Charles Kirkland – Life After Facebook
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Not enough market research
twitter 2As entrepreneurs it’s easy to fall in love with an idea about how well your products are going to sell. Just build a better mousetrap and they will come. Well, in the online world that’s like waiting up all night to catch the tooth fairy. It’s just not going to happen.
Most entrepreneurs start an online business with the belief that their idea is going to be worth millions right out of the gate. But if you do the market research and look at the facts, you might discover that your idea is not going to work. In this case it may be better to ditch the idea in the planning phase than to waste time and money trying to make it work.
When you are doing market research make sure your find multiple people selling something similar to your product. That’s proof that other people have made it work and you can to.
Next, you need to visit their site to sign up for their email list and buy their product. Take note of the different products they offer for sale in their funnel.
Once you have this research together you will better understand the market dynamics and what you’ll need to have in place to compete successfully with them.
Not focusing on 1 thing until it’s done
Now that you have your market research done and have proof of concept that there is a healthy demand for your product, you need to focus on creating the product until it’s done. That means 100% done, not 99% done. As online entrepreneurs it’s easy to get side-tracked by bright shiny objects that are designed to make you part with your hard earned money. You can’t sell anything until you get it done. Don’t try to do multiple projects at once because it will just slow you down. Plus, you only need to have one front-end product completed to build your business.
domainNot using your own domain
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge an online business by its domain name. A lot of entrepreneurs will be pound wise and penny foolish by using a free hosting account or a shared domain name. That’s a sure sign of an ameteur. Your domain is your storefront. Make sure you have a self-hosted domain that reflects your business. Plus, the right domain name will inspire confidence in your buyers.
Not building your email list from day 1
The life blood of your business will be your email list. Think of them as your own tribe and you are their fearless leader. It’s up to you to lead them to whatever results you or your products deliver. Never be afraid to email your list because you know you are providing value.
Make email list building your first priority as soon as your site is live. I would suggest you use Aweber for your email marketing. They have a crazy deal where you can get 30 days free. Even if you don’t have your products ready for sale, still get an email form to capture emails on your blog.
Not building out your funnel
Now that you have your email capture up and running it’s time to review your market research to see what and how your competitors are selling their products. You need to really look at how they are positioning their products to the market. Are they the Cadillacs of the niche or do they have the Walmart mentality. You have to figure out your positioning before you create a product.
You also need to look at what types of funnels your competitors are using. Are they losing money on the front-end to acquire a customer only to promote high ticket items to them next week? Do do they make enough money from the front-end sales that they don’t have a back-end funnel. These are important details you need to consider.
coins-1015125_640Not focusing on recurring income
Even if you’re only selling 1 item, look at how you can take that one time sale and turn it into repeat sales. Or better yet offer some kind of continuity program to create recurring income. Often this is done with a product of the month, membership sites, newsletters, or product refills. This will be the source of the bulk of your long-term income. Plus, if you consider selling the business the recurring income and the email list will be the assets that buyers want the most.
Not wanting to spend money on advertising
This is where most entrepreneurs trip themselves up. You have be willing to spend money to get your offer in front of your target audience. It is just like in real estate– location, location, location. You can’t make sales if buyers never see your site. Paid traffic should be a line item on your cost of doing business. The entire internet is based on the model of using paid traffic.
Trying to do the techie stuff yourself
I’m a victim of this myself. I can’t count the times I should have spent my time growing the business instead of tweaking some code on the site or in the shopping cart. Don’t spend your time doing techie things. Technology is hard to learn, and often you will only use it once or twice. But technology is easy and cheap to outsource.
1. Google Adwords: Adwords is the premier advertising product of Google. Google Adwords is a PPC (pay-per-click) engine meaning you only pay when someone actually clicks your ad. The opposite (and more traditional) of this is CPM advertising, where you pay a certain rate regardless of how many clicks you get.
There are TWO sides to Google Adwords The Search Network and The Content Network.
2. Bing/Yahoo: MSN Adcenter is Microsoftís flagship search advertising product which is similar to Google Adwords. It too, is a PPC engine where you are only charged for actual clicks as opposed to paying a certain rate for your advertising.
MSN Adcenter also has a search network and content network, although the content network on MSN is vastly smaller than Googleís.
3. Miva: Miva Merchant offers a complete e-commerce solution consisting of PA-DSS validated ecommerce software, PCI compliant ecommerce hosting, credit card processing services and custom website design & development.
