million miles.” (page 46)
I feel that way sometimes. Often. I’ve been expending energy on my business for quite some time now but haven’t really felt as if I’ve obtained “escape velocity” so that I can soar to the proverbial moon.
Part of this, I think, is due to who I am and what Internet Marketing is. We simply don’t quite line up all that well. It’s taken me several years to realize this.
But far from having “wasted” time, I have learned a lot about business and met some exceptional people — people who have helped me a lot and will continue to do so. A lot, but not all, of these people hang out at the Earn 1k A Day business membership site. In fact, as I write this, they are having their annual conference in Las Vegas.
I didn’t go this year, simply because I couldn’t justify the expense back during the registration period. I could easily afford it but didn’t really see a good “reason why” behind attending, primarily due to being stuck in the gravitational pull of a job and life.
A lot has changed over the past couple of months and I still have a long ways to go, but I think I’ve finally found a model that is going to work for me. I won’t say that Internet Marketing is broken; the “problem”, if that’s what you want to call it, is that, deep down, I’m not cut out for Internet Marketing.
I’m writing this because I’m certain that others find themselves in the same situation, and perhaps my experiences will help those people discover their own path to online success and potential financial freedom.
Opportunity For Whom?
Internet Marketing is based on “pulling” people into buying stuff. Take a recent email I received from a marketer; it was an “opportunity” to purchase a bundle of WordPress themes and plugins. And the email headline urged me to take advantage of this “opportunity”.
Let’s dissect this a bit. Just who really had an “opportunity” in this case?
- First, the “opportunity” is for the person selling the bundle and his/her affiliates.
- It could be an opportunity for a purchaser, but only if the purchaser is 100% certain that they can use the contents to recoup the selling price plus at least one cent.
- It also assumes that the purchaser will actually take action to recoup the price.
So the opportunity is contingent upon financial gain, either by selling the bundle, (the product creator) promoting it (the affiliates), or actually using it to earn income (the purchaser).
Again, this isn’t “evil” or even “bad” — I think it’s just a bit misleading. Since I don’t need the bundle, I did not see it as an “opportunity”, which made the email a bit misleading in my eyes.
PWAH Style Marketing
Getting back to my “Path With A Heart” post, I can easily use an Internet Marketing tactic to put together some good reports and sell them. These reports will help people better recognize and manage the risk they face, and this information will help them save money.
But if I did that, would I be any different from the others? Wouldn’t the opportunity be primarily for me in that case?
I mentioned in my last post that I’m going to give the stuff away for free but will sell a premium, enhanced version. This is, in my opinion, congruent with, and integral to, my PWAH mission. The information will be available for free to everybody and the enhanced version will be available for those that, for whatever reason (and it’s their reason, not mine) choose to purchase it.
I’m OK with that.
But none of that really has anything to do with the title of this post. It was on my mind and I wanted to put it in writing. 🙂
What I want to briefly talk about today is brand consistency. When a person lands on one of my sites, I want them to know that it’s a unique, distinct site, yet I also want a consistent “look and feel”, to the maximum extent possible, so that they know that they are on one of my sites.
I want my sites to feel “comfortable”, kind of like putting on a pair of slippers after taking a 20 mile hike in Army boots. I want it to feel “good” to be on one of my sites. I want people to know where to find things; I don’t want them to open the cupboard to look for a plate, only to find dog food instead.
I don’t want one site to say that I’m still certified in, say, CompTIA’s Security+ only to have another site state that I’m not (for the record, I chose to not renew that certification back in April 2014 because I do not need it for my current job and didn’t see the point in paying the renewal fees for no good reason). If you go to Site “A”, then to Site “B”, I want them to be unique, yet deliver the same overall message in a consistent manner.
Implementation of Consistency
While I’m pretty sure more ideas will come later, for now I’m working on physical consistency. To that end, I’m going to be working on several things over the coming weeks:
- Consistent terms of service / disclaimers / privacy statements / etc. I use Auto Web Law to generate these terms, so while there may be occasions when a particular site needs a unique disclaimer, all of my sites need and use the same basic disclaimers. So now I want to get them all looking the same way.
- Menus. While menus are theme-dependent, I want all of my sites to at least have the same basic menus in roughly the same location.
- Themes. WordPress themes are most definitely not a “one size fits all” proposition. Nevertheless, I have decided on a very simple, very basic theme that I will be using on most (if not all) of my sites. It’s very search engine friendly and was created by somebody who knows and understands Google. If you’re interested, you can learn more by clicking here (that isn’t an affiliate link, just a recommendation for something that’s helped me. His language is more than a bit “colorful”; you’ve been warned!).
- Color. I haven’t quite decided on how to do this one yet. My concern is that identical color schemes could make all of my sites look too much alike, which could lead to confusion as to which site my visitors are on. It’s something to play with.
- Links. I want my sites to have a place to talk about my other sites and I want that message to be consistent across the board. So I’ve created a “Links” page that I’ll slowly deploy across my network of sites in the days and weeks to come.
- Procedures. I want a consistent way to build out my sites to help ensure this consistency, and procedures will help me to this. It will also speed up my website development cycle and will eventually enable me to outsource the production of sites once I reach that stage in my business.
- Google Docs. I’m doing as much of this as I can in Google Docs because it’s so darn easy to simply copy stuff from a Google document to a WordPress page. Google Docs also has a global search and replace function, which makes it easy to change every occurrence of BusinessActionSteps.com with TomBrownsword.com (or anything else for that matter).
- Message. Perhaps the most important one of all is my overall message. I want to ensure that I say the same thing on all of my sites. I almost said something in this blog post that would have contradicted a promise I made in my last blog post — imagine trying to keep that message straight across several sites! But it’s what I signed up to do and I’m going to do it. Feel free to let me know when I miss the mark; I am grateful for those who take the time to correct me and to point out inconsistencies.
I think you can see why “reaching escape velocity” is on my mind so much at the moment. I want to reach escape velocity. I want to create free content that will help people while knowing that my monthly cash flow from passive income is more than enough to meet my needs (and yes, in some cases, they are “very expensive needs”, as Bob Lachman said in “For Richer or Poorer”…).
I also know that I’m not alone; many of you who are reading this are in the same situation. Understand that you have to overcome gravity and inertia before you can fly. As long as you have a solid plan, I am confident that you will get there.
I hope you’ll continue to take advantage of the information and value that I create for you. I appreciate your continued support of my business.