Outsourcing is the smart marketers most potent weapon and something that you need to seriously consider as early in your business career as possible.
Is it a scary prospect to pay someone to work for you? Yes, but if done right, this should be seen as an investment rather than an expense and the return on investment in your new team member can explode your business growth.
I certainly wish I’d started earlier, but fear kept me back; would I waste a lot of money etc.?
So, to help you feel more confident, let’s show you 7 ways you can outsource and get the maximum bang for you buck.
Let’s be candid – You can discover these outsourcing secrets the easy way or the hard way, but you’re going to find this out sooner or later.
The hard way is the way most marketers do it. They make mistakes when outsourcing, lose time and / or money, and then learn from their mistakes.
I propose we cut out all that nonsense and I’ll just tell you what you need to know here and now.
1: Outsource customer service as soon as humanly possible.
Reason why: If you don’t, you’ll waste half of each day doing things like answering support tickets, changing email addresses for members who changed their email address (yes, that is a thing) issuing refunds, answering questions and so forth.
Your focus should be on building your business, not answering support tickets (“When I log in, I see a funny thing at the top that says I’m logged in… is that what it’s supposed to say?”) I’m not kidding, that is a real support ticket I once received.
Another reason why: Your virtual assistant who is handling your support can shield you from the negative ninnies.
What’s a “negative ninny,” you ask? It’s that person who buys your product and then rants on for 6 pages on how awful your product is, how awful you are and so forth.
You don’t need to hear that stuff. Just tell your V.A. to handle it for you without ever telling you about it. (In this case, refunding the person and removing them from every list is all that’s required.)
And by the way, if you’re thinking that your products will be so great, everyone will love them, well then, I know you haven’t created any products yet.
I don’t care if you invent the method for turning pixels into gold, someone will hate it. And that’s okay, as long as you don’t have to hear about it.
2: Outsource the things that bring you profit FIRST.
So, let’s say you want to outsource website building, content creation, product creation, sales writing, software creation and so forth.
That’s the project to outsource first.
Maybe you pay someone to create a product for you, and then you turn around and sell that product to hundreds of buyers. BOOM! You’ve just made your money back and much more.
But what if you don’t have any customers yet? And no list? Then maybe you need to outsource the building of your squeeze page so you can start list building so you can start selling stuff to your list.
Whatever will put you in profit first is the thing you need to outsource first. This way you’re not coming out of pocket by thousands and thousands of dollars without seeing a return.
3: Pay outsourcers based on the JOB, not by an hourly rate.
You want to know going in what it’s going to cost you to get a specific job done. And a true professional will be able to tell you exactly what it will cost.
So not only don’t they know exactly what the job will cost – they also don’t know if the outsourcer is dragging the job out longer to make it pay more. Yes, it’s been known to happen.
The exception to the non-hourly rule?
Your virtual assistant or customer service person. Because of the nature of their work, in most cases paying them by the hour is the way to go.
4: Outsource work you’re putting off.
Did you create a new product, but you haven’t edited yet? Or maybe you haven’t built the website or made the sales letter.
All the time you invested in creating that product is going to waste.
Outsource someone to do what you haven’t done, so you can get it online and start making sales as fast as possible.
5: Outsource what you’re not good at, and what you don’t like doing.
Sure, you love building websites, but let’s face it: You haven’t updated your website skills since 2007. Or you know how to write sales copy, but you HATE doing it.
Those are things you should be outsourcing.
By focusing on your strengths as well as strategically planning your business, and letting other experts handle the rest of the work, you’ll make more money faster than if you try to do everything yourself.
6: Outsource the instrument playing while you conduct the orchestra.
There may come a time very soon when you have a system in place for making money. It could be as simple as create a product in your niche, write several pieces of content preparing people for the product, record several videos leading up to the launch, and then launching.
Yet all of that is a lot of work. You’ve got sales copy to write, JV’s to contact, swipe emails to write, etc.
If you can afford it, outsource everything you can so that you can focus on working ON your business instead of IN your business.
Sort of a no-brainer, don’t you think?
7: If you haven’t yet outsourced something – what are you waiting for?
If you already have an online business, or you’re in the process of building one and you haven’t yet outsourced something, then odds are it’s simply because fear is holding you back.
I promise, you’ll be hooked, and your business will grow twice as fast.
There is not a seven-figure internet marketer out there who doesn’t outsource. So, isn’t it about time you did, too?
In the old days, just about everything online was based on text and images. It wasn’t because people weren’t interested in watching video; it was simply a matter of the slow streaming and download speeds that were common at the time made them virtually impossible to watch without the dreaded buffering ruining the experience.
It could take several hours to download a single movie, or 10-20 minutes to download a music video and the vast majority of people just don’t have the patience to wait that long.
These days, smooth streaming is possible in many areas of the world because download speeds are getting faster all the time. It’s now possible to stream full HD videos with little to no buffering in a large portion of the world.
Now that internet speeds have made this possible, video has quickly taken over as the type of media that most people prefer to consume online.
Even websites which previously focused primarily on text or image content have now moved toward video, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
You may be wondering if video could even be helpful for your business.
Perhaps you’re in a market that doesn’t usually make use of videos often but does that mean that you should ignore it?
Absolutely not, and it may just make you stand out from your competitors if there is a lack of video in your niche.
The truth is, just about any market you can think of can benefit from the use of videos.
For example, think about a local paint contractor. You might think the company would have no use for video, but this is one way such a company could actually stand out from the crowd.
Most people in similar businesses just post photos of their work on their websites and social media, but videos could increase their business in many ways.
For example, using videos could:
- Show their work in a much more detailed way than you can with simple photos
- Bring in additional traffic through SEO and posting videos to various video sharing and social media sites
- Attract search engine traffic, since videos tend to rank more quickly and easily than other content
- Present your content in a more effective way than other types of content
Almost any type of website can benefit from the use of video.
Restaurants can use it to show the sizzle of the steaks they serve. Professionals who offer a service can use it to demonstrate their abilities.
Retail websites can show how well their products work, or how high the quality of their material is. Tutorial websites can create lessons that make it easier for students to learn.
Videos can enhance nearly every site, but a lot of people are worried that it’s too hard to create videos.
However, that simply isn’t the case any more. You can use basic tools which are free or very cheap, such as Screencast-o-matic to record basic videos.
