Innovate or Imitate? The Answer Might Surprise You.

A WHOLE LOT of new marketer’s problems can be traced back to low self-esteem. When you aren’t sure what you’re doing, you tend to want to overcomplicate things… and overcompensate for your lack of previous success by over-delivering and knocking everything you do out of the park.

 

Now, I obviously don’t mean to say that you shouldn’t give people value for their money – only that plenty of people equate value with extra effort when it’s rarely the case.

 

Lots of gurus and business leaders make it worse – they teach that to find success, one has to create a ground-breaking service or product and be the first one to solve a large problem.

 

And yeah, that happens. And it helps! You only need to look to the bad boys in the PPC for an example of this – it’s guys that outsource tons of different banner and graphics ideas, who split test constantly, who are always looking for new ways to rock it that are staying ahead of the curve and making those six figure incomes online.

 

Or in the corporate world: the big boys like Microsoft and Ford are shown as samples of companies to aspire to and that we should study the way that they operate. Throw in our own natural vanity and the obvious conclusion pops out: INNOVATE OR DIE, GO HARD OR GO HOME…

 

But That Might Be A Myth

 

Innovation isn’t easy, cheap, or fast – and in an internet landscape where those are really big priorities, it’s worth putting things into perspective. The guys that can afford to “change the game” don’t usually do it on an impulse. To be honest, these companies are among the biggest and best.

 

They are, or were at some point, leaders with their respective market segments and took over in a big way. It’s just completely stupid to try and copy the actions of any top performer. Imagine trying to keep up with Kobe Bryant in the fitness center – that might be hilarious. He is one of the best athletes on the planet with generations of training right behind him, not to mention that he had a really good coach once upon a time.

 

Two Useful Ways To Think Of Innovation

 

As a curve. The really creative guys, the game changers, they’re at the top of the curve. But that requires a WHOLE LOT OF EFFORT. Now, near the bottom of the curve you have the awful, lazy marketers we love picking on in this blog. They’re always complaining, always waiting on someone to hand them a magic formula :

 

Totally ripped off from ppc.bz – a good illustration of the curve I’m talking about, though.

 

If you’re in the beginning to mid-level stages of your business, it’s important to get somewhere around that “first movers” part of the curve, balancing speed and efficiency with attention to detail and quality and fresh ideas and all that stuff we value so much.

 

Getting both is tough if you aren’t investing a lot – it  will take years of honing a skill set. This applies to everything from web design to sports to business.

 

It’s way better to run a small business successfully to develop one’s self confidence before risking everything on an unproven, untested idea. To start out, find someone by using a successful enterprise and model them. Not just the front end, but where their leads are coming from and the ethical standard they operate by.

 

Model And Take Things Step By Step

 

Why not? You already know it works and there’s also a person in the real world to help you once you have questions or need assistance. Then, after a few smaller successes, you will naturally want a bigger struggle to get the blood pumping again.

 

A good example that pertains to internet marketing is launching products. This is a fairly complex skill and requires a wide ranging variety of talents to get right. It’s not the best first move if you aren’t a good sales writer and don’t have a decent grounding. You might be better off starting as an affiliate, because it teaches you the basics of niche categories, writing, HTML, domains and hosting, mindset – all that stuff forms a fantastic set of basic fundamentals to operate on.

 

Now you’re moving up slowly. Then later, you could perhaps start a modest list and learn about that. By the time you’ve nailed those things down, all the pieces are in place!

Comments

  1. efpierce

    Model after what works! I like that idea as innovation is truly the expensive way to go and in the end you don’t know what kind of effect it will have on consumers any way.

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