What happens when you develop a product, get approval from JVZoo, Warrior Plus, ClickBank or put it on your website but yet to have made a sale? Or maybe you saw something that sells well in one market, so you try it in your market and nada. No sale. You think you have a good product, you worked hard at it and after all you got approval. But approval doesn’t mean that you make sales. So, what could be the problem? Well, here are a few hints.
1. Do you have an audience for your product?
Contrary to public opinion people don’t buy for your reason’s they buy for their reasons. A corollary to this is ‘we don’t sell anything, people buy.’ Unless we understand why people might want our product, we won’t sell anything. We can market the heck out of it, but people will still not purchase. No matter how much we have invested both personally and professionally, if you don’t have an audience for your product you are not going to sell it. This can be an emotional let down but it will be a lessoned well learned as we move onto the next product.
2. Are you solving a problem that people want solved?
I learned this many years ago when I had an excellent tool for measuring knowledge worker’s effectiveness along eight distinct processes. The product was tested worked well and I used it to assess over 200 individuals with specific reference to their openness to learning. I knew it worked. But when I went to sell it, I found some disturbing results. I didn’t sell one Profile. Not one. When I did a bit of research, I found that:
3. Are you using the right keywords?
Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. For example, if you were searching to buy an eBook on goal setting, you might type something like, ‘SMART goals,’ ‘aspirational goals,’ ‘personal goals,’ ‘goals that work’ ‘how to write goals,’ into Google or YouTube. Even though your phrases consist of more than one word, it is still considered as a keyword.
4. Are you presenting with emotion?
People buy for emotional reasons. This is related to people having a problem that needs a solution. For example, they may be frustrated, stressed, discouraged, anxious, or concerned. These emotions point to ‘pain points’ so your copy needs to address ways that alleviate the pressures or the ‘pain’ they are feeling.
5. Do you appreciate the difference between marketing and selling?
Marketing is about educating your audience about your product and what it can do for them. Selling is closing the deal. Often we don’t prepare the marketplace for the product and just expect that people will buy. This is particularly true when you are introducing something new to the marketplace. Number 2 above is a perfect example of this. I tried to sell before the market was ready for my ‘great’ solution.
6. Do you know the difference between relationship selling and transactional selling?
The latter is straight forward selling, for example. “I have a headache (my problem) do you sell aspirins (solution)?” “Yes, they are right over there on the second shelf.” This is a simple quick sell.
A relational sell is long term and a bit more complicated. Most internet marketers have a list that they have nurtured for a long time before selling anything. They have developed a relationship with their customers or ‘buyers’ even though they haven’t met them. In other words, they warm up their customers before selling a product. This is particularly true if you are selling using Facebook.
Using Facebook is all about relationship selling and requires much preparation before attempting a sell, even then the call to action is often soft rather than a hard sell. My experience is that friends buy on Facebook only if I have known them before hand or I have become friends with people I never met after a lot of likes, loves, and comments. Really you can’t do ‘transactional selling’ on Facebook unless you are prepared to spend a lot of money on ads and even then it is iffy.
7. Have you done your market research?
Here we need to clearly understand who we are marketing and selling to. Your product might be the best thing ‘since sliced bread’ but if you don’t have a market for it you won’t sell it.
8. How do you Brand your product?
There are many things about branding that are important, but here are a few points that filter to the top.
9. Don’t get discouraged.
Keep to your vision. Keep working on your goals. And, keep developing products based on lessons learned.
There are very few internet marketers who have succeeded the first time and many internet marketers give up just before they find their own ‘secret sauce.’ Statistics show that 90% or more don’t make it. And many of those that don’t make it fail to realize that they are within an inch of making it.
Again, based on my real-life experience, I have developed over 50 training products and delivered some of them once because a company wanted it. I thought ‘boy this is a good training program for others.” Unfortunately, they didn’t go anywhere.
Yes, this can be discouraging but don’t let it get you down. Affirm yourself that you are on the right tract, continue to share your experiences with others and they will help you, find an experienced coach who will guide you. Build on your experience, tweak your product or begin another based on what you have learned. The bottom line, internet marketing as a solopreneur can be a lonely undertaking but it needn’t be because those with more positive experiences are willing to help.
By the way whatever happened to that Profile product I tried to sell in #2 above. I regrouped. I did more work in preparing the marketplace, repackaged it, and in the meantime used the product in my own practice. Owners began to see how it could be used in their company and after a couple of years they began to buy. Funny how that works eh?
If you wish to receive a free eBook on Branding CLICK HERE.
As always, keep well, stay safe and become the person you were meant to be!
Your personal growth and development matters.
