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The Secret Copywriters NEVER Tell You

It’s all about fancy copywriting and Jedi mind tricks to make the sale with your copy, right? After all, that’s what most copywriters will tell you.

The Secret Copywriters NEVER Tell You

However, at least half the battle is won via selection of your audience, rather than how good your message, your copy or your offer is.

If you’ve got mediocre marketing aimed at a highly targeted and well selected audience, you’ll get great results.

But if you’ve got exceptional, world-class, you-hired-the-best-of-the-best copywriter kind of marketing aimed at the wrong market or even a poorly targeted market, at the very best you’ll get mediocre results.

And odds are, you won’t even do that well.

You need to know who your customers are and where to find them. Who is your ideal client? What do they want, what do they need, what are their objections, and what do they look for in your product or service?

Here’s an easy example – not all targeting is this simple, but it gives you the idea:

You have a pet-related product and so you target all pet owners. That is sloppy targeting, and yet I see it daily.

Or, you have a cat product for senior cats who have chronic kidney disease.

Now you know exactly who your market is – no, it’s not cats with kidney disease, it’s their humans. Talk to them, find out their struggles, fears, worries, problems and so forth with dealing with this disease.

Ask them why they try so hard to keep their kitties healthy rather than go get a new, younger cat (if you’ve ever loved a pet, you already know the answer to that one.)

When you have a product that can help these particular cat owners, you can have a sloppy marketing campaign and it won’t matter a bit – they will buy if your product helps solve their real problem, I guarantee it.

Spend half your marketing time finding out exactly who your market is and targeting those people. Spend the other half crafting your marketing message, and you will have a marketing campaign that meets the mark.

Leveraging the Power of Pain in Marketing

Let’s talk about human nature for a second.

Leveraging the Power of Pain in Marketing

If I were to offer you a succulent, moist, still-warm-from-the-oven piece of triple chocolate cake…

…while simultaneously slamming my heel into your toes…

…which one would you notice? Which one would you react to?

And which one would you still be thinking about tomorrow?

People will spend an enormous amount of time, money and energy to avoid pain. They’ll avoid confrontation with bosses, neighbors, spouses and kids to avoid emotional pain. They’ll take drugs to suppress physical pain.

Your job as a successful marketer – whether you like it or not – is to use this pain to help them find a solution.

Some might call this exploitation – digging around in the pain and agitating it to motivate people to take action. You’re making the pain worse before you finally prescribe the cure.

But it’s the pain that makes people take action. And if you can help people, then it’s your job to do it. And to help people, you’ve got to use the best method possible to motivate them to take action – which is aggravating the pain and making them feel it until they cry ‘uncle.’

I know what you’re thinking – you won’t make their pain worse to sell them the solution. Instead, you’ll motivate them with a positive picture of what their life will be like once they have the solution. Well, you’re half right.

Understand this – Humans will do far more to avoid pain than to receive reward. They’ll run as fast as they can away from the stick, but they’ll creep up on the carrot and many times never even reach it.

Most people cannot clearly describe what they want, which is why they never get it. But they can tell you exactly what they don’t want. By rubbing their noses in what they’re trying to avoid, you momentarily make the pain worse until it’s unbearable. They want to take action now. They NEED to take action NOW.

And then you motivate them with the positive picture of all the benefits they’ll receive from doing this thing you want them to do.

The niche doesn’t matter, either. Whether you’re selling software, information, washers and dryers or stocks and bonds, agitate the problem, then offer the solution.

Examples:

Software – How much work are they having to do, and how much business are they missing because they don’t have your automated solution? They’ve already wasted tons of time and lost a fortune. Their competitors are ahead of them, and soon their business will be on the scrap heap. Unless… unless they grab your software now, because then they can get x benefit and y benefit and z benefit, etc.

Health Information – They’re overweight, tired, catching colds and at risk for serious disease. From here, it only gets worse – much worse. Sick, in pain, bed ridden, in the hospital, heart attacks, chemo and drugs and … but wait. They can turn their health around, starting right now.

