Enhancing Your How-to’s with Video


Seeing is believing isn’t it? While thousands of savvy Internet marketers are taking advantage of the latest the digital age has to offer, thousands more haven’t yet realized the enormous potential of setting their words to video.

Long before the Internet was even thought of, society has recognized the need for visual aids in sales promotions. We see this when we see a product demonstration at a local retailer and we’ve seen this idea explode in infomercials. While how-to books and articles have always been popular, now that we have the means to add video to our Internet presentations, we should seriously consider the impact this marketing tool has to offer.

Look how popular cooking shows have become in the last decade. Who wants to merely read a recipe when we can watch it being prepared right before our eyes? Besides, think of all the unasked questions that are being answered when we are able to watch something being done as opposed to merely reading about it. Another perk to using video to enhance your offerings: mega marketers now troll the Internet looking for the next commercial. While your video may not make the next Geico commercial, it could have a serious and positive impact on your sales.

Remember the Video Professor commercials? That’s an example of someone who understood the positive impact of visual aids. This company produces videos that show people how to perform the simplest computer functions, as well as other material. While an article about how to do such and such using Microsoft Word or Excel can be quite helpful, there’s nothing as powerful as seeing the required actions come to life on the screen in front of you.

Internet marketers promoting almost any type of how-to can benefit from the added impact a video will produce. While an article, blog, or ebook teaching others how to maximize gas mileage, especially when gas prices are so high, is an interesting read, how much more powerful would your product be if you included a two minute video showing exactly how some of these methods can be carried out?

You don’t have to be a professional videographer with thousands of dollars in equipment to offer this value adding supplement to your product. Just take a look at some of the videos on YouTube and other video sites. While some are clearly produced by amateurs, many others look pretty good.

You’ll also find plenty of free video editing software online that you can play around with if this is a new niche for you. You might also consider hiring someone to do a short video if you’d like to offer it as part of your how-to package but don’t want to go to the trouble to film the segment yourself. You can always post the job on a number of bidding sites and ask to see samples of video work before you actually hire someone. Make sure the rights transfer to you upon the sale and you’ll have added a punch to your package.

How to Promote Your Online Business for Free


You can spend a good chunk of change promoting your online business or website but you can also take advantage of many of the free ways to enjoy site advertisement as well. In fact, thousands of Internet marketers don’t spend a dime on advertising and they don’t have to because they’ve done such a good job of promoting their site without incurring any costs. The following paragraphs will discuss some of those ways.

Blogging has become a popular form of self and site promotion in the Internet age. If you don’t already have a blog, start one. Keep it interesting, fresh, and up-to-date and offer something extra for anyone who will give you their email address. This opt-in tactic could offer free tips or a free sample; something other than what your blog offers and something that will provoke added interest in your site or product.

Write articles about your product. If you’re selling a well known name-brand product, for example, write factual reviews and publish these with a link to your site for those wanting more information or for those wanting to purchase the product. There are several sites that publish product reviews so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a relevant, concise review published.

Post in forums and include a link to your site or product if permitted. Don’t annoy others at the forum by selfishly self-promoting your site or product without really getting involved. Loyal forum members can sniff out this type of poster within seconds and you’ll no longer be welcome. Instead, respond to posts for which you have something to offer, congratulate someone who is sharing a success story, or empathize with someone who is having a rough day. Your link will be right there under your post for the curious to click. In addition, as you get better known within the forums, more people will inevitably click on your link.

Trade links with others. Network with others with similar and different sites and offer to trade links. Be a little discriminating here though, as you don’t want to be affiliated with a site that may have unethical or unsavory business practices. Get to know the sites to which you make this proposal ahead of time to ensure your links will be placed on strictly reputable sites.

One of the best methods of free advertising available is to work diligently to have an optimized website that will consistently show up in the front pages of the search engines. This means paying attention not only to keyword usage, but many other components of your site as well, including interesting and factual content.

