What You Sell May Be Important

The general theory in online marketing is that it doesn’t matter what you sell.  If you get it out in front of enough people, a certain percentage will be interested enough to buy.  Studies have been done with focus groups that are presented with certain products and asked if they would buy.  Quite consistently a certain percentage would buy any reasonable product.  The same percentage won’t buy all of the products, but for each product, there are always some people who are interested.

The underlying premise is that people must believe there is value to buying that product.  So, if you are advertising an eBook that “will change your life,” you can’t give them a paragraph that simply explains that they need to find a new therapist.  People will request refunds, and leave bad reviews, and in the long run, you will have failed.

That became my problem with Click Bank.  There was never anything dishonest, and in truth, people put a lot of work into many of the products sold through Click Bank.  But, as I bought several products, I soon realized that there was a lot of hype, and rarely a lot of value.  So now, whenever I see a Click Bank type product, I don’t even look at it.  Instead it is quickly deleted.

It is a very different experience from buying a real, hold-in-your-hands type product.  When you buy a new iPhone, its value is not determined by how well you read the instructions, nor whether you are richer next month because of having used it.  Its value comes for the joy of having it and using it.

This realization has pushed me to become more involved in selling real products on eBay and Amazon. This is not nearly as hard as many people picture, and there is huge money to be made.  Most people don’t realize it, but a large percentage of the items sold on eBay are drop shipped from a retailer to the buyer.  In other words I don’t have to have an inventory.  I don’t have to make daily trips to the UPS store.  Inventory and shipping are taken care of by others.  I just post something on eBay and list it so that I can make a profit.  It is now possible to do similar transactions on Amazon.

There are many advantages to doing this.  First, eBay and Amazon have huge markets that you can tap into.  There is no need to spend a lot of money on advertising (or even building a list – though that never hurts).  The second advantage is that you are selling a real product – something people can hold in their hands.  It is possible to sell thousands of a single item without a web site, and with no advertising.

The third advantage – and this may be just me – is that I get more satisfaction in selling a real product that people want without my having to hype it all out of proportion.

Feel free to check out my web site that promotes my Amazon product (the web site is not necessary for sales).  You can see that I can even use part of my sales to help the poor of the world.  Seems worth it to me.  The site is called, HTP, for, Help The Poor.

Secret for Success #5 – Perseverance Will Get You There

Most people tend to be very short-sighted. You have probably seen or heard about the test that was done to children. Each child is left in a room with a candy on the table. They are given the choice to eat that candy now, or not eat it and wait for more that will come later. Many of the children cannot resist the temptation to take what they want now – regardless how bright the future promises may be.

Each of us is so easily swayed by the “bright, shiny objects” that come into view. They often distract us from the goal or the dream that we have set out on.

People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. . ~ Author Unknown

During my life, I have attained three academic degrees. There were times when things were really getting tough – the work load was overwhelming, the grades weren’t what I had hoped, the money was really short – that it would have been very appealing to leave it all behind and choose an easier life. Perseverance and a commitment to my goals was the only thing to get me through those times.

It is so easy to quit. Then there will be no more risk. Then money won’t be so tight. Then I won’t have so much stress in my life. But, do we have our eyes firmly fixed on our dreams? Are we convinced that we are going to get there? Once we know where we are going, perseverance is necessary to get there.

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. ~ Babe Ruth

Does perseverance guarantee success? Isn’t it possible to persevere after the wrong thing? Yes it is. And that is part of the beauty of the challenges and failures. If you take the risk to follow your dreams, and you have surrounded yourself with people to help, encourage, and advise you, you will have to face failures – or at least criticism. Those failures and criticisms are always challenging your dream. They should be forcing you to ask, “Is it worth it? Is this what I really want? What difference will it make if I attain this goal or not.” Every stone like this along your road, helps you clarify your dream. Maybe it needs modification. Maybe you become more convinced that this is important. But if you just quit right away, you never give these challenges a chance to do their work.

So, if you have done your work to find your friends, and develop your dream, and take the risks necessary to start following your dream, don’t be quick to give it up. Perseverance will lead you along the road to success.