Washers and dryers – Think how much extra they’ve already paid in water bills because they don’t have energy efficient models. Plus, the wear and tear to their clothes from inferior washers and overheating dryers, their shoddy appearance wearing these clothes, making a lousy first impression at work because of how bad their clothes look. But you can solve it all today…

Investments – They’ve already lost a fortune by not using your services. Just look at the returns your clients have been getting, look at how much money they started with versus what they have today. If only they had started with you sooner, all the time and money lost. But right now you have perhaps your best investment advice yet, and timing is critical…

Okay, you get the idea. No matter what you’re selling, you can agitate the problem and then offer the solution.

Remember, in movies the hero doesn’t arrive to save the day until things look completely bleak and desperate and the cause is all but lost. Effective marketing is no different.

Use Affiliate Newsletters to Increase Sales

If you’ve already got your own affiliate program, are you sending out a regular newsletter to your affiliates? If not, you are missing a truly golden opportunity to increase your sales.

Breaking News

Here are the reasons why you do want to send your affiliates a newsletter on a regular basis:

– You can address any questions that seem to come up regularly.
– You can update affiliates on any new policy changes, new tools they can use, etc.

– You can update affiliates on new product offerings, new contests, etc.

– By staying in touch, you maintain a presence in their minds, thereby reminding them to promote your products.

Here Are Some Tips To Help You Write Great Affiliate Newsletters:

– Use subject lines that include keywords to get your emails opened, not just “Monthly Newsletter.” Your subject line should make it clear your newsletter is for affiliates (not consumers) and there is useful content inside.

TIP: Beginning your newsletter with the highest commission paid for the previous week seems to generally work well at both getting the email opened and inspiring affiliates. Another good opener is, “Hello John, we’re grateful you promote our products at website.com.” This reminds them of who you are and their connection to you. By the same token, using a salutation such as, “Hi Affiliate Team” provides the same benefit.

– List your main topics at the beginning of the newsletter so they know what’s inside. If you hide some of your topics down below, they won’t be viewed by as many affiliates. But if you provide a bullet list and perhaps even hyperlink them to the appropriate areas of the newsletter, affiliates are more likely to find the information they want.

– Give your affiliates plenty of advance notice of sales, coupons, codes, discounts they can offer, contests, discontinuations, etc.

– Prior to a new product launch, give affiliates your latest product for free so they can tell their contacts about it with authority.

– Send your affiliate newsletter weekly, not monthly. Yes, affiliates do prefer to hear from you every week as long as you have relevant information to share with them.

– Unless you’re in a high-tech industry, consider using plain old text for your emails. It loads faster on phones, it’s less likely to get flagged as spam, and it’s actually slightly more likely to get read by the recipient. On the other hand, if you’re in an industry that expects lots of flash such as high-tech, then do use HTML. Also, if you want to display your product or your new banner, then of course use HTML. Best bet when you’re uncertain? You already know the answer – TEST.

– Ask your affiliates what they need to be successful. Don’t send them a time-robbing 20 minute survey. Instead, point them to your forum where you’re asking them what they need, what they think, etc. Or conduct a very short poll. Keep communication on a 2-way street and you’ll be astounded at the insights your affiliates will sometimes provide.

– Offer affiliates the chance to be on a special list for “flash” sales. These are sales of significant discounts that don’t last long and sometimes come with little warning. Some affiliates who are more reactive will want to know about these and others won’t because they prefer to plan their promotions well in advance.

– Provide a call to action at the end of the newsletter. What do you want them to do? Call you for more info? Go to your webpage to get the codes for your new banners? Tell them what action they should take.

– Always test your newsletter before you send it. Check for formatting errors, misspellings, inaccurate information, etc.

– Include your contact information in every newsletter.

If you need more info on what to put in your affiliate newsletter, go to Google and search for “affiliate newsletter tutorial” and you’ll get some great ideas.

– Depending on the network they use, you maybe able to search for your competitor’s archive of affiliate newsletters and see what they’ve done in the past.

TIP: You might also sign up to be an affiliate for your competitor so you can receive their affiliate newsletters as they’re sent out. Just an idea 😉

Start sending newsletters to your affiliates regularly, and you will surely increase their engagement and sales, which if your product brings value to customers is a win-win-win.

