I have a friend who is lost. He is stuck. We have exchanged many emails talking about his situation. I’ve met with him a few times and tried to help him.
I gave him the same advice I give myself … “do what works and keep doing it over and over again until you are where you want to be.”
It’s the advice I gave my kids as they were growing up, forming their ideas of the world and how to live in it.
It’s the same advice I give consulting clients and readers on my blog.
But my friend is still stuck.
I finally figured out why.
While I love this guy, the truth is he is addicted to opportunity.
He spends all his time thinking about what might work, all the while ignoring what does work.
“I know I should be building my list” he says but instead he spends hours and hours every day on forums talking with other people who want to have a list but don’t have one.
And reading emails from marketers.
“Why not ask the people in the forum to join YOUR list?” I asked.
“Oh … that is not allowed in this forum!” was his reply.
So he goes on spending his time reading emails, reading sales letters, watching webinars, and hanging out with his friends in the forum.
Fast forward to today and he still has no business. No list. No sales.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS – I am not judging this man. Not in the least. In fact …
I have been that man!
In my early years I spent so much time on one popular marketing forum I was asked to become one of the moderators! Believe me, I have been stuck too.
But thank God I have been unstuck for many years now.
If you are stuck and want a way out, this article is for you.
Let’s look together at the advice I gave my friend, and what that looks like in the real world.
“Do what works and keep doing it over and over again until you are where you want to be.”
This statement leaves a huge question in the mind of most people.
That question is, so what “works”?
After having worked online full time since 2001, here is what I know works. I truly believe that these methods can work for any person who diligently works them.
I will add this … these are the only five things that one must do to succeed online. While there 1000 things you CAN do, these are the MUST do items in my view.
Remember, the Tortoise beats the Hare every single time.
Method 1 – A plan you believe in
So many people today do not have a plan. They have desire, but no written plans. Notice I said written. It is vital your plan be on paper where you can see it often.
Please understand, I’m not talking about desires or even goals. Although both desires and goals are good things (very good indeed in fact) a plan is different.
A plan is a roadmap. A way to get from where you are now to where you want to be in a clear, logical and step-by-step manner.
It’s not luck, it’s business. And no business worth their salt runs without a plan.
Method 2 – High quality helpful content
Long ago people came online to send and receive email. Email was a new way to stay in touch when your kids went to college. A way to connect with Aunt Edna who lives in another country.
And it was fun.
Fast forward to today and we go online for a very different reason.
That reason is information, and the NEED people have for information is the best thing that could ever have happened to you.
IF you take advantage of it.
It is estimated there were over 1 Trillion searches on Google in 2015. Just in 2015, not accumulated since the beginning of Google.
So how do you take advantage of all that searching?
By publishing content to a blog. Like the one you are reading now.
“But I’m no writer!” say most when explaining why content marketing will not work for them. “No worries” I reply.
Do curation instead.
What needs to be known is this. The information in your head (or that you gather) is valuable. It is valuable to searchers. It is valuable to you if you will make a content marketing plan and work that plan.
And as to niches, there are so many niches yet untapped that it boggles the mind.
Some fear that content marketing might get “saturated” or takes too much work. To which I say “not true”
Does it take work? Yes. But you are working now and will have to work no matter what happens.
Think about this: How long have you been trying to succeed online? Now what if you had written one article per week during that time? How many articles would that be?
Did you know that a well-structured blog with but 100 articles can do very well online financially? It’s true, and is being proven across a wide spectrum of niches.
Today we see sites succeeding with makeup tips, dog grooming advice, and Vegan recipes.
Notice I said Vegan, not healthy or vegetarian or Paleo.
Vegan recipes is a tight niche. Paleo recipes is a niche too, and a profitable one. Your niche needs to be tight, not broad.
So is how to raise children or homeschool or how to clean your home.
I know a lady who makes an incredible living selling printable forms. Yes, printable forms. And not high tech legal or medical forms.
