Offline Sales...Real or Fad? What Frank Kern Said.

53 replies
I have noticed in the last six months that the number of people and gurus who are offering off-line products and services is starting to increase exponentially. Last night I listened to a seminar that was put on by Frank Kern and Kevin Wilke. The seminar was very good, and although they had a special price, I almost fell over at what the regular price was. Frank said that he was basically shutting down his internet businesses and was going to concentrate on his off-line business full time. Both he and Kevin believed they could sell their off-line businesses for multi, multi, multi millions in two to three years.

My question of warriors is off-line business so rewarding that we should all be running to our local chiropractors to sell our internet marketing abilities? Is there really such a big market there? If so, is it becoming saturated? Is it just another product/service to sell? Is this a real sea change? Do these folks know something we don't? Or are they just tired of IM?

I would love to hear any thoughts and opinions on this topic.
#fad #frank #kearns #offline #salesreal
  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Well I believe that regardless of where you find your clients being online or offline, you are trying to get them traffic and business from online.

    So in my mind, the competition is still those 10 spots on the front page of Google. (I know that there are others but there is no denying that getting on the front of Google is where everyone wants to be)

    There was a time when I started out that you could find plenty of profitable niches and dominate the search engines with little to no competition. That is no longer the case.

    While there are now hundreds of thousands of more competitors (marketers trying to get on the front page), there are still only 10 spots.

    So back to your question about offline local chiropractors, sooner or later, even the small city searches for local chiropractors will become dominated by the big new (Frank?) SEO service providers.

    IMHO I think sticking with list building, product creation, and niche affiliate marketing gives more opportunities for success than competing with the new SEO service companies that are going to be emerging soon.

    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author usbodyart
      Originally Posted by Matt M View Post

      ...
      While there are now hundreds of thousands of more competitors (marketers trying to get on the front page), there are still only 10 spots.
      ...

      Matt
      While this is part true, there are actually 7-10 spots for EVERY local keyphrase...

      Just pointing out that it is actually incorrect to say that all the competition is trying to get one of 10 spots. In reality, there are:

      7-10 spots x every city/neighborhood/metro area x every local keyword = ?? (it's in the millions)

      Scott
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      • Profile picture of the author cscarpero
        There is money in it. However, it's a business just like anything else.

        However, I'm finding these salesletters about "offline is sooo much easier" to be full of crap. Business owners don't throw thousands of dollars to just anyone. Many are total cheapskates. You need to know what you are doing. If you are in it because "Clickbank is too hard", you will fail offline too.
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        • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
          Originally Posted by cscarpero View Post

          There is money in it. However, it's a business just like anything else.

          However, I'm finding these salesletters about "offline is sooo much easier" to be full of crap. Business owners don't throw thousands of dollars to just anyone. Many are total cheapskates. You need to know what you are doing. If you are in it because "Clickbank is too hard", you will fail offline too.
          It took nearly a year for members of my local Glazer-Kennedy Insider's
          Circle group, and my local chamber of commerce to warm up to me.
          Now, I have more business than I can handle, and am taking on more
          outsourced workers.

          So, you it DOES take time, but if you put in the time, it is well worth
          it.

          Many course teach other ways of finding clients... I chose to join
          local groups and let them gradually get to know me and my expertise,
          and even hosted a workshop for the local chamber. That proved very
          effective for me!

          It's NOT a fad.

          What Frank is doing is proven. In fact, Frank was first introduced
          to the idea by someone that I mentor :-)

          Willie
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    Well I believe that regardless of where you find your clients being online or offline, you are trying to get them traffic and business from online.
    So true.

    And, I think a big problem could be that more and more people who have no business telling offline customers that they can get them to #1 in google are going to be out peddling their services.

    I think we've all seen threads right here where someone is all excited because someone else paid them to do SEO for their brick and mortar business and then in the thread they are asking us all to tell them how to do that because they have no idea.

    But never mind that, I got into this online stuff so that I could sit around in my PJ's and not have to talk to clients,coworkers or bosses all day. Because once you start taking them on, they kind of become like bosses ... or maybe even worse than bosses. If I wanted that I'd just go back to my cushy job.

    Maybe I am leaving a lot of money on the table, but for me it's not all about the money.

    Lee
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    Gone Fishing
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    • Profile picture of the author Edge88
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post


      And, I think a big problem could be that more and more people who have no business telling offline customers that they can get them to #1 in google are going to be out peddling their services.

      I think we've all seen threads right here where someone is all excited because someone else paid them to do SEO for their brick and mortar business and then in the thread they are asking us all to tell them how to do that because they have no idea.
      I'm sure that wasn't your attitude in Jan. 2006 when you got started. My thread is probably the latest such thread where I'm excited about earning from an offline client, and yes I came here to figure out how to do it. isn't that what the forum is for?

      In a couple of semesters I'll have a business degree from an Ivy league school, and I'll tell you what, it opens doors big time. So Don't play down the noobs, because you don't know who will be leading the future.

      Last two summers I was a Business and Technology Consultant for a HUGE international firm in NYC. I made about 30 bucks an hour as an intern. This summer I'm taking it off due to health reasons, and I already see more earning potential doing independent consulting. So I'll tell you what, I DO have business in telling offline customers that I can get them to #1 in google and I am going to be out peddling my services.

      Edge
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  • Profile picture of the author Mikedb
    Ok,

    i will give you an example.
    I sell my products online.
    Price is between $7 and $97 per product.
    It takes time and effort to make a good monthly income from that.

    I can do the same thing with offline clients but I can charge much more.
    In my country it is still easy to get sites in the top 10 and businesses here have NO clue what they are doing.

    having said that, I just signed a MEGA deal with a huge company and I can guarantee them #1 rankings for all the biggest places in my country and I can do it fast and easy,

    So take the $7 - $$97 per product or the $120,000 deal I just made for one year.
    The first takes me hours and hours and the second I can do within 3-4 hours per week.

