Control room of Internet provider in Iran 311 (R).
(photo credit:Caren Firouz / Reuters)
It’s hard to believe, but many people (alright I won’t call them “old fogies”)
still see the Internet as a place to play games, get their news, share pictures,
watch funny cat videos and sometimes use something remotely helpful called
Those same people are the ones who you feel uncomfortable with
when you say, “I sell products on Amazon.” You feel even worse, when explaining
your job description: “I get paid to create virtual horses that feed on virtual
hay in an online world...” Such explanations make people who don’t live on the
Internet like you do think that you are out of your mind. They also think that
you can’t possibly be making money doing that and wonder what you “really”
The secret of how to profit in a bad economy
The secret of profiting
in a bad economy is: there is no secret! It’s only common sense and how
economies work. The general economy may be bad, but it’s not like there’s no one
out there profiting – because they are. Some are profiting in spite of the
recession; others because of it.
The Internet is a lot like your local
mall. There are shops of all kinds, with businesses that sell everything
from syrup of ipecac (e-mail me if you know what that is – first response gets a
free single-size serving!) to designer sweaters for pets.
survive and thrive and eventually grow into nationwide chains. Others succumb to
bad planning or unfortunate circumstances beyond their control and need to
close. Trust me, closing is never a fun thing to have to go through after all
the effort you put into making a go of it.
So when someone says, “You
can’t make money on the Internet, I’ve tried,” what they really mean is: “I
can’t make money on the Internet doing [whatever they tried] in the fashion that
I tried it and with the skills and budget that I had.”
that “the Internet” is not a place where you can make money is just as wrong
just as saying that “Opening a business in the United States cannot be
successful.” People who make that claim are projecting their own failures on the
Internet. They’re claiming their particular and personal failure is a truer
reflection of reality than the obviously millions of successful enterprises of
all kinds who are flourishing.The power of social media is in your grasp
Many folks talk about “social media” as though it was a whole new form of
marketing. People chase it, thinking it is something new and different.
What it really is, truth be told, is just another medium to advertise. It has
inherent advantages and disadvantages. Like old-school marketing, it has ways
for getting your friends to convince their friends to buy the same book or
attend the same seminar that you are attending. Those “ways,” like word-ofmouth
advertising, are essentially the same; they’re just digitally based, work faster
and spread more quickly.
In other situations, old-school marketing can
actually work better. I’d bet you get tons of e-mail newsletters every week; you
read a few that you look forward to because of the sender or that come at just
the right time when you have a moment to scan it... or because the
headline and hook was so compelling that you just kept reading.
physical mail do you get these days? How much of the physical mail “junk” do you
read? I’d venture a guess that an e-mail advertisement gets deleted far faster
and with less thought than a physical one.
A proper combination of both
online and off-line marketing can work wonders for a business in a way that
simply digital advertising will not.My advice for making money on the
What’s my advice for making money on the Internet? Look carefully at
who is making money and find the niche where you can too. Oh, and never give up.
Please, if you are looking for opportunity to make money using the Internet in
the same way your local mall does, with foot traffic, then don’t be discouraged
if you haven’t been successful. You may be in the wrong business or simply
focusing on the wrong angle or product.
This economy is a gold mine in so
many ways. Customers of existing businesses are much more sensitive to price or
perks than ever before. Family ties or long-standing arrangements aren’t the
“etched in stone” agreements they once were. Established, long-time arrangements
are much more open to new approaches, new contacts and new businesses precisely
because of the economic turmoil.
Luxury stores are mostly hurting because
of the financial crises. But the lower-end shops that normally pick up the slack
or capture the crumbs of the luxury trade actually have more customers coming in
because of it. Many shoppers went from buying expensive organic fruit to eating
regular fruit. They opted from buying the more expensive free-roaming-chicken
eggs to buying eggs made by animals that live in wire condos, just to save
At the same time, the super-luxury shops are making more money
because those that are making a mint during the recession are willing to spend
even more. Stores and manufacturers find they have lower expenses because they
can pay less to vendors or negotiate a lower rent because of less demand for
commercial space and goods.
So break out of the negative patterns of
thinking and use this column as your springboard: What will YOU change starting
from right now to profit off the recession?
When the family goes out to eat, are
they eating more pizza and less-fancy dinners out? If you’re in the pizza
business, then chances are you’re making more than the fancy restaurants. Are
you using a different mobile provider or bank, or are you shopping more at the
supermarket instead of at the corner market? Renting something instead of buying
it? Ka-ching! Someone’s making money that they weren’t making when the economy
Think of it in scientific terms: For every action there is
an equal and opposite reaction. Energy, or money, isn’t destroyed or
lost; it just moves to a different place. That is what is happening in the
economy. The money and opportunities just moved, so you need to as
Get my point? Good. I knew you would!
Now go out there and make it
happen. I’m rooting for you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Issamar Ginzberg is a
rabbi, businessman, public speaker and marketer.
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