When my mother died on January 15th, I sank into a deep depression.
I became very despondent and withdrawn, took to my bed, and stayed there for weeks.
I knew she wouldn’t live forever, but fooled myself into believing that her departure would be someday far FAR into the future. When it happened, I was shocked and devastated. I still find it hard to believe.
Eventually I had to face the reality of my “new normal”, and gradually began to pull myself out of the pit.
But during those months under the covers, I did a lot of thinking. Loss is often the catalyst for change, and losing my mother made me re-examine everything in my life, including my business.
Which brings me to my confession…
I’m an online publisher and CPA marketer at heart.
I know, I know.
When I started GeoLocal.com back in 2001, I really enjoyed helping business owners use the internet to promote local. For years I developed websites, wrote newsletters and published all all kinds of books and articles on offline marketing and consulting. I got lots of clients, most through word of mouth, referrals and speaking. It was great.
But somewhere along the way, I discovered CPA marketing, and found it be a lot of fun and quite lucrative. If you’re not familiar, CPA stands for Cost Per Action, and it means you get paid when someone clicks your link and completes an action (fill out a form, get a quote, sign up for free trial, etc.)
At first it was an experiment, to see how it worked. Over time I got good at CPA, so much that it became our primary source of income, and offline consulting took a back seat.
Truth be told, I didn’t enjoy the client getting part of offline consulting. I dislike asking for the sale, going for “the close”, reciting “some will, some won’t, so what?”, blah, blah. It’s just not me.
Coming from the corporate world, I had all the clients I could handle, I wasn’t used to chasing people, trying to convince them they need me. If they’re too stupid to realize that, they deserve to go out of business.
For awhile I tried to do both, but ended up spreading myself too thin. Working on too many projects is the kiss of death, yet there I was, distracted and unfocused.
When my Mom got sick last year, something had to give. I stopped creating offline products and acquiring new clients for my services. Only the simplest things to accomplish got done. Anything that couldn’t be done virtually, i,e. from a hospital room or my Mom’s house was out.
After Mom’s death, I took a long hard look at my business. Once I was able to step back and look at things from afar, it became very clear that I needed to pick ONE business model and stick to it. And for me that is online publishing and CPA marketing.
I’ll still do web projects that come my way, but all that other sales related stuff like prospecting, followup calls and emails to close the deal, etc.? No.
So why am I telling you all this? Well, my emails/updates started out about one thing but the focus is changing, so I felt obliged to say something.
Honestly I felt reluctant to discuss this because offline marketing has been my cause for so long. I’ve met lots of great people over the years and didn’t want to those relationships to change.
But just because you start down a path doesn’t mean you have to continue. Like Maya Angelou said, if you don’t like the path you’re on, step off and make a new one. And that goes for ALL areas in life.
Ok, having said all that, I’m not going that far off the path. Almost everything can be applied to offline. i.e….
Organic Traffic / SEO
Keyword & niche research
Social media marketing
Authority site building
If you really really only want to hear about how to sell offline marketing services and nothing else, well then I’ll understand if you unsubscribe.
Otherwise, stick around and see what develops on my new home base, www.SharonOdom.com…
p.s. Thank you so much for all the emails and FaceBook messages of support, it really touched my heart!
p.p.s. I still have IM Stock Photos and RewardThemes.com — they come in handy for online publishing and website creation. I have some great offline/local related domains names that I’ll probably put up for auction…