    That is the power of offline clients.
    It can be done in any country in the World and it is easy.
    The offline business is here to stay and I have seen some new changes in the Search Engines that confirm that idea.

    More and more they are letting local search get on top.
    It won't be long before everything above the fold will be local search.

    Regards,

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
      I've been very tempted to get into this offline thing, however I'm fighting every temptation to jump to the next big thing. My online activities are doing pretty well right now, so why move to offline just because all the gurus say they are doing it?

      You got to keep in mind, when gurus tell you this stuff, there is always some sort of product they are pushing in the back ground.

      So while they are probably telling you the truth, you can bet they are 'hollywooding' it up to sell more products.

      I think it's better to focus than to jump around...

      Just my 2 c
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  • Profile picture of the author Mikedb
    That is true Daniel.

    just one little thing.
    You don't need "Guru's" to get into that market.
    It is easy

    Regards,

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    People who can't make money for their own business online then go and sell their services offline to supposedly make money for other people.

    Does not compute.

    Frank Kern says that all the money is in selling services to offline clients and for this reason he is quitting IM. He is currently selling a product about this to the IM crowd, instead of just quitting and doing what he claims is more profitable.

    Does not compute.

    Most people want to make money online so they no longer have to have a "job" and worry about clients, deadlines and keeping management happy. They then want to go sell offline services and will again be a slave to clients, deadlines, and keeping these people happy.

    Does not compute.

    For years the gurus have been saying all the money is in products and not services. Now they want to sell you a product that is going to teach you how to offer services.

    Does not compute.

    The whole offline gold rush is probably one of the most disappointing things I've seen happen in this market.

    It's even more disgusting when I see gurus pushing these tactics as a great solution "for people who are still struggling to make money online". If you're still struggling, I don't want you anywhere near my offline business.

    It's a little insane.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      There's always going to be a "next big thing". Remember a couple of years ago when it was "You're CRAZY if you're not on Twitter". What happened to that? Before that it was CPA affiliate marketing. You should never jump into a business model just because the big names are saying it's where the money's at. Again, there's ALWAYS going to be a next big thing.

      You should focus on doing what YOU want to do (provided that what you want to do is actually profitable). Be the captain of your own ship.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
        Having said the above, that's not to say that there's not money to be made from marketing consulting. But you should choose to do it for your own reasons, not just because other people are saying you can make money from it.
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        • Profile picture of the author adesbarats
          Originally Posted by Hesaidblissfully View Post

          Having said the above, that's not to say that there's not money to be made from marketing consulting. But you should choose to do it for your own reasons, not just because other people are saying you can make money from it.
          Exactly - whether its offline or online, I really do not see the difference. It is up to you. Do you enjoy working with companies and individuals? Do you enjoy helping these offline companies reach another level by providing value added services that allow them to tap into the power of the internet? If so, great, go for it. If you are a PJ's person like Cashcow who wants nothing to do with dealing with the headaches of having a whole pile of mini-bosses screaming for your time, then don't go for it.

          Either offering offline services that bring genuine value or doing your own thing online are completely viable IM options in my opinion. No one is better then the other - they just fit different mind sets.
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    • Profile picture of the author tradermike2008
      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      People who can't make money for their own business online then go and sell their services offline to supposedly make money for other people.

      Does not compute.

      Frank Kern says that all the money is in selling services to offline clients and for this reason he is quitting IM. He is currently selling a product about this to the IM crowd, instead of just quitting and doing what he claims is more profitable.

      Does not compute.

      Most people want to make money online so they no longer have to have a "job" and worry about clients, deadlines and keeping management happy. They then want to go sell offline services and will again be a slave to clients, deadlines, and keeping these people happy.

      Does not compute.

      For years the gurus have been saying all the money is in products and not services. Now they want to sell you a product that is going to teach you how to offer services.

      Does not compute.

      The whole offline gold rush is probably one of the most disappointing things I've seen happen in this market.

      It's even more disgusting when I see gurus pushing these tactics as a great solution "for people who are still struggling to make money online". If you're still struggling, I don't want you anywhere near my offline business.

      It's a little insane.
      What they are doing is turning this into pure biz-op. They are marketing to complete beginners with the promise that they do not need a product or anything they can go into business by working with people offline. They are selling a business opportunity. Biz-op is about the sleaziest place you can stoop to and unfortuntaely this has been a trend in the launches for the past six months. You can learn a lot by watching what the gurus do and not what they say.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    The paradox is: As the offline clients are not online, you have to go offline to get them, and believe me it is hard work to get them. So now you are going offline to sell your online services.

    You are now using offline method's: i.e cold calling, trying to get past gatekeepers, direct mail, direct selling, etc: And so you end up doing all the things you came online to get away from in the first place!
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Hi,

    First of all, there seems to be some misconception that the only thing you sell off liners is SEO. This can't be any further from the truth.

    Second, way back when a few of us (besides some yellow page type sites) saw an opportunity for "local directories" we quickly learned that there was more money in selling "how to" about offline than the actual offline income itself.

    I'm not talking about a few real business men/women who are on this forum and really have the set up to service the off liners (Like Michael H) I'm talking about those of us who as mentioned above are one man/women operations.

    Back in the day many a Guru or at least well known marketer, some of them Warriors jumped on the offline thing in theory, however, what they were really selling was how they did it and how we could use their systems and already in place directories, sites etc. to sell to our local customers.

    Now, I predict that the latest stampede of gurus going offline are doing it for one reason and one reason only; So that they can come back and sell their systems, "how tos" and seminars to us. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with that.

    What is the above all about? Develop a system, a directory, a SEO proven technique or any other thing that you can sell offline and write a 'How To.' Believe me, that what the big guys are doing.

