Monthly Archives: July 2011

35K for 2 Sales? Here's How to Avoid This Deadly Mistake.

This morning I had a long conversation with a good friend in the self-improvement business.We’ve known each other for over 12 years and were sharing our frustrations about the “internet marketing” industry (and the snakes that are becoming more prevalent).

He was told me about a client he spoke with last week.

She’s a smart person. A licensed psychologist.

And she had admitted to spending over $35,000 over the past 3 years – and has only sold 2 of her $10 CDs during the time.

WTF?

I wasn’t sure where to even begin.

Most of it was spent on “coaches”, and crappy copy writing.

There are likely dozens of reasons why she has only sold 2 copies – and I’ll explore some of those reasons in upcoming blog posts…

Let’s start with a likely culprit.

Before I teach any of my coaching clients about traffic, conversion, or even building a site – we start with one thing.

Do you know what that is?

CREATE AN IRRESISTIBLE OFFER!

That’s right.

Start with what you are going to offer to sell (assuming you are selling a product and not just an affiliate).

I don’t care how good your marketing or relationship building skills are (or how well you can bullshit people), when it comes down to it, you must offer a GREAT PRODUCT at a GREAT VALUE.

Period.

They days of slapping together a sloppy product and putting a $2k pricetag on it are gone for good.

And those “coaches” don’t have a clue about this because they never really created any products! They just teach “how to make money online” and regurgitate stuff they read in books.

THE NO-BRAINER OFFER

You have to be realistic and dig deep into your prospective customer.

What do they really WANT – and how will your product deliver those benefits?

Is your product REALLY a no-brainer offer?

Is the value so incredible people would be insane to not purchase it? Or is the value “just ok”.

Seriously – is it really THAT GOOD?

If not, how can you make it even better?

THE ASS-KICKING CHECKLIST

Here are some things to think about when selling an information product to make sure it kicks ass (and some ideas to add even more value)…

  • Add a personal coaching component (calls, in-person visits, etc.)
  • Tickets to a live event, seminar or workshop
  • Live follow-up webinars or teleseminars
  • Free access to another complimentary product
  • Extra video training
  • Checklists (everybody loves checklists!)
  • Mind Maps
  • MP3s (so they can learn on the road)
  • Archives of previous newsletters or products
  • “Done for you” components
  • Software
  • It is a real “system” (or just a collection of random interviews)

BOTTOM LINE

Before you do anything, think about your CLIENT and how you can make your front-end offer a no-brainer.

When your offer is truly irresistible, everything else becomes easier.

One more thing…

If you even have to ask “is my offer irresistible?”… then it’s NOT!

FEEL FREE TO POST YOUR COMMENTS AND THOUGHTS BELOW…

P.S. Here’s my irresistible offer. 12+ years of marketing nuggets and a 21 day gameplan- crammed into a $29 book.


The PITA Rule: Why Every Online Marketer Must Follow This Rule or You Will Be Sorry!

We have one very big rule at my company – and it’s the PITA rule.

That stands for “Pain In The Ass” (a nightmare customer who will drain your time, energy and patience).

If you sell products or services for any length of time, you WILL encounter a PITA – and they will make your life a living hell.

The more you sell, the more PITAs that can sneak in.

And I don’t care how clean your business is and how great your products are – they WILL find you. We run the cleanest programs on the web – and we STILL get the PITAs!

TIME SUCK

The biggest drain a PITA will have on your business is time. You’ll spend so much time and effort trying to please them, it’s simply not worth the aggravation or headaches.

Unfortunately, I’ve encountered many PITA’s over the year.

Here are just a few of my “favorites”.

The Serial Refunder: When I first started selling business products to fitness professionals, my refund rate was zero. And then came the first refund. The refund came in and I was really surprised (especially since it was a steal!).

So I actually called him on the phone and asked why he wanted a refund. He said he’s been a trainer for years and already “knew it all” (of course that was a lie since his web site was awful and I know he wasn’t making a dime online).

But I have a refund policy in place – and I cheerfully gave him an immediate refund. End of story, right?

He then bought my NEXT product 2 months later – and guess what. He wanted a refund AGAIN. And again, same story of “I know it all”.

Finally, a few months later, he buys (and promptly refunded) my 3rd product.

That was it for me. We blocked his IP and asked that he can no longer order my products.