Essential Affiliate Program Dos and Don’ts

Having your own affiliate program can be an effective way to reach buyers you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach without a lot more time and effort. And when you attract the right affiliates, it can even boost your credibility. After all, many buyers make purchase decisions based upon the recommendations from marketers they know, like and trust.

But before you start your own affiliate program there is a lot to consider. What do you need to do to make the most sales? Attract the best affiliates? Make everything run smoothly and seamlessly?

Affiliate Program

Here are points to take into consideration, whether you’ve already set up an affiliate program or you’re about to:

Are You Leaking? Every affiliate who takes a look at your program is going to want to know if you have leaks. That is, are there any links that lead prospects off of your merchant website and onto someplace where the affiliate won’t get paid? For example, are you linking to other pages or other products? Do you have other ads, banners, link exchanges, etc. on your site? Are you using Adsense? Is there anyplace where traffic could leak out and be lost? Affiliates hate this, and rightfully so. An affiliate puts effort, time and money into sending traffic – they want that traffic to be held captive by your sales process until they either purchase or leave on their own accord.

Are You Going to Use a Network or an In-House Affiliate Program? A network provides tracking and an interface for the merchant and affiliate to communicate. The network also makes the payments to the affiliate, unlike an in-house program where the merchant is responsible for paying the affiliates. In-house affiliate programs are run either on software the merchant purchases, or software that comes with the shopping cart they’re using.

Basically it boils down to how much control you want, versus how many responsibilities. If you want the ultimate in flexibility and control, you’ll want to run your program in house. You’ll have access to all of your affiliates information so you can contact them, unlike some networks that are available for running your affiliate program. However, if you want a built in pool of affiliates and someone to handle the reporting and tax-forms, then use a network.

Are You Using an Affiliate Manager? Or an OPM? An affiliate manager works directly for the merchant to manage the affiliate program and recruit affiliates. An Outsource Program Manager is a consultant who runs multiple affiliate programs for multiple merchants.

A good affiliate manager will more than pay for him or herself, but finding one isn’t easy. Your best bet is often to find someone experienced in online marketing and then train them to be an affiliate manager.

TIP: Make at least a portion of their pay performance based – that is, pay them a percentage of sales. The more active affiliates they bring on and the happier they keep those affiliates, the more they will earn through the increase in sales.

If you want to try using an OPM, you can find many companies that supply them through Google. A good OPM will have plenty of established relationships with affiliates which is a real benefit.

You can also use an OPM to help get you started. Once you are more established that same OPM can help to train your in-house affiliate manager.

And obviously you can also act as your own affiliate manager in the beginning.

You’ll Want Plenty of Affiliate Tools. This includes banners of various sizes, short and long emails, Text-based ads, etc. Are you going to create these yourself? Or hire someone to do it? Conversion is key – if spending money to get it done right translates into enough sales, then obviously it’s worth it. Another factor to consider is that professionally created tools will tend to attract more affiliates and also a higher caliber of affiliates.

Is Your Offer Already Converting? If it’s not converting without affiliates, it won’t convert with affiliates. Also, affiliates want to know what the conversion rate is before they will consider promoting, so you’ll want to send some highly targeted traffic to any new offer before asking affiliates to promote. If you have an in-house list, then this should be as easy as making a blog post and sending a few emails. If not, hopefully you are friends with at least a couple of list owners who will test it for you. Otherwise you’ll want to buy traffic or use some other means to send targeted buyers to your site.

Do You Have a Terms Of Service for Affiliates? (Also known as an Affiliate Agreement) If not, you need one before you start recruiting affiliates. You need to clearly instruct affiliates on what they can and cannot do. Don’t go overboard on this or you’ll end up tying your affiliates’ hands, but also make sure they’re not allowed to do anything that could jeopardize your business in any way. You’ll want to look at the TOS on other affiliate programs and perhaps even consult with someone on this.

Are You Going to Restrict or Limit Affiliate SEO? This is relatively new – some merchants are placing language into their Terms of Service that restricts an affiliate’s ability to rank their affiliate promotion on the first page of the search engines. For example, an affiliate may make a video that promotes his/her affiliate link, and get that video on Page 1 of Google’s natural search results. An affiliate may even get a video or webpage ranked higher in the results than the actual merchant websites, and some merchants take a dim view of this.

