Hey Rainmaker, let’s chat about this whole “make money online” thing…
There’s a lot of people who want to sell you a lot of BS about making money online.
And the fact is, most of what they sell you is designed to make THEM money online, and if you make money online, well, that’s good, too.
They don’t care so much about you making money, as making money off of you.
This is actually why I was hesitant to dip my toe in this market in the first place, even though I have every skill I should need to be competitive.
I could package crap, make grandiose promises, and walk away with a small personal fortune (hopefully without totally destroying my reputation and soul).
And you know what? If you’re an unethical piece of human garbage, my best advice for making money online is “sell people the dream of making money online.”
It’s a vicious, vicious cycle that ends in the depths of debt and despair, but maybe you can be one of the crooked ones who actually gets rich off of it.
You could follow the path to soulless fortune, OR you can generate real (and ethical) wealth online…
If you opt for the latter, you’re welcome to shadow this doorway of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets, and I’m happy to have you here.
Let’s talk about HOW it’s done.
STEP ONE: Sell a product or service that people like, at a profit…
This is foundational to building any business. It’s the first thing recommended by one of my most valued business teachers, Mark Ford aka Michael Masterson, in his book Ready, Fire, Aim. (Required reading.)
You have to find a market of people with a problem, want, or desire that you can address. Find or create a product or service to sell to them. Find out how you can position the product so that they’ll desire it. And make them an offer. Test, tweak, and systematize until you’re able to make sales over and over again, at a profit.
The whole business doesn’t have to be profitable yet (bonus points if it is). But you have to be able to scale initially without losing too much money. The good news is, “early adopters” are usually the most avid responders to new offers, which makes it easy to do marketing profitably now that may not be profitable later, to a broader market.
STEP TWO: Find your market online…
I guess I kinda jumped the gun on this one, because STEP ONE was really about the whole “product or service people like,” or in other words, “don’t sell junk.”
Here, we’re talking about the actual marketing process of finding out where you can first connect with your market.
You have to know where you can reach your target market.
If you sell a solution people are looking for, you can often reach them through search advertising.
If it’s something where they’re not actively searching, you have to find a way to get in front of them.
You can target based on demographics, on multiple platforms. Also, psychographics or known interest areas (based on browsing patterns).
You can target specific sites, or challenge the various advertising networks to help you find buyers (they’re really good at that).
Whatever you do, you have to find out how to attract traffic to your site.
STEP THREE: Get website visitors to raise their hand…
I skipped the whole, “have a website, figure out how to sell online” bit because that’s assumed.
We’re talking deep-level strategy that’s way more important than that superficial stuff. Yes, you need to do the superficial stuff like put up a website with your offer. But putting up a website is worthless without a strategy that makes it work.
If your product is really low-priced — say, less than $20 — you might be able to get away with driving traffic straight to the sale. Especially if it’s a physical product.
But for most products, a visitor won’t just buy the first time they visit your site.
They’re going to want to shop around, or they’re just gathering information, or they’re distracted by an email notification, or for some other reason they don’t move forward immediately.
What you need to do is have an account with an email service provider such as Aweber who will allow you to put a sign-up box on your website and send email follow-up.
Put a sign-up box on your website, and offer something of value to visitors in exchange for giving you their email address. It could be a how-to video or report. It could be a coupon for their first order. It could be a ton of things. Come up with something that works for your site visitors.
This is an easy first-step engagement that doesn’t require them to buy today. Bonus points if it helps them establish buying criteria for a product or service like yours, even if they don’t buy from you.
STEP FOUR: Follow up (and this is really the magic ingredient)…
The bigger a hurdle it is to buy your product or service, the better your follow-up better be.
First off, every follow-up sequence should start by fulfilling on any offer you made to get them to sign up.
Then, the hard work begins.
You need to provide valuable content, to engage them logically in you, your business, and your offer.
You need to tell stories that show them you understand their problems and challenges.
You need to make promises that are both believable and scintillating, in line with their desires and goals.
You need to provide ample demonstration, proof, and credibility to make sure that everything you do or say has the highest level of believability.
You need to be consistent and persistent in your follow-up efforts, while also being polite.
And you need to make offers.
Luckily, if you’re using a service like Aweber, you can build all of this into an automated system that goes out on a scheduled basis following their signing up for your list.
It’s best if you remain consistent in your follow-up for months and even years — oftentimes the earliest “shopping” for a solution happens 6-18 months before a purchase is made.
If you remain in contact with them in a polite and value-adding way, a good prospect will continue to consume your marketing messages for years before they finally are ready to buy.
All along the way, you have to stay ever-vigilant to how you’re communicating with them, in order to maintain trust.
STEP FIVE: Expand your offerings…
Once you’re selling effectively to an audience, either online or offline, you’re in a great position.
And this is where the internet is the most valuable. (Offline marketing can still be really advantageous in bringing customers through the front door for the first time.)
Stay in regular contact with your customers, and offer them additional products or services that will be of value to them. Products or services that continue to serve the same need, or expand on a previous need.
Because of their existing relationship with you, they’ll be prone to do more business with you.
Using online marketing tools for this communication allows you to communicate in more detail, more frequently, at a lower cost.
It also allows you a radical level of personalization.
All of this is highly-conducive to very profitable additional sales.
I don’t think this is really the post I meant to write. (Just being a bit transparent here.)
I meant to write about follow-up, and its importance. But instead you got a complete approach to growing a new business. With an emphasis on using online marketing tools.
This is important. You can’t really shortcut this. At least not if you want to build any kind of real, sustainable business.
There’s a lot of crap about affiliate marketing, and arbitrage, and selling via Amazon, and this and that. Do some people make money that way? Sure. No doubt. But the vast majority of the money made in those niches is in selling people the dream that they’re going to make money in those niches.
But if you want “real business” success, you’re probably going to have to build a real business that serves real people with real solutions.
The bad news is that it can be a little tricky to make all those line up in the first place. The good news is once you figure out the basics, the process for growing it is fairly simple. Not always easy, but simple — and laid out above.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets
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