    IMHO

    George Wright, P.S. I dare you to bookmark this post and prove me wrong a year from now. just give me a little Tabasco for the Crow I'll eat.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdentrepreneur
    Awesome post Barbara, I have been marketing offline for 2 years now. It is still an untapped market in my opinion. It's the new PR for retail business, the thing is that the PR firms don't understand Internet Marketing.
    Here is what I did, I branded myself heavily with Social Media, established myself as a leader in my community. I now cherry pick clients that pay $1,500 to $4,500 per month and I outsource most of the data entry. I also have an Internet Based Training course with a membership site attached for residual income.
    I will be at the Frank Kern event this weekend in San Diego, will report back.
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    • Profile picture of the author zogman
      Does anybody know if Andrew Patrick (AP) is for real? I've tried googling him. I've checked Amazon for the supposed books he has written. I've tried using Whois search to no avail. Is he using an alias because he doesn't want people to know who he is? Can anyone give me some real information on this guy?

      Thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
        The big picture is not online or offline. The internet is one marketing
        channel of many, but it is far from the entirety of what "big" businesses
        need in their marketing.

        Big companies already have internet guys on the payroll. Technical
        people who know what MySql and Javascript are.

        Do the technical guys make the big bucks?

        No. The suits do.

        The suits are paid to think and develop big strategies to make loads
        of money for shareholders.

        The suits are stressed out by their jobs and have a lot on their minds,
        so they hire marketing consultants to come in and develop ideas for
        them. They pay these consultants big bucks, much more than their
        in-house computer guys.

        The real higher currency is in ideas, not technical skills. Ideas
        in marketing tend to transcend the media, of which the internet is
        only one channel.
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  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    I've been dealing with offline businesses since 2001/2002 and it has only increased each year. I got my real education doing work for offline businesses, bringing them online.

    I've watched web design/SEO businesses that started in a bedroom become national leaders with hundreds of staff (at least in one case) and then go bust because 'everyone has a website', all through selling to the offline market.

    You can still make a killing in it, but I honestly think Frank Kern is a little bit late in the game, but he will still probably do ok out of it, and so can anybody else if they have the right expectations.

    It's not a fast track to a million dollar business, but it will give you a great lifestyle.
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  • Profile picture of the author wiseleo
    This really depends on local market saturation.

    In my area, I have contact information for 10,000+ competitors. There are plenty of areas that have zero people like me.

    It can be quite exhausting dealing with clients. Unless you have processes in place to standardize everything, it can be a high stress proposition.

    The secret is to own your zip code. Whenever someone in your zip code thinks of someone doing what you do, they must be thinking of you.

    I've converted high end consulting for which I bill triple digit hourly rates (and get them) into a very cheap product (not by IM standards, but by my industry standards it's priced at below "too-good-to-be-true" level). I'd rather have some offliners market my product to their clients while I enjoy life. 50 subscribers will give me a lovely recurring $100K/year.

    To summarize - reduce your time commitment and maximize client value. If you can accomplish that, you will enjoy this. If not, you just bought yourself a job.
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  • Profile picture of the author rts2271
    Offline is always going to be hot. There is 1000x as many offline businesses as online. The exodus is because the lead fountain has turned into a trickle for many of the big players. What's so revolutionary about selling to offline business? Isn't that how we used to do it back in the day?

    2 cents deposited
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Marketing consulting existed before the internet. Marketing consulting will exist after the web evolves into some other virtual, alternate, augmented reality that you can only see when you're brainchip is connected to the backbone.
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    • Profile picture of the author cannylad
      Hi

      That makes sense to me. As a newb at this IM mularkey I can't make much input on that but I have recently had to close my mortgage brokerage and my experience from that is that most successful long term players in that field worked for other companies built a client list then set up on their own and took clients with them.

      Originally Posted by healymedia View Post

      Today I realized that I've probably been going about my business all wrong.

      My plan has been to use my internet skills and my marketing knowledge to go out and find offline clients who I can lucratively sell services too. I have a very good knowledge of both but what I don't have is a big resume or a bit list of previous clients.

      But based on the entire "offline boom", it seems like that shouldn't matter...right?

      Well, on one hand, I have been able to land clients. On the other hand, they tend to be dink and dunk clients here and there worth at most a few thousand each.

      But they're all I can get.

      Why? Because I don't have a big resume or a big list of previous clients. Yes I'm good at what I do and I can provide them with great value and great insight, but I don't have the connection to get to the big boys where the REAL big money is. And even if I did, I don't have enough past success to show them.

      THis whole "anyone can jump into offline thing and make a killing" thing is in fact, BS. It's true that you can come in and make somemoney, but it won't be nearly as much as you think and you'll have to be constantly hustling for it.

      So now I have a new plan, which I'll share with you in contrast to the old one:

      Old Plan:
      1) Screw my degree. I've learned more on my own than I have in those class rooms and I learn what I want, not what they tell me. I'll finish it eventually but it's not a priority.
      2) Working for someone else will only limit my earnings potential and make me someones slave.
      3) Operate as own company and market myself as a digital marketing consultant. My knowledge should speak for itself and make up for the lack of significant experience or industry connections.
      4) Profit!

      New Plan:
      1) Finish degree. Yes it burns me to have to spend money on the garbage they teach in those classrooms but it's a door opener and so a necessary evil.
      2) Use my degree + knowledge of digital marketing + years of experience implementing digital marketing on my own to make myself an attractive candidate for one of the many internet/digital marketing positions popping up at various agencies.
      3) Work at an agency for a few years and learn how an agency works from the inside out.
      4) Expose myself to clients much bigger than I could ever hope to get on my own.
      5) Build my skills and experience on someone elses dollar!
      6) Network the bejesus out of everyone I can within industry/clients.
      6) Leave agency with industry contacts, exposure to clients/buyers, solid experience to pitch to potential clients, and a new understanding of what it really takes to run an agency.
      7) Branch out on my own, open agency and use everything in #6 to help me succeed on levels I simply can't now.
      8) Profit.


