Monthly Archives: April 2011

Apr 29

More Tips to Maintaining Authority

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Want people to pay more attention to you? Get attention with your actions or views. Dare to be a bit controversial – that alone attracts lots of attention, just be careful that you don’t overstep your boundaries, sound offensive, or hurt any feelings in the process.

Really, Authority just boils down to getting involved in the market you’re in and getting your name ‘out there’ so that people will recognize it. The more often you’re seen and heard, the more likely you are to be remembered and referenced. It’s just like any kind of marketing or branding. It’s all the same thing; repetition, frequency, and how often and how much other people see and hear of you (and your products or services) will determine how easily they remember you and how much of an impression you make on them.

Another point I was going to mention before about stating your opinions and views with confidence is: don’t be inflexible. It’s okay to make a mistake, you can still be strong in your convictions and know where you’re going and know what you stand for, but if it turns out your views were wrong, you need to have the strength of character to say, “Oh, you know what, new information helps me to see this in a different way and I feel differently about it now than I did before.” In other words, always be flexible enough to change your mind when new information comes to the forefront.

There’s nothing wrong with being wrong once in awhile and having the strength of character to admit it. You know it’s not going to change your core values, so you can change an opinion about something based on new information and suddenly seeing things from a completely different perspective. I think being open to other people’s ideas and other people’s input establishes you as a kind of person who has enough self-confidence that they don’t have to stick to something when it’s clearly wrong.

This shows others that you not only have self-confidence, but it also endears them to you all the more because they feel like, “Oh, wow! This person who’s truly an authority in their field actually values my opinion, and has actually listened to me,” and they’ll be a fan of yours for life.

I’m sure that you know by now the importance of expressing your opinions while also listening to other people’s feedback, engaging with them, and demonstrating that you value their feedback and input. In return, this makes you someone worth respect and admiration. Keep working on becoming well known in your niche or field to have others recognize you as the True Authority Figure that you are.

===========
By Joe Jablonski
===========
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com

Apr 26

3 Streams of Traffic Most People Swear Are Useless – Part 3

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Ok, so picking up where we left off in Part 2 of this series, I want to give you some tips on the kind of message to send to safelists.
Now, here’s the type of message you should send and why. The subject should be something along these lines:

Validate your free “whatever you’re giving away”

The message should be super short and to the point, saying something like this:

“To claim your free “whatever,” simply visit:
http://yoursqueezepageurl.com

That’s it! It’s that simple.

It’s a little on the devious side, but it worked for Mike when he started using them and still works for me and anyone that uses this technique TO THIS DAY.

The reasoning is this: Safelist users are joining many safelists all at once and have to validate their contact and list email addresses. So they are subconsciously “programmed” to look out for messages in their inbox from safelists with the word “Validate” in them.
And, as far as the message goes, the reason you want to keep that as short and sweet as possible is because you just want them to get to your squeeze page.

So that’s it for safelists. Let’s talk about the 3rd and last stream of useless traffic in this series.

Passive Traffic
When I say passive traffic, I’m talking about traffic you will get by doing something you are already doing.

Well, what if I were to tell you that you can get free traffic to your site simply by browsing the web like you always do?

Or you can get viral traffic simply by setting your start page to load to something different then what it currently is set at?

And finally, by using one of 3 different link cloaking services that I’ve used in the past (and still use to this day), you can get passive traffic from that as well.

Free Passive Stream #1 – Mike Filsaime’s www.InstantBuzz.com
To simplify Instant Buzz (IB for short) in it’s purest form, it is a toolbar that you install into your browser (currently supports Internet Explorer and Firefox) and every time you visit a new page or open a new window, other IB members’ ads display in the toolbar.

You can create your own ads from inside your account and as you accumulate bar ad credits from browsing the web (like you always did and will always do), your ad will be displayed on another IB members’ toolbar.

Pretty simple and straight forward, if you ask me. You get free traffic just from browsing the web, now that you have the IB toolbar installed on your browser.

I recommend upgrading to Elite so you can post ads in full html and color as well as have 25 different ads running at the same time instead of the standard 5 you’ll get as a free member.

Free Passive Stream #2 – www.TrafficSwarm.com
Similar concept, but different because they give you a special URL tracked to your account that you can set as your browser’s start page.

The start page loads a page where other members’ ads are displayed.

So, not only will you accumulate credits for opening your browser, but you can also click the ads to earn credits.

I personally don’t have the time to sit around and click for credits, so I just upgraded to Pro and got 2000 credits per month plus I get 100 credits per referral and get matched a percentage of or ALL of the credits they earn from their activity. Hint Hint 😉

Free Passive Stream #3 – Viral Link Cloaking Services like www.ViralUrl.com
These services allow you to cloak any link and get a viral branded link that shows a bar at either the top or bottom of the webpage that the link is being cloaked for.

What makes this so viral is that your ad will be displayed in the viral bar which is similar to how Instant Buzz works.

