Once you have managed to persuade someone to buy one of your products or services, you should have a good sales funnel in place to try to increase the minimum order value (MOV) as this will make it much easier to be profitable if you are going to use paid traffic.
Then your sales funnels work to add profit to your business.
So, let’s look at a couple of components of a sales funnel which can have a big impact on your profit margins; upsells and backend offers.
Giving More Value with One Time Offers
One time offers are a great way to increase the money you make from each offer. You can get people to agree to purchase a product from you at a lower price that’s only available right that second, making the sale a bit easier.
This is a good way to increase the amount of your sale since they’re already in buying mode. A One Time Offer is shown right after the customer clicks the Buy button. But before they checkout, the OTO is presented for them to consider.
Another great way to offer additional value is to trade OTOs with other marketers. For example, if you have a product that complements another marketer’s product (and vice versa), then each of you would present the other’s products to your customers as the OTOs, either sharing the revenue or giving the owner 100% in exchange for a reciprocal arrangement.
If you can’t find someone who will JV with you on an OTO offer, you can try to find someone with an affiliate program who will allow you to offer their product as an OTO at a discount. Simply tell them you expect a good volume of sales and you’d like to offer their product at a slight discount.
You probably won’t be able to land a deal like this unless you can prove you can do a large volume of business, because it would mean setting up a special sales page (or at least setting up a coupon code that could be easily tracked with your affiliate ID).
The second could be a coaching program that takes the ideas of the product and offers them in a one-on-one coaching system. And the third could be a turnkey solution that goes along with the product you sold. For example, if you’ve sold an eBook about making money with AdSense, you could offer a package of AdSense templates as the OTO.
Membership sites can also have OTOs. When someone joins your membership site, you could offer them an upgrade to a higher access level. Let’s say you have two access levels – silver and gold.
The silver level typically costs $50 per month, and the gold level costs $100 per month. You could offer anyone who joins at the silver level an upgrade to gold for only $25 more, at $75 per month – a $25 savings from the normal gold level price. You can also offer one-on-one coaching as an OTO for membership sites. Since memberships are already a monthly fee, coaching is a perfect complement to many membership sites.
Make sure you test your one time offers just like you test any part of your sales copy or site performance. Replace the offers and see which ones convert better and then tweak that offer until it performs as well as it can.
Have A Plan for Your Backend Sales
Every good marketer knows how important it is to increase the lifetime value of the customer. It’s much cheaper to make a sale to a previous customer than it is to get a new one onboard. The cost of acquiring new customers can be high but getting more money out of existing customers won’t cost you a penny.
Your eBook could discuss what a blog is, how to set one up, and how to make money from it. Your backend sales could come from affiliate items (if you don’t feel like taking the product creation route again) or a new eBook, membership site, or video/audio package you sell.
Whenever you first start selling online, always think of complementary topics you can tack on as a backend. For our example, your backend sales could be about social networking on other networks like Instagram, Twitter etc..
After they’ve begun seeing success, your backend sales could focus on more paid methods of marketing, such as AdWords. You progress your offers with your audience like steppingstones, moving from the first logical starting point to a more advanced stage.
Personal coaching can be expensive, sometimes costing thousands of dollars per month. A lot of marketers offer this as a backend strategy, giving them the potential to significantly increase the return on their investment (ROI) of acquiring the prospect.
If you take care to create backend offers that add value to their needs and which are of top quality, they’ll continue buying from you. If you promote anything and everything just for the sake of cashing in, they’ll lose trust in you.
Just make sure you don’t set yourself up for limited profits by using a single product without implementing a backend strategy that will work to increase your ROI repeatedly. You’re building a business, not dabbling in a few hit or miss sales.
So, you have decided that you want to make money online and want to start with blogging. That’s great but do you know what type of blog you should be creating if you want to monetise it?
And if you have an existing business, why not incorporate a blog into that too to boost your earnings 😊
There are several different types of blogs out there. Not all will earn you money… and even those that you think will generate an income, might not – if you commit a few cardinal errors.
This article will shed light on a few types of blogs and what you can do with them. Instead of pigeonholing the blogs into specific categories, it’s important that you view them based on their income-generating possibilities rather than the purpose for which they’re built.
OK, let’s crack on…
These types of blogs have very low income-generating potential. Generally, they’re nothing more than online ramblings where you write about your thoughts and feelings on what’s going on in your life, etc.
For example, a lady who has a personal blog may decide to write about make-up tips and so on and start promoting cosmetics, skin care products, etc. It’s possible – but difficult to make money with this type of blog.
These are the most common types of blogs which are created to target a specific audience. If you wish to do affiliate marketing or sell your own products, you’ll want to create these niche blogs.
It’s important to get an umbrella domain for the market while you niche down. What does that mean?
Let’s assume you wish to create a blog on ‘homemade dog food’, buying a domain that’s too closely related to the niche such as DogFoodZone.com will stifle your growth. What if you wish to blog about dog training in future?
Instead, you may buy a domain such as HealthyPaws101.com (this domain is probably taken, but you get the idea).
Well, with the HealthyPaws101 domain, you can start blogging about puppy training. It will be a new category on your blog. As time goes by and you start going deep into each different and related category, you’ll have an authority site.
