Interview With Ken Evoy – Part II – The Biggest Obstacles Of Online Success
This is part II of the interview with Ken Evoy…
Tomaz: What do you think is the biggest obstacle of success for the technical part? And of course what stops people from succeeding (personality traits)?
Ken: The biggest obstacle is lack of knowledge. For a small business person who wants to start his own site, there are just too many barriers in terms of themselves learning HTML and FTP is just a scary concept.
People don’t even understand the concept of a server, how a website works on the Internet. Something as basic as that. So what FTP does and where those pages go sounds so simple to you and me, but it’s fundamental as that. People hear about search engine optimization and their eyes are really getting scared.
So the whole thing starts to look like it’s impenetrable. So what do they do? They hire a webmaster who they think knows these things but most of them really don’t.
Most of them just know how to do what they are good at: put up a website with whatever looks good, looks neat, whatever they do well at, but they don’t solve the client’s problems which is to sell what their clients are looking for—information.
So that’s really the no.1 obstacle: the small business person has no knowledge. It’s like a patient who looks at a doctor. I always laugh when patients say, “Oh, this guy is such a good doctor.” And I know he’s a bad doctor.
What I mean is, he has very nice bedside manners. He’s very nice to me. He has a very good personality. But I know that he’s the last person that you want operating on you or that you’ll want to be in the emergency room when you come in with a heart attack. So it’s just like that.
Small business people have no way of knowing what their webmaster really knows, and very few webmasters really know how to do it very well. So knowledge is probably the single biggest thing that the average small business person doesn’t have.
Tomaz: Okay. The real question now is how does SiteSell solve this problem?
Ken: Well, the Site Sell flagship product is called Site Build It. We started with Make Your Site Sell. We sold over a hundred thousand copies. We sold many other books in that brand, and we started to realize that the average person just can’t do what I was talking about.
Even with knowledge, the average person can’t go out and put all these tools together and really make it all work and develop a successful small business. So every web market guru that you have heard of started or have read Make Your Site Sell at a very early stage.
Many successful small business people who didn’t start by marketing or actually did businesses that were just selling information went on and developed other businesses. But a lot of people simply just had too many barriers. So we decided what we needed to do which was to integrate every tool that was necessary for building the content that builds traffic.
But along those ways, there are all these steps, processes, and other things that you have to do correctly. Just knowing the process is not a magic formula. So the barnstormer trick is to be like the Macintosh of web hosting and make all the technology and let the small business person focus on doing business.
So for the Macintosh of web hosting, the rest of the world is like pre–DOS. It’s not even Windows yet and then DOS has just started. It’s so primitive. They can start from no knowledge.
We say there’s no such thing as a stupid question if it’s really being asked to honestly know the answer. But those questions are very simple. A year later, people were answering questions that they could never ever dream existed.
And they were building sites. They’re getting thirty, fifty visitors, a hundred, a thousand a day, and then they are starting to figure out how to monetize and they are adding affiliates or they are selling their own e-books so they are selling services. So then they’re growing their business bigger and bigger, and that’s the exciting part.
They don’t have to worry about the business of Internet marketing because we read all of these views. We watch our assessment when it first emerges and say, “This is going to be important, and you wait for it.” We determined that blogging and RSS were going to be important so we made a module that works in a certain way that people don’t have to blog continuously. So that’s our job.
Our job is to keep track of all the technology, like write articles to tell people how to take advantage of it and turn it into modules. So let people just focus on their business, not on how fast Internet is changing.