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The Beginner’s Guide to Joint Ventures

Nearly every day someone approaches me about doing a joint venture because as you know, joint ventures are a marvelous way to get your product in front of a lot of people.

The Beginner's Guide to Joint Ventures

Better yet, getting your joint venture partner’s recommendation can significantly increase both sales and sign ups onto your own list. But that’s the good news – the bad news is anyone with a list gets approached day in and day out by numerous JV seekers, and the vast majority of those requests are either ignored or rejected.

So how can you be the one who receives the coveted “yes” answer next time you approach someone for a joint venture?

Here are 4 techniques that I’ve found work especially well…

First, make your initial contact all about the joint venture partner and NOT about you. Instead of telling them what’s in it for you, tell them what’s in it for them. I don’t know how many times I’ve received emails that go something like this: “I need you to promote my new product to your list because then I can make sales and add people to my own list. Oh yes, and I’ll pay you 50% commission.”

Whoopee. Can you imagine the excitement a list owner feels when receiving an email like this? There’s a reason this type of email doesn’t even get a response. Look, everyone is tuned into that same radio station you’ve heard so much about, WIIFM: What’s In It For Me? A list owner can get 50% in commissions anytime and anywhere without having to do a joint venture.

This is why it is imperative that you stand apart from the crowd and offer the list owner something far more valuable than 50% on sales. Think for a moment – what is it that you’re really good at? Is it writing articles? Building squeeze pages? Writing sales copy? Social Marketing? Whatever it is, offer your potential JV partner your service in exchange for promoting your product, along with a good commission.

For example, if you’re good at writing articles, offer to write a dozen or more on the topics of their choice and pay them 50 -70% commission on sales. Now this is an offer that is likely to get their attention. Sure it’s going to take you some extra time, but so what? You’ll be making sales, building your list, and most importantly, forging a relationship with your new JV partner.

Second, consider giving away all of your commission on the front end product. If your product converts well and sells for a good price, this will get the attention of many list owners. You’ll capture their attention even faster if you also pay immediate commissions or set it up so that commissions are paid straight into their PayPal account.

Why would you give away all of your commissions? You’re not. First of all, you’re building your list with buyers, and buyers are wonderful indeed when it comes to promoting other products in the future. In fact, it’s been estimated that one buyer on your list is worth as many as 35 freebie seekers in terms of future revenue. Second, by placing a one time offer in the sales sequence you can also make money up front. You can either keep 100% of the commissions on the OTO, or split the commissions with your partner.

Third, treat your JV Partner like someone more important than an affiliate. Set up a deal in which several JV Partners and yourself contribute products into one big product package, and then launch the package just as you would a product. Divide the commissions accordingly and everyone wins because everyone promotes to their own lists, ensuring there is plenty of exposure to the offer. Plus, each participant grows their own list full of new purchasers of the event.

Another possibility – work together to create a new product. This doesn’t have to mean the two of you sit down in a room together and hammer out the product. Rather, each of you would complete certain portions of it on your own as a collaboration. For example, you might write the intro, they write the outline, you fill the outline in, you create the video and they write the sales letter (just an example, it will differ wildly for everyone.) You can even do a collaboration with 3 or more JV Partners. Just think – the more partners involved, the more lists you can promote your new product to.

Fourth, warm up your potential JV Partner before you pop the JV question. Instead of immediately asking them for a JV, ask them for an interview instead. Or ask if you can promote their latest product, or ask if you can write an article about them for your blog, etc. In other words, see what you can do to help them first. If you are sincere about this, the law of reciprocity will kick in, and sooner or later they’ll want to repay the favor. That’s why when you ask them down the road to promote your high quality product, they probably won’t even hesitate to say yes.

Okay, But What Do I Write in My JV Proposal?

That first email to a potential JV Partner is scary, isn’t it? What should you say? What shouldn’t you say? Will they reply? Will they think you’re some schmuck hayseed from the sticks?

First of all, don’t worry about getting rejected. Everyone gets rejected now and then, and online it’s usually a simple matter of being ignored. If this happens, realize that they may not have seen your email and send it to them again. Be nice, be respectful, and be persistent. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose by asking.