      Basically the shift in my plan is that I feel it's much better, much more profitable and much easier to break out from the inside than to break in from the outside.

      I'm putting the "I want money now and I'm just going to hustle until I can get it" attitude aside in favor of a longer term strategy.

      Let's see how it works!
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
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      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
        Originally Posted by Paul Barrs View Post


        It doesn't matter the product or service... it doesn't matter your ability or disability... if someone wants it and you can supply it - they will buy it.

        ... more people will fail at the "offline thing" because they have no business acumen whatsoever. And believe me, when you're talking to some business person and asking them to invest a few thousands dollars with you... you better have some darn good communication skills.

        Most people don't, and that's why "online" is more preferably.



        - Paul Barrs
        Thank You Paul Barrs.

        My opinion: most people don't exercise their options because like old friend Joe Karbo said: "they are too busy earning a living, they don't have time to make any money".

        I've been in and around the "Biz-Op" field for a quarter of a century. And it hasn't changed all that much. The full page ads from the 70s in Entrepreneur Magazine mirror the latest guru LAUNCH. And with the power of shiny, sparkly copy...(who doesn't love the mirror ball trophy of Dancing with the Stars?), the BIZ-OP market of today is alive and well. Good for them.

        But the BIG problem, or at least the major lesson that was learned way back then and is still true today is: THERE ARE NO FREE LUNCHES or YOU DON'T GET PAID FOR DOING NOTHING.

        So the question I've asked for decades is, What do you do to get paid? AND then look for the role models, the people actually DOING it and find out what they are doing.

        The "new" biz-op of OFFLINE marketing is just that, a Biz-Op that is making a few people RICHer because they have a product to sell to this new group of miners wanting to cash in on the gold rush. But like the excellent "does not compute" post, it seems like a lot of work to get to a place where THEY have already been, why? Well, "they" know.

        Back in the 90s Bill Myers created software, eShowcase, which was for the "offline" business looking for a simple and easy way to get their products on the web. Heck, anyone could probably still walk in an offer that OLD software as a solution (combined with a little SEO and email marketing)...and as was stated...business consulting was around long before the Internet.

        Anyhow, my look is to the journey. And I've watched many of you make your own successful journey online, I love Willie Crawford, for example. GREAT journey he's been on.

        For me, I prefer the "control and TOLL position" as I learned under the wing of the incomparable Harvey Brody, who has been selling the same product for over 50 years to the tune of millions of dollars and all from the comfort of his home office with a just a handfull of customers.

        And for my Internet efforts, well, the FLY LOW AND COLLECT THE DOUGH model has worked well for me, and that from a concious effort to NOT get involved with the IM "crowd", so to speak.

        For newbs, the most important thing YOU can do for yourself is make a conscious decision what kind of a JOURNEY you want to go on. YOU can work a minimum number of hours and get a maximum return of income and satisfaction, if you know what you want.

        So, are YOU too busy trying to earn a living? Do you have enough TIME to make money?

        Point is: (to paraphrase Richard Condon)

        INTEREST is the key to life (or profits)
        Interest is the clue
        Interest is the drum and fife
        and any god will do.

        My opinion anyway.

        Gordon Alexander gjabiz
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  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    The problem with this offline "fad" is that more and more people are starting to think there is money in it - and think they can charge big bucks without knowing what they are doing.

    There are an increasing number of scammers, or borderline scammers, cold calling local businesses and trying to sell them seo or other services using scare tactics - one of my clients was recently given the impression that if she didn't sign up to a particular service her website "would disappear from Google".

    This proliferation of bullying and scaring has been good for my business. Anyone that knows me immediately phones me for confirmation/reassurance.

    I recently did a 3 page website for a client who found me on the internet. He supplied all the content. A company in a nearby city quoted him £1500. I knocked off a vital 0 and got the job!
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  • Profile picture of the author Texjd
    Yea, I can picture this. Frank shaves his beard, cuts his hair, and starts knocking on doors making cold calls to sell a service. This I would like to see. Now he could easily hire someone, use emails, do the IM thing on that market. But not all possible clients are fat cats nor do they need a $20,000 monthly service.

    He'll be back in February with his next big IM launch.

    LB hit the nail right on the head. The biggest reason most of us are in this business is to avoid the all the requirments of selling face to face, having deadlines, and dealing with clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Guys this very thing happened in the late 1990s when everybody and their brother discovered this new fangled thing called the "dubyah dubyah dawt web world thingie".

    There were bonafide pros, very technical people who were mostly from very traditional software and network environments - legitimate technical professionals - who were the service providers. The web exists because of these people, who worked on it in college, and then went out into the world as entrepreneurs to get the entire ball rolling (circa 1991-1994).

    Then, as WYSIWYG tool sets became more accessible... things like Frontpage, Dreamweaver, etc... more and more business opportunity players got involved.

    I remember things like "Web Designer In A Box", for $999, you could get an HTML design IDE, and some forms... voila! You're in business as a "webmaster"!!!

    The market kept spiraling into the toilet at the lower end of the spectrum. All the goofball players who dreamed of web design glory ended up thrashing the low end of the market with very small businesses (sole proprietor types, low-end services & retail,etc...) They undercut each other to get deals, and ended up cannibalizing their entire market right out of existence.

    Guess what?

    It's 1998 all over again.

    This time it's SEO, marketing etc...


    But the thing that separates the amateur hacks from the pros is the ability to crack into businesses past the low end, almost flea market level - AND DELIVER A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION.

    Any seasoned businessperson is going to smell a Herb Tarlek with his SENuke and Avery micro-perf color inkjet business card a hundred miles away.

    Forget it. It ain't happenin'

    Sorry. Hate to burst your bubble, but it's simply the market coming full circle again. We've been down this road and if you don't know how to actually do more than play with some tech tools you're not going to create a REAL business. SEO... making video ads... whatever... none of this is what makes a marketing consultant at the SMB and mid-market level.