The difference between the two is that while Instant Buzz has the toolbar installed in your web browser, the viral link cloaking service has the ad bar right on the page of the url you are cloaking.

So, as you accumulate credits, your one line ad is displayed on other people’s cloaked urls, thus making your ad viral.

And if you want to speed up the process, most will let you either upgrade when you first join to get more credits, or they will simply let you buy more inside the members area.

Or you can go crazy and refer a ton of members which, in most cases, will give you credits per referral, a percentage of all of your referrals’ earned credits, or both.

To see a list of these passive traffic streams, go to www.JasonDinner.com/passivetraffic

I hope you enjoyed this series and more importantly, will put some or ALL of the traffic generation strategies I shared with you into action.

===========
By Jason Dinner
===========
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com

Apr 26

3 Streams of Traffic Most People Swear Are Useless – Part 3

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Ok, so picking up where we left off in Part 2 of this series, I want to give you some tips on the kind of message to send to safelists.
Now, here’s the type of message you should send and why. The subject should be something along these lines:

Validate your free “whatever you’re giving away”

The message should be super short and to the point, saying something like this:

“To claim your free “whatever,” simply visit:
http://yoursqueezepageurl.com

That’s it! It’s that simple.

It’s a little on the devious side, but it worked for Mike when he started using them and still works for me and anyone that uses this technique TO THIS DAY.

The reasoning is this: Safelist users are joining many safelists all at once and have to validate their contact and list email addresses. So they are subconsciously “programmed” to look out for messages in their inbox from safelists with the word “Validate” in them.
And, as far as the message goes, the reason you want to keep that as short and sweet as possible is because you just want them to get to your squeeze page.

So that’s it for safelists. Let’s talk about the 3rd and last stream of useless traffic in this series.

Passive Traffic
When I say passive traffic, I’m talking about traffic you will get by doing something you are already doing.

Well, what if I were to tell you that you can get free traffic to your site simply by browsing the web like you always do?

Or you can get viral traffic simply by setting your start page to load to something different then what it currently is set at?

And finally, by using one of 3 different link cloaking services that I’ve used in the past (and still use to this day), you can get passive traffic from that as well.

Free Passive Stream #1 – Mike Filsaime’s www.InstantBuzz.com
To simplify Instant Buzz (IB for short) in it’s purest form, it is a toolbar that you install into your browser (currently supports Internet Explorer and Firefox) and every time you visit a new page or open a new window, other IB members’ ads display in the toolbar.

You can create your own ads from inside your account and as you accumulate bar ad credits from browsing the web (like you always did and will always do), your ad will be displayed on another IB members’ toolbar.

Pretty simple and straight forward, if you ask me. You get free traffic just from browsing the web, now that you have the IB toolbar installed on your browser.

I recommend upgrading to Elite so you can post ads in full html and color as well as have 25 different ads running at the same time instead of the standard 5 you’ll get as a free member.

Free Passive Stream #2 – www.TrafficSwarm.com
Similar concept, but different because they give you a special URL tracked to your account that you can set as your browser’s start page.

The start page loads a page where other members’ ads are displayed.

So, not only will you accumulate credits for opening your browser, but you can also click the ads to earn credits.

I personally don’t have the time to sit around and click for credits, so I just upgraded to Pro and got 2000 credits per month plus I get 100 credits per referral and get matched a percentage of or ALL of the credits they earn from their activity. Hint Hint 😉

Free Passive Stream #3 – Viral Link Cloaking Services like www.ViralUrl.com
These services allow you to cloak any link and get a viral branded link that shows a bar at either the top or bottom of the webpage that the link is being cloaked for.

What makes this so viral is that your ad will be displayed in the viral bar which is similar to how Instant Buzz works.

The difference between the two is that while Instant Buzz has the toolbar installed in your web browser, the viral link cloaking service has the ad bar right on the page of the url you are cloaking.

So, as you accumulate credits, your one line ad is displayed on other people’s cloaked urls, thus making your ad viral.

And if you want to speed up the process, most will let you either upgrade when you first join to get more credits, or they will simply let you buy more inside the members area.

Or you can go crazy and refer a ton of members which, in most cases, will give you credits per referral, a percentage of all of your referrals’ earned credits, or both.

To see a list of these passive traffic streams, go to www.JasonDinner.com/passivetraffic

I hope you enjoyed this series and more importantly, will put some or ALL of the traffic generation strategies I shared with you into action.

===========
By Jason Dinner
===========
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com

Apr 19

The Basic Principles of Project Management

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Iterate, Increment, Evolve
In any project that you are managing, you are likely to run into problems that could slow progress and dampen the spirits of team members. The temptation as a manager might be to dive into the problem, tackle it head on, and wrestle with it until it is resolved. This strategy may work from time to time, but a more systematic approach to dealing with problems will help you to be more successful as a project manager both in the short term and the long term. A key formula that you can remember to use as a manager when you encounter problems is: Iterate, Increment, And Evolve.

