Blog Content You Can Use – Internet Marketing Tips

Today’s post is by Matt LaClear, who belongs to www.victoryonlineuniversity.org.  I below to a few social networks, and meet connections that way.  This stuff by Matt is good, so I am sharing it (with his permission, of course):

Randy Kemp

www.randykempcopywriting.com

Opening Statements

Building an online business can be both a rewarding and frustrating experience. Many people have tried different strategies without success. If you’re struggling – or if you’re new to the game of online marketing – these tips from people who have “been there and done that” should help you on your way to creating a successful online business…

Do you know the secret to making money online? It’s probably not what you think…

In fact, the secret is simply that there is no secret.

There is no magic bullet, no one piece of information that will ensure your success online. What it takes is hard work, dedication and a willingness to never give up. To help you succeed we asked several successful online marketers for the tips they wish they had of known before they got started. Here is some of their advice:

There is no shortage of information about how to start an online business. It seems that everyone has an opinion on what works and what doesn’t. Unfortunately many of them have never actually made money online.

To help you in your quest to develop a money making business, we’ve put together these tips from the experts who are already earning their living online. Hopefully their advice gives you something to think about…

You’ve probably heard the old saying “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” There are a lot of people selling advice on how to make money online, many of whom have never made any themselves.

That’s why we decided to go directly to the people who are already earning six figure incomes online and learn their best tips to help you build a successful Internet business

It is possible to create a successful online business. With dedication, hard work and the right information you can make money as an online entrepreneur. To help you get started we talked to entrepreneurs who started out at the bottom and worked their way to the top. Today they have successful online businesses and have some great advice to share:

Are you struggling to make money online? If so, you are not alone. The allure of making money while working from home in your underwear has brought a lot of people into the online marketing world in search of riches. Unfortunately many fail.

But you can be one of the success stories with some dedication and hard work. To get you started here are some tips from experts who started out just like you. They now have successful online businesses and have this advice to share…

The key to successfully making money online is taking action. You can read ebooks and attend teleseminars forever and never make a dime. Not until you put what you’ve learned into action.

We interviewed several well-known Internet Marketers to learn what they considered to be the most important information new online business owners should know. Here are some of the points they shared with us:

No matter what previous business knowledge you have or what your skills are online, there are money making opportunities that will work for you… as long as you are willing to learn and are dedicated to doing whatever it takes.

Use the following tips to get started and you’ll soon be on your way to success…

It IS possible to achieve your dream of owning a money making online business. But it’s definitely not easy.

If you are dedicated to doing lots of hard work and staying committed to your goals you too can achieve any level of success that you are willing to aim for. Here are several great tips that should get you thinking about how to build a successful business…

Not sure where to start when it comes to building an online business? You are certainly not alone!

The amount of information available to new online business owners is overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of ebooks, audio recordings, blogs and the like.

To help you wade through some of the information we spoke with several online marketers who are already earning a full time income online. They shared with us some great tips that every newbie needs to keep in mind if they hope to succeed with their online business.

Bullet Points

– Don’t try to be all things to all people. When it comes to defining your target market, the more specific you are, the better. One of the biggest mistakes is trying to please everyone. In the end it’s an impossible task – and all you end up doing is not truly pleasing anyone. So choose a very targeted audience and work on offering them EXACTLY what they want. You can always branch out later to other customers with similar interests.

– Surround yourself with highly effective people. The people around you have a huge influence on your business. If they are supportive, dedicated individuals who are willing to help you work toward your business goals you will be significantly more likely to succeed. Remember, anyone who is not helping your success is hindering it. So cut off contact with those people early on to avoid the distraction they bring.

– Don’t try and do it all yourself. Although you may be on a tight budget, you have to be realistic about where your strengths lie. Are you a great software developer but can’t write a sales letter? Are you an expert at graphics but don’t know how to use them to build a web page? Be honest about what you’re good at and let someone else take care of the rest. Although it may cost you a little bit of money, in the end it will save you a lot of time. And when it comes to online business, the faster you can get things done the better. After all, a half finished project is not earning you anything!

– Aim for progress not perfection. It’s human nature to want things to be perfect before we introduce them to the world. The thought of creating a site that isn’t as good as it can be makes most of us feel like we’re failing. But in reality, your customers will never notice. They don’t know what your ultimate vision is, so they don’t know what hasn’t been done yet. Instead of obsessing over the details, aim for progress over perfection. Keep your business moving forward and as you go you’ll learn, change and grow.

– Don’t be afraid of a crowded niche. Where there are lots of competitors, there is lots of money! So don’t automatically assume you shouldn’t enter a niche just because it is crowded. Instead, look for areas where you can improve on what your competitors are doing. Do they undeserve a section of the market? That’s a great opportunity for you. Remember, their weaknesses can be your strengths. Many great businesses were built on this strategy!

– Join a mastermind group. If you’re not familiar with the concept of mastermind groups, now is the time to learn. The term was originally coined by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. He studied a group of men that included Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. They would meet and discuss their businesses and how they could improve them. This little “think tank” was the basis for many of the successes these men realized throughout their careers. By finding likeminded people and creating your own mastermind group, you too can take advantage of having a sounding board for your ideas. You may be amazed at how much such a group can help you to build your business!

– Start gathering contact info from day one. The marketing gurus have said it until they are blue in the face – “the money is in the list”. Yet many new online marketers fail to take this advice and instead spend unbelievable amounts of time on tactics that bring them a few dollars here and there but do nothing to build their business for the long term. Whatever you do, start building a list of interested prospects in your niche(s) from the very beginning. Give them something they will find valuable in exchange for their address. Then follow up with them regularly to keep them interested and get them buying! This list will be worth far more to you than any other piece of your business.

– Train your prospects to consume. There is a fine line between giving away enough information that you grab the attention of your potential customers – and giving away so much that they expect to get everything for free. It’s important that you train your prospects to buy from you early on in your relationship with them. Start the process by selling low priced items – such as $7 reports or $10 audio recordings – and then encourage them to progressively spend more. Giving away everything except your most expensive items will only continue to bring freebie seekers to your business and will severely hurt your bottom line.

– Have a strong sales funnel. The concept of a sales funnel refers to how you organize your products and services. Picture a funnel with the wide end at the top. This symbolizes how you bring prospects in to your business using free methods. As you move down the funnel it gets progressively smaller. At each step along the way your products become increasingly more expensive. Of course, you also get fewer of your customers who take the offer. But the end result is that you funnel your best customers through to your highest ticket item such as your coaching program, home study course, consulting services, live event or a similarly priced product.

– Don’t be afraid to use other people’s content. Private label rights (PLR) content is a way of purchasing articles, ebooks, special reports and software that you can use as your own. Because it’s sold to multiple people it’s much more affordable than having someone create the content just for you. And it’s available to start using immediately so you don’t spend months trying to do it all yourself. Use PLR as content for your website, blog and newsletter. Give it away to build your list. Or sell it alone or as part of another product you offer. The possibilities are endless!