Secrets for Success #4 – Take a Risk

Who wants to risk? If I have a good job, with a good salary, why would I risk it all to move into the insecurity of on-line marketing? If trying a new technique may cost you thousands of dollars with no guarantee of breaking even, why risk it? By nature we tend to prefer the known and the secure. But the truth is, in order to be a success you must be willing to risks.

Think of the first time you met a girl or guy that you liked. It would probably by easier and safer not to risk rejection, and never try to develop a relationship. But if you don’t take that risk, you may never meet your future spouse, and never get to know that someone who will fulfill you.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~ T.S. Eliot

The same is true in your business. You may try your business and get your feet wet a little. You really like doing this and think you may be able to make a good living at it, but you know that it is going to take a lot of time to get it started, and even more money. And, in the long run, you are not sure it will work out. It will be necessary for you to take a risk. It would be safer to stay with your regular job and not take the risk. But then you may never find fulfillment. You may never find what you were meant to do with your life.

But, does taking risks guarantee that you will succeed? Couldn’t you just as well fail? Yes. In fact, you probably will fail. That is part of the process. Talk to any successful person and they will tell you of all the failures that they used as stepping stones to get where they are now.

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” ~ Dale Carnegie

When you get to that point of deciding whether to take the risk or not, you must ask yourself these two questions: How bad do I want it, and, Is there really any other way to get it?

Hopefully you will see that you must travel toward your dream. Though you can calculate the risk, and you can try to reduce the risk, you cannot avoid it. Successful people will learn to live with risk and never let fear of failure keep them from their dreams.

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” ~ George Edward Woodberry

Secrets for Success #3 – You Can’t Do It Alone

Some people are attracted to the internet because of its anonymity. You can be your own boss. There is no one making crazy milestones that you have to accomplish. As appealing as that may be, the fact is, that you cannot succeed on the internet – or anywhere else in life – without working with people. You can’t do it alone.

You will need people to buy your products or services. You will need a team of people who are working with you toward a common goal. You will need people to give you advice and tell you when your ideas are crazy.

Success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is in the support of other people. ~ David J. Schwartz

If you choose to work completely alone, you won’t know if you are connecting with people or not. You won’t have any feedback about the things you are doing. You won’t have anyone to give you encouragement when you are about to quit.

Instead of running away from people when we have a difficult time, it will be much better if we can learn to work with people and influence them in a positive way. Giving other people complements, and telling them what a good job they are doing, wins them over as a friend and gives you someone who will be quicker to build you up when you are low. Offering fee gifts or free counsel can win trust from other people. Once people trust you, they will buy from you and follow you anywhere.

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.~ Theodore Roosevelt

On FaceBook we like to get as many friends as we can. On Twitter we like followers. The same is true in real life. Your success depends on friends and likes and trust. They are your army. They are your strength.

I attended a funeral recently where about a thousand people came to file by the casket and give final respects to the person who had died. It was a testimony to a man who had cared about people. He was a success in his business while he lived, and his success continued even after he was gone because his friends and associates had learned from him how to love people.

If you would be a success, never ignore the people all around you. Instead, pour your life into them.

Secrets for Success #2 – Dream the Impossible Dream

In this second installment of the Secrets for Success series we will show you how important it is to dream – in fact, to dream the impossible dream. This is not just nice, inspirational mushiness, it is essential to your success.

Theoretically, it is possible to simply do everything you are told to do all your life, and still do well financially. You will be the perfect child – doing what you are supposed to do, but never risking, or setting out on an adventure, or challenging anyone’s way of thinking. You will be the perfect employee – doing exactly what your boss tells you to do.

A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness.~ Zadok Rabinwitz

It is also possible to live that way and never experience the fullness of life. You see, dreaming is an essential part of life. If we are overweight, it is crucial that we have dreams of a different life-style. If we can’t dream of a day when all people are equal – black and white, male and female, rich and poor – then we are doomed to live with no progress.

So, what are your dreams? Maybe you dream of being rich with a large income, and getting it all while working from home. If that is what drives you then at least something is pushing you to change and grow.

