What Does Successful Marketing Look Like?
One of the problems with working on the Internet is that most of us do it in isolation.
Instead of the usual give-and-take of office conversation, we have email, a decidedly one-sided way to communicate. Or forums, where the opinions can be quite loud but not necessarily based on actual experience.
Instead of the usual boss judging our progress and letting us know how we are performing (often in no uncertain terms) we are on our own – accountable only to ourselves. Which is good and bad at the same time.
- No boss looking over your shoulder is a good thing.
- Having no one to ask questions of when you need help is not.
While working on your own in an Internet business can be incredibly rewarding, it can be lonely and frustrating as well.
One of the big frustrations is NOT knowing what successful marketing looks like.
- Do you really know how many visitors is good?
- Do you really know how many first time visitors should buy your product?
- Do you really know how much money is realistic to earn online for someone who is not Dan Kennedy or Yanik Silver or Frank Kern?
For many who are reading this now, the answer is ‘not really’.
Not knowing what to expect, or if we are doing well or poorly, can lead to real frustration and more isolation.
Here is my opinion based on 14+ years of experience.
I believe that any person of average intelligence who works 4 hours a day at their online business, and follows a proven marketing plan, should be able to earn around $5000 per month almost completely automatically within 6 months of starting.
Not $5000 in a month but $5000 a month almost every month. And that income should only grow from there.
Can anyone guarantee this will happen? NO.
But I have helped many people get there and can tell you that the ones who did get there followed a proven plan and stuck with that plan, avoiding the tendency that so many have to go for the quick buck and be distracted by the shiny object.
The more focused they were the faster their results came.
Having the somewhat unusual perspective of having worked online for many years, and having worked with many of the top online marketers, allow me to share with you what I feel online success looks like.
After all, when you know what the destination looks like it’s much easier to plot a path and be aware of the signs of success along the way.
Successful marketing creates income
Why do people work online? Mostly it’s to make money.
Some want a better work environment (home!) while others have lost their job and can’t find another. It happens all too often in today’s world. So, for most, the goal is income.
If that describes you, and if you are just starting out, then you need to know a few things.
First, the idea of spending $40 and making $1500 is just not the real world.
But you should expect your advertising efforts to pay you back and make some profit so you can reinvest.
That is a reasonable expectation most of the time. No one wins every time when marketing online. But the winners should be more than the losers and the winners should be profitable enough to help you do more promotion.
As I mentioned before, I truly believe that person who is willing to work can build up to a $5000 per month income in about 6 months if they avoid the all-too-common mistake of losing their money to scammers and follow a proven marketing plan.
I’m hearing from far too many people who now have no money left to do real marketing because they fell victim to a get-rich-quick scheme.
What that is sad (I’ve been there too) it can be overcome so don’t lose hope!
Successful marketing builds lists
The reasons to have a list of your own are many and are covered in other articles on this blog.
But let me give you perhaps the #1 reason to have a list of your own …
… when you have a list of your own you have unlimited free advertising anytime you want it.
If you had a list of 10,000 people you could send a solo ad to them right now and would almost certainly make sales.
You could swap solo ads with another list owner and build your own list faster while still making sales. And you would be a perfect prospect for someone to want to joint venture with you.
For these reasons and more, the successful marketing I have seen over the years puts a strong emphasis on list building.
If you follow a proven plan and use a great squeeze page you should be able to convert about 1/3 of all visitors into subscribers. Some can convert more, some less.
The real key is to send all the traffic you generate, from all methods of marketing to your own squeeze page and not directly to a sales page.
If you use a pop out on exit you will convert even more as you offer those who were going to leave one more chance to see what you are offering.
Successful marketing creates freedom
Working online is very different from working offline. When you work online you have a chance to create real freedom; both financial freedom and time freedom as well.
This again is where following a proven plan is important.
If all of your marketing efforts are aimed at producing results while automating your marketing then time will become your ally.
Let me give you an example. The names are changed to protect members.
Joe sent about 1000 visitors to the sales letter of a “high gravity” product because he heard that is what works. He made a few sales and actually created a small profit. Good for Joe.
But once those sales were made his promotion was over. While a few sales might dribble in over time Joe received 99.9% of what he will ever receive quickly. Joe used “one and done” marketing.
Jane had a better idea. She took the time to have a squeeze page created (she used a blog and Optimize Press) and sent her roughly 1000 visitors to that page. About 300 of them opted in to her list, and some bought immediately.
But because she had a follow up system in place (only 10 messages) she made more sales over time and surpassed Joe’s results.