The Super PITA: He was such a nightmare on so many levels – that it would take pages for me to write it up. Long story short, after verbally abusing my staff and threatening me (of which, of course he had zero basis) – he then had the balls to ask for complimentary admission to all of my future events since we had inconvenienced him.

I not only told him he will NOT receive admission to my future events, he is banned from attending any of my events (and if I see him there, I will notify the authorities). Needless to say, my staff and I all rejoiced when he agreed to no longer contact us!

The Entitled: I can spot these people a mile away. Before they even purchase a product, they have hundreds of questions AND demands. Things like “well, I want to buy it, but I expect a payment plan and I don’t want to be rebilled until this date”. And “I expect an extra call with Ryan, etc.”.

When these emails come in, Demetria and Shirley know to tell them they should not purchase our products as we’re not the right fit for them.


WARNING SIGNS

Here are some warning signs you might be dealing with a PITA:

  • More than 1 refund
  • They want to set the rules of buying
  • If they don’t receive access after 30 seconds, they call up screaming “it’s a scam!”
  • If you don’t respond to their email in 10 minutes, they email again and they are pissed off
  • They want an IMMEDIATE refund and will report you if their money is not refunded in 2 minutes (even though we explain it takes a few days for visa/mc to issue credit back

WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?

Because you need to be prepared and when you spot a PITA walking in your doors – you should turn them away immediately. Even if you are just starting out, trust me. It’s better to fire them first. Seriously.

In all my years of dealing with well over 100,000 paid customers, I can tell you with complete certainty that around 90% of the PITAs will eventually ask for a refund anyway. So there’s no point in trying to please them.

Running an online business is the greatest business in the world. Low overhead. No staff. Work from home. Be your own boss. Virtually unlimited income.

But, it’s NOT all roses.

I’m just ‘keepin’ it real’ with you.

This is NOT the stuff a lot of real marketers would admit – but it’s the stone-cold truth, and I’m in the truth-telling business.

I’m sure a lot of my fellow marketers who read this blog will chime in and tell you the same thing.

And if YOU are a PITA, please just relax and treat everyone with respect – you will have a much greater chance of success.

Rock ‘on!

P.S. Here’s my 21 day handbook for success.


The #1 Way Most People Screw Up Joint Venture Recruiting

I’m a big fan of joint ventures. BIG fan.

There’s no better way to reach a targeted list of warm prospects than an endorsement from someone they trust. Plus, it’s free (and that doesn’t suck either).

If you sell any type of product or service, you MUST take time to create joint venture relationships. Period.

JVs are responsible for millions of dollars of income to my businesses and the businesses of my clients. It’s one of the first places I recommend they start.

But a lot of marketers are making a BIG mistake when recruiting JV partners.
WRONG MESSAGE

You see, there are really two types of Internet marketers.

Those that only really care about the bottom line numbers. It’s all about the EPCs (earnings per click), and they will promote ANYTHING to their list that will make them money. It doesn’t matter if the product is good or not – if it makes them money, they mail for it.

Then, there are the relationship builders. These are the marketers who are in it for the long run and care more about the quality of the product they are recommending than purely the commission they will receive.

Do you see the difference? It’s huge.

I’m not saying one way is right or wrong. They are just different.

And if you’ve been following my blog or have been on my list for any length of time you already know I fall into category 2 (relationship builder). I protect my subscribers from the crap on the market and even if the EPCs were $10, if the product is garbage I will NEVER promote it to my list.


NEVER ASSUME

Since I have a big following online, I get approached EVERY SINGLE DAY about joint venture relationships. Just ask Demetria and Shirley how many of these emails we get every day.

Some people get it right and give me access to the product so I can review it (and see if it’s the right fit for my subscribers).

But surprisingly, a majority send an email filled only with the “stats” of their EPCs and swipe copy. These emails are filled with hype about how much money I can make and how great the upsells are.

Can you guess which one’s we respond to?
THE RIGHT MESSAGE

Here’s my point.

No matter what you are promoting or selling, your message must MATCH the market you are communicating with.

And if it’s something as important as developing a joint venture relationship, take the time to actually READ their blog and subscribe to their email list. When you do that, your chances of connecting GREATLY increase. And just one JV can literally change your life.

It might sound like common sense, but in today’s world of focusing only on the dollars (and not the person), this message is sadly getting lost.

So next time you want to prospect a JV partner, figure out what THEY want – and you will both win.

P.S. Here’s a new resource that will help you market and recruit new JV partners.


How to Take a REAL Vacation and Keep Your Email Inbox at Zero!