Frankly and in my opinion, if your affiliate is outranking you on SEO, then you need to improve your own SEO rather than tying the hands of your affiliate. I know there are merchants who disagree, but if your affiliate is ranking on page 1, your affiliate deserves those sales. But this is something that you need to consider in advance. Once an affiliate has made Page 1 is no time to change your agreement and tell them they’re not allowed to rank naturally, because your affiliate will then substitute your competitor’s link for your own.

A good compromise is this: Allow affiliates to rank naturally for any term other than your exact brand name. If you have trademarked your brand name, you can actually enforce this if you choose. More importantly, you can enforce this against anyone else who tries to rank for your trademarked brand name, especially competing brands and their affiliates.

How Does Your Site Look? Are there broken links, missing images, or a design straight out of 1999? Does your website look professional? Are your “About Us,” “Contact Us” and “Privacy Policy” pages complete and accurate? Is your branding consistent from the beginning to the end of the sales process? Bottom line – would a stranger enter their credit card info based on your website? This is what affiliates look at.

What Are You Going To Pay? If your product is a digital download and there isn’t a great need for customer service, you’ll want to pay at least 50%. If your product is, for example, a monthly recurring billing (such as software, hosting, etc.) that can involve customer service (phone calls, emails, etc. that cause you to hire help) then you might need to pay less. If your affiliate program is basically a way to generate a list of buyers, then pay as much as you can – preferably 75-100%.

Having said all that, here’s what NOT to do: Do not lower commissions on existing sales. For example, if you’re paying 50% on a recurring commission and find you are losing money, do not then reduce that commission to 30% on pre-existing sales. Ever. This is the fastest way to lose your reputation and your affiliates. You can, if you must, lower the commission on FUTURE sales.

Also, do not look for reasons not to pay affiliates. Do not reverse commissions, create loopholes, look for technicalities, etc. The moment you fail to pay an affiliate what they earned, that affiliate will tell others, often in very public forums. It’s simply not worth alienating present and future affiliates because that commission you save today can cost you thousands of sales in the future.

How to Select a Great Domain Name

Do you think all the great domains are already taken? Think again – do some searching and you’ll be astounded by the possibilities still available.

How to Select a Great Domain Name

Here are several tips for getting great domain names:

Use repeating sounds. For example, TerrificTeachingTips, EasyBreezyPeasy, MasterMakingMoney.com, etc.

Base your keyword on your major benefit or promise to the website visitor. For example, if you cater to artists, you might use something like: MakeYourArtSell or 30DaysToMasterfulPainting.

Take your keyword or keyword phrase and add something to the end, such as…

now
today
secrets
results
strategies
formula
system
fast
quickly

Examples: BuildYourEmailListQuickly, EasyWeightLossStrategies, LookTenYearsYoungerNow

Add something to the middle of your keyword phrases, such as…

of your
to
for
of the

Examples: SellMoreOfYourProducts, GardeningForBeginners

Add something to the beginning of your keyword or keyword phrases, such as…

get
you
your
the
how to
discover
learn
real

Examples: DiscoverBestSuccessTips, HowToRaiseDucks, RealResultsRealFast.

Never dismay because the first domain you search for is already taken. Apply one of these tips and you’ll soon find a great domain name to launch your next online venture!

Why Successful Marketers are Truly Weird

I’ve observed 10 traits in marketers who make 6 figures or better that are – for lack of a better word – just plain weird. What I haven’t figured out yet is, are marketers successful because they’re weird? Or do they become weird once having success? You decide.

Why Successful Marketers are Truly Weird

Successful marketers think backwards. We’ve been taught to progress through a series of steps to get to our destination. But these guys don’t think about steps – they focus on their end goal. They make it totally real in their minds, like they’ve already got it. And then they reverse engineer their way back to the beginning to figure out how they got there.

When using this process, it’s almost as though they’ve achieved the goal before they even start. An added perk to this method is obviously the added confidence it gives them that they will succeed, because they already have. It’s sort of like a time travel machine for the mind.

Successful marketers quit. A lot. Have you ever known someone with stock that was dropping like a rock in the market? Odds are they continued to hang onto it because they didn’t want to lose money. Result? They lost even MORE money.

