When I first read this article I thought to myself, “Yep, been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.” In fact ANYONE who has been in IM for any lenght of time wil recognise some of these mistakes and could quite easily write your own book on them!
But the key to success it’s just LEARNING from our mistakes, it’s GROWING after them. This is a great guest post from Ivin Viljoen… enjoy!
I’ve been in this business a long time, and I’ve failed at IM (internet marketing) more times than I can count. Some of these failures include some of the following:
- Hosting competitions that no-one enters.
- Writing posts that no–one reads.
- Producing a product that I can’t even give away.
- Building email lists that have less than 1% open rate.
- Giving away stuff no-one wants.
- Begging for social media votes etc.
Well, those are just to name a few, but since then I have built a business that has two employees in the 5 months since its existence, doubled it’s turnover in the space of three months and hang with some of the biggest blog/website owners on the internet.
But, instead of telling you about my accomplishments (which aren’t that many b.t.w); I want to highlight some of the worst mistakes you can make online while attempting Internet Marketing.
Trying to be TOO perfect.
Let’s talk about creating a product. Think about Microsoft for a minute. How many products do they launch that go through a lot of testing needing a lot of support and still create a couple un-happy customers? Sometimes your product launch get stifled because you’re trying to develop too much too quickly. Here are some actionable points you can look at when creating a product (or service):
- Start with an immediate solution – You want to solve a problem that is a great headache for people you have the answer to.
- Build up from that – This is where an autoresponder is great, you can teach along the way building on the solution you just gave and solving more problems in the series. This series (where you’ve solved problems for people) could lead up to…
- Create(ing) and add-on product – Now you want to build on the previous product, add on a product/service and make it greater. Allow for an upgrade to perform more and solve more (relatable) problems.
- Keep developing – Look at Andy Bailey, probably one of the greatest marketers in our circles. He created a free plugin, kept working on developing it, adding value and solving problems. Eventually the Premium version came around and nobody had any qualms about spending $40 for the plugin. That was because Andy took his time, built his customer base and provided value for years. Now, when he makes something available, you almost instantly hit the buy button.
Don’t you hate it when you just bought something because of an incredible sales pitch, and when you get to the download page, or the pay page, you get an OTO (one time offer) that basically explains to you that you cannot really get much value out of the product if you don’t buy the add-ons. This is a HUGE no-no.
The other scenario is when you buy a product and it takes ages to set up and not the ‘couple minutes’ they promised you. Or, you run with the program and don’t see remotely close to the results you were promised. Let’s look at why you may have disappointed customers.
- People give benefit of the doubt – You may not think people pay attention to the promises you make on the sales page. But they actually do, which is one of the reasons for the conversion. If you said they will ‘Lose 15lbs in a week’, that’s what they expect to happen.
- If they’re expectations are not fulfilled, they’ll be upset – If there are the slightest chance of limitations to your products, make sure it is stated somewhere, at least in a disclaimer, so people know that results may vary and it’s not the same for everyone. Also, that it may be dependent upon people following your advice to the tee. Terms and conditions to offers are also advisable, display these clearly.
- Word of mouth can also have a negative, viral effect – I saw how one attendant at a burger joint called a lady ‘Chinky Eyes’ on her slip for a description. The pic she posted on Twitter went viral and the company had to do serious damage control. Imagine someone had a bad experience with your products and they are just mildly influential, you would ‘not work in this town again’ That’s why it’s important to have someone represent your brand on social media, if you’re not doing it yourself.
Marketing PricingLet’s be honest with each other, you put a lot of effort into your product right? So why are you selling your product for 2.99? Why even 9.99? That’s the price for invaluable PLR products. Do you think if Appsumo had a product they’re promoting and their price is $1.99; are you even going to look? Of course not. I want a valuable product, not a lucky packet. And seriously, if you think that much of your product, you may as well market it as a lucky packet, because anyone looking at that price tag is not sure what they’re going to get. So unless you have 500,000 customers like Appsumo does, don’t under price your product and undersell your abilities. If that’s genuinely what your products worth, work on it a little more and look at adding a lot more value.
