Feb 12

Business Models for Starting a FREE Business Online

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2010 in General Tips, Marketing

When it comes to starting a business online 99% of people expect everything to be free (thanks google…). In this post I will briefly go over the two popular business models for starting a ’FREE’ business online and how to convert free into dollars and cents.

Free Business Online

1. Advertisement Driven Business

If you can produce content or a product that will get a lot of people to view or use with a minimal cost start up then advertisement is the route to go. Think of it as every person who reads or uses your product converts over to $1 a year (this person will probably consist of 100 or so visits a year, so the $1 is NOT equal to a visit but the impact one person will have). A great way to start advertising is to use Googles AdSense it allows you to quickly place ads around your content. The down side is that you have to share the revenue with Google. The other alternative (after you have a proven base roughly 30-60k views a month) is to venture out and find company’s that would benefit from your target audience. Look at competitor’s sites/blogs and see what company’s are advertising on their sites and contact them (and like companies). There are different variations on advertising online IE: Pay-Per-Click, Per-Impression… but I don’t want to go into those. I simply want to convey that if you build it, and they come… Toss some ads on there if you’re looking for some dollars and cents.

2. Premium Product

Another way of producing money, but also offering a free product is to have a stripped down version of your final product. IE: Only let people read half of your eBook, If its an image sharing site only allow free users to upload 10 images and where the premium (paid) version allows people access to the entire product/system. This is a good way to hook them in with the free version, and then show off the benefits they’re missing without the premium version. You could also put ads in the ‘free’ version and no ads in the premium version. There are a lot of ways to play with this model.

The difference between offering something for FREE and offering it for .01 is HUGE. People don’t have to think; don’t have to pull out their credit card… If all people have o do it click to use/view your product then you will start a base that you can then tailor to you ultimate goal > $$.

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Feb 11

5 things I wish I learned in Business School. Plus … a smoking HOT blonde.

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2010 in General Tips, Marketing

Bob Parsons says it best, coming from a man who has been in the trenches. On his video blog he goes over 5 things that are not taught in school but are essential to every entrepreneur.

Bob Parsons of Go Daddy

  1. Start Small
    1. You don’t have to go all in
    2. Get a proven idea that works before ‘going all in’
    3. Always have a fall back (IE: keep your day job)
  2. The Best business Partner, Is no partner
    1. Two heads are not better than one, right? Wrong!
    2. Typically you will spend more time negotiating and compromising than working on the business.
    3. You need one clear leader
  3. Solve you own problems
    1. You don’t need mentors
    2. Solving your own problems will give you breakthrough advantages
  4. Don’t fight fate
    1. Once opportunities start to present themselves be prepared to act
    2. IE: Yamaha started out only building pianos, now they build motorcycles and so on…
  5. Do you feel lucky?
    1. Luck plays a big part in success
    2. Be prepared to take advantage of lucky breaks when they arise

Bonus Tip

Stay out of your comfort zone.

    Go Daddy Girls With Bob Parson

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    Feb 9

    Peyton Manning – Funniest QB Ever?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 in Comedy, Marketing

    There is no question that Peyton Manning is in some pretty funny commercials, but is he the funniest QB the NFL has ever seen? Is Brett Farve more funny? What about Joe Montana, Now I think I’m just talking jibberish… Mr. Manning and his funny bone:

    Manning Funniest Ever

    Nice Stash!

    Peyton Manning Funny Man

    Who can play a better air guitar? Gary hall Jr.?

    Attack Peyton Manning

    Da… Bears!

    Eli and Peyton Manning

    This is a milk commercial, right?

    Who is the funniest QB ever?

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    Feb 9

    The Power Of Words – It’s How You Say It!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 in General Tips, Marketing

    “Words create impressions, images and expectations. They build psychological connections. They influence how we think. Since thoughts determine actions, there’s a powerful connection between the words we use and the results we get.” —Nan S. Russell

    I read an interesting post today by Michael Dalton Johnson where he goes over how you can stimulate people you talk and can easily convert day to day conversations into more sales by simple changing as little as one word in a phrase.

