This is easily the most asked question we get here at Magiweb, and we are taking this opportunity to discuss it briefly, as something of a “get started” post. We’re planning to release a larger guide to internet marketing, but this is a great jumping off point.
What is IM?
IM is internet marketing, and if you hear it referred to as IM, that’s what it means, it’s just shortened for those in the field and ease of use. Internet marketing is simply the action of making a product or service available for sale online. It can be a virtual OR physical product, and you can even sell information if you’re well-versed on a subject. Internet marketing is the ability to take anything you plan to, or are already selling, to the internet.
What do I sell?
This area depends entirely on you. You can sell anything you want, but there are a lot of variables to consider before you roll out your strategy, and the first is to identify what you’re selling. Some ideas you can incorporate, would be to use some of the “make your own t-shirt” sites like at Spreadshirt or Teespring. You could also choose to market someone else’s product as listed on affiliate sites like Clickbank. If you’re thinking of selling your own product like selling tutorials, white papers, or other informational sales, ensure you’ve got the knowledge to be selling it. If your product is physical, be sure you have worked out every avenue of your sales from attainment of the product, packaging, rights, import or export agreements, labeling, and shipping – just to name a few things. Whatever you end up selling, remember to never sell something that goes against your morals or character. Don’t become that dodgy internet marketer, it’s not worth it.
Okay, Now What?
When you’ve picked out what it is you want to sell, it’s time to start your outline. Outlines are going to save you a lot of time and misfortune down the road when you ask yourself where you went wrong. Few internet marketers see instant success, and it is often through failure that you realize exactly what to do in future. Be sure you write down even a rough outline of where you wish to go and how you plan to get there. Some of this is going to require a bit more knowledge, but mostly this is a mental thing. You need to build up a bit of mental fortitude whether you’re doing this as a full-time business or something on the side.
Be prepared to fail and to look at it as an opportunity and not a death sentence. You’ll need to work hard, and be committed to this for it to make you money.
Be Seen and Heard!
Now you need an online presence, which you can do by getting a website built (we do that!), or if you’re really only planning to use social media then you can create a Facebook or Twitter Page for your business. Some things to keep in mind however: if you have a website you can take advantage of Google AdWords, which pays for itself easily. It’s a bit of an expense, but as a startup expense it’s a drop in the bucket really, and absolutely does work (based on your budget capability). If you use purely Facebook however, you’ll be limited to using Facebook advertising which can be touch and go as they make changes. You’ll need to source information and things to share with your potential clients which you can grab from Pinterest, Instagram, or news related to your niche. Don’t let your page get stale, whether it is your website or social media page, you must keep things current and lively or people will leave.
What Makes Sales?
Now that you’ve got all these things covered, it’s time to make money right? Kinda… sort of. See, you could offer a product on your website or your Facebook Page, and you could encourage people to buy it using advertising. That could have limited benefits to you immediately by creating instant sales from a few people, but there is a crucial bit which is missing. Your clients need to trust you as an authority and someone they SHOULD buy from and that cannot be rushed or forced, it has to just happen as it happens. This is why you must keep your information and dedication current and forward moving. Public trust is fragile, and as long as you keep building it, you’ll gain a lot more opportunities to sell to those people who trust you.
Email lists & Gating
The better way to do this is to “gate” your product or service behind an email grabber which will ask them for their name and email address to access your landing/sales page. Be aware and ready for those people who will just close out the window entirely and forget it – who are unwilling to give their email address to you. Don’t lose hope in them either, because chances are they may not be ready YET to give you that information but they may in time, when they see you offering them consistently great information. By getting email addresses and names like this, which would pour into a spreadsheet or any other thing you can setup which will keep it as a database, you’re creating your own list of people you can offer sales to. That list will only grow with time, and will likely be equal to the effort you put in as well as the quality of what you’re selling.
Good luck, you’ll go a long way as your own boss, and your only limit is your time and budget. If you can work hard at this, you’ll get where you want to be, and will gain so much more from simply undertaking the process.
Read our post about Internet Marketing Success Stories that will help motivate and inspire.