Online Marketing 101 Archives

Fiverr: Outsourcing the Easy Way!

profile_240397469_75sq_1350790316I have learned quite a bit about the technical side of Internet marketing in the past few years…Any prospective Internet marketer who wants to be successful has to! However, there are things that I need to get done from time to time that are just a bit too far from my level of skill. When that happens, I usually turn to Fiverr for help!

Fiverr is a website where you can find qualified people that will do all kinds of Internet marketing-related things for only $5. They post their service offer there and you can browse to find the person that seems the better fit for the job you need done.

Do you need to have a couple of landing pages designed and uploaded to your hosting account? You’ll find someone who can do that for you on Fiverr. Do you need to have someone design a nice Facebook page cover for you? You’ll find them on Fiverr. Do you need to find someone who can design an attractive banner ad for your website? You can find that person on Fiverr. Fiverr is really a great alternative for the budget-conscious Internet entrepreneur who needs to find quality services at affordable prices.

As always, you do have to shop around and do your due diligence in order to separate the quality service providers from the flash-in-the-pan opportunists who just want to make a quick buck and disappear. In order to help you do that, Fiverr has a rating system that shows how many jobs each service provider has performed and how many stars he/she received as a reward. Normally you will want to go with the provider who has the most stars and the highest ratings, because that shows they are trust-worthy and competent.

I’ve only mentioned the technical services you can find on the website, but there are also providers that deal with marketing, writing, translation, video and animation, music, and advertising, among other things. If you need to have a logo designed for your business, or a professional video made about it, you can find a provider that will do that on Fiverr. You can even get professional actors to appear in your video or do a voice-over reading any script you give them!

You’ll find that most providers offer additional “gigs” that complement their basic $5 offer. For example, I recently had someone design a landing page for me, and he charged me an additional $10 to install it in my hosting account in less than 24 hours. I ended up paying $15 for the service, but now it is done, and it cost me only a fraction of what I would have paid outside of Fiverr to a higher-scale technician.

All you need to have in order to use Fiverr is an email address and a PayPal account, (which means you don’t even have to worry about giving your credit card information to anyone). Just use your common sense and stay away from anything that sounds too good to be true, (things like “I’ll blast your solo ad to 900 million biz opp seekers” and such). The time wasted pursuing nonsensical things like that can never be recovered, even if the amount of money you lose in the process is minimum, and time is a precious commodity!

The All-Important Subject Line!

compellingemailsubjectlinesWhen it comes to email marketing, you can have the best marketing message and the best list of prospects in the world, but if your email’s subject line stinks you will go NOWHERE.

Why? Because your subject line will determine whether your email gets opened or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, your entire effort has been useless. Conversely, you could have a mediocre marketing message that goes out under a winning subject line, and then you will see success due to the high amount of messages that will be opened.

Like much everything else in marketing, the numbers game is a strong factor for success. But you still need the right tools, and the subject line is one such tool that will definitely make you or break you.

With subject lines you need to get creative. The CAN-SPAM law that governs email marketing says that subject lines cannot be deceiving and must accurately reflect the nature of your offer. There are ways to satisfy this requirement without coming across as a cheap spammer, but still managing to spark your prospect’s curiosity enough to compel him/her to open your email.

What I would suggest you do is take all the messages that land in your SPAM box and analyze them. Most of them will be junk, but a few of them will feature subject lines and content that were expertly written, and will compel you to open them and look at the content. The reason why they end up in the SPAM box is because the different email service providers like Yahoo, Google, etc. keep getting more and more restrictive and strict by the day where email marketing is concerned.

Emulate these good emails when writing yours and imprint your own personal style unto them without copying word for word. The important thing is that you understand why that specific email and its subject line compelled you to find out more about whatever offer was being advertised.

When writing subject lines for our industry keep in mind who our prospects are. The subject line should feature a benefit or a solution in a way that will compel the prospect to want to learn more.