    Understanding marketing, knowing the function inside of a business, being able to troubleshoot and create process-driven and outcome-based solutions, THESE are the things that make a marketing consulting business.

    Not some expensive software toolsets and slick packaging designed by people who are selling the gold miners the shovels.

    You simply cannot expect to stay in this business for more than a few months without understanding, and being able to play this game at a much higher level.

    Why have I been a marketing solutions consultant since the early 80s, and can go sell a $200,000 deal in a few days without hardly lifting a finger?

    Because I don't need toolsets to do what I do.

    I sell CEOs based on a pencil sketch on the back of a placemat at Bob Evans, and I don't even discuss the internet while I am doing it. I don't even talk about SEO, websites, code, servers, email... none of it.

    The CEO hires me because I speak their language. I demonstrate that I understand business process. I understand how an ORGANIZATION operates. I understand finance... things like cost of customer acquisition... lifetime value of a customer...

    No, it's not a pushbutton, instyprints for hundred dollar bills.

    Yes, I have to actually go and meet people, talk to other humans.

    GUESS WHAT!??!???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?

    BUSINESS IS PEOPLE BUYING FROM PEOPLE.

    If you're income is based on anything other than this... SEO, Clickbank, affiliate sales of e-books, etc...

    YOUR INCOME WILL COME TO AN END.

    No sustainable business will ever be based on fads.

    I can cite you umpteen examples of tech companies, Dot Coms, etc... who emphasize this point.

    There is no magic bullet, lazy man's solution.

    Get over that right now or else go get a freaking job. You might make a little money for a while, but there's an end to the ride that comes quickly, with little warning, and usually leaves a lot of people stranded in a boat without a paddle.

    A business is an ASSET. That means it's sustainable beyond your immediate efforts. If that's not what you're doing, you're not in "business". You're hawking stuff at a flea market.
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    • Profile picture of the author CurtisSWN
      I wouldn't be concerned about market saturation, there will always be some sort of scarcity of skills suppliers out there. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in this field is going to have a tremendous advantage over the "mom and pop"
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Great thread, here's my 2 cents:

    The knowledge WE have of IM can do wonders for offline businesses. Period. I know this for a fact.

    Now, you have 2 options:

    1 - Deliver your IM knowledge in form of a service to offline businesses.

    OR

    2 - Use your IM knowledge to create your own (local/regional) offline business.

    Example: Just this week I saw a good (offline/online) market with NO competition at all. I could have shown this to a offline company, sell my IM skills and they cash in.

    But what I did was create my own offline small business using my IM skills and profiting 100%. It will take some time till real money comes in BUT when it starts to come, it will be non-stop.

    Why I did this?

    Cause I really tried to help offline businesses last 24 months BUT vast majority of them are broke, don' want any help or simply believe their cousin can do what we do for less money.

    There are numerous ways to hit offline markets and make good money out of it - people just need to open their eyes and forget about providing IM services.

    Go deeper.
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    • Profile picture of the author naruq
      The first thing I would do is run small tests and compare your offline and online sales. In my humble opinion, you should do both to really expand your business. Personally I market products and services online and offline.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by Fernando Veloso View Post

      Great thread, here's my 2 cents:

      The knowledge WE have of IM can do wonders for offline businesses. Period. I know this for a fact.

      Now, you have 2 options:

      1 - Deliver your IM knowledge in form of a service to offline businesses.

      OR

      2 - Use your IM knowledge to create your own (local/regional) offline business.

      Example: Just this week I saw a good (offline/online) market with NO competition at all. I could have shown this to a offline company, sell my IM skills and they cash in.

      But what I did was create my own offline small business using my IM skills and profiting 100%. It will take some time till real money comes in BUT when it starts to come, it will be non-stop.

      Why I did this?

      Cause I really tried to help offline businesses last 24 months BUT vast majority of them are broke, don' want any help or simply believe their cousin can do what we do for less money.

      There are numerous ways to hit offline markets and make good money out of it - people just need to open their eyes and forget about providing IM services.

      Go deeper.

      Bingo.

      When you truly understand MARKETING, you realize that you're surrounded by competition in every single niche market that has major flaws in their business model now, and can be executed without mercy in a quick battle for market share.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
    Like anything it can be real or fad. If you're going at it as a business then it can be real. If you're doing it because you bought a 2K "course" and believe it's finally the key to instant riches and you sorta go out there and try to do it then it's a fad.

    And that applies to any business strategy or "system" not just offline.
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    I recently blogged about the fact that I have so many local offline clients
    that I'm turning new business away... because I want to control growth.

    It's been pointed out to me that it's actually somewhat cyclical in
    that many of the Internet marketing old-timer actually consulted to
    offline businesses 10 or so years ago, then shifted their attention to
    almost totally online, and are now shifting back in the other direction.

    It's so lucrative that I have considered dropping everything else,
    except for a few projects that I can over-see but have others
    run for me.

    The business is really no harder than pointing out to local businesses
    that spending money with you... using the internet to promote their
    businesses, offers a better ROI than alternatives such as expensive
    yellow page display ads (where they often don't even measure
    response).

    Willie
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    • Profile picture of the author tecHead
      ...and this is why Willie Crawford is The Man...

      Originally Posted by Willie Crawford View Post

      I recently blogged about the fact that I have so many local offline clients
      that I'm turning new business away... because I want to control growth.

      It's been pointed out to me that it's actually somewhat cyclical in
      that many of the Internet marketing old-timer actually consulted to
      offline businesses 10 or so years ago, then shifted their attention to
      almost totally online, and are now shifting back in the other direction.

      It's so lucrative that I have considered dropping everything else,
      except for a few projects that I can over-see but have others
      run for me.

