Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Online Millionaire Plan: Basics - USP; Your Product, Your Niche

Marketing Goals and Purposes - Self Analysis questions.

If I could do anything with my life, what would it be? What is my passion? What is my dream?

If I were living my dream, what would I do with each of the 24 hours I’ve been given in each day?

If I were living my dream, what talents, skills, and abilities would I use to live a full life, and maximize my income potential?

If I were living my dream, how would I use my financial independence to create a dream life for myself and my loved ones?

If I were living my dream, where would I live? What would my home be like? What would my lifestyle be like? What would my friends be like?

If I were living my dream, how would I share all that I have with others?

If I were living my dream, what would my Core Purpose in life be?

If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I do?

Another Why you're on the Web

The other reason you are on the web is to continue scratching your own itch. If you are on the web just to "make money", you'd be better off doing door-to-door sales. Most web enterprises fail. Because, like life, you have to really be dedicated and stick with it.

Also, most successes have a whole string of failures before they hit it big. Like life, there is a long runway sometimes before take off happens - and some have to figure out how to build that runway and the plane which uses it (much less learn the techniques of flying and airplane.)

Someone else might buy or rent a plane from someone who enjoys building them, pay for lessons, and then pay for the opportunity to use someone's runway. Of course the money to do this comes from an earlier job which the person was successful at, already.

It all goes back to doing something you really like to do and giving away your service or product to someone else who really wants it - enough to give you exchange you for it.

Your USP

As you develop your product, you'll develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

This tells the viewer why you are unique, proprietary and something they can't pass up (scarcity).

Essentially, it tells your potential customer that you don't have competition - you're it. You are the only one with this solution. It answers that critical question... Why should potential customers buy from or hire you?

To develop your USP, do the following steps:

1) Given that you know all about your solution (and have experience trying it out personally), write down what service you offer.

2) List out all the benefits you can think of - then write the rest of them. No features, just what good this service does for the customer.

3) Identify your unique feature. Boil this down. What makes you stand out, what tells the customer to only buy from you? If you don't know, or can't find out - hit the drawing board again. Either you haven't tested your solution for all its worth, or you are trying to sell a commodity. There has to be something that make you distinctive. Get it written down.

4) Boil this all down into a tight summary. It has to motivate your buyer, so it needs to take into account the emotions and the particular needs of someone who has experienced the problem you've solved. Get this all into one tight elevator pitch. Work up several versions of this. You can test them by survey. The thing is to have something, a single phrase, which identifies and differentiates you from anyone with a similar product.

Then you’ll be ready to really roll out your products to your list.

But don’t let anyone tell you this is hard or difficult to do. As each of us is born on this planet, no two of us are exactly alike. Not even “twins”. The hardest thing we have to learn to do (and our government schools spend at least 12 years teaching us this ) - is to conform.

The old Industrial Age wanted people doing the same job over and over and over – and our modern factories and warehouses have this same demand. They want to hire people to do certain set jobs, they don’t want to hire individuals.

Henry Ford was noted for observing that it was too bad they had to hire a whole person when all they needed was another set of arms.

So: be yourself, be unique. Offer your unique solution to the world. Sell it to as many people as you can. Benefit the world community by being the unique person you have always been.

Your product, your niche

"The best way to get what you want in life is to give other people what they want." — Zig Ziglar.

The number one principle to follow to achieve success is "always offer the product the customer wants to buy." If you have the right product at the right time, marketing is a no-brainer.

Most other marketers go for the huge markets, looking for a knockout punch. But the huge markets are generally overcrowded with competitors selling very similar products to customers who are bombarded with product offers every day.

In the niche markets, the customers rarely see new products for their specific niche, and when they do find something, they sit up and take notice. That’s because someone finally created a product which promises the benefit they’ve been looking for.

The biggest mistake I’ve seen Internet entrepreneurs making is trying to sell either the wrong product, or the same product that everyone else is trying to sell. It's not that people can't make money doing this, but since you are selling a commodity, it is the buyer that sets the price.

And products aren’t the only thing that are commodities. The corner grocery isn’t there because they were selling the same thing as the other corner stores – and at similar prices. When you start selling only commodity items, you become another commodity store. May the store with the lowest prices win.

If you look at the trends, the top 100 sites, the top 10 downloads, you’ll see the things that people want. And you'll also see where the worst competition is located. Because competition depends on commodity solutions.

If you sell to your niche - and get there first - people will buy your product and you will gain the advantage of being The Name in this niche that others compete against. Or you will command that niche so solidly that there is no way for anyone to make any money except by creating cheap knock-off’s. Your loyal customers will continue to buy and recommend your product because of its inherent quality.

In Trout and Reis' book, "22 Immutable Laws of Marketing", the bulk of their work involves commanding these large markets. They say here that the first to enter a market controls the bulk of the sales. The second entering the market is known to the buying public, but has far less than half the sales. The third, fourth, fifth, et al - aren't even known to the public and have to divide around one-tenth of the sales between them.

