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13 Ways to Get More Subscribers & Sales

I don’t need to tell you how important the conversion rate on your squeeze page is. The better it converts, the more prospects you get. The more prospects you get, the more sales you can eventually make. So how do you get your squeeze pages converting like gangbusters? Here are 13 things you should be doing on every landing page you create to ensure you’re capturing every prospect possible:

13 Ways to Get More Subscribers & Sales

Know who you’re talking to. On your squeeze page you are speaking directly to your prospective customer. So who are they and what do they want? You’ve got to know your customer and use the words and images that will appeal directly to them.

Keep it simple. Really. I’ve seen squeeze pages that are cluttered with so much stuff you don’t know what to look at first. So what happens? Rather than try to sort it all out, many people will simply close it. Remember, you’ve got about 3 seconds to capture attention and hold it. Keep the clutter out and only share enough to get them to take action right now. Any more than that and you’re confusing them – and losing sign-ups.

Split-test. Everything. Repeatedly. Use a good split test program to test your headlines, your colors, your fonts, graphics, form, opt-in button, EVERYTHING.

Use one strong focal point only. You can and should use different font colors and sizes, but you only want one focal point to draw the eye in and capture attention, and that should be your headline. Everything else should flow from the headline.

Your entire message should be consistent. In other words, don’t use a headline extolling the benefits of weight loss and then use bullet points about the benefits of exercise unless it’s in direct relation to weight loss. Keep it consistent or you’ll confuse and lose your prospects.

Match your landing page to your sales page. If your sales page is for a product that teaches traffic generation strategies, then your squeeze page should refer to traffic generation strategies, not Internet Marketing in general. This might sound basic, but it’s surprising how many times I’ve gone from a squeeze page on one topic to a sales page on something different.

Sell the benefits. Remember, you’re not selling a drill, you’re selling holes. You’re not selling steak, you’re selling the aroma, the taste and the satisfaction.

Forget what you think. So you think you’ve found the perfect headline? The magic bullets? Just the right color scheme? It doesn’t matter what you think – it matters what converts the best. See #3.

Think “above the fold.” Yes, your squeeze page might extend beyond the fold – that is, below the area that shows in the computer screen without scrolling. But the area above the fold should stand on its own. It should show the headline, the bullets and the opt-in form. The below-the-fold-area is for those prospects who haven’t quite decided to opt in yet and want more info.

Tell them what to do. Your visitors landed on your squeeze page because they’re looking for something. Don’t be coy or clever – make it clear what they will get and what they need to do to get it.

Color matters. Use opposing colors on the color wheel to create contrast, and then test, test, test. Yes, some colors really will convert better than others but it depends on your offer and your audience, so you’ve got to test it for yourself.

Be trustworthy. Use short, 1 sentence testimonials that rock. Display your logo, certification, etc. Place your contact info at the bottom of the page. If you’ve been in business for years, state how many. If you’ve won awards, place those on there as well. Don’t clutter your page with this info, but do make it available.

Ask. Perhaps the best squeeze page trick, outside of testing, is to ASK them a question that they must answer with a YES! “Do You Want to Look 10 years Younger?” “Are You Ready to Build Your List 10 Times Faster?” “Do You Want To Be Irresistible to Women?” Strategically placing these on your website puts them in a “YES!” frame of mind, making them more likely to opt into your list.

Implement these conversion hacks to increase your opt-in rates and grow your sales!

Marketing With Cliffhangers and Teasers

Bloggers, email marketers, copywriters and writers of all genres, how do you keep your readers coming back for more? By utilizing that literary gem, the cliffhanger. I’ll show you how to use cliffhangers and teasers to increase your sales, but first a little background…

Marketing With Cliffhangers and Teasers

We’ve all been caught up in a story only to realize it was continued in the next chapter, installment, episode or issue. And wouldn’t you know it, they ended the present installment right when something HUGE was about to happen! Coincidence? Not at all.

When Dallas ended their season with “Who shot JR?” it was all people talked about for the entire summer. Heck, that was over 3 decades ago, and people still refer to it today. But what if they had shown you who shot JR before they ended the season? It’s likely no one would even remember that JR got shot at all.

