List Building From the Trenches

Wow! What a morning!

For those of you who don’t already know, I live on a rock, basically. My home is on the crest of a ridge at the top of a shale hill. My driveway is 3 tenths of a mile and is an average grade of 7 to 9 percent. In other words, long and steep.

This also means that when we get a hard or steady rain, my driveway takes on many of the attributes of a waterfall. And it washes gullies, not good. So, to eliminate the gully washing, I have to cut trenches across the driveway about every 50 feet or so to redirect the water over the hillside rather than down the driveway.

So, in just over 2 hours, I’ve cleaned out 5 trenches that I had already cut and cut 2 more. These trenches are about 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep by 8 to 10 feet long. Remember, I live on a rock and I do this by hand with a mattic and shovel.

Let’s face it, I’m lazy. If you have been over to my Facebook page at, it says so right there.

That’s why I have an online business. So I can do this for fun and exercise, rather than having to do it to buy groceries. By now, you are probably wondering what all this has to do with building your online business. Well, let’s break it down.

Initially, we began to dig in the brown shale. It’s consistency usually ranges from silt and small rock to clay. This would be our initial market research, examining keywords that would pertain to our perspective market. This is where a lot of people skip a very important step. They have an idea for a product that everybody needs, create the product and try to sell it, before they even know if there is a market for the product. The greatest product in the world is no good if nobody wants to buy it.

So, we dig around in keywords, in a broad market at first, then we dig a little deeper to identify a niche or niches. This will start to give us a picture of our prospective market. Then we dig a little more going to blogs and forums and groups where people hang out to see what questions they ask, what there concerns are, what problems they are having. What their goals, hopes, dreams and fears are. But, no marketing just yet. This is rather a “fly on the wall” sort of research.

Digging a little more, we find who is providing solutions to this group and what these solutions are. Study their websites and products to see what they offer. Does it answer the markets questions, provide solutions to problems, and is the product even helpful. Then decide what you can do better. How might you improve on these existing products? And remember this, it is not the product, it is never the product that your customer buys, it is what the product can do for the customer.

Now, I know you are thinking, “These guys will be my competition!” Well, sure, competition is good! Would you buy something that nobody else wants? These guys already have the customers that you want. What you must do is find a product or combination of products that provides better solutions to your market than your competition, or create your own. Then you dominate the niche.

Now, look what an excellent little trench you have going there. Oh, that is nice. That is so nice. And suddenly you swing your mattic and all that is returned is a loud thud. Not the smooth, quiet progress we have been making. This is the blue or purple shale, as it is called. This stuff is so hard that to try to dig directly into it will break a tooth from a backhoe. This is the point where a lot of people have the most trouble.

The techy part. Selecting a domain, choosing a web hosting company and setting up your website. But, without a website or blog, nobody knows you are there. Your customers have no place to go to view your products and buy from you.

But, you see, the blue shale, although very hard, is also very brittle. If you strike it from an angle, it chips right away. So approach your website the same way, do a little at a time and before you know it your trench will be dug. You can begin your advertising and soon you will have a steady stream of customers redirected to you website, rather than running down the hill to your competitors.

You then have a business, not just an online hobby.

Now, digging trenches in the driveway with shovel and mattic works ok, but, these tools are not terribly effective for building a business. For that you need something a bit less invasive. You need a system. A proven system that can take you, step by step, through the entire process, that fully explains each step and guides you to the next.

The system I use is Mark Hendricks’ Internet Success System. It comes complete with recordings, transcripts, worksheets, teleconferences, tools(some free, some not) and a forum of members, that will soon be friends, to help you along the way and help answer your questions. But, best of all, it comes with Mark Hendricks!

Now, see how much fun digging trenches can be?

By now, you are probably wondering how I got all this from digging trenches in my driveway. Well, when you have been marketing for a while, you begin to see things a bit differently than you probably do now. Actually, it is all around you. But, it is not a change in your eyes that happens, it is a change in your vision. “What is it?”, you ask? Well, it is a story for another time.

But, right now, go to Internet Success System and let’s get started digging your trenches. Yeah, I’ll be looking for you.

I hope you have found this useful.

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