101 Things I Wish I was Taught About IM

These are 101 Things I wish I was taught about internet marketing when I first got started online more than 5 years ago.

7 years ago I was a broke, single dad of two, sleeping on a mattress on the floor looking for online dates and people to buy my artwork. (Sometimes they were the same people!)

5 years ago I heard something about the fact you could make money online using the interweb. People said I would lose all my money. I would spend the next two years spending every hard on cent on finding imaginative ways to prove them right.

3 years ago I finally cracked the code. I ‘retired’ from secondary teaching. I started teaching the world (and teaching myself in the process on how to be an entrepreneur).

Today I want to share some hard fought for lessons I’ve learned across the way. It’s not all about internet marketing though. Many of the lessons are about good business practice in general, leadership and personal development.

So without further ado. Here they are. In no particular order.

  1. Information is not the same as knowledge. Learning about Internet Marketing (IM) is not the same as doing IM. And if you learn but do not do its essentially the same as not knowing.
  2. Implementation is greater than information. The faster you implement the faster you succeed. Implementation gives you your most highest prized asset: Experience. Thats Your Special Sauce
  3. If you need information. Everything you ever want to know about anything is on a little website (you may have heard about it) called Google.
  4. The Magic Formula. If there was a magic formula it would be this: The Right Traffic with a real problem and a high converting offer that converts equals money (lots of it) in the bank i.e RT + Pr + Off = $$$
  5.  IM in a nutshell. Find a group of people with a similar burning problem (it must be emotionally burning) and educate them on on the possible solutions/ services. You get paid to solve people’s problems. If you aren’t making any money asking what problems are you solving today.
  6. People listen to W.I.I.F.M. Realize that people overall are really nice but they don’t care about you or your wonderful product/ service. They care about themselves. Answer their most burning question: What’s In It For Me?
  7. Master ONE thing at one time. I recommend starting with mastering ONE traffic source i.e FB Ads, PPC, SEO etc Now you have a monetizeable skill
  8. Know your Niche. Love Your Niche. The best market place to do market research is in a forum or a FB group or a LinkedIn group in your niche. Start with asking lots of questions. And then give back with value.
  9. Pay for It. Even though information is freely available be willing to pay for it if it helps save you time or provides a clear game plan or system to follow.
  10. Get A Coach! Get the best coach/ mentor you can afford. That single investment will save you much money, time and hardship. Get A Coach!
  11. How to overcome shiny object syndrome. Commit to following through on a program for 30 days. If you must buy something make sure it helps you overcome the next step. So don’t get a SEO training if you’re currently doing FB marketing. But you may get a Paid FB course. Or even a FB tool that speeds up your workflow. Work in 30/60/90 day project spurts.
  12. Success in IM is failing over and over again and getting back up and realizing you’re still not giving up. Its when you realize it’s not IF you will be successful its when – its only a matter of time.
  13. Mistakes In Business. Don’t make your business about writing a message in a bottle and throwing it out to sea. Make it more about coming to a hot beach party and being the one who brings the drinks. Similarly, if ‘you make the thing’ they won’t necessarily come. Better to launch where people already are.
  14. Know Your Avatar. Take a good day off to discover your ideal client, your avatar. Your ability to know, care and help your avatar will determine your success.
  15. Treat your IM like a real business. Have clear work hours, have a designated workspace, set a aside a strict marketing budget, get a business account and have clear goals.
  16. The Fortune Is In The Followup. 80% of your profits will come from the 6th, 15th, 30th exposure to you and your business. I lost so much money on the table because I never followed up (even after I promised I did). Ideally automate this process or have a process to followup. Follow up often, and keep giving value.
  17. There are no secrets, no loop holes. The real secret is that there are no secrets. (But you can choose to ignore me on that). There’s what you haven’t paid to learn yet, and there are the mistakes you have yet to make to give you experience. And don’t look for loopholes because by default they will be plugged up quickly.