For example, I work almost exclusively with online business models that require no selling, “closing”, or overcoming objections, because the automated systems involved do all of that for me. That is a very attractive feature that can be described succinctly in the form of a subject line: “Earn 6 Figures Without Selling, “Closing”, or Overcoming Objections!”

When someone looking to make money using the Internet receives an email with that subject line, chances are he/she will open it to see what it is about, and that is exactly your goal. The email under this subject line should be short, concise, to the point, and should point your prospect to a squeeze page where they enter their email address and other pertinent information and opt into your list of subscribers.

Remember…An effective subject line is worth its weight in gold, because it will help you build your list of subscribers and grow your business!

The Web Marketing Process Simplified

online-marketing-150x150So, you decide you want to start making money using the Internet. Then you start looking for an online business opportunity that appeals to you and seems easily workable. You find one such opportunity you like and decide to join…So far, so good…

Many Internet business systems nowadays will give you what is called a replicated website, along with some kind of lead generation mechanism so you can get started. However, in order to really be successful you need to have control of the entire process, and most of the time these business systems won’t give you full control.

When this happens you can stay with the system, but you have to develop sales pages and email marketing messages of your own. And you will also have to develop a mechanism that will allow you to attract your own prospects and follow up with them consistently until they either join your program or buy your product, or ask to opt out and stop receiving communication from you. This mechanism is commonly known as a marketing funnel.

This may sound overwhelming at first, and may give you the impression that you won’t be able to do any of it unless you are some kind of web programming wizard, but nothing could be further from the truth. You can do all of this if you know how to do basic things like surfing the Web, cutting and pasting, and checking your email. All you need is the right tools, and we’ll discuss what those are next.

First, you need a lead generation or “squeeze” page that can be integrated with an autoresponder that you control. A squeeze page is called that because it is designed to squeeze your prospect’s email address from him, so that it can go into your autoresponder and you can start sending him marketing messages after he opts in. A squeeze page normally looks like this. A few Internet business systems out there will provide you with already-made squeeze pages that can be integrated with your own autoresponder, but most won’t.

If the business system of your choice doesn’t provide you with a squeeze page that can be integrated with your own autoresponder, you can create one with a wonderful tool called OptimizePress. Once you have created your squeeze page, you need to integrate it with your autoresponder. No need to worry, because OptimizePress makes all of this very easy to do! It can be done in about ten minutes with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Once you have all of this ready, when a prospect drops his email address into your squeeze page your autoresponder will take over and start sending him your sales messages in the sequence and frequency you choose.

Some business systems provide these messages and some don’t, and if yours doesn’t, I can show you where to get some powerful sales messages that will do the awkward sales work for you. In these messages you must point your prospect to the sales/order page that your business system provides, so that if he decides to buy or join he’ll be able to do it right away and without complications.

And that is pretty much it! This certainly isn’t rocket science, but there are details that can be easily overlooked or not executed the right way that can derail the whole process for you, so you have to be careful and do things right. I have linked this page to others that explain OptimizePress and autoresponders in detail, so just click on the links for more info…Happy Marketing!

Email Marketing and the Law…Stay out of Trouble!

shutterstock_spamwordcloud170If you use email regularly, you know how frustrating it is to receive hundreds of spam messages every day that do nothing but create clutter in your inbox, and in many cases act as malware and spyware that crooks use to steal your personal financial information.  Statistics show that in recent years, close to 90% of all email messages sent have been classified as spam!

In response to that, the U.S. Government enacted a law called the CAN-SPAM Act in 2003, and has been updating it every year since in order to reflect changes in the Internet marketing industry as they take place. This law mandates Internet marketers to abide by some rules when using email for business purposes.

These rules include things like giving recipients a clear way of “opting out” or unsubscribing from your list if they wish to do so, using subject lines that are not deceptive and that clearly relate to the message’s content, and including a physical snail-mail address for your business. This law also prohibits the “harvesting”, “scraping”, or gathering of random email addresses for marketing purposes. In other words, this law bans the sending of unsolicited marketing email to anyone who hasn’t explicitly requested it.