Thanks for reading,
Over the years I have assisted hundreds of budding entrepreneurs in getting started in their businesses. Our Business Development course included everything one needed to know to establish a business. We began by assessing the individual to determine whether they were open to learning, what skills they had to bring to the business table, what their attitude towards business was, and whether their lifestyle was conducive to the hard work of opening a business. We worked with them to develop a business plan, supported them as they learned to get their business off the ground, and even worked with them to obtain business loans from the bank.
We know that many people start a business without such support. Our studies showed that only 35% of those who started a business were no longer in business five years later. We found that our business support and coaching catapulted new business owners to an 85% success rate after five years. This percentage increase is not unusual as others who provided business training and coaching had the same result.
Many of the businesses we worked with started as “Mom and Pop” operations and others were solopreneurs. The age range included hose in their twenties to those in their fifties. The gender was a mix of male and female, and the geographic location was both rural and city.
Almost all of these new business owners wanted to establish a ‘bricks and mortar’ business, hire employees, and contribute to their communities. They were budding entrepreneurs in the traditional sense.
Here Comes the New Kid
I tell this short story because traditionally that is generally how people viewed business development. A business meant a local grocery, furniture, or bookstore. It meant some form of industry where products were made, marketed, and sold. It meant a place where people went to purchase goods and services.
Then something happened. It was the development of the internet. A new breed of entrepreneurs began to emerge.
Don’t get me wrong here. “Bricks and mortar” types of businesses are here to stay, but they too are undergoing a transformational change and have an internet outreach. Many are hybrids where they serve both local customers and have outreached their products and services beyond their boarders.
Then there are companies that have understood the changing nature of the buying public and developed a massive internet presence like Amazon, eBay, Apple, and many others. Unfortunately, many large retail businesses didn’t adjust fast enough to meet the new emerging internet buyer phenomenon and have since closed their doors.
Now we are seeing a new kid on the block, the virtual solopreneur. Virtual solopreneurs don’t want a ‘bricks and mortar’ business they want an ‘internet marketing’ business where their community of customers come from communities scattered throughout the world rather than from their local marketplace. They operate from their laptop. They are affiliates of Amazon, software companies and businesses that have a strong internet presence. They write eBooks, training programs, and develop apps and software that make it easier for people to make “money-on-line.” They work primarily alone but the successful ones’ have a strong network of mentors and colleagues from around the world. Many have administrative support, some from their own family, others hail from other countries and are connected virtually with the solopreneur.
The past five years has seen an increase in the number of solopreneurs. The picture presented is like the “phoenix arising from the ashes.” People are adjusting to a new reality. Their place of work has changed dramatically and many no longer have jobs because their workplace went bankrupt or closed for other reasons. And in the past year they have been laid-off because of COVID-19 and have had time to think about their life and the virtual opportunities available to them.
Another reason why people are moving towards virtual solopreneurship relates to the workplace itself. To be sure there are those who claim that they do not fit within a structured work environment but increasingly there is an unsettling number emerging. They are those who have relationship difficulties with their boss or manager-minder.
Many businesses are struggling with how to lead and manage their workforce. Owners and managers continue to work within a command-and-control style rather than with the flexibility and employee engagement needed for today’s work environment. Most employees are rebelling against this by ‘striking out on their own’ and turning to the freedom that Internet Marketing offers.
But we are noticing a troubling problem. We are learning that just like those who wanted to start a business in the past where 35% failed and 85% succeeded with support, we are now witnessing a high percentage failure rate among virtual solopreneurs. That rate varies from 90% to 98%. A shocking statistic. The reason for that statistic is that people who want to get into the internet marketing business think it is easy. The sad truth is that it is not easy. The top 2% so called ‘Gurus” in the internet marketing world have taken years to get to that level.
The idea of starting an internet marketing business sounds sexy. It goes something like this: “I can work from home and make millions.” “I will be able to travel the world and provide financial freedom for me and my family.” “Just look at those who have made it, they are rich, and I’m going to become the same.”
So, just like those who struck out on their own to establish a ‘brick and mortar’ business and so often didn’t succeed, the virtual solopreneurs of today are falling into the same trap. They plunge into the virtual world without preparation, knowledge of what they are doing, and the discipline necessary to succeed. They start but don’t follow through with any action plan; they lack time management skills and have no real sense of purpose or strategic understanding about where they are going.
There was an old saying in our business, “It’s a simple business, but it isn’t easy.” This rings true for the virtual solopreneur. Unfortunately, they:
There is a neat Solopreneur package in our storefront that will give you more information about how to become a successful solopreneur. You can get a sense what it is all about by clicking the button below.
Oh yes, don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of that page and get your free eBook on personal branding.
Thank you for reading and remember your personal growth and development matters.
As always: Take Care. Stay Safe. Be Your Best Self.