  18. Do A LOT of homework on the coach you choose. Don’t choose a coach by their fancy sales letter. Choose them by their ability to get results and how you too mesh. If they are online you will see where they have been. If they have testimonials talk to those people.
  19. Choose Your Passion. People always ask me ‘Should I choose something I’m passionate about or should I choose something that will make me lots of money?’ I usually ask them ‘Are you passionate about what you’re currently doing?’ They usually answer no. I ask them ‘Did you get into it because you could make lots of money’. Often times they say yes. I ask them ‘How’s that been working for you?’ Or I get them to watch this Jim Carry video.
  20. Choose Yourself. You are unique and you bring your own qualities and specialties to the table. The hard part in entrepreneurship is figuring out what you really are passionate about. It may mean you need to fail in quite a few areas before ‘you hit the gold mine’. But always stay true to you and your vision of your life.
  21. Learn in the Beginning. Learn all the basic skills, platforms and fundamental knowledge in the free courses off Udemy or Youtube.
  22. The Secret to Profits. Profits don’t come from being a consumer of Info products. Profits come from being a producer of Info products. Similarly don’t go to forums to learn. Go to Forums looking to give value and to sell.
  23. Aim for High Tech/ High Touch. Meaning drive traffic (visitors) to automated funnels and connect with them in meaningful human ways to get amazing ROI. 
  24. Outsource It. Give someone a job so you can take yourself out of one. If your business cannot run without you for 2 weeks (while you are on holidays or in hospital) you don’t have a business you have a job. If you can imagine it clearly and can draw basic lines and shapes and  a designer and web developer can make it a reality.
  25. Invest in good graphics. Invest and put the time into making your digital products look really good. Perception is everything in selling online.
  26. Random content is not king. Contextual content that solves a real persons problem (or helps them feel like they’re moving forward in solving their problem) is king
  27. The best IM gurus are not ’techy’. They’re fantastic storytellers, presenters, teachers, and above all, great sellers.
  28. MVP. Sell your online product first and then make it. Not vice versa. Always be testing MVP (minimum viable products)
  29. Focus on create your first buyers list. Even if they’ve only paid a dollar. They are worth 10x a freebie list.
  30. Ask. Continually reach out to your list and tribe and ask them what they need help with. They have the answers. Make products that uniquely and inventively solve those problems (or find excellent existing solutions). Never be too proud to ask for help. Be amazed at who answers back.
  31. Get great testimonials from over delivering. Be vigilant about getting great testimonials. If you have sincerely helped people they will be happy to give a testimonial. If you know you can really help people its your duty to get them.
  32. Deliver. Don’t under promise and over deliver. Over promise and over deliver.
  33. Success is an inside job. Meaning work on your mindset harder than anything else. Read Personal Development for 15-30 mins daily! Fast track your personal development with Philosophers Notes
  34. Back Yourself. People talk about burning your bridges. About having no Plan B. About getting fired up after being backed  in a corner. Here’s a better plan: Get a plan, back yourself up with three months worth of savings and work your plan. Don’t make desperation your only plan, everyone can smell someone with desperation, its not a good smell. Advance confidently, with purpose with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.
  35. Be you, be authentic. Always seek to help. Always be looking for problems to solve.
  36. Learn to sell. Learn to love selling. And if you don’t love selling its only because you’re not good at it. Aim to get better
  37. The #1 Metric. Nothing happens in your business until something gets sold. The number one metric in your business is how much have you sold today. Not how many subscribers or follows or retweets you got. But how many put out their credit cards and bought.
  38. The only thing that matters. The only number that really matters in business is ROI (Return on Investment). Optin rates, click through rates don’t mater as long as there’s an ROI.