And if you have a webcam, you can record both your screen and yourself at the same time.
In fact, these days creating simple videos is not much harder than sending an email or posting on a blog. If you already have a blog or website, you are definitely capable of making videos.
There are plenty of services that make it easy to create videos, including:
Animoto >> warr.us/Animoto
Vidnami (Content Samurai) >> warr.us/ContentSamurai
Rocketium >> warr.us/Rocketium
Doodly >> warr.us/Doodly
These services will have you cranking out all sorts of videos from sexy animated videos to doodle and whiteboard videos in next to no time at all.
And you will probably want to edit videos too and this is where Camtasia comes in.
Camtasia is a very powerful and user-friendly tool to make editing you videos a cinch.
And if you want to master Camtasia, you should really take a look at Camtasia Mastery as it is an incredibly comprehensive video training course taking you through all the editing options and tricks to make the most out of Camtasia.
Finally, let’s look at some ways to use videos profitably — how to really make the most out of your videos.
Here are a few great ideas for ways to incorporate video onto your websites:
- Think about uploading your sales videos to YouTube. This could give you the added benefit of getting additional traffic from YouTube and search engines.
- Do roundups of similar types of videos. You could make a blog post with several different videos, all focused around a specific topic. For example, you could title your video, “5 Ways to Draw Trees” and embed five different video tutorials, describing each one.
- Film yourself or someone else using your product in order to demonstrate how easy it to use, how well it works, etc.
- Approach a topic from two opposing viewpoints, including one or two videos from each side in order to represent both points.
- Use video to demonstrate something that might be difficult to understand with text or images.
- Use video to show examples of what you can do, in order to get clients to hire you.
- Have a video pop up asking visitors to follow you on social media, subscribe to your email list, visit your sponsor, or take some other action.
The best way to use video is explained in a fantastic training called Video Marketing Insider and this is quite simply the best course on video marketing that I know and the creator is constantly adding and updating the content.
Plus you also get access to a number of softwares when you sign up so I suggest you check out Video Marketing Insider as soon as possible.
If you want to dive a bit deeper, then there are another couple of posts that you may find useful which cover the benefits of video in marketing in more detail and you can find part 1 here and part 2 here.
OK, there you have it. A quick overview of why you should be using video in your business and a few tips on how to incorporate them. Now get recording…
Every day we have choices to make. Wake up early and go to the gym, or get an extra hour of sleep? Pack a healthy lunch to take to work, or buy something when lunchtime rolls around?
Throw a little extra money in your savings account, or buy that new gadget or pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing all month?
Deep down inside, we know which actions will yield the best results. Yet many of us struggle with making the best decisions – and fail to reach our full potential as a result. How do we overcome these challenges? Self-discipline is the answer.
Why Is Self-Discipline Important?
If you want to be successful and reach your goals, self-discipline is the most crucial skill to master. Frequently, the best choices aren’t the fastest, easiest, or most pleasant.
Improving your ability to do what is best for you regardless of initial desire is the only way to make consistent progress in life.
As such, if self-discipline is your foundational skill, you grow more effective in everything you do.
7 Benefits Of Self-Discipline
When you develop a stronger sense of self-control, you can expect multiple improvements across many areas of your life including health, success, relationships and more, so it is a really important skill to learn how to master, don’t you think?
Here are 7 benefits of self-discipline.
1- Improved Health
First, improving your self-discipline leads to improved physical health.
Exercising control over the quality and quantity of food you consume, establishing a regular fitness routine, and drinking enough water help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your chances of illness and disease, and increase your chances of longevity and vitality later in life.
With better health comes increased energy and a better sense of well-being which will help you to get more done and have more success which leads us nicely into point number 2.
2- Greater Academic/Career/Business Success
Next, self-discipline helps you make choices that lead to higher academic and career success.
Sometimes you must choose between studying longer hours and spending time out with friends, or staying late after work to complete a project and heading home to relax.
This is especially important if you are an entrepeneur/solopeneur; you must be able to focus on the long term strategy for your business and practice delayed gratification by ploughing any profits you make in the beginning back into your business.
3- Better Relationships
Third, self-discipline improves your relationships because you become a person who follows through on your commitments.
People in your life learn they can trust you to do what you say you will, and they view you more favorably.
If you keep your word, people will respond to that but if you are someone who says one thing but does another, this will make people think you unreliable or maybe even dishonest, so having the self-discipline to keep to your commitments will really help all types of relationship flourish.
4- Better Financial Health
Next, gaining better control over your finances is another direct benefit of self-discipline and this one cannot be underestimated!
It is linked to point 2 above where you practice delayed gratification now to have a better reward later.
That’s not to say you pinch pennies and sacrifice quality of life.
Self-discipline isn’t supposed to make you miserable. Instead, it’s about weighing the pros and cons and making decisions that bring you closer to your goals.
Examples of financial self-discipline that don’t require total restriction include regularly putting a certain percentage of each paycheck into your savings account or sticking to a budget that allocates a certain amount of money each month for discretionary spending. You still get to enjoy the present, though, not at the expense of your future.
5- Fewer Regrets
Another benefit of growing more self-disciplined is that you’ll have fewer regrets because you make better choices in the first place.
You’ll eliminate such problems as saying the wrong thing at the wrong time because you’re disciplined enough to think before speaking.
This will also affect how you live and enjoy life. You will need to takes risks occasionally, but they should be considered risks.
You don’t want to be one of those people who ends up saying things like “If only I…” or “What if…” and has so many regrets in their life.
Use your self-discipline to make informed choices and to make great decisions to move you life in the way you want.
6- Better Time Management
With an ever-growing list of things vying for our attention, it seems that time is often in short supply.
One of the best benefits of self-discipline is improved management of your time.
For example, social media can be the ultimate time-killer if you don’t exercise self-control.
While it can be useful at times, you can easily fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling through news feeds when you could be completing other tasks.
It is a real positive feedback loop which can have a dramatic impact on the way you achieve the things you really want.
7- Increased Resilience
Finally, self-discipline helps you complete tasks and projects that you start, even when you lose steam or desire.
Motivation is always high at the beginning of a new goal.
Whether it’s a new diet plan, a new business idea, or even new relationships to a certain degree, when things are fresh, there is nothing but excitement and stimulation ahead.
