March 29, 2007

Build Your Own Comunity

STEP ONE: Create Your Overall Theme to Your Online Business

You can't develop a business around a single product. Even if you are promoting a single product upfront, it is not the product that people want. They want the BENEFITS they receive out of the product. When designing your site, think about an "Ultimate Benefit" to build your site around.

I first heard the phrase "The Ultimate Benefit" through Dr. Jeffrey Lant and it has stuck with me ever since. It is that ever abiding "WANT" or "GOALS" that your prospects have with them continually. Ultimate Benefits are things such as: more money, weight loss, online success, being sexually attractive, self-defense, etc.

Ultimate benefits are what your prospects are really seeking after. So, don't base your business just on products. Base your business on this Ultimate Benefit. This will be the theme that binds everything else you do at your site together. It is what you want your site to become known for. It is why people will return to your site over and over again forever.

What is it that your prospects ultimately want?
More Money
Better Health
Weight Loss

Once you have defined your "Ultimate Benefit," that's where the products can come in. You will want to provide multiple products that all fall under the same Ultimate Benefit. This will help you to create "Multiple Streams of Income" all generated from one web site.

What mail order or internet company do you know of that only has one product? There aren't any really successful ones. Even the sites which seem only to have one main product still have dozens of different profit streams which all originate from the main product. Your mission online is to help people reach their ultimate goals, and that cannot be done with just one product. It takes a variety of products to accomplish this goal.

One warning I do want to mention here though is that your site will be more successful if you have one LEAD product. By testing both multiple product sites and sites which focus on one lead product, I have found that the lead product sites will outsell the multiple product sites by a long shot in most cases.

So, the absolute best set-up is to focus on a main product, and then have many different backends or supporting products which will help your customers to further their goals. This type of system is often referred to as a marketing funnel. You may be selling a book about Ad Copy on your site, but you will also have consultations, seminars, audio tapes, and ad writing services which all support your theme.

If you are selling web sites as a primary lead product, you could also sell books on internet marketing, web design services, CGI programming, etc. If your theme is weight loss, your primary product may be a nutritional product. You could also sell weight loss and exercise books. A newsletter could be started. You could also do personal one-on-one consultations for specific individuals.

You also don't need to come up with all of these products yourself. Many of them can be found through Joint Ventures with other companies which have products you know your customers want.

STEP TWO: Develop A Unique Aspect to Your Business...Your USP

Your business cannot just be a me-too business online. You need to develop some type of uniqueness to it...something that sets you apart from all of the rest of your competition online. You need to create a "Unique Selling Position" which makes you stand out from the crowd online.

For example, everyone is selling books online. How did become the most well known bookstore on the interne? They developed a USP which basically states, "The World's Largest Bookstore" which is exactly what they are. They have stated in one phrase exactly what makes them unique from the rest of the bookstores in the world.

How can you develop your own USP? You probably aren't going to own the largest selection of anything in your business since most of us have started out bootstrapping at home or in our small business. Let me give you a simple little formula you can use which will help you immensely in the creation of a USP for your business.

To find your USP, pull out a blank sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, write "You know how most __________..." Then, halfway down the page, write "Well, What I do is..."

I want you to write how most of the businesses in your market are in the first section. Then, I want you to write what sets you apart from them. Avoid using words such as quality or better service, because those types of things don't really mean anything UNLESS you are more specific in your description. This may take you a while to do. You probably will have to study your competition online for a while. Give yourself a few days to think it over. Then, write it down.

Next, I want you to boil down that entire sheet of paper to a single phrase or sentence. This takes some work. Write it out in a sentence or phrase as many times as you need to until you get just the right words. Again, if this takes you a few days, let it. Think about it when you are driving, eating, etc. Mull it over. Then, once you have just the right wording, that is your NEW USP which you will use to separate you from all of the competition.

Use it on your signature file online...use it on your website...use it in your ad copy. Let it become a guiding force to your online business that sets you apart and defines you as the person to deal with in this area.

STEP THREE: Concentrate on Building Relationships with Your Prospects

To fully develop an online business, you need to maximize your relationships with people. Although your goal in your internet business may be to set it up on auto-pilot, you have to remember at all times that you are dealing with real people. Credibility online is a major issue because there are many fly-by-night get-rich-quick operators on the internet.

To help you develop this credibility with your prospects, your overall strategy has to include such tools as ezines, message boards, chats, conference calls, dealer programs, etc. Many people keep asking exactly why does it seem ezines are popping up is simply because they work. They help you to develop the relationships you need with your prospects. You are able to contact your prospects over and over again providing them with good useful information.

The same thing is true of the message boards. Once you have worked them up to a certain level of traffic, the same people will keep coming back day after day learning from you and the other experts you may have brought to your board.

Use your imagination and develop other free services such as these to help you develop your web site and relationships online. How about doing JV's with other businesses? How about running a monthly conference call on your subject? Your business online is only limited by your imagination!