So, when looking at pricing your product appropriately and still trying to be competitive, look at the following tips:
- What is your hourly rate? ‘What would you like to ear per hour’ is the better question. That is your desirable worth. Getting there is simple. Look at how many units of your product you can sell. Then ask yourself how many ‘active’ hours you spent on producing your product. Then, times the amount of hours worked on the product by how many you hope to sell. If the price is still too low, look at working on the product some more (adding value) and do those sums again.
- Do research on what your competitors charge for their products – or even your peers. It’s not wise to go and duplicate or steal someone’s product idea, but you can look at related products and ascertain your price seeing how what is your experience related to them. What does their product have that yours doesn’t? Price appropriately and of course, competitively.
- Try different price points. You could have a launch price (without skimping). When people bought it at the launch price, the chances of virility if better (if your product is good). Then launch it properly after the early bird launch. Then, announce the full price and then approach affiliates offering an appetizing incentive. When your product launch has run its course, try a JV promotion; offer your product as an add-on to someone else’s. OR, you may launch a new product and give this one as a bonus, adding value to your new product.
(Any) Technical glitches – (at all).
I remember doing a soft launch beta giveaway of a product I wanted to launch. I wasn’t so clued up with the technical stuff, so my promotion was great (I got a spot on a BIG TIME affiliate blogger). But when it came to product delivering, some technical glitches kept the people who won the promotion from using the info product. To make matters worse, I didn’t keep my ear on the ground and kept in contact with them, so I didn’t know they couldn’t get in. Epic IM Fail!
Let’s look at some general technical glitches you want to make sure your developer smoothes out before you even start looking at the product and do usability testing.
- Server crashes – While TOO MANY visitors may be perceived as a good thing, it’s is in reality a bad thing. Your site may crash, and the visitor you DID get will probably mot return. Before you launch, make sure you check with your hosting company that the server will hold out with an increase in traffic.
- Issues with payment processing – Lots of sales means lots of traffic. This may not only pose a problem for you (as with previous point), but also for your payment processor. IF they’re not able to process payments quickly, what you have is a virtual line of people ‘queuing’ for ‘service’ .Let’s be honest, how may of us will wait hours in a queue for something unless it’s at the polls? To make sure this doesn’t happen, inform the processor of possible surges and also test, test, test.
- Download problems – Think of how many an-happy customers you’ll have if they purchased a product from you and they cannot download the product. A lot of times the problem is with the links and some of them not redirecting properly. Once again testing is important. Also make sure that you have a reachable support desk with proper server coverage.
Not having an affiliate network.
Best Affiliate NetworksAn affiliate network is good to have because it explodes your reach and places the opportunity to make money from your product in the hands of other hungry marketers with traffic. This is a great solution if your own traffic is not really great.
- Affiliates doesn’t cost you money – its costs you money NOT to have them. You may sell a thousand copies and make a thousand times your asking price. But offering 50% to a hundred other affiliates who sell 25 units of your products will give you an increase of 1500 sales and 750 more full-unit sales.
- Setting it up is as easy or tough as you want it to be – Hand of affiliate programs like Clickbank handles everything for you. If you have your own software, you may want to employ office people to help you with admin. Either way, there’s no excuse not to have it and making more money.
Those are some of the dumb mistakes I made with Internet Marketing in the past and I hope this comprehensive list will assist you not to make the same mistakes as I did and maximize your potential to earn lots of money from your hard work and efforts.
Please leave a comment below and tell me some of your mistakes and don’t forget to sign up for my personal email list. It’s chock a block with tons of free, valuable gifts to help you on your internet marketing (IM) journey.
Ivin Viljoen is a full time blogger and makes most of his money providing services that solves people’s online problems. He’s passionate about community and thrives on the social part of social media. His creed is hustling to have his dreams happen. Sign up for his personal email list and let him take care of you online – http://ivinviljoen.net/