The Two Biggest Hurdles in Online Marketing – Robert Middleton

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Robert-Middleton-PinterestDeveloping quality content for the online world isn’t always easy even if you’re a good communicator. Do you know when to delegate tasks to others and when to focus on your own strengths?

Do you know how to get over your fears of communication?

If you don’t, you’re not alone. Many independent professionals try to tackle everything on their own and fall short of getting experts to help them. That’s why we asked Robert Middleton, author, marketing guru, and internet early adopter, to show us how, in this week’s episode of The Marketing Agents Podcast.

Big Ideas:

  • How did you get into online marketing?
    • When I started I didn’t even have a computer, I rented a typewriter!
    • I did a lot of design work before the web.
    • I learned basic web design by reading “How to Design a Web Page in a Week With HTML.”
    • I slowly got clients from my website.
    • I did a tape set of my workshop and started selling it online.
    • It was easier building his email list back in the 90’s.
    • I’ve been doing a weekly newsletter for 15 years.
    • I wrote a book on marketing in 1999 and sold it online and was a success. I’ve sold about $500,000 worth of manuals over the years.
    • I did consulting by phone, email and web interfaces.
    • I created a marketing club in 2008 just after market crash.
    • My marketing club has grown fast and works well.
    • Persistence, determination, and experimenting have been the key to my success.
    • I was lucky to be an early adopter.
  • What is the biggest challenge people have with digital marketing?
    • One issue is the technical stuff. Most people don’t know how to do this. It’s complex. Even using WordPress is not easy for most people.
    • People try to do it all themselves and that’s a big mistake.
    • There are so many people out there to help you with your website.
    • Independent professionals like to be independent, so they try to do it all themselves.
    • Successful people learn to delegate.
    • Another issue is developing content.
    • Marketing is 100% communication – speaking, writing, blogging, newsletters, posts, etc.
    • Everyone thinks they can communicate well, but most people don’t know how to communicate in the marketing world.
  • What is the fear of communication?
    • Nobody likes to be rejected and we fear this.
    • What are you avoiding?
    • People are afraid they won’t say the right thing, won’t be good enough. People are too worried and second guess themselves and then get stuck in a loop.
    • People that just put content out there are fearless – they don’t let their fears get in their way. Tell yourself, “why can’t I make this content?”
    • A lot of us suffer fear of rejection.
    • People probably aren’t listening to you anyway, so start making content until they do!
  • What are some of the things we can get over this fear of communication?
    • Action or inquiry.
    • When I coach people, I give them really specific guidelines. It’s nice to have a template or good examples and emulate, that really helps.
    • Write a draft first. Don’t worry about perfection at first. Do something small first.
    • You can market yourself well without a book – don’t make excuses.
    • Start out step by step – read blogs about getting past fear of writing.
    • What is observable? What are you avoiding and what feelings are driving this?
    • What are the reasons for your avoidance? i.e., people won’t like me, I’ll make a fool of myself, people will reject me, etc.
    • There’s a generalized fear of marketing. – i.e., I have to manipulate, embellish, hype, etc. and hurtful beliefs like “I’m not a great marketer,” or “I’m not the marketing type,” etc.
    • I use the Byron Katie process. When we identify a belief, can you know that this belief is true? People can realize they don’t know the answer, and this false truth isn’t valid and how do we support this false truth? You become more aware of how your beliefs are affecting your behavior.
    • People realize that it’s their belief that’s controlling them and then the possibilities open up for them.
    • People have gone from hating marketing to loving it after they throw away their beliefs.
    • Once you see that your beliefs are flimsy or unfounded, then take action and be aware of your feelings. Then your confidence builds and grows.
    • Creating content or messages put pressure on us – just take action.
    • Stop worrying about perfection, and look at why you’re hesitant and attack your fears – they are most likely unfounded. You’re probably better than you’re think. Find a medium that’s right for you.
  • Have you worked with people that need to change mediums?
    • Sure. People have different strengths and abilities.
    • Some people have atrocious writing, but are good at talking or other things.
    • I was inspired by a client that shifted from writing to talking. Once they transcribed an interview to get the written piece, the power of words crossed mediums.
  • How do we determine what we should delegate to outside people?
    • Based on your skills, you can do an email list, but setting it up could be something to delegate.
    • Outsource your website so you can find someone with skills to make your site unique.
    • Search for websites you like and find out who designed them.
    • The purpose of a website is compel your audience to take an action. Does it do this?
    • Google how to create an opt-in page. Find good examples to copy.
    • Learning from others’ success and emulate it.
    • There’s no excuse for not finding a way to find what to delegate.
  • If we’re businesses, can we create additional streams of revenue by creating blueprints for our own client base?
    • Yes, absolutely.
  • What should you do if you want to create a knowledge-based product?
    • Interviews, tutorials, recordings of coaching sessions, written material.
    • Use multimedia. Use video even if it’s hard.
    • People like to be talked through things. YouTube is great for this. How-to videos are way better than step-by-step instructions.
    • If you don’t like the way you look on camera, you can do screen captures with narration, or record a PowerPoint presentation.
    • Learn how to use software on Lynda.com – they do screen captures with voice rather than video demonstrations.
    • Focus on what you’re delivering and who you’re trying to help, then it takes the pressure off you. Are you helping the person you’re intending to help?
    • We’re too focused on ourselves. Put your attention on your audience and helping them out. Most of us can do this well.
    • If you know a few more things than your client, then you’re an expert to them!
    • Creating something to simplify a process or something of value for someone later is worth your client’s money.
  • Do you teach your clients how to promote giveaways to your email list?
    • Yes, how to name giveaways and promote them. The easy is the bonus and the opt-in is the giveaway. People want info on the giveaway.
    • The greatest commodity is a name and an email address. They won’t give it to you unless you have a worthy offer.

    I like to work one-on-one with clients. Human contact is more fulfilling and working directly with people is satisfying. I give them homework or assignments and they learn faster that way.

  • How much do you focus on SEO of their content? Do you consider social media?
    • No, it’s not my specialty. If you want SEO, find an SEO person.
    • If SEO or social media is your goal, find an expert and spend the money.
    • Everybody wants a magic marketing machine that’s plug-and-play. It doesn’t work like that. You need an email list.
    • Look at your online stuff as supplemental marketing and still do traditional marketing things.
    • Be more hands-on. Engage with people. Get conversations going. Use all mediums to do this.
    • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
    • Give talks and network.
    • Other traditional means of marketing can get clients faster, but online marketing can supplement this.
    • A bullet point list of your services is not effective. There’s no call to action. What does your audience do next once they know what you do?
    • Hire a copywriter to help you with your content.
    • Don’t be afraid to hire someone to do what you can’t do.
    • Allocate your time to your strengths.

Juicy Links:

Rich Brooks
Always Be Measuring

  • It’s obvious that Robert Middleton is a brilliant sales and marketing thinker / practitioner. He’s clearly one of the most ethical people working in that space, as well. Great interview — thanks for sharing this!

    • Robert definitely gets it, and he shares great stuff all the time in his More Clients newsletter. You should check it out!