One interesting point they make (and this book was written before the Long-Tail phenomenon of Internet markets was discovered) is that markets/niches will sub-divide over time. So this means new leaders can assume these new niches.

A study of fast-food chains will give you all sorts of niches which developed when originally there was only McDonald's.

Creation Versus Competition

But there is this point of Creation versus Competition. Nightingale said of his Nightingale-Conant Corporation that they had no real competition, only copy-cats and also-rans, which were more validating than bothersome. They were trying to copy N-C’s success, and not doing all that good a job at it. Because they weren’t creating their own product line.

Nightingale-Conant created a whole industry, starting from Earl’s Gold recording, “The Strangest Secret”. And they are still, hands down, the only real force in that industry. Now that niche might have subdivided into smaller niches, but overall if you want the best and latest in motivational audio – you look to Nightingale-Conant.

The same could be said of any niche product line today. But if there is “competition”, it means that there is a lack of original creativity.

You could even say that this book is entering into a very overcrowded field, filled with also-rans and wannabes. True. And that is the reason why I’m writing this book. Not to compete, but because it is so overcrowded that it ceases to make sense any more.

There are tons of books and, well, stuff out there that is being sold to people to help them with their Internet Marketing lives. But really, there is only a few handfuls at the top – and these don’t really compete, they compliment each other.

I’ve mentioned Corey Rudl and Robert G. Allen. The first created a premier Internet Marketing Course anyone could follow. The latter created a line of books based on his own studies, first in Real Estate and then branching into information products distributed via Internet. But having both on your book shelf only gives you a greater command of the subject in front of us.

Jay Abraham is known as probably the top Marketing expert in the country. Yes, he talks a bit about Internet marketing. But he is more about the core principles of multiplying your income potential through Marketing – the Internet is just one of the multiple avenues he’s studied.

And you can go to experts who made a living through Advertising, such as Olgilvy and Collier. Or you can find the top names in Search Engine Optimization. Or you can find a single name who tells you how you can make the most money out of Google’s Adsense.

Now I tell you in this book to stay away from advertising and SEO. I tell you to build web pages which only consist of two or three pages to begin with – not to build megaliths (though I’ve personally helped build one of the largest multi-media corporate sites back in the late ‘90’s when Netscape still ruled the browser niche).

But people make lots of money through advertising, and help lots of people optimize their websites for search engines – and many mega-corporations have incredibly large websites. But then, eBay didn’t get big by advertising and grew its website only as it had products to sell on it’s auctions.

The point is that these leaders in all these fields did so out of their creativity, not because they wanted to compete.

People who compete are running in a race where they don’t stand out from the crowd. You have a bunch of runners, or swimmers, or ball-players who all dress the same and follow the exact same rules and are on the exact same regulation playing field.

They are just another commodity.

The real world isn’t like that. Now, you can make something uniform in its construction or assembly so that it becomes a commodity. In Ray Kroc’s Hamburger U, he taught his McDonald’s franchise holders exactly how to create the perfect French fry and to build a standard, high-quality hamburger. And now you can get pretty much the same McDonald’s meal from coast to coast – baring only regional and seasonal qualities in the beef they use.

But right now you also see a shake out in the major burger franchise companies on this planet. The niche is splitting apart. One is selling tremendously big burgers, with fewer items on its menu. Another is selling real family value and concentrating on its chicken sandwiches.

And there are now coast to coast sandwich shops which tell you you can have a very filling low-fat submarine sandwich. Another says you can get filled up on eating soft-shelled Tacos.

All these sub-niches of fast-food have their niche leaders. But they are niche leaders because they are creating, not because they are competing.

This book really only was created to scratch a certain itch: I needed to learn how to market because I didn’t have any money to hire a publicist or marketing firm. I had books to sell and a personal demand to make more money going into business for myself as I couldn’t stand working in factories, warehouses, or at corporate or government jobs.

And I stumbled into finding how millionaires made themselves that way.

But I could care less how many other books there are out there about making yourself a millionaire. I do care that people find this book and buy it and use it to make themselves rich – or at least comfortably, financially independent.

To that, I welcome the “competition”. As long as they tell the truth. But I had to write this book because there is a lot of very shoddy advice being given out there – a lot of partial answers. Few are pulling the whole thing together into a single package that makes sense and works.

And one thing that has taken this book so long is that I’ve been testing everything as I go. You won’t find a principle in this book that I haven’t found written or stated in probably a dozen locations before I wrote it down. I took each of these principles and tested them for myself to see they worked before I started writing them down for you.

Yes, the jury is still out on some of them. But I’ve seen where they have worked for others (like Allen and Rudl) and so I include them.

But these key individuals Create their Success and then Wealth finds them. Those who are merely competing have a much tougher and less-rewarding time of it.

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