Just lately, I've been working personally with 11 committed entrepreneurs to create and launch their new online venture to the world.
Each website was in a different niche, apart from two clients who shared the same niche (but focused on different aspects of that same niche).
So far the revenue has reached $1,412.57 per day (on average) for one of these websites in the last 12 months (and climbing), and for the rest I'm bound by a non-disclosure agreement 😉 .
I've learned a ton of marketing lessons and tricks while doing it, but here are the 7 most important ones you can take away and apply to your own online business today...
1) Research Is Everything
Although it isn't sexy or exciting at first, you'll struggle to make ANY sales online without the right kind of research.
Can you imagine how difficult it would be to sell cat food to a dog owner? That's what new business owners do ALL the time when they don't do their research!
You should know your audience's average demographics (physical attributes), including:
- Age range
- Household income
- Education level
- Marital status
... Along with their psychographics (mental attributes), including...
- Their biggest problem(s) in your niche. What keeps them awake at night?
- Why are their problems painful? What knock-on effect do they cause? For example, "not having any money" may affect their stress levels, which in turn affects their relationship, etc. So solving their money issues would also solve their stress levels, which in turn would help to fix their relationship.
- Their common objections, e.g. "I don't have much spare time", "I'm not very good with technology", etc.
- The level of awareness around their problem, e.g. do they know a solution exists? (More on this later.)
- What do they look for in a product? Maybe a strong guarantee? The strategy being explained step-by-step?
- What is their preferred way to consume content? Watching videos? Reading reports/ebooks? Listening to interviews?
- And more!
Your job as the marketer is to know your prospect inside out, so you can tailor your solution to them and be a perfect match for what they're looking for.
It's easier to do that than try to change the prospect to match your marketing. People fear change, so trying to do things your way will give you all kinds of friction.
2) Map Out Your Profit Process Before Doing Anything
As the saying goes, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail".
There's nothing worse than spending weeks or months of your spare time creating a product and website, only to find out it doesn't fit well with the rest of your products and you need to spend even more time changing the whole process to make the most profit.
So before you create anything, you should map out your online venture's long-term strategy and which products you'll be selling to people.
The first thing you need to decide is, do you want to focus more on digital products, or focus more on services?
Here's a simple way to find out...
a) Do you want to automate more things to give yourself more freedom? If you answered yes, sell more digital products instead of services.
b) Do you enjoy working with fewer clients more closely? If you answered yes, sell more services and charge higher prices.
Of course you can still do both if you want to, but it comes down to placing more emphasis on one over the other.
Once you've decided on the format for the offers you'll be selling, you need to map out your product line.
After all, one product is a promotion - not a business - and you'll struggle to make a profit over your advertising costs without multiple products in place.
So whether you're selling other people's products as an affiliate OR selling your own products, you need to map out a product line that ascends people from a low-friction price point ($7-$27) up to high-priced, high-value services ($3,000+).
Each product should be related to each other in some way and be a logical progression from the last.
For example, if you're selling an ebook of recipes to boost your metabolism at $7, the next logical step would be to provide a weight loss course at $27, then a proven exercise plan tailored to their goals at $97, and so on.
See how they are all congruent with each other and are a logical "yes!" from the previous offer?
If you just start barging into creating (or selling other people's) products without thinking things through, it's tough to get everything to match up, which hurts your profit in a big way.
3) Be Aware Of Your Niche's Maturity
Every niche has one of three levels of maturity:
- They don't know they have a problem, which means they aren't looking for a solution.
- They know they have a problem, but don't know a solution exists.
- They know solutions exist, but aren't sure which one is best.
Each level of maturity will require a different type of marketing, as the prospect has different objections to overcome.
For example, a prospect who doesn't know they have a problem isn't going to respond very well to an advertisement promoting a solution to that problem, because they don't know they have that problem yet and it feels like the solution doesn't apply to them.
Also, a prospect who knows there are plenty of solutions available to their problem doesn't need to be educated that they have a problem, as they already know!
So once you know the level of maturity in your niche, you can change your marketing accordingly.
But how do you find this out?
Due to the age of the Internet, most niches are at level three, which means your marketing should focus on giving them reasons why your solution is the best way to solve their problem, making it stand out over your competitors' solutions.
However some smaller niches will be at level two, which makes it super easy to make a huge profit because your prospects are actively struggling without any kind of solution.
Just put yours in front of them and they'll eat it up without needing much persuading.
Then, there are some ultra-modern niches that erupt out of nowhere that are at level one, like how the release of Pokemon Go brought about hundreds of new businesses promoting strategy guides for it.
If you match your marketing to the level of maturity in your niche, it's easy to connect with the conversation already going on in your prospects mind, then selling becomes effortless.