Yet over time, motivation fades, challenges arise, reality sets in, and its tempting to go back to something more familiar or move on to the next shiny object.
Exercising self-control and choosing to finish what you start, within reason, even when you lose motivation and desire means you not only have the finished project under your belt, but you’ve learned lessons and acquired skills you wouldn’t have had you quit.
As the American writer, philosopher and artist, Elbert Hubbard once said, “Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
These 7 factors may seem like small things when taken individually but they stack up and if you do manage to get a hold of your self-discipline, you should see a dramatic impact on the way you live your life and what you can achieve and isn’t that worth it?
Taking The Easy Way Out By Giving Up
When we are confronted with situations in our lives, one of the easiest ways to handle it is to give up. It’s too hard; we tell ourselves.
It’s easy to get to a point where it seems as though all that time you’ve invested in a dream or goal and the time till its fruition can be very daunting and even unobtainable.
There will be times of excitement, enthusiasm, creativity, but they can quickly be followed by despair, discouragement, and the desire to quit.
It’s just simpler to bury your head in the sand, but you’ll never grow if you keep doing this and you won’t have the kind of life that you truly want and deserve.
So, why do we give up so easily?
In all honesty, I think that us humans are just simply wired to want to give up; sad, I know, but it appears to be true nonetheless!
This stems from the fact that we crave instant gratification and if you are striving towards a distant goal, the brain doesn’t like delayed gratification; it wants results and rewards NOW!
So, basically we’re born to look for instant gratification. And this could be for good reason in the past as we may have needed immediate benefits to ensure our survival. But do we need that instinct now in the modern day world? Not really.
We are very much present-oriented, and so when we’re not getting what we want immediately, we get anxious and want to give up.
Maybe you’re disappointed or tired because you haven’t succeeded yet after lots of trials and attempts with nothing to show for it.
Believe me, you are not alone. I can pretty much guarantee that everyone has experienced this in their lifetime.
But, if you found ways to persevere, those situations would go away before they got out of hand.
If your situation is a financial one where you don’t have the necessary funds, you may need to seek other ways to make money.
Of course, it’s bad enough having to work one job as many people are not happy with their jobs. Adding yet another job into the mix can be a hard pill to swallow.
However, if you focus on the goal of taking care of the situation, this can get you through it. You may only need to work that other job for a temporary amount of time.
Life can get even more difficult for many people as they get older.
When you get past a certain age, you are not as easily employable as you were when you were younger. If you are having trouble finding work after being let go, will you keep going until you find something? There are a fair number of people who will simply give up.
Perhaps you have thought about starting your own business. It’s certainly much easier to do that with the internet these days. This too, takes a lot of work, especially since it is getting more competitive all the time. But, those who put in the time tend to make it happen.
Others, simply quit. It’s interesting to note that people who quit, often do so right before the time where they would start seeing some successes in their business.
We tend to have more medical issues when we are older as well. Taking better care of ourselves requires perseverance and habit changes. Many people will simply throw in the towel and take their chances with their health as they age.
It’s not usually the correct choice, however. It can take a commitment both in time and attitude (preparing yourself to be ready) but it can be well worth the effort of knowing that you won’t have to handle worse conditions later.
What Are The Consequences Of Giving Up?
The thing about instant gratification is that it is a mirage, an illusion.
When you look at successful people, many think of them as overnight successes but actually NOTHING could be further from the truth!
Most successful people have failed and suffered rejection many times. Did you know that Sylvester Stallone was rejected over 1500 times when he first approached Hollywood with the script for Rocky?
And to make it worse, they offered to make the film for him, but only if he didn’t star in it!! But he stuck to his guns and it worked out for him eventually when Rocky and Stallone became an “overnight success!”
So, bear this in mind when you feel low and want to throw in the towel. Don’t suffer for mediocre and live a life of regret. Persevere and do what your future self will thank you for.
If you really feel like giving up remember these 7 points to hopefully keep you on track:
- Remember why you started in the first place and how much you wanted it.
- Analyse why you want to give up.
- Visualise the ultimate goal and reward you’ll get if you persevere.
- Plan your journey towards your goal and be prepared to modify it if it isn’t working.
- You are not alone and can find others to support you when it gets tough.
- Have an attitude if gratitude for what you have got and how far you have come.
- When planning goals, set small achievable milestones and reward yourself when you hit them. Your brain likes pleasure so this can help you to keep going.
Life can be tough sometimes and it is very easy to give up and live a less than fulfilled life, but you really owe it to yourself to become more resilient and to persevere whenever you encounter any obstacles you meet.
Everyone deserves to have a rich, meaningful life full of happiness and success but it takes work and you must be willing to do whatever to takes to overcome life’s challenges.
Good luck and NEVER give up 💪
Chances are, you’ve already heard about the importance of building a trusted and unique brand.
Words like “brand awareness” and “brand recognition” are often tossed around, and are synonymous with achieving success and gaining a strong foothold in your market, especially when there are thousands of other businesses competing for your customer’s attention.
That’s what this little post is all about.
Defining Your Brand Message
When it comes to maximizing your income, and establishing a strong foothold within your market, you absolutely need to build a unique and recognized brand that aligns with a clear and direct brand message.
Your brand message explains to potential customers what you have to offer, and how committed you are to providing quality and value.
It’s your job to lay the groundwork as to what you want people to know about your business and then work towards supporting that identity through demonstrating knowledge, skills and capabilities to deliver what was promised.
However, your customers will be the ones who decide what your overall brand image is based on their interactions with your business.
A well-defined, strategic brand message can build instant credibility in your niche, while helping you gain authority in your market and shape how customers perceive your business. It’s quite often the key difference between a well-structured online presence, and a faltering business that is struggling to connect with its audience.
So, how can you build a recognized brand that provides a clear message that resonates with your market?
Start by thinking about your target audience and what is most important to them. Once you’ve evaluated your niche, you will be able to position yourself so that you are directly addressing their most burning questions, concerns and needs.
To do this, you need to gather as much intelligence on your market as possible, which you can do easily just by looking at the competition.
Take things to social media and begin by evaluating social signals – which are clear indicators as to what is currently in demand, popular and selling well. The higher level of interaction, the more advertising dollars spent, and the more engagement; the better.
Knowing how to develop a strategic brand message begins by recognizing what is already successful and improving on it within your own business.