      The business is really no harder than pointing out to local businesses
      that spending money with you... using the internet to promote their
      businesses, offers a better ROI than alternatives such as expensive
      yellow page display ads (where they often don't even measure
      response).

      Willie
      ...and MichaelHiles and Fernando Velosoare both on point, as well, IMHO.

      See how Willie just broke down about 90% of what both Michael and Fernando said in one paragraph? This is the ability you need to have when talking to the level of client offline that will be worth your time; (if you know what you're doing regarding what you're offering).

      If not, then what you'll be doing is working harder than it makes sense to your bottom line and/or end goal. And this is what Frank and Kevin were trying to relay in the webinar that was mentioned.

      Of course they're trying to sell their wares; this is what marketers who are marketing to other marketers do. If there were any on that webinar; I'm sue the percentage of non-marketers was less than .1% of total virtual attendees.

      Personally, I was somewhat impressed by what Kevin was talking about. Whereas, the ideal customer is one who's customer acquisition value is high enough to justify your fee; which is directly related to (as should be) your offering of more Prospects. If that statement needs to be broken down further for you in order to understand, then you should not pursue this business model and leave it to the professionals.

      Full circle, indeed. I can remember hitting the streets of midtown Manhattan in the middle of summer in a full suit knocking on doors finessing my way into CEO, CIO, CFO and Manager offices selling this Internet thing back in 1999. Today; its totally different and if you can't compete with me then I'm gonna roll all over you and snatch your bread and butter.

      I have no problem putting you out of business. Trust; I'm not the only one.

      Look before you leap
      PLP,
      tecHead
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I'm sure that wasn't your attitude in Jan. 2006 when you got started. My thread is probably the latest such thread where I'm excited about earning from an offline client, and yes I came here to figure out how to do it. isn't that what the forum is for?
    Actually, I cut my teeth in pets, hobby and home and garden niches for 4 years while I learned the ropes in how to get traffic to my sites.

    It wasn't until this past year that I started trying to show other people how they could do that .... and I give this information away for free on my blog and in my ebook.

    So I had several years of experience with different methods before I ever even tried to tell someone how they could do it.

    I don't really care where you have your degree from - if it didn't show you how to get websites a #1 ranking then I don't think you have any business telling someone you can do that for him.

    If it did, then of course you are well qualified to offer this to people.

    Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    In life there is diversifications, don't be confused by a few group of people going offline from online. I bet you there are more people coming online from offline. If i were to judge by your own perspective (the number of few moving to something else), the internet is still the best place to earn a living.

    I have lost the number of times i have seen Google ads on the offline, that does not mean the internet is not working for them.

    Nevertheless, a lot of people are profiting from the online world.
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  • Profile picture of the author fsweet
    Lots of good points made by all above.
    Frank Kern appears to be trying to market a new product to all those people on his list, eg Offilne Marketing and it's Not for Free
    I am certain he won't give up IM that's what made him rich
    But there are some REAL disadvantages to offline... YOU HAVE MANY BOSSES!!
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    • Profile picture of the author jdenc
      I think thousands of long term offline businesses would be surprised to hear they are possibly a fad. I was a partner in building up an offline business supplying computer consulting in about every phase of that market. And it was doing 15k+ a month. Had I been in charge of the finances it would still be going. A partner allowed a customer to run up roughly 40k in invoices and then they just locked their doors. We weren't generating enough net yet to sustain that kind of loss. My bad, I thought he was smarter than that. Took a while before I spoke to him again but we patched it up.

      Anyway offline consultation isn't going anywhere. Especially web oriented. I read the other day that over 14 million businesses still don't even have websites. Of those that do untold millions have no clue how to put it to work to actually make the investment useful. That's an awful big market. And it will be there long after everyone here stops launching WSOs on it. Because most of those that buy whatever the gurus sell can't do it. They simply don't have the skills, patience or temperment for it.

      The reality is SMB owners need the help. If you can speak their language you can get in the door and they are willing to pay for results. I know because I have already built it once. Actually more than once but that's a longer story.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    I think at the true core of all this there's two groups of people:

    Group A: Understanding of marketing theory and concepts and know that they need to show how their solutions relate to the underlying needs of the business.

    Group B: Bought flashy tools (and services) then told to go out there and sell the tools to business owners for a price (perhaps even time for money)


    The difference?

    Group A will identify how tools will work with their EXISTING business strategies (and client needs) and will change them/replace them as new/more efficient ones are identified.

    Group B will try to compete on price and will eventually find that their usefulness to a business with either be located at a cheaper price (i.e. India outsourcing) or just no longer as useful as it once was (charging thousands of dollars for Twitter account creation-message posting comes to mind)

    Group B's are fads...they will eventually be replaced...Group As are assets to a business and will keep the business owner informed on new strategies/techniques as well as PROVEN/tested strategies that have worked for decades (client retention, follow-up processes, lead generation methods etc.)

    So I guess the real answer to whether it is "real or a fad" is whether your business is easily replaceable by "some new guy that comes along."

    I think most experienced consultants (if they have built their businesses correctly) will tell you that they aren't worried when "Johnny New Tools" shows up to cold call the business owner promising untold riches...because they know that business owner will come to them first and get their opinion on whether that would be of use to the business' needs.

    Become a trusted advisor not a generic tool for hire.

    Just my thoughts!

    Cheers,

    ~Dexx
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    • Profile picture of the author jdenc
      Originally Posted by Dexx View Post

      I think at the true core of all this there's two groups of people:

      Group A: Understanding of marketing theory and concepts and know that they need to show how their solutions relate to the underlying needs of the business.

      Group B: Bought flashy tools (and services) then told to go out there and sell the tools to business owners for a price (perhaps even time for money)


      The difference?

      Group A will identify how tools will work with their EXISTING business strategies (and client needs) and will change them/replace them as new/more efficient ones are identified.

