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Dear Entrepreneur, The Internet continues to evolve and so does marketing on the Internet. If youʼve been building your own business online for the past few years then you already know that things change - quickly and often. But right now, towards the end of 2009 as I write this, things are about to change dramatically. And thatʼs why Iʼve written this report. Iʼve also written it to share what Iʼve been up to. Iʼve had a lot of people asking. WARNING: Yes, Iʼll most likely ramble and rant a bit. But I promise it will be worth it. :) 2010 and beyond will deﬁnitely be a different landscape for Internet Marketing. So pay close attention and donʼt get left behind. Hereʼs Some Of What Iʼm Going To Cover In This Report: - How I made a bone-head mistake and lost over $350,000. - I didnʼt learn a valuable lesson the ﬁrst time -- and it cost me. - My thoughts on “Social Media” and why some will hate what I have to say. - Did you know... The FTC just changed the entire game of marketing. - Why your trafﬁc generation efforts better get ʻsmarter.ʼ - Donʼt do ʻthisʼ or you and your business might be doomed.
- How you need to position your business and why.
Probably The Worst Idea Iʼve Ever Had In My Life
A lot of my customers have been wondering what Iʼve been up to for much of the past year since Iʼve been a bit quiet... Well, allow me to entertain you with a wonderful story of how I literally lost my ass on an idiotic idea that I had. :) Iʼll give you the short version of the story...
Car guy visits Japan. Guy sees crazy new sports car soon to be released in the USA. Guy buys car. Guy loves car. Guy wants car to go faster. Guy spends some money to make the car faster. Guy wants to go even faster than that. Guy spends more money. Guyʼs car goes faster. Guy
sets drag racing world record for that car. Guy gets ʻamazingʼ idea that he can build a company developing and selling parts around the world for this car. Guy hires top mechanics. Guy invests in building state-of-the-art shop. Guy wastes months of his life and a small fortune. Guy decides to close the ʻamazingʼ business and move on with his life. END STORY. Ahhh. The agony of defeat. :)
The car was the Nissan GT-R. Itʼs an awesome car. I still actually have one and enjoy driving it. My problem was that I broke my own entrepreneurʼs rule... FOCUS ON JUST *ONE* BUSINESS AT A TIME. Youʼve probably seen me give this advice in the past. Iʼve talked about how Iʼm not a big fan of “multiple streams of income” and think entrepreneurs (at least in the early stages) can do better by generating “multiple streams of revenue” -- the difference is that the ʻrevenueʼ one is selling multiple things to the same market and the ʻincomeʼ one (the one based on the well-known book) is more about doing all kinds of stuff to get money coming in from different sources. Itʼs a lot easier to focus on ONE business and just put all your efforts, and resources, into CRUSHING IT. In fact, the “kiss of death” for many Internet marketers is that they see so much opportunity that they try and create web sites in many different markets AT THE SAME TIME. Preacher meet choir. *I* made this exact mistake in the 1990s. I had a ton of web sites in development at the same time and thought when they all went online Iʼd be rich. The problem is itʼs hard enough to do ONE web site right. My plan FLOPPED. So working on too many things can be nothing but a distraction that keeps you from making a lot of progress with anything you are doing.
Enter Samurai Speed. The brilliant idea to turn my car-racing hobby into a business. Ugh. What was I thinking??? I honestly thought... “Iʼll just hire some talented people to run the actual business itself. It wonʼt take up much of my time at all.” BZZZZ. WRONG. THANKS FOR PLAYING, JOHNNY-BOY. The employees constantly called me and kept demanding I come down to the shop to make this decision or that. It ended up monopolizing so much of my time that it robbed my focus away from my other business namely Income.com which was what I really cared about the most. But aside from that I made a major mistake...
I didnʼt do enough research into the market I was trying to build a business in. I didnʼt realize how long the ʻdevelopmentʼ cycle was to have parts manufactured. What I thought took a couple of weeks took 3,4,5 months or longer -- often enough time for us to miss out on opportunities to sell what tons of customers were already waiting to buy.
I was clueless about manufacturing processes and how long it took to create some of these sophisticated mechanical parts. Heck, who knew that certain metal parts had to be heat-treated for weeks!
I had two fantastic mechanics, Eddie & Mike. These guys were super talented and did amazing work with the car. In fact, they ﬁgured things out on the car before anyone else in the world did. We were deﬁnitely ʻpioneersʼ in the market for that car.
But it took so long for us to get the parts made that the business missed out on critical revenue opportunities and in the meantime burned through tons of cash.
Hereʼs what ʻstinksʼ the most about it all... Our marketing was FANTASTIC.