4) Always Have A Unique Methodology
Most outdated business textbooks will tell you to create a "USP", which stands for Unique Selling Point. In other words, what makes your offer stand out from your competitors' offers?
However the Unique Methodology goes one step beyond this.
It's not enough nowadays to just have a better guarantee, a better price, or a better customer experience.
While all those things are important, what will truly make your product stand out even more is a different methodology to achieve the end result.
Jack Daniels doesn't just say "we make great whiskey". They have a unique step-by-step process on their website which explains how the whiskey is made differently to improve the taste.
You could argue it's pretty effective too, as they have a combined Net worth of $152 billion (yes, billion with a "b"!).
Not only that, but every business I've worked with that implemented a Unique Methodology always saw a massive increase in sales.
For example, if you're selling a trading software, your Unique Methodology could be that the software uses its own unique algorithm to pick up "profit signals" in the financial markets.
Or, if you're selling a video course about survival (think Bear Grylls), your Unique Methodology could be that you're tapping into very early hunter-gatherer strategies that have been lost in modern society, or similar.
It massively helps you to stand out in the marketplace as a completely unique solution, without having to keep undercutting your competitors and lowering your profit margin.
Once you've decided on your Unique Methodology, be sure to use it as the core message in your sales pages, advertisements, emails, and everything else!
5) Write Good Copy
Even if you have an amazing product, if your copy sucks, your prospects aren't going to ever see how amazing it is.
Your sales pages need to stir up emotion within your prospects and persuade them to buy of their own free will. Simply telling them about the nuts and bolts of your product and shouting at them until they buy isn't going to cut it.
That's why you should start learning how to write good sales copy from day one, as this will increase your persuasion skills and boost your results with everything you do.
While you're learning, it's best to hire a copywriter with a proven track record for getting good results.
Be sure to hire somebody who has a lot of results-based testimonials (e.g. "his copy increased my conversion rate to 6.2%!"), instead of a bunch of generic "thanks for a timely delivery" type testimonials.
Although it may be an unexpected outlay, if you want to kickstart your success, having better copy will pay for itself within a few weeks - and can often last for several years before it needs a refresh.
6) Focus On Quality Over Quantity
Most beginners will often focus on getting as much traffic as possible for the lowest price possible. That's their goal.
Or, they will buy the cheapest solution despite it not delivering on its promises.
The problem with this mentality is that you're always going to be let down.
Cheap traffic is cheap for a reason - because nobody else wants it!
Why does nobody else want it? Because it isn't profitable for them!
Also, I've found that cheap, sub-par solutions are always full of bugs and make the simplest tasks take much longer than planned.
Just one bug can sometimes delay you launching your new online business to the world by several weeks, or even months!
Meanwhile you're still working for a boss in a job you're not passionate about.
So instead of focusing on quantity, I always focus on quality.
When it comes to traffic, I always target the main 6 countries: United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
These top 6 major English-speaking countries usually have higher traffic costs than say, India, but always make more sales - giving a much better return on investment (ROI).
For example, I promoted the same lead magnet using two different traffic sources - Facebook Ads and solo ads...
After 2 days, my Facebook Ads campaign had broken even on my traffic costs and was making a huge profit, without much testing at all to improve my results further. The industry average to do this is around 30 days, but using my method I did it in two.
When getting cheaper traffic to the same offer using solo ads (where you pay someone in your niche to send an email to their email list promoting your offer), I made zero sales whatsoever.
So from my experience over the last 9 years and making multiple millions dollars in sales, you'll always get better results focusing on quality over quantity.
7) Test, Test, Test!
It's an exciting feeling when you're ready to launch your website to the world...
You nervously hit the "start" button on your traffic campaigns and start seeing the visitors roll in.
You think, "I'll be rich soon!".
You start looking at Lamborghinis and new houses, then imagine how jealous all of your friends and family are going to be.
But then nothing.
The reality is, most online marketing campaigns completely flop the first time around.
This is because most people don't have a clue what they're doing and run their marketing based around what they think will work, instead of what their prospects want.
This can often lead to spending hundreds or even thousands in testing to find out what works and what doesn't work.
Testing different price points, different profit process structures, different email marketing strategies, different ad copy, different targeting, different content formats, different lead magnets - and the list goes on!
However, if you follow a plan that's been proven to work, you increase your chances of success by a huge amount.
It's the equivalent of having a mentor in your corner without the huge price tag.
To save yourself all the testing and wasted time, effort and money, we've created a simple formula to use when you're just getting started that always increases your sales. You can learn about it in our free video here.
See you there!
- James Francis.
Founder & CEO, Digital Prosperity.