A Internet Community Could Be Built Around ANY Product or Service You Could Imagine!

Below we are going to give you 10 examples of communities you could build, but they are only examples. You could build an internet community around ANYTHING! What interests you? What do you like to research and learn about? What do you like to do for hobbies? Everyone of your answers to those questions will be another THEME you could follow on your site.

Go to any local magazine stand and look through the magazines. Every one of those magazines is built around a targeted market of consumers and is based on a specific theme. Products will be sold in the magazine that focus on that theme. Free articles are throughout the magazine which focus on the theme. You could easily compare the design of successful web site to these magazines.

Pick up a magazine and you will be holding in your hands a complete idea for your entire web site. The articles will show you the kinds of free information the market is seeking. The ads which run month after month will show you the products they are buying. That is how simple it can be to figure out what kind of theme interests you...what magazines are in your house?

Ten Communities You Could Build Are:

1. Internet Marketing

This market is still HOT...and will continue to be for years to come as more and more businesses are moving to the web every day. The biggest problem with building a community in this area will be in creating a Unique Selling Position to it. There are thousands of sites out there selling internet marketing products, services, or information. So if you go in this area, you have to find a very targeted niche market and/or provide a lot of free information or services to break away from the mold of the rest of the sites.

2. Copywriting

Every business needs to learn more about copywriting...and we never stop learning. For this area, you would need to come up with all kinds of free reports plus possibly find programs that would compliment ad writing or make doing it easier. Again, just like #1 above, you would find yourself in a very competitive market with thousands of competitors. This is not saying that you can't develop a uniqueness to your business. It is just saying you will have to work harder at it. For example, I know of one copywriter online who separated himself from the rest of the pack by calling himself the "World's First Cybercopywriter" showing that he writes specifically for the internet.

3. Fitness

To see just how hot this market is, just turn on your TV set and watch the infomercials for a few minutes. More infomercials are becoming successful through nutritional products or exercise equipment than anything else. You could build an entire community around a specific diet program, exercise program, or nutritional program. Message boards, ezines, chats, and more would all be exciting to your prospects in any of these areas. Plus, there is NO lack of companies which you can find online which would allow you to be a dealer for their products for you to sell on your site.

4. Buying and Selling At Online Auctions

This is another business opportunity which really gets people excited. You could create a community that focuses on a specific type of buying (online auctions, local auctions, garage sales, government auctions, etc.) or on a specific type of products (collectibles, beanie babies, tools, furniture, property, etc.). Then, you could have online forums, a training course, classifieds (to sell these products) which you give some ads away for free (the best ads at top or through searches would be paid ads). You could easily target a specific type of buying or selling and end up becoming the Main Web Site in a specific niche market.

5. Press Releases

You could build a community around press releases for other businesses online. Include informational reports for free which help people design their own press releases. Have a message board and ezine with tips. Then, sell a press release course, service, or lists of publishers to contact.

6. Beauty Products

Go to your local magazine rack and look at the number of magazines which fall under this category. There are dozens of them (or hundreds depending on the store). You could find a specific niche market and focus your site on that. You would have a primary product and then could find hundreds of supporting products to go with it!

7. Kitchen Aids

How about new kitchen appliances or cookbooks. The biggest challenge in this area will be making sure you are selling products which CANNOT be found at the local store. New products or cookbooks can be extremely HOT, but there are a lot of similar products being sold at stores for less than what it would cost to sell them through mail order. For ideas in this area, watch some of the infomercials that sell products of this nature. You could start a "Recipe of the Day" newsletter or a message board to trade recipes...both items which will quickly gain popularity in this market.

8. Automobiles

I hate lumping all of the ideas which you could come up with on automobiles in just one category here, but I don't want this course to be called 1001 internet businesses. You could do collector cars (having cars sold on your site for a commission or with paid ads), models, books on automobiles, etc. Gas treatment products and various other things would make very good supporting products.

9. Golf

Any other sport could also become a good theme, but let's focus on one idea at a time. With so many golf enthusiasts out there, all just hoping to improve their game by any means necessary, this is a ripe market. So, if you are a golf lover yourself, consider setting up a site on how to lower your score. It could sell clubs, books, videos...discussions could be held with a golf pro invited to help out. Even Real Video could be placed online showing the right golf swings.

10. Self-Defense

How about a self-defense site? It could be self-defense for kids, women, professional women, men, professional men, etc. You get the idea. Pick out a targeted niche market in this area and sell books, videos, and equipment all meant to help people to defend themselves better. With increasing violence worldwide, this is a market that will never disappear. Ezine ideas could be a Self-Defense tip of the week (or day) Showing how to avoid deadly confrontations...a message board could be started on the same subject.

Web Site Marketing is Community Building

I could list just about any and every possible business in this section, because internet marketing is simply community building. Build a community around a specific theme or niche market. Use some of the above ideas in your business to help build relationships with your prospects and watch your sales soar!