After being a part of helping and observing thousands of people succeed (or fail) online I have detected some strong trends. Call me crazy, but you can’t prove me wrong on any of these.
1. Affiliate marketing IS NOT a business
Perhaps my most controversial point of the 7, but I’m not the one who said it first. One of the richest affiliate marketers of our time said it. Find the proof here.
2. Those of us who stuck it out with eBay are still making a lot of money. Amazon.com is full of opportunity too. It’s the “boring” stuff that really works.
I’m banking more than ever on eBay, and teaching others to do the same. Sure, it’s only a portion of my online income, but it’s steady! When in doubt head to where all the buying traffic is. I still love eBay and love Amazon more all the time as an income geneartor.
3. Yes, you have been making others rich buying all those courses, membership sites and ebooks.
The good news is, you know more than you realize. The solution? Go after some low hanging fruit. This blog post spells out where I think the low fruit is.
4. You don’t start with a website or even a “great” product. You need an audience first.
This blog post will get you thinking correctly about how to find and grow an audience as your FIRST focus.
5. Every new “marketing opportunity” that has come along since email marketing took hold has fallen in one of these three categories: 1. a fad that has (or likely will soon) pass, 2. is best used to grow your email mailing list (i.e. social media), or 3. has been a barely more than a waste of time entirely from day one. (The only possible exception to these three rules is mobile marketing)
6. Your skills don’t matter as much as you think they do.
Stop chasing skills and start building systems. Learn to outsource work to the highest performing/lowest price option. People with skills work for rich people with ideas. Possible exception: The only possible “skill” you are likely to ever need to succeed online.
7. Relationships rule (not content).
Use your real name, show your face, and help people make hard decisions with the content you create. Sure, I’m a fan of great content (what other kind is worth your effort?), but relationships earn you the right to even present your message. Here’s a video of what happens when a bunch of people trust your advice because you’ve built a relationship (watch me earn $7K in a day in that short video).
8. Over-delivering REALLY pays off. Under-delivering is death online.
I call it irrational generosity. Notice I promised 7 harsh lessons. This eighth one is important. Every customer who thinks your are amazing will tell potentially HUNDREDS of people. Amaze your customers even if it’s expensive.
Please leave me a comment using the link at the top of this article. I want to know your favorite, or if you think I’m wrong or left something off the list.
While writing this article I asked my Facebook followers to chime in their ideas. Here’s what some of them said were the hard lessons they are learning. You are NOT alone if you are thinking any of these things!
Please JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Leave a comment.
Tom J Curtis Sometimes the gold is at the very bottom of where you are looking, but most people give up either way before the gold or a quarter inch from it. They’re quick to abandon what seems to not be working when all it takes is one more punch through that last quarter inch of conflict and…JACKPOT!!! I speak of my own experience of course.
Jose Lukes Trying to roll out your online biz until it is just “perfect”. If I had waited until every online biz venture I took was perfect, I would have never had any success.
Tom J CurtisBy the way Jim, I love this post. No sugar coating from you. People deserve to know that it takes good old fashion rolling up the sleeves and going to work to make anything online or off work in this world. There’s definite glory and joy to be had on the other side of it but not after paying the price, which price is unique to each person, there’s a price to pay nonetheless. I do believe there’s an enchants life once that price is paid…until the next set of challenges of course. But that’s where real accomplishment is found.
Roy Pickens Do not accept a set back as failure. Quitters never win and winners never quit.
Tom J Curtis That’s why you’re the real deal and I’ve always enjoyed that about you. I think that’s the only way people can build genuine relationships life. Especially with list building…the more authentic the person building it, the more quality the list.
I’ve learned so much over the last year. I’ve learned it’s not the size of the list, but the quality. It’s a matter of creating raving fans from genuine, personalized content. You are the front runner Jim.
Roy Pickens That it takes more than a big pretty website. One of my first misconceptions.
Amitav BorahThe biggest point & one of the most common… Stop jumping from one project to another…and just concentrating on One and only One….and finish it up!! & Also..Never Quit!!..even if you fail the first second or third time….. Keep moving until you get it ! Be Stubborn…Be Persistent!