But there are ways to greatly increase your chances of getting that JV by simply doing the right things in your email. What I recommend…

  1. Be personal, warm and friendly. Imagine you’re writing to your mother or father – you’d go out of your way to be polite.
  2. Reference something recent they’ve done. Maybe it’s their latest product or blog post – mention something about it so they know you’ve actually read the post or purchased the product.
  3. Play to their ego. Praise the post, product or whatever it is that you’re mentioning. NOTE: Praise it in a direct, specific and honest way. Don’t just say, “Great post, man!” Instead, say something like, “Thanks so much for the video creation tips – I’m going to follow your advice because I’ve learned first hand that your methods work.” A general compliment works too if you’ve been reading their content for awhile and can say so.
  4. Get to the point. Don’t write 3 pages on your personal history of Internet Marketing. Get to the crux of your communication, which is your proposal.
  5. Propose your plan. Again, don’t waffle and don’t digress. Get to the point and let them know what you’re suggesting.
  6. Be an authority. This isn’t the time to brag or boast, but it is the time to let them know that you’re experienced. JV Partners aren’t looking to hold your hand, they’re looking to do deals that put new buyers and new money in their pocket.
  7. If you’ve got proof, use it. For example, if you’re proposing a collaboration on a traffic product and you’re good at getting traffic, show them a link to a few screen shots of your traffic. You’re putting their mind at ease that you know what you’re doing.
  8. Outline the deal without a lot of detail. If you’re proposing they keep 100% on the front end and 50% of the back end, say so. Don’t tell them which hosting company you use or what hours you work.
  9. Ask. Ask them for feedback, to do the deal, whatever. Close with a call to action so that it’s super clear the next move is theirs and you’re looking for a response. Again, you’re not dictating – you’re simply being professional in a warm, friendly manner.

Send and wait for a response. Don’t expect them to fall all over themselves in gratitude that you wrote. If the answer comes back negative, write back and tell them thank you very much for considering it, and you look forward to an opportunity to perhaps work with them in the future. Don’t rant or rave or get nasty – the last thing you want to do is slam the door on future opportunities.

If the answer comes back as anything other than a no, then odds are it can develop into a definite yes, but only IF you don’t fumble the ball. The typical response you get back is going to be for more information. Provide it and answer any questions they give you. Keep in mind that the things they are likely looking for in a potential JV Partner are…

  • Confidence and professionalism. Do you know what you’re doing? Are you capable?
  • Experience. What is your experience as related to the topic of this JV? What are you bringing to the table?
  • Trustworthy and reliable. Will you do what you say? Can they trust you?

As to what a JV Partner is looking for in the JV itself…

  • No huge time commitments. Big commitments are scary and stressful, small ones are much less so. Don’t ask them to write a 300 page ebook for your JV – it isn’t going to happen.
  • Enhanced reputation. Is this a quality product that provides lots of value? Or are you looking for the quick buck?
  • More buyers for their own list. If you can bring buyers to the table, you’ve got a powerful motivation for them to participate.
  • Money. Of course this is often (but not always) a motivator – how much money might they make in relation to the time invested? However, don’t assume this is their primary motivation. A good marketer knows that growing their list of buyers provides far more income on a long term basis than making quick money today. And no decent marketer wants to make a quick buck if it risks their reputation with their list.

Next you will iron out the details, go above and beyond the expectation of your partner every chance you get and run the best Joint Venture you possibly can. Hopefully it is a great success. And no matter the outcome, there is still one more step to take before you’re done, and that is to thank your JV Partner in a memorable manner. Why? Because many marketers do several JV’s a month, and if you’re not memorable, they may not say yes the next time you ask. Do a little research, find out what they like, and then send it to them. Does he like cigars? Is she partial to good coffee? It doesn’t have to be expensive because it’s not about the money, it’s about saying THANK YOU!!!

Believe me, I still remember a JV Partner I worked with 5 years ago who sent me a very nice gift in the mail. And even though we’ve since lost touch, were he to contact me today for another JV, I would almost certainly say yes. And for him (and for you), that’s like money in the bank.

