How Much to Charge for Membership to Your Site

Creating a paid membership site is perhaps the best move an online business can make in these tumultuous economic times. Paid membership sites offer a constant flow of income that can grow overnight in some instances.

When setting up a paid membership site you are doing the work once, and then
reap the monetary rewards over and over again for as long as you offer information to your members. The site can be set to be accessed monthly or by a yearly subscription. No matter what, money will be coming in all the time. Passive income possibly at it’s best.

Knowing how much to charge for your paid membership site is something that is as individual as your company is to the whole of the Internet. Only you can decide what the price should be. Since the start up of a site like this is relatively low, it’s safe to assume you can expect to make your initial outlay back rather quickly.
Although you may have ongoing expenses, for the most part, once you repay yourself for the start up costs, the remainder of what you make afterwards is profit.

The potential profits are unlimited once you set your price. Let’s say you want to start out by charging $19.99 a month to let people have access to your membership site. You have 100 people who have signed up. This will give you a guaranteed $1,999.00 a month. Now imagine if you charged more?

You are in control of how much your site makes. You control the cost of the membership as well as the content inside. Speaking of the content, you need to make sure the content is actually worth the money you expect to charge to have access to it. This is a common mistake most newcomers make, they charge way too much for way too little content.

People want to be sure they are getting more than their money’s worth for anything they purchase or subscribe too. If you do not offer content that is informative, updated and current, you have made a crucial mistake and subscribers will catch on fast. A great site will include quality content more than worth the price you charge for it. In turn you lead yourself to people spreading the word and business growing over and over again.

Using ad Networks to earn with iPhone apps

Once you’ve created an iPhone app you have to figure out how to use it to create the most advantage for your business. One way to make money from iPhone apps is to use an ad network. According to AdWhirl.com a good app can make $400 to $5000 dollars a day. Now this is a very busy app getting $2.00 per click, but what if you only made $2.00 per day, that’s still a nice chunk of change to add to your bottom line if you’re trying to create multiple streams of income. But, if you are able to get an app on top of the competition and create a top 100 app you’ll be in line to earn the big bucks. You gotta start someplace, right?

The trick is to create a useful, fun free iPhone app that is capable of earning a lot of money via ads. You might not realize this but the iFart Alert! actually makes over $2000 dollars per day! Imagine if you can create something relevant to your business, or complementary to your business that makes that kind of money? What a fabulous new income stream! While you might not make that kind of money you will make something if your program is interesting enough.

Even if you don’t make much ad revenue with your iPhone app you will probably generate more sales on your normal products by increasing your brand awareness. Choosing an advertising network is an important step to your success making money with pay per click ads within your iPhone app. Using a service such as Adwhirl can take a lot of the work out of serving ads to your users because you can use a variety of ad networks and change what you serve the client based on your metrics that you control from a web interface.

It is important that you follow all the rules that Apple has for developers and you’ll have more success getting your iPhone app approved. Once approved to appear in the iTunes store, take the time to properly market your iPhone application as the only way to earn money is if your iPhone app gets used. Without consistent downloads and consistent use the ads won’t be seen, much less clicked on. Now, go out and figure out a great Apple iPhone app to serve up to your clients, potential clients, and your target market.

The “Don’ts” of niche marketing

While there are many things you can do right with your niche marketing business, there are also many things you will want to avoid doing wrong.

Here are some classic “don’ts” of niche marketing that you should avoid:

Don’t #1: Don’t act without thinking.
Make sure not to invest time, money or other resources until you fully understand your niche, have a plan in place and know what it will take to go after it successfully.

Don’t #2: Don’t wait too long!
Once you decide on which niche to go after, and have taken the proper time and course of action to ensure it is a good one (namely profitable) then go for it! You don’t want to wait too long only to have someone else beat you to the punch.

Don’t #3: Don’t limit your opportunities.
You can sell your products online, but you can also use good, old-fashioned word of mouth. Tell everyone you meet and know about who you are, what you do and how you can help them.

Don’t #4: Don’t listen to naysayers!
There will always be critics and those who bring negativity to the table. But don’t let them rain on your niche marketing parade! Be confident in the work you have done to ensure this is a good idea, that this will work and that you do know what you are talking about!

Just like with anything else, you will want to avoid potential downfalls with your business. That being said, bring your common sense to the table and you will have a good chance at success. Remember, choose a niche that you enjoy, are knowledgeable in and can fulfill a need for. If you do, the rest will fall into place.

