After the service was so successful, I realized how much time it would take up for me to take on more people. I knew I could make more money in less time if I distilled my knowledge into a product. I coud then automate it.
Most people wanted to know why they couldn’t get any attention for their project, and how to sustain the momentum after they networked or did a joint venture. So I put together everything I knew about getting one particular type of free adfertising, charged $97 and put it on Clickbank to avoid dealing with refunds myself and achieve total automation.
That was a mistake at the time, but Clickbank is my favorite way to collect payment again.
First of all, Clickbank comes with literally thousands of affiliates. So you have built in marketing help, especially if you’re willing to give away fifty percent or more per sale. Hm… half my money for all of your work on a sale I woudn’t have gotten myself. No brainer.
It was almost a disaster back then though, because Clickbank’s refund policy is too liberal, and there are people who rely on this – they get your product, download it and then return it before they’d even have time to take a look at it.
One person, a few weeks later, released exactly the same product as me. I mean, they didn’t even bother to change some of the wording.
Some people were less calculated, but just as vicious. I mean, literally in two minutes after a sale, about 1% of people would refund. There’s a particular way to do it and a thing to say that makes Clickbank just give people back their money.
But I didn’t care. the money wasn’t in my hand yet – and I found out that a lot of people had refund rates of about 8% with Clickbank. I switched to PayPal to get my money faster and decrease my refund rate. My refund rate dropped to one in 300, which is really low – you can cover your costs on that by raising your retail price about a buck.
Anyway, let’s move on. I’m obsessed with serial refunders and we’d be here until next Tuesday.
The problem with selling via Clickbank was that I didn’t get paid until about a month after the sale, so I switched to PayPal for this. PayPal was alright with me until they got bought by eBay. Then they started some policies that makes it seem like they don’t even Want you to make honest money. At the time though, it worked great. I could get funds wired to my bank acount in four days, or I could immediately spend what hit my account with my PayPal debit card.
So now I had a way to get my money fast, but I still had to get people to pay attention to me. What I did was, I took one of the 16 secrets in my book and gave one away for free. I used it as an advertising device to get mroe people to pay attention to me. It doubled as a free sample, and I developed a loyal band of followers. The small percentage of them who could afford to follow the free solution with a payment saved me from having to spend money on advertising.
So here it is in a step by step format.
- I changed a popular service into a product (it doesn’t have to be YOUR service. It could even just be something people want to know about and will pay for. For services, I had a research stage for this. If you aren’t turning a one thousand dollar service into a one hundred dollar product, base your idea on a solution people are depserate for.)
- I had bad credit (still have bad personal credit, but I have great business credit now.), so I couldn’t sign up for a merchant account. I used mulitple ways for getting payment. Find at least one that will pay you by check later on, and at least one that gives you access to your money now. Make sure you can take credit cards, debit cards and online checks.
- I set up my sales pages so they would build me a list of interested people.
- I used every cost-effective way I knew of to keep getting new clients. When I was short of cash I leaned heavily on the joint venture. it’s much smarter to do joint ventures before you’re in need, though. That was a mistake I made, not wanting to ask for help even though people, friends and associates alike, were falling all over me to offer help.
- I separated that list out into clients who had bought from me before, and the interested people. I stayed in touch with both groups, and did everything I could to keep the loyalty of the first group. That way, when I wanted to make affiliate sales, they’d buy from me even if someone else offered them a better deal. Because they trust and know me.
- I kept following up with the interested people until they bought or unsubscribed.
- I kept finding new audiences for my existing products. There’s no such thing as saturation, only competition. Until every single person you’ve ever met has your product, you have not reached saturation. Just repackage your product, add new benefits and keep selling.
- I kept following up wiht my clients and treated them special. I would give them, from time to tim, new copies of upcoming products to get testimonials in advance and improve my products.
- I would release a new product at least every six months that was related to the one I’d already sold them, but in a different area or with a different spin, based on what my clients said they wanted. Then I started steps three to eight over again.
- I disappeared for at least three months at a time, usually on vacation or to restore my health. Rest and health are really important because you’ll probably find yourself working way more than you did before if you work at home.
Here are some mistakes I feel that I made, other than the ones I’ve mentioned.
- I waited too long to start a membership site. Then when I did, I made it too complicated. When I do it all over again with a different niche, I’m going to have a really low subscription price, and charge it monthly during the middle of the month when people don’t have bills.And I’m going to make the mission of the site very simple. You make one sale, they pay you every month. Easy, peasy. Most people never unsubscribe from a membership site until you change the paymemt process as I was forced to do.
- I learned the lesson of multipe payment options too late, and I abandoned Clickbank fora while. Clickbank drives your sales up. Even though you don’t get your money right away it’s worth it.You can even accept PayPal payments without going through the hasssle of a PayPal account. Also, being paid by check, you get your money first, no matter what. Being able to cash a check at a liquor store when my checking account was overdrawn saved my ass on more than one occasion.
- I was too quick to do resale rights or master resale rights. Master resale rights are good for when you want to spread the word aboot yourself fast, while piggybacking on the sucfcess of a trend. A list of socal bookmarking sites with links to where you go to create an account, and add your links would sell like crazy as a master resale rights ebook. You would get your name out there when people offered your book as a bonus. But don’t look to make money after the first week because other people will sell your book less than the price you suggest, no matter what they tell you, or at an auction site. So why buy from you if they can get it cheaper?As for resale rights, if you can make $10 – $2000 from selling someone the right to sell your book, why give it away free? Fewer people will want rights, but the ones who will understand business and will be back.
- As mcch as I followed up with my list, it’s currently not enough. Right now, the follow up to my lists is all live. What I should have done was pre-wrote 365 days of tips, and sent out shorter editions, and changed the sales links each week, and put them in an autoresponder. During the time that I had some kind of daily contact with my audience, I made a hell of a lot more money, more often. I can still do that, but now I’m too busy to come up with unique material.
- I mentioned that I took too long to do joint ventures. Well, I didn’t do them enough either. It’s easy money. You’re already set up. It’s silly not to do it.
- I burned out too quickly. That’s not reallly a mistake, it’s because I started out in the business because I was sick, and I’m still just as sick, if not worse, than when I started. I can’t help but think that if I paced myself, I could have worked more, and if I had worked more, I would have earned more.
- I should have started out with membership sites. That’s long money, and that’s what every marketer should focus on, building a continuous income.
- I had no exit strategy. When I started out I was about surviving, then getting rich, but not getting out. That made all my plans open ended.