Here’s how a typical Internet business works – you pick a niche, create a product and then find the audience to sell that product to. If it doesn’t sell, you do it all over again. If it does sell, you make more products to sell to those same people. Sounds logical, right?…
Maybe not. Suppose – just suppose – you decide to sell NOTHING for the first two to three months of your business. Not a gosh darn thing.
Instead, what you do is focus on building and nurturing your audience. Once they know you and are confident you know what you’re talking about, then and only then do you sell them something.
“But I need to make money NOW!”
Okay, what if you had started the entire process 3 months ago? They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and the second best time is today. So bear with me for a moment while we plant a tree in your mind right now…
Let’s say you’ve taken up a new hobby. Maybe it’s golf. You’re cruising the Internet when you find this offer for a free golf book for newbies, “10 Ways to Take 10 Points Off Your Game Today.” You enter your email address and get the book.
And next thing you know, this author is sending you golfing offers on a daily basis. “BUY THIS!” “BUY THAT!” And on and on. What do you do? Maybe you buy something, maybe you don’t. But do you lose faith and trust in the person? Yes. This is just some guy who used a bait and switch on you. “Get my free book!” turns out to really mean “Let me sell you a whole lot of stuff so I can make money!”
This is how Internet marketing typically works, and the days of it being a magic bullet are long gone. Sure, the money is in the list, but if you are continually going for the sales before you even establish the relationship, you’re doing it backwards.
I say it’s time to adjust.
Second scenario: You sign up to get the free ebook, and here’s an email introducing the author. The next day, s/he sends you a great golfing tip. And the next day, and the next. Maybe the author throws in some personal golfing stories, a few golfing jokes, some golf news, etc.
Now this author feels more like your email golfing buddy and golf expert than a sales person. In fact, in 2 whole months s/he hasn’t tried to sell you a single thing. But maybe they have sent you a few videos with cool tips, so you can get to ‘know’ and like them even better. In fact, you trust this person and feel they have your best interests at heart.
They’ve built a REAL relationship with you.
Now then, what do you think is going to happen when this author starts sending you the occasional offer? Odds are you’re going to take a very serious look at buying it, because your new golfing friend/expert is recommending it. And if they’re recommending it, you know it must be really GOOD!
And as long as this author continues to send you only the best advice and best offers, you’re likely to continue buying, too.
So is it worth it to invest 2-3 months to build relationships that create super high conversions and subscribers that are loyal to you for a long, long time? Is it worth it to build such a tight bond, they never unsubscribe? Do you want to be their go-to person, the one they know and trust for advice, tips and recommendations? Or do you want to be just another sales person pitching the latest product until your subscribers flee your list?
“But 2-3 months before I make a sale??!”
Yes. I know. It takes a real commitment and investment of your time.
But let’s trying putting it into perspective: Let’s say you want to open a business in your town. You scout a location, make the deal to rent the building, get your business licenses, get the equipment you need, order the inventory, hire staff, get insurance, etc. How long would it take? And how much would it cost? And how much would you clear after all of your expenses?
What I’m talking about here is a viable way to build a six figure business in less than 12 months, with almost no out of pocket expense. To begin with, all you need is a good autoresponder. You don’t even have to put up your blog right away, because in the beginning you can do everything via email.
This is a business model you can start today. It helps if you have expertise in your subject – if not, you’ll want to start reading and learning immediately. Your topic should be one you’ve got a measure of passion for, because you’ll be writing and talking about it a great deal. You’ll need 10 or more hours a week to devote to this.
And you’ve got to be ready to sacrifice a small amount of short term income for an abundance of long term income. Long term beginning in about 2-3 months, and the potential to grow fairly large around the 6-8 month mark.
This is all about your audience. It’s all about what they want. And here’s the kicker – you know how experts tell you to research what people want before you create a product? In this case, you’re going to be so in touch with your audience, you will know exactly what they want before you ever offer it.
You’ll have people standing in line to buy your products before you even produce them. Think about that – you’ll know IN ADVANCE that your products will sell and sell well, because your audience trusts you enough to tell you what they want. Maybe it’s not in so many words, like, “Could you sell me a product about this or that,” but rather, “How do I _____?” When you keep getting the same questions, you know there is a market for a product that solves that need.