All of the methods mentioned above require constant attention. You can’t simply write an article or make a forum post and expect to have a traffic jam on your site. By committing yourself to promoting your business using a variety of methods, however, you can expect to generate much more traffic than if you simply slap a website together and wait for traffic to breeze in the front door.

How to Generate Income by Giving Your Stuff Away


We all want something for nothing. The word “free” is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Millions of us scarf up free rulers, caps, t-shirts, cups, and samples of every kind every day. We don’t even have to be hungry, but pass out free food in bite-size samples and we’ll stand in line! You can use this powerful sales tool in your online business in a number of ways.

First, realize the tremendous power offering something, anything, for free has. Offer me something for free and if I like it, I’m likely to buy the next one and I’m likely to buy it from you! Even when we do pay for something, we like to get something for free along with it. How many times have you taken advantage of the buy-one-get-one free (BOGO) offer? We do it when we order take-out food and when we buy household cleaners. It’s fun to get something for nothing!

This can be an especially useful sales tool if you’re just beginning your online business and haven’t built up a customer base yet. It can also work as a powerful teaser and it is a fair practice as long as you deliver what you promise. For example, don’t offer me “Ten Ways to Discover the Moon” absolutely free and then only give me five and tell me I’ll have to purchase the other five. That’s not fair and you’ll lose customers before you get them by doing this.

On the other hand, it’s perfectly acceptable to offer me “Ten Ways to Discover the Moon” absolutely free and then offer to sell me five more. Of course, the trick is to make sure I enjoy those ten ways so much that I’ll be begging for five more at my own expense! The bonus offer is another popular “gimme” in both on and off-line marketing. Buy this and I’ll give you that for free. It’s similar to a BOGO offer, but the products are different. Infomercials use this bonus all the time. As soon as they reveal the price, you’ll hear, “but wait! Order right now and you’ll get the whatever absolutely free!”

Don’t forget the “try before you buy” offers. These are especially popular with software and subscriptions. Give me something totally free for 30 days and if I like it, I’ll pay for it after the 30 days is up. Free trials are popular because, as consumers, we’ll get to see exactly what we’ll be paying for before we pony up a dime. This is a great way to build trust.

Some Internet marketers that offer free trials require billing information before the free trial can start so that they can bill customers once the free trial expires. Others require no billing information up front; the customer must re-register after the trial period with billing information at that time. Whichever way you decide to operate your free trial, state the requirements of the offer before your customer fills out a long form, only to be disappointed because he or she doesn’t have a credit card. Remember, free means free and sales mean money, so use this Internet marketing tactic to your advantage; just be honest and fair to your customers. They’ll be back.

Website Traffic: Making it Worth the Drive


Have you ever taken a long trip and once you got where you were going, instantly forgot about all the discomfort associated with your journey because “it was worth the trip?” You forgot about the heat or the cold, cranky kids, impossible traffic, and the lousy food because you were just so glad to be where you were going. Now, I’m not going to try to tell you that the people that go to your website have made a long trip, unless of course, they have a slow connection, but the principle is the same. If you don’t make it “worth the trip,” they’ll leave and they won’t come back.

We spend a lot of money, time, and energy on search engine optimization to make sure we are driving traffic to our websites. However, SEO can only do so much. Unless your site exists merely for the purpose of generating visitors as opposed to customers, you’ve got to offer them something compelling once they get there. There’s one thing you can count on and that’s competition. If visitors don’t like what they see at your site, they know they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for down the Internet street.

Take a few moments to think about your favorite sites. Why are they your favorites? What do they offer? If they are like most successful sites, whatever they offer, they offer it “fast” “fresh,” and “hot,” because, in most instances, that’s what people are looking for. It’s because we’re all spoiled rotten, of course. We want it now, we want it to be easy to get, and we want it to do what it promises.

If we’re looking for information, for example, we want to be able to find it quickly and we want it to be well-written. It must be up-to-date and factual also. If your site is peppered with grammatical and spelling errors, people who can’t spell any better than you can will take a hike. Why? Because, like most of us, they’ll assume if you couldn’t make the time and effort to present an attractive site, that whatever else you’re offering must be second-rate also. It’s just common sense and good business. Dust off your shelves and make your wares shine.