– Know who your competitors are and what they’re doing. Every business has competitors. Although they may not be immediately obvious to you, they are there. Let’s say for example that you sell a brand new type of drink that is unlike anything else currently available. Although no one else is providing the exact same thing, you competitors include all of the other companies that make drinks including soft drinks, flavored waters, juices… you get the idea. Knowing what all of your competitors are up to is one of the best ways to stay ahead of them. A great tool for monitoring them is Google Alerts, http://www.google.com/alerts

– FOCUS. A great acronym for the word focus is Follow One Course Until Successful. One of the biggest reasons new online business owners fail is because they try to spread themselves too thin. Instead of putting all of their time and energy into the success of one project, they jump between ideas and keep chasing “the next big thing”. If you find yourself doing this, make it a goal to choose only one of your projects and focus exclusively on it for the next 3 months. You’ll be amazed by the results you get when you FOCUS.

– Avoid analysis paralysis. A lot of new online marketers fall into the “analysis paralysis” trap. That is, they spend all of their time analyzing things – their market, competition, target audience – and they never actually get anything done. Although it’s important to understand these key elements of your business, you have to use the information you gather to actually make decisions and move on to the next phase of your business development – creating products and selling them!

– Know what your target audience is most willing to pay for. Remember, this is a business. And in order to be successful in business you have to find people who are willing to pay you for products or services. Before making any offers to your target audience, take some time to understand what their pain is and how they want it to be solved. In most cases, people are looking for the easy way out. So they may pay you $20 for an ebook that tells them how to solve the problem themself. Or $200 to solve it for them. It’s pretty obvious where the real money is in that situation!

– Choose only one or two “gurus” and follow their advice. There is no shortage of information online about how to make money. Sometimes it can be downright overwhelming. Instead of wasting time trying to weed through everything, focus your attention on only one or two people that you feel offer advice that is most applicable to your business. Buy only their products that you intend to put to use and then get started applying what you’ve learned.

– Don’t assume you have to know everything before you can get started. You will never learn everything there is to know about Internet Marketing. It changes so fast that you could keep studying forever and always be learning something new. So don’t waste your time trying to know everything before you get started building your business. Your goal should be to learn something and then take a step forward. Act on the new information and put it to use instead of just filing it away for another day. You’re bound to have some failures, but the real world education you’ll gain from actually putting the techniques into practice will be invaluable to your success.

– Spend time building relationships. The old adage “it’s not what you know but who you know” is very true in the online marketing world. It takes time to create your inner circle of friends and partners, so don’t feel you have to wait until your business is up and running. Start looking for likeminded people in the forums you visit, at events you attend and even by commenting on their blogs. Remember, every person you form a relationship with is one more person who can help you grow your business by promoting it for you, giving you advice, recommending your products to their friends and introducing you to other people that you can add to your inner circle.

– If at all possible, attend a live event. They are not cheap, but live events are one of the best ways to kick start your online business. Not only will you learn a lot of valuable information and be able to ask questions about it, but you’ll also meet a wide variety of people. A lot of partnerships and joint ventures are formed at these events – and it’s not just the big guns that are benefiting. Even if you can plan to attend just one event a year, your business will move forward in leaps and bounds.

– Focus on mastering one promotions technique at a time. Instead of spending time on all the different types of online promotion, pick only one or two and get really good at them. Learn everything you can and work on testing, tracking and perfecting your technique. Then once you’ve done that you can move on to try other things and expand your promotional efforts. Doing this will help you focus and learn exactly what works to promote your business. Otherwise you may find yourself spinning your wheels and never really being successful with any marketing techniques.

– Know when it’s time to walk away. Not every project is destined to be a success. You may give something your all and yet it fails to find its place in the market. If this happens you have to be willing to cut your losses and move on. A bigger and better project is waiting for you!

– Fail quickly. Everyone fails at some point. That’s just a fact of life. So if you’re working on a project that you’re unsure about, the faster you get it done, the faster you’ll be able to see whether it’s a failure or a success. Nothing is worse than spending six months on a project and then finding out it’s not going to work.

– Get it done. No matter how much time and energy you are putting in to your online business, if you’re not producing results then you’re not getting anywhere. Instead of jumping around between different projects, focus on just one and GET IT DONE. Whether that’s finishing a giveaway report that will build your list or finalizing your coaching program – you can’t make money with something that is “almost done” or “going to be done soon”.

– Know who your competitors are. Every business has competitors. Even if you think you have a truly unique idea that no one else has thought of, you still have competitors. Be sure that you know who these people are and how potential customers perceive them. Doing a detailed analysis of them – including buying their products or using their services – can give you invaluable information when developing your own business. Use your findings to position your company as a better alternative.

– Clearly define your goals. If you were taking a cross country road trip, you wouldn’t set off with no plan on how you were going to get there. The same is true when you are starting an online business! Unless you know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. So before you jump in with both feet and lots of enthusiasm, take some time to clearly define your short and long term goals. What do you hope to achieve in the next 3 months? 6 months? 24 months? Print these out and keep them where you can see them every day to keep yourself on track to achieving them.

– Treat it like a business. Just because you work online doesn’t mean you can sleep until noon and expect to see the money flowing in. If you want to have a business, you have to treat it like a business. This includes holding somewhat regular hours during which you don’t let other distractions take you away from getting your work done.

– Whenever you get sidetracked, look at your goals list. Keeping a printout of your short and long term goals beside your computer is a great way to keep yourself on track. Whenever you find your attention wandering, review what it is that you plan to accomplish. Then quickly write down three things that you must achieve that day in order to take the next step toward making your goals a reality. Commit yourself to getting done this short to do list immediately before allowing your attention to wander elsewhere.

– Make it a goal to see progress in your business every day. It is always easier to put things off until tomorrow. We convince ourselves that we have lots of time to get things done so there is no point in rushing. But what usually happens is that months go by and there is no actual progress made. Don’t let this happen to you! Make it a goal to see some progress in your business every day. This could be at least one new mailing list subscriber, one new joint venture partner, the completion of a product or anything else that will take your business a step closer to success.

– Get everything set up properly in the beginning. Although you don’t have to have all of your systems in place before beginning to market your business, make sure that the systems you do set up are chosen because they will meet your needs for the long term. Although it may be tempting to choose a free mailing list provider, you will find yourself having to do a time consuming and frustrating switch to a paid service once your list starts to grow. Avoid these types of situations and you’ll waste less time redoing work you’ve already done.

– Learn how to manage your time. Working at home alone can be difficult. Staying focused and motivated is a challenge for even the most disciplined individuals. If you find you’re having a hard time managing your time you may need to find some good resources that will give you time management tips and techniques. Learning this important skill early on in your entrepreneurial venture can reap huge rewards in the long run.

– Find a hungry niche market – BEFORE you decide what to sell. A lot of online entrepreneurs come up with what they think is a great idea and then go in search of a market. This is the hard way of doing things! A better approach is to find a group of customers who have a specific need and then develop a solution for them. By providing exactly what they’re looking for you’ll have a much easier time selling to them and in the process will most likely discover many other products they’re interested in buying as well.

– Don’t skimp on the sales copy. Hiring a professional copywriter to write your copy is a business expensive that will pay you back many times over. But if it’s an impossibility to find the money to pay a professional, at least enlist the help of everyone you can. Start by writing the first draft as best as you can and then getting friends, colleagues and potential customers to look over it and give feedback. There are several copywriting forums where you can even request a critique of your copy. A great one to check out is the Copywriters Board at http://www.copywritersboard.com/ (Note from Randy Kemp:  If you want one for B2B Technology, check out my website at www.randykempcopywriting.com).