Just this morning I was reading a work of fiction in which one of the main characters realized he was about to be ambushed when POOF! It was the end of the chapter. And wouldn’t you know it – the next chapter addressed an entirely different plot line of the story, thus leaving me in suspense until I can return to my reading.

It is the suspense that keeps us watching the movie or tuning in each week to the television show or watching the News at 11 because of that teaser they threw at us earlier in the evening that said, “Is your holiday turkey safe to eat? Find out at 6:00,” or “Is the water you’re drinking causing you cancer? Find out at tonight at 11:00.”

You can use this technique in your own marketing, as well. For example, when writing a series of emails, end each one with a major benefit of what they’ll discover in the next email. When writing a sales letter, promise to teach them something they really want to know, but first delve more deeply into why they need your product. And when writing blog posts, either throw out a teaser at the end that sends them to another blog post or sales letter, or use the JR method and leave them hanging until your next post.

Cliffhangers and teasers can be your best friend when it comes to getting your emails opened, your sales letter read and people hanging on your every word. And if you look closely, you’ll notice I even deployed this technique in the first paragraph of this article. It got you to keep reading, now didn’t it? 😉

Goof Off and Get More Done?

One thing I’ve noticed is that if I take a five minute break every hour or so, I feel more refreshed and also get more work done. The trick of course is to not let the 5 minutes extend into a half hour or more, so here are a few ideas that are quick and helpful…

Goof Off and Get More Done?

1. Jump. Get a rebounder (mini trampoline) and put it in your office. Every hour or so go jump on it. Your head will clear, your muscles will get worked and you’ll feel energized.

2. Play. Whether it’s a remote control helicopter you fly around your office or an old Rubik’s Cube, find something you can do for 5 minutes and then put it down. Not recommended: Video games. We all know that 5 minutes on a video game can easily turn into 2 hours, so save those for when your work is done.

3. Yoga or any stretching type of exercise to feel invigorated and less stressed.

4. Mind games. Here’s a site I like… http://www.GamesForTheBrain.com Check out the game, “Guess the Colors.”

5. Online jigsaw puzzles. Sign up at http://www.JigZone.com and they’ll send you a new puzzle everyday.

6. Walking. Take two or three laps around your house or up and down a staircase.

7. Cleaning or straightening. Find something small that needs attention and takes no more than 5 minutes. You’ll feel productive and glad to get back to work.

Yes, taking regular breaks can make you more productive, and now you have a few more ideas on things you could do to sharpen the saw between your working sessions!

How to Be Big Success at Guest Blogging

The beauty of guest blogging is you get your posts on larger blogs than yours, sending traffic to your blog and hopefully picking up new readers and subscribers in the process. But much like being a guest in someone’s home, there is a certain protocol to making your host happy and your visit a smashing success for your host, your own blog and you.

How to Be Big Success at Guest Blogging

1. Have the courage to submit guest posts to BIG blogs. It takes the same amount of time and effort to write a good post for a heavily trafficked blog as it does for a small blog, but the difference in traffic that you receive as a result can be phenomenal. Let’s say you write a post and really spend some time making it great, and you submit it to a small blog. What do you get in return? A trickle of traffic to your own website or blog. But if you had submitted that same post to a blog that gets a great deal of traffic, you could have several hundred visitors to your website and acquired many of them as list subscribers.

2. Get your own blog or website ready for this new traffic. You submit your article to a large blog and it gets published. What happens? A flood of traffic to your own site that lasts for a day or two and then trickles off over the coming week. If you don’t capture that traffic you will most likely lose it forever.

Instead of sending that traffic directly to your homepage, consider sending it to a subscription page with a very nice offer related to the article you wrote. For example, if your article is, “10 ways to make $200 this weekend,” then you might offer an e-report on another 25 ways to make $500 this coming week.

3. Write what you know and do it passionately. The number of visitors you’ve going to receive at your website is directly related the quality of the post you submit. If your guest blogpost makes people yawn, you’re not going to see much traffic. If, however, it engages, enlightens, educates and entertains, then expect a surge of traffic.

4. Write with clarity – you might get another pair of eyeballs to look over your post prior to submitting it, to see if it needs some touch ups or a total revamping. Yes, it’s worth it to spend the extra time getting it just right. Your guest blog post is really a sales letter selling you and your website, so make it count.