This is how authority sites are built. They’re just a niche sites that grew big.
These sites are similar to personal blogs, but they have a purpose here. Let’s assume you’re overweight and decide to go on a weight loss journey. So, you start a blog to journal your progress and let people know what you’re doing.
When you have progress, you can share what tools and methods you’re using. If you’re following a program such as P90X, and losing weight, you can share your affiliate link to the Beachbody website and make commissions when others sign up.
Herein lies the crux of this type of blog – You MUST be making progress and succeeding for people to trust you.
It doesn’t matter if it’s an online marketing blog or a keto blog or even a calisthenics blog. You MUST have results for people to trust you. Your success and progress will spur them to trust your journey and do what you’re doing – and buy what you’re using.
These are blogs with different topics that you’ll curate content from different sites.
Beginners would do well to steer clear of these types of sites. You’re better off targeting one niche and building a brand and an audience.
Guest Post Blogs
Similar to curation, but you’ll be vetting the different guest posts and only posting what’s relevant to your niche. This is more of a technique than a type of blog per se. Some blogs are totally made up of guest posts… while others have lots of content created by the blog owner and the guest posts are also thrown into the mix.
You’ll need to decide if you need guest posts to supplement your content marketing efforts or if you’d rather have a blog where all content is proprietary (with no need for outbound links).
Besides these types of blogs, there are blogs that are dedicated to teaching… or the pursuit of a certain lifestyle, etc.
The profitability of a blog is dictated by its ability to sell. You’ll do that with affiliate links, product links, ads, and also build a list that you can re-market to in future.
While you don’t need all these components in place, you definitely need the list building and the links that translate to sales. Your blog only makes money when people buy from or through you.
Create a blog that people love because of its value… and they’ll trust you and buy whatever you recommend.
“Successful blogging is not about one time hits. It’s about building a loyal following over time.” – David Aston
Are things not going the way you’d like? Want more sales? Feeling kind of helpless?
You’re not alone. As marketers, sooner or later we’ve all been there.
I’m sure you have heard of the phrase “fail forward” and it is a good mantra to stick to when running an online business (in fact, any business really).
Don’t let fear of failure stop you from taking action because that is a sure fire way to fail.
OK, with that being said, here are 4 ways to increase sales and increase your income right now.
You might balk at one or two of them. All I can say is try them before you pass judgment.
1: Get More Affiliates
And I mean LOTS more affiliates. How much time do you spend creating products? Or getting new people onto your list? This is also how much time you should be spending on recruiting more affiliates, and especially GOOD affiliates.
If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting an affiliate manager. If you can’t yet afford it, then become your own affiliate manager. Watch launches and see which affiliates do well, as well as which product owners are building a list that’s perfect for your offer.
Recruit bloggers who are list building. Ask your list and especially your product buyers if they want to be affiliates.
Then cultivate relationships with these people. Don’t just approach them and forget them. Send them personal emails, comment on their blogposts and act as though you are friends, because that’s the best way to MAKE friends.
And don’t discount little affiliates, either. I once had a new affiliate who made exactly ONE sale. However, that sale was to a super affiliate who contacted me, asked to promote my product, and sold 420 copies in one week. You just never know.
2: Grow Your Lists
Yes, this is obvious, isn’t it? We all know that the money is in the list, right?
Well, I know marketers who aren’t aggressively list building, and they wonder why they’re not making sales.
On a typical list, you’ll have attrition. And I don’t just mean people unsubscribing, either. The person who is hot to buy your product today will have forgotten who you are in 6 months, or they moved on to another interest, or whatever. You have to be continuously building your lists – all of them.
Do more guest posting, more webinars for other people’s lists, more JV’s and anything else that will further fill your lists with prospects.
3: Increase The Number Of Marketing Messages You Send To Your Lists And Prospects
If you’re placing ads, place more and better ads. If you have a Facebook group, send them more marketing messages. If you’re doing webinars, do more webinars for your lists.
And by all means send more marketing messages to your lists. A lot of people are scared silly to email their list more than once or twice per week, but here’s what happens when your list doesn’t hear from you every single day:
They forget about you.
They even forget who you are and why they subscribed to your list.
Yes, you will get a few more unsubscribes from your list when you email daily, or even twice per day.
But that’s okay, because you will also keep the rest of your list engaged and interested, and you will likely double or perhaps even triple your sales.
Email daily. Email twice a day if you can keep it interesting. But only do this sparingly and if you are email marketing correctly i.e. you are providing value upfront before ever promoting anything to them.
Some marketers take this to extremes during a launch and do a “crush campaign” which really hammers your poor subscribers when they get 5+ emails the same day about the same promotion. I don’t treat my list like this but there are those who do; I normally unsubscribe when I get hammered like this because I don’t think the marketer really cares about their subscribers by doing this.
4: Raise Your Prices
If your sales page is converting well, then raise your prices and see what happens.
Even if you wind up converting at a lower rate, you’ll likely still be making more money because your prices are higher. Consider a $20 product converting at 7%, versus that same product priced at $35 and converting at 5%. You’re looking at $140 versus $175 per 100 visitors, or a $350 increase for every 1,000 visitors. It adds up.
When you raise your prices, some of your steady customers will stop buying. But you’ll also get new customers who want to pay for quality, and you will make more money.
