Welcome to part 2 of our thee part series called What To Do When You Are Out Of Time.
In the last post we discussed simplifying your life, especially your business life. When it comes to simplification small changes really can bring about big results.
Today it’s time to look at what may be the #1 thing you can do to make your life easier, make more sales and have more fun as well.
I’m talking about automating everything you can.
While time is the great equalizer (we all get 24 hours in a day) automation is the real power of the Internet.
Only in an online business can you use automation to do things that you would normally have to pay employees to do offline.
Only in an online business can you have a true “set it and forget it” marketing system working 24/7.
Only in an online business can the entire connected world be your marketplace without having offices worldwide, a large staff or an even larger marketing budget.
And only in an online business can you have the hope of your idea or product going “viral” and creating a wave of buzz (and sales) that can be life changing.
So how does this automation work, and what tools are necessary?
Today I will cover three areas of an online business that can, and should, be automated. For each I will give three examples.
So let’s get going!
Area 1 – Automate Your Traffic
The term “traffic” simply means people coming to your website who might do something you want them to do.
Things like …
- Buy a product.
Join your list.
Become a follower on social media.
Few topics are more hotly debated online than getting traffic to your website, as an example, the need to have a web development company helping your website.
While there is much confusion about getting traffic, one fact trumps all others.
Without enough traffic to your site you cannot succeed online.
So how can you ensure you get enough traffic without working 20 hours a day to get it?
Let me suggest three ways that work wonderfully well. Please note, these are but three of about 25 proven ways to get traffic.
Your Own Affiliates
Having your own affiliate program, when done right, can ensure you a steady supply of traffic that you don’t have to generate. Your affiliate generates the traffic, and is happy to do it.
Affiliate marketing can be a wonderful partnership between the product owner and the affiliate marketer.
Here is what the product owner does (in part) when they have an affiliate program of their own.
- Creates the product.
Provides customer support.
Handles all technical details.
Delivers the product to the customer.
Updates the product.
Ensures customer satisfaction.
Provides tools and support to affiliates.
Here is what the affiliate does when promoting affiliate products.
- Drives traffic to the offer.
Spends the money they make from commissions.
That’s not an overstatement. It really works that way when done right.
Having your own affiliate program can mean a lifetime supply of traffic that others generate for you.
I know online marketers who never worry about driving traffic at all. Instead they focus 100% of their time supporting affiliates, knowing that the affiliate will be happy to do what they do best, drive traffic.
If you are thinking “that sounds great Charlie, but I don’t have a product of my own” keep reading. Creating your own product is coming up in this article.
Paid Traffic Sources
Some marketers are fond of saying that if you want traffic you go to the “traffic store” and buy some. Cute if you have a multi million dollar budget. Not so much if all you can afford is $150.
But their basic premise is right.
Paid traffic sources are the fastest and most reliable way to drive traffic quickly.
In addition, with paid traffic sources you have absolute control over the audience you reach, how much you pay to reach them and the amount you spend.
So who are these magical sources of traffic?
They are the people who have the traffic now. Here are four examples.
- List owners who will send solo ads for a reasonable fee.
Google‘s ad programs will send you traffic starting today.
Facebook‘s ad programs offer very tight targeting with a low cost of entry.
LinkedIn‘s business audience can be reached with ads on the LinkedIn network.
There are many more sources of course. But if you are stuck for traffic, and have any sort of budget to work with, these are excellent starting points.
Buying advertising is called “push marketing”. You push your ad to an audience you believe are interested in your offer.
Content marketing, especially blogging, is called “pull marketing” You literally pull (or attract) your market to you with high quality helpful content.
To read more about the differences between push and pull marketing, and how you can use each, read my article here.
When it comes to blogging, you need to know that you don’t have to write the content yourself.
If you know me you know I am an advocate of blogging. That’s true for one simple reason … blogging changed my life.
Blogging helps me in many ways. Here are my top five.
Blogging helps me …
- Help people. This is the Golden Rule at work. Help others – they help you.
Build my list. Readers who like my content want to know more.
Make connections. I get JV offers every week based on people finding my blog.
Know what customers want. I’m always running polls and surveys to uncover needs. Many of my products were based on those needs. Almost all my articles are written in response to the needs of my readers.
Have fun. For me, writing is fun. If I could do nothing but write all day I would be a happy man. But I write as much as I can and my blog helps me do that.
If you do not have a blog now, get one today. I will build it for you!
You simply must have a platform from which you share, listen, reply and sell. It’s the best possible way to put time on your side.
Plus, and this is a big one, Google and Facebook love blogs and reward bloggers who play by the rules.
It’s a traffic generator like none other.
Area 2 – Automate Your Marketing
We took a deeper dive into the traffic section because that is the topic most readers ask about.
But traffic alone is not the only answer.
In fact, traffic means nothing unless you have your marketing system in place.
So let’s look together at three areas of marketing where automation can really set you free.
Always using a squeeze page
You have a choice to make now. It’s a hard choice. A brave choice. And here it is.
Do you send traffic directly to a sales offer or to a squeeze page where they must join a list to learn more?