– Have a professional looking web site. You would think this goes without saying. Yet a lot of people still get started by putting together a horrible looking site that makes them look unprofessional. Website templates are so cheap nowadays (you can get a professional one for less than $50 and there are lots of great looking ones for around $30) that there is no excuse. If you don’t know how to add your content to the template visit http://www.scriptlance.com and find a freelancer who can do it for you. Overall you’ll spend less than $100 and you’ll start your online business making a great first impression.

– Don’t worry whether everyone likes you. Business is not a popularity contest. So instead of focusing your energy on trying to be all things to all people, find a group of customers that you can relate to – and who can relate to you – and work on developing a relationship with them. A lot of businesses have become successful because they took a controversial approach. It won’t appeal to everyone, but the people it does appeal to will often become fiercely loyal.

– Sell your own products. The real money to be made online comes from selling your own products. If you’re not a strong writer or programmer you can outsource this to a freelancer or use Private Label Rights (PLR) content. The more related products you can create, the better chance you’ll have of offering something that your potential customers want. So look for ways to create your content quickly (without sacrificing quality of course) and expand your product line.

– Look at every customer and member of your list as someone who can help you build your business. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! By coming right out and requesting that they mention you to people they know, many will. If you take the time to see them as marketing partners and give them the tools and training to promote your site, you’ll be surprised how many of them do. A great example of this is to ask for a referral a few days after a potential customer downloads your free report. Presumably they’ll have read it and liked it, so by encouraging them to spread the word to others you can gain a lot of exposure.

– Collect testimonials as you go. Testimonials are a very powerful tool for building your credibility. Whenever someone sends you an email with nice comments on your newsletter, blog, product, etc. be sure to ask them for their permission to use it. These can be a great addition to your web site, marketing materials and even press releases. When others see that you have satisfied customers they’ll be more likely to follow their lead and trust you enough to make a purchase.

– Focus on the core of your business, and add the extras later. A lot of new Internet Marketers are so focused on getting their entire business set up before launching that they waste a lot of valuable time. If you’re just starting out and plan to use a giveaway report to build your list, get that done first. Create a simple squeeze page and start getting the word out there about what you’re offering. You may not have a plan for exactly what you’ll do with the list you build, but at least you’ll be building a list while you figure out what comes next. When your first product is done you’ll then have a group of interested people to start selling to.

– Become known as THE expert in your field. It can take a while to establish yourself as an expert, but making this a goal from the very beginning will help you achieve a greater level of success in the long run. Even if you are not currently an “expert”, you can position your site as an authority on the subject and work at making it the premier online destination for information on that topic. Doing so will ensure that when people are looking for information on a topic related to your industry, that they’ll come to you first.

– Set up multiple streams of income. There are two ways to have multiple streams of income. The first is to be involved in several different niches. That way if one stops producing an income, you have others to keep you going. The other way is to have multiple streams within the same niche. For example you may make money from selling several different products within the niche as well as promoting related affiliate programs. By far the most successful business model is to do both of these at once.

– Personalize the experience for your customers. The Internet is a very impersonal medium much of the time. That’s why customers respond very well when you take the time to personalize your approach to them specifically whenever possible. You can do this by segmenting your list, using their name when you email them, sending them offers that are related to something else they’ve purchased in the past and even giving them a way to send you comments or feedback such as through your blog. The more they feel that you are talking directly to them, the more they’ll trust you and want to buy from you.

– Learn to work smarter, not harder. Always be on the lookout for ways that you can get more done with less work. One of the best ways is to use the help of others to accomplish things. This can be freelancers who create content for you, a Virtual Assistant (VA) who handles your customer service emails and even a Joint Venture (JV) broker who arranges your marketing initiatives. As the person who is overseeing everything you can get a lot in a short amount of time.

– Always be on the lookout for new ideas and techniques. Some of the most successful businesses ever have been a result of taking techniques that worked well in one industry and applying them to an unrelated industry. Taking the time to study why businesses are successful can give you a lot of great ideas to apply to your online ventures.

– Make sure your customer service is outstanding. Treat people how you would want to be treated and you’ll create a loyal following of customers that buys everything you sell. Don’t and you’ll scare away your customers so fast it will make your head spin. It doesn’t take a lot to impress most online shoppers. Answer your email in a timely manner, be friendly, do what you promise you will and always look for ways to do a little bit extra for them. It really is as simple as that. You don’t need expensive software or a team of employees – just some common sense and a willingness to treat people well. The customer may not always be right, but they do always have a right to be treated well.

– Have a strong backend and upsell process. Too many businesses focus on making a one-time sale. But the fact is that the first sale is the most expensive to get. After that, a satisfied customer will keep buying from you and it doesn’t cost you anything to market to them. Use this to your advantage and have a complete product line that includes backend and upsell products. Offering these to customers takes very little work on your part, but could mean the difference between making one sale to a customer and making several.

– Have a USP. Every business needs a unique selling proposition (USP). This is a one sentence statement that sums up what it is that makes you different from your competitors. To write yours, start by thinking what position you are taking in the market that no one else has taken. There must be SOMETHING that sets you apart – and that is what you need to communicate to your potential customers. Don’t assume they’ll read your sales letter or marketing materials to find out what makes you unique. Tell them upfront and grab their attention so they feel compelled to learn more.

– Remove the risk of doing business with you. Customers are naturally skeptical the first time they make a purchase from someone. So give them a great risk-free guarantee so that they know they can purchase without fear. A great trick that has worked very well in many industries is a “better than risk free guarantee”. If the customer is not completely satisfied they can have a refund and get an added bonus as a way of thanking them for at least checking out the offer.

– See your unsatisfied customers as potential long-term customers. Every marketer who gets a refund request or complaint from a customer immediately assumes they have lost that customer forever and will no doubt be on the receiving end of some bad word of mouth. But often that is not the case. In fact an unhappy customer can become very loyal if they’re treated right. Give them outstanding customer service and in many cases they’ll appreciate the extra effort enough to purchase from you again.

– Spend time working on your conversion rate. The average website has a conversion rate between 1% and 2%. That means that 98% – 99% of everyone who visits your site leaves without taking action. That’s a huge number of potential customers that have walked away and may never be seen again. Spend some time studying what others in your industry are doing and try implementing some of their ideas on your site. Track everything and see what improves your conversion rate. Over time you will gradually increase the percentage of visitors who buy.

– Ask your prospects what they want. A lot of online marketers think that because they are a member of their target audience, they know exactly what their potential customers want. But all too often they don’t hit the mark. So instead of guessing – ASK your prospects. You can do this in the forums, on your squeeze page by adding a couple of questions, as part of your blog or newsletter, you can even have an exit popup when people are leaving your site without taking action. By finding out what it is that they are looking for you can give them exactly what they want.

– Gather site stats from day one. If you don’t know what your site visitors are doing when they visit your site, it is nearly impossible to make changes to improve it. So from the very first day you put up your web site, be sure you’re tracking your visitors. A great option is Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics. It won’t cost you anything and it provides all of the statistics you need to see who is visiting your site, where they came from, how long they stay and what they do while they were there.