It is a fact, that in order to be successful, we must have dreams. It is also an interesting fact that our dreams usually define who we are. Many have said that if you really dream something – even something that seems impossible – then your life will work to make it happen. No dream is too big. Usually we dream too small.

As you can easily see, it is important to dream good dreams. This is because our lives will soon be consumed by that dream. And that dream will likely define us. For example, what do you think of when you think of Neil Armstrong. Even though he was a husband and father, most remember him as an astronaut. Few remember where Mother Teresa was born or that she was a teacher for many years. Instead she is known for her care of the extreme poor and dying in Calcutta.

So, I ask again, what is your dream? Maybe you have forgotten how to dream. You have been told to just do your job. You have been teased for sharing ridiculously big dreams. You may have failed at some of your dreams and learned that it is painful to dream too big.

At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.~ Christopher Reeve

Let me encourage you once again to dream. Yes there may be some painful failures, but you will also experience some of the greatest joys in your life as you attain your dreams – and you will, because life seems to flow toward dreams.

Your success will not be determined by the mis-steps along the way. You will be seen as successful as you are moving toward that dream.

Secrets for Success #1 – Customer Focus

I am going to make a series of posts that focus on some of the underlying secrets for success – both in online marketing, and for life in general. These are not so much a “how to” type of discussion, but rather learning the attitudes that will lead to success.

The first idea is a foundational fact that all successful people must learn. You have heard it said in different ways by on-line trainers. “You have to learn to give before you can receive.” “You have to develop relationship, not just pump people for a sale.” Many stores have the motto, “The customer is always right.”

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. ~ Henry Ford

Many of us – especially when we start out in marketing – are so hungry for a sale that we try every argument or “trick” to convince people that they should buy what we are selling. We think that if we just try harder, they will eventually buy from us. In truth, our hard work often turns people off and ruins any chance of a sale.

The reason that they are not convinced to buy is because it is obvious to them that it is all about you. Your customer may like you, but in truth, they are more interested in what meets their own needs and/or desires.

As marketers we need to get rid of this overwhelming urge to push our product. This was a lesson that we learned with the advent of Attraction Marketing. The idea in attraction marketing is that we first build some trust with people, then we talk about a problem or issue that they may be struggling with. Finally, we wait for them to ask us about our solution to their problem. Now we are ready to sell. Now it is about them.

But there is another aspect to this secret that guarantees our success. Yes, it is important to focus on other people’s needs and not be so self-centered, but we also need to have a clear definition of what we understand success to be.

Many of us have arbitrarily set a number such that when our income reaches that number we are finally successful. Many advertisers encourage us to picture the car of our dreams or the house or vacation of our dreams. When we can buy that, then we are successful.

The truth is that your success can also be measured by your involvement in other people. For example, when you have helped a child to become more self-confident (maybe successful), then you are successful too. When you help other people make money, then you can be a success in that too.

What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things, instead of using people and loving things. ~ Author Unknown

Its not about you. The first secret that will bring you success is to pour yourself into other people. As you encourage that child, love that spouse, help someone get ahead in life – as you do that, your life will increase in value and success.

Getting Leads



Getting leads is the number one activity of any online marketer, yet I am surprised at how little this is really talked about.  Few people will tell you, “This is the best way to get leads.”  A lot of time is spent telling you what a great program they are selling.  Some may even tell you how easy it is to sell this program.  Some will focus instead on your attitude or your perseverance.  But after all is said and done, you still need to find a way to get leads!

LeadSkimmer is a neat little program that can multiply the number of leads you get from whatever activity you are doing now.  If you are emailing to safelists, LeadSkimmer will attract more signups, and then multiply them over time.  If you are sending out paid solo ads, LeadSkimmer is great because it is a free offer.  It will attract many takers, and multiply your leads down the road.

Let me explain how it works.  First, you send out a link to your own LeadSkimmer capture page, like this one… LeadSkimmer.  As people watch it out of curiosity of how to get more leads, they can sign up for free – you have a new lead.  Then, if they participate as free members, they have to give their first three leads to you.  So, if they are active, they could send three more leads to you.  The same thing happens with those three that were just passed up to you – if they are active, they will each pass their first three to you.  You get nine more leads – all from just that original one lead!