To sum up – old school method: Spend weeks creating a product nobody buys. Then do it again. Or build a list and then fry it to death.
New school method: Spend 2-3 months building an audience that LOVES you and trusts you, then create products and make recommendations based upon what they want.
Times have changed. If we, as marketers, don’t change with the times, our customers are going to leave us behind.
The post To Succeed Online, Reverse Your Strategy appeared first on .
In the past if you wanted to sell tangible items, you went to eBay. You listed each item one-by-one, answered questions, printed out labels, packaged items and shipped them. It was a lot of work! But with Fulfillment by Amazon you can get the same results with about 10% of the effort. Here’s how it works…
You ship your items to Amazon, and then Amazon lists the products, does customer service, handles the payments, ships the products and then pays you.
Your main job is to find great products that have a high profit margin and send those to Amazon. When you sign up to be a FBA seller, you’ll see where you tell Amazon what you’re sending them and how much you want them to charge. You fill out this form each time you make a shipment. Then you let them take care of the rest.
You’re using Amazon’s traffic, their website, their sales process, their sales pages and their shipping. All you need to focus on is finding and shipping the right products.
Remember, Amazon is in the business of selling and shipping items. They’re not in the business of finding small quantities of items to sell. That’s why they need you.
So what kinds of products can you sell? Basically, anything that’s already selling well on Amazon is a possible candidate. Ideally you want to look for products that meet these criteria:
– You can purchase them for one third or less the sales price on Amazon.
– The products don’t weigh a ton – remember, you’re paying for the shipping from you to Amazon.
– Products that are selling well – in the top 100,000 is good.
So where do you find these products? Initially, you can check the discount and dollar stores near you. Take your smart phone and scan the items to bring up their Amazon listing so you can see how much they sell for and how well they’re selling.
Discount stores are places that take excess inventory from other stores and manufacturers and liquidate it to the public. At first it might take you awhile to figure out which products are viable, but guaranteed, they’re out there.
Items you might focus on initially:
– “As seen on TV” items
– lighters and fire starters
– kitchen items and cooking tools
– popular toys
– phone cases
– water bottles
Also, anything with a recognized brand. For example, a generic hat might not be in demand. But a Walt Disney or a Boston Red Sox hat probably is.
Each time an item sells, Amazon will send you an email letting you know. You don’t have to do anything; they’ll do the shipping and you’ll get paid. If you find an item of yours selling really well, go buy some more and send them in.
The downside? For one thing, there’s a lag time between buying and shipping a product and getting paid. And of course this lag time will depend a good deal on how fast or slow your products sell. That’s why you might want to start small and use your profits to build the business.
One more reason to start small: You eliminate the possibility of making a large mistake. New sellers on FBA sometimes purchase what seems like a bargain – such as 1,000 units of a product at $2 each – only to discover it doesn’t sell well. By keeping your inventory low at first, you can get a real feel for what works and what to avoid.
Sometimes someone will undercut you on price. For example, you have an item selling like hotcakes for $19.99, and they send a box full to Amazon and tell Amazon to sell them for $7.99. Their items will then be sold first, but when their inventory runs out the price will go back up and your items will begin selling again.
Advanced model: There are tons of items that cost almost nothing to manufacture that are then sold for $10 or more. For example, as-seen-on-TV hair gizmos or kitchen gizmos can often be manufactured for a few cents, yet they sell for $8 to $20 or more. A water bottle that costs $1 to make can be sold for $11.95. A flashlight might cost 50 cents and sell for $10, and so forth.
When you find one of these hot sellers, you can actually contact a manufacturer and have them start making them for you and shipping them directly to Amazon.
While there are marketers selling courses on how to use Amazon FBA, you can also research everything you need to know.
Here’s a link to some of the benefits of Amazon FB:
Here’s a link where you can get started selling on Amazon:
Here’s where you can find seller forums on Amazon:
Once you get the hang of it (which shouldn’t take long) you can earn yourself a nice little side income. And you can even get the whole family involved, finding products to sell on Amazon.