I’m telling you, this is a hard choice for most people. That’s because everyone knows that no squeeze page converts 100% of visitors to subscribers.
So you are looking at losing maybe 40% of your visitors just because they won’t opt in. And that’s a hard thing to face.
But if you drive traffic directly to a sales letter then 100% of visitors at least have a chance to buy something.
Not so much.
While I can’t go into all the reasons for using a squeeze page 100% of the time in this particular article, I will share the #1 reason.
People do not remember a site they visited and then come back without being reminded.
They might have done that in 2003 or 2007 but they don’t today. There are simply too many distractions.
And the only reliable way to remind them is to get them on your list.
So here is my choice. I use a squeeze page 100% of the time in my marketing. Always.
The only exceptions are when I am testing or making a private offer to those already on my list.
If you are not convinced, think about it for a while. Pray about it if you are so inclined. But don’t go another day without having this basic marketing decision made.
Do you always use a squeeze page in your marketing?
An email follow up system
Of course, using a squeeze page and building a list mean nothing if you are not going to send the people on your list follow up messages.
So you want to always use a follow up system.
I was talking with a multi-million dollar marketer the other day. We were discussing webinars. He is selling a mid-priced product ($500 per sale) and is closing 3 or 4 sales on the webinar.
And then his follow up system kicks in.
It’s ten messages, written by a pro, that make the case for taking action.
Results? He gets between 30 and 40 sales from his webinar follow up system!
I’m here to tell you that having a follow up system in place for every product you promote (affiliate offers too) is the #1 most important thing you can do in my experience.
That’s why I use it.
That’s why I teach it.
Oh how I wish I had know this on day 1. 🙂
Tie blog posts into your autoresponder
The third way to automate your marketing is to connect your blog to an autoresponder. Most bigger autoresponder companies offer this to their customers.
I use Aweber and Aweber calls it “Blog Broadcast”
Here’s how it works.
Mary joins your list. The list she joins uses the blog broadcast method. Now every time you post to your blog your autoresponder company sends Mary a broadcast that contains your blog post!
Combine this with the power of scheduling blog posts and you have a super-automated content marketing system at work.
I’m talking about a full week’s worth of content and your marketing done too with only an hour or two’s work per week.
Area 3 – Automate Your Product Development
We’ve covered a lot of ground and are in the automation home stretch. So let’s wrap it up.
Another area you can automate is creating your own products. Remember how I said in the driving traffic section of this article that having your own affiliates can solve your traffic problem?
Well to do that you need your own product. And here are three ways to do that quickly and easily.
Record vs. Writing
Many people, if not most people, don’t want to write. The old “blank page” gets them every time. I can relate. And I love to write!
Here’s a simple solution. In fact, it is the sure cure for writer’s block.
Don’t write it … record it instead!
This is simplicity itself, and can automate several things at once.
Here is one brief example and how to get it done.
Now bear in mind, I’m trying to get the maximum use out of one piece of content in this example.
I’m not saying you can do this today because some of this takes setting up.
But all of this is possible, from one piece of content.
- Make an outline of what you want to say. (Three ways to do something works well)
Record what you would say to your best friend about the three points in your outline.
Use that recording as a podcast episode.
Send the recording to a transcriptionist.
Use the transcribed document as a blog post.
When you post, your autoresponder sends a broadcast automatically.
Give the audio to your affiliates to use on their blogs.
I’ll stop there but I’m sure you see the point. One outline, which could be only a few bullet points on the back of an envelope, can turn into much more when you learn to automate and repurpose content.
Give it a try when you can. It will lessen your workload and make your audience happy too.
Outsource high quality PLR and create your own product
Today’s PLR (Private Label Rights) products are so much better than in years gone by. And you can use that to your advantage!
Today you can find PLR on almost any subject. From Yeast Infections to Bargain Travel to Making Money Online, great PLR is out there.
And the wonderful thing too is that now there are great outsourcers who can take the PLR and turn it into unique content you can sell as your own.
Think of it this way – you are the potter and PLR is the clay. You mold and shape in into what you want.
Three very quick examples.
- Break a PLR book into a series of articles.
Turn PLR articles into one or more teaching videos.
Combine several PLR reports into one book you put on Kindle.
The possibilities are almost endless!
And, best of all, you do not have to do this work yourself. You find the PLR, make the plan, hire the outsourcer and pay the bill.
Find “white label” products you sell as your own
If you want a truly instant product of your own do some Googling for the term “white label” rights. You’ll find plenty there.
White label products are the ultimate product creation shortcut.
Someone else creates the product, updates the product, writes the sales letter and does all the other work of product development and creation.
Then they let you put your name on it as the owner, and even change the name of the product, for a fee.
I have purchased several white label products and can tell you this – you can be making sales literally the same day.
While this is not right for everyone, if it’s right for you it can be a game changer.
And because this is your own product you can have affiliates promote for you if you like.
Whew – long article but I wanted to really cover the territory so you would be able to use what you read immediately.
I hope you try these methods. They work, they are what I use every day, and they are available to you right now.
No matter what else you do today take a hard look at how to automate your work. Start with the list above if you like.
Because when you have automation on your side, you have a beautiful thing indeed!