by Kevin Kaiser, Startup Biz Blog
Don’t let Forbes‘s chosen name for the best of the best fool you; nobody gets to consult Fortune 500 companies on internet marketing strategy by building a technique based on fortune alone. Many aspiring online visionaries focus solely on moneymaking when they devise marketing strategies for themselves and others. Instead of constructing strategic citadels founded on realities, they erect cardboard shanties wobbling on the idea that making money online is somehow easy and online marketing trends easy to predict.
Marketing guru Amish Shah was no stranger to these fumbles when he began his marketing and consulting empire back in 2003. It took him many tries and a failure or two before he realized that it takes more than a crystal ball to make money marketing online. Shah, like other rare online marketers, realized early that it takes thorough research and personal involvement to devise internet marketing strategies that aren’t the inflated sells of a fortune teller but the practical expectations of a futurist.
Back when Shah got into online marketing in the early 2000’s and made his first several thousand, Google adwords were still a fledgling avenue for internet advertising. Shah saw how the power of adwords had evolved in just a few short years and knew right away the simple side project was destined to become an annual several billion dollar source of revenue for Google. Shah acted fast, quitting his day job and making online marketing and consultation his full time pursuit. But immediately there were problems. Shah’s first attempt at pay-per-click advertising lost him US$8,000 in under a week. It quickly turned into a moment of truth for the young entrepreneur: learn from the mistakes and stay in the game, or cut his losses and go back to working in an office until retirement. The decision came down to Shah realizing that his passion was tied with online marketing, and that while money might prove elusive, quitting was not an option so long as he remained passionate and stayed true to himself.
Shah realized he needed more than a gambler’s confidence in his marketing projections. He took the issue of competition to heart: if thousands of people like him were failing like him and a few were succeeding, what were the few doing the rest weren’t? Shah knew right away the answer: they thought outside the box and they looked at things differently and most importantly they didn’t let fantastical internet gold rushes interfere with their long-term techniques while at the same time not letting careful calculation inhibit radical ideas. Shah began working on a four-pronged strategy to better gauge the volatile temperament of search engine optimization. The playbook he wrote would ultimately become the core of his consultation business: the magic bullet system.
The system is simple to see as a whole even if Shah’s particular methods are known only to him and his clients: research, build, track, and optimize. The key to his technique, and the reason even those in the Fortune 50 bracket seek his advice, is the personal relationship he builds with clients. Shah understands that underlings no matter how talented are not privy to the ins and outs of the system he himself started, and so he makes it his mission to personally be made aware of everything the client deems as important plus importing his own vital factors into the development of a marketing strategy. Despite the “magic” name there’s nothing supernatural about the four-stage process. It’s completely based on the lessons he learned early on in his career: look forward toward truth by not being blinded by the glimmers of easy gold, and let the passion do most of the work for you.
$8,000 is now less than ten-percent of what Shah earns for a single consultation. There’s no telling what percentage of a potential office salary that would’ve been had Shah given up. If you ask him what brought him success he will tell you determination, positive attitude, and staying true to himself. If you apply these to your business model as Shah did, then there’s no telling what you can accomplish. Just remember, when the moment comes to decide whether to move past a failure or give up, understand where the passion inside you resides. You never know, that loss might one day reappear as a sliver of a day’s pay.
If you’re interested in learning more about Amish Shah or his Magic Bullet System, follow Amish on Twitter.
Kevin Kaiser is an entrepreneur who deals with online marketing and reputation management for start-ups he’s involved in and can be found writing at Startup Biz Blog.