You want to become the go-to person in your niche market, the obvious choice when customers are considering who to turn to when making their purchasing decisions.
When you work towards building an unwavering presence in your market, starting with a strong foundation of trust, you’ll immediately eliminate the barriers standing in the way of you connecting with your target audience.
To do that, you need to learn as much about them as possible so that you can build a brand around what is most likely to capture their attention.
And how do you do begin? It starts with what is called a U.S.P.
What U.S.P Really Means
Let me get right down to it. USP stands for unique selling proposition (or unique selling point), and it is critical that you establish what yours will be right from the start.
Sure, those are components of your overall brand that help people identify your products and recognize you, however, a USP is far more important than that when it comes to building your customer base, and breaking through the barriers of resistance that most businesses experience when they first appear in their market.
A USP is what truly tells potential customers how you are different from the competition. It helps to align your goals with your customer’s. Your USP tells them that you can be trusted, that you have their best interests at heart, and that you fulfill all promises. And most importantly, a USP ensures you aren’t a faceless brand.
This would include key factors that differentiate a product or service from its competition, such as the lowest price, an extended, no-risk guarantee, a unique or exclusive product or offer not found anywhere else, or the first-ever product of its kind.
To start, think about what your product or service has that the competition doesn’t.
Consider ways you can highlight those differences and emphasize the benefits. Paint a clear picture as to why a prospect is making a wiser, sound decision to purchase your product instead of someone else’s.
Your USP is the driving force behind clearly illustrating value and giving potential customers a reason to purchase from you rather than the competition. That’s its one and only job.
OK, that’s it for now but if you want an expanded version of this post covering other points such as creating a powerful brand, the 4 essential elements of a killer brand, plus a handy check list, then click here and you can download a handy pdf to read whenever is convenient.
And if you want to learn more about how businesses use branding then check out this great course called B.R.A.N.D. here.
If you are new to online marketing, you may not know what a lead magnet is so let’s start there.
The idea is that once they have opted into your email list, you can then send them regular emails with tips and tricks and the occasional offer. You can read more about using autoresponders to send automated emails here and you can read this post about finding great lead magnet ideas.
So, how do you create a desirable lead magnet that your visitors will be unable to resist?
Well, follow these 5 quick steps and you’ll have a great lead magnet put together in no time at all.
1 – Know Your Audience
This is by far the most critical part of creating anything for your prospective visitors and buyers. You must know the audience you are trying to attract, and you must know them on a deep level.
A lead magnet is a highly targeted gift that solves one problem for your readers. Remember, less is more.
Your niche may have a number of sub-niches and you can create different lead magnets for each different sub-niche.
For example, you may be in the Internet Marketing / Online Business niche and you could develop a separate lead magnet for those interested in using blogging, Amazon Kindle, Ecommerce etc.
These are all types of online business but vary dramatically in what the audience needs.
You can create a generic lead magnet for “Online Business” but it won’t be nearly as successful as more specific, targeted lead magnets.
If you already have a website, listen to your readers. If you allow comments on your posts, what are they saying? Any questions you see are potential lead magnets.
Browse forum boards in your niche to see the kinds of questions people are asking for more insights into the problems your readers are encountering.
OK, so you know your audience and what their problem is. Onto step 2.
2 – Brainstorm Lead Magnet Ideas
Now you have an idea as to what problem your lead magnet is going to solve, it’s time to get creative.
DO a brain dump and get everything out of your head. Nothing is off limits at this point as you will go through everything later and discard what you don’t need.
The important thing here is to always have in mind the research you carried out in step 1.
It can be very easy to go down the wrong route and to start creating a lead magnet that you think your readers want.
If you find yourself doing this; STOP.
You already know what your readers want so just give it to them.
Go through your brain dump, get rid of what you don’t want, and then start to think about what type of lead magnet you want to create which moves onto the next step.
3 – What Type Of Lead Magnet Will You Create?
OK, you’re really moving now!
You’ve done your research and got a seed of an idea for your gift which will be irresistible to your visitors.
Are you creating a “how-to” type gift? If so, this may work well as a quick tutorial type video, unless your niche tends to dislike video (although this is rare nowadays)
Are you creating a checklist, tool list or resource guide? If so, then a simple pdf report may be best.
Are you creating a motivational type of gift? Then perhaps an audio would work best.
Once you have decided on the format, now you can move onto the next step and actually start creating it.
4 – Create Your Lead Magnet
OK, now it’s time to put everything together and create your amazing free gift.
Research the topic fully and make your explanation as to how your readers can overcome the problem as simple as possible.
If you are writing a report, make sure it is easy to read with good use of headings, paragraphs, bullet points, graphics etc.
You can create great reports in MS Word or Pages and convert them to pdf’s, but if you want to take your reports up a notch, then consider looking into either Designrr or Sqribble to create eye-catching pdf reports.
If you want to record and edit audio, you can use a free tool called Audacity.
Once you have created your lead magnet, the final step is to get it live on the internet, so onto the final step.
5 – Upload And Automate
So, you now have your sexy new lead magnet. That’s great, but now you need to get it online so people can find it, opt-in and then download it.
Firstly, you’ll need to sign up to an autoresponder service such as Active Campaign or Aweber. You will use these to generate some code for an opt-in form, and, more importantly, to send automated emails to people who sign up for your free gift.
Once you have signed up to an autoresponder, go and create a form that people can fill in. This will then generate some code that you will need in a minute.
You may also want to create an email sequence to welcome your new subscribers.
Now you have your opt-in form code, you need to create a web page for people to visit to read about your free gift and to opt-in. This is normally called a squeeze page or landing page
Choose a template and create your squeeze page. Keep it simple, perhaps an image of your gift and a few bullet points explaining what they’ll get.
Once you have designed it, you need to add the form code from your autoresponder to the page so there will actually be a form that they fill in with their details to get their gift.
The final part is to upload your free gift so they can download it after signing up.
You can upload it to your own website or use something like Amazon S3 which is incredibly cheap; in fact, you get the first year free.
Once you have uploaded your gift, you can add the link to it in your welcome email.
OK, there are the 5 steps you need to create a desirable lead magnet.
I know there are a number of technical moving parts involved in doing this, and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.
And here is a handy infographic that you can use as a reminder of the steps to follow.
