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Have you ever heard the expression in business saying that things won’t be able to change until we have “clean air”? It’s an expression that comes from racing. Since I hail from North Carolina, the home of NASCAR, I am taking liberties and simply applying the term to the Internet marketing industry.
The idea of clean air in racing is that being in front of a pack allows for clean air to run through the engine, improving the aerodynamics of the car. Also, it’s about not having to maneuver around ever other car in the pack to get anywhere. The better the engine runs, the better aerodynamics and the less traffic to get around simply means having a huge advantage over the others trying to get to the front. Simply put by one driver:
“[It was] the cleaner the air, but that’s normal; that’s not new, is it? Every time you’re in traffic, you suck; every time you’re in clean air, you look like a hero. That’s normal.”
So where does this fit with Internet marketing? It’s obvious if you really look around. There is a huge pack of Internet marketers stuck in a pack sucking each others’ bad air and thus not running well. It’s all exhaust and no innovation, which is the marketers’ version of clean air.
The continued recycling of the same information without any new thinking is really doing nothing to improve performance in the Internet marketing space. In fact, it’s causing the industry to sputter and knock much like an engine might when not it’s able to take in the best air for a clean run.
As marketers it is imperative to step outside of the pack as often as possible. Conventional wisdom often serves to only bog down true creativity. Conventional wisdom is the middle of the road, the middle of the pack. As stated above, “That’s where you suck.”
I for one am tired of rehashed and reused Internet marketing air. If I hear one more “Basics of SEO” talk (or give one for that matter), I may get ill. I realize that there are times when the most basic information is required, but we seem to have applied the basics to everything without really getting outside of these norms.
I suspect that the reason behind this recycling of years-old ideas is Internet marketing protectionism. Everyone is so afraid to give away the million-dollar idea that we have created a cacophony of mediocrity in the space. That’s sad and incredibly boring.
I am simply suggesting with this post that, whether you are an Internet marketing educator, teacher, practitioner, or all of the above, you must step away from the pack. Move away from the norm. If you have heard advice over and over and over, it simply means that it is time to either put it to practice or move on.
We need to get tougher on ourselves and stop presenting day-old baked goods with a “made fresh daily” sticker on them. Technically, that sticker is correct because even the old stuff was once made fresh on a day. But for those that can see through that kind of marketing trickery there is an extreme letdown. We do this every day and repeat it often. I am guilty of it as well but I am growing weary of not being in clean air.
So what do you need to do to be in clean air? You need to move away from the conventional wisdom crowd. You need to step outside the boundaries of the group-think that has become the Internet and social media marketing industry. You then need to see where you are in your industry, take note where the competitors are and then look to be elsewhere. It’s likely that if you are all in the same place that you are in some bad air.
In NASCAR parlance, get down low on the track, move to the front of the pack, and see what your engine is capable of. We all need to see what we can accomplish in some clean air. Trouble is that unless we seek it, clean air isn’t available. It doesn’t live with dirty air. You have to move to find it.
Move today and breathe in deep. Ahhhhhhhh! Doesn’t that feel good?