– Find out who already has a relationship with the prospects you want to sell to. There are already other businesses that are selling products and services to the people you want to be selling to. By determining who these businesses are, you can think of ways to work together on a Joint Venture (JV) that will benefit both of you. Approach them with an idea that will help them make more money or grow their list and you will definitely get their attention.

– Know where you can afford to scrimp – and where you have to splurge. There are a lot of low cost and no cost ways to get things done online. In fact you could most likely get all of the tools you need to put together an e-commerce website without having to spend a dime. But the problem is that these tools are not robust enough to handle a growing business. Instead of always looking for the cheapest option, decide what elements of your business need to be able to grow with you. Then splurge and spend a little extra to get the right tools the first time.

– Don’t worry about the size of your list. You are better to have a list of 1,000 loyal readers than 10,000 who rarely ever open your emails. After all, if they don’t open message from you they can’t buy what you are selling. When it comes to building a list, the focus should be on QUALITY over QUANTITY. One of the best ways to do this is to build a list of paying customers. Even if all you are selling is a $7 report, you’ll be able to see who is willing to spend money with you and who is not. Paying customers are significantly more likely to buy again, so having a list like this is worth its weight in gold!

– Know the legalities of owning an online business. Just because your business is online does not mean that you do not have to abide by the business laws of your country. Ensure that you know what your obligations are legally including the tax laws in your area. Other areas that often cause a problem for new online business owners are copyright laws and how you express the potential earnings visitors to your site can make. Take the time to learn about these areas to avoid any problems. A great resource is Internet attorney Bob Silber at http://www.bobsilberletter.com/

– Don’t think the only thing online marketers sell is products to other online marketers. In your research on how to build a successful online business you’ve probably noticed just how many people are in the business of selling to other online marketers. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the only way people are making money online. In fact, it’s probably not even the best. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who are quietly making a lot of money selling products and services to niches outside of Internet Marketing. Finding your own niche(s) is important to creating a lasting business with fewer competitors.

– When possible, do it for someone instead of just telling them how. People will always opt for the solution that does it for them over the one that shows them how to do it themselves. If your business is in an industry where you can offer a complete solution it would be a good idea to test whether this type of offer would be in demand. Sometimes just polling your potential customers is all it takes to tell whether it is something they would be willing to pay for.

– Brand yourself and what you do. People are more likely to remember brands because they are short, sweet and to the point. Stick in the minds of your customers by creating your own brand. Use a motto, slogan, nickname or logo that they can associate with you. Then use that in every piece of marketing you release, whenever you post in the forums and as part of your web site and blog.

– Add a personal touch. A lot of people who start in online marketing assume that their customers are looking for an autonomous relationship. WRONG! The online companies that provide a personal touch and put humans behind their site, are the ones who see the greatest success. So don’t be afraid to put up your picture, tell people a little about yourself and your family and be approachable and accessible by email or (even better) by phone. All of these personal touches will let potential customers know that there is a real person behind your business and as they get to know and like you they’ll feel more comfortable giving you their money.

– Have the mindset that you WILL succeed. Too many people do not believe they are worthy of succeeding. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Give yourself credit and truly believe that you have as much right as the next person to be successful. This positive mindset will take you far!

– Look for ways to work with your competition. Working with your competitors is known as “co-opertition”. Just because another business offers a competing product does not mean you cannot find ways to work together. Look for Joint Venture (JV) opportunities that can benefit both of you. If you have a good idea that will make everyone money then they will be willing to at least hear you out.

– Document everything you do. By keeping detailed notes of what you’ve done you will have a roadmap for how to repeat it in the future on your next project. Even if something you tried was a failure be sure to document exactly what you did and why it didn’t work. Sometimes knowing what doesn’t work can be as valuable to the growth of your business as knowing what does work!

– Remember, it’s all about speed. Right now there are probably several other entrepreneurs with the same ideas as you. And with the low barriers to entry on the Internet, they just might beat you to it. Don’t let this happen. Once you have a solid idea in place work quickly to get it done. Don’t spin your wheels for months doing research, learning about online marketing, developing your product. Research should only take about a week and if it still looks like a good idea then start moving forward. Outsource whatever you cannot do yourself and move quickly to get the project finished. The faster you get it done, the faster you’ll be making money!

– Educate your customers instead of always trying to sell them. A hard sell approach does not work in many industries – especially outside of the Internet Marketing niche. So instead of always trying to sell your prospects, work on educating them about what you sell and why they need it. If you help them to see that what you offer would add value to their life or alleviate a pain they have then they’ll naturally draw the conclusion that they need to buy what you are selling.

– Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes in life things don’t work out like we hope they will. But if you never take a risk and try something new you will never have the opportunity to win big. As Wayne Gretzkey once said, “100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in”. So instead of worrying about whether something will be a failure, go ahead and jump in with both feet. It just may be the best decision you ever made!

– Spend time in the forums. Forums are a great way to meet people online. Whether it’s an Internet Marketing forum where you meet potential partners or a niche focused forum where you are marketing to potential customers, they are a great way to get your name out there. Even though the conversations are usually informal, be sure to always conduct yourself professionally. People are watching and will be forming opinions about you based on the things you say.

– Offer a free newsletter. Although newsletters have become more work with spam filters and overloaded inboxes, this technique is far from dead! A well thought out, interesting newsletter is a great way to get attention from customers, potential partners and even the media. Just be sure that you are not publishing one big ad every time. Providing good quality content that informs, interests and entertains people will keep them reading. Then you can add in appropriate ads that are related to the content and see a much greater percentage of people buy.

– Give people a reason to visit your website. Use your website as an educational tool. Offer something that is valuable, clever and fun like games, coupons, educational materials written by experts or valuable tips that change each month. The important thing to remember is that fresh content will attract readers and studies show that the more often they visit your site, the more money they will spend with you.

– Brand your expertise and share it with others. One of the most effective ways to get your web site recognized is to share your expertise. Find a unique way to distribute your knowledge and expertise about specific subjects. Offer to serve as an authority on whatever subject you are comfortable discussing. This can include holding teleseminars, writing articles for others to publish and even authoring special reports that others can giveaway.

– Network, network, network. Make it a priority to always be expanding your network. Whenever you make a new contact, ask them for referrals to other prospects or partners. Once you have the information enter it into your database and be sure to follow up later. Remember that every new person with whom you form a relationship can help to get the word out about your web site.

– Keep in touch with your network. The networking is just the first step. After that you have to work on building relationships. People generally have short memories, so you should always follow up after your initial contact and then stay in touch with your network on a regular basis. If you let more than a month go by without making contact they may forget that you exist. A simple email or quick phone call is all it takes to make sure they remember you. That way when potential opportunities come up to work together; you will be top of mind!

– Be present in the lives of your customers and potential customers. Make yourself stand out among the competition. Send holiday greetings or ask clients to write down their birthdates so you can send them a card. You could even send them a free gift on their special day or give them a discount. There are plenty of ways to make your customer feel as if you are genuinely interested in maintaining the relationship you have built with them.

– Be willing to give without expecting anything in return. Whether it is advice to someone in your network or a little guidance for a potential customer, giving a bit of your time can be a great way to build your business. It will come back to you later when that person remembers how willing to help you were and wants to do the same in return.