Without spending a dime on a single PPC ad or any other traditional marketing, I got our YouTube videos over 500,000 views in just a few months. You can see our channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/SamuraiSpeed We were mentioned on some of the top automotive blogs in the world. We built a huge ʻfollowingʼ of fans online, and we gained tremendous respect in that industry. Eddie was stopped by a guy at Universal Studios in Orlando that got all excited and wanted to know where he got the “Samurai Speed” tshirt he was wearing. The guy ﬂipped out when Eddie simply replied, “I work there.” He knew all about Samurai Speed from our Internet videos and discussion on all the major car forums. We had customers from all over the world ready to hand us their money for some of the developments we created. But we just couldnʼt get the products made fast enough -- and, ultimately, we were doomed because larger companies (i.e ones that have been in the car game for years) had a chance to ʻcatch upʼ to what we had created. Ultimately, I had to make the tough decision to shut the business down. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It had just lost too much money and there was no end in sight as to where it was going to end -- we were still going to be faced with the same disadvantages against those larger companies that owned their own manufacturing facilities. In the end, I lost just over $350,000 of my own money. :(
I do believe that everything happens for a reason. And Iʼm certainly glad that I didnʼt get involved with a losing venture (like some people) that could have lost 10 times that much. THE LESSON: Sometimes you just have to realize that a project has failed and move on. Life goes on.
Around that time, I was attending a marketing conference in San Diego, California. After that weekend I decided to do something crazy... ...not go back to Florida. A place where I had lived my entire life. I decided to rent a place in La Jolla, California and start a new life of sorts. I had many friends already living in California, and I knew it would be a decision that would probably turn out to be the best thing I ever did. And so far it has been. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Rob, lives nearby. Heʼs not an Internet marketer but someone thatʼs been trying to make it in the ﬁlm industry his entire adult life. Iʼve known him for over 20 years and decided it would be nice to live near him again (we grew up together.) There are also a lot of great Internet marketers that I know living in California. And it has been a great ʻmastermindingʼ place to live. When I lived in Orlando I rarely got together and talked to anyone about marketing. So this has been a welcomed change for me. As most of my long-time customers know, Iʼm very close to my family. It was a really hard decision to move because of them. I knew Iʼd miss playing golf with my Dad and taking my nephews to the movies and the skate park. I wouldnʼt be where I am today if it werenʼt for the love and support of my family, and it meant a lot to me that they supported my move across the country to California. We still talk on the phone and email a lot, so it hasnʼt been so bad. THE LESSON: Sometimes the best decisions are the boldest. risk, no reward. No
But The Worst Thing In Life Is NOT Learning From Your Mistakes And Simply Repeating Them...
As youʼve probably noticed, the main Income.com community site never happened. It was being built for over a year, yet still no site.
If only I would have learned from my past mistakes... yet somehow I ʻfell for itʼ again... Let me explain...
Back in 1999, my team was developing a Web-based service called Box.com. (Yes, Iʼm a ﬁrm believer in using great domains to build brands.) We hired a software development team from Romania to build this service. Our team worked really hard on the user interface and detailed speciﬁcations of everything this service would do. We were really proud of it and just knew thousands of people around the world would love using it. Box.com was going to be similar to a Hotmail/Gmail web-based email service. The name was related to “get your own online PO Box” type of thing. I was excited to see it launch and spread around the world with its built-in viral marketing. It never saw the light of day. Hereʼs why...
We waited MONTHS for this development team to program the site. Theyʼd constantly ask us questions, weʼd answer them right away, and theyʼd continue to develop the site. Every time Iʼd ask to see the progress the lead developer (who owned the development company) would tell me “not yet” that he wanted to surprise me with the site when it was ready. I trusted him and we waited. For months.
Finally one day I had enough. I demanded to see the siteʼs progress. I told him that if he didnʼt show me the prototype that I was taking my business elsewhere. He assured me that heʼd have a prototype to show me the following Friday - roughly 10 days later. That Friday I called everyone in my ofﬁce and we had an online conference with the lead developer. We were all so excited to see “our baby” come to life. The lead developer sent over a URL to check out. We loaded it up. And we all sat there in shock.
It was a piece of crap. No kidding. It had some very minor functionality and none of the ʻcoolʼ stuff we had come up with. This guy basically whipped up a barely working prototype of some sort of email manager -- and he probably did it in 3 days. We were RIPPED OFF. Plain and simple. This guy billed us thousands and thousands of dollars FOR MONTHS without doing the work. Fast forward to the present day...
