If you’ve been reading my advice for very long you’ve heard me say stuff like, “The best use of Facebook is to grow your email list.”
I caught a lot of negative feedback when I first said that a few years ago!
The fact is though, I’ve been saying the same stuff for years now, and the list of experts who are calling me “nuts” is slowly shrinking.
Here’s my latest supporting evidence from a $500 report recently published by Forrester Research (Forrester.com). The title of the report is “The Purchase Path Of Online Buyers In 2012″. This research study followed 77,000+ online purchase transactions and concluded (among many other findings) that:
And what about my claim that Facebook never has been a tool for driving sales and is now fading?
In this recent article Facebook admits that it is losing appeal and sees rough waters ahead. A little research could produce many more such articles.
If you want to be in the game long term you’d better be growing your email list and providing that list quality content that they can’t wait to read. If you want to be found on the search engines IGNORE SEO and just create quality content that’s “shareable”.
Check out my comprehensive $7 video course that shows you all I know about email marketing.
*To read more of my thoughts about getting found on Search Engines check out the other blog posts in the “SEO” section of my blog, or read my SilentSalesMachine.com book for more info.
Did you hear about the single mom with a small struggling business who just kicked Coca-Cola’s butt out of her territory? This is an awesome story with a great lesson about the power of EMAIL MARKETING and SOLID ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS via social media and customer engagement.
Make no mistake – this would be a VERY different story if it weren’t for EMAIL MARKETING and SOLID ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS.
Here’s a video of the short story (sorry for the 6 second ad that I couldn’t remove). Take special note of the ONLY action this single mom took (at the 2:10 mark in the video) that started an avalanche of support and lead to her eventual victory.
In conclusion there are two lessons:
1. Grow your email list & expand your online influence.
2. Don’t skip any of my blog posts!
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!)