– Spend time on the tasks that have the biggest impact on your business. Too many online marketers spend days at a time focusing on small, mundane little tasks that have very little impact on their bottom line. It makes no sense to spend days making “tweaks” to your web site copy when you don’t even have your first product ready for sale yet! Focus on getting done the tasks that will bring in the money before worrying about anything else.

– Always focus on the benefits, not the features. Sure your new software may do 100 different things. But the reality is that potential customers don’t care. All they want to know is specifically what need/problem of theirs it can fill. In other words, what is the BENEFIT to them? By keeping your focus on communicating the benefits of your products and services you will be much more likely to catch the attention of potential customers.

– Don’t give up. Although it is important to accept when something isn’t working and be willing to move on, don’t give up on your dream of making money online. There are a lot of different business models that have been proven to be successful. If you are willing to work hard, be continuously learning and be adaptable enough to change strategies when needed, you too can be successful.

Closing Statements

– Don’t try to be all things to all people. When it comes to defining your target market, the more specific you are, the better. One of the biggest mistakes is trying to please everyone. In the end it’s an impossible task – and all you end up doing is not truly pleasing anyone. So choose a very targeted audience and work on offering them EXACTLY what they want. You can always branch out later to other customers with similar interests.

– Surround yourself with highly effective people. The people around you have a huge influence on your business. If they are supportive, dedicated individuals who are willing to help you work toward your business goals you will be significantly more likely to succeed. Remember, anyone who is not helping your success is hindering it. So cut off contact with those people early on to avoid the distraction they bring.

– Don’t try and do it all yourself. Although you may be on a tight budget, you have to be realistic about where your strengths lie. Are you a great software developer but can’t write a sales letter? Are you an expert at graphics but don’t know how to use them to build a web page? Be honest about what you’re good at and let someone else take care of the rest. Although it may cost you a little bit of money, in the end it will save you a lot of time. And when it comes to online business, the faster you can get things done the better. After all, a half finished project is not earning you anything!

– Aim for progress not perfection. It’s human nature to want things to be perfect before we introduce them to the world. The thought of creating a site that isn’t as good as it can be makes most of us feel like we’re failing. But in reality, your customers will never notice. They don’t know what your ultimate vision is, so they don’t know what hasn’t been done yet. Instead of obsessing over the details, aim for progress over perfection. Keep your business moving forward and as you go you’ll learn, change and grow.

– Don’t be afraid of a crowded niche. Where there are lots of competitors, there is lots of money! So don’t automatically assume you shouldn’t enter a niche just because it is crowded. Instead, look for areas where you can improve on what your competitors are doing. Do they undeserve a section of the market? That’s a great opportunity for you. Remember, their weaknesses can be your strengths. Many great businesses were built on this strategy!

– Join a mastermind group. If you’re not familiar with the concept of mastermind groups, now is the time to learn. The term was originally coined by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. He studied a group of men that included Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. They would meet and discuss their businesses and how they could improve them. This little “think tank” was the basis for many of the successes these men realized throughout their careers. By finding likeminded people and creating your own mastermind group, you too can take advantage of having a sounding board for your ideas. You may be amazed at how much such a group can help you to build your business!

– Start gathering contact info from day one. The marketing gurus have said it until they are blue in the face – “the money is in the list”. Yet many new online marketers fail to take this advice and instead spend unbelievable amounts of time on tactics that bring them a few dollars here and there but do nothing to build their business for the long term. Whatever you do, start building a list of interested prospects in your niche(s) from the very beginning. Give them something they will find valuable in exchange for their address. Then follow up with them regularly to keep them interested and get them buying! This list will be worth far more to you than any other piece of your business.

– Train your prospects to consume. There is a fine line between giving away enough information that you grab the attention of your potential customers – and giving away so much that they expect to get everything for free. It’s important that you train your prospects to buy from you early on in your relationship with them. Start the process by selling low priced items – such as $7 reports or $10 audio recordings – and then encourage them to progressively spend more. Giving away everything except your most expensive items will only continue to bring freebie seekers to your business and will severely hurt your bottom line.

– Have a strong sales funnel. The concept of a sales funnel refers to how you organize your products and services. Picture a funnel with the wide end at the top. This symbolizes how you bring prospects in to your business using free methods. As you move down the funnel it gets progressively smaller. At each step along the way your products become increasingly more expensive. Of course, you also get fewer of your customers who take the offer. But the end result is that you funnel your best customers through to your highest ticket item such as your coaching program, home study course, consulting services, live event or a similarly priced product.

– Don’t be afraid to use other people’s content. Private label rights (PLR) content is a way of purchasing articles, ebooks, special reports and software that you can use as your own. Because it’s sold to multiple people it’s much more affordable than having someone create the content just for you. And it’s available to start using immediately so you don’t spend months trying to do it all yourself. Use PLR as content for your website, blog and newsletter. Give it away to build your list. Or sell it alone or as part of another product you offer. The possibilities are endless!

– Know who your competitors are and what they’re doing. Every business has competitors. Although they may not be immediately obvious to you, they are there. Let’s say for example that you sell a brand new type of drink that is unlike anything else currently available. Although no one else is providing the exact same thing, you competitors include all of the other companies that make drinks including soft drinks, flavored waters, juices… you get the idea. Knowing what all of your competitors are up to is one of the best ways to stay ahead of them. A great tool for monitoring them is Google Alerts, http://www.google.com/alerts

– FOCUS. A great acronym for the word focus is Follow One Course Until Successful. One of the biggest reasons new online business owners fail is because they try to spread themselves too thin. Instead of putting all of their time and energy into the success of one project, they jump between ideas and keep chasing “the next big thing”. If you find yourself doing this, make it a goal to choose only one of your projects and focus exclusively on it for the next 3 months. You’ll be amazed by the results you get when you FOCUS.

– Avoid analysis paralysis. A lot of new online marketers fall into the “analysis paralysis” trap. That is, they spend all of their time analyzing things – their market, competition, target audience – and they never actually get anything done. Although it’s important to understand these key elements of your business, you have to use the information you gather to actually make decisions and move on to the next phase of your business development – creating products and selling them!

– Know what your target audience is most willing to pay for. Remember, this is a business. And in order to be successful in business you have to find people who are willing to pay you for products or services. Before making any offers to your target audience, take some time to understand what their pain is and how they want it to be solved. In most cases, people are looking for the easy way out. So they may pay you $20 for an ebook that tells them how to solve the problem themself. Or $200 to solve it for them. It’s pretty obvious where the real money is in that situation!

– Choose only one or two “gurus” and follow their advice. There is no shortage of information online about how to make money. Sometimes it can be downright overwhelming. Instead of wasting time trying to weed through everything, focus your attention on only one or two people that you feel offer advice that is most applicable to your business. Buy only their products that you intend to put to use and then get started applying what you’ve learned.

– Don’t assume you have to know everything before you can get started. You will never learn everything there is to know about Internet Marketing. It changes so fast that you could keep studying forever and always be learning something new. So don’t waste your time trying to know everything before you get started building your business. Your goal should be to learn something and then take a step forward. Act on the new information and put it to use instead of just filing it away for another day. You’re bound to have some failures, but the real world education you’ll gain from actually putting the techniques into practice will be invaluable to your success.

