This is my first guest post on my blog. I’m glad Justin Brooke was the one to do it because he is freaking AWESOME – absolutely brilliant, smart, and one of the best marketing minds online. He’s also author of SEO Lies: A Book About SEO Truths. Justin has helped everyone from home business start-ups to 9 figure earning CEOs and can be contacted on Facebook here.
What Does Trash Have To Do With Marketing?
Ever feel like you’re hitting a plateau in your online success? Or are you still waiting for “take off?” If you’ve ever felt either of these two then it can be very discouraging. I only know from experience. When I first started with working from home 4 years ago I went 5 months without making a single dollar. Then when I finally started to see some success, I just kept hitting this plateau that I couldn’t over some.
The first plateau was at $1500 a month. I spent 6 months at that level trying to push over to a higher monthly income. The next plateau was $5,000 and after that it was $10,000. When I talk with my coaching students about these plateaus they always have one question – How’d you do it?
The answer is simple… you have to take out the trash. You see, everyone has their own experiences as they build their online business, but so many have the same preconceived notions that certain techniques will or will not work for “them.” I call these mental garbage piles.
These “mental garbage piles” start to pile up (similar to those hoarders you see on tv)… when the stacks get to overwhelming you hit a plateau that looks miles high and way too hard to overcome. Today, I’m going to take you through a few mental garbage piles that I struggled with in hopes that you’ll avoid them or take out the trash now.
The first three are “garbage piles” I hear often from beginners just starting out online.
1. Why would someone buy information when you can get it for free on internet?
When I first started online, I bought rights to a video training program for Joomla. Now, Joomla is an open source software that anyone can use. They also have a support forum for their users to get help.
The only problem is that using this open source software has a HUGE learning curve for beginners. So, I saw a need, bought the rights to the training course, wrote a salesletter and started selling.
It was a pretty popular website. I was making sales regularly with little advertising costs. That’s when I started looking at other sources of traffic – I created a video showing the benefits of the course and everything you learned inside and posted it up on Youtube.
The video has been up there for years and is still out there somewhere – to this day I get comments on the video (112,000+ views!!!) of people bashing me for selling something that people can access for free.
What they don’t understand is that the software is free – yes. But the training on how to learn to use the software faster is a knowledge not everyone has, but others want and pay for willingly.
You see, there will always be training out there for free. But the Internet is massive and is growing more massive every day. If you can narrow down someones work load or help them apply the knowledge specifically to their case – they are willing to pay for your time.
Another thing I should point out here is if you have a specific knowledge on how to do something faster or better… when you know how to get something done faster, better, and with less headaches than another – that is what people are looking for.
Take decorating for example. Everyone can go to their local home depot to buy paint, shelves. You also have all your local stores for furniture and curtains etc. But you don’t have the knowledge to piece it all together to actually look good – which is why you hire a designer to come in to make your house amazing.
The information is always there – but finding the time to apply it in your life can be a hassle – which is why people pay for information they can often find for free.
2. If someone is passionate about a topic – wouldn’t they already have the information they need to be successful?
Wow I can’t begin to tell you how this is hurting your success. Let’s see, if you are a high school baseball player and you’re top of your team.
Does that make you best in the world? No, there are always more techniques you can improve on, more skill to master, etc.
Don’t assume that the customers in your niche know everything from beginning to end. Just as in life- everyone has different experiences. This also applies to the people in your niche as well.
This is often why you get the same “rehashed” content in every product. It’s not that they are trying to rehash everything every time. They are normally trying to give everyone the same foundation to build on in later lessons.
The same applies to any niche. There will always be a basic technique that everyone needs to know and build on. Then there are different skills, and skill levels. So when moving into a niche, look for what the people are asking for – not what you think they already know and need to know.
All it takes is about a day of your time scouring forums and question sites to see what people are asking for in your niche.
When I first move into a niche, the first day is spent researching the forums in the niche, and then going over to Answers.yahoo.com where I search various keywords in the niche to see what people are saying and asking about.
