Every business has to have products to sell.
The decision you have to make is what are going to be my products.
Something you can create yourself, that has low costs and that people readily want to buy.
The ideal product you can create yourself easily is an ‘How To..’ product. Typically an ebook or even a printed manual. Something you can put together quite quickly and that will have longevity in the niche you choose.
You can sell your first how-to product online in a variety of ways and make money from it. You can sell the information product via your own website, by emails to email lists or via other people’s websites. You should try various selling approaches to see what works…
Selling How-To Products
Many would-be entrepreneurs decide they will have a website of their own. If you have a site already, you know someone who can put a basic site together for you or you want to have a go at this yourself via your Internet Service Provider, all well and good. But to start with you will probably find this is a lot of time, hassle and expense that won’t pay for itself! You have to create the site and put it out there in cyberspace. You have to write impressive sales copy. You have to have order facilities. You have to put the product up there on the site so it can be downloaded. You have to have payment facilities. You need to update the site regularly. Once you have done all that, you need to start driving traffic to the site. All in all, it’s probably a non-starter.
What most successful entrepreneurs with how-to products to sell do is this – they get others to do the hard work for them! You can Google.com and Yahoo.com with a view to setting up joint ventures with website, bloggers and online entrepreneurs who will sell your product and share profits with you, typically on a 50-50 basis. Search for other website owners who might advertise your product via banner ads and links on their sites for a share of the profits. Create affiliate income opportunities for your product. You can set up affiliate deals with commissions for those who will sell on your behalf via a website or a blog.
Start by Googling and Yahooing for existing (similar but not directly competing) sites, blogs and online entrepreneurs who are active in this field. You can then approach them and ask if you can market your product via their websites for a share of the profits. If they have a customer database, you can ask if they will send an ad for the product to their email lists for a 50-50 share of the profits.
A direct ad straight to customers’ email addresses tends to produce a much better response than a banner ad, a link or even an editorial mention on a website or in a blog. All this really involves is them sending out an ad for you to their database – if you have bought a good-quality, resale rights package, you might have an ad as part of the purchase price. If not, you can put something together from the material within the product.
Building Your Business
Whatever you do, as soon as the order is placed, you need to do something! We live in a instant ‘now’ culture – people do not like queuing or waiting or being patient. They want whatever it is right here and now, on the spot. So, even if you are physically posting something to them, offer them something immediately, such as a free e-report. And, if it might take a few days to get the product to them, offer them a ‘surprise’ something else between the order and receipt. This can be another freebie above and beyond what they are expecting.
Amazingly, lots of people who buy a how-to information product do not actually ever use it. Strange but true! They may glance through it and think about studying it. They may even convince themselves that they will absolutely, definitely use it once Christmas is out of the way or when they get a little more free time or definitely, maybe next summer when things will somehow be easier! But they never do.
You want them to – because the more they use it, the greater the chances that they will buy from you again. To encourage this, you should send out follow-up emails, perhaps with news snippets, little updates or simply to draw attention to various timely features of the how-to information product. This can help to keep what you offer in their mind’s eye. You can mention new products coming out at the same time. You can also send unannounced bonuses at regular intervals that reflect the how-to-information they have bought. For example, a stockmarket review at quarterly intervals.
If you are starting out, it is wise to focus on one product to begin with rather than a bundle of them. Learn what’s what with one product before slowly adding new products to your range. You should, once you have built a little experience, be looking at ways of repackaging what you have, adding new products to your range or selling existing, repackaged and new products to different customers.
The beauty of this opportunity is that the whole business can soon start to take on a life of its own and can quickly be delivering lots of money-making streams. Say you start with an e-course on, let’s say, share investing. You sell it to 500 people via other websites and blogs and what have you. Those 500 names go in your customer database.
You then email them regularly with news. 100 of them buy into your special quarterly stockmarket review. 50 go for an e-report on, let’s say the mining sector. You then bring out a new e-course on, perhaps, spreadbetting. You add another 500 customers, and also make 100 sales to the original 500. And on and on, making more and more money!
Those entrepreneurs who make the most money from this business opportunity build up their customer database as quickly as they can from, typically, 100’s to 1,000’s of names. The more names you can get, the more products you can sell to them. There are many ways of doing this. As examples, you might send out weekly emails full of timely news and information to customers. You then ask customers to ‘forward these to a friend’ who can register for future emails.
Many entrepreneurs have built their customer databases rapidly by offering freebies such as a free money-making report to those customers who recommend three or four of their friends who go on to register with them. Some entrepreneurs have done well by asking others to send ads out abut your product in exchange for you doing the same for their related but not competing product. If this is done regularly, it can turn, say, a 500-name database into one running into 1000’s quickly.