Iterate: No two projects are exactly alike, but as a project manager there is a good chance that a number of the projects you are called upon to complete are similar in nature. As you manage a greater number of projects, you will begin to notice a pattern in the issues and roadblocks that are being encountered. To iterate is to repeat an action, and when you repeat the actions that cause problems, you can more easily go about finding a solution to those problems. In future projects, this process will allow you to anticipate issues that may arise and create problems for team members.

Increment: To increment a problem is to break it into smaller compartments that can be dealt with more easily than taking on the entire problem all at once. For instance, if a factory manufacturing widgets is noting a high number of errors or defects in the widgets being produced, they would be wise to examine every aspect of the manufacturing process individually until the area creating the quality control problems is identified. The problem can then be isolated and addressed at its source, saving a great deal of time and effort and ensuring that a product of higher quality is produced in the future. Each problem is different, but breaking a problem into incremental pieces can help to identify chinks in the armor of processes being used on a particular project.

Evolve: It was Albert Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Problems can make your job as a project manager difficult, but a failure to evolve and avoid making similar mistakes in the future is an even greater problem for some managers. Problems that we encounter can cost us time, money, energy, and resources, and making the same mistakes repeatedly is no way to get ahead. If you seem to be running into the same types of issues, you need to find a workable solution that can be used not only on your current project, but implemented on future projects as well.

Problem solving is not an isolated activity. It is a process that needs to be completed thoroughly each time a problem is encountered. Team members need to understand and be included in the problem solving process. Taking the time to do it right today will save a great deal of time tomorrow and beyond.

Stay On Track
Whether your project is big or small, you generally have an end product in mind when you start a project. Regardless of the size of the project, you’ll be much more successful in getting the result you want if you create a schedule for yourself and for your team and stay on track. There are three main areas that you need to manage in order to stay on track during a project—your timeline, your team, and your budget.

Manage Your Timeline: Each project you manage should have a defined period of time in which the project should be completed. Your responsibility as a project manager is to give your team enough time to get the job done right, but also to produce the desired result quickly enough to keep your other stakeholders happy.
Deadlines are essential in keeping a project on track, and team members should understand the importance of meeting deadlines. It may require late nights and the sacrifice of some free time, but the consequences of missing deadlines and falling behind can be very damaging. Falling behind early in a project could lead to rushing through important steps and getting careless later in the project timeline.

Manage Your Team: The people you lead are the most important asset you have in the successful completion of a project. The best project managers find a way to get the best results from every individual on the team that they manage. There is a temptation for ineffective project managers to give orders and tell the people around them what to do. The best project managers out there are constantly asking their team members to provide input and ideas that will improve the end result.

No one manager has a monopoly on great ideas, but team members may be reluctant to provide input unless asked. Take the time to know your team and find out what their individual strengths are. Once you know who you’re working with, you can match important responsibilities with the team members most capable of handling those aspects of the project.

Manage Your Budget: Nothing can derail a project faster than running out of money. Managing your budget is essential to the successful completion of a project. Cost overruns in the early stages of a project can cause a project manager to take shortcuts later or, even worse, can force a project manager to have to seek additional funding for the project. A project manager who fails to effectively manage a budget becomes a liability for any company. Keeping your budget on track will make a big difference in any project.

Staying on track is not difficult, it simply takes a conscious effort of the project manager and team members. Emphasizing organization and communication among team members and stakeholders will go a long way in making sure a project stays on track.

===========
By Rick Dearr
===========
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com

Apr 12

Accounting 101 for Internet Marketers – Part One

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

After being a public accountant for five years, I have come to the conclusion that I am part of the minority when it comes to grinding through numbers. Sure, everyone loves to see a big number on their bank statements at the end of the month or receiving a $100,000 affiliate check, but does that mean your company will be in existence at the end of the year . . . the answer is NO.

Over the next four articles I am going to break down the accounting process to its simplest form. Don’t expect that you will be able to prepare your own financial statements or tax returns by the end of the series, that’s not the point. The point of the series is to teach you the basics so you know how to analyze your business, keep proper records, hire the right people, and report to the IRS at the end of the tax year. This four part series will consist of the following topics:

Part 1 – Understanding the Accounting Process
Part 2 – Record Keeping and Reporting
Part 3 – Hiring a Bookkeeper and/or Accountant
Part 4 – Basic Lesson on Financial Statement Analysis

Understanding the Accounting Process
By its very definition, accounting is the systematic recording, reporting, and analysis of financial transactions of a business. Without proper accounting your business may survive, but certainly not as efficiently or as profitably as it could. A solid set of accounting records or “books” need to be maintained so a business owner knows, at a minimum, monthly income, expenses, assets and liabilities. This information is absolutely necessary to make informed business decisions.

The accounting process begins when a transaction occurs. A transaction is defined as an exchange or transfer of goods, services, or funds. This could be a purchase, sale, refund, chargeback, loan . . . you get the point. All these things have a place in your accounting records and should be entered as close to the date of occurrence as possible. Financial reports are only as good as the accuracy and timeliness of the data entered so don’t wait too long to enter the information.

