Posts Tagged ‘trends’
You’re at a conference and you see someone you recognize. Smiles flash and you rush together to exchange hugs and greetings. It’s been a while and you’re excited to see each other. During the course of catching up, your friend asks if you have a copy of their new book. “No,” you respond, “I didn’t even know you wrote a book! I’d love a copy!” They take a book out of their briefcase, open the front cover, and write a special note. You flip through it and express congratulations.
“So have you created any new products, lately?” they ask. You go on to share about your latest webinar series and e-book you created. It’s selling well and they are excited for you. And that’s when the awkwardness begins. You’d love to share it with them, but since it’s digital, you have to e-mail them the login information later, if you remember to. Even though it’s a great product, sharing a link with your friend feels impersonal. That night, you flip through their book and you think, “I need to create a physical book.”
I LOVE creating digital products…love them. They’re easy for me and can be sold any time of the day or night without my personal involvement at all. It’s the ideal product scenario…almost. Here’s the thing…even though I’m pretty prolific (I’ve created over 60 products), the products I love to show off the most are the physical ones! Why? Because you can actually SHOW them to people and GIVE them away. Of course, you can sell them too! The truth is that, as tactile humans, we “need” to feel the touch of things. It makes them more “real” somehow. And because of the “realness” factor, we assign physical products a greater perceived value.
Let me ask you a question…as a professional photographer, if I were to offer you a high-resolution digital copy of one of my photographs or a framed print, which would you take? You would obviously take the framed print because you can SHARE it easier with others. Visitors to your home would be able to see it hanging in your office or den and comment how amazing it looks. You could then thank them and share how it was a gift from your friend. Physical products establish a connection with your peers and audience that digital products will NEVER create.
I recently attended NAMS6 in Atlanta. David Perdew, the event creator, invited me to join the faculty and this was my first event. Knowing that I would have requests for business cards while there, I decided to do something different. I purchased greeting card blanks and envelopes at the local craft store and had 4” X 6” prints of some of my favorite photographs printed at Target. Using two-sided tape, I attached the photos to the blank cards and signed my name on them. On the back of the card, I pasted a shipping label that included my contact information.
At the conference, when someone requested a business card, I pulled out my 5” X 6.5” greeting cards and let them pick their favorite photo. People loved them! A few people asked for more than one. Now let me ask you…when is the last time someone asked you for multiple copies of your business card? Do you think my card will stand out compared to ALL the other business cards collected given it’s MUCH larger than the others? Sure it will! One last thing…David asked we all put our business cards in a bucket for prize drawings. Do you think mine card was easy for the person drawing the cards to find? You bet! I won a portable drive!
The point I want to make here is that, if you want to truly have an impact on your audience, you HAVE to create physical products! You should have a book at the very least. Now before you start thinking that making physical products is hard, I’m going to stop you right there because it’s just not true! Take my cards, for instance. If you can apply two-sided tape to a photo and position it on a blank card, you can make your own. That’s just one example of many…you get the idea! It’s only hard if you make it hard.
Just like with digital products, creating the “right” physical products requires good market research, the right tools and content! The selling process is also a bit different as well. Fortunately for you, I have demystified the process of creating physical products in my course, “Physical Product Success Secrets.” Over the course of four videos, I share a clear plan of how to create your own physical products. Video #1 covers the Mechanics of creating products. Video #2 dives into Research. Video #3 explores the different type of products you can create (and how), while Video #4 lays out how to market and sell those products. Did you know that with physical products, you can tap into a stream of 175 million “buying” prospects that you don’t have access to with digital products? Yep! I show you how in “Physical Product Success Secrets!”
And…by the way…THIS weekend (Labor Day), you can get started with creating your OWN physical products for less…I’ve discounted the course for the next 4 days! Finally, you won’t have to feel left out when you’re at your next family gathering, conference or event. Think about how good it’s going to feel to jot a note and share your product with a smile, knowing that you’ve just touched another person’s life. How cool is that?!
As information product developers, we often spend a lot of time trying to get traffic to our websites so that we can increase sales. More traffic = more sales…or so the theory goes. But we often get SO focused on “digital products” and “traffic getting” that we miss some huge opportunities for capitalizing on massive traffic that already exists. The catch, however, is that to benefit from this traffic, we need to sell PHYSICAL products, not digital ones (with one exception which I’ll address later).
