We embarked on a new internet focused website that was intended to promote our companies web evaluation products. We called it Fast Track your website to success I decided to get some Internet Marketing help and so I came across this website called Marketing For Success by Charlie Cook . I am by nature very wary of any Internet promotions, and the reason I decided to try Charlie’s approach was that he offered a personal website review to help in my marketing efforts. in effect we could actually talk to the person, and if they offered to do that, we felt that there was minimal risk and a lot to gain.
Well why not, so we purchased Charlie’s ebook called Insider secrets to creating websites that sell which was pretty good, nothing that I hadn’t realized before, but it had a very focused message that said you needed to do three things:
- Identify what you do
- Identify a problem area for your target audience
- Solve the problem
What could be more simple – it took us a long time to get this looking right, probably because we weren’t really certain what we really offered and more importantly to whom would this appeal to. We finally did get what we thought was a great website and message and used our consultation session with Charlie.
I have to admit we were very impressed by our 1 hour session, Not only was he able to point out the major flaws in our marketing plan but also to really identify the basic flaws in our whole approach, he likend it to trying to selling diet programs to “fat” people by offering to weigh them first!!!! Of course you know the rest – from one that needs to buy comfort fit pants, it doesn’t matter how great or effective that program is there is absolutely no way that I would purchase the program.
Well our web evaluation approach did just that and it takes an open mind to say yes my website stinks and I need help particularly from a large business and when someone says it is ineffective.
So what did we do? We stepped back and reevaluated our whole strategy and realized that all the other indicators such as lack of new customers and difficulty in getting attention pointed to the same conclusion, we just tried to ignore that and plodded on. We changed our orientation to usability and things started to change, we had a lot more to talk about and people were a lot more receptive. In discussions with other entrepreneurs, we found that if something doesn’t start to make a return within six months it is time to reassess and try something new. We over extended that by two years!
Would I recommend outside perspective for any initiative – absolutely – but you have to be ready to hear the truth, although perseverance against all odds has realized some spectacular successes, but more often than not spectacular failures. Solicit input and evaluate the information to make decisions, the more information you have the better the decision. People will more often believe a paid consultant than friends, but combine the both and you will save time money and lots of headaches.