When marketer Dan Kennedy advises any business owner on how to increase revenue, the first thing he tells the owner is to raise prices. Nearly every time the business owner will balk and tell Dan it’s a terrible idea. And nearly every time it results in a MAJOR boost in revenue.
And there you have it – 4 ways to increase your sales and revenue right now. These might not be for the timid, but I can tell you from experience that they work.
If you are reading this post, you must already realise that affiliate marketing is one of the quickest and most lucrative ways to start an online business.
But it isn’t always as straightforward as it seems and we’re going to look at a couple of affiliate marketing strategies that you can use to boost your effectiveness as an affiliate marketer and these are based around the concept of SEO (search engine optimisation).
This may sound like affiliate marketing for beginners, but I reckon most would benefit from these 2 tips.
Sound good? Let’s dive right in…
Basic Keyword Research For Affiliate Marketers
As an affiliate marketer, you want to learn the best ways to use keywords to help build your business. But if you don’t have any experience working with keywords, it can be a little confusing.
These helpful tips should assist you in being able to learn the best keywords and how to use them. First, you need the right tools to help you gather the best keywords.
If you’re just starting out, there are some great free and paid keyword tools you can use. One of the good free ones is Google AdWords. You can also use tools like Wordtracker, SEMrush, SpyFu, Ubersuggest, Wordze or Keyword Discovery.
Some of these have all free access, some free but limited usage offers and others are paid.
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is very easy to use. When you pull up the screen, type the word or phrase you’re thinking of using on your website or blog. For example, if you’re selling acne products, you’d type the word acne in the box where you list the word or phrase.
When the words come up, you’ll see: acne, cystic acne treatment, adult acne treatment, best acne treatment, etc. The tool will show you if the competition is high, medium or low and what the volume of global and local monthly searches is.
One helpful tip is that you also want to cover other terms people would use to search for acne. To get other words people might be using, you can pull up an online thesaurus and type in acne.
You’ll get a response of: blemishes, pimple, skin inflammation etc. – and you can put those words in the keyword tool and see how they rank.
These are words that people use when they’re looking for something but aren’t completely sure what they want. For example, someone might type in the keyword ‘shoes.’
When you’re doing keyword research, you also want to look for exact matches. An exact match is how it sounds. Your keyword or keywords exactly match what someone has typed into the search engine.
For example, if someone types in ‘black lamp’ and you have that as your keyword, it will lead them to your website or blog or ad.
While ‘play guitar’ is an example of a keyword phrase, an example using longtail keywords would be ‘learn how to play guitar’ or ‘how to play guitar notes’ or ‘how to play guitar for kids’ etc.
Longtail keywords are important because you can get more traffic because you rank well – and you’ll end up with higher conversions.
OK, now let’s look at some ways to optimise your site with some basic SEO settings and we’ll assume that you are using WordPress to build your blog or website.
Basic Search Engine Optimisation For Affiliate Blogs
Some affiliates set up a blog and create lots of content – without ever learning the ins and outs of search engine optimisation. As a site owner, whether you have your own products or promote someone else’s, it’s important that you know SEO.
Make sure the settings allow search engines to index you. Inside the dashboard, you have the option to block access to your site by the search engines. This is under Settings and Privacy, so do a quick check to see if it’s set up correctly.
In the Writing category under Settings, go to the bottom where it says Update Services. Find a good up-to-date Ping list and paste those URLs into this area. That helps other sites know when you have new content.
Categorize your blogs and deliver a good navigation system. When a visitor lands on your website, you want it to be sticky. Sticky means they stay around for awhile, not clicking out after they read one blog post.
Go to the Settings section again and click on Permalinks. You want this option to be Post Name. This means that after your domain and the word blog, the URL will have the name of the post, like this: yourdomain.com/blog/keyword-relevant-blog-title.
Use both broad and longtail keywords in your posts and pages. Some affiliates make the mistake of trying to rank for the broadest keywords in their niche, like “health” or “diet.” It’s much easier to rank well in search engines when you use longtail keywords.
A longtail keyword phrase would be something like this: “the best diet after pregnancy.” Over time, as your blog becomes an authority figure, you may find that you’re also ranking for the broad terms as well.
Use a Google sitemap plugin. This plugin helps Google have quick access to a sitemap, rather than you having to manually create a sitemap that helps guide their robots or spiders around your domain.
Consider an SEO optimiser plugin to give your blog a boost. There are many plugins that help you maximize your blog posts on autopilot. Do some research and see what works best for your needs.
It’s amazing what a little personalisation can do.
Quick example: You go into a store looking to buy something. A salesperson helps you, but you leave without making a purchase. You go back a week later, and the salesperson greets you by calling you by name.
How do you feel? Maybe respected, appreciated and memorable? And do you want to do business with someone who cares enough to remember your name? Of course you do; it makes you feel special doesn’t it?
Personalisation – when used properly – can double your conversions.
Here are 10 ideas on how to personalise not just words, but actual images – and how you might use these ideas in your own business…
1: Inactive Customers Or Subscribers
Re-engage with customers and even subscribers who are no longer active.
For example, for customers who haven’t made a purchase in 90 days, or subscribers who haven’t clinked a link in a month, send them a photo of you in front of a whiteboard looking sad.