I mean time management, goal planning, home cleaning and even de-cluttering forms she made in Word.
Content marketing is real. You need to get in now because you have (or can gather) knowledge others will pay for. And that is a beautiful way to make a living.
Method 3 – Your own mailing list
Ever get tired of hearing you need a list of your own?
That’s because you don’t have a list yet, or are not making a profit from that list.
Believe me when I tell you, the day you start making profits from your list is a day you will never forget.
That’s because it will be your very own Independence Day!
The good news is that getting started is simple. If you have a blog, put an optin form on the top right of your right sidebar. This can be done with a plugin, which is most often provided by your autoresponder company.
You need something to give away, so either create a free checklist-style report about your niche or buy one with resale rights. Cost there is about $30 if you buy it with rights.
Now offer that report on your optin form and put time on your side.
If you want to ramp up your list building, create a squeeze page and drive traffic there. The best traffic for this is solo ad traffic, but Facebook or Google AdWords (any pay per click really) work very well too.
Think about this – if you had added only 50 people a week to your list since you have been trying to succeed online, how many would be on your list now?
Did you know that some make a full time living with a list of about 10,000? I did and it was both fun and very exciting!
Method 4 – Follow up email marketing
Guess what you need to do follow up email marketing? A list of your own!
And guess who says that follow up email marketing is the #1 method of marketing online?
How about Neil Patel? Or Ryan Deiss? Or Jeff Walker? Or Frank Kern? Or Dr. Weil? Or Target?
Everyone succeeding online knows this truth. The money is in the list when you build it right and follow up right as well.
So what is “right” follow up?
It’s not always pitching but rather alternating helpful content with offers. I call this the “breathing method” and teach it every day.
It is sharing helpful information with people who raise their hand without putting on the “hard sell”.
It’s offering to help even when there is nothing in it for you.
It’s about relationship, not just selling.
You see, right follow up email marketing follows the same patterns as other normal human behavior.
Just like you don’t ask a pretty girl to marry you on the first date, you should not be asking people to buy your product on the first visit.
They will not buy on the first visit anyway, so why spend time and money on a failed strategy?
FACT: A high conversion rate is 2% online That means that 98% do NOT buy on the first visit. That is why I say trying to get people to buy on the first visit is a failed strategy.
Want a simple plan?
- Get a blog.
- Add list building to your blog on day 1.
- Fill your blog with helpful content.
- Send people on your list content and free gifts (lead magnets)
- Send them targeted offers based on their preferences.
And then, and here is the secret … KEEP doing that until you are where you want to be financially.
Start today because that is the plan that works online.
Method 5 – Strategic offers to your list
So you have a blog, have a list and still are not making sales. What in the world is going on?
In 99% of the cases I have handled the problem is the offer.
In other words, people don’t want what you are selling. Or they don’t want it from you. Or they don’t want it right now.
So how do you figure this out?
There are three ways.
Way #1 – Ask them. Send a survey to your list asking what they need. Give them both choices and an option to write in anything they want. Offer a gift if they complete the survey if you want.
Then find a product that meets the needs they express and offer it to them.
Way #2 – Only offer people products that you personally use and endorse. This is the best method by far. People are on your list because they like you. They are beginning to trust you.
And they want to know what you know, or they would not be on the list.
So share openly about great products and not so great. Don’t slam anyone but be candid. It will take you farther than you can imagine.
Way #3 – Only ever send offers to people based on the lead magnets they request. If someone goes to your optin form and downloads a checklist about dogs, don’t offer to sell them a condo in Brazil.
Offer them something about dogs. And then do it again. And again until you find what they want.
Over time, you will learn what they want and see how they buy. When you know that, you can begin to create products tailored to your list.
If you are stuck right now, print out this article and tape it to your monitor. Take each step apart and see how you can apply it. Ask me a question if you have one.
But remember this – the game is won by the person who takes action. So take action making your plan today and you will begin to see real results. You will put time on your side.
And time on your side is a beautiful thing indeed!