Saturday, October 11, 2008

Buyers, Marketing, Social Media - and the Real World

There's buyers, marketing, social media - and then there's the real world...

If you've been following my learning curve over the past months/years, you'd have seen a constant attempt to narrow down to successful promotion/sales/marketing actions. This lead me to find out about buyers - through eBay, arguably still the biggest marketplace online.

eBay works if you are a discount retailer or a collectible sales outlet. I got in just as they lowered the boom on digital delivery and so for better or worse, dropped into a low-end scene for ebook profits. I've made some sales - and that's kept me going. But not enough to date to make a living at it, which was my goal.

The training I paid for was pretty sad - even though it was a four-digit sum. (Before the decimal point.) And now, my credit cards are licking their lips as they know they have me... they think.

I've since gone through three or four more trainings - and am working on a fifth (actually an earlier version of two of these). What I've found confirms what I started out with.

You want to attract buyers and keep them happy.

(Traditional) marketing to social media sucks.

And studying Charles Heflin, among others, confirms this. Pitifully poor ROI.

But realistically, marketing is still marketing. You have to promote like a banshee mountain wind in winter to get people to know you exist. At least that's what they tell us. Because this is based on the broadcast version, with only 2-3% of viewers taking the bait after 5-7 repetitions.

Because it's "broadcast" based and not a personal conversation.

Bloggers who really connect with their clientele will have as much as 17-25% conversion on any offer. I just listened tonight to a blogger podcast, who is now making $4500 a month from her ebook and affiliate sales through her blog. Cute.

What did she do? Got into real conversations with her readers and asked their opinions - and then commented back on their comments - a real discussion.

That's what Madison Avenue and the "great Jack Humphrey" are missing overall. It isn't getting a lot of traffic to your site - but having real and consistent live conversations with your visitors (at least, until the traffic gets so bad you can't keep up with individuals - other than the truly outstanding ones that even make you pause...)

And that's the route to take.

Sure, I'll keep selling on eBay, but this isn't really good for ebooks, since the demand is not there, and eBay itself is based on cut-rate prices - so hardback books don't sell for as much as it takes to print them on demand. To make a living, you'd have to sell some 200 CD's a week at about $5 profit. You have to sell big retail items on a weekly basis to get that real sweet spot of large profits.

The new target is now back to ecommerce and online sales.

I'll ramp up eBay with what I can scrounge up of suppliers and their drop-ship products.

And that will probably start paying its way pretty well. It's not where my heart is at, though.

The keystrategic and tactical point is to build up some following on my blog - which will be monetized with links that pay - ebooks and affiliate sales, like the girl above. Simple.

And, yes, to begin with, I'll be using Jack Humphrey's (and Howie Schwartz') methods to get some name recognition. But I'm not doing it to become "an authority" - but to really find out what people are trying to solve in their lives and help them with that.

All that work I did years ago with "Go Thunk Yourself" really points to a universal solvent which can sort out and resolve any human problem. Any human problem.

The trick is to "go Archimedes" and find a place to stand, then get a long enough lever - and move the world.

Feel that? It just shifted slightly.

Think it's possible?

Let me know...
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