If you’ve been around internet marketing for any length of time, I’m sure that you’ve heard the phrase “The money is in the list.” You might get weary of hearing it, but it’s smacking you in the face for a reason – it’s the truth! Actually the phrase should really be “The money is in the buyers list.”
First of all, let’s answer the question, “What is a list?”
So why is building a list so important? Let’s say you start off as an affiliate marketer. You find a niche you truly enjoy and you start working what you’ve learned into some traffic for your affiliate links.
Over a period of 30 days, you funnel 5,000 prospects from the World Wide Web who are interested in your niche straight through your affiliate link to the product owner’s site.
They even buy – yea! You’ve made a 50% commission with a 2% conversion rate. That means 2 out of every 100 people you sent bought the product, and your share was $26.00 (as an example). You earned a cool $2,600 this month – good for you!
But you’re leaving money on the table. Those 100 people who bought from your 5,000 clicks? They’re now on the product owner’s list, not yours. So what they’re going to do is send them more offers over the coming weeks.
After all, they are proven buyers. Over the next 30 days, those buyers fork over some more money for products that complement the original one they bought. That money goes to the product owner, not you – because you passed on building a list the first time around.
Why should the product owner get to cash in on that person again and again when you’re the one who brought them the customer in the first place? Stake claim to each prospect and leverage your relationship with them for future sales and commissions.
You can have unlimited lists for different niches and send automated emails using a simple tool called an autoresponder, examples of which are Active Campaign or Aweber. Every day you can log in and see how many people have signed up, and you can create automated messages to send out to help convert your list into more sales.
If you want to learn more about autoresponders, you can read this article.
If you are serious about growing a successful online business, then you must make list building your main priority.
Even if you are an affiliate marketer like in the example mentioned above, there are ways to capture the prospects email address before sending them to the sales page.
You can do this by creating a free gift that the prospect opts-in (i.e. give up their email address) to receive. The trick here is to make the gift highly relevant to the affiliate offer.
Checklists, workbooks, case studies are such examples of good gifts, or “lead magnets” as they tend to be called.
Once you have your gift, you can create something called a squeeze page (sometimes called a bridge page in affiliate marketing) using your page builder of choice. If you use WordPress, I highly suggest OptimizePress and if you don’t use WordPress I would suggest Convertri.
When you are ready, you send your traffic to the squeeze page, the prospect opts in and is then sent to the affiliate offer.
This is a real win-win because you are building your list and you may also get some affiliate commissions if they decide to buy 👌
When you are a little more confident, you can try your hand at creating your own products and having affiliates send traffic to your offers. How amazing is that?
But whatever you do, you must ensure that you are actively list building all the time.
You also need to manage your lists proactively, and learn how to write compelling emails to get readers to open them and to take action on the contents.
Don’t just bombard your new subscribers with offer after offer. It is important to nurture your list and give huge amounts of value and helpful advice before asking them to buy even more stuff from you.
This is a major mistake that a lot of marketers make, especially in the internet marketing/make money online niches.
So, as you can see, list building is critical for the success and longevity of an online business. But it is also incredibly important that you nurture and manage your list once they have subscribed as it is much easier to convince a customer to buy from you again.
Write emails that help your subscribers and don’t be afraid to get a little personal and reveal things about yourself as this will only make them connect with you more, as you are not just another marketer, but a real person.
And remember that your email list is a source of free traffic, so look after it and it will be a source of income for you for years to come.
Your subscribers will expect you to sell to them so that isn’t a big issue, but don’t go for a hard sell every email. Always have their best interests in mind, rather than making a quick buck and they will reward you with their loyalty and custom.
And don’t email them too often! Some marketers email daily, others a few times per week or once a week. There is no right or wrong but you do need to email them regularly; once a week minimum or they may forget about you.
Some marketers can be very pushy and email multiple times per day, especially if they are promoting a product launch, but I personally think that is too much and too aggressive.
As I said earlier, you need to be managing your list and this includes removing people from your list who aren’t opening your emails as this can affect your delivery rates. And as long as you are continually trying to build your list, this shouldn’t be a big issue for you.
Just remember that your subscribers are real people with real problems that hopefully you can help them solve and you will do well.
So, go out and start building and nurturing your list today. 👍
The best outcome of your first online marketing campaign is a big response. The worst outcome is being overwhelmed by thousands of responses awaiting your response. Online buyers expect instant response to their information requests. Time is money, patience is thin!
So if you aren’t able to respond quickly, not only will you frustrate your potential clients, but you’ll wear yourself out trying to handle this alone.
The Amazing Autoresponder
That’s where you hire the inexhaustible personal email assistant, the autoresponder. Just set up your autoresponder to perform all of the tasks you need, and then you’re free to move on to the next campaign.
The autoresponder also captures the email information of prospects or buyers. That’s absolute gold for building your email list. Smart Internet marketers use this list to stay in touch on a regular basis.
The saying is that the money is in the list and this is true, although it is really in the buyer list.
Now you don’t have to irritate with daily emails. Many marketers email daily (and sometimes multiple times per day but this is inadvisable) and can be very aggressive so you need to strike a balance between offering good advice and going for the sale. A 3:1 ratio is a good balance, so for every email that is just going for the sale, provide 3 valuable emails offering good advice and tips to help the reader.
Of course, email marketing is a great way to give them a “sneak preview” and as a pre-sale buying opportunity for your new product along with many free tips.
Another great use of the autoresponder is to send regular newsletters.
Offering a free niche market newsletter helps you get those valuable email opt-ins. Some prospects want to learn more about your product before buying. The newsletter is a tool for developing trust with potential buyers.
The fact is that buyers would rather choose products from trusted sources than take a chance on the unknown, so keep the relationship solid with regular, meaningful communication. Your autoresponder can handle multiple lists and different messages. That gives you a way to tailor the email to prospects for each product.
One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is failing to target the message for each product prospect. They get lazy, write one message and one thank you note and then move on.
And this is such a common mistake that 90% of marketers make, including those who know better and even teach segmentation techniques to their buyers and readers!!! This undoubtedly brings their integrity into question in the minds of their subscribers, so always practice what you preach!
The autoresponder is capable of so much more work for you. Give each list a distinct name that relates to the product so that you can easily identify the list.If the autoresponder tool seems daunting, take time to view the tutorials.
Even if you have an active list under management, scan the tutorials to see if there are new tricks you can learn for maximizing the effectiveness of your autoresponder emails. Keep your electronic personal assistant busy and you’ll make more money online with less effort.