  39. Help people who are committed to help themselves. In your quest to help lots of people you will meet different types of people. There are lots of people who are confused out there, let call them ‘The Confused’. You can identify them because they will often say ‘I’m confused’. You can try to help them but they will go back to being confused in a week. Then you will meet the overwhelmed. You will know them because they are always feeling overwhelmed even when you take them step by step by the hand. You will meet The Debunkers & Scammers. They will debunk and prove why everything won’t work because its a scam. Some people will want your services for free and that if you rarely cared you’d give it to them or loan them the money. If you do help them they often end up doing nothing with it (because it was free). Finally you will meet the hungry and inspired and willing to walk on burning coals to get what they want and to help you get what they want. They’re pretty nice to work with.
  40. The money is not in the list. The money is your relationship with your list and your ability to offer them solutions that solve their problems.
  41. People don’t lack money. They lack a compelling reason WHY. And that reason WHY has nothing to do with you or your product. Connect them to their reason WHY an how your product will help them get there and you will get yourself a customer.
  42. The Value of Value. When the value of what you’re offering is so much greater than the money you are asking in return a sale will be made every time (see lesson 42).
  43. IM is a business. Get a good accountant, and a book keeper and put aside your tax. And it helps to know a good lawyer.
  44. Copy that. Learning the fundamentals of writing great copy is highly desirable as a skill (thats transferrable to so many mediums).
  45. Get offline. The sooner you move your connections off social media the better. i.e. Writing a card, sending a gift, calling over the phone, sharing a cup of coffee. The connections you make at masterminds, events, trainings and seminars and from other business networking is priceless. To become really wealthy in IM get off the computer regularly.
  46. The first question you should ask (after introducing yourself) is ‘How Can I help you?’
  47. Always be seeking to educate first. Tell stories second. Inspire third. Sell last.
  48. The Power of One, The Power Of Many. Theres an african proverb: ‘If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together’. One person can make a difference. But a group of people can start a movement.
  49. 80/20. Focus on the 20% that will create 80% of your results. Your job is to find out what that 20% is and repeat it everyday
  50. What To DO. Learn, know, educate and inspire your marketplace. Know them better than they know themselves
  51. Mastering 1 traffic source (which will take 3 month to a year depending on how much you invest into it) will earn you 6 figures easily
  52. Mastering 1 niche and learning everything there is about their problems, fears and desires and the ways you can solve their problems will make you 6 figures. This may take 6 -12 months.
  53. Beware. If you don’t know what you’re buying but you’re so curious to find out… don’t buy it. Its called Blind Copy. And you’ll be disappointed in its ordinaryness
  54. Your first advantage. Find your competitive advantage – in the beginning that may only be your ability to hustle. As you go on keep adding and stacking your advantages until they create an edge. Over time keep innovating and adding an edge until that edge becomes a moat that no competitor can easily cross.
  55. People Edge. People do business with those they like, know and trust. Trust is a Must. Everything else being equal people will want to do business with their friends. Networking and developing high level relationships is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can get
  56. Systems create leverage.
  57. Learn why sales funnels are so sexy. And then create many of them until one is a winner.
  58. The Secret Sauce. People can copy and rip off your content, your products and even your innovations. What they can’t copy is your secret sauce: The behind the scenes systems, optimization processes and your networks.
  59. People First. The more I do internet marketing the less I feel it has anything to do with the internet. It has everything to do with people.
  60. How To Get Noticed. If you want to get noticed by some A-listers give first and give lots. Read everything they post, do everything they teach, get great results, help their business first and give an awesome testimonial.
  61. Learn the art of story telling. Facts tell but stories sell.
  62. Who acted? Forget how many followers you have or how many impressions you get … It’s about how many actually consumed and acted.
  63. You get paid to solve problems. So find problems to solve.
  64. Teach people how to solve their own problems (with your product). If you teach people in your industry you will become an authority in it,
  65. Read LOTS or listen to audio lots. Never have an excuse not to get a good book. One idea can spark a revolution.
  66. A good plan basically executed is better than an excellent plan not executed. Stop planning and just do.
