This is probably one of the most difficult articles I’ve ever had to write. And a lot of people will wonder what this has to do with Internet marketing. The truth is, it has so much to do with Internet marketing that it may be the most important lesson you will ever learn if you want to be successful in this business. I would pay very close attention to this article. It may just save your business.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that just recently we had another terrible mass murder in our public schools. No need to rehash it. We all know what happened and how tragic it was.
What followed was almost as tragic, but quite predictable. We saw both sides of the argument for gun control come out with a ferocity that would make a mother lion cower in the corner. Horrible things were said on both sides TO both sides. Friendships were almost destroyed over this issue. It got ugly… very ugly. But it always does when something like this happens.
And, as what usually happens, Internet marketers couldn’t help but put their two cents in as well. Some tried to remain neutral. Others took one of the two sides with all the passion of that same mother lion protecting her cub. And inevitably, things were said that couldn’t be taken back. Lists of 10,000 were suddenly down to 5,000. Sales virtually stopped overnight. Blog posts had more comments than Carter has liver pills. In short, the chaos was beyond comprehension and businesses were almost destroyed.
Just because somebody couldn’t keep their head in the midst of all the suffering.
There is nothing wrong with having an opinion on something. There is nothing wrong with feeling strongly about something. There is nothing wrong with being passionate about something and displaying that passion for all to see. Just understand that unless you do it in a constructive and semi restrained fashion, you are likely to see a fallout that could seriously impact your business.
As Internet marketers, we have an obligation to our prospective customers. Think about this. How likely is somebody to purchase from you if you go off like a mad man about whatever the topic of the day is. Aren’t you, as a marketer, obligated, if not to the public but to yourself, to keep your emotions in check and stick to facts and the “selling” points of the argument?
“How To Win Friends And Influence People” is a great book. Everybody should read it. In a nutshell, it basically says that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It’s a lot easier to get somebody to do something for you when you compliment them and/or make them feel good than if you berate them and make them feel like an idiot. The latter just makes them fight back.
It’s easy to get caught up in these kind of arguments. What happened this past week was a tragedy and nobody who either supports or opposes new gun laws wanted to see what happened, happen. Nobody is happy about this. Lots of people who own guns themselves are sick about what happened. But as a friend of mine who I respect very much told me, separate what happened from the issues. It’s not easy to do but it’s CRITICAL that we do it.
That same thing applies to our Internet marketing. If we’re going to take a stand on social issues and mix them with our marketing message (maybe we have a web site about guns) we have to make sure that we detach our raw emotions from the issues at hand. Nobody listens to a raving lunatic except to point out that he’s a raving lunatic. But people DO listen to marketers who make valid and well thought out points, even if they don’t agree with them.
One of the things I do as a marketer, when I’m trying to make a point on an issue is end with something like, “Maybe I’m wrong, but after careful thought about the issues, this is my opinion. What do you think?”
Trust me, it works. You might get people respond back that they don’t agree with you, but you won’t have them coming back at you calling you a radical idiot, unless of course they simply don’t practice “winning friends” themselves, in which case, you can’t win those arguments. So just move on.
I don’t know what the answer to the latest crisis is. I’m not sure anybody does. We live in a very evil world with a lot of very evil people. We’ve had murder ever since Cane killed Able. There is nothing new here. We’re just getting a lot better and a lot more efficient at doing it, that’s all.
But I do know that if you’re going to be a successful Internet marketer, you need to concentrate on your marketing first and let all this other stuff take a back seat, at least when it comes to your marketing message and putting food on the table.
A lot of people go through life with the attitude “I defend my right to voice my opinion, even if it ticks off the whole world.” The problem with that attitude is that a lot of times, it can make putting food on the table really, really hard.
Imagine has I written to my list and told them what I thought of this whole situation. How many of them do you think I might have lost that had nothing to do with marketing or the product I was selling. And let’s be honest. Do YOU know each person on your list personally? Do YOU know their political affiliation? Do YOU know how they feel about anything other than what products they’re interested in and/or what they want to learn from you?
Then why should they know anything more than that from you, especially when it has nothing to do with your business. Heck, a lot of people are just sick and tired of you telling them about your new boat that you got from all your product sales. Great, you got a boat. Don’t care. Just show me how I can buy my OWN boat.
Some will take this advice when it comes to their marketing and others will just go and lose their heads the next time something terrible happens.
Hopefully, you’re among the former.
By Robert Holiday