When you’re just starting out building your online business or even if you’re only trying to learn how to do any form of marketing online, it can become overwhelming very quickly. There are tons of different technology pieces that you’ll be exposed to and a quickly moving marketplace that’s always adopting the latest innovations.
The first point you need to remember is to keep things simple.
The biggest mistake that newcomers and non-technical types make is that they start buying a bunch of complicated solutions they don’t need.
Congratulations, now you’re in the software and systems integration business.
Complex Tools Create Unwieldly Solutions
Making these various bits of software work together in a seamless way makes a lot of sense, except most of them are created in isolation. More often than not they’re tactical solutions to solve specific problems and integrating with other tools is usually not high on the developer’s list of requirements.
If the product is created by a marketer, this problem is even worse. Software development is hard whereas having ideas for software is pretty easy. When someone who has no background in software development decides to hire a bunch of cheap overseas labour and create a complex tool, it more often than not ends in tears.
Simplicity Always Wins The Day
Something that is simple is less maintenance, has less that can go wrong, is easier to understand and from over 20 years in the technology industry, I can tell you unequivocally, simple solutions often end up getting much better results.
The most important advice I can give you is to sit back and think about what it is you’re trying to achieve. If you can break things down into their most basic components then you’re more likely to get to a favourable outcome.
Without a doubt, in my Tech Talk sessions, the biggest thing I see is people who are over complicating their business with too much technology. They end up with duplicate functionality trying to solve tactical problems. In fact, in my post about my customer avatars, I have one person that I specifically target who has this issue.
I always tell people that are struggling with overwhelm from too much technology or paralysis about what they need to go back to first principles. You need to be able to collect money, have a website, capture email addresses and send out mail to your list.
Simplify and Focus
Funnels, automation, reporting and all of the other bits and pieces are secondary accessories. You need to simplify what you’re trying to achieve and focus on getting the basics working correctly.
This is a lesson that even more experienced online business owners should pay attention to as well. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited sites and my user experience is destroyed by too much technology.
I tell people to aim for elegance with their use of technology. Elegance is when you deploy technology in such a simple and subtle way that as a user, you’re aware of its presence, but not confronted by it. Incredible levels of simplicity and capability are the height of elegant design – it takes great skill to achieve powerful simplicity.
So if you’re finding yourself struggling with your marketing technology, just stop and ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t use technology to solve the problem you’re trying to solve. Would it cost you sales? Would you have angry customers? Would anyone even notice?
I’ll bet at the end of the day that if you’re honest with yourself the answer will probably be that it doesn’t really matter and that what you’re trying to do is a “nice to have” and not a necessity for your business.
One thing that should be a necessity for you because of its sheer elegance is the Casual Marketer Monthly Newsletter. If you want to get deeper into how I think about running a business online, then click here to become a member of my simple, but incredibly powerful newsletter.