There are free autoresponders out there but they are limited with what they can do so it is always best to sign up to a paid service. Prices range from around $9-$19 per month for a list of up to 500 subscribers and the most popular all have free trials so you can try them out to see which one works best for you.
Although the primary purpose of an autoresponder is to automate the email sending process, it is also important to send regular broadcast emails to your subscribers, especially if there are any trending topics in the news relating to your niche, and also to tell them more about you and what you are up to.
This creates a more personal connection with you and builds more trust and likeability.
And this leads me nicely onto my next point…
Autoresponder Email Marketing – Make It Personal
As already discussed, the technical options that you have make it possible to send personalized emails from your autoresponder that can seem like the real thing.
Not every buyer knows about autoresponders, so it gives them the sense that you created an email individually for each reader i.e. just for them.
When you write an email, start with the name of a trusted friend in mind and write as if the message was just for that friend. Then edit out the friend’s name and set up the message so that your autoresponder takes over and inserts the prospect’s name.
Add the name naturally as it would occur in conversation. Internet marketers can make the mistake of over-using the name just because it’s easy to insert electronically. Read the message aloud.
Would you use the name that many times or does it sound phony? Yes, people love the sound of their own names, but when it’s over used, the reaction is that you’re being a fake and that send the buyer fleeing.
Don’t let spell check defeat you. First, be extremely careful when you type a name into the autoresponder list. If the name was automatically added to a list, don’t change it. Some names are spelled differently on purpose.
There is an ongoing dispute between Teresa and Theresa as to which is the accurate spelling of the name. Answer: the way she wants it! Also, be careful that the name isn’t changed in the final spell check.
Avoid the marital status question. Don’t add Ms, Miss or Mrs to any correspondence. For one thing, email isn’t that formal. You don’t need to guess on this one or you’ll surely be wrong more often than right.
While the generic “Dear Friend” or “Dear Internet Marketing Colleague” seems impersonal, at least it doesn’t make obvious mistakes that are humorous to some people and blatantly offensive to others.
Use the name when you ask for the order. Remember to be personal when you make the final pitch.
What’s more appealing to you: “Everyone needs this marketing package to increase sales” or “ I want to see you enjoy the kind of success I’ve had with this product – so, Stan, are you ready to make serious money online? If you are then click here. . . .but wait, Stan, I’ve got one more bonus that’s just what you need!”
That’s a personal close using the name and showing interest in the prospect’s success. So keep it real, keep it personal and keep making contact with your list so that the first sale isn’t the last one.
OK, so there are a few things to bear in mind when using an autoresponder and writing emails for your email marketing campaigns.
Email is a very powerful tool if used correctly and can be very profitable, but always put your prospects needs before your own and you will surely be successful.
If you are a new online entrepreneur, picking the right niche can be the most intimidating part of the entire business model building process.
If you get this wrong you could be setting yourself up for a disaster where you don’t earn money, you don’t enjoy the work, and you waste an incredible amount of time putting effort into something that won’t pay off.
So it’s vital that you understand the correct elements of picking a niche that pairs passion and profits. There are very few marketers who come into this business without the goal of pursuing their passion.
But you hear so much stuff online about money that sometimes, it seems like passion takes a backseat so that you can focus on money and take the financial pressure off.
“Someday,” you think, “I’ll make enough money at this that I can then do something I love.”
You can start off on the right foot from the very beginning and not have to start all over again one day with a new niche and a new dream.
Just to be honest; It does require some research, but have fun with this! Don’t do it all in one sitting – let your mind take time to savor the possibilities and engulf you in daydreaming about where all you might take these options.
Step 1 – Brainstorm Ideas
The best way to get started is to just do a quick and easy brainstorming session. Now is not the time to sort through and analyze your niches – just get them out of your head and jot them down randomly – we’ll weed out the ones that aren’t a good fit later.
Start by looking at niches you already know you like. For instance, you might like:
- Playing video games
- Playing golf
- Making your own jewelry
- Playing guitar…etc.
All of those are potential niches based on what you know you already enjoy doing. Forget about whether or not you’re an expert – just jot down current passions.
Next, consider what you’ve always wanted to learn but don’t know. For example:
- You’ve always wanted to learn better photography
- You’ve always wished you knew how to crochet
- You find yourself drawn to the idea of living a sustainable lifestyle
All of those “I wish I knew” topics are potential niche markets for you.
Sometimes, you can build a profitable niche based on experiences that you’ve had in life, such as:
- Surviving a troubled relationship
- Enduring a major health crisis
- Flipping a real estate property for a profit
Or, maybe you know someone else who is going through something – it doesn’t have to be directly related to you. For example,
- Maybe your neighbor is dealing with infertility
- You have a good friend who can’t figure out how to meet the right woman
- A sibling of yours suffers from panic and anxiety attacks
As you can see, there are niche markets all around you. Once you start training yourself to look for them, you start to see a world full of possibilities.
It feels safer and more relaxed learning from someone who knows what you’re going through and who can empathize with you easily. Even if you’re not going through the exact same thing, understand why there’s no such thing as saturation…
People like learning from multiple sources! You have a unique style and personality from other leaders in that niche. When people learn and search for solutions, they typically look in several places, not just one.
Step 2 – Research Already Thriving Niches
Another way you can come up with profitable niche markets is to see what’s being talked about by the media and bought in the marketplaces. This is easy because the research has basically been done, it’s just waiting for you to discover it.
Magazine covers at the grocery store can show you a wealth of information. So for example – if you picked up the latest copy of Woman’s World (or even just glanced at the cover on the newsstand), you may see the following topics being covered:
- Juicing for pain
- Food for Alzheimer’s prevention
- Inflammation and weight gain
- High blood pressure
- End cravings while dieting
- Anti aging tea
- Stress relief
- Body makeovers
- Success tips
Those are a lot of niches that yes, are very narrow in some ways – such as food for Alzheimer’s – but it’s a sign that people are into the memory niche, and you can be, too. Instead of getting so specific as “juicing for pain” you could jot down “pain relief” as your niche.
News sites also provide a wonderful account of what’s being followed in the real world. Let’s take four of the top news and information sites and look at what we can find on there.
