Oh, the bogus they teach all over the place in the name of digital marketing.

I had been to a meetup on digital marketing yes ‘day and I was shocked by what they teach others in the name of digital marketing.

In India, there’s a term for reverse engineering: Jugaad.

That’s what it was.

How do you do SEO?

Pick keywords, throw them all up on your website. You’ll be on top of Google

How do you start with Shopify?

Grab a few images from AliExpress. Put them up. Do Facebook ads. Make millions of dollars.

How to do Facebook ads?

Create multiple accounts (because you are certainly going to be banned). Launch ads. Make use you use Bit.ly to shorten links (because your full-links is going to make Facebook come down hunting for you). Use Video ads. Point ads to your store.

How does Facebook track visitors?

Oh, there’s this thing called the Facebook Pixel. Once you visit my website, I can keep targeting you for life.

How do you find images for Facebook ads?

“Find them on Google”

How do you allocate ad budget for Facebook ads?

“Start with $2000 per month. You’ll only make positive ROI if you run ads long enough”

What other advice do you have for us?

“Always use big, green buttons on your Shopify Store

How do you handle product returns?

“Use a virtual address and have no such thing as returns. If customers don’t like it or if they got damaged products, let them keep it”

Really? Nice strategy you got there.

It’s sad that this is what these “self-appointed experts” teach complete newbies. Every question was followed by a shocking answer that was either completely wrong, unsubstantiated, or at best, it was a half-assed answer.

This is unfair. Everyone deserves to learn better. Stop telling yourself lies. Don’t trust anyone who says “I know digital marketing like the back of my hand” or “I made a million doing SEO”.

Very few people can claim this for a fact. Everyone else is just lying.

Digital Marketing takes skills, efficiency, and commitment. Either you are in it or out

Here are some absolutely ridiculous things others are telling you or those that you believe or perhaps your neighborhood “expert” taught you:

Digital marketing = SEO

You got legs? You need two legs to walk. An engine needs anywhere from 1 – 12 cylinders for it to work – and all cylinders have to fire.

Digital marketing is vast and it has many things working together to make it work for a business. SEO happens to be just “one” of them. At the time of writing this, it’s only getting harder.

The right digital strategy is to fire all those cylinders together. You have to ALL of the following:

That’s it.

Limping on a Leg

It’s remarkable how so many businesses just want “one leg” to work. Websites look like they’ve been built in the late 1990s. They load extremely slow. There’s no content marketing strategy in place. There’s nothing else working in your website’s favor. Your domain is rather new.

Yet, you are willing to pay idiots to make your website show up on “top of Google”. You thought Google was an easy lay?

SEO is not about writing crappy articles that you outsourced for $2 or less. Heck, even $125 for a single post of 1500 words still won’t guarantee any SEO success. Even if you do guest posting, it might not work as well you thought it’d.

Plus, making SEO work is a long-term strategy and it takes time. If you were expecting short-term results, you’ll be sorry.

If you still think you are doing it right, you are only hurting yourself. You just don’t get it.

Chasing Shiny Objects

There was this one young chap who happened to “quit his job” to start full-time blogging. Stars in his eyes, passion surging from within, but absolutely clueless as to how to go about it all.

He arrives looking for answers. Because he doesn’t know any better, he is looking at the wrong sources for information and he isn’t getting any of it. He can’t make sense of what’s being talked about and he doesn’t like my answers (because those aren’t what he is prepared for).

He thought full-time blogging is like,

“Start blogging, will make money from next month”

That’s not going to happen.

He wasn’t the only one on a deluded path though. There were newbie affiliate marketers, bloggers, business owners, and many others.

There was this particularly interested, vocal, and an active man from a business background who was chasing “the micro-niche dream” – I’ll set up a blog on micro niche and make $100 per month.

Good luck with that, asshole.

Everyone was chasing the dream. They were all after shiny objects (micro niches? Products no one knows about so they have potential when you sell them on Shopify?).

Dreams aren’t bad. Chasing something worthwhile is worth it. Except that there’s no strategy, plan, or resources behind any of those dreams.

Those dreams then, are worth shit.

Cutting corners, everywhere

Put up Facebook Ad, and then point to a website.

So, where the heck are the landing pages? Where’s your strategy to collect leads and then nurture them?

When I suggested that email marketing strategy is critical for success, I am told that:

“Email marketing is old”.

Who told you that for something to work exceptionally well, it has to be “new”?

“Retargeting is the new method that makes you millions”

Agreed that retargeting is awesome and that you should do it. Without the right strategy, assets, and a way to make it all work together, it won’t work.

“Spy on others and build your ads that way”

How do you know those ads even work? When asked, I was told that you’ll know how successful ads are when you see the engagement level on those ads (comments, shares, and likes).

But that doesn’t tell you how much money those ads really made. If there were any sales at all, you don’t know the Return on Investment. See?

Every single point being made felt like the world is in a rush to cut corners and find the shortest route possible.

People are chasing gimmicks, tricks, shortcuts, and crappy workarounds.

If your business is as cheap as tissue paper, go ahead and twist it all you want. There are at least a million scam artists to help you with that.

How important is your business to you?

I don’t care what you think but if you are cutting corners, going cheap, working with tricks, and looking for magic bullets, you don’t deserve to run a business. Go back to that day job and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Your entrepreneurial chutzpah depends on a lot, starting with that leap of faith. It starts with an idea.

Everything about you will be tested.

Your ability to sustain the vagaries of entrepreneurial uncertainty, your ability to get educated about what’s right and what’s wrong, the way you bring in finances to fund your business, your finesse of managing clients (employees, vendors, contractors, and investors).

Getting results with digital marketing depends on who you hire to help you with digital marketing or the choice of your digital marketing agency, the knowledge you choose to implement, and how you bring it all together.

I’d understand if you said it was all overwhelming. I can hear you out if you told me that all this is hard to manage. I’d empathize if you told me that it feels like you are putting a mountain that won’t budge.

What I won’t accept is that you choose to listen (and actually believe) all the nonsense that’s written on digital marketing, on business, and everything (or everyone) who is influencing you to do injustice to the very business you started with so much love, passion, and energy.

I won’t let you trample on your own dreams. Period.