Firstly I should say I am not new to marketing online. In 1998 I started an online travel company at a time when Tour Operators, Cruise Lines and Airlines for the most part didn’t have websites and those that did were not selling online. This was also before the Giants in the Travel Industry had made their mark.
I decided to keep a normal business format were we still deal with the clients one on one, and we continued to grow, weathering the dot com bust, 911 and numerous other tumultuous world happenings. I chose not to advertize on our main websites, keeping them easy to use and navigate.
This last year the world economy, the Arab Spring and natural disasters worldwide have taken its toll on people traveling particularly in the North American marketplace. This has lead me to look at alternative online revenue generating options.
I did start with some affiliates programs back in 1998 with another website, and did okay for while until the Affiliate Program supplier changed their format and the commissions trickled down.
Now I am determined to make the kind of money the Gurus are making online. I am on my way. I think I have listened to every webinar, read every training program and tried every piece of software there is available out there. To say the least it can be confusing and overwhelming and if you are new you can quickly become frustrated and give up.
Where do you start and which programs should you use?
After much trial and error I have found the programs I am comfortable with. Here are the things I have learned that might be of help to you.
1. The Guru’s are not going to give away or sell their secret methods of making money – much as they all tell you they are and show you great revenue stats – use some common sense – they would be setting up their own competition if they sold you their secrets and they aren’t going to do that.
2. For sure there are ways to make money online but it will take time, effort and determination on your part.
3. There are no get rich schemes – your will need to try and test various programs – get rid of all the clutter and then concentrate on the programs that fit your comfort level. There is no one fits all program.
4. Social Media programs, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and Forums are great for chatting and networking, and getting your message out, but there are limitations on what you can actually sell on them. There are paid advertising options, but it can get expensive.
5. There are many programs out there that can help you with the following.
- Twitter – There are programs were you can prepare your messages in advance and have them automatically sent out a set times.
- Free Domains – Were you can set up your domains for free – great for one page selling website
- Free Squeeze Pages – Templates supplied
- Logos, Back Links and Email lists – places where you can access these at nominal cost.
- Outsourcing – You can outsource any tasks that you can’t or don’t want to do at nominal cost.
- Expenditures – You will need to spend some money – you can keep it to a minimum and then reinvest a few dollars once you start generating revenue.
- Webinars & Training – If you sign up for any opt in emails you will get lots of offers and opportunities to listen to webinars. Basically right now you could listen to one every day if you wished there are so many. Remember at the end of the webinar they will be selling you something. Many will have PDF’s you can download which are great training tools.
6. Stick with it, it is easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated with all the options.
7. If you have ever been to any seminars or workshops you know that they are going to try to sell you something. This used to be high pitch sales and running to the back of the room to purchase before they ran out of product. The same techniques are used online to create urgency.
The model of selling has changed and now they will sell reasonably priced programs followed up with an upsell to a higher priced product or a pitch to sell you coaching or mentoring programs.
If you buy into a coaching program check who will coach you – is it someone within the company or have they hired outside sources to coach. I have had companies try to sell me coaching that had nothing to do with teaching me the program I bought from them.
Things change constantly on the internet. When I first started people were scared to use their credit cards online. Now security has improved and it has become standard to pay online.
Customers want to find exactly what they’re shopping for quickly and easily. They are looking for bargains and want to comparison shop with a convenient process.
Retailers have had no choice but to get onboard with internet marketing and just about every retailer now has a website. Remember you don’t have to have a product. You can work with a drop ship company, sell information products through ClickBank, or sign up with one of the many other Affiliate programs to sell product.
Many of the Gurus make a good deal of their money by joint venturing with other Gurus and selling one another’s products.
The retail trend is already moving to shopping and buying on smart phones. This means more and more retailers will want a Mobile website in order to keep up with the competition. Regular websites are hard to navigate on a Mobile phone. I’m a great believer that this is the way of the future and this is one of my niches.
Before you start, first and foremost you need to decide exactly what it is you want to get from marketing and selling online. It can be somewhat addictive once you get going.
- Talk to your family and agree on your goals and the time you will spend working on this. You need the family to buy into what you are doing or it can cause friction you don’t need.
- Become really focused
- Be determined and stick with it – One thing all the Gurus appear to agree on is that a determination to succeed is what they all have.
- Determine your goals either on your own or with your family. Not just for what you want to get revenue wise, but all your goals. This will keep you focused. Written goals for all areas of your life with a timetable and accountability have proven to be really productive in keeping people on track to success.