Marlo J McCarthy It’s easy to spend every dime you have learning from brilliant “gurus” but if you never take the jump and apply what you’ve learned it is all time and money wasted.
Marlo J McCarthy….incidentally – an excellent program can set you on the right path – I’ve just known too many wantrepreneurs that keep buying different programs but when it’s time to apply and work, they buy the next shiny program.
Martin Hurley ability to focus on one set goal until achieved
Andrew J Titcombe Even if you believe the claims that the “gurus” make it is absolutely no good to you financially unless you are prepared to work. 10% inspiration 90% perspiration comes to mind. THEIR money is safe in THEIR bank Their claims don’t make YOU rich!
Win Thomas A lot of it has already been mentioned. I would agree that keeping focused on one project and not being ‘seduced’ by the next life changing programme to come along, until you’ve completed it. Stay focused. Listen to people like yourself Jim who have integrity and practice what they preach.
Nikki Stephens FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful.
Follows on from what some above have said – perseverance is key, & you won’t find success simply by buying into lots of different courses.
Dave Stevens When you wake up asking how can you help people rather than asking how I can make some money .
Michael Markuson Focus and Perseverance! Never Give up!
Jamie Smith Don’t believe the hype or the squeeze pages with “who else wants to put $25,987 in their bank account tonight with my black ops super secret CIA affiliate mega bomb success course that literally shoots thousands of dollars into your account effortlessly”. “click below to buy it for the limited time price of $1497″ and p.s. blah blah blah and p.p.s. blah blah blah
Todd Fetters You absolutely have to have a mentor who has succeeded online with a business that doesn’t sell how to be successful in an online biz. Find someone who is proven to succeed on their own before they became a teacher. I have taken the last 6 months away from this business just to clear my thoughts and regroup. It would be great to have a pool of resources to utilize so an idea can become a reality. Jim-you are definitely one of the few who has an amazing reputation in a business full of not so honest people. Then again, every business where money can be made is no different. Thanks for holding to your core values!
Doug Kramer You will be distracted before you are successful.
Joseph Carducci I think the biggest lessons are: 1) Be very very selective in who you follow and listen to (and keep this to a short list, at least in the beginning to avoid distractions) 2) Concentrate on something that you have passion for so that you will actually enjoy doing it (although be careful to do solid research ensuring it is a viable market) 3) While following a few selected “mentors” or trainers, still learn to think and decide for yourself (just because Frank Kern is doing something does not mean it is the right thing, tip or tactic for YOUR business)….this last one took me the longest to really get (and I still need to constantly remind myself)!
Have an ebook you want to use to grow an email mailing list?
Good news: No website needed and it will cost only a few dollars to get started
Have a question or feedback? Leave a comment on this blog post – I’m happy to help out.
I’ve caught some flack lately for my stance on SEO.
To me nearly all SEO efforts are the art and science of trying to stay one step ahead of Google in order to get undeserving websites a higher ranking than they deserve. A great way to avoid all of that nonsense is to NOT CARE and NOT RELY on your Google rank. If you do rank well occasionally, it’s a bonus. If you don’t rank well don’t worry about it. Just use my proven Four C formula below.
Are you curious how much time I’ve spent working on, thinking about and paying people to assist me with SEO? Ready for the total?
And yet (to grab one example), SilentSalesMachine.com (a simple one page website with a google pagerank of 5) gets loads of organic, search engine traffic. This is because people talk about it, they link to it, and it’s a great book according to the “crowd”.
Ready for the Four C’s?
I choose to create fantastic content that starts conversations and then the crowds find me every time. (I’ll call it my four C’s)
Each time I have an audience online paying attention to me I offer them the option of getting on my email list so I can contact them later with other stuff they might love (email marketing). Yep – it’s all that simple.
If you are spending your time, money, energy or heaven forbid you are building your career around figuring out ways to get Google “Love” for websites that only deserve Google “slight affection” (or worse), then I say embrace the 4 C formula now and only spend your money and time with people that get it.
Keep in mind this trend while you are making up your mind:
The Internet is increasingly LESS and LESS about “websites” and it’s more and more about RELATIONSHIPS, PEOPLE, TRUST and COMMUNITIES.
