This is part 2 of the “Top 6 Ways to Kill Your Online Marketing Career” series (part 1)

Would you participate in a group suicide?

Of course, you wouldn’t. No right people in their right mind would. But what if you’re not in your right mind?

Remember Heaven’s Gate? 39 people committed mass suicide together for their “cause”.

In history, there has been numerous events where dozens to even hundreds of people ended their life for their cause.

Now, you must be thinking that these people are “weak minded”… uneducated.. or somehow “off”, right?

There was a cult suicide in Jonestown, Guyana led by a crazy dude named Jim Jones. He took 914 people with him.

So what in the world does this have to do with business / marketing?

Simple, vision.

It’s not that the people that commit group suicide aren’t dumb.. or uneducated.. or “weak minded”. They just lack vision and their vision was set up by a crazy dude who has stronger vision then they do.

When you lose vision, your mind look for what is “right”. Unfortunately, this is where social proof can steer you in the wrong direction.

Even in the Bible, it says “where there is no vision, the people perish”.

Why do most people bitch & complain about politics / government / law .. yet 99% of us will never run for politics to do something about it?

Why? Our political vision isn’t that strong. That’s why we look for and support candidates who seem to have their “shit together”. (i.e. vision stronger than yours)

When we as marketers/entrepreneurs lose our vision (sometimes from losing our motivation), what do we do?

We follow others without ever questioning if that stuff they do is good or bad. Simply because they are so sure of themselves. Would you follow a leader who’s constantly doubting himself/herself?

Remember the Facebook platform hype? There were investors putting in tens of millions of dollars to Facebook app companies that eventually all went to ZERO.

Remember the Groupon/Zynga hype? Real estate bubble of 2008? 2001 dot com bubble? Tulip bubble of 1637?

No vision = herd mentality. And yes, herds get slaughtered.

Likewise, how many times have you switched your strategies in business, marketing, sales, or product development because you failed .. or you just didn’t know how to get started.. or whatever the reason. And someone or some thing told you (not necessarily in literal sense) that you had to go some other way.

You start looking for things to believe in… and usually that path isn’t your path, so it probably won’t work for you.

Stop following the herd. Whoever is leading the herd might have ulterior motives…. or even if he/she doesn’t, his way will most likely not work for you.

If you wanna survive as a marketer.. you gotta innovate.. You gotta try new things. You have to risks.

Here’s what the 99% of the marketers do (“the herd”):

4) Focus only on the top of the funnel.

More traffic = more money?

Wrong. That’s a huge online marketing myth.

If you don’t focus on tightening up your funnel, every dollar that you spend will not come out of your marketing machine.

Unless you’re a thin affiliate that do nothing but traffic arbitrage all day, you most likely have a funnel.

Stop spending 90% of your effort on trying to get cheap traffic.

Focus on creating a machine (that YOU own) that produces 2 dollars for every dollar you put into it first.. then apply the horsepower. What’s the point of buying jet fuel if your kindling fire can’t even sustain itself?

In fact, one of the greatest tactic I’ve used to “strengthen” the funnel by using the thank you page as a way to generate more leads by incentivizing the user / potential customer to share my website with others (actually I wrote that growth hacking tool software for that).


5) “Gotta Be Perfect”

Launching a new campaign? Ok.. what do we do…

1) Check server
2) Check thank you page
3) Check A/B testing
4) Check autoresponder
5) Check upsell page
6) Check payment processing
7) blah blah…

Every time I get a new campaign going, my brain fires 100 “did i do XYZ at step ABC” thoughts.

On top of that, I think “what if I get negative ROI?”… “what if people don’t sign up”… “what if… blah blah blah”.

By the time you’re done thinking all that, maybe your product no longer has a market fit… or the offer is dead… or the market is saturated with 200 other competitors.

Just launch the damn thing already. Learn as you go. You’re never gonna get 20 green lights in a row, so just start driving even if the first light is red


6) Face GLUED to the screen

Laptops, smart phones, tablets, smart TVs, google glass… they are all clamouring for your attention.

But believe it or not, the world is still 99% physical even if information flows virtual.

Why aren’t people satisfied dating virtual boy/girlfriend over skype? Because there’s only so much love you can make to your hands before you’ll want the real thing.

It’s no different in business – but people tend to believe what they see on the screen IS the world (like these crazy korean couple that forgot to feed their real kid because they were too busy feeding their virtual baby).

1) People do business with REAL people

In fact, i’ve had quite a few successes asking people to link to my site in person. If you think about it, this is a real advantage for people that live here.

Think about all those spammy SEO companies in third world countries trying to do linkbuilding. Would NY Times be more likely to link to you if they know you in person? Duh.

2) You can’t always see trends when your view is 15 inches across.

So stop staring at the screen all the time.. travel to places that you wouldn’t normally visit… talk to people you normally wouldn’t talk to… start a meetup / group and start building influence offline… attend conferences.

Not only will you be happier, you’ll learn a WHOLE lot more and become more well rounded.

By Taewoo Kim

TaeWoo is an accomplished online marketer with 10+ years of experience in affiliate marketing, lead generation, SEM, PPC, and media buying. You can follow him on his blog at or on Twitter @TaeWooKim.

17 thoughts on “Top 6 Ways to Kill Your Online Marketing Career (Part 2)”
  1. You might want to fact check your shit before you write it Taewoo. Leo Ryan wasn’t a cult member. He was investigating the group and was assassinated by the cult when he arrived. There was no ‘kool-aid drinking’ by him so your analogy/point is well pointless. Check yourself before you wreck yourself (or your entire argument).

    1. Darn. You’re right Elton.
      I misread. I knew about Jim Jones but not Leo Ryan. I totally misunderstood the context.

      Thanks for pointing that out.

      Regardless, my comment was about not going w/the crowd and going against the grain. I’ll ask the Shoemoney team to revise.

  2. I totally remember Heaven’s Gate. I used to freak out my high school teachers by wearing a shirt with their leader’s face on it and read ‘Beam me up!’ Yea…it might have been a tad tasteless looking back but teenage me thought it was awesome.

  3. I’ve enjoyed reading both of your posts about online marketing. Don’t know what it is about ‘series’ but I just dig them.

  4. I agree that all to often we fall victim to heard mentality. While something else may be better and we KNOW better we still go with what the general populous does. Facebook is a great example of that. There are so many other social media platforms that do things better and protect your privacy better, but you HAVE to be on facebook or people look at you like you’re an alien. And if you’re a bussiness you damn well better be on Facebook or you’re just doomed to fail.

    Baaaa- says the sheep.

  5. Your funnel diagram is dead on. Things don’t go straight from contact to revenue, you gotta filter that stuff. Trickle down effect and such.

  6. On the gotta be perfect thing, so right. I mean really, perfection just isn’t going to happen. No you shouldn’t go live the second you have an idea with bare bones implementation, but you know mistakes happen. We learn trial and error.

  7. What’s the saying, ‘a watched pot never boils’? Yea the same is true with staring at your screen. Monitor stuff but don’t obsess.

  8. I like blogging, too. However, I am still questioning why I cannot attract many audience after using many tips to improve my blog. Sometimes I was disappointed and wanted to close my blog.

  9. Well, a great example of an internet cult is a company I won’t mention the name of, but has a creepy leader by the name of Ken who promises to deliver you an internet business with…um..some outdated SEO advice that you pay 10 times more for than than your normal hosting.

    His followers are all walking slowly off cliffs and even when they’re falling they still chant his name..

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