Having Confidence With Your Technical Tasks
Getting started online is hard enough because we have to choose a business model, try to figure out what niche we should go into, and then try to convince ourselves that we’re good enough to be leaders.
Add the fear of mastering technical tasks to the mix and becoming a success online becomes a paralyzing experience.
I see a lot of people who try their hand at Internet Marketing, but come to me saying things like, ‘No one teaches me how to do it,’ or, ‘I need to outsource this, this, and this because it’s too confusing.’
That kind of mindset is a mistake. You need to face your anxiety and learn how to achieve some basic technical steps before you start outsourcing, and I’m going to explain why during this lesson of the Confidence Class series.
Your Anxiety Stems From Perfectionism
Putting yourself out there is scary. Even if you’re going with a pen name online, it doesn’t make you have more confidence because even under a pen name you’ll feel failure if something doesn’t go as planned.
It sucks for most would-be Internet marketers because they’re usually desperate (that’s why they came online to make money FAST) and here there’s this learning curve in their way that makes it impossible to see a quick return on their investment of time (and sometimes money).
If there’s anything you take away from this lesson, let it be that you need to let go of your requirement for perfection before you let things go live.
Everything online is editable. That means you can launch something and perfect it with little tweaks along the way.
It’s like that saying, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you have to have some masterpiece before you put it out there whether it’s a graphic, a website, or some content.
Perfectionism kills productivity.
People aren’t as picky as you are, either. You’re going to be evaluating everything you do with a much stricter eye than a stranger will.
Frustration Will Exist, But It’s Not Permanent
Learning something new takes time. We’re in this business world that’s faster than almost anything else. The Internet delivers everything at lightening speed, so we expect to understand concepts at the same rate and when we don’t, we give up, or pay money to outsource it.
There are tons of computer, web design and graphics classes at colleges around the country. Those people spend 1-2 or more hours a day and go 2-3 days a week to learn the concepts, WITH a teacher to help them.
You’re sitting there doing this solo, maybe not able to devote the same amount of time, and you’re self taught. Can you give yourself a break from having to go from amateur to pro in under 48 hours?
Mistakes are inevitable. Everyone makes them. Some are big whoppers that ruin all your hard work. Some are tiny ‘oops’ moments. Just understand that every single marketer out there is experiencing these yes, even multi millionaire marketers.
You need to take this in bits and pieces all of your technical tasks. Don’t try to do it all in one sitting. That’s why it’s not a good idea to come into this business world desperate. Here’s the good news this frustrating feeling DOES go away. Just takes practice.
Gaining Confidence With Your Graphics
I can’t tell you the number of graphic software purchases I’ve made. From free downloads to pricey ones, I kept thinking I’d finally be good at it if I just had the right tool.
Graphics, unfortunately, are going to reflect to the public that you’re either professional or you’re not. So they have to be good. Amateur graphics are a huge turn off for many would-be customers.
Some of you may have a knack for graphics creation. If you get feedback from people (and you have to go seek it out) that your graphics are good, then if I were you, I’d spend time working on mastering that craft.
Unfortunately for me, I flat out suck at graphics. I can come up with a concept, but no matter how much I master certain software, it just looks horrid when I try bringing my vision to life. So I HAVE to use outsourcers but it’s not for a lack of trying.
One thing I recommend is testing some various graphics software out and just seeing how well you do. I can do minor things (not using software), like this:
- Making screen capture images (just hit Print Screen, paste it into Paint and crop).
- Make banners and buttons for blogs
Yep! That’s about all I can do a whopping list of two things. And I don’t fool myself into thinking those banner images are snazzy, either. Still, I know just enough to be able to make images for my Squidoo lenses or my blog sidebar or headers.
Figure out what you need to know and then learn it. If I had true talent with graphics, I would buy resources that taught me how to use the best software and I’d spend a little time each day learning it, just like a college course!
One thing I advise if you’re like me and come to terms with the fact that you do not have graphics talent then you still want to learn about it so that you can outsource with confidence.
Freelancers are not mind readers. You have to explain everything you want. For example, you might need to tell a freelancer that your Kindle cover image needs a border so it doesn’t bleed into the white background. Learn about colors and depth and all that important graphics stuff.
It’s always good to stay abreast of what works and what doesn’t even if you don’t plan on taking the do it yourself route. Buy some Dummies or Idiot’s guides if you want to. Spy on the competition to see what they’re doing. Look at bestselling books and high traffic websites to see what’s converting.
Domains and Hosting Can Cause Inner Turmoil
Just the simplest of technical tasks, like registering a $10 domain can become a harrowing nightmare for a newbie. It’s old hat to me now, but that first domain I bought had to have cost me over $150.
Why? Well, GoDaddy kept telling me to tack on too many things things I assumed I had to have just to be functional. They ask you if you want:
- Private domain registration
- Certified domain with website seal
- Web hosting
- Website builder
- Search engine visibility
By the time you’re done, you’ve tacked on a lot of extras all because you didn’t know to say no. For example, I had no idea I didn’t need to pay extra for email through GoDaddy it came with my Hostgator!
