Small business owners and professional service providers often know next-to-nothing about marketing. I know this is true, because after owning several businesses which spanned everything from financial services to retail stores, all I knew how to do was place ads in local media.Newspaper, radio, television and magazine advertising was my idea of marketing. Sure, every so often I’d send out a press release, if there was an event to publicise, but aside from that I didn’t have a clue.Then the Internet blossomed. I looked at it as just another kind of advertising vehicle, and that impression was bolstered by the reps from all of the media I had been advertising with. They all were flogging online ads on their respective websites. Some even offered “online marketing plans” which were almost entirely composed of different styles of paid ads, bundled together.Results from my offline ads were slowing down. Even ads in the papers which used to bring immediate results stopped producing. So, I dove in and spent thousands on Internet advertising. I should have thrown the money into a sewer. I had no idea what I was doing, and tried to use the same approach which once worked in my offline ads. The results were nonexistent.In desperation, I tried one website after another, tossing dollar after dollar and watching the business in my stores grind to a halt.That is when I knew that there had to be another way. I went onto the Internet looking for a better site to advertise on, and ran across an article about Internet marketing. It was full of terms like auto responder, SEO and social media, and it also mentioned a magic word. “FREE.”My curiosity was piqued. I made a project of getting educated on “Internet marketing,” and found a variety of sites which all gave the best marketing tips for small business professionals. Eventually I was able to get glimpses into what techniques were free, and which ones cost money.It did take a while, and a lot of effort, to sort things out. It seemed that some of the “gurus” I found were having a blast making every tip and technique convoluted and “secret.” And it was also glaringly clear that they were all either self-taught or hiding the source of their own Internet marketing education.After months of digging, I discovered a single source for all kinds of Internet marketing education. It is perfectly suited for professionals and small business owners, and was exactly what I was looking for. I signed up.At last I was armed with the ability to find new business leads online without spending a fortune to get them.However, I had to adjust my expectations when it came to the timing of results. You see, when I relied on advertising, I expected quick response from the customers. I still like direct response advertising for that. But with online marketing, things were different. It was like watching a slow motion movie of a flower growing.The closest analogy I can think of is that Internet marketing is like planting seeds. The marketer cannot expect to harvest a crop until it has grown. And notice that I say “seeds.” Plural. Planting one seed will not yield a crop.That was a difficult lesson. For Internet marketing to work for any business, the marketer must do a lot of it, over a period of time, consistently.Eventually, intelligent marketing action will start to yield the desired results, and make all the effort worthwhile.It all starts with getting a solid Internet marketing education.
If you tell people that you are starting your own internet business, as well as still working at the regular day job, you will probably get the usual comments: “Where will you find the time?” or “Nobody really makes money online.”All pretty reasonable comments I guess, and ones that you probably would have said a few years ago before you realized that the internet really does offer business opportunities like no other. Starting your own internet business does not require the huge sums of money that a conventional business requires. To start, all you need is a laptop and access to the internet.Is Starting Your Own Online Business Too Difficult?You don’t even need your own products when starting your own internet business. You can sell products and services on behalf of other businesses and product owners who will pay you commissions on everything you sell. And, you don’t need to pre-buy stock, sort out payment systems, organize delivery or even sort out customer queries as the product owner will take care of all of these issues.Finding The Time.Finding the extra time is hard when starting an internet business from home, but not impossible. Just getting up a half an hour earlier in the day, not taking a full hour lunch break, not watching too much TV in the evenings or at weekends – it all adds up to useful to time to work on your online business.I Don’t Know Anything About Starting A Small Business Online.This is not a problem as it is easy to learn where to start. Just think when you started your current day job. You did not know what do on your first day and it probably took you a few weeks, or even months, before you knew that you were dong everything correctly. When learn about starting your own internet business it is no different. You learn from those who have gone before you and had success, so that you can avoid their mistakes and get on the quickest path to success.Is The Time Right To Start?In the current economic climate more people are starting to realise that they can no longer depend on one income from one job. When you set up an internet business from home it can help to supplement your regular salary and work as an insurance in the event you lose your job or have to take a paycut.How Much Will I Earn?How much you earn online really depends on how much work you are willing to put in. If you make the effort to learn the right online marketing skills you will have a realistic opportunity to build a solid internet business and earn as much as you want.