1/365 [dazed & confused]
Image by PhotoJonny via Flickr

Individuals who sell online are often pushed to offer a variety of products or services. Yup, confusion sets in – and, on many levels.

(I’ll call them ‘Solopreneurs’ for this post).

They do this by design, almost. Before they actually have anything serious going, the next shiny object appears. Hey, I’ll try and sell that too.

They won’t do anything with it, but just buying something new and different makes them feel good. They can at least put it on the shelf, for the husband or wife to see.

And so the story goes.

So, you need to really focus down this year.

Get rid of all distractions, unsubscribe (using this word to extend way beyond just emails!) from all things that don’t answer this question: “what’s the quickest way to the cash”.

You could get a yearly calendar and put your specific goals on it, but…

What specifically can you do?

Solo entrepreneurs, solo information marketers: target your audience!

Most information marketers and business startups have, or are building to try and attract such a vast audience that they tend to get overzealous about reaching them all.

This goes for marketing initiatives as well. If you cannot answer “who’s your audience” – you have more work to do. (TIP: To get a sense of what your competition or related industry websites are up to, try to get some data by visiting Quantcast)

Too many options.

There are so many different types of marketing strategies, ads, tools and products (check out clickbank for an evening of fun) available, that it can be tempting to try them all out. This would be wasteful and disorderly, however.

Achieve order in your business by going with the types of marketing and niches that have proven a success with your demographic. Go where people go. (I know it sounds trite – but don’t forget it). And, more importantly – go where they are spending money, and where the traffic is. (TIP: keyword research will help)

One simple way to break this down is to ask: “what age bracket does my audience fit into”? (You can read much more on “search / user funnel / demographics” information in this post)


so confused
Image by rachel sian via Flickr

Young people today spend the majority of their time on social network sites, where they share information with one another. This is how viral videos get so big, because word of mouth can be so far-reaching these days. If your target audience is young, go viral – or get some ideas into motion. Don’t worry about winning the first time. Keep trying.

Adult Education (song)
Image via Wikipedia


If your audience is a bit older than that, however, you might want to look to backing away from the edge a bit. While value is always a concern, you should make it more evident in this age bracket. Research shows that middle aged demographics are looking for security above all else, and testimonials help to reassure them of the value of your product or service.


A gray-haired old woman from the United Kingdom.
Image via Wikipedia

Finally, if your audience skews towards the older or elderly (assisted living, for example), then you can access more purely traditional forms of advertising, and offline marketing (postcards, for example). Text ads on websites, marketing through forums and blogs, as well as other good old fashioned techniques can be strongly appealing to this demographic. Determine who you’re selling to, then be sure you’re using the best methods.

Everything should be tested. For example, the elderly may not actually use the computer extensively, or at all — but their sons, daughters, family members will.

The most important thing you can do is to describe your audience, and get into details about them. And, since you are providing quality products and services, you will want to know WHO you are helping.

They will love you for it, and send you gobs of money of their lifetime as your customer.

What do you think?


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.