The CAN-SPAM Act is enforced by the FTC, (Federal Trade Commission), and the basic penalty for violating it the first time is a fine of $16,000, which escalates progressively with further violations. The seven main things you need to do to comply with this law are as follows:

  1. Do not use false or misleading header information.
  2. Do not use deceptive subject lines.
  3. Identify the message as an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients your physical location by including a valid physical postal address.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  7. Monitor what any third-party might be doing on your behalf. If you hire another company to do your email marketing for you, you are still responsible for complying with the law.

As responsible Internet marketers, we always want to be in compliance with the law, but we also have to figure out ways to run our businesses successfully. To that end, I have devised a simple email marketing strategy that is 100% CAN-SPAM compliant and works well. I want to share it with you, but will do so separately….Stay Tuned!

The Problem with YouTube

youtube1-150x150So, we all know that YouTube is a gigantic presence on the Internet, and that it can help us take our business to the next level. After Facebook and Google, YouTube is the site that receives the most traffic in all of the web. That’s a fact.

Another fact is that YouTube has been going through many changes in recent years, and it isn’t what it used to be anymore. Now the site administrators have become much more finicky about who they’ll let operate on the site unmolested and who they won’t.

Since YouTube was bought by Google, home-based online marketers have been finding it harder and harder to use the site to their advantage. Many of them have even had their accounts terminated arbitrarily, because the people who run YouTube now have developed a dislike for folks who want to use the site for business purposes from their home. That is, the big business hitters are welcome but the little people like us are not.

I know many successful online marketers who have been hit by YouTube’s whimsical attitudes, and who have opted to abandon the site altogether. I can’t say I blame them, but the truth is that those of us who are not big hitters can really benefit from using the huge, free platform that YouTube offers for massive exposure.

This can still be done, but you have to be a lot more discreet and careful than you were in the past while using the site. The following tips should allow you to use YouTube without running the constant risk of immediate termination:

a) Don’t be overtly open about the fact that you are trying to make money from home. Be tactful and turn your video into an informational product instead of having it be a crass advertisement for whatever it is you are selling. Remember the concept of Attraction Marketing? YouTube is the perfect venue for it!

b) Don’t use obvious marketing words or gimmicks as titles or tags for your video. You’re going to have to get creative and find a way to come up with titles and tags that relate closely to your business, but that don’t automatically advertise the fact that you are soliciting business from anyone.

c) Don’t accept comments or ratings to your videos. Shut this function down, because if your video starts getting a lot of hits quickly, the YouTube police get alerted immediately and come around checking to see what your video is all about. If they see that you are advertising a home-based Internet business, chances are good that they’ll take down the video and terminate your account.

In summary, you can still use YouTube for business purposes, but you have to be careful and discreet about it. Use YouTube to establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable about running a business from home. Use YouTube to develop the “know-like-trust” relationship with your prospective customers that I talk about in my web marketing course, instead of using it to hawk your product or service willy-nilly.

Be smart about using YouTube and you’ll see your business benefit from it!

Stay away from “Lame Marketing”!!

CartmanLAME-150x150Most prospective online entrepreneurs are faced with the following scenario when they decide to dive into Web Marketing,  (and this happens with all kinds of marketing, to be honest): The first thing they are told to do is write a list of their “circle of influence”.

This so-called “circle of influence” is really a list of all the people the new marketer knows. When this list is completed, the new marketer is told to present his/her offer to all these people at the earliest possible opportunity and repeatedly, regardless of whether these people are interested or not. I call this “Lame Marketing 101″.

This is a big part of the “training” that a vast majority of newbies in the marketing industry get, (if it can be qualified as such). When I entered the automotive sales industry, for example, the first thing I was told to do was to go and hound my friends and family relentlessly with new car pamphlets and ads about the latest sale at the dealership. Needless to say, a lot of friends and relatives still cringe when they see me coming their way today, and I can’t say I blame them.

At some point along the path I realized that this is EXACTLY the wrong way to go about marketing anything. Then I came to the Internet marketing industry, and I learned a whole new way of marketing that consists SIMPLY on finding your target audience, (the people interested in your product or service), and presenting them with your offer. Sounds very basic, but you’d be surprised at how difficult it is to get people to understand this very simple proposition sometimes.