The post Make Money from Home with Amazon FBA appeared first on .
First of all, let me clarify that introverts aren’t necessarily shy. They are, however, quieter than extroverts. Introverts talk plenty when they have something important to say, but they tend to stay quiet when the topic is small talk. Why? Because small talk isn’t important to them. Now, let’s say you have 2 salespeople – an extrovert and an introvert.
The extrovert is likely to talk – and talk – and talk – which is exactly what you expect from a sales person. And in the midst of all this talking, the extrovert will make sales.
But the introvert will do something the extrovert commonly fails to do – the introvert will ask questions and LISTEN to the answers.
I don’t mean they wait for the prospect to stop talking so they can begin extolling all the many benefits of the product. I mean they LISTEN. They want to know what’s keeping the prospect awake at night in relation to the problem the product solves. They want to know the prospect’s fears, desires, dreams, etc. They want to know what’s worked for the prospect, what’s failed for the prospect, and what that prospect really, truly wants so they can help this prospect get it.
And this same sales person will continue to use questions as they present their product or service, questions that direct the prospect to the desired conclusion – that this product is what they want and need.
Everything else being equal, 9 times out of 10 the introvert salesperson will outsell the extrovert – all because they asked questions and listened closely to the answers.
Introverted marketers have the same advantage as introverted sales people. They dig to discover what it is their prospects truly want. They ask questions, be it in person, over Skype, in forums, via email, etc. And they pay close attention to the answers.
These same marketers spend time researching what successful marketers are doing. They don’t assume they already have the answers – instead, they look to those who’ve succeeded and they ask how it was done and how it can be duplicated.
Now mind you, extroverts can master the skills of asking questions and listening to the answers as well as any introvert, if they try. It doesn’t come as naturally for them, but it will come with practice.
And if you look at the most successful people in the world, what you will find is they stand on the shoulders of those who came before. They asked questions, got the answers and used this knowledge to carve their place in the world.
Try it. Next time someone asks you for advice, ask them questions first. Next time someone asks about your product, ask them about their needs first. Next time someone is on a forum looking for help, ask them for more information. And then pay close attention to what they say before you make your reply.
It’s an almost unknown fact that asking the right questions and listening to the answers can be one of the highest paying skills in the world.
The post Why Introverts Make the Best Marketers appeared first on .
You’ve heard that adage before, haven’t you? It’s akin to walking over to someone, standing beside them, making them feel very comfortable with you, and then gently, subtly, asking them to walk with you.
They’ll go along with you quietly and in agreement almost every time.
Contrast that with standing far away from someone and shouting to them that they need to come stand where you’re standing or else… Or else they’re stupid, or else they’re missing out, or else they’re making a mistake, etc.
This is the point where most prospects dig their heels in and say, “Oh yeah? I don’t think so!”
Can you blame them?
This is why you want to start where they are. What do they already think or know about your niche, about your product or service, or about you?
If prospects routinely believe your offer is too good to be true, lead with that. “I know what you’re thinking… this is simply too good to be true. I thought the exact same thing myself, but then I discovered that…”
They might think this isn’t the right solution to their particular problem. “You might feel that in your case, our product won’t make the difference you need and want. I felt the exact same way when I had this problem, but what I found was this product not only ____ and ____, it also ___…”
You might start with the problem itself. Your prospect is in financial difficulty, so talk about what that feels like, how it affects them, how it makes life difficult, etc.
And here’s an entirely different way to start where they are in their minds, and that’s to begin with whatever it is that everyone is talking about right now.
For example, let’s say you’re sending out an email and the big story today is the revolution in another country, or new photos from space, or some crazy thing the government is doing. Whatever it is, the story is plastered all over the news. You can lead with that and gracefully tie it in with your marketing message.
Celebrities are fantastic for this. People love celebrities: Movie stars, rock stars, sports stars, etc. Start out talking about the latest celebrity news and tie it into what you want to say.
For some inexplicable reason, celebrity is frequently confused with credibility. Thus when you tie a celebrity in with your product, even when it’s perfectly clear that they are not actually related in any way, it elevates the status of your product in the customers’ eyes. Strange but true.
