Online marketing is simple. Find people who can benefit from your product or service, present them with a reasonable offer that will deliver more value than it costs, deliver on your promise, and collect the money.
If online marketing is so simple, then why are you still struggling to make a go of it? You have all the rudiments lined up, you are working your tail off, but there is still considerable doubt flowing from friends and loved ones about whether your dream has real potential or is a grand waste of time and money.
First, consider the numbers. 74 percent of adults online are active on one or more social media sites, and 87 percent of U.S. adults are online, according to the PewResearch Internet Project. Running the numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau (2013 estimates), that means almost 242.5 million people in the U.S. are over the age of 18, and about 179.4 million of those folks are reachable on social media.
Is there any chance that a few hundred thousand or so of those 179.4 million people are potentially your customers?
This article focuses on one thing only—helping you get more subscribers to your newsletter, thereby helping you make more money online. Wouldn’t it be great to need the services of recurring billing to collect payments from all the people wanting to invest in your offers?
You bet it would.
Consider the potential. According to Wired, the private shopping club, Thrillest, was a modest newsletter (about 600 on the mailing list) in New York City not too long ago. Today, it is a rapidly spreading international phenomenon grossing over $100 million in annual sales and skyrocketing towards a whole lot more.
Your business may not be large right now, and it may not have yet gone international, or even grown past your front door, but don’t be afraid to dream. Others have started a business on a bootstrap and seen it prosper beyond anyone’s expectations. You can do the same, and there has never been a better time to make it happen. Here’s how.
Harness the power of social media to prove the critics wrong. Try implementing 50 suggestions all at once, if you wish. It’s a tough row to hoe, but you can try. Any way you cut it, unless you have a staff of hundreds at your command, the results will be diluted and negligible.
Rather, take a few simple suggestions you understand and can enact. Do them well, and you may be surprised at the results. Here is a 3-step plan to make more sales, no matter what business or service you are in. Don’t dismiss these steps lightly. They may seem obvious—but have you done them?
Here’s the dare:
Think: Who are the prime prospects for your goods or services? What do those who have the desire to own and capability to purchase your offers look like? What are their concerns and problems? How can you add value to their lives?
Do: Construct a few simple messages aimed at speaking directly to your best prospects. Offer them a legitimate bribe, perhaps a special report about a significant problem they face (ex: “How to Lose 50 lbs in 12 Weeks Without Starving Yourself”). In your messages, use easily understandable language (and not much of it) to offer them your valuable gift in exchange for their subscription to your newsletter. Talk to your prospects like you would talk to a friend. Don’t try to be a salesperson—just be someone who cares and has a solution.
Think: Which social media channels do my prospects frequent? Where are they hanging out?
Do: Go to those particular watering holes and look around. Join the conversation. Be helpful. Find ways to make your offers without coming across as self-serving or pushy. Be careful here. You can do it, but do it with caution. As soon as they smell a rat, they will run. Don’t be a rat.
The rest is mechanical. Have a system in place to collect the names and addresses and deliver the goods. Test your various messages to see which perform best. Tweak them. You are building a list of people who need and want what you offer. Be gentle with them. Add value to their lives, and they will add value to yours.
Go ahead, take the dare, don’t just read, DO! After you have successfully completed the first mission, you are sure to succeed if you do as suggested, come back here and share your findings with others. Don’t hide the cheese, share it.
After all, marketing is about relationships. Start building on yours today.
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