Testing Marketing theory

Since I published Best Scandal Ever in May 2013, I have been rather lazily testing marketing theories I learned in Second Life.  So far so good, I have learned a lot from doing very little, and now have a large variety of outlets for my little niche.  I have spent little, and done a lot.

A few months back a group of fashion graduates tweeted out that they required $25,000 to produce four handbags.  I asked why they would need this amount of money?  They replied that this was to produce four prototypes and market themselves.  I think I have already demonstrated that this is nonsense.  If your product is good, you do not need the ridiculous amount of capital suggested on the average course, and you do not need a half million a year to promote to the luxury market.

Now you could tell me that since I am still a fledgling author and artist at this point, that this is extremely presumptious of me, that time is money, and had I acquired $25,000 I would have a viable business, staff and be moderately famous as an author by now.  I would reply to you that this would lead to a shoddy product, many complaints and undue pressure to produce a product that would make me ultimately unhappy.

I see too many thirty and forty somethings who have invested heavily in what they imagined was the perfect life, only to find they were unhappy and mediocre as a result.  I used to be a super fast achiever, not unlike the lightening fast Mr Wolfe, who is so speedy that I would challenge the paciest gamer online to outmove him at self promotion, but since the bereavements and enforced leisure period, my strategic streak has come to the fore and I am disinterested in putting out crap. If it isn’t meaningful, it isn’t worth doing. Ask the millionaire accountant who took up painting the fences at the Airds Hotel in Port Appin after a weekend away in the 1980s, and he will tell you much the same thing.

When starting from scratch, you have two options online, either you believe the hype and invest in vanity advertising in your chosen interest area, a majorly growing market that it would be wise to invest in as a shareholder, if not as an advertiser;  or you invest time.  After a little trial and error, my belief so far is that the latter is far more useful, and gives you time to sharpen your game.  If you are any good, the market will come to you.  There are obvious caveats to this, but generally speaking, this theory has been borne out by experience so far.  A personal approach is also very worthwhile.  It is insufficient to present the product as good, now you have to explain why and what it is for.

This year, I am taking a micromanagement approach to expanding my tiny niche, and there will be a few surprises in the form of writing, gaming, artwork.  I will report back on this date next year as to how well this has worked out, but I suspect that, as I have seen so far, Second Life is an excellent grounding in online marketing.  I may try some additional tweaks, but this is a ground up project, requiring a patient and steady approach.  If I am correct, I will have made significant progress by this date next year, and all it will have cost me is time and a minimal advertising budget.

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