    Successful salespeople know they will sell more by using positive language. Example: Instead of saying, “We can’t ship your order until next Tuesday,” they will say, “We can ship your order as early as next Tuesday.” Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes; which statement is more satisfactory?

    Simply changing or adding a few words to a statement can make it more compelling. “You will get a full 30 percent discount,” blows away “We are offering a 30 percent discount.”

    When you accentuate the positive and create imagery you will make more sales.

    I had to smile when I read the creative imagery of a restaurant menu that offered, not simply “bacon and eggs” but, ” Two farm fresh eggs with country bacon.” It’s the same breakfast but one description sounds a lot more appetizing.

    increase sales with words

    Which would sound better to a buyer? “Our product will save your company 2500 a month” or, “You will save your company 30,000 dollars a year with our product.” Obviously, the second statement is more attention-grabbing because 30,000 “dollars” is far more dramatic than 2500, even though they amount to the same savings. More importantly, “You will save your company…,” makes the buyer both intelligent and a hero. Buyers want to save money. Buyers like to make smart decisions. Buyers love to be heroes.

    Because sales are all about what the buyer gets, “We offer excellent technical support” pales in comparison to “You will get world-class technical support.”

    Instead of saying to a business owner, “Your employees will really appreciate this program,” consider saying with a smile, “Your employees will stand up and applaud you for giving them this program.” Don’t worry; the buyer will allow this bit of poetic license. Even though he/she knows the employees won’t really stand up and applaud, the mental image of them doing so is powerful.

    The practice of using positive words and phrases will help you achieve more results than you ever thought possible. This skill is developed simply by using it. Start today with prospects, co-workers, family, and friends. You’ll begin to reap the rewards that come from accentuating the positive.

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    Jan 30

    1 Critic Can Stand 100 Stories Higher Than 1000 Good Comments

    Posted on Saturday, January 30, 2010 in General Tips, Marketing

    It’s always amazing to me how 1 critic can stand 100 stories higher than 1000 good comments… But that’s the way it is, right? Most people make negative remarks because they’re mad at themselves and its easier to point the finger at someone else than themselves. If somebody expects somebody else to bring them success, they have already failed.

    What makes you happy? Think about it hard, and think it though, not just over a beer but day and night, it will come to you. Don’t be afraid to have to educate yourself a little bit to achieve this goal. Self education is the key to achieving happiness. Do that no questions.

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    Oct 20

    Cold Calling 101

    Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 in General Tips, Marketing

    The person you are calling is solely interested in themselves / how your product will benefit them directly. If you can identify significant impact for the good you will have their attention.

    “Just learn to accept rejection as a normal part of selling.”

    Cold Calling Phone

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    Sep 30

    24hr fitness Freeze

    Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 in Marketing

    “Don’t simply do what people ask you to do. Help them with what they need to achieve.”

    I was on the phone today with 24hr fitness trying to freeze my account because I moved out of the area. The first employee told me that I couldn’t freeze my account because I lived in a 30mi radius… So, if there is another gym literally across the street (walking distance) and it’s a 1hr 30min round trip to the nearest 24hr fitness I am “Still in their area?” After growing upset and digging deeper into what I could do I was transferred to her manager. The manager took a different approach in getting to the bottom of what I needed done. The difference was the first employee simply did what I asked, and the manager was helping me achieve my goal. It gave me the sense that she was on my side working with me. In the end they could not freeze my account because of their rules, but I was less upset because I was helped the right way.

    24hourfitness

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    Sep 10

    Tips To Design Better Banner Ads

    Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2009 in General Tips, Marketing, Web Design