Getting to know your niche

Sometimes, deciding what niche to focus on for your niche marketing business can be quite difficult. How do you choose when there are so many possibilities? Other times, the answer quickly becomes as clear as day.

Whether you have a concrete idea and are ready to roll, or need to spend a little time deciding just what niche is right for you, you will need to do some research before truly beginning your niche marketing business.

Your niche should be something you enjoy (like hiking, biking, painting or cooking) but that also allows for you to fill a void in that niche. For example, if you enjoy cooking with organic ingredients, maybe you can provide a product like an organic cooking cookbook, offer recipes of the month and exclusive coupons for organic foods.

Just be sure you know what you are talking about and enjoy it, because it will quickly become your bread and butter… both literally and figuratively!

Once you have chosen your niche, you will then want to ask yourself the following questions: (All may not apply.)

* What is the formal definition of this niche/topic?

* Who is typically interested in this niche?

* Who is/are my target market(s)?

* Is there a broad target market? Or a narrow target market?

* Are there many other marketers already catering to this niche?

* How can I stand out from other marketers in this niche?

* How will my business/offering be different/better/valuable?

All of these questions and more are critical to answer before getting to work. Why? Because it is absolutely critical to understand what you are doing before you begin doing it!

You will also most likely need to differentiate yourself because unless you have hit the jackpot with an off the wall, yet realistic idea, you will most likely be joining a niche that already has marketers catering to it.

How do you stand out? Well, you begin by offering quality products and services. Don’t just say you know what you are talking about. Actually do the research, put together valuable information, and provide your customers with something your competition isn’t; Expertise!

Your target market/customers will soon realize that your products are better than the rest and that your commitment to customer service is what truly sets you apart. Respond to requests in a timely manner. Act on calls to action, like increased functionality or product improvements. And pay attention to feedback. What your customers are saying to others is often just as important (if not arguably more) than what they are saying directly to you. While not everything they say is worth listening to, 99% of it certainly is. Just as the old adage goes in the restaurant and retails businesses, “the customer is always right!”

Remember, niche marketing isn’t about you. It’s about “them”. Your customers are the very essence of your business. They are who you are selling to and providing for. If you put them at the top of your list, you will soon be at the top of theirs!

Getting Your Info Product Launched

While you can launch an information product with pizzazz on your own, if you are totally lost and know you’ve got something good to sell, you can create a frenzy about your new info product by following strategies other people have used successfully. There are also companies or consultants who specialize in launching products so that’s another avenue to consider. These consultants and companies have done it all before and know what the best ways are to launch your product, website, get you into affiliate marketing, blogging, and everything else you need to launch your site.

Whether you decide to go it alone or use the help of a product launcher—take the time to do your own research and be as creative as possible. A product launcher may give you ideas on how to be creative that you hadn’t thought of but the final marketing decisions are yours. Since your name is on this information product, you must be proud of the marketing plans.

There are many ways to get you and your product noticed, before it’s even launched, so see what others are doing and start creating some industry buzz for yourself. Use social media, host a teleseminar, or visit forums and start chatting about your project. Create a pre-order landing page so you can gather possible customer email addresses prior to the actual launch.

While you’re going through this process it’s also a good time to look at what your competitors are doing in this area. Take the time to do your research and see how many ways you can find your competitor on the Internet through searching. Take notes and strategize ways to get your info product recognized. If your competitor wrote a press release about their product, you should write one too and search for places to post and announce your product. If nothing else you’ll find inspiration for things to add to your idea box.

Backend Sales Strategies are Like Riding a Bike Once You Learn, You Never Look Back

Remember when you first learned to ride a bike? Remember the many fears you faced? Falling off… Crashing into something… Failing. But, I bet what you remember in even greater detail is the incredible feeling of success that you felt when your parent finally let go. You were free! No more training wheels and no more fear. You were on your way.

Backend sales can be described in a similar way. Oftentimes, internet marketers and online business owners are fearful of the follow-up. They do not want to seem overbearing or pushy. So, rather than capitalize on opportunity, they fall flat on their face with fear. They lose a potential additional sale, and revenue, because of their fear to offend.

But what if you could eliminate that fear rather than become a victim of it? What if you could sell to your customers without actually appearing to do so? And what if they actually liked it?

With backend sales, you have to take off the training wheels. You know your business, you know your product, and you know your customer base. Now its time to put all of that knowledge to use, because once you do, you won’t ever look back.

There are many options to explore when deciding which backend sales strategies you will employ.

For instance, you can populate your shopping cart with items of interest. Or, you can send a follow-up communication to all of your customers each time they make a purchase.