The whiteboard has a simple mathematical equation with your business name, minus their name and a frowny face, like this:
Your Business Name – Your customer’s name = ☹
2: New Customers And Subscribers
Create life-long customers and communities by taking the time to welcome someone when they join you. For example, you might send them a picture of you holding a sign that says, “Welcome Paul!”
Is it a little cheesy? Perhaps, but it does work so why not give it a go?
3: Product Sales
When your customers buy a product that you are shipping out, keep them engaged by sending them an email with a picture of their package.
This keeps them excited and tells them it’s on the way.
You could even do this with a digital product such as a course. Most courses will have a generic welcome video but you could easily personalise this and welcome them to the course by name. How cool is that?
4: Webinar Attendance
Get people to show up for your webinars by sending them a personalised reminder email in the form of a photo of a handwritten note, or of you standing next to a whiteboard with the written words, “Are you coming to the webinar, Joan?”
Once again, this takes a little effort (but not much) and it really does make a difference.
5: Cart Abandonment
If someone goes to buy one of your products or services but doesn’t check out, you should be following up with them as soon as possible to try to save the sale.
Send out a photo of an empty box with their name on it, such as, “Order for Bob Smith.”
Remember that you don’t know why they abandoned the cart; it could be that their internet connection dropped, doorbell rang, any number of reasons that had nothing to do with your product or service so you lose nothing by following up.
6: Text Messages
If you use text messages for following up with customers, how about adding an image of a newspaper that features their name and the reason for the follow up?
Guaranteed you’ll have their attention.
Also, text messages and instant messaging services just feel more personal than email so if you aren’t using them in your business, perhaps it’s time you looked into adding them to your arsenal.
7: Customer Anniversaries
Send out a personalised image that contains congratulations on their anniversary – perhaps the anniversary of purchasing a product, subscribing to your list, joining your membership site, etc.
You’ll make them feel special and important.
This is a brilliant idea that can put serious money in your pocket almost immediately – send out an image letting your customer know they forgot something.
Remember it’s much easier to convince someone who has already bought from you once than it is to convince someone who hasn’t bought from you yet so it makes sense to try to increase the average order value as soon as possible.
Do you offer any kind of courses or online training?
Send out personalised and official looking certificates of completion with their name, the training level achieved, the date, signatures and seal.
You could also use gamification in your courses too.
If they do that, they are more likely to get results, and if they get results, they are much more likely to buy from you again!
10: Online Order Confirmation
When someone places an order, send them a photo of you and your team (if you have one) with a sign that welcomes them by name. It might say something like, “Welcome to the family, Aaron.” Make sure everyone in the photo looks especially happy.
Good question. The answer is, you do – if you get PicSnippets.
PicSnippets creates personalised images for marketing, sales and customer follow-up. You can create your PicSnippet and use it on nearly any platform such as ClickFunnels, ManyChat, Convertri and more.
Just go to PicSnippets.com and register today.
OK, so there are 10 ways you can use personalisation to boost conversions and if you want some other strategies to boost your conversion then grab a free Conversion Boost report by clicking on the “Featured Resource” below.
We talk about targeting the right people for your product, but just how valuable is it to know your audience?
Well, it is of critical importance to the life of your business and can have a substantial effect on your profits and whether you even get off the ground in the first place!
And, even worse, if you are using paid media such as FB or Google ads you will be wasting some serious money by not targeting the right audience.
So, as you can see, doing the research on your niche needs to be done before you even think about creating and selling a product or service.
And once you have decided on a profitable niche, you need to dial in and really find out what makes these people tick so you can target those specific people who will be most attracted to your offers.
It may not be sexy, but it can have a huge impact on your business, and in an area where so many people give up before they have really started, wrong niche selection and poor target marketing is one of the primary causes for people giving up.
Now we have established that being able to target your market successfully is of vital importance, let’s look at a company that did this right.
Target Marketing Done Right!
Here’s a quick case study of a deodorant that became a top seller through nothing more than pinpoint targeting of its customers:
In Brandwashed: Tricks Companies use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy, we learn how Axe Deodorant took over their market through laser-focused targeting.
Unilever executive David Cousino tells us that Unilever first analyzed the potential male deodorant user by breaking men down into six profiles:
The Predator – He takes advantage of drunk girls, and lies about his job and where he lives
Natural Talent – Athletic, smart, and confident. He doesn’t need to lie to score
Marriage Material – Humble and respectful, he’s the sort of guy you want to bring home to Mom and Dad
Always the Friend – He always hits that glass ceiling
The Insecure Novice – He has absolutely no clue what he’s doing, and things get awkward fast – the geeks and nerds
The Enthusiastic Novice – He has absolutely no clue what he’s doing, but he’s outgoing and tries valiantly anyway
Based on these six profiles, they chose to target the ‘Insecure Novice,’ since these are the guys who need the most help in getting women.
The next step was to create the ads. Research showed that the ultimate male fantasy isn’t to have just one woman at a time – it’s to be irresistible to several sexy women at once. (Seriously, did they really need research to determine this?)
That’s why the TV ads proclaim that if you use Axe Deodorant, you will get the chicks. ALL the chicks.
The result? Axe came out of nowhere to be the #1 male antiperspirant / deodorant brand.
