They say time is money. Nowhere is this saying more true than in the world of Internet marketing.
The Internet is a wonderful marketplace with literally thousands of new prospective customers signing on for the first time every day. Many of these people will need what you offer. While this presents incredible opportunity, it creates challenges as well. One of the greatest of these challenges is managing our time. But this type of time management has nothing to do with clocks and calendars. It has to do with money. As Internet business people we must manage our time to create the maximum return on investment. While many think of "time management" in terms of doing things faster, making to-do lists and more, time management for the Internet marketer comes down to one concept ... automation. No matter your product or service, whether you are selling books, vitamins, memberships, information or more, you must have a system in order to succeed. The good news is today there are tools that will help you perform every aspect of your job quickly and easily. Let's look together at the five steps to any Internet Success System and how to use automation to increase your revenue in each area.
1. Find the Right Prospects This is a key step and requires an important decision. Where will you find your prospective customers? Some common forms of finding prospects include
* Buying leads
* Search engine positioning
* Ezine advertising
* Banner advertising
* Email marketing
* Producing an ezine
* And more
While all of these methods can be effective, which ones offer you the greatest return on your time investment? Many today believe that buying leads (lists of people who have expressed an interest in your type of product) is the best way. My advise is to experiment with each and see what works best for you.
2. Get Your Message Out Getting your message in the hands of people interested in what you offer will include the use of a web site, email, autoresponders and more. One key factor often overlooked is the consistency of your message. If your web site says "Trust me, I'm your friend" and your email messages scream "Buy now or else!" you're in trouble. Make sure all of your marketing messages are consistent. This way your prospect *will* trust you and reward that trust with a purchase.
3. Handle Responses People are not *on* the Internet, they ARE the Internet. In each email you send, autoresponder you write and phone call you take remember that it's a live person who will be reading or hearing your message. With the Internet becoming so impersonal it pays for you to be personal in your response. Sure, this is business. But it's the business of dealing with people. If you do this one thing very well success will almost certainly be yours.
4. Sift and Sort for Success Few things are more frustrating that going to the time and expense of finding a prospective customer, answering their questions, sending them follow up messages and more only to discover they are really some 13 year old kid on their Mom's computer who has nothing better to do than waste your time. The only surefire way to prevent wasting time on people who can't (or won't) buy is to ask them. Get them to give you some information in exchange for further information about what you offer. One good business practice is to ask "What if" questions. The more of these "what if" questions you put on your website the better. Questions like "What if there really was a way to achieve financial security in as little as 90 days? If that interests you, click here" Then make the 'click here' box a signup for your autoresponder so you can stay in touch. As mentioned above, remember you are dealing with individuals and show the proper respect. If they ask to stop receiving information you must respect that. If they *do* want more information you must respect that as well. Which leads us to our final success variable
5. The Follow Up Formula Many new marketers ask questions like "How often should I follow up with prospects?" or
"How long should I continue to send them information?" Experience proves that you should continue sending follow up information until the prospect buys something or
asks for the information to stop. How many times have you bought an item the first time you considered it? Even with supposed 'impulse' items like clothes it's not
uncommon to return to the store five, six, even seven times. "I'm going to buy that sweater the next time I'm there" we say. Then we forget.
While the sweater store won't send an email reminding us how great their sweaters are (although the smart ones are starting to do so)
WE must follow up with prospects and stay at the top of their mind. The goal here is simply to be the first name they think of when they are ready to buy what we offer.
Is success on the Internet easy? Yes and no. It CAN be easy if you have a system that provides a great return on the time you invest.
C. R. Ellsworth is retired from Corporate America and living in the 'Great North Woods'. He's been involved in On-Line & Network Marketing since 2000.
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