If your site has products for sale, have you listed all the specifications and presented a clear picture? Can I tell exactly what I’m getting, how much the shipping will cost, and how long it will take to arrive? If you’re selling furniture, for example, have you clearly spelled out your delivery methods? Don’t promise delivery without telling me “delivery” means curbside delivery only. While customers sometimes get disappointed because they don’t read the fine print or even the not-so-fine print, don’t complicate things by being less than candid. It’s crucial if you expect to obtain repeat, revenue-generating customers.

Make it worth the trip. Make sure your customers are glad they found your site and have a good time while they are there. They’ll remain customers and best of all, they’ll remain your customers.

Writing the Perfect Sales Letter


Think of your sales letter as the display window of your online business. If customers don’t see something they want almost immediately, they’ll keep walking, or in this case, clicking, until they find a site with a product or service that does interest them. Review the following components of a sales letter and compare the examples with your own.

Headline

Not surprisingly, this is the single most important part of the sales letter. You have mere seconds and just a few words to convince potential customers to keep reading. With thousands of other sales letters all over the Internet, what can you do to make yours stand out? The concept, at least, is simple. You’re going to have to come up with something that will literally grab your readers and make them want to read further.

This “grabbing” phrase, or headline, can be a question, command, or a dynamic piece of news. Consider the difference in the following and see which one “grabs” you. FREE SOFTWARE! Versus FREE MONEYMAKING SOFTWARE! See how just one word adds interest and intrigue to your headline? Surf the Internet to find the headlines in sales letters that grab your attention, and after you click past the ones that don’t, use your back button and ask yourself why those headlines didn’t get your attention. As important as it is though, the headline will only get you so far. You’ll also need the following:

Stress the Benefits

You can’t just say that your product is the best one out there. You have to tell your readers why they need this particular product and, just as important, why they need to purchase it from you. If you’re selling a weight loss product, for example, are they going to lose weight in 30 days? Are they going to lose weight for less? Don’t just tell your readers they will lose weight if they use your product; let them know about all the benefits that will be theirs if they buy your product now.

Ask Questions

Don’t just ask your readers questions. Ask your readers to ask themselves questions. For example, put yourself in the shoes of your reader. What questions naturally come to mind? Ask open-ended questions that cause your readers to think. If you’re selling the latest and greatest solution for bad breath, for example, ask the reader, “How would you feel if a co-worker told you that you have bad breath?” Now you have the reader (customer) imagining what’s going to happen if they don’t buy your product.

Use Examples

Here you can reassure customers that they have indeed found the right solution to their problem. “Imagine talking to friends, co-workers, and complete strangers with complete confidence!” Now you’ve persuaded readers how good they’ll feel if they buy your product. List several examples within your sales letter that extol the benefits of your product.

Endorsements

Testimonials from other customers are powerful. They’re powerful when they’re real; they will backfire and cost you sales when they’re made up, however. Don’t insult your customer’s intelligence by filling your sales letters with phony testimonials and endorsements. No one really cares what Jim from Alabama thinks; on the other hand, tell them what Jim from www.arealsite.com thinks and they’re liable to pay attention. How do you accomplish this? Simple. Give Jim a freebie and ask him to write an honest testimonial of what he thinks of your product. Do this a few times and you’ll have powerful endorsements that customers will believe.

Closing

Experiment with closings the same way you do with headlines. Do a little research to discover which closings impress you the most. Some research indicates the words, “add to cart” generate more sales than the words, “buy now,” or something to that effect. Most important, make your closing sound sincere and make it easy for your customers to order. Also, make sure you have taken the steps to protect your customer’s information and assure them that they are on a secure site.

Guarantee

The last assurance you must give your customers is that there is no risk to the decision they’ve just made or are about to make. Offer a money back guarantee and list any restrictions, such as the length of time the guarantee is in place.

Follow the above steps and your sales letters will turn readers into customers!