Nice looking websites cost business owners MILLIONS in unnecessary web design fees, lost opportunities, and wasted advertising spend.
Again, this is an EGO thing. It’s human nature to want to impress your peers, to “be seen,” to be doing better than your competitors, and to look the part. The bottom line is this, though – how much money is your website bringing in?
You can build a website for next to nothing nowadays. I personally use a free web design platform because it’s fast, easy to use, and I have complete control. The last website I built brought in just under £400,000 in a couple of months. It cost me around £60 per year in hosting fees and bugger all to build it.
To be honest, I only did this after I had wasted nearly £6,000 in fees I paid to so-called web designers! There are plenty of free web design platforms you can take advantage of.
Regardless of which platform you use, maintain control of your website design, functionality, operation, publishing, and most of all ... conversion strategy! Try www.eclickfunnels.com, Instapage or Unbounce which have excellent A/B split testers.
Here some of the secrets of my online success:
Every piece of advertising, webpage, sales letter, brochure, or banner ad that you send out MUST include ALL of these ingredients:
Positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, rather than just as another business selling products or services, is one of the most powerful marketing strategies you can implement.
Most business owners, from one-man shows to large corporations, are focused on the sale when they should be educating their prospects first. They jump right into their pitch.
People prefer to buy from people and entities they trust and respect. One way to educate your prospects is to offer a free report or information guide teaching them something valuable about your industry, products, or services.
What problems do they have that need solving? What annoys them about your industry? What do your competitors do badly that you do better?
Tell them about it in detail, really hammering the pain points, and then offer the solution. You'll get far more qualified, happy customers this way because you tried to help them instead of just sell to them.
Very few businesses take this approach, and that’s because it takes time. But if you put in the effort and invest time and money marketing the guide instead of your products or services, your prospects will be knocking down your door to give you money.
I’m not saying this will be easy – most good things aren’t, but as long as the educational resources you produce aren’t complete crap, you really can’t fail.
End result? You get much more respect from your customers, they’re more likely to buy from you more often, and they’re less likely to buy from your competitors. They will be happy to pay more money to do business with you.
We’ll get into this idea and where it fits in the big scheme of things more later. For now, start writing that info guide today.
Building a list of prospects and communicating with them on regular basis is the foundation for any successful business. Nothing you EVER do will be more valuable than maintaining a list of all the people with whom your business has a relationship. Unfortunately, most businesses don't even bother.
Every time I send a simple email to my list, I make money. Back in January 2012, I sent an email offering a high-end training course for an educational organisation in which I was involved. We brought in a total of USD $263,000 in four short weeks with ONE email and two follow-ups. The prospect list of around 30,000 was built from scratch over three to four years and maintained over time.
Virtually all of the customers signed within two days of the email going out, and then it took another three to four weeks to get them through the application process and collect payment. Had this email gone out to a cold or rented list, we probably wouldn't have made a penny .
When you have a list of interested prospects who know and trust your company, you can sell new products and services to them for many years to come. This is crucial, considering that most of the products I sell now didn’t even exist two years ago. Because of my list, I can create a new product any time and I already know I have a hungry audience eager to buy.
My list also allows me to get to know my customers better by asking about problems or issues with which they need help. I can then create a product to meet their needs.
Compiling a database of prospects and customers is like pouring the foundation of a new house before you start hammering the frame together – make it your first priority, or suffer the consequences.
Building a list of prospects and communicating with them on regular basis is the foundation for any successful business. Nothing you EVER do will be more valuable than maintaining an email list of all the people with whom your business has a relationship. Unfortunately, most businesses don't even bother!
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
- Mark Twain
Just in case you’re wondering, I am not going to teach you to start spamming people. Many small businesses have a knee-jerk reaction when I put the idea of email communications on the table because of all the no-class marketers who give it a bad rap. But email marketing done right is one of the best tools ever invented for keeping in touch with your prospects and customers.
It’s convenient, it’s free, and your messages are delivered instantly.
However, most businesses, PR companies, and ad agencies don’t have a clue how to use this communication medium properly.
Here’s an example. Most “experts” tell you that you “can’t send too many emails, or you’ll annoy people.” Your business peers have probably already warned you that “no one buys from an email.”
I send an email virtually EVERY SINGLE DAY to my list. The only time I miss a day is if I get bogged down traveling or am unravelling a family crisis. And EVERY time I send an email, people buy something and I make money. End of story.
The secret to getting this right is to make sure your emails are interesting and relevant. It’s also imperative (legally so) to get permission from your prospects before you email them…and I DON’T mean by tricking them into not ticking the “don’t email me” box.
Setting expectations is another key to success, so make it 100% clear what they will get, too. As long as you’re relevant, interesting, and not boring, people will be happy to receive your daily emails and read them. Considering that most people are content to sit and read a newspaper each day, or pore through pages upon pages of a book, why would they not be excited to receive vital, interesting information on a regular basis about a topic that intrigues them?
Don’t believe this will ever work? Not so fast – I got permission from you to send emails, didn’t I? How did I do it? By offering you my free 365-step marketing course, you already know up-front that you’ll be receiving one email per day for 365 days, and as long as you find these emails informative and NOT BORING, you’ll be happy to get every single one.
Sure, you probably won’t have time to read them all, but you’ll certainly read as many as you can. And because they arrive on a daily basis, you’re bound to start opening them sooner or later. You can opt out any time you want, which means you’re always in control.
Quick confession – I do still get complaints from people now and again telling me to “fuck off and stop sending me emails.” But who cares? I’m not spamming these people – they opted in, just like you did, and it’s hardly my fault they forgot. For all I know, they’re schizophrenic and one of their other personalities signed up.
In any case, I don’t lose a minute’s sleep over it. I’m delighted when people tell me to “fuck off” because it means I just got rid of someone I DON’T ever want as my customer. I’m weeding out the crazies, the assholes, the time-wasters, and the tyre kickers – and hey, that’s fine by me.
Besides, I get far more people emailing to say “thanks.” One more thing: Don’t EVER buy or rent email lists. No one EVER opts in to receive emails knowing that anyone and everyone will have free reign to send then just about anything they want, so the quality of email lists for sale is always very, very poor. If you’ve set the standard for a trusted relationship, however, and you’ve properly set expectations, emailing your list every day keeps the relationship alive and sets the stage for a golden marketing opportunity.
25 years sales and marketing experience rolled into one blog. James works with world's top marketing experts such as Dan Kennedy, Matt Lloyd, Perry Marshall and Chris Cardell.