Saturday, May 01, 2010

“Main Article: How to Avoid The Big Mistakes”

By Marlon Sanders

Today I'm going to talk to you about how not to LOSE money.And how to get more of it while doing the same.There's a skill in a non-Internetzozo marketing arena I'm learning. And like any new skill, you're not worried about getting all the nuances to start with. What you want is to avoid the BIG mistakes.  In this article, I'm going to help you avoid the BIG ones. I really hope you read this and think about it. It'll save you months if not years of wasted time and effort.

Big mistake #1:  Never doing anything

This sounds obvious. But it's an EASY trap to fall into because you keep learning, learning and learning. It's easy to fall prey to the fear of making mistakes and the fear of being criticized.  A lot of people never sell big ticket products because they're afraid of being criticized. You know, if you sell a $27 ebook, no one is going to get too upset if they think it sucks. But if you sell something for a G, and people think it sucks, yeah, they'll complain. But you can't let that fear hold you back.  Just try to produce good products.

It's true that if you do something and it doesn't work you could feel like your "dream" will never happen. But it's 100% it'll never happen if you never do anything. Instead of seeing your results as your own personal ability being judged, see your activities as performing marketing tests.  More on this attitude in a second. Law 1:  Do something.

Big mistake #2:  Trying to sell to everybody

It's like trying to catch bass in the ocean.  You're probably going to have more success catching bass in a lake. Think of it as fishing in ponds or lakes.  Over here you have bass.  Over here you have something else.

You have to find a LAKE to fish in.Now, I don't fish. So it's not a perfect analogy. But you get the idea. You can look at it as shopping malls. A shopping mall in one part of town is going to have different stores than one in another part of town, right? You don't put the Neiman's or Nordstrom's (high end stores) in the low rent part of town. The point of targeting a specific group of people is it's easier to know what they want and be specific about how you provide that.

Look at marketing like this.  You have a specific group of people and you are performing a marketing experiment to find out IF these people will actually spend money to solve a problem or get a defined result. It's a test. It's an experiment.  You do your research to find out what they are already spending money on. Then you find the next link in the chain as I've taught in other courses.  Then you launch your test out there and see the results. The results are NOT a statement about you nor your marketing. They're the results of a test. Law 2:  Find a pond to fish in.

Big mistake #3:  Spending all your money on one high-
end coaching program without really investigating it.

I see people spend all their piggy bank money on one high-end program or coaching program without really investigating the feedback on the Internet about it. Be REALLY cautious about spending all your piggy bank on one program that promises the world -- EVEN if your favorite "guru" endorses or promotes it.

In marketing, you do reciprocal mailings for friends. It's almost impossible to avoid.  Or you owe someone a favor. Now, I personally do about 100X less of these than  anyone else.  It's cost me a great deal of money to NOT do these. But I've always tried to put my concerns for my customers first.  But even at that, on occasion I owe a favor to a friend.  And I work hard to only promote good products when I do that.

But do your research no matter who endorses it ... IFit's a very significant chunk of your piggy bank. If it's discretionary money, don't sweat it so much.

For me personally, it was a VERY big breakthrough in 1992 (or somewhere in there) when I spent $5,000 for Jay Abraham's Marketing Protege program.  Nowadays many of the things I learned are common knowledge -- USP, lifetime value of a customer, endorsed mailings. But at the time, NO ONE taught these things. And I learned an enormous amount very quickly, even though the program wasn't structured and was more a hodgepodge.

Then again, that's a bit how Jay's mind works.  And I'm  kinda that way too. So it all worked for me. At the time, $5,000 was a lot of money to me. So I kinda spent my piggy bank.  So I'm not against big ticket purchases.

But some people just buy junk from a high-powered telephone sales pitch and do almost no research on it.... all because the person on the phone says they are calling on behalf of XYZ guru.

Fact is, some marketers sell their leads to telephone sales rooms that call and sell very large ticket coaching programs. You should know that.  I don't do it. But some people do. A lot of these phone rooms are in Utah.  In the biz, it's known as selling your leads to Utah and everyone knows what that means.

There may be good programs there also.  I don't know all of them.  I know that in SOME of the programs, the "coaches" have a noteboook with 50 programs in it.  And they do coaching for all kinds of programs from real estate to Internet marketing. So you can imagine how useful the coaching is. They usually start selling at $10,000 and then just keep going lower till people say yes.  By the same token, I know of one company like this where the marketer goes in and personally trains the coaches then does monthly follow up with them. So I'm not saying as a blanket statement they're all bad.

All I'm saying is be smart. Don't be stupid.  Do your research no matter WHO endorses the product.  At the same time, I see people agonize over a $97 product. You know, come on.  Keep this in perspective.  No one product is going to change your life in all likelihood. Success is the result of an accumulation of know how and skills. Law 3:  Do your research.

Big Mistake #4:  Not building a list

Someone commented on my blog just the other day.  "Marlon, I'm finally taking your advice and building a list." They probably bought someone else's program that somehow finally convinced them. I'm just telling you.  If you want to be in the Game 5 or 10 years from now being successful then build a list or lists. The model works.  It has worked for 100+ years and will continue to work. Law 4:  Build a list

Big Mistake #5:  Searching for the one system that sounds the
easiest with the least possible work and effort.

Everyone I know who succeeds expends effort to do so including myself.
However, once you get your systems tested and in place, they truly CAN run more or less on autopilot with minimal input and monitoring for substantial periods of time.