But what’s most important is that you are doing something to take advantage of this opportunity.

Backend sales are quite possibly some of the most lucrative, most reliable sales you will ever make because they are sales you are making to customers who already know you.

These customers are already your bread and butter, so why not expand on that? Sure, new customers are great. In fact, new customers are essential to the growth of your business.

But you will never get anywhere if you don’t take care of the customers you already have. Customers like to feel appreciated, valued and everyone always likes a good deal.

So, if you incentivize your offerings, they are most likely to take the bait.

After you have taken the training wheels off and decide to ride into success, your backend sales strategy will basically run itself.

You see, once its in place, you will have to simply manage the data, not babysit each client. That is why it is so important to invest in a quality e-commerce solution that will provide you with a reliable auto responder and robust database system.

So, take that leap of faith. Trust in the quality of your products. Help your business succeed and focus on selling on the backend. Once you do, you won’t ever look back.

Creating Lifelong Customers

It’s a well-known realization not all of those from your target market who visit your website will in fact become customers. There is an opportunity here for time, resources and money to be wasted on trying to coax the wrong type of person into the ‘inner sanctum’ of your sales funnel. It’s important to understand your ideal client, before you end up spending a small fortune trying to grab hold of people who won’t do your internet business justice.

Another point to understand how people perfer to buy from those they know, have confidence in, and actually like. These are all aspects you can achieve with each of your customers, even if you never meet them face to face.

Developing this level of trust may take some time; however once it is developed your client will be more open to spending money with you, even on those higher ticket-priced items. They could quickly and easily become a qualified buyer – someone who has already tested the waters so to speak. They have signed up and received your free item, and maybe even purchased your low ticket item. They’re now poised to become a source of reasonable income for your internet business.

In order to keep them coming back, you need to continue to supply them with information relevant to the niche. Gradually working up to higher ticket-priced items, you need to ensure your customers are still receiving quality information. While articles and e-Books are great to start out with, reports and home study courses are good to have in the works from the beginning of your launch. By starting early you know you’ll have these ready for your customers when the time comes for their need.

This is where is becomes important for you to encourage your prospect or customer to revisit, by reminding them you are there. A great strategy for achieving this is to create a mailing list or opt-in list. By offering them some information for free when they sign up, you are not only encouraging them to provide you their information, but also giving them a bite-sized chunk of what type of information they could expect from your communications. This is the beginning of the processes of building that level of trust you require to keep those customers coming back, or waiting with excitement for news from you about new products available to them.

Offering something of value to your site visitors makes it easier for them to agree to pass on their information to you. They know quite well if they give out their contact information, they are going to receive promotional emails or follow-ups from you. It’s paramount to make it worth their while if you want to keep them coming back for more of what you have to offer. Keeping them up-to-date on upcoming features or articles is another great way to keep the suspense and excitement going strong.

Creating lifelong customers does require hard work and dedication. Take great care to plan your content and marketing strategy accordingly. Earn your prospect’s trust and keep it and you will have a lifelong customer.

How To Cash in On The Holiday Season

Just because you have a small online business doesn’t mean you can’t cash in during the holiday season with special offers, discounts, sales and / or coupons. Why not do all of the above? People are going to be distracted during the holidays with buying gifts so unless you sell gifts, you’re going to need to be super inventive to get people to part with their hard earned cash during the holiday season.

Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Create a sale that is so good that they can’t refuse. Add a special holiday code to all your products that make them so inexpensive that they feel like if they don’t buy them now they’ll miss out. This is really easy if you have digital products because you’ve already spent all the money you will spend on creating them. It costs you nothing to sell them cheaply.

Make The Offer Time Sensitive

Create a feeling of urgency in their need to buy your product by making the offer very time sensitive. “Get this price only for the next 24 hours for Cyber Monday!” Make it clear that they won’t see this offer again, this inexpensively and stick to your word about that. If the deal is that good they won’t pass it up.

Use Their Emotions

Use words that will pull emotions from your viewers. Acknowledge that they’re busy shopping for everyone else. If your items aren’t especially gift items, and you can’t figure out how to make them gift items, then why not present them as gifts to the self. Gifts they deserve to buy for themselves. Tell them why this is a good purchase and make them feel good about doing it.

Create a Special Sales Page

Don’t skimp out just because you’re having a huge sale, create a sales page that is just as good as you’d normally create for your items. Even though you’re planning on selling things so inexpensively it makes you cringe a bit, this is an important event and should be treated as such. If you don’t market your event as well as you would other events then you won’t get the page views and you won’t make enough sales to make up for the cheap price.

