In late 1999 I went on a mission to find out more about Internet marketing. Normally I’m not a naive guy, but I was very naive about Internet marketing. It wasn’t at all what I thought it was. I was both pleasantly surprised and disappointed…all at the same time.
Every industry has contrasting personalities. There are those nice, loved-by-everybody people and there are those caustic, outspoken, in-your-face types.
Additionally, every industry is filled with varied approaches to business. Here in Dallas we’ve got two airlines: American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. They behave very differently even though they’re in the same business of flying people around.
Internet marketing is no different.
My most intense years of “study” were from 2000 to 2004, but I continued through the years to look closely at what was going on throughout Internet marketing. From affiliate marketing to information marketing. From “how to make money” to niche marketing. I looked at every angle and approach…all in the quest of learning what it was all about.
Along the way I found some people I really liked.
• Jimmy D. Brown was among the very first Internet marketers I found. He’s an Arkansas guy so it seemed likely a guy living in Texas (me) might find him affable. Well, I did. He was into some things I had never heard of, but I looked more closely at what he was doing anyway. PLR? What in the Sam Hill is PLR? Private label rights. I confess I still don’t see much value in it, but back in the day it was a big deal. Maybe it still is. Jimmy was knee-deep in it and it seemed to be a huge part of his business. He’s credited with starting the first membership site, too. You can now find him here: imstitute.com
• Terry Dean was another fellow I ran across early on. Like Jimmy D. Brown there were a variety of good stories about him. I’d heard about him getting up live, in front of an audience and crafting an email that generated over $30K before the conference was over. Ah, the good old days of legendary performances! I’m fairly certain my first physical product purchase from an Internet marketer was from Terry. Today, you’ll find Terry here: terrydean.org
• Sterling and Jay are Jeremy “Sterling” Frandsen and Jason “Jay” Van Orden. I first ran across them around 2006 thanks to their podcast. Earlier I had found Jason through his podcasting work, but I wasn’t aware these guys had teamed up until I ran across their podcast. Unlike Jimmy and Terry they were relative newcomers to Internet marketing at the time. I listened regularly to their podcast. They had a good story of running away from their cubicle jobs to a life of more independent living made possible by succeeding online. Two guys from Salt Lake City made good via Internet marketing. Yes, they’re very Internet marketing in the traditional sense – “how to make money online.” But, they regularly brought stories of people doing clever, creative things in niches. Today you’ll find them here: internetbusinessmastery.com
• Lynn Terry was one of four Internet marketers on another podcast I once listened to, Internet Marketing This Week. I was somewhat familiar with two of her co-hosts, but I didn’t follow them. Lynn was refreshingly candid and forthright. She was also willing to stand by her convictions, no matter what. I liked her straight away. Still do. You’ll find her here: clicknewz.com
• Pat Flynn was interviewed on Sterling and Jay’s podcast in 2009. He was a member of their “academy.” They interviewed him on the Cubicle Escape series of their podcast. He was Patrick Flynn then. 😉 I was especially interested in his story because he was marketing an information product that helped people prepare for an exam. He wasn’t teaching people how to make money online. He has since blown up into a major Internet marketing success. He’s one of the most transparent and forthcoming guys in the space. You’ll find him here: smartpassiveincome.com
In recent years I’ve come to know a few other people who are worth mentioning (but I won’t for fear I’ll leave somebody out). I wasn’t aware of them during these years of more intense study, but they too serve as evidence that I didn’t develop some hateful, heavily biased view against anybody who marketed “infoproducts” or found a way to make a buck online. Admittedly, they seem to fall into 2 categories (or both): a) they serve a niche (i.e. videography) and/or b) they’re affiliates for products or services they think their audience will find useful. Some of them drift over into the “making money online” genre occasionally, but the ones I admire most only do that as they’re telling their own story of how they’re made money online (ala Pat Flynn).
What do you think? Comments are open!