Recently a very frustrated marketer was lamenting the fact that he had three online sites he was working yet none of them was producing the kind of income he expected to have from his efforts. He had an e-commerce store, a sports blog and a porn blog.
He was asking for help coming up with a million dollar idea – one that would produce a full time income and pay him back for all his efforts.
So I responded as follows:
“This is just one person’s opinion, others will advise you differently . . .”
“First, dump the porn blog. Porn is insulting and disrespectful (especially to women), a very ugly industry, a cancer on our society, and by being associated with it you are going to be black listed by many sites and lists and it will hurt your credibility.”
“Second, pick one market and stick with it – dump the other one. Make absolutely sure there is specific demand in the market, that you understand where the market prospects can be found, and that they are willing to spend money on their desires and problems. Generally, you will want to be very specific and laser targeted in your niche. Generalities make effective marketing difficult and huge market coverage attracts the largest and most well-healed businesses as your direct competitors.”
“Third, start building an email list of prospects by exchanging a very relevant and valuable report or product for a prospect signup. Nurture the list by developing a persona or voice and try to interact with your subscribers personsally so they begin to view you as a friend and niche expert in the field. Most of all, work on building trust as that’s what is going to help you sell.”
“Fourth, understand your market and the leaders in it. Build a network of friends, market authorities, and leaders in the field. Get to know the most popular and successful products and services in the niche. Spend some time at the relevant authority sites and get to know their owners, if possible.”
“Fifth, position your own business slightly differently than the others in that same selling space. Focus on your USP (unique selling proposition) – what you can do that will give your business an advantage over every other competitor. Your goal is to try not to compete directly with all the others; instead, offer something unique but still in demand by your audience. This may take some time to discover – be sure to ask the audience to help you. Your advantage could be something seemingly small or insignificant, but what you choose will help your business to build your brand and set you apart from all your competitors.”
“Sixth, sell as you would want to be sold. Think “the Golden Rule.” If you can think of things you would like in the niche if you were a customer, add those things to what you offer your prospects. Give away valuable help and information. Do things in the niche that other business owners won’t do. Go the extra mile in providing value. This principle will govern how often and what you say in your emails, your offers, and your communications.”
“Seventh, pay special attention to customer service. Don’t settle for lip service. You want your customers to embrace you, consider you an authority, a trusted friend, and an expert in the niche. Don’t put off people, postpone getting back to answer their questions and concerns, or ignore their pleas for help. Great information and fore-thinking can anticipate many problems and you can express the answers on your web site (possibly in a FAQ section) to conserve your direct response time spent.”
“Eighth, make your site as intuitive, as genuine, as user-friendly, and as trust-invoking as you can. Keep everything straightforward and simple, easy to navigate and non-confusing. Give extra value on your site, free stuff that is a reward for visiting your home base.”
“Ninth, develop your own products and/or services. Yes, there is money to be made as an affiliate . . . however . . . the potential for a high earning business is greater, IMO, when you have affiliates working for you rather than you being an affiliate building somebody elses’ business. Here’s another reason to have your own products: when you go to sell your business someday, having a thriving stable of your own products gives you authority and substance. It sets you apart from the crowd. As an affiliate, what are you going to sell? (Your list of product recommendations?)”
“Tenth, as a consistent daily exercise, spend 75% of your business execution time marketing yourself, your brand and your products. There is nothing more important to the success of your business. Just “being out there” is not enough in most cases. Market consistently and continually. Your goal is to become the only logical choice for products and help in your niche. Marketing is the key to elevating your business and products above the rest of your competitors.”
*Eleven, (here’s your bonus factoid) . . . you can have a very successful and profitable business in most any niche (where people spend money). You really don’t need to rely on coming up with a million dollar idea – very, very few people build wealth from ideas no one else has had.
The light bulb idea that can earn you millions is really this hard work + consistent daily execution + building relationships + a laser targeted audience and products specific to their demands + outstanding customer service + consistent effort over time = a business fortune.”
To your online business success!