Let’s face it – unless you’re lucky enough to have a huge opt-in list or deep pockets for PPC or JV bonuses, chances are your Internet marketing and affiliate marketing have taken a real hit since the ‘recession’ hit online sales the last week of April.
You see signs of it everywhere in the biz today – Internet marketers suddenly selling everything and anything they can get their hands on for $1.98 or $2.95 (an unsustainable, knee-jerk reaction), gurus suddenly switching to bringing offline businesses online and the like…
Naturally, they couch the latter in glowing terms, but let’s be honest a minute – people who have been making millions online suddenly focusing on finding clients in the offline world to charge them $5,000 up front and maybe $500 a month to continue with the program. The ongoing SEO etc is outsourced, so they keep a portion of that, and some are touting it as the way of the future, right?
Here’s a point to ponder… How many of those offline businesses would it take to match the millions they were making? How much time would it take to find and convince enough offline businesses to use the service? Even if that were possible in this economy, once all the clients come aboard, how much time would be involved in setting up and coordinating the ongoing services? In servicing and reporting back to the clients each month?
Appears to me that like all the rest of us, they’re doing a lot more work, putting in a lot more time and making a lot less right now…
Another example that’s harder to spot until you reach a certain level is demonstrated by Jeff Dedrick’s Send Button Profits launch that’s on right now. I and many other of Jeff’s friends and JV partners starting promoting it right from the start of the pre-launch – and some of us have done very well with it, since it’s a truly great product/service/pricing combination…
When the actual launch started on Tuesday, at least 4 of the A-Level gurus sent their first promos on it to all their lists. Now understand, these are guys used to sweeping in on the launch and capturing first spot with an e-mail… Fact is, 24 hours later not one of those 4 was even in the top 20! Yet another view of the diminishing returns we’re all experiencing right now! (If you haven’t seen Send Button Profits yet, feel free to visit it through my affiliate link – as I write this I’m still Top-10 there and would really like to keep it that way. 😉 But do it for the great free & paid content, not just to help me!)
OK – so no big news there, right? Everyone’s talking about, and blaming, the recession…
But what if it’s NOT a recession, but turns out to be a CORRECTION in the economy?
After all, how many manufacturing jobs are left in North America right now? How much income have both the population and the Governments of Canada & the U.S. lost as a result? Same with the 1 million plus jobs that have disappeared since the start of the year…
And some financial types pointed out for years that the stock market had gone from about 7,000 to 11,000+ with no underlying increase in GDP – a bubble waiting to burst? And burst it did, as we all know, forcing the governments worldwide to pump billions or trillions collectively into propping up the economic cycle – funds taken from their depleted incomes and/or yet to be paid by future generations…
I’m no trained economist, not even a financial expert – but maybe, just maybe, this isn’t a recession but instead a new reality… What then?
Internet marketers and affiliates who cling to the hope of a quick return to better times will be washed out of the business, realizing too late the changes they need to make… And the effects will be most dramatic at the top levels, where big dogs have heavy overheads from technological services, staff wages, outsourcing costs, etc.
Marketers just starting out will find it harder to get a true foothold, but won’t be as negatively impacted as they have yet to get to a level where they depend on their online income to survive. Mid-level marketers will probably be divided into two groups – those who acknowledge the truth early and take steps to continue their growth, and those who don’t and slide downhill til they have to find employment offline once more.
Survival and prosperity would still be possible in the Internet marketing industry and for work-at-home affiliate marketing businesses – but it will most likely take two things, both antithetical to most marketer’s personalities:
Financial Prudence and Hard Work!
The first is proved by a simple concept – if you have less sales revenue or affiliate commission coming in, your spending has to reflect that too. Only governments can seemingly continue spending more and more while revenues drop – and even they eventually have to face the music.
Take a long hard look at your monthly commitments and keep only those that directly benefit you and your business and contribute directly to your bottom line.
Don’t slash your spending recklessly – that can kill a business just as much as overspending can. But be sure you’re not still paying for resources you don’t use anymore, or for perks that were more appropriate when times were good. This is the first global downturn the Internet marketing industry has faced, and some of what we all considered benefits that go hand-in-glove with our online businesses will need to be forsaken – and it’ll sting even more at first since we’d never envisioned giving up any part of our elevated lifestyles!
‘Work Smarter – Not Harder!’ has been a rallying cry in our industry and many others for years – but maybe now it’s time to alter that to ‘Work Smarter AND Harder!’ This is where I’ll lose some of the people reading this post – those who were attracted to the biz by nonsense like promises of a 4-hour work-week or get-rich-quick promises made by unethical promoters. (Notice I said promoters, not marketers – no professional marketer would make claims so easily disproved or so corrosive to their long-term success.)
It’s not as bad as it sounds, though – it’s a matter of keeping up to date with what’s working best RIGHT NOW, increasing your reach through building a bigger opt-in list and doing more to generate targeted traffic, only paying for ghostwriting and outsourcing when it will increase your net profits in short order, and more effort put into networking for joint ventures and a larger mastermind pool to draw inspiration and ideas from.
To use Jeff’s launch as an example once more, 3 of the Top 5 positions in the JV contest are held by TEAMS of 2 or more marketers, each of whom might have been at that level on their own before everything changed – Smart marketers who are already accepting the new reality and taking action to minimize the effects it has on their businesses!
By keeping your overhead as low as prudently possible while still allowing you to grow and increasing both the volume and effectiveness of your efforts, you should still be able to build a solid & sustainable Internet marketing business and do very well with it – both individually and collectively in conjunction with those you partner with.
And if the economy DOES turn around and reach those lofty levels again?
With a low overhead, growth strategies in place and your increased output and effectiveness, the potential for profits will be higher than ever before! Avoid the most common trap – don’t increase general overhead just because you can, let the same diligence govern your spending as during this time. And don’t ease up in your personal activity level or networking – during good times they represent not mere survival but the foundation of more rapid rises in status and income!
Yes, you can spend more as you make more (within reason) – just make it purchases covered by existing funds, not debt that will add to your overhead again! Couple that with avoiding all but necessary long-term contracts and you’ll keep your overhead low – protecting you better from the next hiccup in the economic cycle…
Now don’t misunderstand here – I’m no legally-licensed legal, financial or business expert and the above cannot be construed as professional advice, so please accept it as it’s meant: Observations from a friend and mentor who’s been online full-time since the 1990’s and the conclusions I’ve personally drawn from my experience and observations. And, I hope, of some help to you both in surviving the current state of the economy and WHATEVER the future holds for the industry!
To You continued and ever-increasing success,
Internet marketer, super-affiliate, mentor & speaker.