This isnʼt the same situation that happened with our Income.com Community site, as some decent work was actually done, but it just wasnʼt
up to my standards. Lots of miscommunication and months of wasted time. Again. To make a long story short, I had to ﬁre another development company and now weʼre forced to take many steps backward to redo much of what was done. Ugh. I knew better than to hire a software development ﬁrm again. I knew about my own bad experience with Box.com and I had heard horror stories from other people. Yet I decided to give it another shot. I justiﬁed that the one company I had used was just a bad one. BIG MISTAKE. I would never hire another software development ﬁrm again in a million years! Let me clarify something... Iʼm sure there are some decent ones out there. Iʼm sure some of them do great, fast work. But because of my own experience I am advising my customers to try and avoid them. Hereʼs what Iʼve found... these development companies are typically owned by ONE PERSON. This person has hired a team of programmers and is simply ʻmarking upʼ their hourly rate -- thatʼs what you and I get charged. He pays the programmers for whatever he hired them for and pockets the difference. Hereʼs why this can be a huge problem... these software development ﬁrms typically have MANY clients. The individual programmers rarely work full-time only for you. They are working on many projects. And even, though, you make it clear that you want “x full-time programmers” working on your projects, those people (from what Iʼve found) are often working on other peopleʼs projects too. There is also NO FEAR of being ﬁred for bad work or slow performance by these programmers. They work for the person that owns the ﬁrm, NOT YOU.
Take it from me. Itʼs been a nightmare.
If you need any programming done, I highly recommend you GO DIRECT and hire someone. Research resumes and try and ﬁnd an individual that will meet your needs. If you need them full-time then make sure thatʼs in an agreement that they arenʼt working on other projects at the same time. You might typically have to pay them a little bit more to keep them from working on other projects but it will be well worth it. And if you need multiple programmers to have a big project created, BUILD YOUR OWN TEAM. Start by hiring a talented programmer that can also be a Project Manager and manage other programmers. This is exactly what we have done and now weʼre growing our own software development team for all of our projects. Something I wish I would have done ten years ago. Live and learn.
THE LESSON: Itʼs almost always best to work directly with each individual that will be doing work for you. Middle-men not only create higher prices but usually affect the quality of work. Another Valuable Lesson I Learned During All Of This...
Donʼt pre-announce projects that arenʼt for certain going to be released soon. Unfortunately, Iʼve had multiple ʻbroken promisesʼ now to my customers about products we were working on and I feel bad about it.
I did it with “MaxProﬁt” a testing a tracking application that we were working on -- which was essentially made obsolete when Google gave away Analytics for free and would eventually give away with Web Site Optimizer service.
And I did it with the Income.com Community site. Promising that we were going to release it soon -- which was posted before I discovered all the problems we were having.
So I have a new policy... donʼt pre-announce anything until itʼs very close to certain release. And let me tell you... I have some HUGE software
projects that weʼre currently working on that Iʼd love to tell you about... but I canʼt. So mums the word. :) You also might be wondering... Why All The Focus On Software, John? In case you havenʼt ﬁgured it out yet... Income.com will be growing as a software company. Weʼll be developing web applications for businesses and also venturing into iPhone applications. This has been the plan for 2.5 years since I paid a small fortune for the income.com domain name. The reason for investing in that valuable name was to eventually transfer the “John Reese” brand to Income.com. The plans for Income.com go way beyond me. Way beyond me. :)
To be honest, I never wanted to be in the “guru” game. Most people that know me know I was really successful before I sold to the IM market for the ﬁrst time in 2004 with my workshop. (The recordings that became “Trafﬁc Secrets.”) I built multiple Top 500 trafﬁc web sites in the late 1990s. And Iʼve been involved with developing software and Web applications since 1994 when I created one of the ﬁrst autoresponder services. While I donʼt consider myself a coder, I started programming simple games in MS Basic when I was a kid. Then I developed into a hacker of sorts by junior high. My Dad was an engineer and got me started with computers at a young age. So software, I guess, is in my blood. So Iʼm slowly but surely returning to what I love... software. Will I still teach and create infoproducts? Yes... for now.
I have several great courses that I want to complete and release. Some great stuff that I think people really beneﬁt from. And I actually love to teach and help people. But Iʼm just not sure how long I will continue to do it.
Many people that know me realize Iʼm very introverted. I could have made a fortune by doing the “seminar circuit.” But thatʼs just not my scene. Itʼs also not my style to “pitch from the stage” but thatʼs a rant for another time. ;-) So while I will continue to teach for awhile longer, Iʼm honestly not sure for how long. I still want to pursue ﬁlmmaking (as Iʼve mentioned in the past) but boy is life passing quickly. :-) Okay so back to what YOU need to be focusing on... You ever heard of a little government organization... That goes by three little letters... F. T. C.
The FTC Has Made Some Major Changes And You Better Pay Close Attention To Them!
Unless youʼve been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks then youʼve probably heard the ʻnoiseʼ about the FTC creating some new
regulations that affect all marketers - yes, they affect you even if you donʼt live in the USA. If you havenʼt read all about the new regulations you need to take a moment and educate yourself: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm They have made two major changes (i.e. set new guidelines)...
