Something has been bothering me for quite a while now. I’ve quietly watched entrepreneurs fall prey to the BS advice from off-line marketing “pros” and Internet Marketing “gurus.” But now, the same type of garbage is being pushed by New Media proselytizers too. I may not have all the answers. But I know that here and now, you and I can put a stop to it all.

Look, let’s face it. If you’re looking to use New Media to market it can feel like you’re Dorothy sucked up in a twister and dropped in Oz. And once you land in this majestic world of New Media Oz, how do you make heads or tails out of this fantasy land of reported fame and fortune? And what’s your yellow brick road?

Witches, flying monkeys, a yellow brick road… we’ve got it all

new media marketing oz - wicked witch of east

On the outskirts of Oz, the self-appointed elite of the mainstream media and Madison Avenue thumb their noses at New Media. Tucked away in their cold castles of incestuous iniquity they gaze into their crystal balls of packaged propaganda and pronounce New Media a fantasy land populated by “horny teenagers and political pundits.”

We know the New Media marketplace is much more than that. But it does have its share of pitfalls and traps.

For instance, when we were completing research for our book ‘Secrets of Online Persuasion’ we found many well-meaning fans of New Media misleading entrepreneurs who wanted to market with New Media.

Much of that misinformation comes from two camps within New Media itself. I like to think of them as the Wicked Witches of the East and West.

The Wicked Witches of the East

The Wicked Witches from the East should be easy for you to crush as an entrepreneur. These are the people who think “fame” equals profit. And just like in the movie Wizard of Oz Dorothy’s house crushes the Wicked Witch of the East; your house should crush these witches as you land in New Media Oz.

As a matter of fact, this group is so laughable that South Park did a full episode poking fun at the new breed of “Internet Stars” who think by getting hundreds of thousands of views they’ll get rich. Sadly this is a rabbit trail that many entrepreneurs get lured down.

This quick 3-minute mashup shows their skit that’s spot-on with the dollar value of what many people consider “New Media stars.” They spoof on many of the “stars” that have gone viral or gotten media accolades. (Warning: as usual for South Park, this is NOT kid friendly.)

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Fact #1: fame does NOT equal profit (especially when marketing with New Media.

OK… we all know the movie storyline. “Ding dong, the witch is dead.” But just when you think things are fine, along comes another witch. And we’ve got the same thing here in New Media Oz.

Enter – the Wicked Witches of the West

This group is much more dangerous for business owners, especially start-ups. This group of witches is made up of Social Media evangelists who think they run a business just because they use a communication channel.

Like the winged monkeys from the Land of Oz these evangelists swoop down in fanatical devotion to “Social Media” proselytizing newcomers into the religion of “transparency” and “conversation.”

Like their Madison Avenue and Internet Marketing guru counterparts, they’re careful to capitalize on a kernel of relative truth. They leverage the hype and pomp of their brethren in the Eastern coven and talk up “famous” examples as “proof” of the power of New Media.

Beware the coven of blog, social media, or any other New Media evangelist who doesn’t have a business other than the content they push out.

“Thought leadership” is fine. But as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, as anyone who wants to make real money marketing with New Media — make sure what you’re consuming is coming from someone who has a successful (that means profitable) business under his or her belt.

It doesn’t matter if that business is online or off-line. The business owner’s mindset is what’s most important. It’s what will help insure that what you hear from them is focused on profit, not fluff.

new media marketing Oz -famous but poor

Far too many voices in New Media cry out from caverns of “creativity.” But they’re witches barely making it from paycheck to paycheck.

Fact #2: never take advice on how to make money from someone driving a Festiva.

All I can say is guard yourself against the dangerous spells that witches in both these covens cast. The cacophony of Web 2.0 evangelists who parrot each other in endless loops of “openness” are equally as dangerous to your profitable success as closed-minded old media warlords.

The yellow brick road of profit

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wanted desperately to get home to Kansas. As soon as she landed in Oz, that’s all she thought about.

It’s the same in New Media Oz, except that the “home” you want to get to is one of profit. And honestly, we’re different than Dorothy because we don’t mind visiting Oz on a regular basis. It’s fun and profitable… but only if you have the yellow brick road to keep you on track.

new media marketing Oz- yellow brick road

Here in New Media Oz, that yellow pathway to success is based on one very simple concept:

New Media, the internet, radio… heck, any media is nothing more than a communication channel. And a channel is just a conduit through which content, attention, and connection flow.

Too many people buy into the dream of riches through “internet marketing,” or the mistaken belief that “links” and “attention” through New Media will automatically bring riches. They look to turn a channel into a money source in and of itself.

Links, attention, and conversations may be the supposed “currencies” of the New Media Marketplace. But “links and attention won’t pay the mortgage” as Tim Bourquin pointed out.

What DOES make you money is what sits on both ends of that channel

Your Tribe on one end. And the products/services that will make their life better on the other. How good you are at developing and executing a strategy to use a channel to emotionally connect with your Tribe is what determines how much money you’ll make.

The bottom line is that New Media is just that – a channel of communication. It’s not magic, it’s not going to “save the world” from impending doom, and it’s NOT going to make you money if you don’t have the right strategy.

Yes, New Media is a channel that allows a level of interaction that Web 1.0 and old mass media cannot compete with. For that reason, it’s a channel that’s changing the way you do business whether you’ve stepped into New Media Oz yet or not. Its impact is so powerful that it’s changing the rules of business online and off-line.

Remember that New Media is simply a two-way communication channel. Put your focus on using it to attract, connect with, and convert a crowd of raving fans that rally around you, your brand and the solutions you provide.

Help pave the yellow brick road

If I’ve missed anything, add to the story here and help clarify that yellow brick road for fellow entrepreneurs looking to market with New Media. ;-)

What’s your opinion, position, or profitable comment?


John Paul Micek is a co-founder of the international business coaching company RPM Success Group ® Inc. He and his partner Deborah Micek are authors of the hit book Secrets Of Online Persuasion, and creators of the BLOG i360™ New Media Marketing Site Creater.
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