I get this question from clients all of the time.  The simple answer is that marketing has never been easy and in many ways it is much easier than it ever was, but to begin, let’s find a good definition of what digital marketing actually is:

Definition of digital marketing. The marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media. Digital marketing extends beyond internet marketing to include channels that do not require the use of the internet.”

The interesting thing is that digital marketing is actually not as difficult as we tend to make it.  It really boils down to learning to use the digital channels (such as social media) available to us to create relationships that feel personal but actually have a potentially huge reach.  For instance, how easy would it have been even 15 year ago to run an international business with thousands of clients world wide?  At this time, anyone with some foundational understanding and basic technical skills can reach individuals all over the world in a very personal way, with a much tinier budget than we ever could before.

Examples of “digital channels”:

  • Blog 
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Forums
  • Groups
  • Oganic Search

And these are only the obvious ones.  There are also, digital televisions channels (did you know you could own your own digital channel?), digital ad platforms, email, mobile messaging and so much more.  No wonder so many get confused when considering all of the things they need to do to promote their business online.

The good news is that there are so many tools created to allow you to manage your channels and your work that it is like having a virtual assistant.  Also, the option to hire a virtual assistant to manage daily promotion tasks has never been more affordable.

I think the disconnect comes because of “snake oil” promises we have come to accept as fact.  Buzz words that have become part of the jargon of marketing and are deceptive include, but are not limited to:

  • Put Your Business on Autopilot
  • Set it and Forget it
  • Push Button Riches
  • One Click (fill in the blank)
  • Newbie Friendly
  • 1 Hour Work Week

When you see these in an advertisement touted to send thousands of targeted leads to your website with little or no effort on your part, it is what I call “a unicorn”.  It doesn’t exist.  It is very easy to find yourself spending hours setting up a product that doesn’t deliver on its promises and in turn makes your goal of creating a viable, sustainable, profitable online business seem farther and farther away.

As the old saw goes: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”  The fact is that creating and promoting any business (on or offline) requires vision, understanding and an investment of time, energy and money.  Although this isn’t what most want to hear, it is a fact

 That being said, with the tools available for promoting your business online, you can accomplish so much more with so much less time, energy and investment than ever before.  The trick is to have a guide and mentor to show you the ropes and help you lay the proper foundation.

Just as you would never start to build a house at the roof, your marketing plan needs to have a proper foundation.  Although laying a foundation is often the most time consuming part of a building, without it, nothing else works and once the foundation is laid, the rest of the building seems to go up faster and the end result is a building that is stable, strong and will stand the test of time.

Starting from the blueprint and moving forward with the right tools and materials, an expert builder can create building after building, even soaring skyscrapers, using the same blueprint, only altering it slightly to take into account terrain and location.  By the same token, the amateur builder may struggle to even build a simple doghouse or storage shed.

This is where expert guidance, tutoring and mentoring come in.  I founded the Notions Into Motion Business Builders internet marketing training platform for that very reason.  I have created a platform that not only gives our members the tools and the plans to create sustainable profitable online marketing solutions, but also give the strategies, techniques and resources, as well as the direct and personal mentoring necessary to untangle the digital marketting dilemma.

If you want to build a successful business, you’re going to have to do your due diligence.  Otherwise, you might as well just spend your money on lottery tickets.  The odds are about the same.



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Great post! I love the way you call out all the ‘1 hour a week’ empty promises – digital marketing can be time consuming, but when done well it also reps great results