Top 10 Life-Changing, Profit-Boosting Internet Marketing Quotes Of All Time

I recently stumbled upon a blog I highly recommend you visit anytime you need a recharge, called https://www.wakeupcloud.com. It’s written by Henri Junttila, and frankly it’s a much needed breath of fresh air in the field of positive self-change.

Top 10

One of his blog posts is his own personal compilation of “77 Great Quotes That Will Change Your Life,” and within that post I discovered 10 quotes that are especially relevant to our chosen field of Internet Marketing. I offer them here, along with my personal thoughts. Enjoy!

If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.

– John Maxwell

Every first step you take in your Internet marketing career – be it setting up a website, making a blog post, creating a product, doing a launch and so forth – will take you out of your comfort zone. Relish the experience because it means that you are growing, that you are succeeding, that you are LIVING.

If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.

– Win Borden

Time and time again I see new marketers who are waiting for just the right time to launch a product, just the right moment when they know everything to start a website, just the right alignment of the planets to build a membership site. You’ll never know everything you need to know – so just take action.

It’s like riding a bull – you don’t know how he’ll try to buck you off, so get on, hang tough, and enjoy the ride. Afterward you’ll bask in the glory of your success and plan your next conquest, while those who were too timid will forever wait for the “perfect” time.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

– Jim Rohn

Many people start things in Internet Marketing, but few finish. They start a blog, write a half dozen posts and then quit. They begin creating a product, get halfway finished and then set it aside to go do something else. Others don’t even get started because they’re too busy bouncing from one idea to the next, never settling on one long enough to begin, much less seeing it through to completion.

So get started, and then keep going. Each day do something – anything that moves you forward. I don’t care if it’s late at night and you’re dead tired – if you haven’t moved your business forward today, then DO SOMETHING before you fall asleep. This habit will be the one that propels you beyond the finish line and into the waiting arms of triumph. Remember: If you fail to persist, then you fail.

Action will remove the doubt that theory cannot solve.

– Petryl Hsieh

New marketers doubt their ability, doubt their market, doubt their systems and even doubt their own minds. They doubt their ability to sell, their ability to communicate and I suspect their ability to get out of bed and take action. Result? They buy more ebooks on how to market. They do more reading, more research and more learning, thinking this will remove the doubt and replace it with unbridled confidence.

Reality check – this NEVER works. The ONLY thing that removes doubt and instills confidence is ACTION. All the knowledge, learning and theory in the world cannot erase doubt because it is only through action that anything real is achieved. And without achievement, there is no sense of self worth, and without self worth there is no confidence – only doubt.

Here’s an example taken to the ridiculous: A new, intelligent marketer studies how to make a product that everyone will adore. He studies the other products in his market, he studies the market itself, and he works for years at devising the perfect product, which of course has evolved over and over again to adapt to the ever changing market.

While this is going on, a not-so-bright marketer finds a question on a forum about a problem someone has, creates a 20 page report that holds a solution to that problem, and sells it for $7. He sells a couple of hundred copies, which means he now has a list of buyers, $1,400 or so in cash and some real world experience in marketing.

The not-so-bright marketer isn’t smart enough to know that $1,400 isn’t a fantastic start. After all, don’t those guru websites say you should be making $30,000 your first month? But this guy isn’t bright, so he duplicates his efforts and creates more products to sell. Some of these products bomb terribly, some of them do well, and eventually after taking one action after another after another, he has a thriving business and a six figure income.

If only he had been smart enough to know that you cannot create a new product until you know everything there is to know about making and marketing the product, he would surely have been all the wiser and very much the poorer, just like our “intelligent” marketer who knew better.

Too silly? Not really – I see this happen all the time.

That some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.

– Abraham Lincoln

Really, what more is there to say? You’ve seen other marketers go from homeless or jobless to six figures. This doesn’t make them super smart, super special or even super nice. What it does make them is super confident that they can grow their businesses even bigger, larger and more profitable if they choose to – or they can work less and be content with six figures, which is still plenty enough to take tropical vacations and look good in a new car every couple of years.

