If you’ve been marketing online for a while (or you’ve been working in MLM & been on some courses), you’ll almost certainly have come across the 80/20 rule, which goes along the lines of:

“80% of your productivity/sales/insert_here comes from 20% of your time/customers/insert_here”.

The Pareto principle, as it should be correctly called, is an observation first observed by the Italian economist of the same name:

80% of Italy’s wealth was owned by 20% of the population.

….since then, it’s almost become a way of life for many internet markets, business people, life coaching skills, you name it, everyone quotes it and aspires to it, in one form or another.

On the whole, there’s a lot to be said for the idea, and you can apply this pithy maxim to all sorts of new contexts in genuinly meaningful ways.

From an internet marketing perspective, how does the principle apply?

Rather than plagiarising another marketer’s words, here’s what I read from Fabian Tan’s blog:

I concentrate like a lion on the 20% of tasks that bring in 80% of profits/results. I start every day by making a list of the ‘20% activities’ (the vital few) and the ‘80% activities’ (the trivial many), and then I decide how much time I’m going to spend on each of these tasks.

20% activities usually refer to important activities like a new project, product creation, your core marketing activities, joint ventures etc.

80% activities are more low value maintenance activities like checking your email, building a big social marketing list (though for some this will be a 20% activity, it depends on your business plan), chatting on IM etc.

This doesn’t mean you can’t spend anytime on Twitter or replying to emails. You can set up a time at the start of the day, in the middle of the day or at the end of the day for stuff like that. Typically, these are less important activities that shouldn’t take precedence over profitable activities like marketing, advertising and product creation. Those activities should have your undivided attention when you are working on them.

Focus on what matters! Right now, if you are spending more time on unprofitable activities, simply ‘flip it over’ and start spending more time on activities that will actually make some money, and you will almost immediately start making more profits.

You can see the rest of his comments by clicking here.

So, time for me to stop blogging, and get on with my product creation & marketing 🙂

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