– Spend time building relationships. The old adage “it’s not what you know but who you know” is very true in the online marketing world. It takes time to create your inner circle of friends and partners, so don’t feel you have to wait until your business is up and running. Start looking for likeminded people in the forums you visit, at events you attend and even by commenting on their blogs. Remember, every person you form a relationship with is one more person who can help you grow your business by promoting it for you, giving you advice, recommending your products to their friends and introducing you to other people that you can add to your inner circle.

– If at all possible, attend a live event. They are not cheap, but live events are one of the best ways to kick start your online business. Not only will you learn a lot of valuable information and be able to ask questions about it, but you’ll also meet a wide variety of people. A lot of partnerships and joint ventures are formed at these events – and it’s not just the big guns that are benefiting. Even if you can plan to attend just one event a year, your business will move forward in leaps and bounds.

– Focus on mastering one promotions technique at a time. Instead of spending time on all the different types of online promotion, pick only one or two and get really good at them. Learn everything you can and work on testing, tracking and perfecting your technique. Then once you’ve done that you can move on to try other things and expand your promotional efforts. Doing this will help you focus and learn exactly what works to promote your business. Otherwise you may find yourself spinning your wheels and never really being successful with any marketing techniques.

– Know when it’s time to walk away. Not every project is destined to be a success. You may give something your all and yet it fails to find its place in the market. If this happens you have to be willing to cut your losses and move on. A bigger and better project is waiting for you!

– Fail quickly. Everyone fails at some point. That’s just a fact of life. So if you’re working on a project that you’re unsure about, the faster you get it done, the faster you’ll be able to see whether it’s a failure or a success. Nothing is worse than spending six months on a project and then finding out it’s not going to work.

– Get it done. No matter how much time and energy you are putting in to your online business, if you’re not producing results then you’re not getting anywhere. Instead of jumping around between different projects, focus on just one and GET IT DONE. Whether that’s finishing a giveaway report that will build your list or finalizing your coaching program – you can’t make money with something that is “almost done” or “going to be done soon”.

– Know who your competitors are. Every business has competitors. Even if you think you have a truly unique idea that no one else has thought of, you still have competitors. Be sure that you know who these people are and how potential customers perceive them. Doing a detailed analysis of them – including buying their products or using their services – can give you invaluable information when developing your own business. Use your findings to position your company as a better alternative.

– Clearly define your goals. If you were taking a cross country road trip, you wouldn’t set off with no plan on how you were going to get there. The same is true when you are starting an online business! Unless you know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. So before you jump in with both feet and lots of enthusiasm, take some time to clearly define your short and long term goals. What do you hope to achieve in the next 3 months? 6 months? 24 months? Print these out and keep them where you can see them every day to keep yourself on track to achieving them.

– Treat it like a business. Just because you work online doesn’t mean you can sleep until noon and expect to see the money flowing in. If you want to have a business, you have to treat it like a business. This includes holding somewhat regular hours during which you don’t let other distractions take you away from getting your work done.

– Whenever you get sidetracked, look at your goals list. Keeping a printout of your short and long term goals beside your computer is a great way to keep yourself on track. Whenever you find your attention wandering, review what it is that you plan to accomplish. Then quickly write down three things that you must achieve that day in order to take the next step toward making your goals a reality. Commit yourself to getting done this short to do list immediately before allowing your attention to wander elsewhere.

– Make it a goal to see progress in your business every day. It is always easier to put things off until tomorrow. We convince ourselves that we have lots of time to get things done so there is no point in rushing. But what usually happens is that months go by and there is no actual progress made. Don’t let this happen to you! Make it a goal to see some progress in your business every day. This could be at least one new mailing list subscriber, one new joint venture partner, the completion of a product or anything else that will take your business a step closer to success.

– Get everything set up properly in the beginning. Although you don’t have to have all of your systems in place before beginning to market your business, make sure that the systems you do set up are chosen because they will meet your needs for the long term. Although it may be tempting to choose a free mailing list provider, you will find yourself having to do a time consuming and frustrating switch to a paid service once your list starts to grow. Avoid these types of situations and you’ll waste less time redoing work you’ve already done.

– Learn how to manage your time. Working at home alone can be difficult. Staying focused and motivated is a challenge for even the most disciplined individuals. If you find you’re having a hard time managing your time you may need to find some good resources that will give you time management tips and techniques. Learning this important skill early on in your entrepreneurial venture can reap huge rewards in the long run.

– Find a hungry niche market – BEFORE you decide what to sell. A lot of online entrepreneurs come up with what they think is a great idea and then go in search of a market. This is the hard way of doing things! A better approach is to find a group of customers who have a specific need and then develop a solution for them. By providing exactly what they’re looking for you’ll have a much easier time selling to them and in he process will most likely discover many other products they’re interested in buying as well.

– Don’t skimp on the sales copy. Hiring a professional copywriter to write your copy is a business expensive that will pay you back many times over. But if it’s an impossibility to find the money to pay a professional, at least enlist the help of everyone you can. Start by writing the first draft as best as you can and then getting friends, colleagues and potential customers to look over it and give feedback. There are several copywriting forums where you can even request a critique of your copy. A great one to check out is the Copywriters Board at http://www.copywritersboard.com/ (Note from Randy Kemp:  If you want one for B2B Technology, check out my website at www.randykempcopywriting.com).

– Have a professional looking web site. You would think this goes without saying. Yet a lot of people still get started by putting together a horrible looking site that makes them look unprofessional. Website templates are so cheap nowadays (you can get a professional one for less than $50 and there are lots of great looking ones for around $30) that there is no excuse. If you don’t know how to add your content to the template visit http://www.scriptlance.com and find a freelancer who can do it for you. Overall you’ll spend less than $100 and you’ll start your online business making a great first impression.

– Don’t worry whether everyone likes you. Business is not a popularity contest. So instead of focusing your energy on trying to be all things to all people, find a group of customers that you can relate to – and who can relate to you – and work on developing a relationship with them. A lot of businesses have become successful because they took a controversial approach. It won’t appeal to everyone, but the people it does appeal to will often become fiercely loyal.

– Sell your own products. The real money to be made online comes from selling your own products. If you’re not a strong writer or programmer you can outsource this to a freelancer or use Private Label Rights (PLR) content. The more related products you can create, the better chance you’ll have of offering something that your potential customers want. So look for ways to create your content quickly (without sacrificing quality of course) and expand your product line.

– Look at every customer and member of your list as someone who can help you build your business. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! By coming right out and requesting that they mention you to people they know, many will. If you take the time to see them as marketing partners and give them the tools and training to promote your site, you’ll be surprised how many of them do. A great example of this is to ask for a referral a few days after a potential customer downloads your free report. Presumably they’ll have read it and liked it, so by encouraging them to spread the word to others you can gain a lot of exposure.

– Collect testimonials as you go. Testimonials are a very powerful tool for building your credibility. Whenever someone sends you an email with nice comments on your newsletter, blog, product, etc. be sure to ask them for their permission to use it. These can be a great addition to your web site, marketing materials and even press releases. When others see that you have satisfied customers they’ll be more likely to follow their lead and trust you enough to make a purchase.

– Focus on the core of your business, and add the extras later. A lot of new Internet Marketers are so focused on getting their entire business set up before launching that they waste a lot of valuable time. If you’re just starting out and plan to use a giveaway report to build your list, get that done first. Create a simple squeeze page and start getting the word out there about what you’re offering. You may not have a plan for exactly what you’ll do with the list you build, but at least you’ll be building a list while you figure out what comes next. When your first product is done you’ll then have a group of interested people to start selling to.

