Internet Entrepreneurs – Workers Or Lurkers?

Starting a business on the Internet is much simpler than starting an offline business, so a lot of people with no business or marketing experience decide to start their own home-based business online. Unfortunately the majority of them are just wasting their time.

That’s not meant to be harsh; remember that 96% of offline businesses fail too… Most new offline entrepreneurs fail due to insufficient initial capital or insufficient cashflow once the business hits a slowdown or starts to grow too quickly.

Entrepreneurs Are Workers, Not Lurkers

Internet entrepreneurs, on the other hand, need very little capital to get started or keep their business solvent through its start-up phase.

No, what usually defeats Internet entrepreneurs stems from their lack of experience running their own business and the resultant lack of focused, concise action.

Think of it this way… If you opened a retail store in your local mall would you just show up when you felt like it, being open different hours on any given day or not even showing up for days at a time? Of course not – but many new online entrepreneurs do exactly that. Would you stay in the back room talking to a friend and ignoring the customers waiting at the cash registers? The online equivalent is spending most or all of your time on any given day chatting on social media sites. Every entrepreneur has the odd day like that, but for too many it becomes a very destructive habit, business-wise.

Yes, it takes a lot of discipline to put in your 3-4 hours a night after your full-time job plus at least one day on the weekend – and a lot of effort to stay focused and on track, especially in the first months when there’s little or no money coming in for all the time you’re investing.

There is a learning curve, but staying focused helps to minimize the time it takes to get started. If you try to follow too many people’s advice, no matter how advanced those people may be, you’ll end up with information overload. The are many different ways to succeed as an Internet entrepreneur, and trying to take pieces from all different methods will leave you with ‘analysis paralysis’ – you’ll be too busy trying to figure what course of action to take to make any real progress.

You’ll know from your first day of research you need a blog and an e-mail list, and that never changes – those are your main focus on an ongoing basis. But too many people lose that focus and go off in a variety of directions. This leads then to frustration and, usually, just hanging out on social media sites or in forums. At that point the would-be entrepreneurs are still putting in the hours but no longer getting anywhere.

They’re no longer workers – they’ve become lurkers.

Lurkers are easy to spot – they’re the ones with all the negative comments in forums and on social media sites, constantly telling people that online marketing is all a scam… Ignore them, stay a worker, focus on what it takes for YOU to succeed and join the growing ranks of successful online entrepreneurs in just about every online niche!

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Why Most Entreprenewbies Fail

In the offline business world over 95% of new businesses fail to last 10 years – in the online world the numbers are probably equally dismal. In most cases the cause of these failures is based more on the mindset of the would-be business owners (‘entreprenewbies’) than on all other causes combined. And the problem starts even before the businesses do…

Starting Your Own Business: Why Entreprenewbies Succeed...

Ask 20 people why they want to start their own business and chances are 19 of them, if not all, will tell you it’s because they want to make more money. On the surface that sounds good and solid as a reason, as a goal, right? The problem is that ‘making money’ or even ‘making more money’ is a process, not a goal.

One of the common truisms about starting your own business, online or offline, is that everything takes twice as long as you think and costs twice as much as you expect. That small percentage of entreprenewbies that do succeed are the ones who have the perseverance and motivation to keep fighting after most have given up – those whose dreams are strong enough to keep them going when everyone around them tells them to quit because it’s hopeless.

The necessary traits like dedication, perseverance and motivation are fueled by your desires; the stronger your desire and more firmly you see your ideal future, the stronger your motivation. The key differentiation here is that desire is an emotion – a feeling – and money is simply a resource. So while money is certainly important in everyday life at every level, it doesn’t provide the necessary fuel to keep you motivated through the tough, often brutal, initial business start-up years.

So what then is it that fuels that fire? If money’s not the goal then why is it so crucial to success? What is it that successful entrepreneurs dream of, chase and covet most?

Freedom.

Successful business owners know that money is just a tool – a tool they use to buy their freedom. It’s the one universal, though freedom means different things to different people…

For some, it’s the freedom to buy whatever they want whenever they want. Don’t mix that up with ‘paying off all my debts’ – that’s a negative goal because it keeps you focused on your current debt-laden status. Focus instead on the freedom to buy whatever you want since having all your bills paid off is already inherent in that freedom.