I don’t do “Lame Marketing” now, haven’t done it in years, and will never advise anyone to do it, because it is counter-productive, time-wasting, irritating, stressful, and frankly, JUST PLAIN STUPID. Do you want to alienate a prospective customer in a hurry? Start trying to sell him or her on something that they haven’t expressed the slightest bit of interest in!

Today’s web technology enables us to find the people who are interested in what we have to offer through a variety of means, such as Pay-Per-Click and Search Engine Optimization to name a couple. This is the beauty of the Internet!

However, smart marketing can be practiced offline as well through the use of print ads published in the right publications and postcards sent to a reputable, appropriately targeted mailing list. The Internet has simplified marketing and made it more sophisticated at the same time, but it is by no means the only way to go.

So stay away from “Lame Marketing” if you want to be successful as a marketer on and off the Web. Stick with me and I’ll be happy to show you the do’s and don’ts, and share with you the knowledge that I have acquired from experience!

Marketing Is a Numbers Game!

You’ve probably heard this before, and it could not be more true. Success in marketing does indeed depend on the number of prospects you can reach with your marketing message.

The commonly referred-to rule of thumb in the marketing industry says that for every 100 prospects that see your marketing message, only 2 will buy your product or join your program. This is especially true in the realm of online marketing.

This is why your main task as a home-business operator using the Internet as your main platform has to be marketing intelligently online. The advantage of online marketing is that it can be achieved virtually without the advertising expenses that a regular brick-and-mortar business is confronted with.

Many people get excited about this industry and decide to jump into it, but become very disillusioned and dejected when their first marketing effort doesn’t render gigantic results, and that is just the tendency we all have to underestimate the difficulty of life.

Success never comes without effort and perseverance, and this industry is based on those two concepts to a very, VERY large extent. You have to make every effort to learn the right ways to go about marketing your product or program online, and once you’ve learned them, you need to put that knowledge into practice and persevere until you achieve success.

One of my favorite quotes about success comes from Sir Winston Churchill, who said: “Success is nothing but the ability to go from one failure to the next without losing enthusiasm”. He didn’t know it then, but he was describing exactly what it is like to operate within the online marketing industry!

This is a mindset that you must adopt and master as a home-business operator. If you do, it will allow you to succeed and achieve your goals not only in this industry, but in life!

The Problem With Postcard Marketing

If you’ve been following this blog at all, you’re probably tired of hearing me say that the most important thing you can ever do for your business is list building!

That is why you have to be willing to consider every conceivable method of lead-generation out there. However, at the same time, you have to be judicious and realistic when it comes to the costs you are willing to bear.

 

What does that have to do with postcard marketing, you ask?

I want to share a story with you: Once upon a time, (and not that long ago), I used to be one of those happy souls who thought that a single mailing of postcards to a good mailing list would bring me sales every time, and needless to say, I was wrong.

I was wrong, because I have realized that postcard marketing is, for the most part, really just one more way to generate leads (so you can build your list). A VERY expensive way to generate leads. Yes, you can make the occasional sale using postcards, but the overhead is just way too high.

Let me give you an example of what happened to me, in order to illustrate my point:  I would purchase an opportunity buyer list with 1,000 names from a reputable broker for about $100. Then I would purchase 1,000 first class postage stamps for postcards, (postcards need 0.32 cents each, so my total for that would be $320), and the design and printing of my cards would set me back by about $75. So my total cost for reaching 1,000 targeted prospects with non-junk mail postcards would be $495.

My reputable mailing list would yield a typical 2.5% response, which amounts to 25 people going to my website to look at my offer. Invariably, out of those 25 I would get maybe one or two sales, (if I got very lucky), and to be honest with you, most of the time all I got was 25 subscribers to my autoresponder list.

Therefore, my cost for each one of these leads came out to be $19.80. That is criminal, and I stopped doing it a long time ago!

