Issue #257

Something I realized about my business…

A Realization From T&C San Diego

I’ve been in this business for over 20 years now in one form or another. Blogging as the basis for an online business. And I’ve done well at it.

Having been around a long time, I’ve seen a lot. Done a lot. Know a lot. And… unfortunately, that can lead to being a little jaded and a little stuck in my ways.

I don’t go to conferences very often. I used to. But, seeing as much of what’s talked about is for “newbies”, and given the hassle of me leaving on my family, the costs of traveling, etc… I just don’t do it much anymore. I’d rather go out in the RV any day. 🙂

But, I do come to Traffic & Conversion most of the time. This conference is one of the few I come to where the CONTENT is actually worth the time. T&C isn’t a newbie conference. It is for people who do this stuff professionally.

So, as a relative “veteran” of my particular field, I come to T&C to learn some new stuff, but primarily just to ensure that I’m keeping my ear to the ground, know what’s going on in my industry, etc.

Sometimes, that means that I have to sit back and re-evaluate how I do things with my own business. One of the interesting themes I’ve gotten from T&C this year is the changing nature of online marketing toward personalization and… getting back to being human again.

Ryan Deiss gave a great keynote (it was also live streamed so perhaps some of you saw it) where he laid out his case that the world of digital marketing is now at a crossroads. We’re at a point where things need to be innovated or disrupted.

He reviewed the history of the internet, going back to the mid 90’s. He called that the Discovery Phase. Everything was new. Things were easy because barely anybody was doing anything online. This is when I got started (1998). Sure, I had to hand-code everything, but it wasn’t that hard to get attention.

Then, from 2001-2009, we went into the Proliferation phase. The world had discovered the internet after the dot-com bubble burst and people were coming online everywhere. Digital marketing grew like crazy. In our little world of blogging, this is when blogs were popping up. People were figuring out they could actually sell things online. It was good times. 🙂

2010-2014 was the Standardization phase. Things were maturing. More platforms coming out.

2015-2019 was consolidation. The internet began to centralize to the point where today you have Google and Facebook practically controlling all internet traffic. This is something I’ve talked about many times here in this newsletter and is where we are today.

But, Ryan makes the case that we’re now at a point where things need to be disrupted… or innovated.

In 2019, this is the first time that digital advertising spend actually surpasses traditional advertising spend. Online marketing has simply become… marketing.

Ryan then went on to talk about his views on how to innovate today and how they are doing it as a company. Things like focusing more on conversations. Not trying to make everything scalable and automated.

The interesting thing is… when I look at my own business, those are things I’ve been doing already. But, there’s also things I could change. Things that I don’t think are in alignment with how I run other aspects of my business.

One example: my front-end email marketing sequences.

So, if you enter my list to grab a lead magnet (one of my free offers). When you do, you’re immediately presented with an offer. And you get a little email series for a few days where I’m basically hitting you with something to buy.

If you’re here, you probably went through one of those. And…

Sorry about that. 😉

In fact, those things are still running, but it’s on my to-do list to rewrite them. Because, here’s the problem…

It goes into “value extraction” mode way too quickly. It isn’t very personable. It doesn’t form the relationship right. And, honestly, it’s a little incongruent with how I actually am. Once people get into THE LAB, for instance, they find that I’m quite engaged personally, I answer every communication.

In fact, I took a personality test from Sally Hogshead to find out what is fascinating about me to others. The test calls me THE DIPLOMAT. It says that TRUST is my primary advantage. That I’m known to be levelheaded, subtle and capable.

Actually, that describes me pretty well. And the feedback that I’ve gotten from customers often uses words like that. Trustworthy, personable, non-hypey, real, etc.

But… those email sequences sure don’t come off that way. 🙂 They’re incongruent. They can come off as hypey and pushy.

Anyway, I’ve got much more to share – and do.

I appreciate T&C because it keeps my eye firmly on a bigger picture and often causes me to re-evaluate what I am doing. It helps me not become stuck in my ways. And, in turn, allows me to better serve you guys.

That’s what it’s all about right there.


– David

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