5. Make your author’s box count. Don’t just put in your little bio and a link – give them an irresistible reason to go to your website. Hopefully you already started thinking about this in #2 above. Give them something that is a direct extension of what they’ve already read. Your guest blogpost is the appetizer, and their reward for visiting your website is the main course, or perhaps a dazzling dessert.

6. Do your research. If the blog you’re submitting to only allows a certain kind of guest blogpost, then by all means give them what they want. If they allow anything that fits within their niche, then look to see which were their most popular posts in the past to get ideas of what goes over well with this blog owner and the blog’s readers.

7. Show your confidence. In writing your post, don’t make it sound like a third person Wikipedia entry. Instead, act like the subject authority you are. People want to hear from experts and that’s how you need to present yourself. Refrain from thumping your chest and telling tall tails of your conquests, but do give real life examples of how you’ve accomplished things and solved the same problems your readers might be experiencing.

8. Email your post as an attachment with a cover letter. You always want to format your blogpost so they can paste it right into WordPress, and you always want to send it as an attachment so that it doesn’t lose its formatting.

9. Of course you’re going to send an email to the person running the blog you want to guest post on. What to write? First, keep it short and polite. No long rambling letters, get to the point. And second, something like the following example is good and generally works quite well:

Dear _____,

I am Rapute Smythe from mywebsite.com and I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now. I especially love your posts on ______ and your latest post gave me three good ideas that I immediately implemented in my own business.

Because of this, I have written a unique post for your blog that I truly think your readers will enjoy and find great value in. The title of the post is ___________ and you’ll find it attached to this email.

Highest regards,


Of course you’re going to change it up to suit you, but you can see that nothing complicated is needed.

10. Never submit the same blogpost to more than one blog at a time. If the first blog rejects it, then you are free to submit it to another blog. Otherwise, do not duplicate content or the blog owners will not be happy and odds are will not publish a guest post from you again.

One last thing: THANK the blog owner as soon as your post is published, because they DESERVE your thanks. Plus, it increases your chances of getting published by them again.

How To Build Your Own Army of Affiliates

There’s always a lot of talk on how to recruit affiliates to promote your products, right? But what if instead of recruiting affiliates, you TRAIN affiliates?

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That is, announce you’re offering affiliate training once or twice a month, live on a webinar. The training is free, come one and come all. You put out the call, and then using your own products as examples, you train them in how to make money by promoting affiliate products, especially yours.

This reminds your list month after month that they can make money promoting your stuff. It also builds loyalty, since you’re giving free training on how to make money doing this. And it forges partnerships between you and your affiliates. When they can speak to you on the webinar, or at least ask their questions and hear your voice, you’re building rapport. At the very least you will most certainly sell more products to those who attend your trainings because they now know, like and trust you.

And in addition you will begin building your own army of affiliates to promote for you all over the web and reach people you could never reach on your own. It’s a win-win all the way around, and it will only take you a couple of hours a month to do this.

A (Crazy?) Idea On How to Add THOUSANDS of Buyers to Your List (And Make Very Good Money Doing It)

You already know that a buyer on your list is worth 10, 20, maybe even 30 freebie seekers and tire kickers, right? After all, someone who has made a purchase from you is far more likely to make more purchases in the future. That’s why some marketers with small lists (less than 2,000 or so) still do quite well.

A (Crazy?) Idea On How to Add THOUSANDS of Buyers to Your List (And Make Very Good Money Doing It)

Think of it this way: Imagine you’ve got a brick and mortar business, and you stand out on the sidewalk asking people to take a sales flier from you. If they take a flier, you add them to your mailing list. But some of these folks, instead of taking your flier and walking away, actually go into your store and make a purchase.

Now then, who is more likely to buy from you again, the people who took your flier and kept walking, or the customers who came into your store, got to know your business from the inside, experienced your customer service and enjoyed the benefit of your products? See the difference? It’s not small, it’s a TREMENDOUS difference, and that’s why if you build a list of buyers, you will do far better than if you simply build a list of people shuffling by on the sidewalk.

How do you build a list of buyers? You can of course take the traditional route of spending a few weeks creating a $47 product, recruiting affiliates, creating a tremendous amount of free material to give away to draw attention to yourself and try to promote your product, etc.