Successful marketers know when to cut the rope. If something isn’t working, they stop doing it. If something or someone is sucking their time or resources away, they let it go. In a nutshell, they quit anything that isn’t working and focus on what is working.

Successful marketers cut corners. Practice makes perfect, right? Actually, if you’re a successful marketer then practice makes for a more streamlined system. In discovering what is necessary and what it not, you can cut out a lot of little things that accomplish nothing more than distracting you or taking up your time.

And often times these are the exact things that seem so important to others. For example, rather than proofread your book 5+ times, you can do it just once or have someone else do it just once, and then insert a line at the beginning that explains you felt it more important to get the information out in a timely manner than to see to it that every possible error was edited out. It’s still a quality product, it’s just not a perfect product and it never would be, even if you didn’t cut that corner.

Another corner cutting example: Taking a long time to make a decision. Most people like to do research, weigh all the facts, sleep on it for a few days, etc. Successful marketers use the information they have available to make a decision quickly and move on. Sure it baffles everyone else and makes the entrepreneur look reckless – but this can also account for why they are so successful – money LOVES speed.

Successful marketers are risk takers. Imagine you’re a mountain goat and you want to get to the other side of am exceedingly deep crevice. You can either climb all the way down the mountain and up the other side of the crevice, or you can get a running start and make the leap. But in jumping you must give it your all – you cannot make a mediocre attempt or you will plunge to your death. You are risking everything to gain everything.

Successful marketers risk making a product no one wants, risk buying traffic that does not convert, risk making fools of themselves trying to contact more successful marketers for help, risk looking silly on social media or making a really big mistake while trying to build their brand. Everyday they take risks. It takes guts to be a successful marketer. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun when even the tiniest of risks pays off.

Successful marketers say no more often than they say yes. Opportunities are everywhere and no one sees them more easily than the successful marketer. But they learn to say no to most of the opportunities in order to make the most of the opportunities they do pursue. It’s called focus, and it’s a key ingredient to success.

Successful marketers are also careful to say no to people and opportunities that are simply not right for them or their customers. Just because mailing the new XYZ offer to your list will make you a lot of money today, does not mean you won’t regret it later if that XYZ product turns out to be a dud. Sometimes saying no is the most profitable thing a marketer can do.

Successful marketers repeat themselves, almost to the point of being boring. When they find something that works, they don’t go in search of something else. Instead, they ramp it up. They do it again, bigger and faster than last time. They accelerate and expand the process. They do it over and over again, tweaking as they go to make it better each time. Sure it’s more exciting to start a new project every week – but as long as your attention is pulled in many different directions, you will get nowhere.

Successful marketers don’t go on shopping sprees or puff themselves up. It’s a natural inclination – you’ve finally made a few thousand dollars and you’re sure you’ve cracked the code to success. Now let’s go shopping! But successful marketers reinvest a major portion of their profits straight back into their business to grow it bigger and stronger. And then they begin investing in their future – just in case one day the bottom drops out of their business.

By the same token, making much ado about yourself should be reserved for the insecure people of the world who feel they have to prove something to others. The next time you go to a marketing conference, pay attention to the other attendees. That guy bragging about how well he’s doing is probably barely making ends meet, while the quiet guy taking notes could be a millionaire. People who are already successful have nothing left to prove to others, and they have the confidence to simply be themselves.

Successful marketers don’t have back up plans. This is counter-intuitive, but it’s powerful indeed. Remember the mountain goat who wanted to jump across the crevice to get to the other side? Do you think the it will be successful by keeping one hoof on the mountain, just in case?

So it is in business. When you don’t have a backup plan, you go after your goal like your life depends on it because it does. This factor alone can make the difference between failure and success.

Successful marketers aren’t the lone wolf. They don’t go it alone. They forge alliances with other people in their niche, with their customers, and with outsourcers. They ask for help. They play really, really well with others. That image of a self-made man or woman who did it all on their own? That’s nothing more than Hollywood fiction.

Successful marketers work. A lot. Now that is strange. I thought online marketing was all about lounging on the beach and working 5 minutes a week? Yet successful marketers work like crazy to earn their success. Hmm, now that is weird.