Being that most internet marketers are totally consumed on creating product, promoting, and building lists, it is understandable that you are not going to update the records daily (unless you have a bookkeeper which will be covered in part 3). However, at a minimum, accounting records should be updated monthly. This allows you to track the progress or decline of the business and identify and correct the causes of any shortcomings. We will cover this topic in more depth in part 4.

Where is the information derived from, you ask? Generally, you would obtain information from bank accounts, PayPal accounts, credit card statements, and merchant statements. All businesses should have accounts separate from their personal accounts to accurately track income and expenses and limit their liability in case of an audit. This will be covered in part 2.

At the end of twelve months all this information needs to be submitted to your accountant to prepare the company tax return, personal tax return, and 1099’s for affiliates and other contractors. The more accurate and organized your file is the less painful and expensive it will be. I assure you, chasing down affiliates and contractors for their tax ID number on April 14th is no fun.

So in conclusion, it is absolutely necessary to follow the accounting process to truly understand your business and ensure you are profitable and not expending more than you are bringing in. In the next article we will discuss how to properly keep records, statute of limitations (how long you need to keep records), outsourcing, and dates every entrepreneur needs to know.

===========
By John Russo
===========
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com

Apr 12

Accounting 101 for Internet Marketers – Part One

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

After being a public accountant for five years, I have come to the conclusion that I am part of the minority when it comes to grinding through numbers. Sure, everyone loves to see a big number on their bank statements at the end of the month or receiving a $100,000 affiliate check, but does that mean your company will be in existence at the end of the year . . . the answer is NO.

Over the next four articles I am going to break down the accounting process to its simplest form. Don’t expect that you will be able to prepare your own financial statements or tax returns by the end of the series, that’s not the point. The point of the series is to teach you the basics so you know how to analyze your business, keep proper records, hire the right people, and report to the IRS at the end of the tax year. This four part series will consist of the following topics:

Part 1 – Understanding the Accounting Process
Part 2 – Record Keeping and Reporting
Part 3 – Hiring a Bookkeeper and/or Accountant
Part 4 – Basic Lesson on Financial Statement Analysis

Understanding the Accounting Process
By its very definition, accounting is the systematic recording, reporting, and analysis of financial transactions of a business. Without proper accounting your business may survive, but certainly not as efficiently or as profitably as it could. A solid set of accounting records or “books” need to be maintained so a business owner knows, at a minimum, monthly income, expenses, assets and liabilities. This information is absolutely necessary to make informed business decisions.

The accounting process begins when a transaction occurs. A transaction is defined as an exchange or transfer of goods, services, or funds. This could be a purchase, sale, refund, chargeback, loan . . . you get the point. All these things have a place in your accounting records and should be entered as close to the date of occurrence as possible. Financial reports are only as good as the accuracy and timeliness of the data entered so don’t wait too long to enter the information.

Being that most internet marketers are totally consumed on creating product, promoting, and building lists, it is understandable that you are not going to update the records daily (unless you have a bookkeeper which will be covered in part 3). However, at a minimum, accounting records should be updated monthly. This allows you to track the progress or decline of the business and identify and correct the causes of any shortcomings. We will cover this topic in more depth in part 4.

Where is the information derived from, you ask? Generally, you would obtain information from bank accounts, PayPal accounts, credit card statements, and merchant statements. All businesses should have accounts separate from their personal accounts to accurately track income and expenses and limit their liability in case of an audit. This will be covered in part 2.

At the end of twelve months all this information needs to be submitted to your accountant to prepare the company tax return, personal tax return, and 1099’s for affiliates and other contractors. The more accurate and organized your file is the less painful and expensive it will be. I assure you, chasing down affiliates and contractors for their tax ID number on April 14th is no fun.

So in conclusion, it is absolutely necessary to follow the accounting process to truly understand your business and ensure you are profitable and not expending more than you are bringing in. In the next article we will discuss how to properly keep records, statute of limitations (how long you need to keep records), outsourcing, and dates every entrepreneur needs to know.

===========
By John Russo
===========
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com

Apr 12

MDC Monthly Preview – May 2011

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

What’s inside the May 2011 issue of MDC Monthly?

Offline Marketing

  • Low-cost tools that will power your local marketing campaign.
  • How to make the most of Internet Marketing events.
  • Get on the fast-track to become a seminar speaker.
  • 21st century corporate gifts that will fit into your budget.
  • Should you outsource your telemarketing campaign to a business or a freelancer?

“Making Money” with Robert Puddy

  • How to plan your product creation.
  • Four simple ideas that you can take as your own.
  • How to monetize every step of your campaign.

“For The Sake of the Children” with Michael Young, Esquire

  • The REAL motives behind “marketing child protection” lawsuits.
  • How to shield your online business from these attacks.
  • The US law with which you should ALREADY be compliant.