I love creating digital products as much as the next person. They’re fast and easy to manage. But with the abundance of “physical product” traffic that is available, it’s time to re-think your product creation process. The truth is, that in many cases, your digital products can easily make the jump to physical with minimal effort. You will understand what I mean when I reveal the traffic sources.
I’ve been conducting a LOT of research and testing on sites like the ones I’m about to share BECAUSE of the traffic volume they receive…that’s the ONLY reason. The numbers are simply too big to ignore! As a matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that if you are not selling on ALL (or at least most) of the sites I’m about to mention, you’re missing a huge opportunity to boost your income. And the BEST news (as far as I’m concerned) is that Public Domain-based products are PERFECT for these sites! What websites am I talking about? Here is the list along with their traffic numbers (from Compete.com):
- Amazon.com (82.1 Million Visitors per Month)
- eBay.com (67.2 Million Visitors per Month)
- Etsy.com (6.5 Million Visitors per Month)
- Zazzle.com (5.7 Million Visitors per Month)
- CafePress.com (5.2 Million Visitors per Month)
- iOffer.com (1.9 Million Visitors per Month)
When it comes to selling physical products, the above sites are the cream of the crop. There are addition sites out there with traffic numbers under a million per month, but these six sites should be a part of your product-selling strategy…period…simply because of the traffic. Think about it, is it easier to create a river or stand in the middle of one? Obviously the latter approach is easier. By offering your products on the sites above, that is essentially what you’re doing…standing in the flow of their existing traffic!
So…what should you be selling there? Be smart and do your research. Find out what people are already buying and them sell them more of the same! Most of the sites offer best-seller listings…use them! And with today’s on-demand technologies, turning Public Domain content into physical products to sell couldn’t be easier!
Here are a few places to begin your research on the top three sites:
- http://www.craftcount.com/ (Top sellers on Etsy)
Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing strategies on how to increase online sales and profits with my subscribers. It’s been a great series and it’s still growing strong (with 30 strategies shared so far). What I decided to do was put together a document that contains all the awesome money-boosting strategies I’ve share to date so that everyone, whether on my list or not, can have access to this wealth of practical insight and strategy. Ultimately, my goal is to hit 50-60 profit-pumping strategies, but I have a feeling we could go higher because there are so many excellent ways to increase your sales and profits.
To access the first 30 strategies and get a peek at what the next 20 or so will be, just click on the link provided below and download the PDF. Oh, and make sure you actually DO something with what I share (even though it’s free) or I’ll charge you next time…lol.
In order to succeed in business online, you have to understand your target audience. Who are they? Where are they? What answers are they searching for, and where? There are great tools available online that can help us determine the answers to these questions and others. It’s likely that you use some of these tools now for keyword research, trend tracking, demographic research and more. The problem I encountered with these tools, however, is that they are all over the place…each has their own website, and quite honestly, I was having trouble remembering what all the website addresses were. When good research takes you to 3 or 5 or even 10 sites, getting to those sites quickly becomes a problem.
My solution to this issue was to create a couple free sites that pull together the potpourri of research sites into two convenient, easy-to-remember websites. The first site, Online Keyword Tool, offers links to all the best and most commonly used (and a few off the beaten path) sites for conducting keyword research. The second site, Trends Research Tool, offers a compiled listing of all the best websites you can use for researching and tracking online trends in a wide variety of markets.
Whether you are an affiliate marketer, a product creator or even offline business owner, these tools should be an essential part of your research arsenal. The great news is that you can now access them from just two sites! Enjoy them and tell your friends about them!
TAXES…we ALL have to pay them…from income taxes and sales taxes to gas taxes and luxury taxes. We EVEN have to pay death taxes! We have no choice. Our tax money is “needed” so that our government can “pay for” all sorts of important stuff that is beneficial for us. You know the routine…you earn the money, give some of it to the government, and they spend it! And so “we the people” have developed a mindset that once that tax money leaves our paychecks, credit cards and checking accounts, it is GONE… FOREVER!
