What a Man, a Dog and a Leash Have to do with Internet Marketing
The other day I was running at a local park, ya know, since I’m serious about this whole exercise stuff. We have two parks in the area; one is closer than the other, but the one I run at is much nicer.
There’s a lot of wildlife around (a ton of ducks and little ducklings and very friendly squirrels) which makes running in a park so much more enjoyable than running through a development or through town. I recommend doing so if you have a local park nearby.
On this particular morning I was determined to run two miles, which I proudly did. At about the one and a half mile marker, something strange caught my attention.
The particular park attracts a lot of other runners, joggers and walkers, including people that like to walk their dogs. Well, I came up on a man who was walking his dog. I don’t know what kind of dog he had, but it was rather small and was on a leash (all dogs have to be on a leash).
They were standing next to a short cement wall in which the dog wanted to jump up onto to see down toward the creek where the ducks were. The man decided to help the dog by picking the dog up by its leash, rather than bending down and literally picking the dog up.
You read correctly…
He didn’t pick the dog up like most people would… He pulled up on the leash until the dog lifted up off the path and onto the cement wall.
I almost tripped over my jaw as I saw this right as I was passing by. I don’t know how tight that collar was, but I can’t imagine that felt very good for the little dog. It could have been strangling its neck for all I know.
After my run and on the drive home, it hit me…
Many internet marketers these days are like that man I saw. They hold their leashes in hand and attempt to pick up everyone they can with it, all the meanwhile strangling them. This causes people to resent them and turn the other way. Certainly not the way internet marketing is supposed to be.
Let’s look at some prime examples of what I’m talking about.
The first comes in the form of email spam. You have people shoving their business opportunity or product down your throat, some of which you never agreed to receive email from. Complete turn off… agreed? Makes you hate them all the more, right?
Another example of this – I was trying to sell something on Craiglist, and it clearly has “this seller does not allow commercial contact” (something like that). So, I get an email asking if I had sold my item yet, and I replied, “no.” Right away I get another response from the person, and the email went something like this: “Don’t sell it! Instead, sign up to blah blah blah…”
Yeah, you get the point. They were promoting some website in which they wanted me to sign up for. They got their leash around my neck and strangled me. Hate it when that happens!
Next, you have scuzzy sleezebags using forums and instant messaging services like Skype to spam you with products and services you have no interest in. They “strangle” you right from the start, and you do what any normal person would do. You delete them and/or report them for spam. There’s no being “friends” with them because they have no interest in that.
Here comes my favorite (quite the opposite)…
Thanks to social media and allowing people to connect and meet new people, we now have a whole new breed of marketing spam. I see this a lot on Facebook and have fallen victim to it myself.
Someone said it perfectly when they said (I’m paraphrasing here)…
“When you want to be friends with people and you click the ‘Add as Friend’ button, that button doesn’t say ‘Add as marketer.’”
What this means is, when we add people as friends, we should become friends with them, not a marketer who’s only interest is to get as many people as possible to join our “awesome” business.
It’s important to build relationships with people. Once you have that relationship factor and have built up trust with that person, then you can mention your business and what you do.
The whole point of social sites is to be social. Yes, they have features in place that make it easy to market our businesses, but you first need to be social with people. People will respect you more for it, and they’ll be more inclined to hear you out and check out your business and what you do later on.
Some final advice…
Don’t be like that man where he strangled his dog with the leash, even if it was only for a second or two. First impression is everything, and it only takes a few seconds for you to ruin your reputation online. Strangle enough people, and you’ll find yourself out of business very quickly.
How are you marketing your business online? Have you ever been the victim of marketing spam? Or, have you ever been like that man and strangled others in an attempt to make a quick buck? Share your thoughts below…
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