When planting a garden, or doing a bit of landscaping, there are
many factors which must considered. Size of plants, colors,
hardiness, and need for sunlight and water, all come into play.
If any mistakes are made along the way, the garden will not
There are many parallels between starting a business and
planting a garden. In fact, being in an online business is like
planting a virtual garden. If any of the steps are overlooked,
like a poorly designed garden, the business will not do well.
There are basically three things that those in an online
business must do.
First - you must pick your program carefully. If you get
involved with the wrong one, you will not reap the desired
harvest. Just because a program has been around a long time,
does not necessarily mean you will achieve success. Some of the
affiliate programs on the web are overplayed and tired. You
should also avoid the programs that make money mainly by
garnering new recruits. At some point the new recruits will slow
down and the program will go the way of most Ponzi or pyramid
Secondly, after planting, you have to care for your plants.
Advertising is like sunlight, water and fertilizer for your
business. A one time or sporadic ad will not get customers.
Exposure, Exposure, Exposure gets the customers. It is a common
maxim in advertising that it takes 5 to 7 exposures to an ad to
get someone to react. Your copy must also be geared toward your
target market. It must be well written, makes an offer that gets
someone's attention, and allows immediate feedback. If you are
consistent in your advertising, experiment with your copy until
you start getting responses. If your add doesn't pull, change it
- couldn't be simpler.
Let's stick with exposure for a minute. It takes a dedicated
person to place their free classified ads on an ongoing basis.
Miss a week here and there and you are committing a big mistake.
You are not being consistent.
Consistency means that you advertise in different places, and on
a regular basis. Let's face it - any advertising program must
use multiple ways to reach their audience. Search out
publications that are geared toward your target market, and
contract with them on a "long term" basis. Many offer discounts
for ongoing ads. When someone sees your ad in different places,
they start to pay attention. Enough exposure and they just may
contact you for further information.
Which brings us to the third step in your program. If you don't
use an auto-responder, you are simply not serious in your
advertising efforts. The auto-response presents the details to
them about your offer. They not only get your response within
minutes, but you get their E-mail address for follow-up
purposes. You can get auto-responders from a number of places,
but perhaps the simplest is using the Eudora email client. If
someone sends an email to a specific address, or with a specific
subject line, it can automatically file it in a follow up folder
and send a canned response.
I got a check yesterday from a person I never even talked with.
She visited our web site and requested additional information,
which was sent by our auto-responder. What a great way to do
The final step is the actual harvest, and you must have the
proper tools. You must have a way to immediately close the deal
and for the prospect the make payment. You can use a number of
resources including your own merchant account, online checks or
a service such as PayPal.
Advertising on the Internet has no magic. Unless it is done
properly, however the world will NOT beat a path to your door.
You must use the same techniques and procedures that you would
use in any offline advertising campaign.
Those that do will have a successful business, and like the
Virtual Garden reap a profitable harvest.
About the author:
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