Then you may have to create new systems or re-tweak. Sometimes there are fundamental shifts in the market that require a new set of systems to be created and installed. The axe I have to grind is with consumers who search and search for someone who promises them the world with little  effort.

Some people believe this nonsense.  They actually believe you can obtain huge results almost by pushing a button or expending very little effort.  If that's you, stop it. Success is the result of the accumulation of skills and know how and the implementation of the same.  Ultimately, you find one formula that works for you through trial and error. And the money comes when you then repeat that formula over and over in the same market or in various markets.  That's where money comes from.

It takes experimentation on your part to refine that formula. And if every month you're trying a brand new formula you'll never get there. You get a formula and work with it, tweak it, refine it until you get it to work. So you find a group of people who buy a lot of stuff over and over.

You see what they are buying right now. You create something like it but add your own spin and USP or solve a problem or two with the existing products or systems. Then you throw it out there and see if the market confirms that your observations were correct. If not, your test failed.  You either tweak that product again or take another stab at it. I personally like to look for under served people or topics. So here's a group of people who buy lots and lots of stuff but on this one topic, idea or product, there's a lack of supply.

I like to BE the supply to a lack.  True marketing is serving.  You serve people who are under served.  You become the supply for lack. There are always gaps in the market.  Wants that are unfulfilled. But this is only one way to look at it. Others see wants as things that are NEVER satisfied. So if people buy one thing to fulfill a want, they'll buy another and another.

Law 5:  Get a formula and tweak it

Big Mistake #6:  Not really focusing and getting lead generation
systems in place and down pat

All businesses boil down to generating new customers and making sales.
So you gotta get really, really, really good at that process. Become an expert in it. For Internet marketing this means:

a.  Knowing where your customers hang out at.
b.  Hanging out there with them.
c.  Watching what they talk about and looking for unmet wants
d.  Filling those unmet wants or under-served products
e.  Having a system for continually putting more and more and
more of those people on your list by giving them a really great
reason to get ON your list and STAY on your list.
f.  Sending out emails that provide value and sometimes sell

Your whole entire business hinges on your ability to find the people who buy lots of stuff then find some way to get 'em on your list so you can send 'em emails. Don't like getting people on a list and sending them emails?

Then you're on the wrong list baby! That's what I do. Go find someone else.
Law 5:  Get really good at filling your pipeline with new blood

Big Mistake #7:  Thinking you have to have the perfect product
before you can sell it

Listen, by the time your product is perfect, the market has changed and it won't sell anymore anyway. Joe Vitale said, "Money loves speed." Provide value?  Yes.  Provide more value than people pay for? Absolutely. Provide perfect products and value?  No. Now, the bar of what people expect keeps moving higher and higher.  That's how business works.  So you always have to get better. But that's ok because you learn as you go.

Big Mistake #8:  Never getting good at selling

Business as I've said is about finding potential customers and giving them really compelling reasons for buying from you today. You get them on a list and then you sell 'em or serve 'em. Those two ARE the same thing. Selling = serving unmet wants and needs. You may not like to sell.  You may not be good at selling. Get over it. You gotta sell. Now, you can do it by writing stuff.  Reports, sales letters, whatever. You can do it by doing teleseminars or webinars. You can do it by sign language. But somehow.  Someway.

You gotta sell. Stated in more socially acceptable terms, you gotta give people reasons to buy from you. Whatever.  Nothing happens until someone gives you money in exchange for something they want. Law 8: Get good at selling

Big Mistake #9:  Hopping on the band wagon

Sometimes you gotta hop on the band wagon. Sometimes it's a mistake.
In general, it's better to be ON the wagon before the band get there.  Because by the time the band gets there it's too late. This is especially true with search engine optimization methods otherwise known as seo.

By the time the perfect, user friendly course comes out with all the methods made dirt easy, those things are probably less effective. The money is made early on in most arenas.  You get to the diamond mine BEFORE everyone else finds out about it. This is admittedly double talk and an art.  On the one hand, I like proven business models like list building and I don't like fads that die fast. On the other hand, if you're too late to the party, it's OVER. So it's an art to know what to jump in early on and what to avoid.

What I DO know is that, in general, by the time everyone is talking about it and you have all the social proof that makes you feel comfortable and by the time all the software is perfect and hassle free and by the time there are cheap coaching programs on it and by the time all those nasty kinks and bugs are worked out and by the time it's super simple and easy to learn and do -- by THAT time it's TOO late.

Stop complaining about software that has glitches or isn't perfectly easy to use and processes that aren't all 100% perfectly laid out. Because by the time all that happens everyone else has figured it out also and the party is so freaking over it isn't funny. The money is made early. Money loves speed. If you sit around and debate on it, research it, think about it, mull it over -- it's too late.

By the same token, don't bet the farm on a fad. Which sounds like double talk.  And that's why judgment is involved. Which is GOOD! Once it's a "machine," the party is over. Why? This is a basic, fundamental understanding of the law of supply and demand.  When the supply equals demand, the profit is GONE. Law 9:  Joe Vitale was right. Money loves speed.

Big Mistake #10: Doing all the technical stuff yourself

Outsource your customer service as soon as you can. Find a good technical person (freelancer or part timer) as soon as you can. Find a webmaster and graphic designer as soon as you can. Law 10: Focus on marketing.


Marlon Sanders helps people with hopes and dreams figure
out how to turn those into reality by selling stuff on
the Internet.

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