Is this a bit cheesy? Yes. But did it work? Absolutely!
But in the process, they had a great deal of crossover into the other groups as well.
This is an added benefit of targeting that most marketers don’t realize. They think in order to get the biggest share of the market, they must target everyone.
But when you target everyone, you tend to get almost no one. Paradoxically, when you target one specific group, you tend to get customers from all the other groups as well.
One side note: In this case, Axe’s marketing worked almost TOO well. High school kids were completely dousing themselves in Axe, thinking they would get every girl in class to fall all over them.
Instead, school districts complained of kids reeking of the cologne-like smell.
How could Axe have fixed this? Perhaps by cautioning its users that because of the power of Axe, a normal amount was actually more effective than going full coverage.
Instead, Axe backpedalled a bit from their original campaign, and sales declined.
Here’s what you can do:
- Make a list of potential target markets for your next product.
- From that list, choose the market – or demographic – you want to target.
- Create a profile of ONE person in that market – this is your ideal customer.
- Tailor your product and your message to that one person.
- Dance around your office as you see the sales come flooding into your in box.
Stop targeting everyone and start targeting your ideal customer. Once you do, it will become clear how you should market, where you’ll find your customers, and how to get them on board.
And yes, your sales will almost certainly increase because you not only know what they need, you also know wat they want and you can tailor your products and services just for them and they will gladly pay you for them which is win-win for both buyer and seller 🙂
I once heard a famous motivational and sales speaker tell the story of someone who set some goals.
It seems he wrote down all of his great big goals like getting a super high paying job, traveling the world, starting a non-profit foundation and so forth, folded up the paper and put it in a drawer.
Then he forgot all about those goals and went about his life.
Fast forward three years, and he’s moving into his new house. Packing up that drawer, he finds the goal list he wrote out, and realizes he has accomplished every single goal on that list, including buying a mansion.
And then a leprechaun jumped out of the drawer and handed him a magic genie lamp, and he made three wishes and married the fairy princess.
As you might have guessed, I’m not buying that story. Are you?
But there are things you can do to help you achieve your goals and New Year’s resolutions – things I’ll bet NO ONE has told you about.
Things that can give you the life you want, if you embrace them.
Things that… well… might just set your goal getting abilities on fire.
Let’s get started:
Goal Setting Tip 1: What Kind Of PAIN Do You Want To Have?
Focusing on what you want usually isn’t going to work unless you also consider what kind of pain you want to have.
Everyone wants a rock hard body and a few million dollars in the bank. But are you willing to go through the pain it costs to get those things?
THAT is the question.
An art fan tells a great artist that she should would do ANYTHING to paint like he does.
To which the artist replies, “If that were so, then you would already be painting like me. I’ve painted every single day since I was seven years old. I painted when my friends were outside playing. In high school I painted when my friends were going to dances and playing sports. In college I painted instead of dating. I’ve taken art courses and studied art until I know more than most of my professors. I’ve traveled the world to sit at the feet of great painters and observe their process. I’ve given everything I have to be a great painter. And if you really wanted to be like me, you would have done the same.”
That artist paid a very big price for achieving his goal.
What pain are you willing to go through to achieve your goals?
What you willing to do?
What will you sacrifice?
What regiment, training, practice schedule and so forth will you commit to doing every day until you succeed?
When you decide this in advance, you multiply the odds of achieving your goal by ten-fold.
Goal Getting Tip 2: The Secret Ingredient
“I want to be a medical doctor.”
Okay, that’s your goal. But what do you do to achieve that goal? Writing it down and stuffing it into a drawer won’t make it happen.
You need systems in place to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
For a pianist, his goal is to give concerts to millions of people. But his system is to practice each day of his life.
For a coach, her goal is to win the championship. But the system is the practices she puts her players through each day.
For an entrepreneur, the goal is to build a profitable business and sell it. But the system is the sales and marketing process that brings in the customers, as well as the system for delivering the products or services.
Without systems in place to reach your goals, you won’t get there.
First, you choose your goal based on both what you want and what pain you are willing to endure to get that goal.
Then you choose the system you’re going to use to achieve that goal.
Goal Getting Tip 3: Goal Assassination
You’ve made your goals and now you’ve got a list – the kind of list a kid might send to Santa Clause – so what’s the delay? Why aren’t you achieving your goals?
Imagine you’re growing roses. On one rose bush, there are a hundred rosebuds. But on the other rose bush, you snip off every single bud except for one.
Which rose flower will be the biggest? The one by itself, of course. And that’s because it gets all of the energy and food the plant can provide, instead of having to share it with a hundred other flowers.
Your goals are all competing for your time and energy.
That’s why you’ve got to ruthlessly eliminate your lesser goals, at least until you achieve your biggest goal.
The exception: If a secondary goal directly supports your primary goal, then it can be best to pursue both at once.
For example, you want to build a business. It’s going to be a lot easier to make good decisions and work hard if you get enough exercise and eat right.
Exercise and proper eating support your goal of building a business, so don’t wait until the business is built to get in shape. Start exercising and eating healthy right away, so you have what it takes to build that business and live the good life.
And once you achieve your first big goal, you just might find you’re addicted to the process.
Guaranteed, the second goal will be easier than the first, because now you’ll know what it takes.