For others it’s the freedom to travel the world and go anywhere, any time the mood strikes them. Whether it’s to explore more business opportunities, to meet exciting new people, visit exotic locales, walk the beaches of the earth or scale the highest summits, the freedom to come and go as you please has always been a great motivator to those with wanderlust!

If you have a family it’s the freedom to give them everything you think they deserve and the freedom to ensure your kids get the best head-start in life with all the advantages you never had.

If you’re single it’s the freedom to meet the people you want to date, to sleep with and eventually the person you want to marry. While it’s probably true that your wit and charm will win them over regardless of your financial situation, ladies without financial freedom will have trouble meeting that sexy guy while he’s playing squash at his $50,000-a-year club. And broke guys eyeing those super-hotties in their string bikinis just won’t be able to afford the poolside lounge beside them at that $1,000-a-night vacation resort…

For sports nuts it’s the freedom to dock your offshore race boat where you please to jet off to the Superbowl, for people who love to read it’s the freedom to choose a house big enough for the library to house your 10,000-book collection. For politicians it’s – well, who cares about politicians anyway?

As you visualize these examples and ponder what those freedoms would feel like to you, one or more probably has your desire starting a slow burn in your gut already. If not, they probably already spawned visions of what would turn you on the same way, right?

That desire is the fuel you need to stay motivated and persevere in your new business no matter what you face along the way. You see, the truth is that successful people aren’t out to build a business, they’re out to build a better life for themselves. It’s easy to decide it’s not worth it and give up on building your own business – but you’ll never want to give up the dream of building a better life for yourself and those you love…

So if you’re thinking about starting your own business, be it an offline business or a home-based business online, start by clearly defining what freedoms are most important to you. Envision your life when you’ve removed all the limits – know exactly how it feels, how it tastes, how it sounds and how it smells. Picture where you live, where and how you work, where you vacation and who is around you – your social circle, your co-workers and/or employees, your friends, lovers and family.

Get a REAL sense of just how much achieving that freedom means to you and you’ll be able to stay motivated and persevere through anything you face when starting your own business, seeing every potential setback as a challenge instead of a problem. And when things do seem to all be conspiring against your success, getting back in touch with that vision of your ultimate freedom will keep you moving ahead at full speed long after the other 95% have given up!

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Are You Ignoring This Important Part Of Your Online Marketing Success?

All over the world, tens or hundreds of thousands of people and companies strive to improve their online marketing results and bottom-line profits. Yet most are oblivious to the importance of one simple part of their Internet marketing toolbox – one of the simplest ways to maximize their chances of success online.

Ask any of these marketers about the importance of their opt-in e-mail lists and the answer will always be that it’s imperative to have an opt-in list – most realize that the size of their targeted e-mail lists is a prime factor in their potential online profits. Daily they struggle to find better ways to drive traffic to their sites and blogs, hoping to increase the size of their lists… After all, one of the most common truisms in the industry is that ‘the money is in the list’.

How they get people to sign up or ‘opt in’ is well known too. It’s a simple enough process – visitors give their e-mail address and agree to receive your e-mails in order to gain access to some gift of perceived value. Most often this gift is a free download (report, video, audio, etc.) or access to an online event or membership site. Those with even a smidgen of experience usually realize that the higher the perceived value of the gift and the more closely-targeted the web traffic, the greater the chance of enticing the visitor to subscribe.

5FigureDays.com Squeeze Page

An effective squeeze page can double or triple your opt-in conversion rates – are YOURS as effective as this free squeeze page from 5FigureDays.com?

Yet armed with all this knowledge and experience, most online marketers take the linchpin of the whole system for granted – to their disadvantage. No matter what your gift is or how you generate web traffic, all forms of online list-building involve an opt-in page. Known in the industry as your ‘squeeze’ page, this is the page that lists the gift and presents your opt-in form. As the only common feature in every list-building campaign you run, its importance is paramount – yet it’s seldom given more than a passing thought as marketers create each new campaign.

Think of it this way… How much effort and expense would it take to double your website traffic arriving at the page? A lot, right? Or to make your free incentive worth twice as much to your prospective subscriber – could you even do that? Yet doubling or even tripling the conversion rate of your squeeze pages can often be accomplished by just a bit of testing and tweaking the design and information presented on it.

