We all want to grow our online businesses or take them to the next level, as some people like to call it. But sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the process and start doing things that do more harm than good (at least in the long run).
First of all, I should probably explain one thing. The issues listed here are not bad practices per se. The only problem is that it’s really really easy to overdo them and end up with the opposite effect than we were hoping for. Onwards then!
1. Promotion driven email lists
Having an email list is fine. Even sending out occasional promotion is fine. But making your EVERY email a promotion of some sort isn’t fine at all.
And even if you’re focused on providing value and being informative, it’s really easy to fall into the dark side by accident. For example, many online entrepreneurs tend to send emails where the first part (like a couple of paragraphs) provides one specific advice, but the rest of the email promotes some (usually) affiliate offer. Such an email is still promotion-driven because if it wasn’t for the promotion part of the email, it would have never been sent.
If you do too much of it, eventually, your audience will pick up on what you’re trying to do and leave.
2. Buying every crap-product out there
I’m sure you’re on some email lists yourself, so you know how much stuff there is on the market. These are mostly digital products or various online courses or online curses as I like to call them.
Again, it’s quite easy to get tricked into buying some BS just because many marketers promote it at the same time. That’s what the whole idea of a product launch is about – to make the product ultra attractive and almost irresistible.
My rule is this, if I see something that the whole internet promotes at the same day, I never buy it. Real quality products don’t need that over-hype to sell.
3. Thinking your audience is an audience of beginners
This is a popular misconception online. For instance, why would you think that people coming to your site have never been exposed to the beginner topics in your niche and that you are the entry point? The fact is that most beginners find out about some niche or field of interest on one of the major sites. And that’s because they have the most coverage.
Now, I’m probably guilty here too, so you’re not alone.
I mean, you can still talk to beginners but you can be pretty sure that you are not the entry point.
4. Identifying with your site way too much
Don’t you find it funny that whenever you try to talk with some people, when they introduce they say something like “I’m so and so, from somedomain.com”? I mean, really? Is that a part of your identity?
Having some attachment is always cool but being overly attached can prevent you from noticing other possibilities. Like, for example, if someone reaches out to you and offers you a six-figure deal for taking over your business.
I guess the main advice is this: Your online business is a business, where business is the keyword, so don’t treat it too personally.
5. Doing the same shit
We all like to think that we are unique, but are we? Are we really doing something absolutely unique in our niches? Or maybe we’re just yet another look-alike business?
Essentially, finding out for sure is not easy but there are some indicators. For example, consider answering these:
- Do you need to explain to people why you are unique or is it visible right away?
- Are you doing business in a certain way because someone told you to do it that way and you’ve been following this advice since then?
- Are you using these words in your marketing: unique, one of a kind or innovative? (Hint, businesses that really do something innovative don’t need to use these words; at least not all the time.)
I think that’s it for my short list. Initially, I also wanted to include over-twittering (relying way too much on Twitter) but I’ve decided that it’s a whole different ballgame and should probably be left alone for now.
Anyway, feel free to let me know what you think. Do you know of any other overused practices in online business?