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Archive for July, 2010

Business Success Reboot, Part Two

Lately, I’ve been exploring the question of…

“If I had to do it all over…to start over from scratch…WHAT would I do different?”

What I want to share with you today is the ONE skill I learned that made a HUGE difference in my income. And I want to share this because, when I first started out, I was told (just like I’m telling you) that I needed to understand this and I thought I had it all figured out…that I knew what I was doing.

Boy was I wrong!

My first product took me 11 months to create…and I wouldn’t recommend ANYONE take that long to create products. As a matter of fact, now I create several new products every single week…but that’s another story. Anyway, once I had my product created and the website designed I was ready to make some money. After all, I deserved some compensation for all the hard work I had put into creating it (the product was the Public Domain Code Book).

When I designed the site, I felt comfortable with the graphics because that’s what I did for a living at the time. But there was ONE element that I held some real concern about…writing the copy for the sales letter. I looked at what a couple other websites had used and thought I’d try to model them. I was
TOLD that I needed to understand the basics of good copywriting but I ignored those who told me that.

So I wrote what I thought was some pretty clever copy in the vane of Indiana Jones meets the Public Domain and I was SO proud. I absolutely LOVED how the copy and the sales letter turned out. Now for the REAL test…sending traffic to the site to make some serious cash! I bought some traffic through Adwords (another nightmare I’ll save for a future installment) and suddenly, I realized I was facing worst-case scenario…I spent a LOT of money on Adwords and made ZERO sales. I couldn’t tell my wife, she would have killed me if she knew how much money I spent with Google with nothing to show.

When I began to consider what could have been wrong, the message about the importance of copy came back to haunt me. I had to face the fact that my sales copy sucked. I went on a frenzied quest to learn the basics of copywriting to see if I could even salvage all the time and effort I had put into this first project. It paid off. I re-wrote the sales page based on what I had learned and sales began to happen…a few here and there, and then more and more. Since then, that first product has sold over $50,000 and is still selling today!

What made the difference?

It wasn’t the product and it wasn’t the traffic…it was the SALES COPY! That’s what made the difference. It was an expensive lesson to learn and one that I want to help you avoid. That’s why I created, “Copywriting Basics That Work!” You’ll discover how to avoid ALL the mistakes that kept my first product from selling, as well as the secrets to creating sales letters, video sales letters and e-mail promotions convert like crazy.

Do yourself a favor (and for the benefit of your current and future sales), take a few moments to watch the video I created and discover the KEY to finding true success online.

Committed to your ongoing success!

Copywriting Basics That Work

Business Success Reboot, Part One

I have been giving a LOT of thought to the question, “If I had to do it all over again in my business, what would I do the same, and what would I do different?” As I contemplated the ideas, I realized that there might be some benefit to my musings for others…especially those who are just starting out. So over the course of the next several post, we will explore the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of creating your own online business from my own experience and point of view. What I share will not be the “be all end all” type of guidance. Rather, it will be a reflection of the pitfalls and triumphs I experienced through the process of selling online.

Okay…we’re going to start off with a huge lesson…definitely the BIGGEST lesson I’ve learned through the business-building process.

The very FIRST thing I would do differently if I were just starting my business today, would be to learn how to think like a successful entrepreneur as quickly as possible and at whatever cost I could afford! Here’s why: Products, strategies, even relationships are NOT what cause you to be or become successful. While these are certainly pieces of the puzzle, they alone will not make you successful. Only a success-oriented mindset and belief system will truly create the type of business success you want and deserve.

The reason mindset is so vitally important is simple…money is a representation for a value exchange, nothing more. If a product or service “costs” $5,000, the price declares that the product has value in the amount of $5,000. Whether it actually does or not is immaterial, and certainly determined by the end-user. If you do not “see” the value in your own product or service…or, more importantly, in yourself personally, neither will anyone else. One of biggest challenges early on was recognizing that I had value as a person, and that what I had to offer was valuable. It was a process and lesson that cost me a lot of time, honesty and money to learn, but was easily the most influential “strategy” that created the biggest impact on my business.

As I worked through the process of developing my “inner game” as my friend, Pat O’Bryan, refers to it, I had to be brutally honest with myself and face some tough questions, like:

  • What is my purpose in life?
  • Why do I feel worthless?
  • What am I afraid of? Failing? Success?
  • Will I look like a fool?
  • Do I really have anything to offer that people would spend money for?
  • Will my parents approve?
  • What if I fail?
  • Am I even smart enough to do this?
  • What is my reason WHY for wanting my own business?
  • Is it even possible for ME to earn a decent living online, much less a phenomenal one?
  • Where do I begin?
  • Do I deserve to be a success?

Perhaps you have thought many of these same questions! They’re energy and dream stealers and stop most people dead in their tracks. Think of them as a poison that is slowly killing your hopes and dreams. They create a self-talk that’s founded on expectations and beliefs that do not even have substance or proof. One question I asked myself regularly, at times even moment by moment, was, “What evidence do I have that proves that THIS time I will fail?” That THIS time I’ll lose everything!” The truth was (and is) that there is NEVER any evidence. Whether you allow yourself to focus on the past or worry about the future, you MUST realize that neither exists! Only NOW exists and success is simply a choice away.

Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. The questions (and others) above are the perpetuators of the SAME THINGS! You must choose better questions and responses! Here are some examples of the types of questions and responses I used to change my mindset and business:

How can I best serve those around me? Serving others gets our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances.

I am grateful for _____________________ (fill in the blank) in my life. I struggled a lot with depression and realized that as I remained in a place of gratitude, I wasn’t depressed or fearful. The question I asked myself constantly was, “Why are you focused on what you DON’T have when you can give thanks for what you DO have?”

How can I offer $______ in value to my customers? When you begin to look at your business as offering value versus making money, your mindset shifts.

There is ALWAYS a way…always! This is one of my newer responses…it’s written on my marker board above my desk. I’ve found that it shifts you out of a place of fear and into hopeful anticipation for one reason…there is always a way! You may not know it yet…nevertheless…there is always a way!

In the next post, I will continue with some other transformations I’ve experienced in mindset that will certainly benefit you as well. I will also share books and resources I’ve personally found to be useful and helpful in that transformational process. Until then!

Oh and by the way, I am SO grateful to have you as a reader! Please feel free to add your thoughts and comments below.
Also, if you could do me a favor and please share this with friends, family and subscribers who you feel could benefit from it most. You can do so by re-tweeting, sharing it on Facebook and on Digg! Thanks!

If I Had to Do It All Over Again

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately about what I would do differently in my business if I had to do it all over. I realized that there are some elements of my business that I would handle exactly the same, but others I would definitely change. So what I thought I would do is over the next several blog posts, I am going to walk through the lessons I’ve learned over the past several years of selling online (my first “sales” site was launched in 2002). I will share my successes and mistakes in every area of the business…from product creation and affiliate selling to JVs and traffic.

My hope (and goal) is to help you avoid the same mistakes I made and benefit from the strategies and methods that worked. I will share what I would do right now if I was starting over. The first post will be ready in the next day or two!

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