By Marlon Sanders
Are you looking for an Internet business formula that actually works?
See if this makes sense to you: There are 6 basic ways to get dough online:
1. Promote affiliate products
2. Google adsense
3. Sell a service
4. Sell advertising
5. Sell physical products (think ebay)
6. Sell information
You’ll notice that the last 4 all involve selling something. That’s the approach I wanna talk to you about today.
I did a survey with my Milcers and Alist members. I found out that most of them are still stuck to a degree in getting things going.
I want to give you an abbreviated action plan that I spend 100 pages elaborating on in “Gimme My Money Now” and that the icons walk you through in “The Marketing Dashboard”.
There are MANY Formulas out there. Here’s the Marlon Sanders Formula in a nutshell. So many of you have written and said, “I need a Formula. I need step-by-step.” This is the big picture:
1. Find demand
2. Write sales letter
3. Create info product to meet demand
4. Roll out with affiliate program
Here’s what I found out from my survey. Most of you guys and gals have jobs that you want to escape from. You have bills and debts to pay.
And most of you are coming into this without a lot of prior knowledge of marketing and some of you have limited computer skills.
Based on that, do you think it’s safe for me to say it’s unrealistic to think you’re going to quickly and easily become a zillionaire? Well, it’s true. If you have no background in sales and marketing, and you don’t have very good computer skills, you have a learning curve ahead of you and that takes time.
HERE’S HOW I PERSONALLY DID IT
I remember when I was broke and bought deodorant with all pennies. But what I did was kept learning and didn’t expect easy nor overnight results.
I kept buying books when I could afford them. There were no cheap and easy ebooks back then. I could have done it
10 times faster if I had access to all the information available today.
Anyway, my way out was self education. And action. I kept doing little projects to put what I learned into ACTION.
I ran this one little business where you sold booklets using answering machines. You didn’t have voice mail then. So I had 3 answering machines hooked up in my home (my friends hated it).
I ran these little ads in what we call in the U.S. “penny shoppers.” These are little papers given away for free that are all classified ads.
I ended up running ads in 72 cities! And people would leave their name and address on the answering machines. I shipped the books C.O.D. Half the books came back. It was sorta like paying out 50% affiliate commissions.
You didn’t have Paypal or easy merchant accounts in those days. So you had to do C.O.D. I sold $12,000 of books via “mail order.” And I was exhilerated to do so. I think at the end of the day I probably LOST money.
But I sure learned a lot.
Then AOL and CompuServe came along and I started writing sales letters and running ads on there. You’d run a little classified ad (they were free on AOL). People would email you.
Since autoresponders didn’t exist, you’d personally email them back your “free report.” Since there weren’t any PDF’s then (at least, that I knew of), the free report was a long email.
The “big trick” my friend Jonathan Mizel taught back then was to put their name in the return email! That was a big secret back then.
Mizel, me, others all learned copywriting from Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples. That was like one of 4 or 5 books on copywriting. But you know what? We wrote some pretty good sales letters back then. I first met Jonathan Mizel ’cause he sent me one of his sales letters, and I thought it was good. So I wrote and asked him where he learned to write copy.
Of course, he said “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples. So we were immediate friends.
AOL was great. You could test out your little ads, emails and sales letters. I don’t even think in those days we sent out follow up emails.
As far as I know, my friend the late Corey Rudl created the demand for autoresponders when he wrote about how he brought in all this money by automatically emailing buyers 4 days later.
It was only after that someone was smart enough to create an autoresponder. Corey’s stuff was hand coded. Gosh, I miss Corey. And I reckon you’ve been in this business a long time when you see your friends move on to the next great adventure.
Somewhere in this timeline (it all escapes me), I had a little retail store selling self help books and tapes. The first thing newbies think to sell online is either diet stuff or self help.
Man, self help is a tough sell. Both Dan Kennedy and I had self development stores. And we both lost bux on ’em. But I did have the chance to write and send out a few sales letters. And since I often didn’t have the money to print and mail letters, I’d call ’em on the phone.
I found out that just by calling people, I could say ANYTHING and I’d STILL get a lot of people coming in for the next 3 weeks.
That’s the power of staying in contact with your customers.
Anyway, I could go on with this story. I’ve told the rest of it in bits and pieces in different places.
What are you supposed to get out of this?
Dan Kennedy I think had a path kinda like mine. And what he said once is profound. He said, “I became an overnight success after 20 years of effort.”
Now, I’m NOT saying you need 20 years of effort. You don’t. But neither is 20 minutes a week gonna do much for ya.
Most of the people I’ve seen make it in this business do so after trying things that didn’t work. And they kept on trying. And sooner or later, somethin’ clicked.
I think I shoulda called this article, “Sooner or Later, Something Clicked.”
So you got a job that sucks. You got bills that are stacked up. Hopefully you can buy deodorant with something other than pennies like me in the old days.
So what do YOU do?
My friend, I’d personally tell ya to do what I did. Fall in love with the process more than the immediate fixation of “I gotta make this work now or the whole thing is a scam.”
What you’re learning is marketing.
And that’ll benefit you your whole life. It can help you get your son or daughter or friend a job. It can help you raise money for your Church or charity. It can help you promote an idea whose time has come.
See, a LOT of people say, “I feel like I’ve just wasted my #*$&* money on stuff.”
I my response is, “Then you don’t understand what you’re learning. No wonder things haven’t clicked for you yet.”
See, this isn’t about gimmicks. It isn’t about you figuring out how to trick people into buying with magic words. It isn’t about fooling the search engines into stickin’ your stuff at the top. If you do this business the way I teach it, it’s about learning marketing. And yeah, I said the dirty 5-letter word — LEARN. You can paint it up. You can put perfume on it. You can sell the sizzle not the steak.
