Has the last year shaped up to be what you wanted it to be? If you are like many, the answer is “not so much”.
While it is important to maintain a positive attitude, and vital to embrace every single victory it is also important to know when things should be going better but are not.
If you find yourself in that place I have some good news for you. This good news is hard won. Battle tested. Proven in the real world.
That good news is this – there are really only 5 things you need to focus on to make the next year the best year ever.
Five things. That’s it.
But fair warning – it will take hard work, dedication and focus to be able to achieve these five things while totally ignoring the shiny objects being emailed our way every day.
But I know you can do it! So let’s get to work.
Focus Area 1 – Your Platform
To succeed online, you need a home base. A place where you can quickly and easily send people to learn more about the things you are doing online. Bottom line, you need a blog with your name all over it.
Even if you are an affiliate marketer, and that’s all you ever want to do, you need a home base.
Why? There are three simple reasons.
- You need to build your business, not someone else’s business. Like it or not, you are the brand when you go online. So why not make the most out of it?
- A list of your own. I know of no successful person online who does not have a list of their own. If you find one, let me know, please. I’ve been doing this for over 17 years and have not found them yet. I’m not talking about making a buck here or there but rather someone who is building a real business. They all have lists.
- You must control your own fate online. If you put your destiny in the hands of a Facebook, Google or other tech company who offers you free everything your entire business can evaporate in a moment when they change their rules. And they will. They always do.
It has been rightly said that you would not rent a piece of land and then pay to build a house on that land. That would be foolish.
But people think nothing of joining a business opportunity, or finding a free service, and then building their entire business on that platform.
In the old days hosting was expensive. Today it’s cheap. Get your own hosting. Build your own blog. And control your own destiny if you want to succeed online.
Focus Area 2 – Your List
I know you are tired of hearing it, but it’s true. To succeed online, you must have a list of your own.
It’s not an option, it’s a requirement.
If you want people to buy from you, they need to know you, like you and trust you. This must we know from experience. It’s proven.
And the best way to do that is to send people high-quality content (like what you are reading now) that interests them.
They consume the content, like it, like you and the “cycle of good” begins.
What is the “CYCLE OF GOOD“? It looks like this.
Know –> Like –> Trust –> Buy –> Advance –> Buy Again
More about the Cycle of Good in another post.
There are more reasons to have a list of your own than just being able to sell things. Although selling things is fun!
Happily, it is easy to do!
Other reasons include.
- Being able to serve YOUR audience. They are your audience. Serve them.
- Participating in joint ventures.
- Getting free market research. Want to know what people want? Just ask your list!
- Never paying for advertising again.
- Finding affiliates and JV Partners from people who already know you.
And last but not least – the ability to actually automate your marketing.
You see, when you have a list, and arrange your content properly, you can set it up so that people on your list hear from you (with both content and selling messages) even if you are on vacation.
It’s called passive income. And it’s a beautiful thing.
Focus Area 3 – Your Email Follow Up Selling System
Once you have a list, you need a follow up system. This follow up system is different than the content you send people on your list.
An email follow-up system is a series (sometimes called a sequence) of messages designed to educate prospective buyers about the benefit of a product you are promoting.
Simple really. And really simple to create once you know how.
The key factor today with an email follow up system is using a smart autoresponder so you send selling emails to only those people who want to know more, while still sending helpful content (to build goodwill and be of service) to everyone else.
Happily, technology like Ontraport (it’s what I use) make this a snap.
Doing your email marketing this way ensures you are always a welcome guest, not an unwanted pest, as Dan Kennedy would say.
Focus Area 4 – Your Traffic
Ah, traffic. The most misunderstood topic in Internet marketing. Everyone wants it but few know what to do with it.
Here are three simple truths about traffic.
- If you want traffic you buy it. Period. You buy it with time by publishing blog posts like this one (or curating them) or you buy it with money from places like ezines or Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Most people who want it are not ready to receive it. There is a myth that you can grab a high gravity product on Clickbank and drive traffic to it and make money. I say myth because it’s just not true anymore.
- Traffic has temperatures. There is cold traffic (they don’t know you) warm traffic (they know you or your offer and are somewhat interested) and hot traffic (they know you, like you and trust you and will buy from you again and again)
Guess which one you want most?
And guess how you get them all day long for no money?
HINT: Print out this article and do the steps. It works like wings. True freedom awaits.
Focus Area 5 – Your Content Marketing
Ah, content. Another misunderstood concept. So let’s break it down.
What is “content”?
Content is information you share that helps people.
That could be a webinar, an article, a video, an infographic or a phone call.
If you are sharing ideas with people using any medium (like I am with this article) you are producing content.
As long as it is helpful, you are golden.
Content marketing objection #1 – But I do not want to write!
Answer: Don’t write. Simple really.
I’m writing this because I love writing. It’s my thing. But if it’s not your thing that’s okay. You can succeed without writing long articles.
- Speak on the phone or by Skype.
- Text message with people.
- Work with others who do love to write.
- Answer questions at Quora.
There are a thousand ways to succeed with content. It just takes doing. It takes focusing on what you will do more than what you fear you can’t do or don’t want to do.
So there you have it. This is the roadmap to real success online, albeit a brief overview. It’s the path the Russell Brunsons and Ryan Deisses and Michal Hyatts of the world take.
But you may notice one thing is missing. Get rich quick. Because that’s just a myth too.
There is no 24 hour or 15 minute or one-click wonder solution that is real and works. They work for the people selling them, not the people buying them.
If you want your online presence to boom for you then put your entire focus on these things.
Do them with all your heart.
Get help where you need help doing the technical things, but do these five things every week and I predict that the end of the next year will be much brighter and better than the end of this year is for you now.
And each year being better than the last – well that is a beautiful thing indeed!