Once the money is spent by the government on important, necessary stuff it is no longer available to us because SPENT means, “it’s not ours anymore.” Right? NOT NECESSARILY! What if there was a way that you could get ALL your taxpayer dollars back and more…legally. Would you be interested? I knew you would be! Check this out:
Creative Commons announced the release of its Public Domain Mark, a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labeled in a way that allows them to be easily discovered over the Internet. The Public Domain Mark, to be used for marking works already free of copyright, complements Creative Commons’ CC0 public domain dedication, which enables authors to relinquish their rights prior to the expiration of copyright.
This is great news for those of us who use Public Domain-based content for product creation. The new Public Domain Mark will give us the ability to target keyword searches to find Public Domain content easier and faster than ever before! To learn more about the Creative Commons’ Public Domain Tools, click HERE!
Europeana—Europe’s digital library, museum and archive—is the first major adopter of the Public Domain Mark. Europeana estimates that by mid-2011, the Public Domain Mark will be used in connection with millions of out-of-copyright works made available through its portal. With the adoption of this new standard at the highest levels of content preservation, it is likely that most other major content holders will adopt the standard as well. Which is GREAT news for us!
When I think about all the influences that have affected my business in a good way, I’d have to say that live seminars have had the most profound effect. From learning new insights and strategies to meeting new friends and networking, seminars should be a vital part of your “continuing education” for your business. Most of my friends, JVs, speaking engagements and quantum leaps in my income have all come from live events…period.
I’ll never forget the first Big Seminar I attended (Armand Morin’s huge event). I was there as I guest of my friend, David Hancock of Morgan James Publishing. It was my first live event ever and I didn’t know ANYONE! I had just completed my Public Domain Code Book and had big dreams of connecting with someone…anyone…who would consider promoting the product to their list. I didn’t even have an affiliate program in place…lol. There were a few folks that I had started following and really wanted to meet them. One of those “gurus” was Pat O’Bryan, now a good friend of mine.
I wanted to show Pat my book because I knew he was using Public Domain content for product creation and was making a killing at it. The only problem was that every time I saw him at that Big Seminar, I chickened out. On the last day, right before the end of the event, I made up my mind that, no matter what, I was going to talk to Pat. As I walked up to open the doors to enter the event ballroom, the door suddenly swung open and nearly whacked me in the head, and standing right in front of me was Pat. We nearly ran into each other…lol. Well, long story short, I gave Pat a copy of my book, which ultimately resulted in him promoting it to his list, using it to teach from in his seminars and ultimately being invited to speak at several of his events. All because I was at THAT Big Seminar and talked with him. Seminars have also resulted in other important friendships and relationships with some of my favorite people in the world…some well known marketers and others who are just starting out!
And then there is the teaching…
Some of the best business strategies I’ve learned (AND implemented) came from live events! Most speakers really over deliver, but be prepared to take LOTS of notes. More importantly, when you get home, DO something with that info. By implementing strategies I learned at live events, I have ALWAYS seen my income jump…sometimes by a factor of 4 or 5. That’s powerful!
So…as you can tell…I strongly recommend that you make the investment in your business (and yourself) and get out to live events. Meet people, pay attention, hang out in the restaurant or bar and take lots of notes! If I am at the event, talk to me! I LOVE meeting my subscribers and blog readers! As a matter of fact, you will have an opportunity to benefit from the BEST seminar out there…the one I attended first that helped launch my online career…Big Seminar. The LAST one ever is happening November 5-7, 2010 in Las Vegas. I will be there networking and learning and I’d LOVE to connect with you there. This is ONE investment in your business that I cannot recommend highly enough.
Will I see you there? Hope so!
When it comes to search engines, we all tend to get a bit myopic, thinking Google is our ONLY real choice for finding the info we need. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth! The truth is that there are literally thousands of search engines available for us to use for our “data mining” duties, and some of them are rather cool. In this post, I thought I’d share some of the search engines I have been playing with recently.