And since they’re not super smart, special or gifted, this should ring one thing loud and clear in your mind and heart – if they can do it, YOU can do it. Period. You might want to make that your mantra – “If They Can Do It, You Can Do It.” Say it a hundred times a day if that’s what it takes to embed it so deep within yourself that you believe it with every fiber of your being. Because you know what? It’s a Fact. Pure and simple. If they can do it, YOU can do it.

Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Funny thing about Internet marketing – there are no prerequisites like there are for being a doctor or a lawyer. No one is going to ask for your credentials before they allow you to become successful. So whether you’re a corporate CEO who just got downsized, or someone who’s living in his car, it just doesn’t matter. Begin where you are right now, with whatever talents you already possess, and build on what you’ve got.

Fall seven times, Stand up eight.

– Japanese Proverb

The bad news is, you’re going to screw up. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to have days that make you wonder if you should quit. That’s okay. Pick yourself up one more time, dust yourself off, have a laugh at the situation, and keep going.

When I was new I asked a big time guru to promote one of my products for me. Much to my shock he said yes, and he emailed his entire list. He sent so much traffic to my website that my server crashed within minutes. Can you imagine how mad he was that I hadn’t prepared for the avalanche of traffic he sent me?

I got my website back up within 2 hours and offered him numerous humble apologies, but he never mailed for me again. Some might have thrown in the towel at that point – heaven knows the thought occurred to me. But I pressed on, and in the grand scheme of things that seemingly horrible, tragic day was but a tiny blip on the screen of life.

What if I hadn’t gotten back up? Then you wouldn’t be reading these words right now, and I’d be back where I was, wondering what would have happened if only I’d persevered and kept going.

The path to success is to take massive, determined action.

– Tony Robbins

Sure, you can set up a website and hope someday someone comes along and buys your product. Or you can take massive, determined action to drive hordes of traffic to your site. You can hide in the shadows, or you can build a name for yourself and a brand that is recognized the world over. You can write content to try to please everyone, thereby pleasing no one, or you can take a stand and thus stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Taking action is not enough to ensure your success – you must take real, decisive action on a large scale to win the day. Yes it’s scary – but it’s that leap of faith that can produce remarkable results in a very short amount of time.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other

– Abraham Lincoln

There will be those who tell you that you can’t. That you will fail. That it’s a dumb idea, that you don’t know what you’re doing, that if it were possible, everyone would be doing it. Believe me, there are a thousand ways people can tell you they don’t believe in you, but there is only one person’s opinion that matters – yours. Resolve to succeed and hold fast to that resolution no matter what happens, and it will simply be a matter of time before you persevere and win the day.

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

– Muhammed Ali

Remember, courage is not the absence of fear – courage is action in the face of fear. Whatever your fears might be, simply acknowledge them and then move past them. Do not dwell on them, do not make them larger than life, and never allow them to cause you future regret for your inaction.

Fear is almost always an illusion, a simple trick of the mind with no basis in reality. Unless your life is in immediate and real danger, fear is a cosmic hoax perpetrated by the primitive part of your brain that couldn’t distinguish an ebook from a duck. All it knows is survival, and really – how many people have died from building websites, creating products or hitting the send button on their email program?

The brilliant thing about Internet Marketing is that there is very little risk other than your time. There’s no remortgaging your home to buy web hosting and there’s no chance of building a website so shoddy it collapses and crushes you to death.

Yet time and again I see people held prisoner by their fear, and nothing makes fear stronger than a lack of action. So anytime you feel fear tingling your spine, take swift, decisive action and you’ll be pleasantly shocked at how fast and how far fear retreats back into the shadows.

Bottom Line? By now you should have noticed one major theme running through all of these quotes. If you haven’t, then I encourage you to go back and figure out what it is, because when you do, success can be yours faster than you ever imagined possible.

If You Want to Capture Your Reader’s Attention…

There was once a very sexy commercial on television with the line, “If you want to capture someone’s attention, whisper.” Of course it showed a beautiful woman whispering into a man’s ear – and it was also false advertising. Can you guess why?