The New Year is upon us. 12 months from now, you can either look back and wish you had achieved that big goal, or look back and be thrilled that you did.
The choice is yours.
Your value proposition determines if people will bother reading about your product or close the page.
If you get it right, sales can skyrocket. Get it wrong, and you’ll wonder why all that traffic isn’t converting into sales.
Does Little Guy Joe who just got into online marketing need a value proposition? He sure does if he wants to make sales.
So What Is A Value Proposition Anyway?
Not wanting to rely solely on my memory, I did some research, and this is what I found to be something of a consensus of what a value proposition should be:
A great value proposition incorporates one or more of these qualities:
- Explaining how your product is going to solve your customer’s problem, or how it’s going to improve your customer’s situation. (This is called relevancy)
- States specific benefits your product delivers (This is quantified value)
- Tells your customer why they should buy from you instead of your competition (This is unique differentiation)
But I think we need more clarification. In doing my research, I also found that a great value proposition…
- Targets a specific market
- Focuses on quality, cost or speed, or a combination of two of those
- Clarifies what the company or product does not do
People need to be able to read it and immediately understand it. Which is to say, corporate gibberish created by a committee of eggheads isn’t going to cut it.
For example, if I tell you that my value proposition is:
“Revenue-focused automated marketing and sales closing solutions unleashed through collaboration throughout the revenue cycle”
I’m guessing you’re going to be bewildered. Or you’re falling asleep. Or you’re confused as can be.
And there’s no need to be redundant. For example:
Online Billing and Invoicing Software
Invoice Dude is an online billing software specially designed for small and medium businesses. Thousands of businesses and individuals trust us for their invoicing!
This tries to appeal to too many people – small businesses, medium businesses and individuals.
There is no differentiation from other online billing and invoicing software.
In addition, it says ‘thousands of businesses,’ yet offers no proof. Stating an actual number such as 12,549 would be a great help, and it could be updated automatically or manually on a daily or weekly basis.
Plus, I don’t know about you, but this entire value proposition puts me to sleep.
And with a name like Invoice Dude, they could have done soooo much better.
What A Value Proposition Is NOT
It’s not a catch phrase or a slogan.
“Coke, it’s the real thing” and “L’Oreal, because you’re worth it” are slogans, not value propositions.
It’s also not a positioning statement.
“America’s #1 bandage brand, heals the wound fast, heals the hurt faster” is a positioning statement.
These are better than nothing, but they’re not what we’re striving for.
Calling your product the ‘real thing’ doesn’t show one benefit or reason why we should buy it over the competition.
Because you’re worth it doesn’t tell us anything – it just sounds good. And expensive.
Being #1 doesn’t make me want to buy your product, either.
These are all examples of slogans, not value propositions:
- Like sleeping on a cloud (Sealy)
- Milk from contented cows (Carnation)
- Save Money, Live Better (Wal-Mart)
- I’m lovin’ it (McDonalds)
- When you care enough to send the very best (Hallmark)
- Just Do It (Nike)
- Finger Lickin’ Good (KFC)
- Have it your way (Burger King)
- Melts in your mouth, not in your hands (M&M)
- The happiest place on earth (Disney World)
- The best a man can get (Gillette)
- Betcha can’t eat just one (Lays)
- Think outside the bun (Taco Bell)
- “Koo Koo for Cocoa Puffs”
- “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” (Rice Krispies)
- Are you a Cadbury’s fruit and nut case?”
- “Keep Walking” (Johnny Walker Whiskey)
- “Wii would like to play.”
- “I’d rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity.” (Stella Artois)
- “We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.” (From a towing company)
- “Yesterday’s meals on wheels” (From a septic tank)
- “We repair what your husband fixed.” (From a plumber’s truck)
Value Proposition Components
A value proposition is usually longer than a slogan.
In fact, it can have a headline, a sub-headline, one short paragraph of text and possibly bullet points.
And it might even include a visual, such as a photo, graphics or hero shot.
You make notes, try things, think about it, tweak it, ask opinions and tweak it some more.
Headline: This is usually the big end benefit you’re offering your customers, stated in one clear, short sentence. You might mention the product, the customer or both. This is where you grab attention, because if you don’t, then you’ve already lost a fair share of your prospects.
Sub-headline: This is a specific explanation of what your product does, who the ideal customer is and why your product is useful.
One short paragraph: This can be instead of or in addition to a sub-headline, and serves the same purpose as the sub-headline above.
3 bullet points: These are the key benefits or features. Notice we said three, not unlimited. You may or may not need bullets, but if you do, keep them short and punchy.
Visual: Images always communicate faster and generally better than words. You might show the product, the happy customer or an image that reinforces your message.
How To Write Your Value Proposition
This takes time to get it just right. In the beginning, do the best you can, and then adjust it along the way.
There is no reason to delay starting or growing your business just because you don’t have the perfect value statement yet.
Start out by answering these questions:
- What’s your product or service?
- What is the BIG end-benefit of using it?
- Who is your ideal target customer?
- What makes your offer unique?
- How is your product different from anything else available?
NOTE: If you can’t answer why your product is unique or different, then you might want to work on the product itself. Selling a ‘me too’ product that is identical to what’s already being offered can be difficult UNLESS you already have a well-known brand.
