In the game of chess, the very best players have an ability that average players don’t! This is the ability to plan several moves ahead. An average player will be thinking perhaps one, at most two moves ahead, whilst the top players can see much further ahead than that and can see all the possibilities for both themselves and their opponent. Because of this faculty they are able to anticipate their opponent’s moves and make their moves to gain advantage for themselves and block any threat from the other player.
The great composers didn’t (don’t) begin to write their music without careful thought and planning as to where the music was going. They didn’t just launch into the piece with the attitude, “Let’s see where it leads me”. They would have a very good idea before they started of the direction the piece would take, its structure, its approximate length and how they would use the musical ideas that were in their head. By the time their pens hit the manuscript paper they would be already hearing much of what was to follow in their mind’s ear.
There are other examples of this kind of forward planning which might well pop into your mind at this point. In the sphere of internet marketing such an approach is very, very important. The online marketing process has been well-established for many years, although there will be personal variations, inevitably. Apart from some rethinking of the “Funnel System”, marketers today are doing pretty much the same thing now as they were 15 or 20 years ago. Why? Because it works! Modern technology has added many new possibilities but the basics are the same.
The usual chain of events in internet marketing works like this:
- Step 1 – a FREE item such as an e-book or report is offered within a particular niche.
- Step 2 – a Frontend Product of relatively low cost is made available to those who responded to the introductory offer as well as being promoted by other means.
- Step 3 – a Backend Product of greater value is then offered to those who take up the previous offer.
- Step 4 – further offers follow of increasing price and value.
That is the barebones outline of the internet marketing process as it has been applied for a couple of decades.
Because of the sequential nature of the business it is vital to plan ahead. There is no point in offering a free item to get names on your list if you have no idea what comes next. It is essential to have your frontend product ready and all the promotional and sales material ready before you take the first step. Many marketers at this stage would also prepare their backend offer with all the necessary copy done and ready to go. At the very least, your backend offer should be ready to go by the time the frontend offer goes out. That way you are prepared for what happens next. Any readers who were Scouts will remember the scouts’ motto: “Be Prepared”. It could be our motto too.
Like the best chess players and the great composers, you can’t just launch your business in a burst of exuberance and enthusiasm without thorough planning, or you will soon be brought back down to earth with a bump. Ideally, the first three steps itemised above should be in place before you launch. Like the chess players in particular, the further ahead you can plan the more successful you are likely to be.
Composers of music are often working to a deadline, especially when they are responding to a commission. Forward planning is very important if you are to meet a target date. For a composer it certainly helps the creative process knowing that on a particular date an orchestra and concert hall have been booked at great expense to give the first performance of the work you are writing. Publicity has gone out and an enthusiastic public have begun to purchase tickets. I know from personal experience how such a situation focusses the mind.
As part of your forward planning it is a good idea to set yourself target dates to achieve certain things or complete particular projects, all of which are different parts of the jigsaw puzzle which is an online campaign. “Publish and be damned,” said the Duke of Wellington. Internet marketers could well think the same thought, but only when they are fully prepared for what follows.