– Become known as THE expert in your field. It can take a while to establish yourself as an expert, but making this a goal from the very beginning will help you achieve a greater level of success in the long run. Even if you are not currently an “expert”, you can position your site as an authority on the subject and work at making it the premier online destination for information on that topic. Doing so will ensure that when people are looking for information on a topic related to your industry, that they’ll come to you first.

– Set up multiple streams of income. There are two ways to have multiple streams of income. The first is to be involved in several different niches. That way if one stops producing an income, you have others to keep you going. The other way is to have multiple streams within the same niche. For example you may make money from selling several different products within the niche as well as promoting related affiliate programs. By far the most successful business model is to do both of these at once.

– Personalize the experience for your customers. The Internet is a very impersonal medium much of the time. That’s why customers respond very well when you take the time to personalize your approach to them specifically whenever possible. You can do this by segmenting your list, using their name when you email them, sending them offers that are related to something else they’ve purchased in the past and even giving them a way to send you comments or feedback such as through your blog. The more they feel that you are talking directly to them, the more they’ll trust you and want to buy from you.

– Learn to work smarter, not harder. Always be on the lookout for ways that you can get more done with less work. One of the best ways is to use the help of others to accomplish things. This can be freelancers who create content for you, a Virtual Assistant (VA) who handles your customer service emails and even a Joint Venture (JV) broker who arranges your marketing initiatives. As the person who is overseeing everything you can get a lot in a short amount of time.

– Always be on the lookout for new ideas and techniques. Some of the most successful businesses ever have been a result of taking techniques that worked well in one industry and applying them to an unrelated industry. Taking the time to study why businesses are successful can give you a lot of great ideas to apply to your online ventures.

– Make sure your customer service is outstanding. Treat people how you would want to be treated and you’ll create a loyal following of customers that buys everything you sell. Don’t and you’ll scare away your customers so fast it will make your head spin. It doesn’t take a lot to impress most online shoppers. Answer your email in a timely manner, be friendly, do what you promise you will and always look for ways to do a little bit extra for them. It really is as simple as that. You don’t need expensive software or a team of employees – just some common sense and a willingness to treat people well. The customer may not always be right, but they do always have a right to be treated well.

– Have a strong backend and upsell process. Too many businesses focus on making a one-time sale. But the fact is that the first sale is the most expensive to get. After that, a satisfied customer will keep buying from you and it doesn’t cost you anything to market to them. Use this to your advantage and have a complete product line that includes backend and upsell products. Offering these to customers takes very little work on your part, but could mean the difference between making one sale to a customer and making several.

– Have a USP. Every business needs a unique selling proposition (USP). This is a one sentence statement that sums up what it is that makes you different from your competitors. To write yours, start by thinking what position you are taking in the market that no one else has taken. There must be SOMETHING that sets you apart – and that is what you need to communicate to your potential customers. Don’t assume they’ll read your sales letter or marketing materials to find out what makes you unique. Tell them upfront and grab their attention so they feel compelled to learn more.

– Remove the risk of doing business with you. Customers are naturally skeptical the first time they make a purchase from someone. So give them a great risk-free guarantee so that they know they can purchase without fear. A great trick that has worked very well in many industries is a “better than risk free guarantee”. If the customer is not completely satisfied they can have a refund and get an added bonus as a way of thanking them for at least checking out the offer.

– See your unsatisfied customers as potential long-term customers. Every marketer who gets a refund request or complaint from a customer immediately assumes they have lost that customer forever and will no doubt be on the receiving end of some bad word of mouth. But often that is not the case. In fact an unhappy customer can become very loyal if they’re treated right. Give them outstanding customer service and in many cases they’ll appreciate the extra effort enough to purchase from you again.

– Spend time working on your conversion rate. The average website has a conversion rate between 1% and 2%. That means that 98% – 99% of everyone who visits your site leaves without taking action. That’s a huge number of potential customers that have walked away and may never be seen again. Spend some time studying what others in your industry are doing and try implementing some of their ideas on your site. Track everything and see what improves your conversion rate. Over time you will gradually increase the percentage of visitors who buy.

– Ask your prospects what they want. A lot of online marketers think that because they are a member of their target audience, they know exactly what their potential customers want. But all too often they don’t hit the mark. So instead of guessing – ASK your prospects. You can do this in the forums, on your squeeze page by adding a couple of questions, as part of your blog or newsletter, you can even have an exit popup when people are leaving your site without taking action. By finding out what it is that they are looking for you can give them exactly what they want.

– Gather site stats from day one. If you don’t know what your site visitors are doing when they visit your site, it is nearly impossible to make changes to improve it. So from the very first day you put up your web site, be sure you’re tracking your visitors. A great option is Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics. It won’t cost you anything and it provides all of the statistics you need to see who is visiting your site, where they came from, how long they stay and what they do while they were there.

– Find out who already has a relationship with the prospects you want to sell to. There are already other businesses that are selling products and services to the people you want to be selling to. By determining who these businesses are, you can think of ways to work together on a Joint Venture (JV) that will benefit both of you. Approach them with an idea that will help them make more money or grow their list and you will definitely get their attention.

– Know where you can afford to scrimp – and where you have to splurge. There are a lot of low cost and no cost ways to get things done online. In fact you could most likely get all of the tools you need to put together an e-commerce website without having to spend a dime. But the problem is that these tools are not robust enough to handle a growing business. Instead of always looking for the cheapest option, decide what elements of your business need to be able to grow with you. Then splurge and spend a little extra to get the right tools the first time.

– Don’t worry about the size of your list. You are better to have a list of 1,000 loyal readers than 10,000 who rarely ever open your emails. After all, if they don’t open message from you they can’t buy what you are selling. When it comes to building a list, the focus should be on QUALITY over QUANTITY. One of the best ways to do this is to build a list of paying customers. Even if all you are selling is a $7 report, you’ll be able to see who is willing to spend money with you and who is not. Paying customers are significantly more likely to buy again, so having a list like this is worth its weight in gold!

– Know the legalities of owning an online business. Just because your business is online does not mean that you do not have to abide by the business laws of your country. Ensure that you know what your obligations are legally including the tax laws in your area. Other areas that often cause a problem for new online business owners are copyright laws and how you express the potential earnings visitors to your site can make. Take the time to learn about these areas to avoid any problems. A great resource is Internet attorney Bob Silber at http://www.bobsilberletter.com/

– Don’t think the only thing online marketers sell is products to other online marketers. In your research on how to build a successful online business you’ve probably noticed just how many people are in the business of selling to other online marketers. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the only way people are making money online. In fact, it’s probably not even the best. There are a lot of entrepreneurs who are quietly making a lot of money selling products and services to niches outside of Internet Marketing. Finding your own niche(s) is important to creating a lasting business with fewer competitors.

– When possible, do it for someone instead of just telling them how. People will always opt for the solution that does it for them over the one that shows them how to do it themselves. If your business is in an industry where you can offer a complete solution it would be a good idea to test whether this type of offer would be in demand. Sometimes just polling your potential customers is all it takes to tell whether it is something they would be willing to pay for.