If You Want to Capture Your Reader's Attention...

Because it wasn’t the whispering that was capturing attention – it was the pretty lady. Why is it that sex will capture attention every time, and what (surprisingly) works just as well as sex at pasting your prospect’s eyeballs to your website? Here’s what I’ve learned:

Humans have 3 brains in one – the analytical, thinking brain; the emotional brain; and the primitive, reptilian brain. It’s that primitive brain that cares about one thing – survival. Its job is to constantly monitor the environment for 3 things: Anything it can eat, anything it can have sex with, and anything that will hurt or kill it. That’s it. It’s a non-stop monitoring system for survival of the individual and the species, and because it’s simple, it’s also brain dead easy to capture its attention.

Simply use images or word pictures that bring thoughts of sex, food or danger and your prospect cannot immediately look away. Yes, it’s that simple. If you have a picture of an accident on your site, people will stop and look. They HAVE to. It’s no different than when they’re driving by a car accident: They’re unable to keep themselves from slowing down and looking to see the danger. That’s also why so many movie scenes involve chases, danger and violence – Hollywood knows you simply cannot flip the channel when it’s catering to your primitive brain.

Next time you want to rivet your reader to your sales page, see if you can add in some sexy elements, or some food, or even a sense of danger. They won’t know why they can’t tear their eyes away, nor will they care. They will, however, think their intense interest in your page must have something to do with the contents, and thus they will be more inclined to linger and possibly take the action you desire. Become irresistible to your readers – try catering to their primitive brain as well as their emotional and analytical brains and see what happens.

4 Ways to Steal Traffic

No worries – this is completely honest and ethical, and it’s a great way to begin sending free traffic to your new website.

4 Ways to Steal Traffic

Diverting traffic from other websites is one of the easiest methods of gaining free traffic. Ideally, you’ll want to “steal” this traffic from high traffic websites, because the more traffic your target sites get, the more traffic you can siphon off and send to your own site.

1. Look for high traffic forums and blogs that are directly related to your own niche. Ideally you want forums and blogs that have high traffic and also allow you to place a link to your website in every post you make, either in your signature file or in a clickable link.

Now then, you want to make as many intelligent posts as possible – thereby sharing your link several times or more – and do it in as little time as possible. The goal here is not to spend all day making forum posts, but rather to get in, make your posts and get out so that you have time to take care of other tasks related to your business.

Set a timer and search for specific posts that you can quickly reply to. For example, if your topic is SEO, search out the SEO threads rather than trying to answer a thread on content creation. You want to give short, concise, intelligent and helpful answers.

2. When your timer goes off, don’t close the forums. Instead, reset the timer because this time you’re going to create your own posts on these same forums. Search the forum for a thread that was super popular a few months ago, and start a new thread on a similar topic, only with your personal spin on it. This should get the posts responses piling up fast and furious, and will give your signature file plenty of views.

Be sure to check back on the threads you started at least once per day to answer some of the responses you received. If you continue posting daily in forums and on popular blogs, you should get a steady stream of people visiting your site. And while they may not be coming in droves, the ones that do show up are highly targeted and ripe for adding to your email list. Be sure to capture as many of them as you can by offering great content and a juicy reward for joining your list.

3. BONUS: If your niche is non-marketing related, find active posters on blogs and ask them to place your link in their signature file for a month for a fee – perhaps $25. They’re already posting, so it’s no extra effort for them and it’s great targeted traffic for you.

4. ADVANCED: Hire someone to post for you. If you outsource to the Philippines, for example, you can get someone to post on forums and blogs for you every day at a very reasonable rate. Not only does this free up your time, but because this is all they do, they can make far more posts than you ever could. One note: Until you are fully confident in their abilities, do not let them start forum threads in your name.