But here are two thoughts for you. First, why not go with simple $7 products? That is, a 10 to 20 page report that solves a problem in your niche. Just one problem, one solution. You can bang one of these out in a day, and since you’re only selling it for $7, you won’t need to agonize over the sales letter for days and days either. Just a short, snappy, concise sales letter and you’re ready to roll.

How do you sell your $7 report? By offering the entire commission to your affiliates, paid immediately. There are many affiliate management programs out there these days that can automate this for you. Your affiliates promote, the customer pays the $7 and your affiliate management service pays your affiliates directly so you never have to worry about paying anybody, and the customer downloads the report from you (which is when you capture their information.)

Now then, you’re building a list, and so what do you do? Here’s my second thought: Put out another $7 report. In fact, see if you can’t do this once a week for a year. Always promote it first to your list, and then encourage everyone who purchases to become an affiliate. This way, you can turn happy buyers into evangelists for your product as well!

Once you have several reports done, package them and sell them at a discount. Then offer them as bonuses for other marketers to use when selling their products (again, you’re capturing the customer’s info because the report is downloaded from your website.)

Do you see how this can snowball? Each report can make you some quick $7 commissions (for the ones you sell directly) while going viral and bringing you evenb more buyers. Then you can package several together to make a new product, and let other marketers use them as bonuses when selling their products, again bringing you more customers.

Plus you can package several together and offer them as an OTO (one time offer) when new customers purchase a $7 report, and so forth – the possibilities are limitless.

What I love about this is that it takes so little time to create each product. You’re providing a real, viable solution to a problem your prospects are experiencing, so you’re providing real value. You’re building your list of buyers and your list of affiliates and you’re building your reputation. See how well this can work for you?

And best of all, after creating one new report each week for one year, you will have approx 520 to 1,000 pages of valuable information that you can then package into a mega-product, or pick out the best reports and create a book you can sell on Amazon. (Actually, if you have 1,000 pages, you can create 3 or 4 books!)

And the credibility you receive from having your own book on Amazon cannot be beat.

So there you have it – crazy idea or genius plan, you decide.

One last thought: If you’re the kind of person who groans at the prospect of writing a 200 page ebook (and that would be most people, btw) then this method gives you another benefit: Quick payback. You don’t have to slave over your computer for weeks before you start seeing a return on your time. Think of it as the instant gratification plan for marketers. You write a report today, write the sales letter tomorrow, and you’re making money and building your list the next day.

Now how great is that?!

13 Tricks to Find the Best Online Workers

You don’t need a humongous budget when you begin outsourcing, but what you do need is the knowledge of HOW to get the best online workers possible. After all, no matter how much work you outsource, it’s still your business and your reputation on the line. Not to mention the fact that better work equates into better profits, both short and long term. Doesn’t it just make sense to find the very best people possible to work in your business?

13 Tricks to Find the Best Online Workers

Whether you are a seasoned pro at outsourcing or you’ve never hired anyone to do anything before, here are some proven tips to get you moving with the least amount of hassle and the highest return for your money.

1. Be absolutely clear on what you want done. Whether you are posting a job or giving instructions to someone you’ve already hired, tell them step by step exactly what you want them to do. This will save you time, aggravation, and usually get the job done faster. Plus the bids you receive will tend to be lower, since the people doing the bidding can easily envision exactly what they’re doing and how long it will take. Lastly, if you are paying by the hour then this will save you money, as your worker doesn’t need to take the time to figure out how to accomplish what you want done.

2. In being clear, consider either writing out what needs to be done in a step by step fashion, or make a video showing them exactly what to do. This way you are not only showing your present worker what to do, you’re also creating a blueprint for future workers to follow. In addition, if there is a hole in your plan it will become quite clear when you’re going through the steps necessary to achieve your goal.

3. Have an agreement or contract between you and the worker. Things you might include are:

– Work to be done (Detailed description of what is expected)
– Deadline for the work to be done
– Payment arrangement (Amount to be paid, terms, method of payment, etc.)
– Copyright (You’ll want it to be crystal clear that you own all copyrights)
– Non-disclosure (Your worker is not to reveal anything that goes on inside your business, etc.)

