A website that is up and running. The fastest way to get a website is to take a night or weekend course at the local high school. Most of them have you set up a five page site as a project and cover the basics.
If you do have a website, please be prepared to take a good hard look at it, and possibly rework it from the ground up, based on the information you’ll discover in this book.
Ability to use a personal computer and a fair working knowledge of the Windows operating system. Note that this is not a knock against other computing platforms. (I use a Mac for all my graphic production and daily operations.)
It’s just that many of the software tools we require for internet marketing are programmed to run only on a Windows operating system. No worries though, if you have a Mac, you can still run Windows in an emulator, like Virtual PC.
Familiarity with most common computer operating system and word processing terminology. You will need to know how to install software, open and work on documents, and understand the organizational structure of your hard drive and it’s sub folders.
It always amazes me how many people save a file but have no idea what folder they saved it to. This becomes critical when uploading files to the internet and announcing web pages to the search engines. If you save to the wrong folder or announce the wrong “path” or “folder hierarchy”, people simply will not find your pages.
Familiarity with most common internet terminology such as server, search engine, directory, portal, dial up, service provider, links, etc. If you are not familiar with common internet terminology you can find a glossary just by typing the phrase “internet glossary” in any search engine. Alternately you can use the whatis.com web site to find the meaning of anything technical.
Previous experience sending and receiving email over the internet. Other than your 1 800 number, email is the primary method of communicating with your customers and prospects. Done correctly, email will be responsible for a large amount of sales and branding of your company name.
Familiarity navigating the world wide web with web browser software, and experience using the search engines. It’s a good idea to go and poke at the search engines. Using your browser, click on any of the search engine links and type a couple of words related to your product or service. Look at the search results that come back, this is how people will find you on the internet. Millions of people do searches just like that every day. I’ll show you the tools and give you secret tips on how to get your pages to the top of the listings.
Ability to write html code or use simple html page layout software. I personally own over $2000.00 worth of html page layout software. I have a $500.00 html editor, a $100.00 editor and everything in between.
The one I use daily is Adobe GoLive. Most professional designers use Macromedia Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive for their html work. You can use whatever you want. You can even download Netscape Composer for free from netscape.com. It’s a very good basic html editor.
A good command of the English language. I know from experience that 90% of sales go English speaking countries. If you want to sell to this market, you will need to be able to write effective ad copy, build trust and consumer confidence with every contact.
Access to a computer after reading the book to practice learned material. You’ll need it for running various marketing software packages. Be sure to proof all the web pages on the PC, in various versions of Navigator and Explorer, before they get uploaded and “go live” on the internet. Remember if you design on the Mac, your web pages will look very different on the PC. Try to stay Mac and other platform friendly, but design for the PC market as they are the largest internet viewing audience.