    1. Use the words “Click Here” or “Enter” every time you design a banner.
      1. You may think that these two words are overused online, but tests have proven that these words are able to increase the effectiveness of a banner ad by 20-30% without changing anything else in the banner. They inspire the reader to click on the ad if the headline of the banner interests them.
    2. Animate Your Banners.
      1. An animated banner will increase your banner ads effectiveness by 30-40%. The key in using animation in your banner is keeping it small. The reason that you don’t want big pictures or images that look like live video in your banners is the fact that the banner will load too slowly on people’s pages. The visitors just won’t see it.
    3. Use an awesome headline in your banner.
      1. Don’t think that just having a good looking banner will make people click through. The key to effective banner advertising is having a good headline. A good technique to use is to keep the same headline on your banner ad that you have on your entry page. Then when they click through the banner, they will come to see the same headline that sparked an interest in them in the first place.
    4. The best word to use in your banner headline is “FREE.”
      1. This doesn’t mean that you just need to put the word “FREE” on your banner without any other text. Tell them exactly what they will be getting for FREE. Using the word “FREE” in virtually any headline will make your response rate increase dramatically.
    5. Change your banner ads frequently.
      1. Studies have proven that most banner ads start losing effectiveness after the third time a person has seen it. If they haven’t clicked on it by then, they probably never will. If you are spending a lot of money on advertising and purchasing hundreds of thousands of banner impressions, you will need to come up with a lot of different banners.
    6. Be clear in your graphics and messaging.
      1. Your main objective is to have people take a particular action after viewing your ad. A strong, clear message will help capture their interest. Clear communication requires that you understand your message, what you are selling and the benefit that you are offering potential customers. You will often want your primary message to be the strongest visual element in your ad.
    7. Less really is more.
      1. As you create your design, remember that less cluttered messages will make a stronger impact with the online viewer. Limit the number of elements — the colours, fonts, graphics and words — that you use in your ad and ask yourself whether your primary message is clear.
    8. Use contrast to capture attention.
      1. Your ad will likely include these elements: background colours, a bold text message, and a photograph or drawing, and animated. To be effective you need to have contrast between these elements. Contrast can be achieved using different font sizes and bolds and colours.
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    Jul 18

    Designing Effective HTML Emails

    Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2009 in General Tips, Marketing, Web Design

    • Don’t give up on graphics, but understand that many of your recipients just won’t see them.
      • Make sure not to contain any important “Call to Actions” in an image.
    • Alt tag copy is an art.
      • When Images are not displayed, often time alt text is shown in its place.
      • Use alt text to describe the benefit they are missing by not being able to view the image. EX: “50% off our entire stock, July 4th only!”
      • Also, be aware not all email clients, such as Hotmail, do not display alt text.
    • Make sure your graphics don’t depress response.
      • Use graphics to reinforce messaging, not for messaging itself.
    • Make sure the reading pane* contains a call-to-action, not just graphics.
      • Always state benefits for the reader in the vary top of your email because this text is often used in the “*reading pane” displayed before they open your email.
      • If using columns design the smaller less important column on the right. (People read LEFT to right).
    • Use your subject lines, sender name and “From” address to their best advantage.
      • The sender name should include the name of your company or brand
      • Use an email address that makes it clear who you are and what you do. EX: newsletters@mycompany.com
      • Use the subject to state a benefit to the reader not you.
      • FYI: You have less than 10 words to catch the readers attention
    • Use inline CSS, expect the <head></head> to be ignored
    • Use a proper width for your email.
      • Due to Multiple side bars (inbox, ads…), and standard screen resolutions, expect the width of you email to be between 750-800px.

    Overall state the benefit the person reading is getting weather it’s a super deal IE: free shipping / 15% off or a knowledgeable tip you are giving. Make sure this is the forefront because after you have them interested they are more likely to find out what your true call to action is, whether it be making money, generating traffic or providing helpful information.

    Have fun with it and everything else you do!

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    Jun 30

    4 Easy Steps – Writing Good Copy

    Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 in General Tips, Marketing

    1. Be passionate about what you’re writing about.
      • Depending on your product/topic you should want to buy it, use it, talk to it, love it, and sell it.
    2. Know who your audience is.
      • Don’t use today’s popular slang words when 80% of your readers are 80 year old women. Write to who’s reading and have this target person be your reviewer.
    3. State benefits for the reader in less than 10sec.
      • Not about you, who cares about you? How is it going to immediately benefit the reader?
    4. Keep it short.
      • If you can say the same thing in half the words, then you probably should. Don’t ramble just to fill space, it works against you.
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