There you have it…

4 ways to “steal traffic”, and grow your online business; all without breaking the bank! 😉

How to Easily Boost Your Squeeze Page Conversions in 10 Minutes Flat (Or Less)…

So you’ve got a fantastic looking squeeze page that still isn’t converting worth a darn – now what? Sometimes doing the opposite of what everyone else on the Internet is telling you to do really pays off, especially when it comes to capturing email addresses.

10 Minutes

Split test these and see if your subscribe rates don’t increase dramatically…

Forget the name. There was a time – a long time ago – when inserting a person’s name in an email increased the open rate. Those days are all but gone.

Worse yet, asking for their name decreases your response rate nearly every time. The only time to ask for their name is when they BUY from you – not when you’re merely asking them to subscribe to your list. So remove that box from your opt-in form, along with any other box besides their email address. The easier you make it for them to subscribe, and the less information you ask for, the higher you’re conversions are likely to be.

Remove the spam sentence. You know that great little sentence you have beneath the opt-in box that says you hate spam and will never ever ever ever share their info with anyone? Remove it completely. Don’t change it, don’t tweak it – just strip it right out of there. Repeated testing shows that having it there actually decreases your sign-up rate. Ironic, since it was originally intended to increase it by providing a sense of security.

Besides – if you ever want to sell your website and associated lists, you won’t be able to if you’ve told them you will never share their info. So you’re shooting your future prosperity in the foot while reducing your current sign-ups, all because you were doing what every other marketer on the planet is doing.

Tell them who you are. First, people hesitate to sign onto a list unless they have some idea of WHO is behind the list. They want to know not only what they get for joining your list, but also who you are – so tell them your name, use a photo of your face, or do something that makes it clear you are in fact a real live person.

Second, by having your identity on your squeeze page you will drastically reduce the number of people who check their email an hour or two later and wonder who in the world you are and why you’re sending them mail. The more memorable of an impression you make on the squeeze page, the more likely they are to remember you when they read their email. This is turn decreases the likelihood they will cry “SPAM!” and increases the likelihood they will open your email and actually read it. Remember, when people check their email they look at the “from” line first. Be memorable and your email will enjoy a much warmer reception.

Try split testing these three changes on your squeeze page and see what happens – I suspect your sign-ups will increase by several percent.

What Your Next Step Should Be

Scott Anthony of the Harvard Business Review did a piece on “3 Ways to Prioritize a Long List of Ideas, which you can read here

What Your Next Step Should Be

It’s all about how to choose what it is that you should do next, which product to run with, which decision to make and so forth. Of course it’s written with large companies in mind, but the essence applies just as well to the Online Marketer. For example…

When choosing which product to create next, don’t always trust what people say they will do.

Rather, trust what they do. When I survey my readers to find out what they want to buy next, I also take into consideration that they may not know their own minds.

For example, if you ask someone what they want to eat tomorrow, they’re likely to say they want something healthy like a salad. But when tomorrow comes, more often than not they will order the pizza or pasta instead. It’s not that they weren’t telling you the truth; it’s just that people tend to think about the future in one way and act in the present in a different way. They’re certain tomorrow is the day they buckle down and do their work, or go on a diet, or begin exercising. Today? Let’s watch TV and eat chocolate cake.

So when you survey your customers asking what they want to buy, realize that what they say isn’t necessarily so.

Limit studying and planning. Prioritize action.

If all you’re doing is studying and planning so that you can make the right decision, then you’re not acting. And without action, there can be no reward. As Anthony states, visualize success and then figure out what you need to do to get there. For example, if you visualize your next success as selling a thousand copies of your new training program, figure out what you need to do to make it happen, and then do it. If you get stuck on the planning, you’ll never get anywhere.

Look for ideas and solutions outside of the box.

Whatever your niche of choice might be, don’t confine your explorations and learning to just your niche. Explore other avenues outside of your realm to see how they solve problems and how that might be applicable to your niche. Becoming myopic to your own area of expertise to the exclusion of all others can mean you’re missing out on stellar ideas to increase your bottom line.

Here’s a simple example: Angie has her own line of make-up products targeted to woman over 50 that she sells exclusively online, and she’s been struggling with lead generation. The other day she received her order of vitamins from a well know health company with millions of customers, and it hit her: What if she asked this company to place a postcard promoting her website in every box that contained one or more products designed exclusively for this target market?