Being good at tricking google is not a skill that will get you through life much longer if I’m right.
Now, click the comment button and tell me all the reasons I’m nuts (I’m serious – I want your best shot!)
SilentSalesMachine.com was my first “big hit” ebook back in 2002 and I’ve just released the 7th update.
I’m rolling it out to loyal fans – many of which have read EVERY version!
What’s this book about?
Quite simply, it’s about what works NOW and what doesn’t work NOW online. It’s about where to get started and what to avoid. It’s the story of my success online and the success of thousands of others that I’ve taught, but better yet, it’s how you can do it as well.
Yes it’s true- thousands of people have used past versions of this book to launch their online income streams.
Here are the details on the “Silent Sales Machine 7.0″ ebook update:
If you are a long time loyal reader of “Silent Sales Machine” I have a favor to ask though:
Ready to pick it up at the $5 launch price?
Have a question, comment feedback etc.? Please leave a comment using the comment button above! We will publish all comments that others might find useful, but if you have a private question you can leave it here as well and we’ll respond to the email address you leave us.
P.S. Want to get paid to tell your friends about this book on facebook etc.? Check out the affiliate info at the bottom of the SilentSalesMachine.com page.
This book is STILL at the top of the charts for all Marketing books in the world thanks to your support!
The background on this book: The publisher is the “For Dummies” publisher – Wiley and Sons - and they asked me in late 2012 to write a book about how to START or GROW a business (or spread and idea, a cause, an organization etc.) using free and virtually free marketing ideas centering on Internet based strategies.
After a year of hard work this book was the result.
What made me qualified to write this?
From the perspective of the publisher I’d achieved something that many others would like to accomplish. I’d grown multiple successful and creative online businesses…and had done it WITHOUT ever needing to invest a wad of cash. In the rare instances where I did spend any money it was either on inventory that would quickly sell for very nice profits, or it was nominal expenses like $5 for a video, or $30 to have a long audio transcribed into writing etc.
I’ve been a ravenous consumer of effective and “Free Marketing” concepts for over 25 years.
From here forward I’m considering the self appointed title of: “World’s Foremost Expert on Free Marketing Ideas”. You like it? ;0)
Seriously though – the book is CRAMMED with my best ideas and the first few dozen reviews are all RAVING. It’s so stuffed with great ideas that they asked me to shorten it but I refused. Since they initially asked if I had 100 ideas to fill such a book and I agreed…I decided to deliver those 100+ ideas on MY terms.
The final product is the best ideas from my nearly decade of success online. It’s not a cover to cover type of book though. Whether you have five minutes or six hours to spend with this book I hope you’ll walk away inspired (that was my goal).
100% of the author proceeds from book sales go to “Hope Village” – a ministry that teaches financial independence to budding inner-city entrepreneurs.
I can sniff out winning ideas like a bomb sniffing dog on caffeine. It’s a gift and a curse, but I tried to capture that way of thinking and put it all into a single book.
Click the book image or visit 101freemarketing.com for more info.
Want to see the reviews from readers? Click Here for Amazon’s Reader Reviews Page
Finally, here’s my invitation to you to help spread the word about this book. I also explain where the proceeds are going (I’m not keeping them). You’ll also see a video of my wife, kids and I seeing the book for the first time ever just a few days before it hit store shelves – it was a fun family moment!
Have a question? Leave a comment below and someone will help you out.
In our first week using the ideas in Free Marketing, we posted some astounding numbers (for us, anyway). We set a record for monthly visits to our content site in only seven days and reached more than 6,000 people through social media and our email newsletter.
While we’re still ramping up, this quick start is proof enough that the techniques in Free Marketing really work. Here’s what we did last week:
1. Published daily posts at http://livingtodayforward.com
2. Shared posts via social media and used Facebook’s promote feature
3. Emailed our first weekly newsletter to our contacts thanks to a gmail export
In the next two months, we’ll keep doing with daily posts and weekly newsletter and post 16 videos to YouTube and Vimeo, publish two Kindle books, and introduce our re-designed web application. Based on the last week, I have no doubt that this combination will produce outstanding results as we move forward.
Thanks for writing such a useful and timely book!
Read even more great stories below!