The ﬁrst one has to do with endorsements and disclosure. This is going to change the Afﬁliate Marketing industry. Promotions of afﬁliate products (even if someone received a free product and is not getting paid) must be fully disclosed or it can be deemed misleading advertising. This is a big deal. No longer can marketers simply mask afﬁliate links and not worry about telling a site visitor that they get paid if they click the link and buy the product. It now must be disclosed. But the second new guideline is probably even more important. has to do with testimonials. This one is going to completely alter marketing as we know it. It
No longer can testimonials be used along with the old “results not typical” disclaimer. Marketers must now state the results of what the average buyer will achieve! In many markets this is going to be nearly impossible. It will be really interesting to see how companies try and ʻcreativelyʼ get around this new guideline.
My advice to you (take it or leave it) is to REMOVE ALL TESTIMONIALS FROM YOUR MARKETING.
If youʼre selling infoproducts, you can still be very successful without testimonials.
Iʼm not an attorney and you deﬁnitely need to read the FTC brief linked above and form your own opinions. And, of course, seek your own legal counsel on what to do.
Thereʼs a lot of discussion online about these latest FTC changes and I recommend you do some Google searches and educate yourself. If you donʼt, it could potentially put you OUT OF BUSINESS. But just as there are new developments like this that might be viewed as a ʻnegativeʼ there are almost always OPPORTUNITIES that are created because of it. This might be a great opportunity for you to grow your business while your competitors might leave your market because of the new regulations. I guarantee some smart entrepreneurs will ﬁnd a way to do things ʻrightʼ and make a killing from these changes while others are bailing out.
Why I Think Social Media Sucks And Is Probably Costing You More Money Than Youʼre Making From It!
I think this is going to rufﬂe quite a few feathers, but I think it needs to be said... I think Social Media sucks. There I said it. Do I think Social Media is worthless? Of course not. Do I think people are putting too much ʻworthʼ in Social Media? YES.
Hereʼs why I say this... I see so many people getting sucked into using Twitter, Facebook, and other sites for hours upon hours a day. And there are so many so-called “social media experts” screaming at the top of their lungs how Social Media is EVERYTHING now. Social Media is arguably the most overrated marketing concept in the history of planet earth. Yes, I said it. Itʼs overrated. But it will
Can you get trafﬁc from Social Media? Yes, lots of it. convert at 1/10th of what targeted PPC trafﬁc will.
Social Media trafﬁc is mostly MASS MARKET trafﬁc. But a lot of Social Media sites and services are being used for entertainment and, well, socializing. Most people arenʼt using it to research and buy products. Yes, I know, I know... some people use it to learn more about companies and buy products. But 95% of the trafﬁc and usage of Social Media sites is for entertainment and communication amongst friends. Are there ways to reach targeted, niche groups of people via Social Media? YES, there are many ways to do it. But compared to other targeted trafﬁc sources (time or money invested) it rarely converts as well.
Again, itʼs mostly mass market trafﬁc. If youʼre selling something to a mass market then it ʻmayʼ work for you and your business. But for most businesses I really think itʼs nothing but an overhyped concept. But isnʼt it good to build and strengthen relationships with your customers? YES, absolutely. Any communications service will. And let me continue by saying that EVERYONE should be using Social Media. What? Huh? How does that make sense??? Well, hereʼs the difference... I think everyone should use it... BUT FOR NO MORE THAN ONE HOUR PER DAY MAX. I guarantee that if some people (the ones not selling Social Media expertise) spent an equal amount of time that they are currently spending on Social Media on other marketing fundamentals (producing content, targeted lead generation, building and communicating with an opt-in list) that they would make 10 TIMES MORE in their business. I know Iʼm going to get BASHED by some people for these comments about Social Media but I really feel strongly about this. Iʼve been testing it for myself and quickly discovered itʼs mostly A WASTE OF MY TIME compared to other fundamental marketing strategies. Is it fun? Sure, it can be at times. But what Iʼm really saying is that itʼs a massive TIME BANDIT. Itʼs so easy to lose HOURS of your time by using Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. I challenge you... donʼt use Twitter or Facebook for a whole week. Focus your time on doing other things in your business - generate leads from PPC, produce great content, make offers to your list, create a product, run some test campaigns. I bet youʼll make more money. Guaranteed.