This is normally where I get the ideas for chapters in an ebook, or free reports for list building etc. That way I know the content I am giving them is what they are looking for.
3. This isn’t the best product I can make – I need to keep working on it first.
Hmm… this one is always a hard “garbage pile” to tackle, but one you must. You see it has two bad sides – you either put out a product you know isn’t completely perfect or you continue to make no money while you perfect it.
All I can say is look at Apple. The iphone first came out in January 2007. In June 2008 – the 3G was released, in June 2009 3GS was released, and now June 2010, Iphone 4. Each product awesome – were they perfect? No. But the lesson here is put the best you have right now and then continue to listen to your customers and improve your product every month, every year, or as needed.
Think of the fan base that apple has created. Not only did their customers buy the first, but they continued to buy each upgrade as they came available – making the iphone into the success it is today. Your products will never be perfect, but you can show your quality in continually striving to make them better.
Even Experts Have Trash Piles
Here’s a couple recent garbage piles I found and conquered within my own mind…
1. I have to do all the work myself.
You see, I am quite picky when it comes to “my” business, just as you probably are with yours. However, one very important lesson is to let go – you can not do everything in the business and you shouldn’t. Your focus is on quality and money. You need to complete the tasks that are making you money, and as the business owner you need to keep an eye on the quality of the work being done by people that represent you.
That’s it. The rest can be handed off to someone that can specialize in that task. Lets take your computer as an example. When you open too many programs, what happens? Your computer starts to slow down and has a hard time processing the tasks you need to get done.
Well, now pretend you’re a computer… if you open your seo tasks, your customer relationship tasks, social media, product creation, paid advertising, coaching, phone calls, accounting etc. (you see where I’m going with this list).
When you have all those tasks running at one time, you’ll slow down and have a hard time processing the important tasks that need to get done. Are you having an “aha” moment yet? You should be!
To over come this – start giving out repetitive tasks to someone else. If it is tasks that can be done the same way over and over again then it can be outsourced to someone else and taken off your plate.
Not only that, but set them up for success by adding bonuses if they find better, faster ways to do things, while not effecting your quality. This is a lesson in a lesson – by adding the “get better” bonus you encourage your assistants to grow with your company.
If you only hire your assistant to do a specific task then they’ll continue to do this over and over and you’ll eventually choose to let them go because your company has grown, but not that assistant and you’ll see them as less valuable. When you encourage them to get better you encourage them to make your company better too.
2. My customers would never pay high prices
This lesson hit me like a brick to the face. About a year ago, a friend came to me and asked me to promote his product. I knew it was a decent product because I had a hand in building it, but I just didn’t like his price point – it was $97/month.
I just thought he had overpriced it, and I wouldn’t get good conversions with my list because of it. I couldn’t talk him down from the price, so I mailed out for him and ended up putting over 180 people into his site.
I didn’t expect those kind of results – it was more than I expected and I appreciated the recurring commissions. However, that was100 people I could have put on MY continuity site – $17,460/month I sent to someone else all because I “thought” my subscribers wouldn’t pay that much per month.
YOWCH! I learned a hard lesson there…
The lesson here is to never underestimate your subscribers. If you’re providing quality, and show them the value they will follow. Test different price points and find out what works well with your niche.
Now that you’ve seen some of my mental garbage piles and some common ones, I hope you realize that its normally you that is blocking your success. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing – it is just something you need to learn to recognize and stop in it in its tracks.
When you hit a plateau take a good look at what your “problem” really is and try to see if it isn’t just a “mental garbage pile” that needs to be dumped.
Start realizing your “mental garbage” and take out the trash. Sometimes the only way to take out those trash piles is to do exactly what it is you are afraid of, so that you see the REAL results for yourself. THEN you can make whatever judgments you want, based on facts you have seen for yourself.
I hope this has been helpful and any feedback or questions are greatly appreciated. Leave them as comments and I’ll hang around for the next couple days to answer them. I also accept all variations of compliments ;-)
Internet Mad Scientist