After more than a decade of running internet businesses, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve also learned a thing or two about the average person who gets into Internet Marketing.
While I certainly respect the aspiration of all online marketers, the saddest thing that I’ve learned over the years is that a large number of those who set off to make money online, end up spending more money than they make. So ultimately they do the opposite of what they set out to do.
As a vendor in the Internet Marketing space itself, I have a unique opportunity to deal with other Internet Marketers on a daily basis. Some very successful, some moderately successful and some not successful at all. In my popular coaching program, Learn from Jon, I hear from people who fall into all three of these groups as well. Fortunately I am able to give them specific advice and help guide them in the right direction. However, for most others in that third, unsuccessful group, they will continue on spending more than they make until they finally quit and brand their entire experience a bust and a waste of money.
So why do these people fail? I believe they fail primarily as a result of three things:
1. Failure to have a plan: Look, you don’t need to build a business plan that a business professor would approve, but have a plan! Rather than seeing paid tools and services as pieces of the overall puzzle, many who fail see them as businesses in a box. They buy them, use them (often times not as intended), their bank account is not flooded with cash, so they move onto to another. It’s like buying lottery tickets. Hopefully some day you’ll get a winner. That’s not how it works though. It’s not the lottery, it’s a business.
Although it’s true, some products out there are simply a rip-off, most are not (whether or not the price matches the value is a different story). Most products out there offer some value, but they need to be used as intended! For example, Keyword Canine is an AWESOME tool (yes, I’m just a little biased, but it honestly is a powerful suite of tools). It finds killer keywords. It tracks search engine rankings. It monitors your site health, and much more. We have some high-end clients who see the incredible value in it because they don’t see it as a business in a box. They see it as a key piece of their overall business. But we have customers on a regular basis (as do all other keyword tool vendors) who buy it, use it without any creativity, expertise or plan, fail to get the pie in the sky results they hoped for (remember the lottery ticket metaphor?), so they refund and move on to the next shiny object.
Have you heard the saying, “Fail to plan – Plan to fail?” What is your first monetary goal per month? Maybe you start at an extra $500/m. OK, how are you going to achieve that? Maybe it’s getting five recurring customers to a $99/m. subscription. OK, what do you need to do in order to make that happen? Maybe your conversion rate is 1%. So out of every 100 people you get to the offer, one buys. That means you need to generate 500 site visitors. OK, how can you get 500 site visitors? Maybe you do that through a paid option like one of the Pintastic campaigns that I offer. Or maybe you do that through Facebook ads. Or maybe you work to get links to your site and get your site ranked, so you can not only drive 500 visitors, but you can do it every month!
See where I’m going with this? Have a plan!
2. Wasting time on little things: I could probably pull up hundreds, maybe thousands, of email threads with people who went on and on about minor, unprofitable things that ate up the time of the individual I was talking to. For instance, tinkering all day with a WordPress theme on a site that is designed to promote a product that you don’t even know is going to convert. That you don’t have a plan in place to market etc. I would tell that person, just throw up a basic landing page (there are loads of good options out there, many for free or very cheap) come up with a cheap marketing plan to test the offer, if it converts then move forward with it. If not, drop it and move on to something else.
Not only is it a waste of time to spend a great deal of time on things that can be found already done for you or which can be outsourced very cheaply (find yourself a low-wage hourly worker at UpWork.com who you can trust for on-going tasks like this, you’ll be glad you did), it’s also advisable to focus on getting more money from fewer sales than a little money from many sales. The obvious benefit to this is that it takes less traffic to hit your monetary goal, but high-end customers also tend to be easier to deal with. Fewer customers also require less customer support.
Are you one of the many Internet Marketers who spend more money than you make? If so, come up with a plan (if you need help coming up with one, or you already have but it has failed, consider my coaching program at LearnFromJon.com and I’ll help you with it), stick to it, only buy products that are a necessary part of your plan and focus on what’s important!
Do that and you’ll rise above a large percentage of the Internet Marketing crowd and you’ll find success!