The Real Magic Button to Online Success

I’ve decided I’m really, truly going to do it, right here and right now… Yes, I’m going to get a lot of hate mail from the 6 and 7 figure earners for doing this, but that’s fine… Today I’m going to reveal the closely guarded and highly coveted secret to online success.

The Real Magic Button to Online Success

You know how they say there are no magic buttons, and then they try to sell you magic buttons? And then when the magic buttons don’t work, the remind you yet again that there are no magic buttons?

The truth is there is one magic button.

Just one.

And it works every time. EVERY time.

When the Internet marketing guru gods got together, they wondered where they should hide this magic button.

It went something like this…

“If it’s found, everyone will know the secret.”

“That’s why we should hide it on the tallest mountain.”

“No, hide it in the deepest sea.”

“No, hide it away in an electronic vault that not even Anonymous can crack.”

Finally one young guru stepped forth and quietly said, “Better still, hide it in plain sight.”

Everyone gasped. “It will be found!” they cried.

The young guru just smiled. “Everyone knows if you want to hide something, place it in plain sight. This way even those who do see it will not recognize it’s true value, and will pass it by in search of the hidden treasures.”

And so it was decreed that they should place this secret where everyone could see it and no one would recognize its worth.

Thusly this magic button sat, ignored by all but a small number of marketers who quietly used it to build their fortunes.

Have you guessed yet what it is?

Do you know the secret?

Or would you pass it by on the street, thinking it was too ordinary to account for the fortunes made by others?

Even now, as I pass the secret on to you, you are likely to miss it completely. A monkey voice in your head will shrill, “But I already know that!”

The secret will be forgotten before your next meal and you will continue on, searching for that holy button of wealth, ever plodding forward, ever wondering why you are not yet earning the 6 and 7 figures you yearn for.

But never the less, I shall attempt to impart the secret to you thusly:

Focus only on that which furthers your business.

There, you see? Already your monkey mind is dismissing this advice. In fact that little chatter box in your head is probably telling you to go check email and Facebook right this instant. “Go!” it screams. “There is nothing here for you, run to email, run to Facebook, go play a video game or watch Netflix, go go go!”

Are you still here?

Then I shall impart onto you the very foundation that goes with that magic key. You will already surmise that when I say, “Focus only on that which furthers your business,” I am telling you to focus on those things that directly impact your bottom line. The most important of those are of course creating products and getting buying traffic to those products. In fact, if you simply drop everything else and focus on those two things, you will be successful.

But if you want to build a solid 6 or 7 figure business that grows year after year, we need to go just a bit deeper.

After all, you don’t want to create just any product. You don’t want just any traffic. And you don’t want to throw just anything together and see if it somehow sticks to the wall.

Perhaps the best explanation of how to build a thriving, ultra-successful business comes from the book, “Why 5% Succeed: The 5 Principles of Predictable Profit” by Elaine Starling, and it goes like this:

Become Relevant to your future customers. Your customers have a problem. They will only notice and work with you when you offer a relevant solution. This might be by helping them accomplish things faster, cheaper, easier, etc. Perhaps you’re solving a critical business or personal challenge for them. Or you could be creating products that are unique, cool, differentiating and compelling.

Being relevant is not enough. The adage, “Build a better mouse trap and they will come” is wrong. They won’t come if they don’t know about your mouse trap, or if they don’t trust you. So your second task is to…

Foster Relationships. In the case of online marketing, you’re fostering relationships with your readers, your visitors, your list, etc. You’re also fostering relationships with your affiliates and JV partners, too. The better you are at building relationships, the more successful you will be. In fact, if you could be good at only one thing, it would be to build relationships. You could always promote other people’s products, but only if you have customers who already know you, like you and trust you.

The more your relevance and your relationships intersect, the more successful you will be. In other words, the more people you have relationships with who can see how relevant you are to their needs, the higher degree of…

Results you will experience. If you imagine being relevant as one circle, and fostering relationships as a second circle, the area where they overlap is where you are making your sales and getting your desired results. If you want more results, you need to first make sure you’re on the right track, and then increase your relevance and/or increase the quantity and/or quality of your relationships.