“Frontline SEO” with David Congreave

  • Step-by-step guide to uncovering “golden” search phrases.
  • The little-known Google tool that uncovers hidden trends.
  • How to identify new, popular search phrases that have little or no competition.

Additional articles in the May 2011 issue:

  • “Plagiarism, Monkeys, and Shakespeare” with Jennifer Syrkiewicz.
  • “Finding UFOs” with Stephen Pierce.
  • “Customizing Your Blog” with Omar Martin.
  • “The Super Affiliate: Weigh the Odds” with Anik Singal
  • “Need For Speed” with Joel Williams.
  • “The Map and the Forest” with Heather Vale Goss.

Latest book reviews:

  • “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business” by Lon Safko
  • “YouTube for Business:Online Video Marketing for Any Business (2nd Edition)” by Khalid Saleh & Ayat Shukairy

Additional regular features:

  • Internet Marketing News
  • “Free Advice and Worth Every Penny” with Dafydd Manton

Don’t miss the May 2011 edition of MDC Monthly!
You can get a free trial copy shipped to your door by clicking here.

Apr 08

Boost Your Online Sales Conversions In 5 Minutes Flat!

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized


One of the easiest ways to instantly increase your online sales conversions is also one of the most overlooked strategies on the Web.

It’s not a secret that online shoppers have serious TRUST issues about placing orders over the Internet, especially during these tough times. Most consumers are at least skeptical, and recent studies show this trend is only getting worse. Many consumers are borderline “paranoid delusional” when it comes to buying online!

However, there is a simple solution to this problem. And it’s actually a sales-boosting opportunity for those in the know.

What is this “little secret” you ask?

Simple. It’s one of those little trust-promoting “web seals” or logos you see on a small percentage of websites. Displaying the right seal can instill trust and confidence in a large percentage of online shoppers.
Frankly, I’m shocked at the number of otherwise experienced Internet marketers who continue to ignore this tactic completely. The consumer “trust factor” is an Internet sales killer that is not going away anytime soon. This “web fear” is rampant due to stories of credit card fraud and identity theft that are seemingly in the news every day.

To maximize YOUR online sales, you’ve got to do everything in your power to gain your visitors’ TRUST and confidence.

Not only should your sales copy “breathe” trust online, but by placing a recognizable “trust seal” on your website’s pages you are using a proven, powerful, strategy that turns a potential sales killer into a sales booster. Not only is this a tax-deductible business expense, but it can pay for itself many times over in increased revenues. Tests results have shown that consumers definitely attach importance to seeing certain trust logos displayed on a website. When a person feels they can trust your web business they are more likely to make a purchase, period. This is a simple, “no-brainer” strategy you should be using right now.

Take a few minutes and choose from the list of companies below. I’ve narrowed it down to my top five picks. Next, upload one or two of these trust promoting “web seals” or logos to your high-traffic web pages. Then watch for a small but measurable increase in sales conversions. This simple, powerful strategy is a golden “little secret” many online business owners forget to use as part of their overall marketing strategy. Big mistake.

The following are my top five picks for the most effective trust-promoting web seals that I believe can make a difference to your online — bottom line, effective immediately…

McAfee SECURE – Formerly known as Scan Alert or Hacker Safe. Now owned by McAfee SECURE and primarily aimed at calming a visitor’s fears regarding online identity theft and credit card fraud. Split tests have proven that small but measurable sales increases have occurred across the board for websites displaying this increasingly popular and recognizable logo. Joining McAfee SECURE is not cheap. There’s a monthly fee with a sliding scale depending on the size of your business, but this might be a good fit for you. And if it makes you money does it really end up costing you anything?
www.mcafeesecure.com/us

Better Business Bureau – Everyone knows the “BBB” and for this reason alone their “Online Reliability Program” is another great choice when it comes to choosing a trust-promoting logo. The BBB also has a sliding scale fee based on the size of your business. It can be expensive but this might be a solid fit for your web business. Again, if it increases sales then it’s worth the investment. The BBB has been around for many years so people definitely recognize the logo.
www.bbbonline.org

TRUSTe – Here’s another well-known and easily recognizable trust promoting logo. TRUSTe specializes in online privacy, privacy policies, and resolving privacy issues between merchants and consumers. Because TRUSTe is an established and recognizable brand this makes it an easy choice for my top five. And tests have also shown the TRUSTe logo can increase online sales conversions.
www.truste.org

VeriSign – Specializing in “SSL Certificates” (SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”) The VeriSign logo is widely recognized all over the web. I’m not sure what the impact on conversion rates might be. It certainly won’t hurt sales. I mention VeriSign because they have been around for a long time and have a well-established online presence and brand.
www.verisign.com