4. Check out your worker prior to hiring them. Check their portfolio, references, feedback, etc. You might also Google them. Try to get an idea of the kind of work this person does and whether or not they meet deadlines. Also important: How well they communicate with you.

5. Start with something small and work up from there. If you’ve never hired someone before, choose a small job first. It makes it easier for you to get your feet wet, minimizes your risk, and allows you to experience how wonderful it is to have someone else handling that small chore that you don’t enjoy doing anyway.

6. Find the workers who do well with the small jobs and then give them bigger tasks to do. Rather than hiring someone for a large project, let them show you what they can do with a small one first. They’re testing the waters with you, finding that you do indeed pay on time and you’re someone they can work with. And you’re finding out what kind of work they do, if they meet deadlines and if their style meshes with yours. If it’s a good fit, offer them more work and bigger jobs. If not, move on.

7. For any big job, don’t pay all at once. For example, rather than paying all up front or all when the job is done, you might pay 25% up front, 25% when the job is half done, and 50% when the job is finished. This provides them with plenty of incentive to keep working, since they know you pay and there is more money to come. Plus, if the work isn’t to your satisfaction, you can stop the work before you’ve shelled out too much money.

8. Let them know to contact you if they have questions they can’t find the answer to. It’s important that they and your project not get stalled simply because they’re missing a key piece of information.

9. Have them keep in touch daily. You might ask them to send you a report at the end of the day detailing what they accomplished on the project, any challenges they’re facing and of course any questions they might have.

10. Keep your relationships professional. That is, don’t hire your best buddy because he needs the work – you’ll only end up with problems. Also, if someone you hire is really nice but not performing, you’ve got to set aside your feelings and deal with the situation from a business standpoint. This is, after all, your livelihood.

11. Let your workers know exactly what you expect and give lots of feedback. Don’t make them wonder if they’re doing a good job, tell them. Don’t just pick out the one mistake they made in the 100 articles they wrote for you, also tell them what they did right and let them know you appreciate their work. The more positive feedback you can give, the harder they will work for you, and the easier it will be for them to take constructive criticism as well.

12. If you think you might change your mind, let them know ahead of time. For example, you decide to take a project in a certain direction, all the while wondering if you shouldn’t be doing it differently. Let them know you might be changing things halfway through, and if it comes to pass they’ll be ready for it.

13. Always treat your workers with the utmost respect. It goes without saying, but I will anyway: Just because they’re working for you doesn’t mean they are less than you. Being respectful of your workers will yield you 10–fold in goodwill and hard work. Think back to when you had a boss – who did you go the extra mile for? The boss who yelled and screamed and put you down? Or the boss who was positive, treated you with respect and brought out the best in you? Be the good boss and you will have workers who are loyal and ready to set aside their other work to get yours done faster and better.

Apply some of these hard-earned tips working in the trenches of outsourcing and you’ll save yourself lots of frustration and find faster success getting others to help you grow your business online.

What Is Hype, And How Can You Avoid Using It In Your Business (Or Should You)?

No doubt you’ve been told to avoid using “hype” in your copywriting and sales messages, right? And I’ll bet there have been times when you’ve closed a sales letter page because the hype was too ridiculous for words. But when it comes to defining hype and especially to determining how much is just right, the water gets murky and no two marketers can give you the same answer.


That’s because “hype” is subjective. One prospect’s perception of hype is another prospect’s perception of just the right sales message to get them to buy. In addition, you need some hype to sell. No hype = no excitement, which means no sale. Here’s what I mean:

Sales message example #1: “This system is for sale for $33.33, here’s the order button.”

Now you’ve got to admit, that’s hype free. It’s also benefit free, boring and will capture the interest of just about nobody. Of course, if the system is already well-known and you’re discounting it to 5 bucks, you’ve made a sale. But if you’re selling a good product at a reasonable price, you’re going to have to turn on the hype. Here goes:

Sales message example #2: “This Revolutionary New System Cuts Your Work in Half While Tripling Your Productivity.”

Not bad, and certainly worthy of further investigation if you’re interested in getting more work done in less time. And yes, there is hype for sure, especially in the words “revolutionary” and “new” – just not so much that it raises red flags and causes your prospect to tune out.