Lastly, the speed of establishing your Relevance and fostering more and deeper Relationships depends on two skill sets:

First, how Receptive you are. The more Receptive you are, the more you understand your clients needs, wants and priorities. It’s all about knowing your customers inside and out, listening to them, and making them a part of the solution process. You’ve got to be completely open to discovering what they want and then fulfilling those needs and desires.

And the second skill set that determines how successful you are at this process is…

How Resilient you are. The one constant in life is change. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today. What your customer wanted yesterday is what they are ignoring today. You’ve got to recover quickly from adversity and move fast to take advantage of new opportunities.

As the author states, “The more ways you can win, the more often you can win.

So to get back the the essence: Focus your time on those activities that further your business. Talk to your customers to find out what they want, and then create those products and services. Build relationships of trust and respect with both customers and affiliates. Be open and receptive and agile in change.

That’s all you need. It’s really rather simple, and it’s been staring you in the face all this time.

The question is, are you going to say, “Yeah, I know that stuff?” Or are you going to start to live it?

Because if you’re not consistently earning $100,000 a year or more from your online business, you’re likely not living it. And until you do, you will be hopping from one thing to the next, always looking for that big score, that one-hit wonder that makes you money today and and leaves you wondering why it didn’t last tomorrow.

You have the magic button now. What you do with it is up to you.

How Outsourcing Can Save Your Business

If you’re not outsourcing some of your work yet, you might be wondering what the benefits are. Obviously you’ll save time, but you’re trading money for the time saved.

How Outsourcing Can Save Your Business

So is it really worth it? Here are 7 benefits of outsourcing you may not have realized:

1. Not only are you saving time, but the time you save can be put to a higher use. For example, instead of spending time writing your next article, you could outsource the article creation to a professional and spend that time making contact with potential JV partners who will promote your products.

2. You don’t have to learn a new skill. If it’s a skill you’re going to rarely use anyway, or if it’s something that you simply have no interest in learning, you are much better off outsourcing it to a professional.

3. Even if you know how to perform the skill you’re thinking of outsourcing, there is a good chance someone else can do it better than you. Maybe a lot better. Do you really want to spend the next ‘x’ amount of your own hours to achieve mediocre results? Or do you want an amazing payoff that can only come from someone who skillfully performs that task every day of the week?

4. You can grow your business faster when you outsource. If you’re trying to do every task yourself, you can only grow as fast as you can work. But if you harness the skills of others, you can grow exponentially.

5. You can react to the market faster. Let’s say a new social media site hits the scene and you want to create a product that teaches people how to use it. If you do all the work yourself, it could take weeks. But if you outsource some of the work, you can have it done in days. Money loves speed.

6. Once you have a system that works, you can ramp it up on a large scale with outsourcing. For example, you’ve discovered the exact type of video to make to promote affiliate products and how to get it ranked high in Google. Now outsource the work to others and instead of creating and ranking two new videos a week, you can do 2 a day. Or even 10 a day.

7. You’ll be happier. By outsourcing all the tasks you either don’t enjoy or aren’t very good at, you can focus on the areas of your business that you truly enjoy. And when you enjoy your work, you will naturally tend to get more done and be more successful.

Why Negative Social Proof Does NOT Work

We are all familiar with social proof – placing positive testimonials on your sales pages and websites to show what others think of our products. However, there is a form of social proof used by many marketers that actually backfires and causes sales to drop dramatically, and it’s what they call “negative” social proof.

Why Negative Social Proof Does NOT Work

It works like this: You want to create a sense of urgency, so you say something like, “A lot of people have missed out on this, and you do NOT want to be one of them.” Or “Only a handful of people who read this letter will be smart enough to grab this offer before it’s too late.”

The problem is, you’re indicating that a lot of people are not buying the product. And since people tend to look to others for indications of what to do, this kind of social proof will actually encourage prospects to follow the lead of the majority and not make the purchase.

If you read the book Yes!, you’ll see Robert Cialdini’s experiment where he measured the effects of signs posted in the Arizona Petrified Forest to prevent theft of petrified wood. They tested 3 different signs, and the one that included negative social proof actually INCREASED theft.

The sign read, “Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, destroying the natural state of the Petrified Forest.” This sign actually TRIPLED the amount of theft because it demonstrated to readers that other people were already stealing, thereby making it seem alright for them to steal as well.

