"Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money but you cannot get more time." - Jim Rohn
Earning an income on the internet is a process that in broad terms involves three stages:
1. Getting your product (acquisition)
2. Developing your product presentation
3. Promoting the product
In this article, "product" means any tangible product, digital products (ebooks and software) and services such as membership sites, web design and development, hosting, "print on demand" for ebooks, fulfillment for orders and so on.
By necessity you will spend time in each of these stages. Each stage will involve a learning phase and an action phase. It's important to identify clearly what stage of development you are currently working on and to focus on completing that stage.
1. Getting your product (acquisition).
Choose between your own product and an affiliate product.
This will involve identifying a demand using for example surveys or the popularity of search terms.
Key Point: Once you have your product you can stop spending time looking at other product possibilities for the time being.
2. Developing your product presentation.
Once you have chosen your product you will need to develop a presentation.
This will include your website primarily and can also include autoresponder sequences and a newsletter.
Key Points: Once your website and presentation process is completed you can move on to the promotion. You can always improve the presentation but once your presentation is "presentable" you should move on to promotion. Don't get caught up trying to make things perfect. Good, yes; perfect, no. The reality is things can always be changes. It does not matter if you have the best product in your niche and the best presentation if nobody knows about it. Give your presentation your best shot and then start promoting.
3. Promoting the product.
No matter now good your product and presentation are, you must get your presentation in front of your intended audience or nothing happens.
"We have to become better at promoting what we do than doing what we do."
This is where it is also important to be clear about what stage you are in. Remember, time is limited, so if you have already chosen your product and developed your presentation it is not productive to keep looking for products or spending a great deal of time "tweaking" your presentation.
Time can always be spent tweaking sales copy, images, layout, web presentation, upgrading or trying new software, investigating new product opportunities (before the current one is complete), improving design skills, keeping up with the changing web "standards"... The list can seem endless.
Key Point: Time is better spent developing a clear promotional strategy and putting it into action. Only when you are seeing results from your promotional activities should you consider altering your presentation (such as modifying headlines and sales copy) to assess how that affects conversion of prospects to customers.
Here are some examples:
Write two newsletters each month
Run a solo ad each week
Purchase 500 double-optin subscribers each month
Conduct a Pay Per Click campaign with $x budget each week/month
Make three new blog entries each week
Create ten new web pages each week
Here are a few tips to keep you on track:
1. Name your project
You may name your project as a final name of the product or you may just give it a code name that means something to you.
2. Understand what part of the three step process you are in:
Acquisition, presentation or promotion.
Here is a simple question to ask yourself to check if you are on track with your time budget, "What is this activity designed to do?" or perhaps, "What is the outcome of this activity?"
This will help you to identify if you are spending time in the wrong area at the wrong time.
3. Set up check lists to make sure everything is covered. Focus on completion.
4. Promotion: Clearly define your action steps.
5. Track the results or your promotional campaign in terms of traffic, click through rates, subscribers and purchasers. Include costs of conducting your campaign and compare that to your sales to determine your return on investment. It is only by tracking the results of the promotion that you will know how to effectively change the presentation for further testing.
A spreadsheet is an invaluable tool as a template for specifying your promotional campaign and also for tracking results, costs and return on investment. Adding in columns for each day of the week allows you to allocate your time so that all your promotions are covered in a time effective manner. This becomes your business gauge by which you assess the effectiveness of your promotional campaign.
Understanding the three stages of the business process and the stage you are in, using checklists and tracking your results using business gauges are the proven ways to maximize your time, your effectiveness and your profits.
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