I Once Was a 15-Year Girl…

Remember the introduction to the movie “The Jerk”?

“I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin’ on the porch with my family, singin’ and dancin’ down in Mississippi…”

(Of course, when you say the quote, you need to do it was a thick south’n accent!).  One of my favorite movies and favorites lines from Steve Martin.

Now it is my turn:

“I’m a 14-Year-Old girl with acne that none of the boys want to touch.”

I know the quote is not as good, but it is just as ridiculous as the jerk.  The funny thing is that *I* was the 14-year-old girl.

Back when I started internet marketing, I was following what the “ebooks” were telling me.  Pick a product, create a persona around that product and sell it to the followers and peers of that group.

I was having problems with Google Adwords at the time promoting everything from lottery websites to “Win a Free iPod” to ultimate abs workouts.  I bid general terms like “win the lottery”, “free iPod” and “ads workouts”.  The bid prices were high and I never got any clicks.  Too much competition.

I then saw a commerical for Pro-Activ and there was Jessica Simpson selling the product.  Hmmmmm…a masterful online marketing plan erupted in my brain and I got right to it!

I jumped on Adwords and checked out the competition and search volume for “Jessica Simpson”.  YES!  Tons of traffic and few bidders!  You know that people looking for acne solutions MUST be searching for Jessica Simpson, right!?  Then, the plan become more ingenious.  I was going to be a 14-year girl with acne problems but after watching the Jessica Simpson ad, I decided to try it and YES, it cured my acne!

(What the *%$%! was I thinking!)

I really did this, too.  I created a landing page.  I then bid (rather small amount) on the exact phrase “Jessica Simpson”.  I then started to scour the teenage forums, built a MySpace page (in those days), and began my marketing genious!

The Google Adword impressions went through the roof!  My click-thrus… ummmm… hmmmm…not so good (<0.1%).  Still it was something!

Then my brilliant forum work left me banned on three sites and a mob of people littering the internet of stories about the a-hole who is trying to be a girl to sell stuff.  (I even argued it as the girl for awhile, but finally retreated).

At the end of the day, I spent $78 on Google Adwords, made an idiot out of myself and spent about a week creating a website.

The return?  One sale for $4.55.

It was my first sale online and I knew this was the beginning of something big…but it wasn’t this!  :-)

cheers…matt