When I first started exploring the online business arena, I did not have the slightest idea what to look for. I had absolutely no idea as to how anybody could make money with an online business, nor I had a clue as to how a business could come to life and make you money without an office, employees, inventory and all of those things one usually associates with an enterprise.All I knew for sure is that there were people out there making money out of websites and blogs, and some of them were cashing in big time with only a computer and a cell phone as their weapons. As anybody else would have done, I started looking for information in the search engines and of course, as you can imagine, I found basically millions of results. At this point I did not even know what a text link was, so I really could not tell the difference between a promotional site and what I call an informative site. Therefore, I was being bombarded with information that in most cases pursued only a sale instead of helping me find and actual online business opportunity.So, instead of going ahead and paying for any of the so called business opportunities, I decided to start taking advantage of some free stuff that I stumbled upon from time to time, like e-books and other resources that allowed me to begin understanding what online businesses were all about. These freebies helped me open my eyes to a whole world I had been missing. I quickly realized that there were basically two types of online business:1) Affiliate or online marketing2) Online retailThis does not mean that there are not other ways of making money online, but it does mean that for a newbie these are the two most intuitive ways of starting a realistic online entrepreneur effort.Well, after getting a general idea of what online businesses were all about, and understanding a little bit about what it takes make money with an online business, I decided to take the next step got myself one of the so called money making systems.I tried over 10 online business systems or programs and frankly only a few of them were actually helpful to me. Truth is I spent almost a year crashing my head onto the wall with no significant results, even though I have to say that year came as an important and necessary learning period that got me to where I am today in the online business arena.You see, the thing is that many many of the so called money making systems are truly a waste of time and money, because once you get your hands on them you realize there is nothing really fancy or new about them, and often they only want you to spend more money in “tools” that will supposedly help you achieve the results they promise.So trial and error has been definitely a part of that learning experience, which of course has not come without a cost because I have spent probably over $1,000 looking for something that could put me on track and lead me to online success.In the end, after being a bit more aware of what to look for, my latest choices were really wise decisions, because as it turns out, I managed to put my hands on systems that finally helped me fill in the holes in my strategies. However, it is important to note that I had to do some hard work at the beginning, because when you start this journey you are actually studying and working to build an online business.As a general rule, the programs that genuinely seek to help you are the ones which do not present you with magic formulas, but instead hand you a set of tools, resources and material for you to study and learn. Of course, I understand that for some people this might be a little disappointing, because everybody is dreaming about making money online with absolutely no effort, but sadly, that is not possible.The good news is that once you have done the hard work (study, study, learn, and then execute) you will then start seeing some magic, because once you get to understand the dynamics of internet marketing you will realize that making money without a lot of work is actually possible, but only after you have put your back into it for some time.If you apply the right strategies and build a suitable business structure you will have to work (make no mistake about it), but it will be like building a hotel, once it is finished and you set up all your business structure, it will keep making money for you provided that you -or someone you hired- are supervising the whole operation.Fact: You can make money with an online business, but you must be willing to put your back into it in order to learn and build it, and you must make some wise decisions when it comes to choosing your tools and resources.Fiction: You will become rich overnight or within a week (big no).
There is more to launching a product or program to your community simply than sending out an email and hoping people will buy! It’s about creating a whole product/program launch system so that you can get maximum sales for your brand-new offering. Every business owner is excited to launch a new product or program and dreams of seeing “sold out” on their website.But very often they don’t have a launch strategy in place, and so miss many of those vital pre-launch steps that would result in those “sold out” sales.Before I figured out the very specific system needed for a successful launch campaign, I too experienced those “launch flops”:Spending months putting a program together and not having a single sale when it launched!
Tried again a few months later with a new program, and had two sales!
Then, finally, creating a program launch system that created “sold out” signs going up on my website!With the technology that’s available to business owners, and the world-wide reach of the Internet, you’d think it would be easy to create a product or program, launch it, and make sales! Not so. It’s all down to your program launch system, and taking very specific, step-by-step actions to ensure you have all the steps covered.Here are my top five steps to ensure a successful product launch:Step 1: Give yourself enough time to plan and implement your launch. So often business owners don’t allow enough time to put in place all the key steps needed to ensure a successful launch campaign. There are so many moving pieces in a launch cycle that if at any point in the process a step gets missed, it could spell disaster for your launch and means it might not to be as successful as you hoped it would be.Step 2: Set realistic sales goals. For this you need to understand the metrics of your business. If your goal is to have 100 members in your new membership program, but your list size won’t support that goal, then you’re going to end up being very disappointed. In my experience, business owners set unrealistic expectations of what they want simply because they don’t understand their business. So take a look at your business, and determine what realistic goals are for your product/program sales.Step 3: Set up the necessary back-office systems. This means having your Infusionsoft or 1ShoppingCart account properly set up to handle the automated sales and delivery process. If you don’t understand how this technology works, and you don’t have someone on your team who can do this for you, then taking orders is going to become an issue for you at launch time.Step 4: Determine which promotional strategies you’re going to use. This ties into Step 1 above as there are many different promotional strategies you could implement, with some taking more time than others. For example, will you be hosting a preview call? A series of preview calls? A video series? Will you be bringing on board affiliates and joint venture partners? Knowing at the outset which promotional strategies to use will determine the timeline for your launch campaign.Step 5: Decide on your launch window. After launching your product, how long will you make it available for? When will you close the cart? What will you do during this timeframe to encourage more sales? All of these are key factors that you have to build in to your launch campaign at the outset. And, depending on what you decide to do, you’ll need to allow the time and resources to implement these.As you can see, there are LOTS of things you need to take into account. And this is why it’s so important that you create a system for your product launch campaign, so that enough time is allowed and important steps don’t get missed.Once your launch is over, if you planned it all out from the beginning and created a system for it, you should be congratulating yourself on reaching your sales goals. And next time, guess what… you have the system in place. You simply rinse and repeat for future launch campaigns.(c) 2013 Tracey Lawton