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Internet marketing and TMI

We live in an age that easily crosses the TMI line. For those wondering, TMI is the acronym for “too much information.” If you are in the Internet marketing industry and try to follow the maelstrom of information and opinions that fly about on a daily (OK, hourly) basis about Internet marketing, then you know what I mean. Now put yourself in the shoes of most small- and medium-sized business owners (SMB’s) and think about what it sounds like to them. I imagine it being like the scene from “Bruce Almighty” where Jim Carrey first hears the prayers of everyone praying. He can’t make heads nor tails of any individual voice and immediately gets overwhelmed.

The business owner who takes the chance to jump into the Internet marketing fray is quickly inundated with voices, opinions, information, suggestions, do’s and don’ts and more. No wonder SMB’s are frustrated and Internet marketers rank close to used car salesmen in trust. We encourage confusion. Shame on us.
With Internet marketing being more important than ever, it is imperative that the providers of the various services be clear and direct. One thing I will be clear and direct about. Unless your business has anything to do with building the country’s infrastructure of roads and bridges (read: a construction company with a government official in their pocket), you are not going to see a dime of bailout money. All the economic bailout talk is not for the little guy. It’s for big companies that issue shallow mea culpas and then take their funds with a wink and a nod. Most SMB’s will not be privy to this, so we need to move on with what we have.
So where’s the Internet marketing angle here? It’s everywhere. It’s never been more important. It also may have never been more confusing. There’s organic search, paid search, local search, directories, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarking. Add those up and most SMB owners don’t have the required 37 hours in a day to get it all done, let alone getting it done well.
The best piece of advice I have seen recently came from a post by Danny Brown, and I will gladly pass it on. I admit I had thought this for quite some time, but when it becomes the written word it seems more concrete. It’s about the latest and greatest craze that EVERYONE must do: social media. Brown’s take? If you are not doing it and your business is doing well and it doesn’t look like your industry even cares if you ever “tweeted” anything or “friended” anyone, then good for you for not getting involved. It’s not for everyone despite the popular war cry of social media saves all!
Kudos to a clear direct voice amid the chaos. Listen to this piece of advice. There is too much information and you DON”T need to do it all. So what is it that you actually should do? Well, that will require assessment of your industry and very well thought out planning (I think I just heard the collective gasp). Here’s the catch. You would do yourself a favor to follow Mike Moran’s advice, since there are no hard and fast rules with Internet marketing. You need to do it wrong quickly. Stay flexible. Don’t stick around if something is an obvious dead end.
Today’s takeaway? Stand back and be rational. Don’t get caught up in the raging TMI River. Walk downstream out of the rapids and make a decision that works for your business, rather than conforms to what is cool. Would you rather be upside down in the rapids or breathing air and moving forward? Be truly unique and say no if you have to. There’s freedom in that. Enjoy it.

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