After over 15 years online and working with thousands of members I’m often asked “what does it really take to succeed online?”
The reason I’m not going to do that is that these products, like most products, are only tools you can use to succeed.
They are PART of the answer, not the entire answer.
So what is the entire answer?
To my way of thinking there are five things you MUST have to succeed online.
And by succeed, I don’t mean “make $5000 this week with no experience” or some other silly claim. If you have been around very long you know that the hyped up stuff just does not work.
What I DO mean is the ability to sell products and make a full-time income (or better) using the Internet.
And I DO mean doing that in an automated way that creates free time so you can enjoy your success.
I’ve helped MANY people achieve that dream and used the principles you find below to do it.
I hope you like what you read. As you will see, it all spells APPLE – hence my APPLE system!
No matter what you sell online, and ultimately we all sell something, you will need to advertise. While there will always be new and “cool” ways to advertise, the key to real success is sticking to the basics and doing those very well.
So what are the basics?
- Know how to write a great ad or find a great copywriter
- Know how to place ads on the right websites – and do that strategically
- Know how to use email marketing
- Know how to build a mailing list of your own so you can advertise free anytime you want to
If you master those methods you will build a powerful foundation for success, and then you can experiment with things that might work.
Starting with what is proven to work is the best path to a successful start online. Leave the experimenting to those who can afford to lose money.
You’ve got to have the right product to succeed online. So what is the “right” product?
It could be anything from A to Z, but it will have these characteristics if you want long term success.
- Something people want
- Something people can afford to buy
- Something well suited to being bought online
- Something that makes customers happy so they appreciate your recommendation
- Something that sets the stage for further sales without torturing the customer with endless “one time offers” and upsells
That’s really all there is to it. One modifier is this, it has to be something a LARGE group of people want or you will suffer from too much competition, lower profits and will work much too hard for every sale.
Even if you are doing what some people call “niche marketing” your niche MUST be large enough to provide sales every day.
The reason things like apartment buildings are not sold online (they are advertised but not closed) is that the people must be there to sign the documents. That extra step is to be avoided if possible if you want a truly automated online business.
If your product can be delivered digitally so much the better. Membership sites, information products, and products like MP3 files are wildly popular to sell online because the delivery of them can be fully automated.
Of course, people must be able to afford what you sell and must be able to buy it online if you want a truly automated online business.
If your product carries a high price tag you will probably end up using the Internet for lead generation, and that’s fine but you won’t be able to fully automate your online business.
So what is the “right” price? There are four guidelines I use when choosing price points.
- Will the customer receive real value?
- Will MY prospects be able to afford it?
- Does it pay enough for me to cover marketing costs and be profitable?
- Is anyone undercutting the price on auction sites?
Notice point 2 – YOUR prospects will have a price point profile. You must know what they are LIKELY to spend before advertising to them.
People forget that their commissions need to cover marketing costs AND pay them a profit. It’s a vital distinction.
Spending $100 and making $150 in sales often means you have actually lost money.
And always, you must deliver real value.
But we can’t stop and get off, so we must try and understand.
There are only two sources of traffic:
- Free traffic
- Paid traffic
I’ve written about this at some length in my Quick Course on Driving Traffic. Feel free to check it out. It’s totally free and has been helpful to many.
Here’s something not enough people talk about, and fewer do. When a person is starting online, or taking the next step up the ladder of success online, they sometimes need someone to talk to who has been there and will show them the way.
Of course, this is the PREMISE of every book, teleseminar, information product and membership website out there.
But do they really deliver?
Have you had this experience? You buy a book you think is going to help you understand a topic and end up MORE confused after you read the book than before you started?
I have– and I’ll bet you have too.
The fact is, you need encouragement. You might not need a “mentor” or “guru” or “coach” but you DO need someone REAL, with real experience who will help you when you get stuck.
I’ve been doing that for years by answering my own email (a practice I’m roundly criticized for – by hey, it’s my choice) and giving world class customer support at all my sites.
Sure, it takes time but PEOPLE are what matter most, not profits.
If you don’t have someone to ask you can ask me using the ASK Charlie part of this blog. I will be happy to help if I can. I have some articles that might help you stay up as well and you can find them here.
We really do get what we think about, so be sure to infuse your mind with faith-filled thoughts every day. One of my favorite exercises is to literally list what I fear and replace that fear with faith-filled thinking.
If you keep your thoughts and words filled with the positive, regardless of what you see or feel, time will become your ally.
So there you have my APPLE formula. The key is really this– focus on the BASICS and master them and you will never need to fiddle around with all the new and unproven marketing techniques that seem to pop up every day.
You might want to try them for fun after you master what is proven — but by then your time will be your own, you will have money in the bank, and every day when you wake up you will see orders instead of offers in your inbox.
And THAT is a beautiful thing indeed!