Sales message example #3: “The Easy System that Earns You a Thousand Dollars a Second with NO Work.”

Looking at the words themselves, there isn’t much in the way of hype. We didn’t say it’s the greatest system in the world, or that everyone loves it, or that there’s never been anything like it since the beginning of time. However, is it believable? No. And therefore, the promise is just so much hype in the ears of the prospect and doesn’t offer enough substance.

Sales Message Example #4: “Give Me 5 Hours and I’ll Show You How to Earn $1,439 Per Month on Autopilot.”

Hyped? I don’t think so. This message offers a specific benefit in exchange for a specified amount of work – 5 hours. The amount doesn’t sound unreasonable because we’ve all see examples of a few hours of work resulting in a monthly income of several hundred or even a couple of thousand dollars per month. Most importantly, the reader isn’t being promised something for nothing, which will ALWAYS instill doubt in a prospect. It sounds honest, it doesn’t sound hyped, and it’s completely plausible.

What have we learned from these examples? Plenty. First, if you don’t use some hype you’re never going to sell much of anything. People need to get excited before they’ll whip out their wallets and they need to see a clear benefit to making the purchase. They WANT to be fired up, they want to feel their heart race a bit and experience that adrenaline rush of getting a great deal. The better you can extrapolate how the features of your product will benefit the consumer and improve their life, the more likely they are to click the order button.

Second, be believable. Making wild claims is the ultimate in hype – and if you can’t back those claims with rock solid absolute undeniable proof, you’re better off not making those claims at all.

Third, be specific. “Make $2,000 a month!” sounds much more like hype than “Earn $2,078.55 a month.” Why? Because the specific number is more credible, as though it’s already been done. “Type Faster” doesn’t mean much, but “Type 15 Words Per Minute Faster after Just 4 Lessons” tells the prospect exactly what to expect. Non-specific claims and rounded numbers just naturally sound like hype, regardless of whether or not they’re factual.

Fourth, tell them what the catch is. This goes right back to being believable, because if you tell someone they can get a great benefit, they immediately want to know what the catch is. Often this equates to price, but if you can show a different catch, such as “5 hours,” then you take their mind off of price and onto the question of, “What do I need to do for 5 hours to make that $1,439 a month?”

And by the way – normally an article like this would start out with the definition of hype, but I wanted to save this gem for the end. Here’s what hype really means:

Hype: Verb meaning to stimulate or excite
Hype: Noun meaning extravagant or exaggerated claims

As you can see, hype is good so long as we strive to stimulate and excite, rather than exaggerate or stretch the truth.

How (And Why) To Build Trust

You’ve worked hard (darn hard, in many cases) to get prospects to your site and sales pages – and many times they are on the verge of buying when they suddenly decide NOT to. What happened? How can you get so very close to making a sale only to lose it?

How (And Why) To Build Trust

It’s no secret that most people are shy about spending money. They’ve had one or a thousand and one experiences in the past that taught them to exercise massive caution before parting with their hard earned money. For example, they’ve made a purchase and then never used the product. Or they made a purchase and then realized they had to invest even more money to enjoy the product. Or perhaps they got something for free which ended up costing them time and even money. We’ve all been there, and the accumulation of those experiences teaches everyone of us to exercise extreme caution when making a purchase, and even when accepting something for free.

Many times the prospect is sitting on the fence, and the result could go either way with the slightest bit of a push. Here are several methods to get more of them to jump off that fence and buy your product. And while none of these are all that glamorous, they are deadly effective at increasing your sales, both short term and long term.

1. Provide lots of detailed, authentic contact information and proof that you are who you say you are. Give your real address and a real phone number. If you have an actual brick and mortar business, regardless of whether or not it is open to the public, show a photo of it. Use photos of yourself and those who work for you on your contact page. Have a group photo of all of you if possible. If you’re a solo online marketer, show a photo of you and your family. (Yes, you’ll still look professional.) Show photos of yourself at events related to your niche. If you’ve personally won awards for work in your niche, display those as well.

2. Legitimize your website. Join the Better Business Bureau and display their logo on your website. Display anti-hacker seals on your shopping cart. Has your website won awards? Display them. Do other well-known companies or websites recommend you and your website? Display these seals or recommendations prominently.