HONESTe Online – Okay, I may be a little biased here because I am the President/Founder of HONESTe Online. Mike Filsaime’s company, PayDotCom, is an HONESTe Online member as well and it was one of the reasons why Mike asked me to write an article on the importance of trust seals for this newsletter. I recommend HONESTe Online for various reasons. There is no sliding scale for membership. Your company can display our highly-unique, consumer friendly, “web seal” on ALL your websites for one low monthly fee of around $30. No limit. If your company owns 100 websites you can display the HONESTe seal on all of them. I created HONESTe Online with the small to medium-sized business owner in mind. Membership also includes our monthly newsletter titled, “The Meat ‘n Potatoes eMarketing Report.” I personally write every issue. I focus primarily on Internet traffic and conversion strategies.
To learn more about the HONESTe Online web seal program you can visit us at: www.honesteonline.com/merchants

The Online Bottom Line on TRUST: Consumers are more suspicious than ever before and you MUST do everything in your power to gain the trust of each and every visitor. This is especially true during these tough economic times where folks are watching their wallets closely. Choose one of the companies above that suits your needs best and give your website(s) an instantly profitable trust makeover today.
Jimmy Sweeney is the President of HONESTe Online. Jimmy is a veteran Internet marketer specializing in digitally delivered information products.
To learn more visit: www.honesteonline.com/merchants

===========
By Jimmy Sweeney
===========
This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at http://the7figuresecrets.com

Apr 07

Marketing’s Big Lie – “If you build it, they will come”

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Sorry Kevin Costner. It’s not true.

For those of you that never saw “Field of Dreams,”

(first of all, really? You never saw it?)

…there were scenes where Kevin Costner’s character was haunted with these words:

“If you build it, they will come.”

Well, that may be true for that movie. But too often we hear that to be true about your product, and the sad fact of the matter is, when it comes to marketing, that is a BIG FAT LIE.

Look, I am all for getting started and fail quickly and all that. You have to get in the game and improve.

But you must first start with a solid foundation.

Here is s simple formula to a complex industry.

1 – A Product the Market Wants and Knows They Want

I think it is great to have a product people want. But if they don’t know they want it, they are not going to be looking for it.

But if you have a product people are searching for and they have a need or a strong desire (want) for your product, then you are ready for step number 2.

2 – A Quality Product

“No kidding Mike!” you might be saying?

Well, I think people want to just  get “anything” out there as soon as possible they sometimes forget about the quality of the product. In fact, they forget to ask the right question. And that is:

“If I build this product, can I make it the best product there is out there? One that is so good even the competition will be scared to come after me?”

For examples of products like that, you have Josh Bartlett’s Easy Video Player or James Dysons’ Optimize Press. These products were not made simply because Josh and James wanted to “make money.” They wanted to create a world class product and they saw a need (like in Number 1 above.)

If you are dedicated to the product and not the idea of making money, you are ready for number 3; too often, people ask the wrong questions like “What is the easiest way to make money?” instead of “How can I provide world class value?”

#3 – Focus on the customer

Many marketers try to build solutions where they “never have to deal with customers.” Or say things like “I hate dealing with customers.” These people will never have a long term successful business. You need to love your customers the way Walt Disney loved his KID-Customers when they walked into Disney Land.

Of course you want to automate systems and use the best available technology. But that is to get your customer the help they need faster, not to avoid them.

We take pride in the fact that our help desk has a ticket system, as well as an email and a phone number where people can call us (and yes, we even have a name of a person that you can ask for.) In fact, we even call many of our customers after they made a purchase, to make sure the buying process was perfect.

Having a phone number on your site these days is a must if you want to show customers you are real. They may never call it, but just knowing they can will increase your conversions. Have a well trained support staff as well and consider using other things like a knowledge base, wiki’s, community support like Get Satisfaction (We use that for TweetGlide.com) or even a live chat for instant help.

# 4 – Marketing

People say Sales and Marketing all the time and they think they are the same thing. But the truth is, they are not.

Marketing is about “Lead generation.

Sales is about “Customer Acquisition.”

You need to look at the ways you can get traffic to your website and there are 3 ways. Buy, Borrow, Create. I think I first heard John Reese say this in Traffic Secrets back in 2004.

Creating traffic is using free sources like SEO, Viral Marketing, Social Media, Press Releases, Article Marketing etc., I like to refer to this as planting seeds. It takes a long time, it is not fun, results seem very slow (like watching grass grow), but one day you wake up and you have a full lawn of green grass. These things are an important part of a business and should be part of every persons marketing especially when you are on a budget.

Borrowing traffic is leveraging the influence of other marketers. To do this, you need to set up an affiliate program. This allows you to get JV Partners to drive traffic as well as affiliates, that you may not even know, that decide to just start sending you traffic. What I like best about this is, it is does not cost you anything to get the traffic and you only pay when you make a sale. So if you sell your $100 product, you pay them $50 after you collect the money.

Buying traffic is my favorite. You want green grass? Buy this sod and later today, you have the best lawn on the block. Instant Results. To make this work you need to know your metrics. But basically, it is as simple as making more than you spend. This is easy when you have just a front end product, but to dominate your market you need back-end product which can take days, weeks, or even months to get all the revenue in. You can’t always count on that future money in your advertising budget. But if you are profitable on each ad buy, right on the day of purchase, you are in great shape.

