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Why Big Marketers Are Dying Off, And Little Guys Can Win

An idea hit me. Admittedly, its gone through my mind before. It is super-basic, yet I see so many people online just forgetting.

See, in this whole blogger market, I’m not exactly the biggest fish in the pond. My list size is respectable, but not nearly as big as some of the folks like Darren or Brian (from CopyBlogger). My traffic is nothing to complain about, but people like Pat Flynn are far surpassing me.

But, generally, I’ve got a pretty tight-knit bunch of readers. 🙂 Every time that little voice in my head wonders if I’m doing enough, I get people who tell me they open my emails religiously.

An idea hit me. Admittedly, its gone through my mind before. It is super-basic, yet I see so many people online just forgetting.

See, in this whole blogger market, I’m not exactly the biggest fish in the pond. My list size is respectable, but not nearly as big as some of the folks like Darren or Brian (from CopyBlogger). My traffic is nothing to complain about, but people like Pat Flynn are far surpassing me.

But, generally, I’ve got a pretty tight-knit bunch of readers. 🙂 Every time that little voice in my head wonders if I’m doing enough, I get people who tell me they open my emails religiously.

Side note: Have I told you guys how much appreciate you lately? 🙂

Plus, I do OK in the promotional department, too. This year, I came in #3 affiliate for one of Ryan Lee’s launches and ended up out in Las Vegas with him and several others. I was #1 affiliate for Corbett’s Traffic School launch, beating out several other bloggers you guys would know and love.

The other day, Ryan Lee mentioned me on his blog as one of the marketers who “get it”. (Much appreciated, Ryan.)

So, what is it that I “get”?

Honestly, I don’t think its just that I “get” something… I think its just that I haven’t forgotten.

Our readers are PEOPLE. Real people, not just numbers on an email list. And, they have opinions, mindsets, things to say. Hell, especially bloggers, you guys have things to say. 😉

Which brings me to my primary point…

TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION.

That’s it.

As a blogger and a marketer, it is all too easy to get into a 1-way flow. A top-down thing where I’m just lecturing you guys and you listen. Online, it is too easy to only gauge things like email open rate… or when I’m selling something, the number of orders.

But, those things are impersonal. They’re good – don’t get me wrong. You want to watch the numbers. But, still, it is impersonal.

We’re not built, as human beings, to enjoy 1-way flows. That’s why we got sleepy in college classes when the professor was talking to the chalkboard. He wasn’t talking TO us. He was lecturing. He was thinking about himself, and we’re supposed to feel honored to be listening. Yeah, bullshit.

As Ryan pointed out on his blog, some of the big marketers out there are losing their shirts now. They burned their list, trying to shake their subscribers upside down for every dime they had. They offered no real value, just sales offers. They rarely, if ever, actually interacted with their subscribers. Many of the old big-timers are now exiting the niche and you don’t see them launching anymore.

THEY DIDN’T LISTEN. THEY DIDN’T ENGAGE IN A TWO-WAY CONVERSATION.

They just kept pushing $2K products. And it worked… until it didn’t work anymore. People grew weary.

So, how can you promote a two-way conversation with your readers and subscribers?

  1. Reply to their emails.
  2. Ask them to email. Do you ever ask people on your list to email you back by replying?
  3. Reply to their comments on your blog.
  4. Ask them questions, and invite them to reply. You can learn a LOT about your market by asking simple questions, and it keeps you “on the pulse” of your market.
  5. Move beyond your blog. Do videos. Do webinars. Let your subscribers interact with you as a human being.
  6. Be transparent. You don’t have to share every little thing (obviously), but just be a real person. You’re not perfect, so don’t try to act like you are.
  7. Keep it personal. Address them by name. Use email surveys rather than solely form-based ones.

I could go on, but you get the point.

This stuff creates loyal fans.

Not because you’re so damn awesome. It is ONLY because…

You listened. You acknowledged them. And you helped.

Got a question about this post? Just #AskBMA!