I just got back from a week long vacation with my family. And I gave myself a few simple goals..

  • No cell phone
  • No Internet

The only thing I did related to my “business” was check email just one time a day for 30 minutes (and that was during my kids nap time). That was just to make sure no huge catastrophe happened in my business.

And a HUGE benefit was more time with my wife and kids (and zero distractions).

The 30 Minute Email Check & 3 Magic Words

Since I only gave myself 30 minutes to check email, I had to be really fast to keep my inbox clear.

First, I went through my inbox and immediately deleted all the emails I didn’t need to read (domain renewals, newsletters, etc.).

Then, I immediately went to the most important ones and answered them quickly.

If I was doing something like confirming an interview or answering a question that did NOT need another reply from them – I put in the subject (NO REPLY NEEDED).

By adding those 3 simple words, it cut down dozens of unnecessary replies and emails.

For example, one of my friends sent an article for my upcoming newsletter. I told him I received it and will review when I get back from vacation. Then, I added NO REPLY NEEDED in the subject.

If I didn’t add those 3 words, I guarantee he would have sent an email like “where are you on vacation” or “ok, talk to you then”.

That was a key to greatly reducing the size of my inbox.
Follow-Ups in My Notebook

Since I didn’t have time to write copy or delve deep into any emails, if there was something I needed to work on when I got back from vacation, I simply put it into my notebook and removed the email from my inbox.

Now, when I’m back at my office, I open my notebook with the tasks I need to take care of.

Inbox at Zero

It’s saturday morning and my email inbox is just about at zero.

Instead of starting at 1500+ emails and feeling stressed – I feel relaxed and ready to take on the world.

Uncluttered. Clear mind. And productive.

Make Money?

So how exactly did I increase my income while on vacation?

By having systems in place and focusing heavily on “continuity” programs. Without having to market and bring in new customers, I could relax for the week knowing I have tens of thousands of people in my monthly programs.

SHARE YOUR EMAIL UN-CLUTTERING & VACATION TIPS BELOW!
P.S. Here’s the easiest way to set up a simple hassle-free continuity program.


The REALITY of Outsourcing and Virtual Assistants

If I had a nickel for every so-called “marketing expert” who shout the same phrases over and over again – “you must outsource everything and hire a virtual assistant”, I’d have a hell of a lot of nickels.

It sounds great in theory, but here’s the reality.

Most of these experts (and I use that term very loosely) never actually hired a virtual assistant when THEY got started.

You think I’m lying? Just ask them.

When I got started building my online business – I was working full-time in a Children’s hospital making 26k per year. I didn’t have the resources to hire anyone to “run” my business – so what did I do?

I DID IT ALL MYSELF.

That’s right.

Before I started making any significant income, I did everything. And I mean everything.

I created my site in Frontpage (old school baby!), handled customer service, billing questions, refunds, product creation, and fulfillment.

Yes, I marched my ass over to staples and bought blank CDs, and Neato CD labels and spent hours stamping those annoying labels onto CDs. I even had my wife and parents helping out when the orders starting coming in faster.

It was about 3 years later that I finally had the balls to “hire” my first virtual assistant. I was scared shitless. I had always been an employee but never an employer. Big difference.

I found her on Elance and she started with transcriptions. Her name is Demetria and she’s still with me a decade later.

Even now, millions of dollars in revenue later – I keep things lean and mean with 2 virtual assistants, Demetria and Shirley. They know my business and my products inside and out. But most importantly, they are incredibly caring people who support my mission.

The bottom line is if you’re just starting out, conserve your cash as much as possible.

That might mean working harder at first (I know, I know – what a crazy concept!), but it will payoff.

What gets me crazy is seeing someone hire an employee before they are ready for it. And they start losing money quickly.

Do you really need to pay someone $10 an hour to “help you with email”, when you get about 7 emails a day?

SET A GOAL – THEN HIRE

If you are just getting started, give yourself a specific financial goal before you start to hire an assistant.

Maybe it’s $3k per month or $5k per month. Just have a number in mind before you can afford to hire.
RESOURCES

When you are ready, there are dozens of places to hire virtual assistants.

Here are just a few…

RUN

Be careful when you start taking advice online.

If an “expert”, in their $10 ebook, tells you to start building a large¬† team of assistants from day one – run away as fast as possible.

It’s a dead giveaway they never actually built their own business from scratch and they’re just regurgitating theories they read about.