BlinkX: Blinkx offers access to over 35 million hours of index videos from across the web. Using patented conceptual search, speech recognition and video analysis software, Blinkx is extremely efficient and accurate with finding and qualifying online video. They are the world’s largest single index of rich media content on the Web, and deliver more content from a broader range of sources than either Google or Yahoo! They also offer the ability to embed a “wall” of videos based on your search results on your own website.
Technorati: Technorati has been around for quite a while, but it’s likely that you aren’t using it, which is why I’ve included it in this list. They are the leading blog search engine and directory and indexes more than a million blogs. So if you are looking for relevant info on your topic and want to see what other bloggers are writing about, Technorati is your answer. You can also use the results to find articles related to your topic so that you can comment and benefit from the backlinks. I personally use it for leads on new content and info that isn’t being widely shared.
InkMesh: Inkmesh is an ebook search engine that makes it easier to find free ebooks and compare ebook prices for the Kindle, iPhone, Sony Reader, Nook and more. What I like about this search engine is that, not only can I use it to find free e-books, but I can also use the results to “spy” on what Public Domain books are being released by others. Being an iPad user, this is a super cool website for finding e-book gems!
NowRelevant: NowRelevant was a pleasant discovery! It is the interface portal for The Internet Time Machine’s backend search engine that gives you access to every written word about a subject for the past 14 days. It monitor millions of sources and feeds to give you the most up to date and pertinent information on your subject. What that means is that rather than have to filter through ALL the results you would find through Google or Yahoo…some of them years old…NowRelevant limits your results to just the past 14 days, and they offer a time slider that allows you to cut the results down to even fewer days. Why this cool is that your results enable you to track trends easily, which means you can target your PPC campaigns (among other things) with current, relevant data! Gotta love that!
We can often learn much about our personal life and business by being observant of the world around us. Our planet in all its glory is the most successful, most systematized and most profitable business model there is. The key for us is to pay attention. Take one of our basic and most precious resources, for instance…WATER. A simple study and observation about water and its properties can teach you more about achieving success in your business than most of the top-selling business books combined. In a word, it’s all about FLOW!
Now there are a LOT of ways that we can spin this analogy of water flow with business, but there is one specific example that may “click” for you, especially if you’re selling (or trying to sell) online. First of all, like water, we must have “flow” happening in our business to keep it fresh and vibrant. There is a reason we have terms like “cash flow.” When water begins to pool, it stagnates. Algae starts forming and it becomes home to all kinds of insects. Eventually, it evaporates and is gone. Does that sound like your business? I hope not! But if flow has stopped somewhere, stagnation has begun, and you must make the necessary changes to re-establish flow.
Selling online (or offline) comes down to just a few key components: 1) A prospect with a need; 2) A solution to the need; 3) A conversion mechanism; and 4) Followup. That’s it. If there is a breakdown in any one or more of these components, stagnation occurs. For instance, we can have all the traffic we want (prospects) with a great product (solution), but our salescopy (conversion mechanism) sucks. The result? Nothing happens…stagnation. Perhaps you have great traffic and a great sales page, but the product isn’t what the prospect was looking for. Refunds ensue and so does stagnation.
For the sake of illustration, let’s extend out water analogy a bit further to this process by looking at hydroelectric dams. You start of with a massive amount of water that is flowing slowly (your traffic). With the help of a dam, you concentrate the flow of the river into a rushing torrent, which, as it flows by, turns turbines (conversion mechanism), which in turn, creates electricity (solution). Then, the river continues its flow downstream. I want you to think about this example and consider how you can apply it to your “work flow.” The concentrated flow of the water, when directed through a conversion process, creates the solution, which, in this case, is another type of flow…electricity. And as we know, electricity is a solution we ALL need!
So let me ask you…does YOUR business have flow? Is your traffic flowing? Is your sales page or squeeze page converting? Is your product a solution people want or need? Now, with each of these questions, if the answer is “NO,” I want you to consider the following…
If flow isn’t happening, why? What steps can you take right now that will create a different result than you are currently achieving? What will change or increase the FLOW in your business in a significant way?
I hope you found this analogy helpful and I’d love to hear your own thoughts and insights concerning it. Please feel free to add your comments below. And, if you would do me a favor, could you help me increase the “flow” of this post by sharing it with your friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and Digg? Thank you!
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!