  67. Every master was once a disaster. Record your first video. Write your blog post. Jump onto Periscope. And do it all poorly and authentically. And then SHOW everyone who will be willing to see that if you can do it they can do it too. When you’re ‘successful’ it makes an even more power story
  68. Repetition is the mother of all skill
  69. Be different.There is no one one way to do internet marketing like there is no one way to do business. The only thing that matters is what are you passionate about, who do you want to help and how will you help them today.
  70. When your WHY is big enough the HOW’s will take care of themselves
  71. Stay FRUGAL in everything but your business assets, advice and personal development.
  72. Focus, focus, focus on ONE thing.
  73. If you had the choice to be a hunter or a farmer, its preferable to be a farmer.
  74. LEARN and KNOW Your Numbers! Be willing to break even or go in the red if you have a big enough back end product offering. The business who can afford the most to acquire a customer wins.
  75. Focus on what you’re good At. Focus on passionately wanting to serve your market and outsourcing the rest.
  76. Learn to speak in public. Its a very useful, highly paid skill!
  77. Never underestimate the power of a mastermind. The higher the investment to get in the better.
  78. Develop a brand and its okay to change it as you go on. As long as you keep your core. Think Coke.
  79. Go Fast. If you want to learn fast and to get results fast master paid traffic (THAT is a valuable skill set).
  80. Create a compelling bonus. When selling a product (as an owner or affiliate) make your bonus as compelling (if not more so) than your main product.
  81. You Inc. You are the CEO of You incorporated. The biggest differentiator in your business is you. Work that angle
  82. Create an irresistible Offer. The only thing that matters in the start is the offer. Make them feel stupid NOT to take the offer. 10x the value. Think of a great value price. Take off 70%. Thats your irresistible price. Make it hurt to sell your product at that price. (If you don’t ahev a back end it will hurt…) Also See lesson 80.
  83. The Best Investment. The investment in your own personal education is the highest ROI investment you can make>
  84. Follow This. People don’t follow companies or products. They follow people.
  85. Leaders. A leader can come in any size, in any colour from any background or sex. A leader does not have to have made one red cent (yet). But all leaders must inspire.
  86. Become the authority. The faster route to riches is to brand yourself as an expert and as an authority. However don’t ever try to fake it because you can always loose it faster than it took to gain it. Brand YOU.
  87. Sell the next step in any given process or transaction.
  88. Internet marketing is simply direct response marketing (on steroids). Learn direct response marketing.
  89. Take care of your body. Walk for 15-30 mins daily. Lift weights. Take 5 mins out of every hour to stand up and stretch. Work standing up for alternate stretches.
  90. What you really own. The only thing you ever really own online is your intellectual property, your list and your own self hosted website. Build your list! Build your email database!
  91. The danger of ONE. Never be captive to only one traffic source, to only one income stream, to only one product.
  92. Choose paid. If you had to choose between free and paid. Choose the paid version.
  93. Your reputation in business is everything
  94. Never promote a bad product. Your followers may forgive you but the damage will have been done.
  95. IM is only one component of your life.  Having a good balance in the remaining spheres will impact your IM work very positively (i,e good exercise and nutrition)
  96. You’ll rarely be scammed if you do your homework. People who give bad service or bad jobs have very few places to hide these days… See Lesson 96.
  97. Give massive value, just give massive value. And then give people an opportunity to repay it back to you in cash
  98. Internet marketing is always changing but people don’t. Be more enthralled with people than any given technology or social platform. Learn the basics about human psychology.
  99. Love every moment in your journey of becoming successful. Success is the realization of a worthy goal. And above all practice gratitude daily.
  100. Be unreasonable in your dreams but pragmatic in your approach. Not vice versa.
  101. Believe. If you have a crazy dream, and you’re crazy enough to believe you can actually do it. Then there is no force in this universe that can stop you. You will eventually get there. Never, never, never, never, give up.


There are probably many more lessons I could share but I didn’t want to make this about ‘250 Things I learned in IM’!

More importantly what big lessons have you learnt? What lessons resonated with you?

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