5 Ways to Increase Profits in 2010
One of the most important elements to success in business is focus.
It’s EASY to be distracted. And it’s easy to concentrate on the minor issues instead of the ones really making the money in your online business.
In my last post on this subject, I looked back at what was working in 2009: Successful and Failed Experiments
Now it’s time to apply what has worked…and hasn’t worked to my plans for next year. I suggest you do the same. Go back over the entire past year and look for what is working best.
It’s surprising just how often the 80/20 rule comes into play. Twenty percent of your work produces eight percent of the results. Where’s your 20%? Where should you center your attention at next year?
When you do your own numbers, you may find some differences to what I’ve seen. That’s fine and normal. We likely work in different markets and you’ll see unique results for your market. The key is to focus on what’s working best and eliminate anything holding you back.
EVERYTHING you do has an opportunity cost attached. By focusing your attention here, you don’t have time to focus on another element. So even profitable elements of your business have to be slimmed back to make room for what produces the greatest results for you and your customers.
Don’t ignore the opportunity cost of anything you do. That’s a key element, because you’re always limited in attention and focus for your business. What is the best producer you can concentrate on?
Here are five of my suggestions based off the results I’ve seen in my own business and my clients.
1. Focus on joint ventures.
You could call this your affiliate program, but joint ventures go further than just your affiliate program. You can joint venture to create products, share free interviews, or drive traffic to your sites. You can even partner to build a business together (for example a content writer and a designer or copywriter working together).
The best source of traffic I’ve seen for making sales comes from other people’s promotions of my products. This means I need to concentrate more attention here…on partnerships and promotions (which can be difficult at times since I avoid the big product launches which I feel aren’t good for the “internet marketing” niche).
2. Focus on outsourcing routine activities.
Everyone is talking about outsourcing, but you’ll sometimes end up with MORE work if you’re not careful when you’re outsourcing. If you hire a low cost writer, and then you have to rewrite everything they produce, you end up with more work than when you started.
Also I’ve seen several business owners who you could rely on their product quality who have lost serious points with me over the past year. Why? Because their main products were obviously outsourced and lower quality than what they produced in the past. You definitely have to keep a close eye on your outsourcers if they’re producing paid materials for you.
Even with transcriptions I’ve had the experience of hiring a good quality transcriptionist versus a poor one. It’s so much more work when you get someone who does a poor job. It’s worth it to pay a little more for quality work. Think about that with any of your outsourcing.
It’s worth it to pay for quality work that saves you time and money in the long run.
3. Focus on a Continuity Program
Every client I have who is doing a good income (20k a month or more) has a continuity program that’s producing a good level of income for them. A couple of my clients have 2 or more continuity programs they’re relying on to bring in the income. Where’s yours?
I have noticed the past year that it’s a little tougher to convert people to a continuity program and people do cancel earlier UNLESS you’re giving them exactly what they want. This simply means you need to focus more on the value you’re providing in the membership, and if there is anyway you can add more community and value in the program.
On the conversion side, a lot of this has to do with trust. There have been so many ripoffs and people who make it impossible to cancel. In fact I had a client tell me he tried to cancel from one popular internet marketer’s continuity and still wasn’t canceled after he sent a registered letter! When people contact my support system to cancel, they seem surprised at times when we simply reply back they’ve been canceled and thank you for being a member (as long as they include their name and email so we know who they are they get canceled immediately).
This simply points back to building more credibility in your emails and in the professionalism of your sites (along with the reputation you develop).
4. Focus on a High Ticket Offer
For my own business, this means I will test running several group coaching programs over the next year (if they work the way I like I’ll expand on them). Anything that involves direct feedback from you on an individual or group level is a way to sell a higher ticket product that gives people what they want.
Even if you KNOW what you’re doing, you still like to have that feedback and support. Perhaps a little change in how you’re doing something produces a huge change in results (there is that 80/20 rule coming into play again). In your current business, how can you offer a product or a service that pushes up the value of the average sale. What is your customers really want?
Besides coaching, another high ticket element to include are tools. For example if you sell to a specific business industry, perhaps they want ads to run, websites designed for them, or even a complete turn-key email follow-up series they can simply add to their site. “Done for You” is a key element to higher ticket products. What can you provide for them that’s ready to simply install and go?
5. Focus on Your Autoresponder Series
The first 30 days someone is on your list is a defining time. Do you simply send content to build a relationship, are you an aggressive sales person they want to ignore, or do you have a balanced mix. My answer from many previous tests is to be balanced and similar to your long-term approach.
When I’ve consulted people who focused on simply giving a ton of value the first month without making sales, they had the lists which were the HARDEST to convert into sales long-term. They established a trend from day one that they simply gave great information away. When we tried to sell, the list got offended at us…and complained like crazy.
The other imbalance is to focus just on selling without any value. When you do this, you don’t go deep enough in developing the relationship…and you’re simply seen like a slimy salesperson. It’s a BALANCED approach from day one where you provide value that also converts people into the sale. You’re in a business and you don’t apologize for selling products. It’s the product sales that fund the emails you’re sending.
The first 30 days is a priority time for this. A majority of your initial sales will take place during this period. You’re also establishing that long-term relationship. Look back through emails you’ve sent to your list over the past year. Which ones had the best open rates and made the most sales? Will they fit in your initial autoresponder series? What about those with the most comments about how much they appreciated the email? Will those fit in the initial series?
Look at the emails which have already worked to add them in at the very beginning when someone subscribes. These become your initial autoresponder series.
This is such an important element, it’s what I’ll be covering in the Monthly Mentor Club in the upcoming January issue…how to produce a strong autoresponder series to make the sale. The right series can easily double or triple your conversion rates. In some markets, it’s the difference between a wildly profitable business and even staying in business.
Look for it coming soon in January…Related Entries:
- Continuity is King
- Forced Continuity
- ROI on Your Time and Money
- 21 Ways to Increase Profits
- 4 Income Streams in Every Business