On FoxNews.com, in the health section, you may discover topics like marriage quality influencing heart disease, obesity and exercise. Under the lifestyle section, you learn about hidden costs when buying a home, the key to online successful dating, and favorite vegetarian meals for celebrities.
On CNN.com, you could learn about bitcoin as a currency, comfort food weight loss, and diabetes and dental health. You can separate these combined topics or keep them combined if you want.
On DrudgeReport.com, you might see a news story about riots or bioterror and start thinking about the prepper niche. There’s a story about electronics like tablets selling more than toys for kids. You also see a story about the price of electricity rising, so a niche about saving money or becoming self sufficient might be an idea.
On HuffingtonPost.com, you may see stories about retiring abroad, the key to creativity, in-office workouts, remembering dreams, habits of mentally healthy people, etc.
Online marketplaces can give you some insight into what sells well with consumers. You can look at top sellers at ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, and Amazon.com to pinpoint some possible niches.
Let’s look at them one by one.
ClickBank’s marketplace shows some of the top niches as:
- Fat loss
- Men’s dating
- Make money online
- Potty training
JVZoo.com’s marketplace shows some of the following topics selling well:
- Social media mastery
- Kindle publishing
Amazon.com is a great place to research both tangible and digital niche markets. You can go to amazon.com/bestsellers and look through each category to see what’s selling.
You can also look at hot new releases, top rated, movers and shakers and most wished for. These lists are updated hourly, so they’re as current as you can get, which will serve you well.
Click on a category and you can drill down further. Click on Books, for example and you can look in self-help. You can see that people want to know about:
- Being an introvert
- Marriage help
- Success tips
After you do a quick brainstorm and some fundamental research, you might have a very healthy, long list or a short one of about 5 niche markets you could possibly get into.
Next, it’s time to cut down your list even more. Don’t be hesitant about removing niches. They’re always there if you ever want to branch out and add another income stream, but you have to start somewhere with one niche, so avoid combining them just because you don’t want to give one up – keep in mind that it’s only temporary.
Step 3 – Discard Niches That Don’t Interest You
As you can see, picking a good niche isn’t something you do in 10 minutes in a flash. It’s a process that you give time to if you’re serious about building a highly profitable business because it’s going to require dedication by you.
Let’s look at some reasons who you would want to weed out a niche. Go through each niche idea you have and see if any of these reasons exist.
You can’t commit to writing, talking and leading the niche day after day. Many newbies hear instructions about keyword volume and price points of available products to promote, so they pick a random niche they personally have zero interest in.
Imagine you’re a man who loves golfing, but you pick the crochet niche because some guru pointed out something about keyword volume and product availability. It happens – and the poor golf lover not only doesn’t know about crocheting, but he can’t imagine writing about it every day. This is a recipe for failure.
Another reason is that there’s not enough monetization opportunity.
Ideally, you’ll pick a niche that provides both tangible and digital items you can promote (or create).
Examples of this are:
- Weight loss – not only can you promote diet and exercise digital plans, but also food and weight scales, workout equipment, supplements and more.
- Stress relief – not only can you promote digital eBooks on how to combat stress, but you can sell products like aromatherapy machines and home spa products.
One more reason why you may want to cut a niche is if it’s overly trendy. Sometimes something is such a fad that it’s a waste of time trying to build an entire business around it.
It’s much better to have an evergreen topic, like stress, than it is to build a whole site around a trend, like rubber band bracelets. That doesn’t mean you can’t create a page somewhere online to profit from trendy topics , but reserve your major efforts for topics that are going to last.
If it’s too broad, you can either eliminate it or narrow it down and see what all you can come up with for it. For example, just tackling the “diet niche” can be overwhelming.
But you might want to build a site about:
- Dieting over 40
- Dieting post pregnancy
- Dieting for diabetics…etc.
Once you whittle down the niches and feel confident that you could write about or lead in this topic for the long-term and that it can easily be monetized with products, you’ll need to make a firm commitment to one (if you’re left with more than one).
Step 4 – Compare What’s Left Over
This is where some of the traditional guru advice comes in handy. There will be times when your passion for two topics is equal and both provide great opportunities for profits.
That’s when you turn to things like keyword search volume so that you can see how prevalent the topic is online. You want to use keyword tools to see what words and phrases people are using to find information in that niche, and how high the volume is.
You might be asking yourself, “What number am I looking for?” There is no set number. You can make a good income from volumes of 1,000 or 10,000. Should you go with a niche where there’s only 10 searches per month?
Probably not. You want to look at typical conversion rates – anywhere from 3-30% – and compare that to the price of what you’ll be selling.
So if you were promoting an average of $100 items on your site, where you earned 50% of the sale (or $50), and you saw a search volume of about 1,000 for a good keyword phrase, then even at a low 3% rate, you could expect 30 sales per month @ $50 commission, which totals $1,500.
Is that a sure thing? Of course not! You have to have everything in place for proper conversion. Online businesses aren’t a “build it and they will buy” scenario.
Reviews on Amazon can provide some insight into whether or not it’s a hot niche. It’s not just the bestseller’s list. You can look at products and tell to some degree. For example, if you start clicking on categories in Amazon, you might see something typical like coffeemakers with hundreds or thousands of reviews.
But keep clicking around and you might stumble on a niche that you didn’t realize was that popular. Click through on “chef tools” and you’ll see a comfort mat that has almost 1,000 reviews and sells for almost $60.
So that might be a niche for you, if you like cooking – not the mat, but maybe “comfort in the kitchen – for people who love the art of cooking” and everything you promote could be digital products about cooking (including ones you create) and tangible items that make things easier.
Available domains will be a factor in your decision, but please take time to play around with synonyms and phrases before you simply cross a niche off because your first domain idea is already taken.
For example, let’s say your niche will be diet for diabetics. Look for other words for diet, such as food, nutrition, diet plans, eating, meals, etc. Diabetics can be used as diabetes, too.
So you begin mixing and matching. You might try:
- DietForDiabetics.com – available at auction for over $1k
- FoodForDiabetics.com – taken
- NutritionForDiabetics.com – available at auction for over $3k
- EatingForDiabetics.com – available at the regular price
- DietPlansForDiabetics.com – taken
- MealsForDiabetics.com – taken
Then go through and switch diabetics to diabetes and see what you get there. Or switch words around:
- DiabeticMeals.com …etc.
