One of the challenges to working online is the huge number of choices we have. While more is sometimes better, when it comes to choosing which tools to use to run or establish your online business, things can get confusing … fast.
Sometimes more is not really better – it’s just more.
Take autoresponders for example. There are countless companies selling autoresponder services, more sites selling autoresponder scripts, and even more “back office” situations where an autoresponder is built in.
But you really only need ONE autoresponder account to run your online business.
Talk about “overkill”!
When it comes to “how to” information the problem grows by leaps and bounds. Many people belong to three, four, five or even more sites all teaching the same basic concepts and principles. Confusion and information overload set in because each site focuses on one method as being the holy grail of marketing.
If marketer A says that pay per click is the only way to go and marketer B says that solo ads are the only way and marketer C says that social media is where it’s at the consumer (YOU) becomes confused.
As with most things in life, the choice is not either or … it’s and!
The facts are different. There is no ONE method that stands above the others. Successful online marketing is almost always made up of using many methods to reach an overall goal.
While solo ads are powerful, solo ads and pay per click and follow up emails and social media become an unstoppable (and very automated) way to sell any product online.
The real key to success comes when you tailor ALL of these methods into a plan designed for you and you alone.
Not people “like” you but rather YOU.
That said, with so many products out there, and more being introduced every day, how can we spot a GREAT product, and avoid wasting money online?
Here are the five things I look for when buying products. I hope this list helps you too.
1. IS IT FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE?
Considering the source of a product has become a MAJOR factor in buying things online … especially when buying information.
My bottom line here is simplicity itself – if the person selling the information has not proven that they can do what they propose I should do I don’t buy. Simple. I need to see a track record, not a screenshot of a Clickbank account for the last six weeks.
One example: There is a LARGE group of people pushing “how to make money” products who have never made a dime online. I know, because I talk to these people often when they ask me to do a joint venture. If you buy something from this group you might get your money’s worth but you might not.
Even if you buy their product and then get a refund because they mislead you the entire experience will have wasted your time. And you can’t afford that. You can make more money but you can’t make more time.
Here are two quick ways to know if a source is reliable.
- Look at their sites. If they have a hyped-up site that promises the moon, look out. Even worse, if they don’t have their own domain, run … don’t walk.
- If you are concerned, or don’t know the person, try to contact them. How they handle your contact will speak volumes about who they are trying to serve, you or themselves.
If a site owner answers every question with “buy my product” (or worse – doesn’t answer) hide your Visa and count your blessings that you found out BEFORE you paid.
You should expect real help BEFORE the sale happens. While you can’t expect them to give you their product you can and should expect them to say that they feel it will work for you based on YOUR set of circumstances.
I really do tell people every week to not buy my product yet. Don’t get me wrong, I want everyone’s business but ONLY if it’s right for them.
If you are not sure if a product is right for you by all means ASK. It’s the only way to know for sure before you buy and begin spending time using a product.
2. IS IT GUARANTEED?
This is an absolute essential in my book. If someone offers a 30 day guarantee, I usually won’t buy. The reason for this is two-fold.
- If they won’t stand behind what they sell for more than 30 days, it really does indicate that they are not in business for the long haul.
- It sometimes takes me 30 days just to TRY what I’ve bought. Like you, I’m busy. And the worst thing is to be busy, delay trying something, find out it won’t work for you, and then get stuck because you had to wait.
Look for a rock-solid guarantee when shopping online as well as a company with a reputation for honoring their guarantee.
HINT: One reason Clickbank is so successful is that they are the ones who issue refunds, not the vendor. You are always protected when buying a Clickbank product.
3. DOES IT MEET A REAL NEED?
When I say “need” I don’t mean a basic need like food, but rather, will it help me accomplish my goals?
The real key here is to know what you need.
Sometimes a great product is one that saves time. Sometimes it helps you save money or make money. Some products do all three, saving you time and money and helping you make money as well. Those products usually pass the test of time.
The bottom line here is simple – does this product meet a pressing need in your life right now? If yes, move forward with your decision-making process. If not, no matter how great their sales letter is, the time is not right for you to buy.
4. DOES IT WORK AS PROMISED?
This is, of course, for after you have bought, but it’s still a valid point. If you bought something that does not perform as promised, don’t just give up or get a refund. Ask the site owner for help first.
Products today, especially membership sites, are somewhat complicated. Many membership sites (mine included) offer so much information that a new member can feel overwhelmed.
So why would a site owner do that? In my case I want to serve beginners, intermediate and advanced marketers alike. To do that requires lots of information. This is why I created the Quick Start Guide, a trend that’s catching on among other site owners.
There are many products that will work like wings once we know what they are supposed to do. If you don’t understand how to use what you bought, or have questions, be sure to ask.
If you find it does not work as promised, of if you can’t get the support you deserve, return it and find something else that will meet your needs.
5. IS IT COST EFFECTIVE?
The trend among marketers today is to create ever more expensive products. Two years ago products often cost $47 or $67. Today it’s not unusual to see $497, $997, or even $2000 priced products.
If these products deliver BIG value, then the price is fine. But for MANY people, $500 is an impossible amount to spend.
Before you spend your hard earned money, take a look to see if you really can afford it, and if the product is reasonably priced.
Here are the questions I ask just before buying – sort of my “great product checklist” if you will.
- Do I need this right now?
- Do I already own something similar that will do the job?
- Is the person selling this product credible? Are they an authority in their field?
- Will I use this? (In other words, will I take the time to learn the system so I can profit from it?)
- Are there others who use and like this product? (I do read the testimonials)
- Am I protected if this does not work out?
- Is there any reason to NOT buy this right now?
If a product passes those tests I will move forward, feeling confident in my choices.
So there you have it – my five guidelines for finding great products to use in your business. Use these five guidelines when you shop online and you’ll not only find GREAT products, but you’ll pay less too.
And that’s a beautiful combination!