Grow smartly. Be frugal. And you’ll stick around for a long, long time.
Comments or questions? Resources to share?

Post it below!

P.S. Want the real scoop on starting an online biz from scratch. Read my book. It will be the best 29 bucks you ever spend.


When Your Continuity Program is NOT Continuity

Yesterday, Matt Bacak and I held an exclusive full-day workshop where we laid it all on the line. We showed attendees how to build a LARGE income online in just 3 simple steps (and in case you have to ask, we rocked!).

They flew in from all over the US (and one from Canada) and each of the attendees all had different experience levels online.

One of them was a 19-year-old east coast guy who wants it badly. You know he will be successful because he is the kind of guy who will run through a brick wall to reach his goal.

As we were going through everyone’s business model – he told us about his “continuity” program. It’s a membership site for online gamers. It features videos, released weekly, for $37/month.

When I asked him about his “stick rate” (how long people actually stay), he said it’s around 1 month. But he was already thinking of another “level” to his continuity program.

IT’S NOT CONTINUITY

If people only stick around for the first month, then you don’t have a “continuity” program – you simply have another product with more headaches.

He even admitted his content is just “ok”. Nothing spectacular. And that was the issue right there.

His heart and soul wasn’t into it. And unless someone else with that passion is involved, people will never stick around.

Your energy and passion is palpable to your members.

You’ve gotta get that right first – then you can move on to more products/levels, etc.

Sometimes we all need a swift kick in the ass. Yes, I slip too and that’s why I’m in the process of refocusing my own membership site.

RETENTION STRATEGIES

I get asked about “retention” all the time when I speak at events.

If you have a content-based site, it all begins with the quality of the content and the environment you create.

It helps when you have one face of the site. A leader. Someone they know has their back and is always looking out for the members.

If your membership site has zero personality and a few slapped-together videos, I don’t care how good your follow-up autoresponder sequence is – they WILL cancel. And if they don’t stick around, I’m sorry but you DO NOT have continuity.

Have you ever been a member of a site that either blew you away (a good thing) or really let you down (not so good)?

Share your comments/thoughts below..
P.S. Here’s the easiest method to create a killer continuity program that has people stick around for YEARS…


Oh Yeah – Nano Continuity (aka Micro Payments) Is Coming On Strong!

A few years ago, I heard Gary Vaynerchuk speak at an event.

Someone from the audience asked about creating a paid membership site. He said no way – why not just give it all away for free and get sponsors.

Gary is a smart dude – and recently launched his own Nano Continuity program.

Now, he’s changing his tune.

Watch this video and let’s add your comments below…

P.S. If you want the definitive resource for creating nano continuity programs, check this out.


The 10K Workshop Scholarship!

On July 12th, 2011, I will be holding a very special one-time only workshop in my New Canaan CT office.

And my workshop co-leader is none other than Matt Bacak. (if you don’t know Matt his last product broke the record for the highest “gravity” of sales in Clickbank history!). To put it in perspective, his product had a gravity of over 2,000. He’s the only person to ever break 2,000 (and only 4 people have ever broken the 1,000 mark before). He didn’t just set the record for sales – he SHATTERED it. The guy is one of the best marketers on the planet. Period.

And he has semi-retired since that launch months ago. But he’s ready for a comeback. And we both agree it’s time to kick ass and take some names.

We are tired of the bull-shit, push-button marketing crap that these young guys are trying to push in the marketplace.

So Matt and I decided to lay it all on the line. Everything from A to Z showing you the truth about building a profitable “dot com lifestyle” business.

No fluff. No theories. No selling. Just 100% pure content in a step-by-step fashion.

When you leave this workshop, you will have EVERYTHING you need to build a real business that will give you a lifetime of income.

THE “SCHOLARSHIP” DETAILS

The workshop will be an intimate setting in my office and we’re only accepting 12 attendees. That’s it.

We both charge $20K each for a full day of consulting – but we’re offering this one-time-only workshop for just $10K.

And in the spiriting of giving back, there will be an available “scholarship” seat to the workshop.

To apply – just write in below why you are a good candidate for the workshop. And what you will do with the information you learn.

IMPORTANT: I only want action takers. There are enough excuse-makers in this world, and I want the scholarship winner to be a walking, talking billboard of success.

Apply below and I look forward to seeing you in beautiful New Canaan…

P.S. Don’t forget to also download my free report “7 Ways to Instantly Double Your Income”