Plus, she now owns a list of 300 people who have raised their hands and said “yes, I want to hear from you!“. If she handles that list right, and if she continues to send all traffic to her squeeze pages,
If she handles that list right, if she nurtures them with high-quality content, and if she continues to send all traffic to her squeeze pages, she will build a real online business and be on track for the six-month goal we set together.
It won’t surprise you that I feel Jane did the better job.
She made sales now, which is important, but she also is building her list and can sell people on that list many things over time and will never pay again to reach that group of interested prospects. And that is better.
Successful marketing is repeatable
The odd thing about promoting products online is that sometimes your promotion hits and sometimes it misses. We will all have hits and misses.
But generally speaking, the promotional methods that work for you once should continue to work for a very long time.
While it’s true that specific tactics change, the basic ideas behind good marketing do not change.
- Provide helpful information.
- Meet people’s needs.
- Promote only great products.
- And always treat people with respect.
The key to highly repeatable success in marketing is not to use every method under the sun and hope they all work in some magical way to create results.
The key is to use methods you understand and keep using them, refining your skill level as you go along.
That’s what I did with article marketing.
The first article I ever wrote was … weak. Now I can write better articles in much less time because I have written so many.
I believe the key here is to find marketing methods that you like and understand and then sharpen your skills along the way.
If you do that you will make time your ally and you will be stronger, and more independent, next month than you are this month.
Successful marketing builds credibility
In my view, credibility is the most important asset one can have online.
There are certain marketers that are just almost impossible to believe. They use hype to sell their quick-fix solutions, knowing that few, if any, buyers will actually benefit.
Then there are those that are so solid you just believe everything they say.
For me, Paul Myers is a good example. Paul helped me tremendously when I started out online and I will never forget it. I’ve read his ezine for a dozen years and suggest you read it too.
I believe there are two major keys to building trust online.
First, give more than you get.
Give out high-quality helpful information (whether you write it or not) with the singular goal of helping people. Be it on your blog or in your ezine or follow up email series (or all three) aim to help people and they will reciprocate.
I’ve seen it happen for many many years now.
Second, never promote junk products.
It’s sad but true that so many of the emails and ads we see today are promoting products that are so hyped up that it becomes a turn-off.
If you are like me you want to scream when you hear that someone has “cracked the code” or that some super-secret video has been “leaked”. Give me a break!
If you commit to only promoting top quality products I believe three things will happen for you.
- You will create happy buyers. And happy buyers become repeat buyers.
- You will keep more of what you earn as you see the refund rate for the products you promote plummet.
- You will build trust and gain credibility in the marketplace and with those on your list.
These are all very good things indeed.
Successful marketing makes sense
Most of us have fallen prey to the “I don’t understand how this works but it sounds so good I have to try it” syndrome.
Slick sales letters and Hollywood-style sales videos convince us to take a chance on the latest three-click wonder even when we know deep down it sounds too good to be true.
After all, we can always get a refund, right? Yes, but what about the wasted time? You can’t get that back.
I’m sure you know by now that there is no magic bullet and that no one is going to force Google to do anything, much less send them “all the traffic they want.”
I know that many people want someone to say “just do this” and then the money comes tumbling in. But that’s not how business works online, or offline either.
While there are blueprints you can follow, and while there are real shortcuts you can take, the add-water-and-stir solution is a myth.
So the thing to do is to choose the thing that makes the most sense to you.
That might be solo ads, it might be building your own list, it might be pay per click or article marketing. Or something else like social media.
My advice is to make a list of possible ways you could market given your personal budget of time and money and then learn more about the one that seems most logical to you.
One important key is to choose something you enjoy. That might be blogging or it might be posting to Facebook.
Either can be wildly profitable when done well and constantly.
Creating a successful business online takes hard work, time and focus. It does not take much money, however, and that’s good news for most of us.
When I started as a member of the Directory of Ezines it was a real strain to pay the $40 fee. But we followed a good plan, worked hard and it worked out.
Less than 18 months later, I bought the company.
If you create a good plan and follow it you can expect three things in my view.
- An income that happens whether you work today or not.
- Growing confidence that you can try new things (promote products, launch products, new marketing methods) and have them work. Success breeds success.
- More freedom and peace of mind than you might now hope to achieve.
Working online is work, plain and simple. But unlike working offline, working online empowers you to build a real and sustainable business using nothing more than the sweat of your brow and the keyboard on your desk.
Working online can create both time and money freedom too.
And that is a beautiful thing indeed!