But my friend, what you’re doin’ is learning. And like my friend Jim Edwards says, “That isn’t something you microwave.”
“So Marlon, tell me how long this is gonna take and how much I’m gonna make when I’m done?”
Rule 1: People learn at different rates, so no one knows.
Rule 2: You’ll never be done.
Rule 3: It depends on what you sell, who you sell to, how much you charge, what your margin is and how often they buy.
Some people like Russ Brunson get in this business, do it part time between classes in college and go great guns with it. Russ was one of my top affiliates. But he figured out this business so quickly, before I knew it he had his own line of highly successful products. More power to him!
Others are like me and take like 10 or 20 years to learn it. What’s average? Average is not doing anything, therefore not learning anything, therefore the bills pile higher and the job gets tougher.
“Well, if you can’t tell me how much I’m gonna make, how long it’s gonna take and how much it’s gonna cost me, then I think this whole thing is a scam.”
To say that is to say you believe marketing is a scam. Because at least the way I teach it, that’s what you’re learning.
What’s my advice?
Think of the best info product idea you know how to come up with. Interview some experts and record it. Or have a friend interview you. Do a little 3-hour product, write a sales letter for it. And see if anyone buys.
If they don’t buy, guess what? You asked the market a question and the market answered.
You asked the market, “Do you want to buy this?” And the market responded, “No, not in the way you’re presenting it to me.”
Your choice is to present it differently or do another product. Along the way hopefully you learn some things about how to find out what people want, how to get ’em to buy, how to fulfill products, write letters, create sales pages and so forth.
Honestly, in the DOING, you’ll learn a lot more than you’ll ever learn in the reading. You ask. The market answers. You learn along the way.
But if you’re a spectator and you never get in the game, I can guarantee you one rock solid thing: You’ll never win the game if you aren’t in it.
This is a great business. It isn’t for everyone. It sure isn’t a way to become a zillionaire overnight. Maybe after 5, 10 or 20 years you hit that zillion and you’re the next John Reese or Jeff Walker.
I don’t think everyone should be in this business. If you don’t wanna figure anything out yourself, if you don’t wanna learn how to solve problems, if you don’t wanna learn more things about html and the computer than you really wanna know, if you can’t tolerate risk, if you need your first attempt to be a success, or even your first 3 or 4, then I don’t know, if you can’t afford to spend money on learning and education, if you can’t afford to try things that don’t work, if you think it should all be simple and easy, I don’t know if this industry is for you.
A lot of people get seduced by the lure of ez dough. The promises of zillions without learning. Just connect the dots and you too can be John Reese, Marlon Sanders or whoever you wanna choose.
Here’s the deal: People WILL sell you a turnkey system to escape your job, make zillions or whatever. They’ll give you the fish. I want to teach you TO FISH.
I have a strong belief that unless you buy a franchise, in most cases your going to better off learning marketing than “buying a fish.” There are exceptions. But more often than not, buying a fish doesn’t serve you well.
Some of my friends would disagree with that premise. I happen to have a strong conviction that you are better off learning marketing. My friends are RIGHT in that people DO want to buy the fish versus learn how to catch it. So oftentimes, you’re best off selling a “fish” product.
But everybody has their perspectives. And for me, my criteria for buying a product: If whatever “IT” is doesn’t “pan out” for you, are you STILL better off from having spent money on it? Will it continue to benefit you, your family or your friends in the future?
If the answer is NO, then think twice before spending your money.
You have a job you wanna escape, bills to pay off, retirement to prepare for. Or special needs like a sick loved one. Or a sickness yourself.
I can’t promise you ez zillions. There’s no integrity in that.
I can’t promise you 6 figures a year ez as pie.
What I CAN promise you is that selling products works. It’s no scam. People been doin’ it for thousands of years.
I can promise you that marketing works. Always has. Always will.
I can promise you that money and time spent learning marketing can pay off in many ways.
I can promise you that if you find demand, meet it with products and well-executed promotions, and you do that over time, those bills will likely fade away.
I can promise you that everybody on the Net selling you this or that “dough making system” ALL have 1 thing in common — THEY are selling you a product, service or seminar.
They have a target market.
They have an intro offer.
They have a back end.
I believe in paying more attention to what people DO than what they SAY.
People get all confused what to DO. And there’s a new system invented every day that’s the next big thing. Thank God. I love commerce.
But to remove the confusion, understand this:
They all may disagree on HOW you make money. But one thing is certain: They’re making bux selling a product to a target market — YOU!
Go and do thou likewise.
I remember back then. When I bought deodorant with all pennies.
I remember the date I had with a model in a car that smoked like a bomb.
And to me, there’s no confusion. It’s all crystal. It’s all simple. Take away the smoke. Take away the mirrors.
You need a product. You need people who want it with the money to buy it. You need some great promo out there.
There’s only ONE method people having using to pay their bills and quit their jobs for the past 1,000 years —
Selling products and services to a target market with a great sales pitch that presents benefits and solves problems.
I know you want more details on how. How do you find target markets? How do you identify demand? How, how, how.
You wanna quit that job? You wanna liquidate that debt? I don’t have an ez zillion for you. But I do have a crystal clear answer.
Find a group of people. Find out what they need and want. Meet those wants with a product. Provide great service.
And who knows. Maybe. Someday. If the stars shine down on you, you’ll hit that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Marlon Sanders is the author of “The Amazing Formula That Sells Products Like Crazy.” If you’d like to get on his mailing list and receive tips, articles and information about online marketing, visit: http://www.marlonsblog.com
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