This is a guest post from Tyler Smith of slybaldguys
I’ve spent a good amount of time around truck drivers and I’m always amazed at the things I learn from talking to them. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned over the years from talking to truck drivers that I think all internet marketers should learn.
1. Keep it simple
When I talk to truckers, I notice that if I try to impress them by throwing out really technical terms or dazzle them with my knowledge of the internet, then I can expect his eyes to glaze over faster than honey baked hams that he’s delivering. Though, when I hear him talk, he usually delivers his message in very simple terms that can could be understood by a 5th grader but be as profound as a world leader.
Many of us that write in our blogs or run our websites are very technical people compared to the rest of the population. We know about things like RSS, trackbacks, scripts and widgets and we’re not afraid to throw terms around expecting everyone to know them. Though, unless you run a website that is targeted directly at other website owners or tech savvy people then you have to remember that not everyone knows what you know. Try to keep your design, terminology, and the overall flow of your site simple. This will help the majority of the population be able to use your site without a having to know how to build a site. If the majority of the population can easily navigate your site, then they are more likely to gain pleasure from using your site and want to tell others about it.
2. Don’t pick up a load that ain’t going to cover your gas
You will never see a trucker take a job to pick up a load that will pay less than it will cost him to actually deliver the load.
When you’re looking to do some marketing for your site make sure you determine what you will get “paid” for doing the marketing and if it’s worth the effort that you have to put in. I often see people do things to market their website that takes way more effort than any reward (traffic) they are going to get from their work. For example, when I first started marketing my site SlyBaldGuys.com I would often spend hours looking for any blog posts that had to do with my subject matter and comment on that post. This is an idea that I read on several forums as a “great” way to market my website. The problem was, most of the blog posts on the subjects of going bald or head shaving were usually on blogs that would only get a couple visitors a day and those visitors were probably not reading the post I commented on. I know because I have yet to see a visitor get referred by any of those sites.
3. Always keep a spare or you may not make your delivery
I’m sure many of you have seen a huge semi-truck driving down the road with a trailer hitched to it. Well, if you look at the back of the trailer and the back of the truck you will often see multiple tires on each side of the axle of the truck and trailer. There is often a spare tire or two on the truck somewhere. These two things provide a backup plan should a tire go out while driving down the road. Without these backup plans the driver has the risk of being late on his delivery and thus having to deal with less or no pay at all when he does arrive with the delivery. This is especially true if a tire goes out and there isn’t another tire on the same side of the axle. This could cause him to wreck and damage the load.
So, what does this have to do with internet marketing? It means that you shouldn’t rely on just one tire, or method of marketing because you never know when one of your marketing methods is going to stop working. I don’t have to tell you that losing your only avenue of visitors ultimately kills your revenue stream.
4. Don’t agree to haul perishables if you don’t have a refrigerator truck
You’re not going to see a trucker agree to haul a truck full out of fresh meat without having the equipment to fulfill his agreement. He’ll show up to pick up the load and get laughed out of the docking bay and never be taken seriously by that company again You see the hiring company is not going to let their load spoil in his truck since they only get paid if their goods get to the recipient in good condition.
I often run by sites claiming they can do this and that, but when you look under the hood they can’t really do what they say they can do. This only causes me to leave the site instantly and to never mention that site to anyone or even return to that site. So, next time you are writing content for your site, say on your blog or your homepage, don’t make claims that you or your site can’t back up. It’s only going to fool people for a bit and then it will ultimately backfire on you as people will not want to waste their time on your site if it’s not going to benefit them in the way you claim it will.
5. Keep your eyes and ears open and communicate with other drivers
A truckers main duty is to get his load from point A to point B safely and on time. In order to do this, he needs to make sure that he avoids all obstacles that will prevent him from doing this. The two main things he can do to ensure a successful delivery are to keep is eyes on the road and to keep his ears open. By keeping his eyes on the road he’s going to be aware of all the other drivers and obstacles on the road that can hinder his delivery. By keeping his ears open, he’s going to hear the calls on the radio warning of potential obstacles up ahead that he can’t see with his own eyes. If he doesnt’ hear anything on the radio a trucker will often call out to other drivers to see if there’s anything he should look out for.
As an internet marketer, you should keep your eyes and ears open for the obstacles that will hinder you from attracting all of the customers that you can. Look at your stats and find out what your visitors are doing. Are they leaving right away or are they checking out multiple pages? What landing pages inspire visitors to look for more on your site? Which landing pages cause people to leave?
Listen to your peers. What are other sites or bloggers doing that is providing them success? What didn’t work for them? Make sure you communicate with others in your arena and see what they are doing. Bounce ideas off of each other and help each other out.
6. Know when to take a break
A trucker knows that if he falls asleep at the wheel then he’s not going to accomplish his task of delivering his load. Knowing that, he knows that it’s good to take a break when he just can’t drive any further without risking himself and others. This break will allow him to refresh and continue on successfully in the morning.
If you’re finding yourself in a rut and you just can’t come up with your next great marketing idea, then it’s time to take a break and refresh. Instead, focus on something else that will improve your site. This break will often help trigger a new idea that you can implement in your marketing efforts.
Next time you talk to a trucker, see what you can learn from him.