If you’re trying to make money online, I have a critical suggestion for you up front. Do NOT get into the business by trying to sell other people information about how to make money on the internet.
1. There is so much JUNK already out there on that subject.
2. It doesn’t make any sense. How is it that people should buy information from you about making money on the internet when you haven’t done it yourself?
A bit disingenuous? I certainly think so!
That being said, there are some VERY GOOD ways for people to make money online. If they can only get out of their own way and see what they really have to offer. And for many, it’s quite a bit.
Here’s an example.
At a recent seminar of mine I met a guy who was trying to create a program about DEBT reduction that he wanted to sell online. He happened to be a lawyer and a pilot.
When we spoke, I coached him to take what he ALREADY KNEW. What he was suggesting appeared to me to be a pretty significant tangent.
He later agreed and produced some amazingly good info products geared to pilots.
Now let me back up and give you the steps I think you need to take to create an information marketing EMPIRE. A bit of hyperbole? Not really if you are willing to follow the steps and you’re in it for the long run, not just a quick “hit.”
Here are the 7 Steps You need to take to make this happen:
1. Select your Niche
2. Write the copy for your product
3. Create your Product
4. Put up a site
5. Drive Traffic to your site: paid and unpaid
6. Convert the Traffic: Get them to buy or opt-in
7. Continue Selling them more and more
SELECTING YOUR NICHE
The example I gave earlier of the pilot is instructive. Many people who are looking to make some extra cash (or establish on online Empire) seem to want to start far afield from what they already know. NOT a good idea.
I always advise people to put up a big white board and start brainstorming potential topics. Write down any and everything that you know more about than 90% of the people on the planet.
Don’t you have to be THE expert in the field? Absolutely NOT.
Well what about the other 10% of the people who know more than you? Great. Good for them. Don’t try to sell them. And IF they buy you MAY have to refund them. Who cares?
All you have to do is know more than MOST and teach it BETTER. That’s the key.
On the whiteboard you should have written every possible topic (personally and professionally) where you know more than 90% of the folks out there. But, don’t go off half cocked yet. You are not done. Before you go to step #2 you have to make sure that there is a market for what you want to sell.
You are going to want to put together a product where there is SOME competition, but not TOO much. For now, let’s leave that a bit vague and non-numerical. We’ll come back to it later.
How do you do that? First thing we want do is take your topic and do two things. First, Google it. See what comes up. Are other people selling products in that niche? If so, how many? At what price point? I would order two or three of the top products and see what you think. Follow their sales process. What is their follow up like? What would you have done differently?
Then I would go to a program like WordTracker.
This will allow you to get an idea of how many people are searching for material on the topics you’re considering producing. Please notice that you have not yet spent any money, just some of your time.
When looking at the number of searches that people are doing, I’d like you to proceed to the next step if and only if there are between X and XX number of searches each month.
You are then going to want to make sure that the topic you select provides an intersection of passion and profit. I certainly don’t want to work on topics JUST for the money. I suggest you don’t either. That way, you can enjoy the ride you create for yourself.
WRITE THE COPY FOR THE PRODUCT
Before you even create the product? Yes indeedy!
I want you to write the sales piece for your product so that you know exactly what you want to include in the product itself. It’s sort of like what most good book authors do. They create and write the cover (front and back) of their books before they write the book itself.
If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense.
Should you write the copy yourself? You should certainly try. If this is your first go at creating and information product, the answer is a definite YES.
Need some help? Then get some. Not by paying a professional copywriter at this point. Start by buying a couple of books on the topic. I’d recommend that you pick up one of my client’s books: The Copywriters Handbook – by Bob Bly. There are also a slew of other books on copywriting. Take your pick.
The reason to do it yourself is to:
A. Find out if this is a skill that you have and…
B. Make sure that a copywriter can’t take advantage of you since you know the process and how difficult or easy it is.
Remember, after you put up your website with YOUR copy, the worst it will ever be is the first time you put it up. You can always go back and change and tweak it any time you want. That’s what’s great about the internet. It can be changed quickly and easily.
If you decide to hire a copywriter, then I suggest you start with asking that person to TWEAK (take a look at: www.SuperFastTweak.com) what you’ve already produced yourself with the books and other resources you’ve assembled. This will cost you WAY LESS than asking a copywriter to “do it from scratch.”
So, let’s assume your copy has been written, now. . . .