Tie The Offer to Charity

Finally, a great way to get your customers’ attention is to tie the sale to raising money for a charity. Pick a charity everyone can easily get behind, something that is non political and helpful to people. This is where it’s important to know your audience well. You could even have a contest leading up to the sale about which charity to support.

By making the offer super good, time limited, emotional and special you will break through their will not to buy anything during the holidays. They won’t want to miss out on this once a year opportunity to buy your products and / or services. You won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to cash in during the holiday season.

Social media success is about giving of yourself

You can use social media strategically, automate a lot of it, and get rid of the time wasters but what you can’t or should not do is give up the conversation. The trick is framing your conversation within your niche. Believe it or not, answering questions, and giving away information free on social media networks like LinkedIn on there “answers” area can go a long way toward creating good will, which can lead to clients who want you enough to pay the rates you’re asking, or site visitors who are already primed to buy what you recommend. By giving of yourself it happens almost magically.

Automation is great for ending time wasting tasks of posting new blog posts, new articles, and outside information. It frees up your time so that you can have a real conversation with potential clients in all of your social networks whether it is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or a forum you enjoy. Spending time having real conversations and answering questions will establish you as an expert, bring traffic to your blog, and provide you with valuable information and connection to your target market.

If you want to make social media truly useful so that it provides a return on investment (ROI) then you have to join in the conversation. If everyone automates everything and only applications and Virtual Assistants are participating in the media then it loses the social aspects and eventually the value will plummet. No one who can make decisions or offer value will be watching if it’s all automated.

The best person to communicate your vision to the world is you. The myth of the four hour work week is that you don’t have to participate at all. It’s true you probably can outsource your entire life, but where is the joy in that? You might save time, but ultimately you lose connection to the people you wanted to connect with in the first place when you started your business. Certainly you had a goal that involved connecting with someone or helping someone. Never forget why you started your business in the first place.

5 Tips to Successful Online Business Networking

Online business networking is not only about finding followers and “likes” for your social network pages. It is more about making a connection. How can you benefit most from your online networking efforts?

First you want to build a relationship on mutual ground that both parties benefit from. Second, be clear about what you offer and how that helps others. Third, don’t be afraid to give referrals to businesspeople that can help your clients. Be the person that goes out their way to thank someone or offer someone a mentoring relationship.

Next, know the reason you are networking and don’t waver. There are many rabbit trails in the business world – put your “focus” glasses on and get to work. Finally, when networking online you need to open up the lines of communication. Ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation. Once you get the other person talking start actively listening so you know how best to meet their need.

1. Build Relationships not Sales
Networking is all about the relationship you build with your business peers. Get them talking about you in a positive way. Engage them in a discussion of current business practices. Reveal a little about who you are in real life. Try not to use the third person when talking; rather use your real name and the pronoun “I” instead of “we” and “our”.

Contribute valuable information to the conversation that will encourage sharing. Offer to help them build their business by guest blogging on your site or being interviewed for a podcast.

2. Give Over and Beyond What is Expected
There are some things that are expected in a business relationship like getting contact information, referring businesses to clients, supporting independent businesses and reviewing products and giving feedback. Go one up and offer your peers more than what is expected.

Instead of sending an email, send a handwritten card. Do what 90% of your business peers don’t – call them and set up a gathering to brainstorm ways in which you can support each other’s business.

3. Know Your Purpose & Stick to It
If you know why you are networking online you will waste less time. It might be helpful for you to write this down and place it at your desk. This way when you set aside time to network on social media or forums you are focused on what needs to be done instead of dilly dallying and wasting time. Setting a timer might be beneficial at first.

Having an accountability partner can also benefit you. Mastermind groups are great for this – connect with each other once a week and review your goals.

4. Ask Open Ended Questions
Just as in face-to-face contacts you want to engage in conversation, your online relationships are no different. To do this try not to ask yes or no questions rather ask open-ended questions that will get people talking. Find out what they are looking for and how best you can serve them. Asking them about who their ideal customer is will help you make profitable referrals.

5. Be Interested and Listen Actively
You might not be able to look your contact in the eyes and smile online but you can still relay interest by actively listening (or reading) to what they have to say. Instead of working out your response listen for clues as to what is important to them. If you need to, write a couple of notes down.

Managing your online networking can be beneficial if you have a plan and incorporate it wisely. Remember to nurture relationships, listen attentively, ask questions to spark conversation, give more than is expected and above all know your purpose and don’t deviate from it.