No matter what your current website traffic levels are, taking your squeeze page from 10% conversion to 20% will have the same net effect as doubling your existing traffic. If you’re like most online marketers you put an awful lot of your time into getting even incremental increases in traffic. Wouldn’t it seem prudent to spend some time ensuring you’re getting the highest conversions from prospects to subscribers from all that work?

The simplest solution is to create 2 or 3 potential squeeze pages for your offer and use either a link-rotator or a tracking link with a built-in rotator to link to the pages. These let you use a single link for your promotions, sending the first visitor to page 1, the 2nd to page 2, etc. Send it out via a solo ad or similar source and then check your stats to see which page converted best. Then run another test using that design with 2 or 3 versions of the sales copy. If necessary, continue tweaking them until you have a clear winner – then discard the rest and stay with that one as you throw your entire marketing mix at driving traffic to that page.

If that seems like too much time, trouble or cost, think about what it would take to double your current traffic levels and you’ll see this is actually the easiest way to double or triple your opt-in rates. When you think about what doubling the size of your opt-in e-mail lists would do for your profitability you’ll quickly realize you don’t want to ignore this important part of your online marketing success any longer!

There is another option at your disposal – the new 5FigureDays.com site provides free list-building funnels for you to use to build your lists, including professionally-designed squeeze pages to maximize your opt-in conversion rates. Take a look at all they provide, and how their system lets you recruit others to help you build your opt-in lists for free starting right from the day you get your 5FD free membership.

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The ONE Online Resource EVERY Business Should Be Using

Doing business online, generally speaking, can be broken down into 3 types of business: Internet marketing, affiliate marketing and promoting offline businesses online. While all 3 are similar in some ways but differ vastly in others, there is ONE resource I can wholeheartedly recommend to every business – one I’ve used extensively over the years, on an almost daily basis.

Before getting to that, though, let’s paint a picture of what YOUR business needs online, depending on which of the 3 categories it falls into…

Affiliate Marketing
When a would-be entrepreneur decides to start a business online, affiliate marketing is the most-common first step. Affiliate marketers make money promoting other people’s products and services without having to create products of their own, so it’s a logical way to get started online. But they still need web hosting for their blog and opt-in squeeze pages, autoresponders for their e-mail marketing and tracking software so they know what’s working and what isn’t as they try to drive sales online.

This last point is truly important, yet often overlooked. While it’s common for marketers to track the opens and clicks from their e-zine, many aren’t tracking clicks generated by their blog posts, guest posts, article marketing and/or social media efforts. If you don’t know where your traffic, especially your buyers, are coming from, how can you know where to focus more of your time and money versus what you should tone down or eliminate altogether from your marketing mix?

Internet Marketing
Those involved in Internet marketing usually also do some affiliate marketing as well, and as such use those same resources. But whether they’re marketing in the mainstream Internet marketing field or focusing on niche marketing, they’re also creating products – e-books, audios, videos, graphics, etc. So they need hosting for salespages, download pages, the products themselves, etc., meaning they usually have multiple websites and domains. Many also run membership sites, meaning they need the software to manage memberships, allow access, etc. As their online business grows, add to that the need for a customer support desk and an affiliate program so that others can promote their products too.

Promoting Offline Businesses Online
Unlike Internet marketing or affiliate marketing, promoting an offline business online doesn’t necessarily involve selling products online – often the goal is simply to drive footfalls into physical stores, known as local marketing. For that style of online promotion, often only a website or blog is used, although more marketing-savvy offline businesses will also use autoresponders to build a targeted list of prospects and buyers. This is especially true for those in service industries, tourism, etc.

For those in wholesale and retail businesses, often the web is used for both – to drive new and repeat customers into their physical location AND to sell products online, either for business-to-business sales or business-to-consumer sales. These hybrid marketing models require all the same resources as discussed for Internet marketing above.

Your All-In-One Solution For Online Marketing & Promotion
By now you can see how many different resources are needed for marketing online, and you can imagine how confusing it can be getting all of these services piecemeal from a variety of suppliers – not to mention how expensive all of these separate service providers are each month. But as I mentioned at the outset, there IS one resource that solves this problem: A provider that has bundled all of these services into one extremely-affordable package…

The eBusiness Automation Center - Your one-stop resource for every business online.

