Just as was the case with westward expansion in the US in the 19th century, online marketing companies tend to have two different mantras. One I like to refer to as the “Gold Rush” mantra, which is based around short term results and a “get rich quick” mentality. The other I refer to as the “Prairie Farming” mantra is about taking care of business and focusing on long term results. There are tons of considerations to decipher which one you are dealing with, but I hope that my brief analogy here will shed some light on the topic.
So let’s start out by thinking of those that rushed to California for gold in the 1800’s. It was a mass movement toward a lifestyle that was all or nothing and nobody moved from Indiana to California in the 1800’s if they didn’t think they were going to strike it rich, right? So those that did take the leap did whatever they had to in order to make it. A handful of people panned for gold made $30,000 in a day and moved on with life, but this was the exception not the rule. Most people struggled to get by and did everything they could to get short term results and it ended up costing a lot of them almost everything.
So what’s the point in this “Gold Rush” story? Well there are many gold rushers in online marketing as well, that can and will do a lot of things to get short term results. Some are legal, some are not, some are unethical, some are not, but they all are focused on one thing which is short term results. Doing below board things to find that nugget in the river or worse yet steal that nugget from someone else who worked hard to find it themselves. Either way you can get rich, but the consequences would have to be worth it to you.
Now let’s shift back to the Wild West again and talk about those frontier folks that gave up everything and moved west to farm the land. The risk was there just like the “Gold Rusher” but the mentality was completely different. The focus was on long term success and being able to survive for generations. They didn’t abuse the land and often times made lasting relationships with local Native American tribes. They understood that if they came in focused only on short term success that they might starve or simply just not be able to make it. After all in the 1800’s there was no lifeline!
A successful online marketing strategy should look more like the “Prairie Farmer” example. It should be realistic, it should be ethical, and most importantly it should be focused on long term results. As a matter of fact, if someone is promising that you will find that big gold nugget today or tomorrow, I encourage you to ask a lot of questions. After all, some people did find gold, but remember that it is the exception not the rule.
Long story short there are always many different ways to get to the same end result, but my personal philosophy is one that embraces perseverance and hard work, with a focus on long term sustainability. I certainly would never say that the Gold Rush in the 1800’s was not full of hard working and determined folks, I would only say that the focus was very short term, which can make your decision making flawed. Long term results are the best for any company and your online marketing efforts should reflect that ideology.