How To Profit During Hard Times
NOTE: I wrote this article nearly a decade ago!
As the world experiences its ups and downs, common sense solutions prevail.
Do you believe hard times are coming?
In the news today we hear about the global economy slowing, terrorism seems to be everywhere and few things are going the way people really want them to go.
Entire countries are in peril.
One advantage of having a little age on you is having seen these things before.
I remember 21% prime interest rates, $4.11 per gallon gas, high unemployment, several recessions and other “predictors of doom”.
While it is important to never let bad news get us down, it is important to see what’s coming next and prepare ourselves for it.
I’m not talking about canning whole chickens as much as I am making adjustments to your business now that will pay dividends both now and in the future.
Being prepared is smart. It’s Biblical wisdom in fact.
Proverbs 22:3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 A prudent man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished [with suffering].
– via Bible Gateway
So what steps should we be taking to both make things better now and prepare for a possible business downturn?
I believe there are six. I will be brief but want to cover them all for you.
Before I begin let me say this.
A slow economy can be your best friend.
When jobs are scarce and times are tight is when more and more people turn to the Internet for a solution like looking for jobs.
And they will turn to you if you have a system they can follow, will support them and continue to grow with them.
Begin now and you will build your system.
You will have your stories.
You will be able to help people when they need help.
I know it might not feel like it right now but if you start today on a conservative plan of action time will become your ally and you will grow into the mentor you want to be.
Now, six steps to profit during hard times (or good times!)
1 – Focus On Your Platform
When times are tough people don’t know what to do or where to turn.
You want them to turn to you.
You want to be seen as the expert they can trust. The voice of reason who has “been there and done that.”
If you start now, you can be ready quite quickly.
It takes focus and hard work but hey, you are working hard now, right?
Here are a few specific steps to build a powerful platform.
Focus on your content marketing.
Whether you write original content, curate content or have others guest post, now is the time to be publishing to your blog.
Publish no less than three times a week.
Communicate with the people who communicate with you.
It will come back to you again and again.
Give high value free gifts often.
When someone gets on your list (we are coming to lists) you want to shower them with affection Let them know you appreciate them.
Give them gifts. Not to bribe them but to bless them.
Give, and it will be given back to you. Works every time.
2 – Build Your List
I know … you’ve heard it a thousand times. But that doesn’t make it less true.
In my 20+ years online I have observed this to be perhaps the #1 constant of true success online.
People with a list prosper while people with no list struggle.
Just today I received an email from Frank Kern about making “big sales from small lists”.
I laughed a little because I wrote the book (literally) on this. It’s even almost my exact title! No worries – I like Frank well enough.
You see, it’s not the size of the list that matters. It’s the relationship you have with the list that matters most.
Here’s the thing – you simply must have a list. There are three reasons.
- With a list you can avoid paying for advertising.
- With a list you can do ad swaps and JVs with others.
- With a list you get free market research so you know what to create.
There are more reasons, but those alone should be enough to convince you (if you were not convinced already) and the list is the key to almost everything good that happens online.
Strong statement but true.
3 – Automate Everything
Technology today can do amazing things. It can also make us pull the few hairs we have left out of our heads.
Here is the solution.
Pick a system, learn it like nobody’s business and never look back.
You see, switching around from one system to another is the path to failure. No doubt about it.
So whether it’s Infusionsoft or Clickfunnels or Aweber or WordPress or something else, master it and stick with it.
Only change if you are actually losing money by not changing. Not if you think you MIGHT do better by changing.
The grass is always greener on the other side. So refuse to look and keep moving forward with your plan and your system.
Here are the things to automate first.
- Your email marketing and follow up systems.
- Posting to your blog.
- Using upsells in your selling system.
- Social media postings
- Sales funnels that convert cold traffic to buyers.
I know each one of these could use articles (and a course!) of their own. And I have both done that and will do that.
But for today we focus on the big picture.
4 – Lock Down Ad Sources
Find affordable, reliable and scalable ways to reach new audience. These attributes are important.
Your source needs to be affordable.
What you can’t afford doesn’t even matter so don’t think about it.
Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.
Your source needs to be reliable.
A reliable ad source will provide real results again and again for multiple products.
Finding reliable sources helps you stop looking around, and skipping around “trying” things.
I get that we have to try things, but I’ve heard hundreds of people (literally) say “I ran a solo ad and made $300 but thought I could do better with PPC”.
Why would they switch if they made money?
Your source needs to be scalable.
You are going to be super-frustrated if you find a process that works and then you max it out in 2 weeks.
You need access to big audiences.
Want to know the source that meets all of these criteria?
Facebook. (You guessed it!)
5 – The Funnel Is Freedom
Things have changed. Funnels have evolved.
Today we have content funnels and upsell funnels and referral funnels and sales funnels.
Here’s the thing. You need to learn about funnels and learn about them now.
The world has changed.
We can no longer blast out the same ad to everyone and expect to get good results.
Today we have to segment our lists so we are offering people what they want, not what we want to sell.
6 – Your Own Product
You really do need a product of your own.
Why? Here are three important reasons.
- So you can keep all the money when you make sales.
- So others can promote for you as an affiliate.
- So you can be in position to do real joint ventures that bring big paydays.
Name one top business person online who does not have their own product.
Can’t be done.
The good news is you don’t have to sweat bullets to make a product.
What you do need to do is this.
- Know the audience you want to reach.
- Know what they are buying now.
- Find a way you can help them.
- Create a product that meets a burning need or deep desire.
Those four items are a great starting point for product creation research.
Forget keywords and metrics and “market saturation” (as if that was even possible) and focus on people.
- Where are they hurting?
- What do they want?
- More importantly, what do they need?
Once you know that you have a few options for creating products quickly and with integrity.
- Use resale rights products of the highest quality.
- Outsource to people who know what they are doing and will do you proud.
- Joint venture with someone with lots of ideas but not enough time.
There are more ways that these, but that will get your mind going in the right direction.
Listen, I know this sounds like a lot.
But you are working now and if you exchange some of the time you spend reading email and looking at offers on these things you will be more productive and more profitable.
I’ve seen it happen a thousand times.
Tough times don’t last but
tough people do.
Steel yourself today that you are going to work like today is your last day and dream like there are endless tomorrows.
Then get to work on the list above and work hard every day.
If you do that you will build an automated system that will see you through hard times and good times too.
It will create time and money freedom as well.
You will be able to take time off and have the money you need to enjoy that time off.
It’s not pie in the sky, it’s having a plan and working very hard to make that plan a reality.
When you do that you will have built a real business. One you can sell. One you can pass on. One you can be proud of.
And those are beautiful things indeed!