Know What You’re Doing

When “Winston” asked me to help him promote one of his products, I agreed to mention it in my e-mail newsletter. I told him that all he needed to do was give me a coded link for his landing page.

If you’re at all involved in marketing on the Internet, you know that this is very basic stuff. By providing me with a link that includes a tracking code, Winston would know when a purchase was the result of the promotion in my newsletter. That’s how my profit share would be calculated.

Among Internet marketers, this is like telling an ice cream truck driver that he needs a freezer to keep the ice cream frozen.

Unfortunately, Winston didn’t know what I meant. He brought in his “IT” guy, who didn’t know what I was talking about either.

Eventually, after I gave them several examples of coded links and explained the process in half a dozen e-mails, they got it.

At that point, I was sorry I’d gotten involved. I kept my word and gave Winston’s product a mention – however, I politely passed on any future collaboration.

When you’re dealing with a larger and more experienced company/businessperson, you must make it easy for them to work with you. And a huge part of that is knowing what you’re doing. You don’t have to be an expert by any means, but educating yourself on the basics is key.

If Winston had been prepared, he would’ve given some thought to my needs as a marketer and e-zine publisher. Naturally, I would want to know how he was going to track sales to calculate my percentage of the profits. Other ways he could have impressed me and made me more inclined to do future business with him would have been to show me statistics on how his product has sold to other competing lists and/or sales copy that he has tested and proved to be successful.

If you’re asking for help to advance your career or business, make sure you’re ready if the answer is “yes.” Because you may not get a second chance.

[Ed. Note: Paul Lawrence is a successful entrepreneur and publisher who has started over a dozen profitable enterprises. To get more practical small-business tips, check out his “Street Smart” program.

Ready to jump-start your marketing knowledge? Check out Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business, Michael Masterson and ETR Publisher and CEO MaryEllen Tribby’s bestselling book.]

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