4. 7Search: If you are struggling getting profitable on your PPC traffic source, try a smaller network like 7Search
5.LookSmart: LookSmart is an online advertising and technology company that provides premium and performance advertising solutions for advertisers and publishers. LookSmart offers an unparalleled customer experience to advertisers of any size budget, offering them extensive reach into audiences through a monitored distribution network, maximizing ROI. LookSmart offers publishers hosted, white label ad serving technology to command and control their advertising revenue.
6. AdKnowledge: one stop shop for lots of types of ads. interesting. Adknowledge pairs advanced targeting with a massive database of consumers to drive leads and brand awareness through:Social media, audience delivery, email. Unlocking your digital audience is more than a tagline ó it defines our mission at Adknowledge. Here at Adknowledge, we connect advertisers with the appropriate audience, in the right place and at the right time. With a database of 400 million people, we can predict online preferences and behavior.
7. Affinity: search, parked pages, text ads good 2nd tier inventory. Affinity is a contextual advertising company that delivers over 30 Billion ad impressions each month from North America, Western Europe, Middle East, India, South-East Asia & Australia.
8. Marchex: IndustryBrains is a leading performance advertising media company that uses keyword search and relevant editorial targeting to achieve superior advertising results for marketers.
9. AdMarketplace: AdMarketplace is the largest search advertising marketplace outside of Google and Yahoo. Named one of New York’s fastest growing companies for two years running, adMarketplace delivers performance traffic to large, data-savvy marketers and their agencies. The Advertiser 3D interface is the only pay-per-click platform that allows advertisers to bid by individual traffic source and device type.
10. FindItQuick: With FinditQuick, you can achieve greater exposure for your business with our large traffic network. We will reach every corner of the internet for you to get you the results you need.
1. Facebook Ads: Self Serve Ads on Facebook
2. POF Ads: Self Serve Ads on PlentyOfFish. Promote your business on Plentyoffish! The top users of our ad system have increased their revenues by over $500,000 a month by taking advantage of our targeting capabilities. Many business owners target local consumers based on zip code, age, gender, education, profession etc.
3. Reddit Ads: Get your message to millions of viewers, Target viewers on what THEY are interested in, not what their demographic is,Use text, images, and video in your ads.
4.LinkedIn Ads: Connect with the world’s largest audience of active, influential professionals. Launch your campaign in minutes.
LinkedIn is our most cost-effective online marketing channel.Good for B2B
1.Traffic Vance: Trafficvance is the leading Contextual Textlink and Display Advertising Platform. It delivers high quality traffic to advertisers through a winning combination of high performing ad units, granular targeting, competitive pricing, and multiple optimization capabilities.
2. AdOnNetwork: AdOn Network is a premier online Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising company that provides innovative contextual and audience based advertising solutions for advertisers and publishers and delivers high-quality traffic from U.S. and international sources
3. MediaTraffic: CPV Contextual Advertising. Get Targeted Domestic and International Traffic with MediaTraffic CPV Contextual Advertising. MediaTraffic offers 3 ways to buy targeted traffic and drive quality visitors to your website: Highly Targeted, Broad Targeted and RON (run of network).
4. Direct CPV: Try something different with DirectCPV, the leading online CPV and PPV advertising network that delivers the highest converting results and increases ROI for all advertisers. Extend your reach by targeting relevant keywords, URLS, locations and channels to ignite your income and generate higher conversions.
5. Clicksor: Clicksor offers webmasters the opportunity to earn additional income by using a selection of clickable text or targeted contextual banners on their websites or blogs. Our contextual advertising ensures advertisers that the most relevant ads are delivered to the right audience at the right time to significantly increase return on investment.
Self-Serve Media Buys & Ad Network
1. AdBlade: Put an end to disappointing campaign results with Adblade, the worldís only ultra-premium ad network. With premium inventory from over 1,000 branded content sites, reaching over 200 million unique users in the US each month, you can target best prospects at scale.
2. Sitescout.com: SiteScout is the leading self-serve ad platform for marketing professionals and agencies.
3. AdReady: Display ads/self serve banners on yahoo sites.
4. Yabuka Solutions: Yabuka provides advertisers with the perfect medium to engage audiences via Sponsored Listing placements on premium publishers and Display advertising utilizing custom RTB technology in connection with the best traffic partners. Yabukaís self-service platform gives advertisers innovative tools to promote success for their campaignís unique goals
5. AdToll.com: Now owned by Click booth banners/display/text ads.
6.CBS Interactive: Media buys on very high traffic CBS site inventory Enticing brands. An engaged audience. Advertising programs that make the connection.