Most online marketers would never even think of this – yet it’s an excellent way to get her website in front of her exact target market. And all it will cost her is the printing, since the health company is taking a percentage of sales as her affiliate rather than a flat fee for inserting the postcards.

Sometimes we find ourselves bogged down while trying to decide what to do next or how to do it – when really all we need are simple systems to keep us moving, and our business growing.

Reduce PayPal Shopping Cart Abandonment with A Simple Banner

If you’re using Paypal to take payments, here’s a neat little trick to increase your sales…

PayPal Shopping

When someone adds your product to the shopping cart, it takes them to the Paypal checkout page. The problem is, some people will back out of the purchase at this point. However, what most marketers don’t seem to know is that Paypal allows you to place a banner at the top of this checkout page. Moreover, what you choose to place in this banner can reduce shopping cart abandonment by allaying your customer’s fear.

For example, recently when I purchased a product I saw a banner at the top of the Paypal checkout page that actually asked me to visit another website to sign up for a different product launch! This is obviously NOT the way to use this banner space.

Instead, do what I saw one enterprising entrepreneur do the other day – create a simple banner with a short TESTIMONIAL in it for the product they are about to purchase.

It can be something as brief as:

I Can’t Believe This is Available for Such a Low Price.

– Customer Name

or

ABC Product Saved Me $xxxx in Just The First 3 Months.

– Customer Name

Be sure to use quotes and the person’s full name – and if applicable, their company name. This provides third party validation that the buyer is in fact making a smart decision by purchasing your offer, and thus reduce your Paypal shopping cart abandonment rate.

Of course, this same tip can be applied to any shopping cart or online checkout experience really. Using social proof to re-inforce your buyers confidence just before checkout will boost your sales.

Now just make sure you are giving your customers experiences WORTH writing you glowing reviews and testimonials for and you’ll be all set!

How to Increase Sales on Your Blog

Typically when we want to monetize a blog we simply add some advertising to it, correct? Maybe some adwords, or perhaps banner ads that lead to sales pages that lead to (hopefully) bucketfuls of commissions.

How to Increase Sales on Your Blog

But as you may have discovered, the problem with advertising products this way is that prospects land on the sales page cold. They don’t know any more than what was written in that tiny banner ad, and so they aren’t even close to being warmed up enough to read or watch a sales pitch.

To improve your conversion rate for products sold from your blog, you can always create a page before the sales page. That is, your banner takes them to another page on your blog that introduces them to the product and its many benefits prior to sending them to the sales page. And while there are some “experts” who will tell you that any added step in the sales process is a no-no, the fact is this will usually (if not always) improve your sales by at least a small margin, if not more.

One step better is to forgo the banner ad and instead write a blog post about the product. Your readers are already reading your blog, and the beauty of talking about a product within a blog post is the same as referring to a product in a news story – it slides in under the prospect’s sales radar.

You can bring up a problem you’ve been having that is likely something you have in common with your readers, and then you let them know you’ve found the solution. Don’t make it read like a sales pitch – simply share the best benefits of this product and then offer the link if they want to know more or perhaps enjoy the benefits for themselves.

This can definitely bring in the sales, but there is a drawback: Your sales will increase for a day or two or possibly longer, but as your blog post drops down on your blog, the sales will taper off. And while you will continue to enjoy a sale here or there as new readers find your old post, it’s not a terrific long term strategy for making ongoing sales.

However, if the product you are promoting is your own product AND it’s a GOOD product, there is a solution that frankly kicks cyber-butt and converts like a banshee, and it’s this: Add the Facebook commenting system to your page.

This allows your product users to make comments about your product that show up on your blog. Once you’ve added Facebook commenting, email your existing customers and ask them to stop by your page and leave a testimonial.

Result? As you accumulate testimonials your prospects see this genuine social proof that your offer does what it says, causing them to get excited about your product before they even know what it is. This can mean a HUGE boost in sales for you – and not just now but well into the future as well.

