For those who are just starting out, I wanted to share some information I learned about becoming a full time marketer. I did internet marketing full time from 2010 - 2017, and from 2017 - 2020 I did it as my side hustle.
Here are my top tips, and I leave out the vague information that you all already know.
1. Validate ideas before you put time or money into the business
This is the most important step I've learned to getting to a full time business, as it lets you know what ideas are worth pursuing and which ones are duds.
To validate a business or an idea, sell the product without a website or any traffic. You can message friends, posts in Facebook groups, or even post a listing on Ebay or in a forum.
If you don't have a product but have an idea, try to get some people to pay for a presale. It can be as little as $5, but having someone hand you money for a product proves that there's a demand for it.
This has saved me so many hours of developing products that nobody wants.
2. Don't be a freebie user
Avoid social media traffic, free domains, free hosting, and free landing page builders. They don't look professional, why would a customer invest money into your business if you won't?
(Please note that validation is different, as you are directly communicating with customers and not marketing, make this distinction)
Also, I've found that once you put money into your business you become more invested in making things work. Money is a form of accountability. Pay for that monthly subscription fee, then maybe you'll work on your business for more than a few hours a month.
3.In my experience, stick with your own products.
Affiliate marketing was always harder for me than selling my own products. Not sure why, maybe I just wasn't passionate or dedicated enough to sell products of others. Are you the same way?
However, affiliate products don't require you to put all the money into a product and you can always find new opportunities.
My best affiliate sales came from promoting items to my list, but in that same list I obviously made much more pushing my own products (even after start up costs).
I just feel this deserves a mention, I wouldn't be full time without my own products. Affiliate products do make me some side money though. Not everybody or every niche is the same.
4. My top traffic methods
My top free traffic method has been guest posting on blogs, the amount of time I put in to a guest post generates more traffic per minute than any other method, and the traffic usually lasts months.
When it comes to paid traffic, my best method has been paying for ads on niche websites. If they don't sell advertising, I'll usually offer them $50 to place my ad for a few days and see how it does.
My top kinda free kinda not method is offering website owners money to test drive my affiliate program. For example, I'll pay them to put up their own affiliate link and see if they generate any revenue. If they do, I give them a higher commission and they usually keep it on their website and I continue to generate free traffic down the line. I hope this makes sense, it's a bit of a weird traffic method but I use it so I wanted to share it.
5. Consult on the side. Have multiple income streams!
I noticed that I would spend 10 hours a day doing maybe 5 hours of work, and I wanted to better use that time. So I started consulting, and the pay is fantastic! For your portfolio, just showcase what you've done for your own businesses. Getting clients is easy if you look in the right places. My top method of getting clients is asking people I know for a referral, and then contacting them saying "[Name] gave me your information, they said you might be looking for some marketing help" - this makes a personal connection and usually gets a sale, then I ask for referrals from that person and keep the train going.
6. List Building
Did you think I would write this long post without mentioning list building?
When it comes to my list, I have less than 5000 subscribers. However, these subscribers make me a full time marketer. You don't need a massive list to be full time.
Everyone in my list PAID for a product of mine, or paid $1 for a trial. I don't have freebie seekers in my list. I put my time into people who I know are willing to pay for certain products.
Also, here's my favorite tip regarding my email list:
One thing that I like to do is filter out customers that haven't opened an email in 6 months. Before doing so, I send an email warning them. For some reason, it turns maybe 50% of these people back into active subscribers. Maybe people just don't like being left out?
I hope some of you find this info helpful. Stay safe out there! Did you know there's a virus?