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I don't claim to have any magic key that will make you rich.

I can say that I have been sweating the details of making money
online since 1999 and have learned a thing or two.

It is unlikely you will find great life-changing insights in my
ramblings... but who knows, maybe something you read here
is the right puzzle-piece for you at the right time.

Enjoy. Let me know if you dig it.
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"The Buck Stops Here!"

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Posted 19th November 2009 at 05:21 PM by Loren Woirhaye

I dropped the ball a lot of times before...

Truth is Test, running an enterprise that fits into the loose category of "solo business" puts you (and me) in a position where, as they say...

"the buck stops here"

...which was a phrase U.S. President Harry Truman had engraved on a placard on his desk.

What it meant was the ultimate responsibility stopped at Truman's desk. Sure, he could delegate and he had a lot of support, but when it came down to it the big decisions were his to make.

In your home business (and I sincerely believe you should have or be working towards starting one in order to prosper in the coming times) you are where the buck stops. Not only is it your responsibility to decide what sort of ACTION needs to happen to move your business forward and increase your income, it's also your duty to get specific about what that ACTION needs to be, and then DO IT!

There's a ton of stuff you need to pay attention to in business because.... NEWSFLASH!... the real world is COMPETITIVE - so you need to have good marketing and advertising stuff, you need to have a good product or service, and you need to have good customer service to supply your customers with the best possible experience... so they come back and buy again and again and recommend your business to others.

Along the path of developing in those 3 arenas:
1. product quality
2. service quality
3. effective marketing

... well, there's a lot of stuff that falls between the cracks when you don't have employees and you've
got to dot the i's and cross the T's. A lot.

In fact I, who am very ambitious and motivated to build my own business, frequently drop the ball in certain areas while I focus on growth in others.

One of these areas I have been guilty of dropping the ball is EMAILING YOU!

Frequency of contact keeps YOUR BUSINESS in front of your prospects... so they don't forget they were going to buy from you when they scraped their funds together (incidentally, you shouldn't be marketing at broke people, but the reality of today's economy is that a lot of folks have little cash).

So, while I've been working very hard on growing the copywriting and consulting area of my business, I've neglected to spend 10-20 minutes every few days writing a nice email to my existing lists - a profit-nourishing activity that costs me nothing but a little time... and it's enjoyable to boot.

No, instead I've been solving teeth-gnashing technical web issues, moving lots of stuff to my new place, and developing ads for myself and clients.

... but I haven't made the time to nourish the large group of subscribers I have who have not yet become
clients but are presumably interested because they click on links I send out, send me fan mail occassionally, and generally make me aware that on the other end of my keyboard is a reader who wants to learn more about how to make money in the new economy...

...by which I mean the economy of today and tomorrow, where the 'net, as an equalizing medium that allows you to market your goods and services cheaply and to a wide audience, also allows every single one of your competitors to do the same thing.

The downside is that because your customers and prospects can easily compare your marketing efforts with those of your competitors is that unless you give them a very compelling reason to believe you are somehow BETTER at what you do and provide them with MORE VALUE for their money, they will be default look much more seriously at doing business with your competition who have cheaper prices.

...and you won't make a lot of money being at the LOW END of the price range for what you sell, so in the "new economy" what you really need to be super attentive to is the DEVELOPMENT of a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

I learned about this stuff many times in my earlier incarnations as a business-person - because in every case I struggled against the public perception that what I sold was a COMMODITY - ie. my business was "commoditized" - and when that happens the main terms of making the sale become "who gives me the most advantage for the least amount of money?"

... which is exactly how people think when they buy commodities. As long as they don't perceive an important difference between what YOU do and what YOUR COMPETITORS do, they are going to mostly consider buying at the lowest price...

... and there's seldom much money to be made selling a commodity at a rock-bottom price, especially in the new economy where vendors in 3rd-world countries where the cost of living is a dollar a day are offering their services to compete with YOURS!

That's commoditization. And it sucks for your business if you're a victim of it... and chances are you are!

The people shopping for goods and services in the marketplace of today naturally want to categorize you and your business as fitting-into a neat little box, which makes you a commodity (in a bad way like not making much money at it, not in a good way like a Major League Baseball player every team wants).

The way to overcome the marginalizing effect of people's perception of your business as an undistinguished commodity lies not only in doing what you do very well, but letting people know you do it well, and in most cases DOING IT WITH STYLE!

That's right, you should be cultivating a heightened experience of PERSONALITY in your marketing. That doesn't mean be silly (because nobody buys from a clown in general) but appearing to be a little larger than life.

See, people respond to energy and enthusiasm... because really, they feel their lives are pretty humdrum and the reason they buy stuff is, on a very basic level, to make their lives less humdrum... which is why people respond to Julia Roberts and other movie stars: they have "color" in their public personalities, and we bask in the glow of it when we enjoy their films.

...More Later.

Peace,

_Loren Woirhaye

P.S. check out my birthday video (if you haven't yet) at
http://malibumentor.com/birthday

P.P.S. I just launched a new, slightly tongue-in-cheek site to promote my consulting services in New England and response is pretty darn good so far, but I'd love for you to check it out and tell me what you think or ask me questions about it. Here's the link: http://advertisingswami.com
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