I could write an entire article on this but I will keep it simple today. I think many people are scared to spend money; if you knew you could go to Las Vegas, and go to the “Roulette Table” and you knew that every time you bet $10 you would get paid $15, would you really consider that spending money or making money?

Ah… Right. Now you see. Advertising is not an expense. It is a revenue when you can make it work for you. Newsflash… Look at all those banners on websites, and all those TV and Radio commercials, and all that stuff before a YouTube video. Knock-Knock… “Hello?” This works. This is what makes the world go round. So don’t be scare of it because it is not that hard.

Traffic is cheap. But only when you have Number 5 figured out.

# 5 – Sales Engine

O.K. you now have the visitor to your website. That was marketing. Now it is time to make a sale.

In order to do this, you have to have a website designed to sell. A clear sales message, a clear call to action, and a well crafted “offer.” Good sales copy in print, video, or both will be needed and the right “look” is needed. It is not about flash graphics. It is about the right “conversion design.” Again, I could write an article just on that alone and maybe I will. But a website that gets the message across right away and makes the customer beg to buy is what your website is all about.

From here, you also need to ask yourself, “how do I maximize revenue at point of sale?” You need little pre-transaction bumps and upsets, plus post transaction up-sells and down-sells. In your member’s area, you can do this as well plus you will want to cross sell other affiliate products.

Finally, a backend sale can be made too. Maybe you can call the customer to offer them discounts on more of your products.

This will help you get more value per lead and that makes the “Marketing” (in number 4) even easier, because your advertising dollar goes farther and a losing campaign can even become profitable.

Here is what I have found. Number 4 (marketing) becomes the easiest when you focus on 1, 2, 3, and 5

That’s right. What I am saying is, if you have a winning product and a great offer, “The Traffic Will Find You.”

So, if you have a good product the market wants or needs, good customer support, and a great offer, then yes…

“they will come.” – Yes your marketing will be easier.

I mean that. I have found this to be true in my business. We have an offer that we focused so much on 1, 2, 3, and 5 that we are getting so much traffic we never dreamed it was possible. Affiliates are begging to promote it. People are searching for it. Every bit of advertising we do is making us money.

Many people think “It’s all about traffic” or their “product” but that is simply not the case. You need to look at the big picture.

Again, if you build, it does not mean they will come. And if they do build just a good product, well, a good product + traffic + a bad offer = no sales.

If you really want to succeed, you need all of the items you read here today.

Print this. Bookmark this page. Swipe it. Re-read it or what ever it takes, but make sure this message really sinks in.

There is no “quick” way to make money in any business over night.

There is no rocket science here. But people think that just 1 of these things does not matter and that is the problem.

You can’t have long term success without all these 5 listed here.

This is my formula for a winning business model.

Now it is yours.

Go map out, or re-map out your business model for your online plans, and see where this can help you.

If you “follow this plan,” they WILL come.

Apr 07

Marketing’s Big Lie – “If you build it, they will come”

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Sorry Kevin Costner. It’s not true.

For those of you that never saw “Field of Dreams,”

(first of all, really? You never saw it?)

…there were scenes where Kevin Costner’s character was haunted with these words:

“If you build it, they will come.”

Well, that may be true for that movie. But too often we hear that to be true about your product, and the sad fact of the matter is, when it comes to marketing, that is a BIG FAT LIE.

Look, I am all for getting started and fail quickly and all that. You have to get in the game and improve.

But you must first start with a solid foundation.

Here is s simple formula to a complex industry.

1 – A Product the Market Wants and Knows They Want

I think it is great to have a product people want. But if they don’t know they want it, they are not going to be looking for it.

But if you have a product people are searching for and they have a need or a strong desire (want) for your product, then you are ready for step number 2.

2 – A Quality Product

“No kidding Mike!” you might be saying?

Well, I think people want to just  get “anything” out there as soon as possible they sometimes forget about the quality of the product. In fact, they forget to ask the right question. And that is:

“If I build this product, can I make it the best product there is out there? One that is so good even the competition will be scared to come after me?”

For examples of products like that, you have Josh Bartlett’s Easy Video Player or James Dysons’ Optimize Press. These products were not made simply because Josh and James wanted to “make money.” They wanted to create a world class product and they saw a need (like in Number 1 above.)

If you are dedicated to the product and not the idea of making money, you are ready for number 3; too often, people ask the wrong questions like “What is the easiest way to make money?” instead of “How can I provide world class value?”

#3 – Focus on the customer

Many marketers try to build solutions where they “never have to deal with customers.” Or say things like “I hate dealing with customers.” These people will never have a long term successful business. You need to love your customers the way Walt Disney loved his KID-Customers when they walked into Disney Land.