Once you have your first draft of your value statement, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it clear and easy to understand?
- Does it communicate concrete benefit(s)?
- Will a customer know exactly what result they will get from using your product?
- Does it say how it’s different or better than the competition?
- Does it avoid hype? (amazing, fantastic, best ever)
- Does it avoid business jargon? (revenue generated resource allocation blah blah blah)
- Can your ideal prospect read it and understand it in a few seconds?
If someone is shopping around, then they’re likely to check out 4 or 5 different options before deciding.
By having your value proposition at the top of your first page, you can easily stand apart from all competitors.
And readers tend to prefer bullet points – they’re easier to understand and remember.
Examples Of Great Value Propositions
Uber: Tap the app, get a ride
Uber is the smartest way to get around. One tap and a car comes directly to you. Your driver knows exactly where to go. And payment is completely cashless.
Unbounce: Build, Publish and A/B Test Landing Pages Without I.T.
The mobile responsive landing page builder for marketers.
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- Build a page
- Publish it
- Test and optimize
Slack: A messaging app for teams who put robots on Mars!!
NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory is one of tens of thousands of teams around the world using Slack to make their working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.
Trello: Trello is the free, flexible and visual way to organize anything with anyone.
Drop the lengthy email threads, out-of-date spreadsheets, no-loner-so-sticky notes, and clunky software for managing your prospects. Trello lets you see everything about your project in a single glance.
iPhone: Why there’s nothing quite like iPhone
Every iPhone we’ve made – and we mean every single one – was built on the same belief. That a phone should be more than a collection of features. That above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful and magical to use.
Value Proposition Boosters
Sometimes it’s difficult to find ways to differentiate yourself from your competition, so you might try adding one or more of these to your offer:
- Free shipping
- Fast or next day shipping
- Free trial
- Free setup or installation
- Free bonus
- No long-term contracts or payments
- A very clear money back guarantee
- A better than money-back guarantee
- A discounted price
- One-on-one personal help
Remember, you don’t need to hit your value proposition out of the park on the first try. But you do need to build one and use it.
Of course, it’s going to depend on your product, your niche, your customers and even your competition.
And most of all, it will depend on how well you craft your value proposition.
It actually makes your job easier, in that you are no longer trying to be a jack of all trades, or trying to make your product fit everyone.
The clarity your value proposition brings can also bring you peace of mind and a better ability to grow your business big, strong and fast.
Are you willing to work like crazy for 5 years (give or take) so you can retire?
If so, I’ve got a business plan for you. And I don’t care if you’re 20 or 70 – this can work.
One note before we get started: Anything that you either can’t do, don’t want to do or don’t have time to do, you outsource.
And in many cases that’s going to mean outsourcing some of this.
Oh yes, did you notice how I covertly slipped that “7 figure payday” in there? I’m serious about that. Doing what I’m about to lay out for you, you can indeed retire in about 5 years with about 7 figures.
Your results may vary – in fact, they might be a whole lot better than that, I don’t know.
Let’s get started:
Step 1: Select Your Niche
What I’m about to propose isn’t rocket science. It’s not even new. But it is profitable, and here’s the key: You can do this in parallel, meaning instead of doing just ONE of what I’m outlining, you do several.
I recommend 3 – 5 of them.
What you’re going to do is build an entire business from the ground up, with an eye on selling it.
That’s right – the entire time you’re doing this, you have your exit strategy in mind.
It’s sort of like someone marrying for money, knowing they’re going to be asking for a divorce in 5 years. The money is a sure thing, they just have to put in the time and work.
Okay, that was maybe a bad analogy, but you get the point.
If you put in the time and do the work, you will get the money.
It needs to be a topic that has plenty of interested people willing to buy plenty of products, and of course there needs to be plenty of affiliate products continually coming into the market.
Step 2: Setup A Sales Funnel
Now that you’ve got your topic, you’re going to build a sales funnel.
Run a free offer on a squeeze page to get subscribers and place a couple of products in your funnel for them to buy.
Maybe you’ve got a $7 report and a $37 video course, or whatever.
These should be quality products that YOU own. And yes, they can be built around PLR, or you can outsource, etc.
I know what you’re thinking – thus far I haven’t told you anything new, except for the fact that you’re doing all of this with an eye to selling it.
Yet who does this? Very few people, but those who do end up with BIG paydays.
Do everything under a pen name. Make no mistake – EVERYTHING must be under your pen name.
And for each of these businesses that you build, you need a different pen name.
Okay, you’ve got a squeeze page to capture names, a funnel with a low-priced product, a mid-priced product and a membership site.
Step 3: Setup A Blog
Now you need a blog. Get a great logo, excellent branding and make it look super professional. Do NOT skimp on the branding and logo.
Post on the blog at least a couple of times a week, preferably more.
Make each upsell in your funnel a stand-alone product, too, and promote those on your blog.
Promote affiliate products to your list to make some good money as you go along.
Step 4: Write A Book!
Now write a book. See? I told you there was work involved. You can use content from your blog to create your book, or hire someone, or just write it yourself.
Link from inside the book to a squeeze page to capture more subscribers.
Put your book on Amazon and get your subscribers to review it for you. Yes, the book is under your pen name, too.
