Guest Speaker: Joe Vitale, author, "Cyberwriting: How to Promote Your Product or Service Online (Without Being Flamed!)"
Interviewer: Diane Watlov-Collins, President, MARKETINGWEB.COM
Date: March 17, 1999

Welcome to the MARKETINGWEB.COM Forum! The purpose of this Forum is to provide online discussion concerning the methods of Internet marketing.

** Marketingweb enters.

Marketingweb: Our guest for this evening is Joe Vitale, author of Cyberwriting: How to Promote Your Product or Service Online (Without Being Flamed) Mr. Vitale is a highly engaging and sought after speaker who is here to discuss the methods he uses to successfully promote products and services online.

**Vitale enters

Marketingweb: You say you've been on the Internet since before it was called the Internet. Lately, "content" is being touted as king on the Internet. Why is that?

Vitale: Content IS king on the Net. If you get caught up with all the technology, you'll lose most of your customer base.

Marketingweb: What do you mean?

Vitale: Not everyone is using the same kind of computer, or browser, or net access, or monitor, or modem, or much of anything else. There is no universal technology that works for all of us. Some people can see video clips and hear audio files. Others can't. Some people can't even see graphics due to the fact that they may be using a shell account or they turned the graphics off so things would be speedier for them. So to focus on technology will mean you will miss a lot of potential sales.

Marketingweb: What should we focus on?

Vitale:Information! Information is the gold in cyberspace. Most of the people who log on are looking for content of some sort. Give it to them and they'll come to your site. Many information sites provide their content for free in hopes of attracting high levels of traffic.

Marketingweb: What suggestions do you have for drawing people to a site with content that stands out?

Vitale: Simply this: Get out of your ego and into your prospect's ego.

Marketingweb: What do you mean?

Vitale: Far too many people online are trying to sell, rather than trying to serve. There's a big difference. Think of what people want, give it to them, and they'll come back to you. If you visit my web site at mrfire.com, you'll find an entire library of free articles on marketing and publicity. People go there, devour the free information, and return for more.

Marketingweb: But how do you make money from doing that?

Vitale: First, people who read my free articles very often buy my books. Second, people who read my free articles often hire me to write cyber-sales letters and e-newsletters for them. As I said in one of my earlier books, one of the lost secrets to success is giving. When you give, you begin a pattern to begin getting. My giving of free articles leads people to begin the process of giving their money to me. But what about all the people who read your free articles and don't buy anything?

Vitale: God bless them. I just hope my freebies helped them enough. The reality is, your free articles won't replace you or your services. Some people will take the freebies and go. Let them. You'll get business from others.

Marketingweb: So what should people attending this interview give at their web sites?

Vitale: It depends on what their prospects want. Again, get out of your ego and into your customer's ego. If you have a software company and they want free software, give them demos at no charge. If you are a chef, give recipes. Think of what your customers want, and give them some of it, for free, online. You still offer your other goods and services, of course, but your freebies help lure the people to you.

Marketingweb: What's your favorite way of finding prospects online?

Vitale: I LOVE e-mail! My million-dollar advice for you today is to go to http://www.liszt.com and do a search for your prospects. Type in key words that fit your potential customers interests. What liszt.com will return to you are all the e-mail discussion lists where your prospects are gathered. Since there are about 94,000 lists out there, your prospects are bound to be on at least one of them! Then join the lists, participate, and let your presence help promote you and your web site.

Marketingweb: Give me an example.

Vitale: When I was first online and wanted to help publishers promote their books, I went to liszt.com and typed in "publishers" and "books" and "marketing" as my key words. More than a dozen e-mail lists came back to me. I looked them over, found one that seemed to be where my prospects were at, and joined it. I stayed on it for more than a year, and got numerous clients from it.

Marketingweb: What about creating your own e-mail list?

Vitale: I'm all for it. I think anyone with a web site should have a place where visitors can sign up for an announcements list. There's one at my site. People give me their email address, openly saying they want to hear from me. I then give them news that I think is of relevance to them. But having my own list of prospects is a goldmine. Those people know me and my work and want to hear from me. Anyone online can do this.

Marketingweb:What is the biggest mistake people make online?

Vitale: Putting their logo on their web site is a common and very stupid move. I HATE to visit a site, wait for a graphic to download, and then find out that it's just a logo. That means nothing to me but everything to the company. Again, get out of your ego. Do your prospects care about your logo? No!

Marketingweb: I would disagree with that. A compressed file format can reduce download time. Logos need to be on web sites for branding purposes. I would agree that logos should not require a great deal of download time. You need to target your audience by evaluating your traffic patterns and studying research reports such as 9th GVU's 9th WWW User Survey: How Internet Users Connect This will tell you what browsers and connection speeds the majority of people online are actually using. Design your site so that you are able to reach the majority of users in your target market. What else do you feel people do wrong?

Vitale: Putting their brochures online. One of the secrets to writing million-dollar copy online is to make it interactive, informative and fun. Post a quiz that ties into your business, for example. Far too many people simply take their print brochure and paste it online. Very dumb. Since most print brochures are self-serving anyway, nobody cares about them. But when you place them online, they become even more dead.

Marketingweb: Since you're giving away so many secrets, what are the secrets to writing e-sales letters that work?

Vitale: The secret is not to write a sales letter at all. What you do instead is write an article and let your product or service get plugged within it.

Marketingweb: So you're saying don't do any hard selling in the letter?

Vitale: Exactly! E-sales letters need to be less selling and more informing. Off-line your letters can be 95% selling and 5% information, but online your letters better be 5% selling and 95% information.

Marketingweb: Or?

Vitale: Or get ready to be flamed! The Internet still objects to hard sales.

Marketingweb: And how do people object?

Vitale: By writing you very nasty letters, called flames. Believe me, some of them can really burn.

Marketingweb: What has been the most rewarding experience of writing your book, CyberWriting?

Vitale: It's been a networking tool beyond belief. Because of the book, I've heard from people from all over the world, from India to Ireland to Africa to Australia. The book has given me added credibility and a lot of publicity. It doesn't hurt that amazon.com called it one of their top 100 bestsellers when it first came out!

Marketingweb: What other books are you coming out with?

Vitale: I just released, There's a Customer Born Every Minute: P.T. Barnum's Secrets to Success, and I'm very excited about it.

Marketingweb: Does it talk about the Internet?

Vitale: Briefly. The book is more about the marketing secrets of the rich and famous, with P.T. Barnum as the primary focus for bringing it all to life. If Barnum were alive today, he would certainly be online.

Marketingweb: What else do you have in the works?

Vitale: In May of this year I'll have my first audioprogram released from Nightingale-Conant. It will be called, Outrageous Marketing: How to use the secrets of tycoons and billionaires to get rich in your own business!

Marketingweb: Sounds exciting! And how can people reach you?

Vitale: My e-mail address is joe@mrfire.com

Marketingweb: Thank you, Joe!

Vitale: Thank YOU! --

** Joe "Mr. Fire!" Vitale - Author of way too many books to list here ** New!-"Outrageous Marketing Secrets!" -audiotapes from Nightingale-Conant. Get free marketing tips at
E-mail: joe@mrfire.com
* Just who IS Joe Vitale? Get an automatic reply from info@mrfire.com *


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