And the allows you to display these comments in multiple places for maximum impact. Having the ability to display genuine feedback from your customers is perhaps the most powerful tool you can have in enticing, exciting and converting prospects into buyers.

Also, did you notice how I smoothly recommended and referred you to the Facebook commenting system in this article? Pretty cool, right?! 😉 That’s the same strategy you can use in your blog posts to recommend other products and services you recommend (and are affiliated with) in some of your future blog posts. In this way, your recommendations will be taken more seriously, and your sales will grow more consistently. Now if only I could get Facebook to pay me for my sincere recommendation.

Tricks to Getting Retweeted

When your tweets get retweeted, a whole new group of followers is exposed to your tweet, and thereby you. The more your tweets are retweeted, the greater number of followers who will get to see them. Why is this important? Because the added exposure can mean you get new followers as well as more clicks to your website.

Retweet

So are there any tricks to getting retweeted? Absolutely, and I’ve picked out some of the best…

1. Write good stuff. Seriously – write tweets that people enjoy, that are interesting or useful or entertaining or helpful. Recall the kinds of things you’ve retweeted – you don’t forward boring stuff, you retweet only the best tweets, and that’s what your followers do as well.

2. Anything about Twitter is retweetable. Think about it – what is the ONE thing every single person on Twitter has in common? Twitter! So when you find an article with Twitter tips, or the latest editorial rant on why Twitter is bad, or great, or the marketing bonanza of all time – go ahead and tweet about it.

3. Breaking news – whether it’s a tornado moving through your backyard or the latest development in your niche – tweet about breaking news as soon as you hear about it.

4. Tweet “How-to’s.” People love tweets that begin with, “How to…” regardless of whether it’s how to make sauerkraut chocolate cake, get more done in less time or hot wire a car. Another phrase that also gets retweeted a lot is “The art of…”

5. Use links in your tweets. Providing a link adds credibility and gives your followers a place to go for more information. Always add a link if it’s pertinent.

6. Tweet about the weird, strange and bizarre. Glow in the dark goldfish and naked graffiti artists will get retweeted non-stop for DAYS, so go ahead and tweet about the weird stuff, because you are NOT the only person who loves being surprised and shocked.

7. Which brings us to the last one – be surprising, be different, be FUN. More than almost anything else, people love to be entertained – so go ahead and get a little crazy, let the kid in you shine through, and transmit that innate sense of pleasure in living life to your followers.

Bottom line: The more you get retweeted, the better. And what’s the number one trick to getting retweeted? Believe it or not, it’s simply ASKING your followers to retweet you.

How to Run a Twitter Poll

Twitter polls are an excellent way to ask for help, get feedback from your followers and further develop your online relationships, and business prospects.

How to Run a Twitter Poll

And they’re super easy to run, as well. Here’s how:

Announce that you’ll be taking a poll or asking a series of poll questions.

Use a descriptive #hashtag after each of your poll questions to thread them together.

Ask questions that are relevant to your tweeting history. For example, if your Twitter profile is all about online marketing, then stick to that rather than asking what they think of politics or global climate change.

Make it fun. Polls don’t always need to be serious. For example, if your niche is marketing, you might ask how they would market square chicken eggs or what is the worst example of marketing they’ve witnessed in the past week.

Thank your participants, ask for clarification if necessary, and let them know what you’ll be doing with their feedback (Creating a new product? Changing your marketing strategy? Writing a new blog post?, etc.)

If you’re writing a blog post based on the results you receive, consider thanking the participants by name in your post. If there are too many to thank, at least create a Twitter list just for this particular poll and then link to the poll from your blog post.

If you’re finding it difficult to interact with your fellow Twitterites, you’ll definitely want to use a few polls to get things jump started. I’ve seen a poll on whether or not people prefer creamy to chunky peanut butter generate huge interest in just minutes. It’s all about engaging people and valuing their opinion – even on something as silly as smooth or lumpy.

Have fun with it, and go out there and learn some more about your Twitter followers! You may just uncover a hidden need that you can develop a product around, or way to improve your growing online business.

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