CREATE YOUR PRODUCT
The first step in the product creation process is to ask yourself what FORM or FORMAT the product needs to be in. Should it be:
1. Written – an book or an ebook
2. Audio – Audio CD or MP3 (downloadable or physical)
3. Video – DVD or streaming online video
4. Experiential Event – seminar/bootcamp
How do you decide which form it should be in? What makes sense? If you’re doing golf videos, it’s tough to do THAT in audio form!
Ask yourself: “What method would make it easiest for my customers to use and implement the ideas/concepts that I’m teaching?”
Give people what will make the most sense. Full stop.
Whichever medium you choose, you’ll need to have a very detailed outline. The more detailed the better.
I one time showed up to do a video at a place in Vermont. It was one of my first times doing a video. When I showed up the night before the producer asked to see my script. My response: “What script?”
A muted smile came over his face.
I said: “We’re just going to WING IT.”
He smiled a bit broader.
They were getting paid by the hour/day for the video shoot. As a result of my lack of preparation I ended up taking twice as long and paying twice as much as I should have to complete the video project. Lesson learned.
Don’t make this same mistake. Be prepared. And being prepared means a detailed outline. BUT, how do you do it.
First, write down any and everything that you think should be in the product. No screening at this point. Write every idea down on a separate Index cards. You’ll want to go buy at least 500 to start.
After you write down everything you can think of, now start putting them into piles. If an index card is a subset of another card, put it underneath. Do it until you’ve go a number of piles of cards.
Pile number 1 may have 6 cards under it. Pile 2 may have 11 cards. No worries. Just do it and think about the top card as the “Chapter” heading for that topic. The cards underneath it are subheadings.
When you’re done, put all the piles in the order that you think would make sense to teach them to someone else.
Once you’ve completed that task, go to the individual piles of cards and arrange the cards underneath the “Chapter” in the order you think would make most sense to present them.
On any of the index cards, now write any notes to remind yourself of something specific you may want to do. A Story, a prop, a statistic or a quote. Anything that you may want to use to ILLUMINATE the concept.
Once you’re done with that then . . . .
Create the product using the outline.
If you think a written product makes sense, then start writing. It’s easy to do with a great outline like the one you’ve created.
If it’s an audio that you think makes sense, find a great interviewer to serve as your LARRY KING and have them ask you the questions.
IF you decide on a video, be careful. You’ll need to speak and/or consult with an expert in this field before you do it yourself the first time. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Same thing holds true for seminars and events.
Most people end up doing a book or an ebook first, but don’t feel that HAS to be your initial product. Especially if it doesn’t make sense.
PUT UP A WEBSITE TO SELL YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE
When you put up a website to promote your product/service you first need to ask the 64,000 question: WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO DO WHEN THEY GET THERE?
You have basically two choices:
Get them to BUY something or get them to OPT-IN to a list and try and sell them later.
As people become more jaded with online offers I think you’ll find that getting people to opt in to your list is a good place to start. If you already have a big list, then it might be different, but let’s assume you’re going to try and get people to give you their name and email address first.
This means that your entire objective on your site is to CLOSE people on having them give you their name and email address. Don’t forget that fact.
Should you write a long sales letter to do that? Perhaps. Would it be better to write and create a short SQUEEZE page? Maybe. There is no right answer except to TEST it.
The obvious best way to test it to create a squeeze page first. It’s quick and easy to do. A squeeze page looks like www.fredgleeck.com/ebooks. Take a look and do something similar to this one.
As time goes on, you’ll want to test a simple squeeze page against a longer copy approach to see which one pulls better.
Do you need to get a professional website designer to help you create your site? Probably not. Quite frankly you can just copy and paste some of the websites that you like out there, bring them into an html editor, tweak them a little and produce your own.
This is what every one else does! A little incestuous, but that’s the truth.
If you’re not web-savvy, get on elance and get someone to do a quick website for you. There plenty of people who will design and create a squeeze page for you for less than $50.
DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE (USING BOTH PAID AND UNPAID METHODS)
After you have the site up you’ll need to drive traffic to it. If the site is out there and no one sees it, nothing has been accomplished.
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to use both paid and unpaid methods to drive traffic to your site.
You’ll want to first start with PAID traffic. Why? It’s quick and easy to get. Also we can turn the traffic spicket on and off to test what approach will work BEST. After you optimize your results, then and only then will you want to try and get UNPAID traffic to your site.