Look... Social Media is great for communicating with your market online (or a least some of it). Itʼs great for syndicating links to your stuff... itʼs powerful to be able to make a blog post and have it syndicated to Facebook and Twitter. Itʼs a great way to share URLs with people. And really is great for building relationships. Yes, Iʼm saying it, IT IS. BUT... if you look at the return for time spent, itʼs BAD ROI. Plain and simple. Yes, you should be using it. But not for a lot of time. If you want your business to grow faster then spend more of your time doing the other fundamentals. Just try it. I dare you. THE LESSON: Social Media certainly has its place in your marketing arsenal. But there are many other strategies that will produce more trafﬁc and sales for you. Focus on using those MORE than Social Media. Hereʼs How Social Media CAN Really Beneﬁt Your Business... Okay, enough bashing Social Media. Hereʼs how it can really beneﬁt you... Itʼs a great way to get FEEDBACK from your customers. And if youʼre open to some constructive criticism it can really help you grow your business. I recently posted on my blog about the decision to lower the price of a new “Money Mindset” class I was releasing. You can read about it here: http://www.income.com/blog/2009/10/06/why-you-should-listen-to-yourcustomers/ I made that decision after reading other blog comments and getting emails. A lot of people (more than usual) expressed an interest in the class but said they couldnʼt afford it at the original $497 price. As I state in the above blog post, I donʼt make any excuses for charging high prices for my products. And Iʼm sure Ferrari, Tiffanyʼs, Neiman Marcus, and Louis Vutton donʼt either.
Itʼs Business 101 that you donʼt want to position your business as the lowest priced in your market. That almost never works out -- just look at history. Wal Mart is certainly the big exception to the rule. However, with that said, I do realize that the economy is going through an unprecedented time. Now more than ever people need to be able to empower themselves to generate their own income. And a lot of people are feeling the effects of the economy. And while I am running a for-proﬁt company (with high overhead),and hope to continue to grow my company to make huge proﬁts, sometimes lowering prices is the right thing to do -- proﬁt-wise or not. I felt this way and so I decided to lower the price to $97 for a digital download course. I hope to release this course before the end October. It will be available at http://www.moneymindset.com. My point is that I made this decision based on what many of my customers (not all) were telling me. So any form of communication with your customers is VALUABLE. A deﬁnite ʻpositiveʼ in Social Mediaʼs favor. BUT I ALSO GOT ʻCALLED OUTʼ BY MY OWN CUSTOMERS! Something else happened within those blog posts...
While the majority of the comments were very positive (after I posted about the price change) there were quite a few that were NEGATIVE! A few of my customers even called me out and challenged me to change some things. And to be honest, some of it was hard to read at ﬁrst. And hereʼs whatʼs crazy... MOST OF THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS WERE 100% RIGHT.
One customer called me out and said that I hadnʼt released much content to my list lately and I had only been sending afﬁliate promotions.
I didnʼt even realize it, but I became the type of marketer that I had always taught not to become... one that mostly blasts out promos for products and doesnʼt “give in order to receive” and sends out great content -- which is what built my following in the ﬁrst place. It was a huge eye-opener for me. I had gotten so distracted in my life with other things that I didnʼt even realize I was doing a disservice to my customers. For that I sincerely apologize. And I also promise this is going to change right away -- one of the reasons Iʼm writing this report. Another customer mentioned that I had promoted some less than stellar afﬁliate products recently. And while I wonʼt come out and name the name of the product they are talking about... THEYʼRE 100% RIGHT. I regret that I recently promoted a product that didnʼt turn out well. The customer service for it was a nightmare and the product itself didnʼt live up to its promises. I saw a preview of the product and liked the basic concept but the ﬁnal product... well... stunk. And so I take full responsibility for recommending people buy it. I must do a better job of making sure stuff like that doesnʼt slip through the cracks if Iʼm going to endorse something. Other customers mentioned how I havenʼt created a lot of new things for the more ʻadvancedʼ market. And another expressed how they felt my recent products werenʼt as good as my old ones, that they didnʼt give enough speciﬁc examples. I donʼt agree with every little thing that people posted, but if I am honest with myself I do agree with MOST OF IT. I need to do a better job of serving my customers. Plain and simple.
THE LESSON: Use Social Media to carefully listen to your customers. Their feedback, as well as their needs, are what will help you succeed. More often than not, itʼs simply giving them what they are asking for. But There Is A Downside To Social Media Feedback...
There are some negatives to all these new amazing ʻfeedbackʼ mechanisms. Sometimes others (competitors, disgruntled people, etc.) can bash you with things you put online.
Thatʼs the one big negative about the “social” Internet. Not everyone has good intentions of just giving you constructive criticism.
Because of this, now more than ever, you need to be VERY CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU POST ONLINE.
I learned some of this the hard way... I made some political comments on Twitter as well as have posted ʻopinionsʼ about other hot topics before. A DEFINITE NO-NO. Itʼs almost impossible to ʻwinʼ that game.
Hereʼs the bottom line... with Social Media itʼs very, very hard to separate your PERSONAL life from your BUSINESS life -- and that includes some opinions that have no business being involved with your marketing.
Itʼs very hard to do, but itʼs often best NOT to say certain things if you can help it. You never know when someone will take something the wrong way or be offended by a strong opinion about some news event.