3. Make a list of frequently asked questions with detailed answers and display it on your website. Add to the list as you receive questions from prospects and customers.

4. Be consistent. Discrepancies are big red flashing warning signs to prospects and will derail a sale nearly every time.

5. Be honest. Don’t just tell them what’s so darn great about your product, also tell them what you’re product doesn’t do or who should not buy it. Be candid, be open, and be real. If you come across as a trusted adviser who always speaks the truth rather than a slick salesman, you will build a loyal customer base who believes what you say and acts on your recommendations with little hesitation. Just as in the offline world, your reputation means everything.

6. Solicit and use testimonials. Never underestimate the power of testimonials. Ask your customers for feedback on the product they purchase and their experience with you and / or your company. Put up a wall of testimonials and place the link to that page on every other page of your website. And don’t just use the “Everything was super fantastic!” testimonials. When a customer has a problem, bend over backwards to make it right, and then ask that customer to write about their experience. Everyone knows that even with the best of companies things can go wrong – what they want to know is if you stand behind your business and fix problems when they occur.

7. Ask others to evaluate your website. Find people who aren’t afraid to give you the unvarnished truth, and ask them to go over your website just as if they found it through Google or some other means. Ask them how your website makes them feel about your company, what’s missing and what can be improved. If they were in the market for your product or service, would they buy? Why or why not? What would make them hesitate? What makes them suspicious or leery? What makes them feel comfortable?

All of these things may seem small and mundane, but you’d be surprised how often they make the difference between getting the sale or losing the prospect forever.

Turn Your Copy into a Conversation

Regardless of what you’re writing – a blog post, an article, a sales message, etc. – your copy should sound personal and relevant to the person reading it. You don’t want to sound like you’re writing a textbook to a class of students or a news article to the masses. Instead, your tone should be similar to a one on one conversation with a friend.

Turn Your Copy into a Conversation

So how can you achieve this? With a little research and a healthy dose of imagination. This is one of those tricks that natural writers do without thinking about, and the rest of us can learn with just a little practice. What you’re going to do is create a “persona” of your ideal reader. For example, if you’re writing a sales letter, your persona is the customer. Hopefully you have a good idea of who your customers are, and if not you might want to engage in some research to find out.

Choose one customer: Someone who has purchased your products in the past and reads all your stuff. This person might be real or imaginary, it doesn’t really matter. Now write a bio for your customer, answering these questions: Male or female? Age? Where does s/he live? Occupation? Likes? Dislikes? Desires? Goals? You get the idea – you’re creating this person just as if they were real and sitting there in the room with you. Picture them in your mind, or choose a photo from the Internet.

Now for the fun part: Make friends with this customer. Imagine having a face to face chat about your latest product or the blogpost you’re about to write. What do you tell him or her? What questions do they have? Do they understand what you’re saying, or do they need clarification?

If you’re thinking you can’t do this, it simply means you’re out of practice. All children have imaginary conversations in their heads, and you did as well. This is your chance to let your subconscious mind go to work, filling in the words your persona would say to you in a conversation. You’ll be surprised by what you discover because you’re opening the door to knowledge you didn’t even know you had.

Now then, once you’ve got a good sense of who your persona is, go ahead and write that blog post or article or sales message directly to your persona, just as you would write a personal letter. Be sure to connect with them on an emotional as well as intellectual level. Your persona is the only one that matters when you are writing because it is just the two of you having an intimate conversation.

And if all of this sounds terribly silly, don’t worry. Just try it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better your writing can become when you’re writing to that one specific persona.

BONUS: As you get to know your persona better and better, you might try asking him or her questions and quietly listening for the answers. Your persona can tell you why your marketing is falling short, how to market your product for more sales, and even what product to create.

Once you’re well acquainted with your first persona, consider getting a second one that is quite different from the first. For example, if your niche is Internet marketing and your persona is a 50 year old male looking to make extra money to sock away for retirement, your second persona might be a 22 year old looking to earn a full time living online as fast as possible, or perhaps a newly divorced 35 year old mother of 3 trying to make ends meet.

These personas will make your writing come alive, as well as accessing useful and sometimes brilliant information and insights that take you by complete surprise and significantly add to your bottom line.

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