That is how it works for free members.  If you choose to upgrade, you gain other advantages.  First of all, if you are an upgraded member you are automatically qualified.  This means that you don’t have to give up your first three leads.  Secondly, as an upgraded member, you earn $25 from every one of your leads that pays for an upgrade.  That may not seem like much (it is a one time fee), but if you get three or four upgrades from every mailing that you do, you can easily pay for it – it becomes a “funded proposal”.

So we haven’t necessarily explained how to get leads, but we have told you how to get more leads from whatever activity you are already doing.  So continue trying to get leads by sending out mailings, by writing articles or blog posts.  Try to influence people through social media.  Those are all important.  But, using LeadSkimmer, you will get more conversions, and multiply the number of leads you get because of the pass up feature.

Check out LeadSkimmer here, LeadSkimmer.  Join for free and give it a try.  It is simple to use.  By this time tomorrow you can be getting more leads than you ever thought you could get in one day.

Count the Cost

I had a dream last night.  I was back in school, and I had come up with an idea for a world-changing invention.  My teachers were all behind it, and there were some other students who joined with me to try to make this happen.  After the original excitement, I found myself alone and reflecting that I had never really worked out the details of this project.  I hadn’t figured out exactly what had to be done to make it all work.  Unfortunately, I didn’t count the cost.

I share this with you because I find that there are many people who get involved in making money online who never count the cost either.  There is usually no lack of enthusiasm, and if you asked them, they would say that they are willing to do whatever it takes, but in all honesty, they often have no idea what it takes.  They haven’t taken the time to count the cost – usually because they are not really sure of the process.

For example, if I liked fresh vegetables and decided I would grow my own, I would have to do the work to prepare the soil, get seeds or young plants, water and fertilize.  These are all part of the process.  Some people have tried it and say it is too much monkey-business so they don’t bother.

In online marketing its a little different.  The advertising tells us that it is so simple.  All you have to do is get one or two people to join you.  You only have to work an hour a day.  You can get rich in a matter of months at most.  When it doesn’t work out that way, people are quick to complain that its all a scam.  They assume that its all a bunch of lies.  They hear stories of ponzi schemes and figure that this whole business is crooked.  The problem is that they have never counted the cost – maybe because they didn’t really know how.

Many of us start out in this business with free or low cost advertising – which usually doesn’t work very well.  Then we start to feel the pressure of our monthly memberships and we see that we are losing money, not making any.  But no one (that we trusted) explained to us that there would be advertising costs, and that some advertising wouldn’t work as well as others, and that it may take a few months of consistent work before things really started to take off.
So, my advice to you is three-fold.

First, if you can, find someone you trust who has been in this business for a while.  Ask them for advice, and let them be your mentor.  Even if you have to pay some, it will save you in the long run.

Second, recognize that there is a cost to this business – just like any other business.  Online marketing seems to attract many people who are almost flat broke and looking for a way to make some easy money from home.  This business can really help those people, but they must be ready to put money into their business as well as effort – and do it for more than a month or two.
Which brings me to the third piece of advice – ask yourself if you are in it for the long haul.  You can “try it out”, but just as with any other business, there will be many failures and “learning opportunities.”  If you don’t have the passion and persistence to work through those times, then you will probably leave.  If you learn from each failure and keep at it, you will succeed and find that this can be a great business.

Hopefully this has helped you to count the cost a little.  There is an ad on this page which offers you more guidance on finding success on the internet.  You can feel free to contact me and I will offer what help I can as well.  Feel free to leave a comment about your own experience in counting the cost.

Is It Possible to Make Money in MLM?

A lot of people hear the initials, MLM, and they mock.  At least they think of it in such negative terms that they would never consider it as a way to make a living.  If you are reading this because you are trying to find any possible way to make money, then I give you credit for keeping an open mind.  The truth is that it is possible to make money with MLM, and it can really be one of the best and most enjoyable ways to make money online.