Do as much as you can to see what’s available and then if necessary, wait a day or two to see if any other possibilities pop into your head, such as:
- DiabeticMealPlanner.com … and so on
If more than one of your niches meets all of the above criteria, then what do you do?
You ask yourself, “Which audience do I want to serve?”
This simple requirement – where you feel empathy for your target audience and truly want to solve their problems – is where you develop a loyal fan base who will convert at the upper limit of typical conversion rates for you, instead of the bare minimum.
Remember that if you’re in a rush, you can easily choose the wrong niche, spend weeks or months trying to grow it, and still fail because it wasn’t right for you. It might be right for someone else – and this is why some people hit it big in a niche and others try it and see zero success.
Another thing you might want to do, if you’re still undecided, is spend some time looking at your competition. But only do this if you are the type who won’t succumb to intimidation, thinking, “Oh there’s already someone much better than me out there.”
Always keep in mind that people want choices. That person you’re admiring might be a great joint venture partner for you one day. But your style and voice will be unique to you, and his or her non-audience will be thrilled to find your voice out on the Internet waiting to guide them.
Plus, think about how you yourself learn. When you want to learn online marketing, do you only listen to just one person? Or do you visit a few blogs, read a few people’s responses on forums, and follow different people on social networks who inspire and educate you?
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t pick the right niche the very first time. Even with the best research and intentions, sometimes we get into a niche and just don’t feel it’s right for us.
If this starts happening, make a decision to cut your losses and try again. Remember what it was that you didn’t like about that niche and look for the opposite in your next one.
You have to maintain a fine balance between abandoning niches at the drop of a hat just because you’re not making instant riches overnight, and wasting too much time chained to a niche that just isn’t going to work for you.
Your next step is to build a blog. As a newbie, this is one of the easiest platforms to create and rank in search engines, and it’s the perfect place to let your target audience get to know you as their new niche leader.
If you want to start building a blog the right way, take a look at this amazing training that shows you how to build a blog the right way and how to build a list and monetize it. It is called Rapid Blogging Blueprint and consists of a training manual and over 3 hours of over-the-shoulder training and you can find out more here: warr.ws/RBB
Transitioning To Working At Home
Have you been forced to work from home due to the global coronavirus crisis? Obviously you are not alone during these strange times!
The initial joy of being able to work from home can be quickly replaced by worry, a lack of motivation and never-ending distractions.
How on earth do you get things done when there are so many distractions in your home? While home working can deliver a lot of benefits, there are a lot of challenges it presents too and many people seriously underestimate these!
In this post, you’ll discover some useful tips you can follow when it comes to transitioning to working from home.
Set Up A Quiet Work Area
With all of the distractions at home, it can be really hard to concentrate on work. This is especially true if you have kids at home.
So, if you want to ensure you can get things done in peace, it’s worth setting up a quiet working space.
Try and use a room that isn’t frequently used during the day. Place a sign on the door when you’re trying to work to let others know not to disturb you.
Make sure the workspace is comfortable too as you won’t get a lot done if you aren’t comfortable.
Start Work At Your Normal Time
One of the main challenges that can come from working from home is delaying the time you usually start.
It’s tempting to have a lie in and take longer to relax in the morning before starting. However, this only zaps your productivity.
If you want to ensure you stay productive, you’ll want to start as early as possible. The positive side to this is that the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll get to finish.
Limit Social Media Screen Time!
You’ll have a lot more time to check in on social media when you haven’t got the boss breathing down your neck. However, it’s easy to waste hours using social media accounts if you aren’t careful.
Many home workers find it useful to set limits on their social media use during working hours. It could be simply committing to using it during a specific time for example. Having limits in place makes you more aware of how much you’re using it.
Maintain Your Usual Work Routine
It’s really important to try and maintain your usual routine. This is linked to starting work at your normal time as mentioned above.
This means, getting ready for work in the same way you usually do.
So, wake up at the same time, have your usual cup of coffee and get dressed into your work clothes. It’s amazing how much of a difference this can make to your productivity.
These are just a few tips you can follow when transitioning to working from home. It can be a big adjustment, but there are lots of tools and tips out there to help.
Trying to maintain your usual routine is one of the best things you can do during these changing times and will allow you to be just as productive as you were in your work place.
Here are a few more tips to help you with productivity when working from home.
How To Be Productive Working At Home
As convenient and beneficial as working from home can be, it can also prove to be damaging to productivity.
The trouble is, up until now, you’ve associated your home as a space for relaxing. So, it can be difficult switching to a more productive mindset when you’re in the comfort of your home.
The good news is, there are ways to boost your productivity when remote working. Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to stay productive when working at home.
Keep Your Workspace Tidy And Just For Work
You’re going to find it hard to stay productive if your workspace is cluttered.
So, before you start, take time to clean up the area you’re planning on working in.
Get rid of any clutter and organize the space.
The cleaner and tidier the space is, the easier you’ll find it to focus on your work.
Take Regular Breaks And Get Outside For Air
Suddenly being cooped up in the house all day can be detrimental to productivity.
It can cause issues with low mood and leave you feeling less motivated to get through your workload.
By taking regular breaks and making time to get out into the yard, it can really boost those productivity levels.
Spend just 10-15 minutes gardening or reading a book outdoors to help refresh productivity levels.
Always Prepare For The Day Ahead
When you go out to work, you know there’s things you need to do to get ready for the day.
You have a routine which prepares you for work. However, when you start working from home you don’t really have that.
Rather than thinking you can now work in your pajamas all day, make the effort to get dressed.
Create a morning routine which sets you up for work. That way, you’ll find it much easier to stay productive if your mindset is geared towards work.
Harness The Power Of Nature
Did you know that plants and flowers can help you to feel more motivated? Adding them into your workspace can help to brighten up the working environment.
Numerous studies have shown how effective greenery can be within an office environment. So, if you want an easy way to stay productive, add a few houseplants and flowers to your home office.
You can also utilize the power of scent too. In some countries, workplaces spray citrus scents to boost employee productivity. Try experimenting with different scents to see which ones make you work more efficiently.
Staying productive when working at home isn’t easy but it is doable.
The above are some of the best methods you can try to increase those productivity levels. Taking regular breaks away from your computer are important, not just for productivity but for your health too.
OK, I hope these pointers will help you to stay productive in your working from home during these unprecedented times, and stay safe.