Getting back to those that may have bad intentions and not want to just give constructive criticism...
People can take your words out of context and try to use them against you. “But you said it! Hereʼs proof!” etc. Yes, people will play that silly game.
Example... back in 2004, when I did my only workshop and released the recordings in the “Trafﬁc Secrets” product, one of my ʻguruʼ competitors bashed me online because of something I joked about during that event.
I was talking about using autoresponders and preloading messages that would go out... I was talking about the strategy of building anticipation in autoresponder messages (very powerful) and talked about an example
like, “I hope you enjoyed todayʼs article... be on the lookout for an email I am going to send you later this week... Iʼm going to be reviewing a new book and it talks more about growing huge tomatoes” (or whatever the market was; I forget all the details.)
After I talked about that example I jokingly said, “Remember, folks, itʼs not about lying, itʼs about stretching the truth!” And everyone laughed. I was obviously referring to the fact that the autoresponder messages were pre-written and pre-loaded and I actually wasnʼt getting ready to to review the book and then write them that email and that it was just part of the autoresponder series.
Yet this person attacked me and tried saying that I was encouraging marketers to LIE in their marketing. Which is 100% BS. I would never do that. In fact, itʼs the opposite. Anyone that has followed my stuff knows that I preach overdelivering and doing more than is expected of you (as taught to me by my father that I have repeated many, many times).
In fact, as soon as I caught wind about this personʼs comments I immediately RECALLED (i.e. destroyed) hundreds of remaining copies from the ﬁrst run of the original Trafﬁc Secrets course and had them remade with that ʻjokeʼ edited out. I deﬁnitely didnʼt want anyone (even 1 out of 1,000) to possibly get the same impression that I was telling people to mislead people. I knew (and everyone attending the seminar knew) that I was joking with my comments but I take that stuff very seriously. My reputation is important to me and, of course, the reputation of my customers.
Anyway, hereʼs a video excerpt from a seminar presentation where I actually talked about the concept of doing more than is expected of you: http://www.income.com/blog/2007/06/04/always-do-more-than-is-expectedof-you/
Of course, at the end of that video I gave away a car to a seminar attendee (it was an afﬁliate prize I had won) and yet people (in comments online) still found a way to bash me for THAT. Someone said I only did it to avoid paying the taxes (which doesnʼt make sense since selling it would produce a proﬁt over what taxes were owed) and then someone else said it
was because the car was used (it belonged to the company owner that gave it away as an afﬁliate prize).
So sometimes online you just canʼt win with certain people. Theyʼre going to bash you no matter what. It also surprises me to read comments from some ʻconspiracy theoristsʼ that Iʼm using secret NLP techniques and other military forms of persuasion to get people to buy! Hehe. Iʼve never even read a single book on NLP in my life! I had someone buy me the “prince and frog” one (I donʼt recall the title) but I never even read the whole thing. I have friends that love NLP but Iʼve honestly never studied it indepth.
I studied copywriting and simply write like Iʼd talk. The real secret (or not) to any writing I use for marketing is that I studied screenwriting. Good copywriting is simply telling stories. I highly recommend Robert McKeeʼs book Story. Itʼs a technical read but powerful.
So youʼll have to take the good with the bad of Social Media. Ohhh one more...
Sorry but I love sharing these little ʻthingsʼ related to me online that most other people never hear about (youʼll probably ﬁnd it entertaining like I do)...
One of the best ʻbashʼ attempts that Iʼve seen against me so far is where someone posted on a marketing forum (they were later banned) that I LIED about my million dollar day or something to that effect. They claimed that they had multiple “insiders” tell them that it never happened. ROFLMAO!
I guess heʼs never talked to Jim Edwards, my top afﬁliate for that launch, about how he produced OVER $200,000 IN SALES HIMSELF. (Thanks again, Jim!) Or several of my other top afﬁliates that generated over $100K in product sales for the launch.
Itʼs pretty ridiculous that someone would think that I, and/or others involved, would work together to cook up such a “conspiracy” or whatever. Hell, my million dollar day accomplishment has since been SMASHED
INTO OBLIVION by other launches since that time that have beat it many times over. Well, while Iʼm ranting... Iʼll actually tell you why I DID care about such an ʻattackʼ... Itʼs the fact that such an implied unethical act (to lie about it) that I would INVOLVE MY OWN FATHER. I proudly displayed a photo of my Dad running the whiteboard where he managed the ʻcountdownʼ to the million sales in the PDF report that I published after it happened. My Dad is a retired aerospace engineer that won awards from his work with NASA. He invented a radio circuit that was on the mission that put man on the moon. Of course, he modestly says, “But my part fell off before they reached the moon.” My point being, my Dad is a hard-working important man. IʼD RATHER BE HOMELESS before disgracing my fatherʼs good name just to try and make money. If it wasnʼt for him and my Mom Iʼd probably have nothing. Anyway sorry for getting off track... So Social Media has itʼs good and bad points. Just be aware of them and use it the best you can.
