So, I have been fully self-employed for two years today! It has been an exciting two years and I have learned so very much.
I decided to start my business outside of the Internet marketing niche. I have a few products inside of this niche but not many.
So, I have spent the majority of my time building my business around three other niches.
But, I have learned a very valuable lesson inside of the Internet marketing niche. When I first started about four years ago I started building a list in the Internet marketing arena.
I thought, one day after I learned how to make money I will teach other people how to do the same. So, I did not spend a lot of time building a list, but I was still building a list.
Now, here's where the major lesson I've learned over the last two years comes in.
You see, I was jaded very quickly selling to the Internet marketing crowd. It seemed like people were always complaining and never implementing the training I was giving them. Shoot, this training that I was giving them was the exact methods I was using to make a very healthy living online.
So, I tricked myself into believing that the majority of the customers inside of the make money niche just weren't worth the hassle. So, I started turning and burning leads. My focus was to get them on the list and sell them as hard as I could until they either bought or unsubscribed.
I focused solely on list swaps inside of the make money arena and would do at least one swap a day.
I ended up building a very large list, and making a bunch of money inside the Internet marketing niche. At the time of this writing the list is about 14,000 people.
But, the list I've built is pretty much worthless.
You see, I did nothing to build a relationship with that list. So, I have 14,000 e-mails that could care less to hear from me.
When I send a promotion I am lucky to make 10 sales.
Now, let me contrast this list with the list I had about a year and a half ago.
My list at that time was about 2200 people. My focused with that list was to provide value. I never thought how can I make money from this list, I thought how can I provide value to the people on this list.
Well, whenever I would send a promotion to that list I would make anywhere between 50 and 100 sales.
So here's the lesson...
It does not matter how big your list is. If you do not have a relationship with that list it is practically worthless. So, if you are building a list with the sole intention of pulling as much money as possible out of it you're going to be very disappointed with your results.
In my other niches I treat my lists like gold. I send great valuable information and my open rates are through the roof.
In the Internet marketing niche I expect a 5% to 10% open rate. That's with the unresponsive list I built anyway.
In my other niches I am upset if I don't get a 75% open rate. Then, out of the 75% that open the e-mail usually 70% to 80% click on the link.
So, that leads me to believe a couple things...
First, the people in my other niches want to hear from me. They know that I give them value and when I send them an e-mail the e-mail is opened.
Now, in the Internet marketing niche the people could care less about what I have to say. Because most of the time it's just a list swap with another person. I'm giving them free crap every day and that's pretty much what it is a bunch of crap.
But, this all turns back to my mindset. I know how to build a very responsive list. But, because I felt that the people on my list were not worth my time I simply built a list of e-mail addresses and that is it.
This has been a very big eye-opener for me and I feel very bad about it. This change came yesterday when I received an e-mail from one of my subscribers. I usually outsource all of my support tasks so I don't see a lot of the e-mails that come in.
But, fortunately this one was sent to my personal e-mail address for some reason.
Basically, the subscriber was saying how they are trying to find someone that will truly respect them. They are trying to find someone that will truly help them in this niche. They went on to say how disappointed they were in me because they thought they could trust me.
You see, I'm very open with my beliefs and anyone on my list or anyone that is around me for a very short time will realize that I try to live my life the best way possible.
This was a real eye-opener, because I realized that the people that I'm sending these e-mails to every single day are not just e-mail addresses.
These people are people. They are just like you and they are just like me.
They are exactly like I was a couple years ago. Struggling to make any money online and fighting to build a successful business. But, because of a few bad apples I let my entire attitude towards the make money niche be soured.
And then, I went on to take advantage of the people on my list. Don't get me wrong, every single product that I make is of extremely high value. And my refund rate is practically zero. I have not done the math in a while but the last time I did it was less than 1%.
So, that shows you the type of value I deliver in my products. But, the type of value I was delivering to the subscribers on my list Was absolutely atrocious.
When someone moved over to become a customer I treated them like gold. But, as long as they were not a customer I could care less with what I was sending them as long as a person who I was swapping with was sending me traffic as well.
This is a huge mistake! I'm so thankful that someone finally opened up my eyes to the mistake I was making. Just because there are a few bad apples, does not mean that you place a blanket judgment over everyone.
If you are going to build a business you need to focus on quality. You need to focus on value. If you give value and quality to the people that are following you you'll build a huge business.
I know this for a fact because I have followed that exact model in my other niches and I count my blessings every single day for the type of life I am able to provide for my family. I have raving fans and people that will buy what ever I put out as soon as I put it out.
All I need to do is send an e-mail saying that I have a new product and an order link. There's no need for a sales page or anything else. People are that confident in the value that I give.
The reason they are that confident is because of the time that I've taken to build that trust. I send nothing but value to them and I do everything in my power to gain their trust.
So, as you're building a business and your list remember that huge mistake I made and do not repeat it...
Do not lose sight of what your main goal should be... Building a long term business. A business that you can count on for years to come. Do not worry about making a couple bucks right now with a promotion that is not needed.
Remember to give value first and ask for the sale after you have provided that value.
Don't get me wrong, I sell very hard to my other niches. But, I also work very hard to provide tremendous value and build trust with my potential customers.
Hopefully this long rambling of a post added some type of value to your day. Because as I look back over the last two years this is the biggest lesson I've learned.
And I have learned a lot of lessons.
So, get back to work and be great. Because you were built for greatness!