Of course you want to automate systems and use the best available technology. But that is to get your customer the help they need faster, not to avoid them.

We take pride in the fact that our help desk has a ticket system, as well as an email and a phone number where people can call us (and yes, we even have a name of a person that you can ask for.) In fact, we even call many of our customers after they made a purchase, to make sure the buying process was perfect.

Having a phone number on your site these days is a must if you want to show customers you are real. They may never call it, but just knowing they can will increase your conversions. Have a well trained support staff as well and consider using other things like a knowledge base, wiki’s, community support like Get Satisfaction (We use that for TweetGlide.com) or even a live chat for instant help.

# 4 – Marketing

People say Sales and Marketing all the time and they think they are the same thing. But the truth is, they are not.

Marketing is about “Lead generation.

Sales is about “Customer Acquisition.”

You need to look at the ways you can get traffic to your website and there are 3 ways. Buy, Borrow, Create. I think I first heard John Reese say this in Traffic Secrets back in 2004.

Creating traffic is using free sources like SEO, Viral Marketing, Social Media, Press Releases, Article Marketing etc., I like to refer to this as planting seeds. It takes a long time, it is not fun, results seem very slow (like watching grass grow), but one day you wake up and you have a full lawn of green grass. These things are an important part of a business and should be part of every persons marketing especially when you are on a budget.

Borrowing traffic is leveraging the influence of other marketers. To do this, you need to set up an affiliate program. This allows you to get JV Partners to drive traffic as well as affiliates, that you may not even know, that decide to just start sending you traffic. What I like best about this is, it is does not cost you anything to get the traffic and you only pay when you make a sale. So if you sell your $100 product, you pay them $50 after you collect the money.

Buying traffic is my favorite. You want green grass? Buy this sod and later today, you have the best lawn on the block. Instant Results. To make this work you need to know your metrics. But basically, it is as simple as making more than you spend. This is easy when you have just a front end product, but to dominate your market you need back-end product which can take days, weeks, or even months to get all the revenue in. You can’t always count on that future money in your advertising budget. But if you are profitable on each ad buy, right on the day of purchase, you are in great shape.

I could write an entire article on this but I will keep it simple today. I think many people are scared to spend money; if you knew you could go to Las Vegas, and go to the “Roulette Table” and you knew that every time you bet $10 you would get paid $15, would you really consider that spending money or making money?

Ah… Right. Now you see. Advertising is not an expense. It is a revenue when you can make it work for you. Newsflash… Look at all those banners on websites, and all those TV and Radio commercials, and all that stuff before a YouTube video. Knock-Knock… “Hello?” This works. This is what makes the world go round. So don’t be scare of it because it is not that hard.

Traffic is cheap. But only when you have Number 5 figured out.

# 5 – Sales Engine

O.K. you now have the visitor to your website. That was marketing. Now it is time to make a sale.

In order to do this, you have to have a website designed to sell. A clear sales message, a clear call to action, and a well crafted “offer.” Good sales copy in print, video, or both will be needed and the right “look” is needed. It is not about flash graphics. It is about the right “conversion design.” Again, I could write an article just on that alone and maybe I will. But a website that gets the message across right away and makes the customer beg to buy is what your website is all about.

From here, you also need to ask yourself, “how do I maximize revenue at point of sale?” You need little pre-transaction bumps and upsets, plus post transaction up-sells and down-sells. In your member’s area, you can do this as well plus you will want to cross sell other affiliate products.

Finally, a backend sale can be made too. Maybe you can call the customer to offer them discounts on more of your products.

This will help you get more value per lead and that makes the “Marketing” (in number 4) even easier, because your advertising dollar goes farther and a losing campaign can even become profitable.

Here is what I have found. Number 4 (marketing) becomes the easiest when you focus on 1, 2, 3, and 5

That’s right. What I am saying is, if you have a winning product and a great offer, “The Traffic Will Find You.”

So, if you have a good product the market wants or needs, good customer support, and a great offer, then yes…

“they will come.” – Yes your marketing will be easier.

I mean that. I have found this to be true in my business. We have an offer that we focused so much on 1, 2, 3, and 5 that we are getting so much traffic we never dreamed it was possible. Affiliates are begging to promote it. People are searching for it. Every bit of advertising we do is making us money.

Many people think “It’s all about traffic” or their “product” but that is simply not the case. You need to look at the big picture.

Again, if you build, it does not mean they will come. And if they do build just a good product, well, a good product + traffic + a bad offer = no sales.

If you really want to succeed, you need all of the items you read here today.

Print this. Bookmark this page. Swipe it. Re-read it or what ever it takes, but make sure this message really sinks in.

There is no “quick” way to make money in any business over night.

There is no rocket science here. But people think that just 1 of these things does not matter and that is the problem.

You can’t have long term success without all these 5 listed here.

This is my formula for a winning business model.

Now it is yours.

Go map out, or re-map out your business model for your online plans, and see where this can help you.

If you “follow this plan,” they WILL come.