7. Advertise.com: Highly Targeted Display Marketing. Reach and Engage Millions with Your Display Ads
trafiq8.Traffiq.com: You face countless options in digital media planning and buying, and TRAFFIQ strives to simplify them by providing optimal media solutions and strategies to accomplish your business goals. As a leader in the constantly evolving space, we are determined to demystify digital media by staying abreast of these ever-changing dynamics. Because we were born from technology, we are uniquely positioned to keep our finger on the pulse of the digital universe. With creative thinking, a strategic approach, and a focus on in-depth analytics, we achieve your desired results.
9. XA.net: Display/retargeting/facebook ad exchange
10. OpenX Ad Marketplace: OpenX Ad Exchange Maximizes Revenue through Real-time Auctions
OpenX Ad Exchange helps ad buyers reach their ideal audiences so you can maximize their campaign performance across all screens.
11. AdEngage: AdEngage is an online advertising network that allows advertisers to buy ads. Advertisers benefit by being able to target consumers with relevant text, PhoText, banner and rich media ads at scale. In addition, with detailed, real time reporting, you know where your ads are shown and how much each segment costs you, so you can maximize your profits.
12. ZedoAdNetwork.com: ZEDO Ad Network solely focuses on Behaviorally Targeted advertising. Behavioral targeting is a way to identify users that would be interested in your product. ZEDO Ad Network is the only network that sells only this type of targeting.
13. AdPerium: With Adperium Direct Ads you can start your campaign within a minute. Upload your banner, select the countries you want to target, enter a budget and you’re ready to go!
14. BuyAds.com: Self-serve banners on many quality sites
15. BuySellAds: Self serve banners on a range of design blogs.BuySellAds help advertisers buy quality, guaranteed inventory directly from publishers. No middle man. Fully Transparent. Self-serve.
16. BlogAds: banners/text ads on high traffic blog network. We can help you make a splash on premier blogs like PerezHilton, Dailykos, Wonkette, Dlisted, and CuteOverload. Or blanket specific blog communities from liberals to parents with the broadest range of ad types– from tweetable video ads to IAB units to native advertising to skins.
17. RealTechNetwork: RealTechNetwork offers advertisers the ability to target a wide range of demographics through its network of active publishers.
18. Chitika: At Chitika, we only show ads to users when and where they want to see them. Access to top tier advertising partners like Yahoo!, SuperMedia and HomeAdvisor. Proprietary targeting and optimization technology that leverages the power of programmatic buying to serve precisely the right ad, at the right time.
19. Adroll: AdRoll is the most widely used retargeting platform in the world.
The landing page of your website is crucial. It is often the first contact people have with your company. Therefore, it’s essential you capture their attention and their interest. If your landing page is not attractive and does not contain meaningful information, potential customers will simple move on. Your landing page must contain images and information that will grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to continue to investigate what your website has to offer.
No matter how good the product or service you are offering is, if your landing page cannot capture the customer’s attention, they won’t stick around long enough to find out.
Make Your Landing Page Match Your Ads
Your ad was effective enough to encourage potential customers to visit your website. Use that to your advantage. Your landing page should match your ads in several key areas if you want to continue to hold the interest of the visitors to your site. Many businesses lose clients because of the dramatic difference between the information on the flyer or other types of marketing materials that draw them to the site and the landing page.
However, the most effective landing pages are the ones which mirror the marketing themes, language, and feel of the previously distributed marketing materials.
Two important ways in which you should make sure your landing pages matches your other marketing material is with the headlines and the images that are used. The same headline that drew the potential client to your website will probably hold their attention and make them take the time to explore the site and stay long enough to hear your entire message.
The images you use on your landing page play a similar role. Some people are attracted to and moved by particular images. By continuing to use the images from your previous marketing materials on your landing page you increase the chances of keeping the interest of your visitors and making a sale.
Keep Your Landing Page Simple
Some people try to do so much with their landing page that it ends up driving away their visitors. Many people today are either very busy or have short attention spans. If they find they have to work too hard to access or understand the information being presented on your landing page, chances are higher they will simply navigate away from your website. People of a variety of educational and interest levels will visit your website landing page.
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