Here are more examples of negative social proof:

“This year Americans will produce more litter and pollution than ever before.” Potential result in thinking: It’s okay to litter, everybody’s doing it.

“35% of sexually active teens do not always use condoms.” Potential result in thinking: I don’t have to use a condom if I don’t feel like it.

“4 years ago, over 22 million single women did not vote.” Potential result in thinking: They didn’t bother to vote, why should I?

“50% of women report being harassed in the workplace.” Potential result in thinking: Lots of other men are doing it, I’ll do it too.

However well intentioned those messages may be, as you can see they are likely to have the exact opposite effect than what was intended.

So for example, if you’re marketing something to enhance the security of a WordPress blog, do not say “80% of WordPress owners unintentionally leave their websites wide open to hacking.” If you’re selling an SEO product, do not say “90% of website owners do no SEO whatsoever.”

If you’re selling a diet product, do not say “90% of overweight people will never lose the excess weight.” And if you’re selling a dating product for people over 40, do not say “Most single people over 40 have given up looking for their ideal mate.”

How can you avoid negative social proof? Don’t focus on how common the undesirable behavior is. Instead, show that it is rare and practiced only by social outcasts. Emphasize (where appropriate) that the behavior is:

– Illegal
– Subject to penalties
– Immoral
– Reprehensible
– Irresponsible
– Stupid
– Outdated and no longer acceptable
– (And best of all) Universally scorned.

By doing this, you can make negative social proof work for you rather than against you.

You might want to look over any sales material you have, and make sure you haven’t inadvertently used negative social proof. Just because 80% of marketers have unintentionally used it at least once doesn’t mean you should. 😉

And if you didn’t catch that last bit of negative social proof, you might want to reread this article again.

10 Attention-Getting Email Subject Lines

Successful email marketing starts with getting the attention of your subscribers. If you don’t nail it on the subject line, there’s little chance your subscriber will open your email.

10 Attention-Getting Email Subject Lines

When you’re stumped for what to say in the subject line to get your next email opened and read, refer to this handy guide to demand attention and boost your email open rates.

The Big Benefit: You already know to emphasize benefits over features, but are you placing your biggest benefit in your subject lines? Try it and if the benefit matches a major desire of your list, you’ll likely see your open rate go through the roof.

How-to: This one is easy and effective – use your subject line to indicate you’re going to reveal how to do something they are likely to want to do. “How to lose 5 pounds today,” “How to make $100 this afternoon,” etc.

The Urgency Factor: Create some anxiety and get your email opened. You can do this two different ways – first by showing your subscribers what they gain by taking immediate action, such as gaining a free Kindle book today only. Second by demonstrating what they lose if they don’t act, such as losing entry into a program that is closing shortly.

The Numbered List: There is something almost magical about using numbers in subject lines and headlines, plus it gives you a road map to write the content that follows. For example: “Top 10 reasons why you’re doing email marketing all wrong” or “5 ways to get your children to behave.”

Keyword Bait: If you’ve built a targeted list, then there are certain keywords that will likely get your emails opened by that list. For example, if your list is made up of horse lovers, then you’re going to want words like horse, colt, foal, mare, riding, etc. in most of your emails since they act as triggers for your readers.

Discover Astounding Secrets: Benefits plus curiosity are always a winner. Use words such as discover, secrets, amazing, astonishing, etc.

Ask a question: A question irresistibly compels the reader to think and answer. “Is he the right man for you?” “Would personal coaching help you achieve your goals?”

The Eyebrow Raiser: If you can get them intrigued enough to raise an eyebrow, they will open your email. For example: “Why chickens are master gardeners,” “The couch potato’s guide to weight loss” and “5 foods that make you LOSE weight.”

The Story Starter: Everybody loves a good story, so if your subject line sounds like it’s leading into a story, people will click it. “This morning my son asked me where babies come from” and “My client got blistering angry when”

The Curiosity Raiser: You’re not telling them much of anything in the subject line, yet you still make them curious enough to open it. How? By raising their curiosity. “This is B.S.,” “Never again,” “What was I thinking?,” etc.

Next time you want to send an email, refer back to this list and try out some of these proven subject line tips to get more of your messages opened, read and acted upon.

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