So part of having confidence with technical tasks is in just educating yourself. Even if it means asking in a forum, ‘Can someone walk me through buying a domain?’ Explain to them that you’re not sure what needs to be added on, etc.
Seasoned marketers can help you avoid pitfalls. Once you buy a domain, you have to know how to point your servers to your hosting account. Google is your friend on these tasks, and be specific, like this: ‘how to point servers to Hostgator in GoDaddy.’
Hosting can be a hairy thing to navigate, too. I suggest starting with a hosting company that most people use not some obscure company where no one will be able to tell you how to do things.
You want something that has stellar customer service. I use Hostgator and I can’t tell you how many times they’ve gotten on the phone or live chat with me and walked me through something stupid.
And they did it with a great attitude. They also have a ‘Getting started’ wizard that walks you through the simple steps you need to know.
This is an issue for many people I see them wanting to skip the tutorials and just KNOW it already! Well, that’s not going to happen with any of your technical tasks. You have to slow yourself down and find the information you need and then play around with it.
Even with hosting, if you screw something up, just call them and see if they’ll help you fix it. Chances are, they will. Sometimes they’ll even log in and do it for you.
Site Building Can Feel Overwhelming at First
I was so wrong when I first started out online. I looked on Elance and thought you had to buy those $10,000 and up websites. SO untrue! Site building can be so simple it doesn’t need to be complicated at all.
There are tons of tools out there. Some are free, but nothing’s really free. It might be simple for you to use, and help you get going faster, but it probably also has some built in advertising to someone else’s site.
You can outsource your website development, but I don’t recommend this. You want control and peace of mind that you can handle your website in the event something happens or you want to make a change.
Being 100% dependent on someone else is a crippling feeling. It’s better to outsource certain elements of it, if you want to like the design of the theme for your blog or something, but not the entire site.
Start off with a simple blog. Use WordPress. There are tons of tutorials (free and paid) that teach WordPress, and it’s easy for newbies to use. You can choose themes that don’t even look like a typical blog they look like a magazine style site design.
Don’t even think about sitting down and building your first site in 30 minutes. Even if the advertising says that, they’re speaking to experienced site builders. Work on it a little bit each day until it’s ready.
Don’t falsely believe that a huge flood is going to land on your site on day 2 and you won’t be ready yet. Traffic takes time and it’s okay to consistently work on the site so that search engines and humans can see your progress.
There are so many people out there willing to help in forums especially. Just ask about a specific problem. But I caution you not to ask for a complete walk through.
That stuff is already out there, so when you go asking about every single detail, people are going to get aggravated that you haven’t Googled it yet. At least TRY to show that you’ve made some initiatives to find the answer on your own.
If you don’t want to use WordPress, then I suggest you use a paid tool instead of a free one. XSitePro seems to be a popular site builder, even though I don’t use it myself.
Don’t worry about every single SEO scare that other marketers have put out there so that they can sell you something. Just focus on the fundamental site building basics and once it’s up and running, then concentrate some of your efforts on learning SEO and other strategic options.
Keyword Tools, Video and Everything Else
When it comes to technical tasks, the site and hosting and graphics will be the biggest ones you encounter. But they’re not the only ones. You might also have to work with keyword tools, video tools and other software or sites.
Start by making an informed buying decision. If you need to, ask someone you trust or a forum full of people which tool is best for newbies. There are seasoned marketers who will be able to tell you if tools are newbie friendly or for advanced users.
After you buy it, look to see if the company has any walk through tutorials. Videos are best (even if you hate video) because you get to hear what to do AND see it unfold.
If you do get stuck with something, don’t ask a general question like, ‘How do you use XYZ tool?’
That tells people that you haven’t even attempted to try it yourself. Instead say something like, ‘Hey guys! I’m using Google’s keyword tool and I entered my keyword phrase and got my results. I want to exclude keywords like ‘free’ but I don’t know how. Can you help?’
That kind of specific questions lets people know you’re trying, and you got stuck. And there are tons of good people willing to lend a helping hand.
Now if you’re worried that you’ll sound stupid, you’re going to have to get past that because every single person has been stuck somewhere and many smart marketers have those moments that are considered ‘dumb’ and they either ask someone they know for an answer, dig really deep to find out, or work on it until they have some clarity.
So they’ve been there.
Confidence with technical tasks means you have to do the following:
1. Learn how to use the right tools. That means asking others for solid buying advice on newbie-friendly items.
2. Take your time getting the hang of how to do things. No more of this rushed crap. Settle down and give yourself some time to get acquainted with it.
3. Reach out for help if you get stuck. But only AFTER you’ve researched, tried and failed.
4. Know when to outsource what you’ve tried, researched and just can’t seem to master. Only do this after you’ve really given it your all and come to realize that you’ll save money by freeing up your time to work on other things while a pro handles whatever task is bringing you to your knees.