Trafﬁc Generation Is Quickly Changing... You Must Get ʻSmarterʼ About How You Generate Trafﬁc!
One thing that has changed a lot over the years is trafﬁc generation. Many techniques evolve. New ones pop up all the time. And some disappear completely after working great. One of the major techniques that has changed a lot is Google AdWords. If you use AdWords a lot then by now you realize how competitive it is becoming. The cost per click on many keywords continues to rise. As more people discover Google Adwords, the price per click continues to climb higher. In fact, in many markets itʼs nearly impossible to turn a proﬁt due to the demand for those keywords. But as Iʼve always said, those that are willing to do just a little bit more work can have a lot more success than their competitors.
Here are a few things you need to be doing with AdWords...
Donʼt be afraid to overpay at ﬁrst. You just want some metrics to go by. Figure out what keywords are sending sales -- even if itʼs unproﬁtable. You need DATA and lots of it. Once you have plenty of results then you can really ﬁne-tune your campaigns to go for maximum proﬁt. Too many marketers worry too much about maximum proﬁt in the early going and it can often stop them from ﬁnding proﬁtable areas. Because once you know where sales will come from you can tweak things to try and make the numbers work in your favor. For example, one of the things you can do is isolate the speciﬁc countries, even speciﬁc states and ZIP CODES as to where your sales come from. If you collect enough date you WILL ﬁnd trends. I think MOST keywords can be proﬁtable in Google AdWords. If only marketers knew which large segments of each keywords TO ELIMINATE. You also need to be paying attention to the TIME where most of your sales come from. Often it is during the day in the US. Donʼt be afraid to tweak your campaigns to NEVER SHOW YOUR ADS AT NIGHT. That alone could be enough to make you proﬁtable. So the next time you run some AdWords campaigns remember to try and get all the DATA you can -- even if you acquire the sales and lose money. Because the conversion date of showing when/how the sales came in can help you hone in on how to get more of it for less money. (By ﬁguring out ways to ﬁlter out the clicks that donʼt convert.) Hereʼs another ʻtrickʼ you can use with Google AdWords...
Pay close attention to your CONTENT NETWORK ads. By the way, Content Network (i.e. Google partner sites; such as those that run AdSense) used to be HORRIBLE in comparison to Search Network (people searching Google for keywords.)
But times have changed! In many markets, Content Network ads will make a lot more proﬁt than Search network!
And hereʼs a powerful strategy for you... when you start getting conversions (sales) from your Content Network ads, drill-down into the Content Network stats. Google will actually show you which sites (by URL) produced your sales!
When you ﬁnd a site that consistently makes you sales, simply contact that site directly and ASK TO BUY ADVERTISING! Many sites will sell you a banner across the top of their site for a set amount. Now youʼll certainly want to have you metrics in order to have a solid idea of what the advertising might produce, but this can be a potential GOLDMINE for you.
Itʼs not uncommon to sponsor a site for $1,000 a month with a banner across the top and have it produce many times more than that in sales.
You could even buy a small text ad (or any ad for that matter) on the side of their site or somewhere they might not yet even have an ad -- itʼs just more money for them.
I bet someone could take this simple strategy and go into tons of markets... overpay for AdWords clicks (not expecting to turn a proﬁt) on the Content Network... isolate the sites that produce sales (for those keywords) then turn-around and negotiate directly for advertising with those sites. Stay on top of the metrics (renegotiate ad rates if necessary) and CLEAN UP.
Someone could do that with their own products OR with afﬁliate products. Itʼs deﬁnitely an UNTAPPED opportunity, I believe. THE LESSON: Maximize your returns from AdWords by working hard to ﬁlter out the worthless clicks. Leverage the Content Network by ﬁnding sites that send you sales and negotiate directly with them. Are You Paying Attention To What Googleʼs Next Move Is?
If you didnʼt notice, Google just made a HUGE announcement...
They announced that now that their acquisition of DoubleClick has passed government approval (or just about to) that they will be rolling out a SELF-SERVE DISPLAY AD SERVICE. They are going to do to banner ads and display ads across the Web what they did to PPC. The reason Google crushed Yahoo (who was ﬁrst to market with PPC) is because they made it self-serve and automated the process. The long manual approval process killed Yahooʼs ﬁrst to market lead. So Google is going to try and revolutionize “media buying” online. And I think theyʼre going to succeed and really change the game. Theyʼre going to make it SIMPLE to buy and run display ads on the Web. And if you donʼt yet know it, there are far more display ad impressions online than total keyword searches! There are BILLIONS upon billion of ad impressions available online. If youʼve been following the “CPA” game at all then you know those marketers mostly use media such as banners and display ads. And now Google is bringing it to everyone. Until now itʼs been pretty expensive. So I imagine theyʼll have some inexpensive options. Why this is important...