The eBusiness Automation Center has bundled and integrated secure web hosting, professional autoresponders, affiliate program management software, contact form software and ad tracking software, then added in everything from product download protection and shopping cart software to a PDF e-book generator and brander system. Not only does that give you just one site to deal with to get all that, but think of how much shorter your learning curve is when all of your required services are tied together in one bundle for you!

Best of all, no matter how diligent you are in sourcing each of these tools individually, you’d be hard-pressed to get professional tools from separate providers for anywhere near as reasonable a rate – if you could even come close or only needed 3 or 4 of these resources. The eBusiness Automation Center plans start at just $29.95 a month for all of the resources we’ve discussed, including autoresponders, memberships and affiliates up to 25,000 each. And should you ever reach the level where you can exceed those limits, room for each additional 10,000 opt-ins, members and affiliates is only another $10 a month.

The full list of features and pricing is online here, and if you take action on this today you’ll also get your first month for under $5 and lock in your chosen plan’s pricing for life – no surprises for you if they raise the rates down the road… Which, with all they offer, they really SHOULD have done a long time ago – but don’t tell them I said that, just mention that I said you’d get your first month for under five bucks! 😉

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How To Create Products That Sell

It’s easy for people to tell you that the secret to creating a successful product is to find a need and fill it – and a great many courses and e-books boil down to just that. As a result, most new products, physical or virtual, fail.

So assuming you have found a legitimate need to fill, what’s the real issue? Either your product doesn’t really fill the need or, more likely, you’re not getting the message across in your marketing. There’s an art to creating new products and marketing them effectively – fortunately it’s an easy skill to master if you go about it correctly…

The trick is to create your marketing first, then create the product.

Create Your Marketing First

Think about it for a minute… You’ve done your market research and you know the problem your target market is facing, and you’ve got a great idea for a product to match their needs and wants. Most people will rush into creating the product then figure out how to market it – but as you’re creating the product, how do you know it’s going to sell? People have already created that ‘better mousetrap’, but the bulk of the market still uses the wooden board and copper spring.

Don’t fall into that trap. Since you’ve identified the need, create the perfect marketing campaign tightly focused on the wants and needs of your intended market. If you’re running a brick and mortar business, decide whether the product is best suited to newspaper and magazine advertising, radio and TV marketing, online advertising or flyers and brochures. Decide on your preferred marketing mix and create the first draft of your print ads, commercial storyboards, online salespage and flyer & brochure layout. If you’re running an online business, write your salespage, your salesletter e-mail followups and design your affiliate resources.

In either case, the idea is to craft a great advertising campaign for EXACTLY the product this market is waiting for – the ideal solution to their wants and needs. Show that you understand what they’re facing and the inherent problems that creates for them. Let them know that’s exactly WHY this solution was needed and WHY you created this new product (or had it created). List each of the problems they’re facing, discuss HOW your new product eliminates each of those problems and how each of those features benefits the lives of the purchasers.

Give this section a lot of thought. Read back over the list of problems your prospects face – what more could the product do to help them? And think about what that target market likes – if it’s a physical product, do they want a variety of colors to choose from? If it’s a digital product, would it be more appealing if there was an audio or video version included? Throw in everything but the kitchen sink – anything you can think of that’s appropriate to the product, market and your intended price point – promise them whatever it would reasonably take to make their purchase a true no-brainer. An offer so strong you’d buy it yourself – or might even consider buying even if you didn’t really need it…

If you’re in a position to, run the marketing campaign by a focus group from your target market; if not, run it by some of your peers and contacts to solicit their feedback. If they’re helpful, add their suggestion to your sales message. Remember, this is just a first draft for your marketing materials so they don’t need to be polished – just complete.

Done? Wonderful – you now have the blueprint for everything your new product needs. Create the product that goes with your ads, delivers on every promise your sales materials describe. Then add in 2 or 3 helpful features not mentioned in the ads – always overdeliver on your promises!

You’ll find it much easier to create that product now, since the exact description already exists, and much easier to stay on track during production. And once it’s done, your marketing materials only need to be polished – all the vital details and sizzle are already done. Turn your roughs over to your ad agency or delve in yourself and knock them out.

And smile – you just created your first – or your next – product that sells!

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