My friend Wes made a post and it got me thinking… not too many people saw behind the scenes of the online marketing industry and how it dramatically changed in the past two and a half years.
I saw everything: in-fighting, bankruptcy, lawsuits, you name It. Here’s a brief history of what I saw, and how it affects you.
Let’s start at the beginning of the end…
MARCH 2020: THE COVID SHUT DOWN
The entire economy was shaken up by the COVID lockdown, and the online marketing Industry was not left untouched.
Most online marketers flourished, but some niche marketers lost everything (if they specialized In helping restaurants or gyms, for example, they lost everything In a blink of an eye)
The Branning Group quadrupled overnight, and we weren’t the only ones to experience a sudden boom.
It was madness, it was mayhem, it was an absolute blast.
We put our heads down and worked, and had to watch on as friends of ours lost everything In an instant.
SEPTEMBER 2020: THE CRYPTO WALK-OFF
As cryptocurrencies started to take off, a lot of online marketers jumped on the bandwagon.
I invested some as well, but others… well they went
There’s a segment of the online marketing industry that “launch and jump” – they launch a product or a course and then they go on to the next thing. It’s a vicious cycle that will eventually burn them out, but now these online marketers had a new product to “launch”
I saw online marketers ABANDON their entire business and chance riches In the crypto space.
Some of them sold their entire catalog for pennies on the dollar so they could convert “fiat to crypto” – they devalued their entire life’s work in the pursuit of cryptocurrency riches.
As you can predict… this didn’t end well.
I remember getting DM’s from gurus and other agencies who reached out to me to buy their entire business – insane. I picked up so many value from that, it was wild.
Oh, and iOS 14 was released… which broke Facebook ads as we knew them.
MARCH 2021: ONE YEAR AFTER LOCKDOWN, WHO’S LEFT?
The online marketing space was like a snow globe, shaken and flipped upside down.
Agencies either thrived or died.
Most gurus abandoned the space entirely.
Families were collapsing and causing other gurus to temporarily walk away to take of their private life (I saw way too many divorces, so sad)
I remember getting a call from a client who asked me to build his website. Said he had $3k to build It out, and needed help finding a funnel builder. I didn’t do custom funnels at the time, so I sent out a few emails.
No one that I reached out to was still in the freelancer game.
I was shocked. The freelancer and independents had either gotten hired as W2s or gone all-in to the crypto space.
One of the byproducts of so many gurus walking away, is that very few marketers were producing information products.
I remember that as a boom time for us, every time we launched an info product It exceeded our expectations. Crazy times.
Also – iOS 15 was released In June, and it broke email marketing as we knew It.
SEPTEMBER 2021: CALM BEFORE THE STORM
In August of 2021 I stopped offering done-for-you services and focused entirely on software, coaching and courses… joining the many others who were walking away from the agency space.
In September there was a few different marketing conferences that were happening, and I got word back from attendees: “Flat”
The marketing conferences were feeling the loss of talent and innovation.
The Industry wasn’t tossing-and-turning, but it was about to be upended again…
MARCH 2022: DEATH AND DESPAIR
Inflation has hit.
Crypto Is dying.
Despair Is everywhere.
Some marketers are coming back Into the game and offering “quick wins” to make a buck (all of a sudden, everyone’s an email marketing agency?)
A lot of the gurus that jumped to crypto… go offline. I haven’t heard a peep from a lot of them.
Others go to retreats and sabbaticals, trying to find their way back Into the fray. They need to get their bearings.
I see courses and coaching programs starting to pop up again… but the audience Isn’t buying because the audience Is also experiencing Inflation.
Panic Is everywhere. Blood Is in the streets and a lot of them don’t know what to do.
SEPTEMBER 2022: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
That brings us to today.
The online marketing space has collapsed and will be rebound. It always does.
Innovation and new ideas will come.
The two iOS updates rendered the “old ways” moot, and being able to track what’s working has gotten harder.
I see a bright future for the space.
Having said that, most online marketers I know and became friends with won’t come back. They’re moving on, and that’s ok.
If you like this post, I’ll do another one on what I think are the trends of the future (and what’s to come)