Now, I just know that a title like that has to raise some questions. I mean, Julia Roberts is an actress, isn't she?
So what lessons can she teach us on how to make more money on the internet? Well, before I get into that let me tell you a story that will help you to understand.
I watched a family comedy this evening. The opening scenes were of a young woman - not an actress I know - but there was something about her that was eerily familiar. Then I realized that she was virtually the twin of Julia Roberts, but a blonde version.
Now I happen to love Julia Roberts - she's a great actress and I always enjoy her films. And let's be honest, she's very pretty. So when I saw what looked like her blonde twin I immediately felt that I would enjoy the film.
That's not actually logical, because I've never seen this actress before, but my emotional response was exactly the same as if it had been Julia Roberts. I guess, if you want an explanation, that the part of my brain that recognizes faces kicked in and sent a message to my anticipation center that Julia Roberts was in the house - so to speak.
When the actress spoke she also sounded like Julia Roberts so that made the connection even more. In the end I had a very good time watching the film, it was thoroughly enjoyable and a good time was had by all the family.
At the end of the film I got to thinking how really good marketers use the same phenomenon to make more sales. Let me explain...
If John Doe comes to you with a sales pitch, you will view him with some degree of neutrality, or possibly even negativity, because you don't know him. But if a member of your family recommends something enthusiastically, you tend to listen with an open and receptive mind. The issue of trust has already been established.
The very best marketers know that it's cheaper to sell to your existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. Why is that? Well, you already have a relationship with them, based on some degree of trust. They parted with their money and you provided them with a product, or service. If you did a good job of that - and you should - then they'll be more inclined to listen to you the next time you have something to say.
That's also one of the reasons you see so many marketers all pushing the latest product launch for someone else. I may not have a relationship with Mike Filsaime, for example, but I probably do with one of the many affiliates he has. If someone known to me promotes the offer, I'm far more likely to pay some attention even if I'm not really interested.
So by using the existing connections of their affiliates - 'friend of a friend' - the big marketers can maximize their sales dramatically.
What about the small marketer? He may not have huge numbers of customers. Then keep building your list. And make sure you contact your customers regularly, preferably with some information of value. That way, when you promote a product, they'll be more likely to consider the offer because they will have a feeling for what you're all about.
Pretty much the same way I felt about an unknown actress who made me think of Julia Roberts.
It's one of the oldest pieces of advice in the book, but my experience is that businesses generally do not put enough time into exploring the value of their current customer base. And if you only have a few people on your list you can still market to them. You're likely to get more sales than you would by approaching the same number of strangers
And that's what visitors to your website are the first time they visit - strangers.
So it really does pay to maintain your relationship with your customers because they are, without exception, your best business asset. Protect them as you would money in the bank.