The Bad Rap

What has happened is that many people have been enticed to join MLMs because of their extravagant advertising. You know how it goes…”You only need to get three referrals.  After that your membership is free.  Then, if each of your referrals get three, and those referrals get three, you will be a millionaire in six months.”  Then we try to get our first three referrals and find that no one wants to join our MLM program that we are so convinced about.  Maybe we get one of two, but they quit after the fist month without getting any new referrals.Then, since no one we know has ever become a millionaire through MLM – in fact, most share our own experience of failure – it becomes easy to conclude that all MLM programs must be a scam.

The Truth

Is it really possible to make money in MLMs?  The obvious answer is yes. Since we know that some people have done it, we know that it is possible.  Who is most likely to succeed?  On a certain level it is going to be easiest for marketers with a huge list to get initial sign-ups.  The second group of people who will enjoy MLM is people who are active socially online.  Finally, the third group who may find success in MLM is people who are patient and disciplined to go it for the long haul.  Let me explain.

The Strategies

The Large List Strategy.  Clearly this strategy will work well for almost any aspect of online marketing.  The idea is that if you invite enough people to join, or buy, some of them will participate.  Chance that the person who is marketing this way is going to get a fair number of people join, but without good help, they will soon leave the program.
The Social Strategy. To be successful over the long haul, it is helpful to have a lot of interaction among members.  Often there will be a forum, and many of the members will be on there every night.  This makes sense.  After all, the  idea of MLM is people recruiting people.  So, if they are with people they trust, they are going to stay committed for a longer time.
The Discipline and Patience strategy.  It must be acknowledged right from the start, that MLM is generally not going to make anyone rich over night.  It may take six months of building your base before you are even making a couple of hundred dollars a month.  But if you can stay in long enough to build that base, then you can keep adding new referrals, while at the same time helping the existing membership to learn and grow.  Then your income will continue to grow.
So, the beauty of MLM is that it is people based.  As in any people based organization there will be frustration on one hand, and a great sense of accomplishment on the other.  You will have the opportunity to make many friends who will be willing to work with you in many other ventures that you promote online.  In this way the value of MLM can not be confined only to the profit in that one program.

Setting Goals

I was listening to author Andy Stanley talk about setting goals.  He said they had just had their first child when he told his wife that he thought they should set some goals for their marriage.  They eventually came up with two goals.  The first was that they wanted to enjoy being together after the kids were out of the house.  The second was that they wanted the kids to want to be with them and be with each other.

Listening to this, I was thinking that I had never made any goals about my marriage.  I had never even thought about it.  But really, if you want to accomplish something – or arrive at some goal – you usually have to decide where it is that you want to go, and also how you plan to get there.

I’m not sure enough of us do that, even in our online businesses.  Its easy to say that we want to make some money by working from home.  Some of us may even go so far as to say that we want to be millionaires by working on-line.  That kind of thinking may be helpful, but there is a difference between wishful thinking and setting goals.

When we first start out in online marketing, we don’t have any idea what is necessary to achieve a goal.  If our goal is to make ten thousand dollars a month, the only thing we may know how to do is find a program that promises that we will make that much money in a month.  So we try program after program in order to attain that goal.

As we understand the business a little better, we understand the role a list plays in reaching that goal.  Then we learn that if we want ten thousand a month, we should try to build a list of ten thousand names.  After trying different ways to advertise in order to build that list, we learn that spending x amount of dollars can produce x amount of new names to our list.

Now setting goals becomes meaningful.  We know that if we want to reach the goal of ten thousand dollars income each month, there are certain things that we can do to get there.  We are also learning more each day about how this all works together, so we fine tune our efforts.  Our goal remains firm because we know that it is attainable.  We just need to adjust our efforts as we try to get there.

If we are trusting certain (mis-advertised) programs to get us there, we will probably fail and call them all scams. But if we understand the process, it becomes essential to be setting goals and doing what is necessary to get there.  You will be amazed at what you can accomplish if you know clearly where you are going.  Setting goals is the foundation to all success.