There are very effective lead-generation methods out there that will allow me to generate up to 4,000 targeted leads per month virtually for FREE. In view of that, I am sure you can understand how crazy and insane it is to spend almost $20 for each lead you generate!

Postcard marketing works great for those who have sizable marketing budgets that allow for significant volume, and for those who are willing to pay for the bulk rate instead of first class. However, they still have to deal with the tendency people have to throw bulk mail away, (better known as junk mail), without even looking at it.

So my recommendation to you is to stay away from postcard marketing in the beginning, and to start attempting it little by little as your marketing skills and your budget increase in size. For effective and very inexpensive  methods of lead generation, stay tuned to this blog.

In closing, as always, I have to stress that the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do, (which you need to start doing RIGHT NOW), is building a list of subscribers and followers who trust you. Do that and the money will follow!

(And please, PLEASE, don’t use any methods that will cause you to pay $20 for a single lead!!!)

The Most Important Step to take as a Newbie

list building

 

The vast majority of those who decide to turn to the Internet for a source of income don’t know why list-building is the most important thing for them to start doing. I was one of those people until not too long ago.

Usually what happens is that someone comes across an ad for a home-business opportunity on the Web and clicks on it. Then the person gets taken to an attractive landing page where he/she is solicited for their email address and name. Then they enter that information and get taken to a presentation, (usually a webinar). Many budding webpreneurs start that way.

Most Internet business opportunities provide their affiliates with a replica of their sales page or their webinar, and tell affiliates to promote that page and drive traffic to it in order to generate sales. What the newbie affiliate does not know is that in order to have a shot at making money online they have to build their own list. This is vital!

If all you do is promote a replica of a sales page without collecting the information of the people who view it and opt into it, you are leaving quite a bit of money on the table. Yes, you might make some sales and collect your commission, but you won’t be able to build a relationship with the buyer in order to generate trust and the opportunity to market to them continually.

If and when you join a business opportunity, what you need to do is build an attractive and compelling landing page with a web form that captures your prospect’s information for you. This is not difficult to do at all, and will ensure that you start building a list of prospects that will trust you.

You will need some tools in order to achieve this, like autoresponders and a website like this one, but those tools are not expensive or hard to get. I can point you in the direction you need to go in order to get them inexpensively and efficiently. You do need to realize that making money on the Internet is like any other business endeavor though, in that it requires an initial investment of time, effort, and money.

It is possible to make a lot of money on the Internet. One of the people that taught me what I know about web marketing has a list of over 10,000 followers to whom he markets consistently. This gentleman makes an average of $25,000 to $30,000 per month working out of his home office, putting in no more than two or maybe three hours per day!

I’m nowhere close to that level, but I have learned quite a bit from people like that gentleman, and it will be my pleasure to transmit that knowledge on to you if you stick with me and keep up with this blog!

Misconceptions About “Niche Marketing”

Many marketers seem to think that niche marketing is all about trying to sell your product or service to the entire world, when reality shows that they could not possibly afford the gigantic advertising budget that would require.

However, it is entirely possible to sell profitable items successfully to a smaller audience with only a computer, an Internet connection and a good idea. You can accomplish this by means of properly implemented niche marketing techniques.

Niche marketing is not about trying to compete. Competition is taken out of the equation when you do niche marketing. You are not out there in the world beside or behind a million other marketers who are selling the same thing you are selling. In niche marketing, what you are really doing is selling to a specific audience that you have created for yourself with your opt-in email list.

Niche marketing is not about selling to different people every day of the week. Once you have your list built, you can sell to the same people time and time again, because you have established rapport and trust with them, which is KEY.

Niche marketing is not about focusing on the big picture. Narrowing your niche down to a very specific part of a larger market allows you to gain a fair market share of that smaller part of the market. The world is a big place and there are billions of people. You only need an infinitesimal portion of the population to have a huge list of potential buyers of your products or services.

Niche marketing is not about seeing only the impossibilities. Niche marketing is only about looking closely at the possibilities. Small possibilities converted to sales can equal big profits!

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