Don’t worry too much about promoting the book. Your real motivation here is to build credibility. A book on your topic with your pen name on it looks AWESOME when you put the thumbnail at the TOP of your blog.
Wow! You (your pen name, actually) are an EXPERT.
If you create a big product such as a $200 – $1000 course, get affiliates to promote it. Or get affiliates to promote your memberships site.
Your goal is to build your list BIG, make some nice income along the way, and put together a very professional looking business which you then sell for six or seven figures.
Rinse And Repeat!
If you do this simultaneously in 3 to 5 different niches, you will have an AWESOME retirement in about 5 years or so.
What I recommend: Start in ONE niche and get everything into place. Hire someone to write the blog posts for you and do some promotion.
You see where this is going. Five years of hard work, along with rolling some of your profits back into the business, and you then get to sell them.
Sites like these that have products, big lists and a BOOK sell for a healthy six figure income. Sometimes even seven figures. Apiece. And you’re going to have 3, 4, maybe 5 of them.
Remember to keep everything separate on each site. Separate hosting. Separate autoresponders. Separate everything. This makes it super easy to turn control over to someone else when the time comes.
Turnkey online business are always in demand. From a buyer’s perspective, they pay a big chunk of money but then they get a guaranteed stream of income. All the buyer has to do is continue what you started.
You can even turn over your outsourcers to the buyer if they don’t want to do the work themselves, and often they won’t. For them it’s an investment in their future. For you it’s a major payday and a plane trip to the islands.
For example, your pen name is Jon Smith. Your real name is Abby Jones. Jon Smith often recommends Abby Jone’s product or blog or freebie to his readers.
Thus you get people subscribed to your list, too, who get to know you, not just your pen name.
You retire, and you can continue to send out emails promoting affiliate products.
So not only do you get a big payday – you also get some large lists of your own that you can continue to promote products to.
Remember – 5 years of hard work, and then you can retire.
No job in the world, that I know of, offers you a retirement plan like that.
Once you have an email list, it is important to nurture it and provide value to your subscribers before bombarding them with offers.
There is no problem marketing to your list, but you must always have their best interests at heart and treat them the same way that you would want to be treated by a marketer.
Once you have built that rapport, feel free to offer appropriate affiliate offers that would benefit your readers.
And, hopefully you may also have your own products and services that you can put in front of them.
And this is also a way of launching a new product or even relaunching one of your previous products or services.
Let’s say you’re reopening a membership for a limited time, or you’re launching a product just for your list.
Okay, so you’ve got a product you’re going to be offering to your list for a limited time – let’s say three days.
After the three days, either the product is no longer available, or the price goes up.
Yes, there is nothing wrong with offering special deals to your own list on your own product. In fact, I think it’s a great idea, because people on your list should be rewarded with special deals no one else can get (hint hint!)
In this example you’re going to be sending out a total of 6 emails. Yes, you could do 5, or 7, or… but I’ve found this sequence works well, so it’s what I do. Your mileage may vary. 😊
I suggest you write all 6 of your emails ahead of time, and here’s why:
First, you can schedule them and forget them. Nice.
Second, you can see if the entire sequence flows and makes sense.
Your first email will go out the day BEFORE your launch, and it will say something like, “Watch your email tomorrow for a very special limited time offer for my subscribers ONLY. I think you’re going to love it!”
This first email is low key, short, fun, and only sells them on watching for the next email.
On the day of the launch, you’ll send out two emails, one first thing in the morning and one in the evening.
But if the sales page is lacking, then you can do product selling right there in the email.
The first email of the first day of the launch gives all the great reasons to buy, only abbreviated. I like my sales page to do the heavy lifting.
The second email of that first day tells them how the launch is going, how many people are buying… that sort of thing.
Yes, it’s written ahead of time, so yes, you now know one of my secrets – I’m guessing how well it will be going when I write it. 😊
On the next day you should send one email in the middle of the day to remind them that this offer isn’t going to last, and to remind them of the big benefit they’ll get from the product.
On the final day you should send two emails. The one in the morning says something like, “Last 24 hours.”
The one in the evening says, “Last chance, last email.”
The power of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is very strong in people so don’t underestimate it!
I’ve used this same sequence of 6 emails many times because it’s effective. It works. And it gives me plenty of sales which I can then show to affiliates to get them to come on board and do their own launches.
As mentioned earlier, I recommend you make a special offer that is available only to your own list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a special price. It could mean a special bonus that only they get. That way your affiliates can offer it at the same price point to their lists, too.
One more thing: If you’re only working with a handful of affiliates, you can make a special page for each one that says, “Special deal for Jane Smith’s subscribers only.”
I’ve found that using this technique boosts conversions by about 10%, depending on the offer and the list.
The thing is to not do this kind of thing all the time or you may end up annoying your readers.
Some marketers do these sorts of “crush campaigns” all the time and it just causes the readers to get angry and unsubscribe and you then need to keep replenishing your list.
Isn’t it much better to actually nurture and help your readers to succeed? They will appreciate you so much more and you can then build a tribe of people who will follow you and buy repeatedly from you and this is the best way to do business as you are building a brand reputation.
By the way if you are interested in building your brand the right way, you can grab a free report called Brilliant Branding by clicking on the featured resource below. If you do download it, please read it and take action and good luck 😊