      Group B will try to compete on price and will eventually find that their usefulness to a business with either be located at a cheaper price (i.e. India outsourcing) or just no longer as useful as it once was (charging thousands of dollars for Twitter account creation-message posting comes to mind)

      Group B's are fads...they will eventually be replaced...Group As are assets to a business and will keep the business owner informed on new strategies/techniques as well as PROVEN/tested strategies that have worked for decades (client retention, follow-up processes, lead generation methods etc.)

      So I guess the real answer to whether it is "real or a fad" is whether your business is easily replaceable by "some new guy that comes along."

      I think most experienced consultants (if they have built their businesses correctly) will tell you that they aren't worried when "Johnny New Tools" shows up to cold call the business owner promising untold riches...because they know that business owner will come to them first and get their opinion on whether that would be of use to the business' needs.

      Become a trusted advisor not a generic tool for hire.

      Just my thoughts!

      Cheers,

      ~Dexx
      Very well said, especially that last line. If you can get there you have a customer for the long haul.
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  • These guys are selling "shovels to the goldrush". They have to come up with something to sell you. If it were so easy they would get out of the shovel selling business and do it themselves. That's just Business Reality.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardline
    IF you're not doing any sort of automated direct mail campaign to your list of buyer or prospects offering them one of your higher price products $97 or greater, or an affiliate product...

    you're leaving LOTS on the table.

    You test it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    I didn't get a chance to read the replies to this thread, but you have to think about the offline market right now as a gold rush.

    There is always something that hasn't been tapped into. Sometimes they are with great rewards. The internet is a pretty new thing in society and it has just recently been showing what it can do for local businesses. This is the time to jump on the local markets because they are going to be way saturated in a couple years.

    It's like when the internet first came out and the smart guys bought the great domains. Some people made millions off this simple little thing. The offline market is where the easy money is right now. There is more fish then there are hooks right now.

    Originally Posted by Barbara Gathany View Post

    I have noticed in the last six months that the number of people and gurus who are offering off-line products and services is starting to increase exponentially. Last night I listened to a seminar that was put on by Frank Kern and Kevin Wilke. The seminar was very good, and although they had a special price, I almost fell over at what the regular price was. Frank said that he was basically shutting down his internet businesses and was going to concentrate on his off-line business full time. Both he and Kevin believed they could sell their off-line businesses for multi, multi, multi millions in two to three years.

    My question of warriors is off-line business so rewarding that we should all be running to our local chiropractors to sell our internet marketing abilities? Is there really such a big market there? If so, is it becoming saturated? Is it just another product/service to sell? Is this a real sea change? Do these folks know something we don't? Or are they just tired of IM?

    I would love to hear any thoughts and opinions on this topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    But but but but but WILLIE!!! They want to make $50K by pusing a button and never talking to anyone!!

    You're scaring them with all this "year to warm up" talk.


    {rofl}

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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Hey Barbara,

    This is simple marketing, nothing more.

    The IM masses are now showing enough interest that their gurus have decided it's worth making stuff to sell them.

    Louis, Michael and Willie have said it all.

    This is nothing new. Some of us have happily been helping businesses for over a decade. It's been discussed in cycles over the years in this forum too.

    The difference now is that there's enough interest and money (waiting in newbies pockets and credit cards) that the big names have decided it's worth having.

    They're actually very late to the party as far as the actual opportunity is concerned and most business owners have been blasted to death with promises about internet marketing and search engines getting them new clients. I rarely come across a business that hasn't had phone calls promising them Google results.

    The big difference in the current phase is that because the IM gurus have joined in, the usual message of 'this is easy money leveraging an untapped (secret) strategy that anyone can do and make money right away'.

    This is them targeting the entire IM newbie niche to sell their answers/solutions to.

    It's nothing more than sales hype and will seriously mislead a lot of people - but that's not their concern. You've seen it I'm sure "it's not my responsibility what they do with my information". They're not creating these products to make you rich - they're created to sell to you.

    Of course there are still businesses who could benefit from some IM help. There are also businesses who could benefit from simple business advice too - there are ALWAYS businesses who could do better.

    That doesn't mean there's suddenly a new opportunity. There are always opportunities for people who have relevant skills and knowledge to help others.

    The issue here is that people understand what's going on and don't get confused by sales letters into thinking they've finally found that secret easy way to get rich that the other info-products they bought never delivered on.

    I'm sure Frank will make a ton of money selling his stuff to IMers, but then again, he could wipe his beard in paint and people would line up to buy the art he made while wiping it off.

    The 'offline' niche is not new, is not a fad and is not some new opportunity - it's an existing (much longer than IM) group of people who are not as stupid as people are now making out and are generally not throwing their money around for dubious promises of Google results.

    Should you take seriously the opportunity to make money selling IM services? - If you can understand the real needs of the businesses you help and make them more money - Yes.

    If you just want to sell services and hope they never actually expect anything more than 'traffic' - No.

    It's a personal choice and you can jump onboard the hype train or not, but at the end of the day your future is in your hands not the hands of the gurus.

    You won't make or break your business based on any of the tools or services other people are offering you.

    The only thing unique about your business is YOU.
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    nothing to see here.

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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
      Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

      Hey Barbara,

      Of course there are still businesses who could benefit from some IM help. There are also businesses who could benefit from simple business advice too - there are ALWAYS businesses who could do better.
      That doesn't mean there's suddenly a new opportunity. There are always opportunities for people who have relevant skills and knowledge to help others.
      Right on.

      I see it as nothing different but the medium. The medium may be "newer" to some offline folks, but because you can do doesn't mean you always should.

      Businesses need help. Whether you are in a position to help or not, and charge for that help depends on what you bring to the table - and that does not depend just on whether or not you can outrank keywords or whatever else is single medium based.

      If you can do that stuff (I think most of you can...not me - yet)? And they need/want you to? Great. But you're there to work on the business through skills and principles that were not just invented or discovered a few years ago. Those skills have been around for a long.