When Google gets this going I believe you need to MOVE QUICKLY and start testing (small at ﬁrst, of course) targeted display ads for your business. There will deﬁnitely be some very PROFITABLE opportunities to leverage the cheap trafﬁc from display ads. But just like AdWords... I think eventually the ʻdemandʼ will catch up and the rates will go higher and higher. Ultimately, making it much harder to turn a proﬁt. So there are probably some good opportunities in the shortterm for buying media that might not be here in the future. THE LESSON: Consider buying media to generate leads for your business. You must keep track of your metrics. Itʼs still all about
conversion rates and cost-per-sale. Get ready to make a ʻmoveʼ when Google really gets this self-serve display ad system cranking.
The Worst Marketing Advice Ever: Just Fake It Till You Make It!
This is more of a rant than anything...
I recently have seen more than one marketer (saw someone giving advice on a forum) telling someone to just “fake it” if they donʼt yet have credibility or any sort of experience or background in the market they want to sell to. BAD. BAD. BAD.
In case someone doesnʼt recognize the photo above, thatʼs Milli Vanilli. The now infamous music group that got exposed for being fake -those guys (the ʻimageʼ of the group) didnʼt actually sing the lyrics on their
award-winning songs. They got ROCKED in the media and one of them would end up committing suicide. If you want to sell to any market, YOU CAN. But you donʼt get started (if youʼre new) by lying and misleading people. In other words, donʼt try and fake it till you make it. The way to succeed and build authority when you donʼt have any is to align yourself with others that do. For example, you CAN sell to the quilting market and give people advice on what techniques to use, etc. but you simply do it by referring them to actual experts in that market. Donʼt claim to have invented the techniques yourself! You can even interview experts in a market where you want to build a business. While you do gain valuable experience and expertise of your own (hey, EVERYONE starts out new to any interest) youʼll be doing business with other experts and can build a name for yourself that way. The only way to build real expertise is to GET INVOLVED in that market. Learn everything you can about it and go out and get real world experience by trying and testing things. Yes, actually become an expert by mastering something. You CAN master anything you want (I believe) you just have to put in the time to study and USE it. Then and only then will you be in a position to even refer to yourself as someone that has expertise to offer others about a subject they want to know about. Years ago I taught my small “IMA” class where I taught people how to sell to the Internet Marketing and Small Business market. This class was for advanced people as well as newbies. The whole concept behind being an “Advisor” is that you can build a successful business by simply educating yourself about who the real experts are in a market and referring your customers and subscribers to them (and get paid for it.) Meanwhile if you want to become an expert yourself (in that case, in the IM market) then I recommend specializing in one small area of the market and making your name that way. Itʼs much easier to actually master ONE small area then to try and build expertise in a giant market.
But the bottom line is you actually must truly build your own expertise before you can teach others directly. Plain and simple. And while youʼre waiting for this to happen you can simply align yourself with others who actually are experts. This happens in almost EVERY industry. Itʼs the reason for interns. Many people gain experience by interning for someone with the experience they want to eventually have. It happens in TV, Film, Dentistry, Plumbing, you name it. But donʼt fake it or it will come back to you in a negative way. Thereʼs just no reason to fake it when you can be successful doing it the ʻrightʼ way. THE LESSON: You CAN become an expert for anything you want. You just have to put in the time to master the subject and gain real experience. Work with and learn from those that you want to be like.
So What Should You Be Doing? (Now And Into The Future) Itʼs Simple... Serve Your Market.
Iʼve said this in a past report and Iʼll just close this one by saying it again... donʼt just sell to a market... SERVE IT. If you listen to your customers and to your market, youʼll ﬁgure out exactly how to serve them. Always ask yourself... “How will my customersʼ lives be better off with me doing ʻxʼ?” Hereʼs where to spend most of your time (I already covered why I feel Social Media isnʼt the answer to that)... 1. Produce great content. Content is still “kong” as I call it. Great content will always trump everything else online because thatʼs what users want and thatʼs what the search engines want. 2. Lead generation. Keep working hard to generate new leads for your business. 3. Build opt-in lists. This is a very fundamental strategy but one of the most valuable in all of Internet Marketing. It trumps Social Media. :) 4. Make offers. Create new products to offer your customers, offer discounts or special offers, or promote afﬁliate products. This will become the lifeblood of your business. 5. Leverage your time. Outsource everything you possibly can to get yourself more of the most limited resource -- your time. Thatʼs it! Thanks for reading this report. Iʼd love to hear your comments on my blog. NOW GET BACK TO WORK! :) ~John