Most people work way too hard for way too little online. They invest a lot of time and money developing marketing skills that take them nowhere.
When things don’t take off, their solution is to… improve their marketing skills of course. The vicious cycle continues until they either figure out that’s not the problem or until they run out of money.
Why does this happen? Why can an internet entrepreneur with “advanced” marketing and copywriting skills still have such trouble creating something successful?
For lots of reasons. And while there’s no guarantee of success, here’s a short list of 3 things I’d recommend you have before you invest another dime in improving your marketing skills or sit down to write another word of sales copy.
1. A No Brainer Offer
In my experience, a lot of people struggle online not because of the quality of their marketing skills (even though that’s where they continue to invest a lot of time, money and effort), but because what they’re offering simply isn’t worth buying.
In my experience, the foundation of a successful sales campaign is deceptively simple: have something that is worth buying. In other words, have a great offer.
It’s not easy though. If it were, everyone would be doing it. And you and I both know just how much garbage is being sold these days on the internet.
In his starving crowd letter, Gary Halbert explained that if he was selling hamburgers, the only advantage he’d want was access to a starving crowd.
I totally agree with Gary, but you can’t offer much value to a starving crowd if you don’t come with a hamburger that they want to buy.
If people spent as much time trying to develop things the market wanted to buy as they do trying to sell what they’ve got, everyone would be better off.
A “no-brainer” offer is a product, service or other “thing” that people look at and say, “I WANT that.”
You might think it’s a good use of your time to learn how to sell ice to eskimos, but you could save yourself a lot of hassle if you just got a bunch of space heaters and priced them well. Simple is better.
Start with a no-brainer offer. It’ll make everything easier.
2. A Deep Understanding of Your Buyer’s Emotional Condition
Emotions aren’t given a lot of face time in today’s world. In fact, go out in public and express your emotions a little too openly, and people will call you crazy. We’ve all been taught to keep what we’re feeling covered up–to live up in our heads. We’re inundated 24/7 with enough mental chatter to drive even the most stable person nuts.
But I doubt anyone would argue that emotions are what drive buying decisions. That’s the level at which the decision really gets made. You read that idea in a lot of marketing books, but it really takes a lot of work (unless you’re selling to people JUST like you) to develop a deep emotional understanding of your buyer.
Understanding the emotional condition of your buyer is not an answer you get from a survey. It’s a picture you piece together from data, keen observation and gut feelings.
The quickest way to develop this understanding is to actually pick up the phone and talk to real live human beings. I know it’s old fashioned, but it works. Talking to your prospects and customers is invaluable. Just like selling face to face is a whole lot easier than selling via email (if you disagree, please direct your hate mail to my secretary), talking to someone allows you to receive a level of information that just doesn’t get conveyed when you’re communicating with clicks.
Talking with real people is “messy” and it’s worth it. One reason is because you’ll tend to SELL more. The other reason is that you’ll become more valuable to your buyer because you will resonate with them and connect with them on a deeper level. We are all starved for connections like that. Talk about developing a strong competitive advantage.
3. The Ability to Get Your Offer in Front of Qualified Buyers
The internet opens up a huge marketplace for just about any aspiring entrepreneur with an internet connection. That’s a blessing and a curse because this unlimited opportunity isn’t reserved only for you–everyone gets access to it. And that means that it can be very difficult to get noticed.
Being “the best” is worthless if no one knows you exist.
So it’s important that you have a way to get what you have or do in front of enough people to make the possibility of success a real one.
Can you get your message in front of 100 qualified people? Can you get it in front of 10,000? 400,000?
If you can’t, then how can you really think you have a realistic chance at real success?
Success is not going to come knocking at your door simply because you have a killer product or are awesome at what you do. VISIBILITY is key. Enough people have to know about it before anything can happen. And when you’re online, visibility is probably the most difficult thing to generate quickly (without a ton of money you’re willing to risk invest.)
So before you go to all the trouble of creating your whole marketing funnel and writing sales copy, ask yourself, “How am I going to get what I have in front of enough people to give myself a realistic chance of success?”
Have a good answer to that question. It’ll be worth it.