      If you "get" how to make, keep and grow your own business and all that it entails, you might be in a position to help others do the same.

      And it's done by principles, fundamentals and that make those things like SEO possible. It's the stuff behind the "why" that make those exterior skill sets possible. It's because you "get" marketing concepts, you have the ability to see the holes others are missing, and you have at least some personal experience in addition to any roadmaps that those already having experience can give or sell you.

      None of this is new. A good marketer is a good marketer. Instead of a bag of tricks that includes a few things, software or whatever, they have a library of knowledge, communication skills and an instinctual ability to apply that knowledge where it best applies.

      Coupled with the ability to work on what they do best while giving the menial tasks to someone else on the team if they have one, you've got a guy that could have been doing this, and has, far before the interenet. Regardless of the economy, the latest trends, or using the internet (although you stay ignorant of the web as a business at your own peril I suppose).

      Does it help to have those skills? Of course. You need to stay relevant. But while you can get by without PPC, SEO and other skills, you can't help grow businesses lacking the other side - understanding and getting the core skills that make you someone that can really grow someone's business.

      I hope that made sense...
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    I too am one of the survivors from the dot com boom bust.

    The "Offline Prices" are just now beginning to be what they were in the mid 90's

    It used to be that 5K for a website that you created in note pad and was about as ugly as it gets was all that was needed.

    People were hungry for websites, any business that had one was seen as a leader in their field.

    Today, websites are not something exciting that only "real businesses have".

    The slowness of business owners to jump in on the trend is partially because there are so many main stream sites that promote "questionable products".

    Willie and others have commented that business consulting is going to be around for as long as there are businesses.

    The moment your mindset focuses on SEO and WEB DESIGN you have just turned your business into a commodity.

    Businesses hire professional business consultants for their knowledge and abilities.

    They don't really care if you have a new tool, or some whiz bang program that is supposed to get them to page one on google.

    What business owners DO want is for you to increase their profits. (increasing income doesn't always mean increasing profits).

    They don't care if you increase their business because of a website, or by changing their business work flow.

    Much of the bandwagon is about page one on google, as any experienced marketer knows, page one on search doesn't automatically translate to money in the bank.

    Get to know business owners, and their needs, and you will be successful.

    Mark Riddle
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimian
    If you know what you're doing as an online marketer, why wouldn't you want to sell your wares to an offline biz?

    There's so many angles to attack the offline market... It all depends what area of expertise you're good in. SEO, Google maps. And it helps to be good face-to-face with people.

    That's where most people will just stay online. But yeah, offline bussiness need the help of an experienced online marketer.

    ~ JIM
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    • Profile picture of the author AP
      Yes, the offline market is very real.

      I've been doing this so-called "Offline Gold" for 30 years, lol.

      Small business owners today are having the hardest time in their life.

      The economy collapsed, money used to flow during the housing boom, the medial has changed, what used to work doesn't work anymore.

      Yellow Pages, Val Pak, Print media, used to work, now it takes twice the effort to get the same results.

      The Problem I see with most IMers is that YOU think Offline Marketing is about the INTERNET. It's NOT. Problem Numero Uno in your head.

      The LAST item I pursue when dealing with a small business owner is reaching out to the Internet for sales.

      Challenges I look for first to have RAPID increase in sales.
      • Trained personnel to handle incoming calls (convert more prospects into buyers)
      • Train sales staff to increase more sales via Up sells, cross sells, down sells, maintenance agreements, etc...
      • Utilizing existing relationships with vendors for Joint Ventures
      • Implementing a CRP (Customer Retention Program) the easiest person to sell is your current customer.
      I have about 20 others but you get my point.

      Look internally at a company's Infrastructure. Maximize infrastructure first to yield the highest, fastest and longest lasting results first.

      The Internet is one of the LAST areas I look at. I can get my clients 20, 30, 50% or higher sales in less than 60 days with changes that can be made immediately.

      Businesses only care about Increasing sales and profits. They could care less if where the results come from.

      The problem with most Offliners is you don't know how to Market, Frank Kern is an excellent marketer. Most of you have superior skills with technical stuff, but Frank and myself would eat you up in Marketing a business.

      Learn to Market.

      If you can't Market YOU, how do YOU expect to market for any company?

      ~AP
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan D
    Banned
    No disrespect to Frank Kern, but I take what "gurus" say with a grain of salt. John Reese had an interview with Brad Fallon in 2006 and said that he was going to focus all his attention on selling physical products that were imported from China.

    I don't know, anyone that is a good consultant can make good money doing stuff offline. But just going out and pitching some template-based website isn't really going to do the trick. I think people were doing that about 10 years ago when nobody had a website.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Boy
    The reason i have moved into the online business world [I have three existing offline businesses that turnover more than $30 million per annum] is because of the sales process.

    All things being equal this is the only difference i think is of great importance:

    Offline businesses have to sell to the mass and convince them to buy [that's how i generated $140 million in 18 months in another business]. In its simplest form [there's much more involved] just walk down the street equipped with some good selling skills and build a team along the way. This is not easy to do unless you are a top sales person with top sales people working with you.

    Online businesses seek the products that buyers are already screaming out for. You can fill this void by yourself with no personal selling skills. There are different skills needed but are all available with the click of a mouse.

    This is what the offline business world is not or can't access. People like Frank Kern and Main Street Marketing's Mike Koeenig will make a killing in this world. However a word for the unwary, if you want to venture into this type of marketing to the offline business world you had better be able to deliver the goods because you will ruin your reputation if you can't deliver. Thanks just my thoughts

    Dan
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    Get my famous "The Richest Man in Babylon's" 20 FREE lessons eCourse about Making Money that over 179,000 people have studied and applied at: www.the-richest-man-in-babylon.com.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Muller
    Keep advice Nathan, and yes that all made sense!
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    Discover the Ultimate "Mo Muller Code" soon!

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