Using the news or celebrities necessitates creativity on your part. Make sure it’s in good taste, and that it makes sense. Also, when possible, make it entertaining. In fact, always strive to be interesting and entertaining – your customers will love you for it.
One last thing – if you don’t know what’s going on in your prospect’s minds, it’s time to find out. Hit up social media to find out what’s being talked about, or go to the forums to see what problems people are having. You’ll discover enough in 15 minutes of research to craft a half dozen marketing messages that all begin with you entering the conversation in your prospect’s head.
The post 2 Ways to Enter the Conversation that’s Already Going On in Your Prospect’s Head appeared first on .
A hundred years ago a shop might have tried to be many things to most people. In fact, big box stores still do that today, with good success. Walmart is everything and all things to those looking for the cheapest price. But even they repel customers – namely those people who value service and quality over price.
These days it pays to specialize. Rather than trying to be most things to most people, you want to do one thing and do it really, really well. If you teach gardening techniques, rather than teaching everything to every gardener, pick a focus such as organic vegetable gardening. If you teach marketing, teach it to a very specific audiences, such as chiropractors or coffee shops or contractors.
Yes, you’ll be repelling the vast majority of customers, but you’ll also be attracting the exact prospects you can help the most. And in so doing, you can also charge accordingly.
After all, who commands the highest price – the person who teaches generic marketing techniques to anyone and everyone? Or the specialist who teaches plumbers to build their businesses to seven figures? Every time, it will be the specialist. If you don’t believe it, look at the health care industry, one of the biggest businesses of all. Who makes more – a general practitioner or a heart surgeon? Specializing pays, and it pays big.
One more benefit of specializing and perhaps the most important of all is this: You become the ONLY choice. When a dentist wants advice on building his practice and he’s faced with 10 choices – 9 of whom do marketing for any kind of business and 1 who works exclusively with dentists, there simply is no competition. Even if your prices are double or triple of your so called competitors, because you are the specialist you will win the business nearly every time.
Bottom line: Know exactly who your target audience is, become their ONLY choice, and repel everyone else who is not a good fit. You’ll attract better customers who appreciate you more and are happy to pay for your specialized service and products.
The post Are You Repelling Prospects? Good! appeared first on .
As you already know, a popular business model for breaking into any niche is to conduct interviews with the movers and shakers of your niche. In this manner you are creating great content, making potentially profitable connections and making yourself an expert by association. But do you know what’s even better than conducting an interview by phone or Skype? Doing it in PERSON. Here’s why:
First, the vast majority of communication isn’t what a person says, but rather the person’s facial expressions, gestures, body language and so forth. For this reason your interviews are going to be better when you can do them in person. By watching your subject, you’ll be able to draw out more information and revelations than you possibly could over the phone.
Second, you can develop a much stronger connection with your subject in person. No matter how much time you spend on the phone or even on Skype, you’re still miles apart and have never actually met the person. You’re much easier to forget this way. But in person, you can make a much stronger impression and create a deeper connection with your subject that allows you to become much closer.
Third, you can prolong the initial connection by inviting them out to coffee or lunch before or after the interview. This makes for a great bonding experience and again increases the odds of your relationship building beyond simply the interviewer and interviewee.
Fourth, you’ve got a great photo opportunity in person. Get your photo taken with this expert – who is probably something of a minor celebrity in your niche – and then use that photo for marketing purposes.
For example, you can add the photo to your website. Use ALT tags to describe the image with something like, “Joe Smith of the podcast Super Abundance with renowned financial expert Warren Buffet.” When people search for Warren Buffet, they could find your photo.
Use the photo on social media. Again, it makes you an authority by association in your niche.
Use the photo in promotions you might be doing, both online and offline. This increases your credibility and elevates you in the eyes of your readers and potential customers.
Naturally there will be many times when an in person interview simply isn’t possible. But when you’re going to another city, check to see who you might set up interviews with while you are there. Watch to see who comes to your city. And when you go to events, set up interviews in advance whenever possible. Also, be ready to do interviews on the fly at conferences – you never know who you might get your next interview and photo with.
The post Why “In Person” Interviews are Better than Skype appeared first on .