In the paid traffic area, advertising on Google using Adwords is the place to start. This is because THEY are the 800 pound gorilla. Google accounts for around 60% of all of the paid traffic.
You’ll need to set up a Google adwords account. Go to the Google main page and you’ll see a link to advertise with them. Set one up and you’ll have traffic to you in no time. You’ll want to perfect it over time, but it will happen lightning fast.
As far as unpaid traffic, you’ll need to optimize your site for the search engines. I hire people to do this for me. It’s a skill that takes full time work to understand and perfect. I suggest you do the same. If you get to the point where you want to do that, please contact me. I’ll be happy to send you the names of the folks I use.
CONVERT THE TRAFFIC TO BUY OR OPT-IN
Once you get people to come to your site, you want to get them to take a certain action. In almost every case, that will be to either buy or opt in to a list.
If you’re trying to get them to buy something, your fall back position will be to get them to opt into your list. This way you can try and sell them something later.
Using a pop-up on exit is a good idea here. People who don’t buy are presented with an ethical bribe to get them to sign up for your list. Most people (and I suggest you do as well) are offered a digital bonus to entice people to opt-in.
Tracking is critically important. Without tracking you don’t know how well you’re doing and it will be tough to correct or adjust your efforts. You should set up Google Analytics on your site. This will allow you to get some vital statistics on your website.
To do this, go to your Google account and look for the Analytics area.
What data are you looking for with Google Analytics? You’re after a few key items:
1. Your number of unique visitors
2. How many people bought your product
3. How many people opted into your list
4. Your average visitor value
By taking the total number of buyers and dividing by the total number of unique visitors, you’ll get your conversion to sale percentage. By taking the total number of opt-ins and dividing by the same unique number of visitors you’ll have opt-in conversion rate.
Here’s a real life example (highly simplified) to illustrate.
Let’s say that you sell a $100 digital product. We’ll assume that for every sale you make the FULL $100.
Let’s say that over a period of time you got 100 unique visitors.
Let’s ALSO say that 3 of those 100 visitors buy.
Let’s ALSO assume that 21 of the 100 people opted into your list.
Now let’s calculate our 4 items described below:
1. Number of unique visitors: 100
2. Conversion to sale rate: 3% (3 sales out of 100 visitors bought your product)
3. Conversion go opt-in: 21% (21 out of 100 visitors opted in)
4. Average Visitor Value: $3 per visitor (3 sales produced $300 total revenue. Divide that number by 100 visitors and you’ve got $3 per visitor)
Average visitor value is critical to your success because we live in a pay-per-click world. Knowing that each visitor is worth $3, I suggest you don’t pay MORE than $3 per click. This way you will do no WORSE than break-even on the “front-end”.
Many LARGE companies are willing to spend $10 a click when they only have a $5 visitor value? Why? Because they know that OVER TIME they will make $15-$20 from each visitor. As small entrepreneurs we don’t want to risk doing worse than break-even on the front end. If not, we may go broke.
CONTINUE TO SELL THEM MORE AND MORE . . . FOREVER!
The key to making really big money as an information marketer is to get people to KEEP buying from you once they’ve bought the first product or service. This can only happen if you have additional products to sell them.
Once they buy from you, we’ll want to have them buy more from you. I suggest you take a look at my product funnel which you can download at www.TheProductGuru.com.
The idea here is that before you start selling a bunch of products you better sure as heck know what you’re going to sell them next. This is where the REALLY big money is made in the info products marketing business.
After you get them to buy ALL or most of your products, you’re going to want to introduce them to others in the same field who sell products as well. You’ll be doing that in exchange for a commission. In this business, it’s an affiliate commission.
Why send people to your competition? Because they’ll eventually find them anyway. YOU might as well be the person who gets a piece of the action for referring them. People rarely stick with ONE guru. They tend to go to any and everyone they find for more and more information.
If you don’t introduce them to someone, they will find that person through some other means, so YOU should get the commission dollars.
In order to be successful as an information marketer you have to follow the seven steps that I’ve outlined. If you do that I’m not guaranteeing your success but I CAN guarantee that your chances will be DRAMATICALLY better.
Never invest a lot of money creating a product before you can first figure out whether or not people will want it. Once you decide to create a product, make sure that you have the elements in place to track your results.
Remember to test everything. Testing will give you a blueprint for what does and doesn’t work. It will help you to build your information marketing empire.
Now, go forth and create an information product empire!!!!
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