– Brand yourself and what you do. People are more likely to remember brands because they are short, sweet and to the point. Stick in the minds of your customers by creating your own brand. Use a motto, slogan, nickname or logo that they can associate with you. Then use that in every piece of marketing you release, whenever you post in the forums and as part of your web site and blog.

– Add a personal touch. A lot of people who start in online marketing assume that their customers are looking for an autonomous relationship. WRONG! The online companies that provide a personal touch and put humans behind their site, are the ones who see the greatest success. So don’t be afraid to put up your picture, tell people a little about yourself and your family and be approachable and accessible by email or (even better) by phone. All of these personal touches will let potential customers know that there is a real person behind your business and as they get to know and like you they’ll feel more comfortable giving you their money.

– Have the mindset that you WILL succeed. Too many people do not believe they are worthy of succeeding. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Give yourself credit and truly believe that you have as much right as the next person to be successful. This positive mindset will take you far!

– Look for ways to work with your competition. Working with your competitors is known as “co-opertition”. Just because another business offers a competing product does not mean you cannot find ways to work together. Look for Joint Venture (JV) opportunities that can benefit both of you. If you have a good idea that will make everyone money then they will be willing to at least hear you out.

– Document everything you do. By keeping detailed notes of what you’ve done you will have a roadmap for how to repeat it in the future on your next project. Even if something you tried was a failure be sure to document exactly what you did and why it didn’t work. Sometimes knowing what doesn’t work can be as valuable to the growth of your business as knowing what does work!

– Remember, it’s all about speed. Right now there are probably several other entrepreneurs with the same ideas as you. And with the low barriers to entry on the Internet, they just might beat you to it. Don’t let this happen. Once you have a solid idea in place work quickly to get it done. Don’t spin your wheels for months doing research, learning about online marketing, developing your product. Research should only take about a week and if it still looks like a good idea then start moving forward. Outsource whatever you cannot do yourself and move quickly to get the project finished. The faster you get it done, the faster you’ll be making money!

– Educate your customers instead of always trying to sell them. A hard sell approach does not work in many industries – especially outside of the Internet Marketing niche. So instead of always trying to sell your prospects, work on educating them about what you sell and why they need it. If you help them to see that what you offer would add value to their life or alleviate a pain they have then they’ll naturally draw the conclusion that they need to buy what you are selling.

– Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes in life things don’t work out like we hope they will. But if you never take a risk and try something new you will never have the opportunity to win big. As Wayne Gretzkey once said, “100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in”. So instead of worrying about whether something will be a failure, go ahead and jump in with both feet. It just may be the best decision you ever made!

– Spend time in the forums. Forums are a great way to meet people online. Whether it’s an Internet Marketing forum where you meet potential partners or a niche focused forum where you are marketing to potential customers, they are a great way to get your name out there. Even though the conversations are usually informal, be sure to always conduct yourself professionally. People are watching and will be forming opinions about you based on the things you say.

– Offer a free newsletter. Although newsletters have become more work with spam filters and overloaded inboxes, this technique is far from dead! A well thought out, interesting newsletter is a great way to get attention from customers, potential partners and even the media. Just be sure that you are not publishing one big ad every time. Providing good quality content that informs, interests and entertains people will keep them reading. Then you can add in appropriate ads that are related to the content and see a much greater percentage of people buy.

– Give people a reason to visit your website. Use your website as an educational tool. Offer something that is valuable, clever and fun like games, coupons, educational materials written by experts or valuable tips that change each month. The important thing to remember is that fresh content will attract readers and studies show that the more often they visit your site, the more money they will spend with you.

– Brand your expertise and share it with others. One of the most effective ways to get your web site recognized is to share your expertise. Find a unique way to distribute your knowledge and expertise about specific subjects. Offer to serve as an authority on whatever subject you are comfortable discussing. This can include holding teleseminars, writing articles for others to publish and even authoring special reports that others can giveaway.

– Network, network, network. Make it a priority to always be expanding your network. Whenever you make a new contact, ask them for referrals to other prospects or partners. Once you have the information enter it into your database and be sure to follow up later. Remember that every new person with whom you form a relationship can help to get the word out about your web site.

– Keep in touch with your network. The networking is just the first step. After that you have to work on building relationships. People generally have short memories, so you should always follow up after your initial contact and then stay in touch with your network on a regular basis. If you let more than a month go by without making contact they may forget that you exist. A simple email or quick phone call is all it takes to make sure they remember you. That way when potential opportunities come up to work together; you will be top of mind!

– Be present in the lives of your customers and potential customers. Make yourself stand out among the competition. Send holiday greetings or ask clients to write down their birthdates so you can send them a card. You could even send them a free gift on their special day or give them a discount. There are plenty of ways to make your customer feel as if you are genuinely interested in maintaining the relationship you have built with them.

– Be willing to give without expecting anything in return. Whether it is advice to someone in your network or a little guidance for a potential customer, giving a bit of your time can be a great way to build your business. It will come back to you later when that person remembers how willing to help you were and wants to do the same in return.

– Spend time on the tasks that have the biggest impact on your business. Too many online marketers spend days at a time focusing on small, mundane little tasks that have very little impact on their bottom line. It makes no sense to spend days making “tweaks” to your web site copy when you don’t even have your first product ready for sale yet! Focus on getting done the tasks that will bring in the money before worrying about anything else.

– Always focus on the benefits, not the features. Sure your new software may do 100 different things. But the reality is that potential customers don’t care. All they want to know is specifically what need/problem of theirs it can fill. In other words, what is the BENEFIT to them? By keeping your focus on communicating the benefits of your products and services you will be much more likely to catch the attention of potential customers.

– Don’t give up. Although it is important to accept when something isn’t working and be willing to move on, don’t give up on your dream of making money online. There are a lot of different business models that have been proven to be successful. If you are willing to work hard, be continuously learning and be adaptable enough to change strategies when needed, you too can be successful.

Thanks again for this guest post from Matt LaClear of www.victoryonlineuniversity.org

Randy Kemp

www.randykempcopywriting.com

 

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6 Responses

  1. […] Rick Burnes wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptYou will never learn everything there is to know about Internet Marketing. It changes so fast that you could keep studying forever and always be learning something new. So don’t waste your time trying to know everything before you get … […]

  2. […] Rick Burnes wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptYou will never learn everything there is to know about Internet Marketing. It changes so fast that you could keep studying forever and always be learning something new. So don’t waste your time trying to know everything before you get … […]

  3. WOW!! What a long post! The thing is that writing such a long post isn’t something so smart SEO-wise… Try dividing this post to several smaller posts. Good luck and thanks for all the great tips:-)

  4. SEO Girl:
    Actually, I agree with you. But this isn’t my post, but one from a guest blogger – whom I admire, and as you point out – has much good information to share. So I just shared as written. The posts I write are much shorted. Perhaps for future guests, I can suggest they break long posts into multiple guest blogs.
    Randy

  5. forexblogging.com…

    2007 FX Forex Online. Powered by WordPress comments with valid XHTML and CSS….

  6. Wow – that is a lot of free advice. Thank you for your generosity. I particularly like the ‘don’t assume you have to know everything bit’ – so true. Many people are scared of giving it a go – indeed stimulating debate is often more effective than being the font of all knowledge.

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