I joined the Warrior Forum in January 2009, exactly 3 years ago and it was quite a journey for me since then.
I went from being brand new, completely overwhelmed and frustrated starting out, to making 500k last year and 'living the dream' so to speak. In this post I want to show you how I did it and invite you to ask me any question that could help you on your Internet Marketing journey.
I just learned about Internet Marketing and got completely overwhelmed. I bought a couple of products (high ticket as well as low ticket) and after joining the forum it just got worse with all the information available.
For three month I struggled with paralysis by analysis and I tried like 6 different methods to make money online at that time generating a couple of Clickbank sales almost by coincidence, but nothing big at all.
That was a very frustrating time, to say the least.
3 Years later it's a different story. I've built a list of 14,000 people (all buyers), I was able to crank up my revenue to 40-50k per month in the last half of 2011, I have a membership site with 350 members, did my first live event in October 2011 with 60 people attending at $500/ticket, I created the second best selling WSO of all time and had about 15 WSO's of the day together with my partner Brian. I also win about every WSO JV contest that I participate in, even though I don't participate in that many anymore.
In 2010 I also started a successful local marketing business here in Miami, helping lawyers in particular with their Internet Marketing and charging at least $997 per month for my services.
I'm not telling you all this to impress you, but to impress upon you how much you can do if you stay on track and to show you that it doesn't matter in what situation you are in right now.
When I came to the States 4 years ago after backpacking in Ecuador, I hardly spoke any English and had no friends or family in Miami - so if I can do it, you can do it.
Keep in mind, you can actually achieve a LOT more than I did because I made so many mistakes it's not funny.
Best of all, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING happened thanks to the Warrior Forum, so I'm infinitely grateful for being a member here.
Now let's get to the meat, let me show you how I did it and how you can do the same. Please learn from the mistakes that I made.
After buying Frank Kern's $2,000 Mass Control 2.0 in March of 2009 with money that I didn't have, I was literally forced to take action because my then girlfriend (now wife) told me that if I don't make this work now, then that's it. No more fooling around with Internet Marketing wasting more of our hard earned money.
I went to the live event and after talking to a bunch of millionaires there (for the first time) and realizing that they are just regular people like you and I, something switched in my mind and with the pressure having to pay back money and proving to myself and to my girl that this works, I finally took action.
Creating My First WSO (this is where you start taking notes)
My first plan was to create a WSO. I learned about a cool trick to manipulate the 'most viewed' list in Ezinearticles.com and after implementing it and making it work, I created a short report showing how to do it.
I had no clue how to set up Aweber or how to deliver the product so I just pm'd a lot of people asking if they would help me. One Warrior, fortunately, decided to help me put with all that stuff. I used some of the strategies learned in Mass Control to build some trust in advance, took action and launched my first WSO.
People loved my story and bought the product, within the first 2 days I made 700 bucks and at that time that was a LOT of money for me and I got hooked, I can still remember the day of my first sales as if it was yesterday.
There was a sound every time I received a payment and all we did was sitting in front of the computer getting excited every time we heard that sound. That was the moment I really started believing in Internet Marketing (so did my girlfriend) and I never looked back.
After that, I kept studying Internet Marketing and I kept launching WSO's, basically making a full time living (3-5k) just by launching WSO's and leveraging the list of customers.
The WSO section changed a lot since then and today it's not as simple anymore to create a successful WSO. With hard work, determination and action combined with a bit of luck you might be able to have a success just by putting a WSO up but from my experience working with my students, that plan more often than not only results in 5-10 sales and a lot of frustration.
If you want make a splash, if you want to make thousands with your first WSO while building a massive list of buyers, then you need leverage and you need to get affiliates to promote you.
The best way to do that is to contact successful WSO sellers that are selling products that are similar to yours (e.g. Amazon, Mobile, Facebook, List building etc.) and to let them know about your launch. Best case scenario is if they are willing to team up with you.
Most of them might not get back to you but trust me, you just need 1 or 2 of the right affiliates and it will make ALL the difference - so be persistent!
Just like the big boys did it with their 'syndicate', there are now very powerful small groups of WSO sellers that promote each other and if you can get one of these guys on board, he'll tell his buddies about your offer. (assuming you created a great product of course)
To really kick things off, you should offer 100% commission (yes give it all away) and more importantly you have to keep a couple of unwritten laws in mind:
Have a great product. Have converting Sales Copy in place and make it visual with pictures and videos (My simple formula for converting copy: Tell an engaging story, show a lot of proof and have a lot of testimonials, offer a great bonus & guarantee and have an irresistible offer).
Have an upsell in place. Give away most of your commission to entice affiliates to promote and to tell their buddies. Use a proven affiliate program like WSO Pro, JVzoo or Digiresults. If you have the money, create a JV contest with prizes to further engage affiliates. Starting out, price the product relatively low in order to have great stats and a nice conversion rate. Use Dime Sales!!!
I hope you are taking notes because this is exactly how I launch my WSO's and how I teach my students to launch theirs. If you would ask me what the most critical part is then I'd have to say, honestly, to get affiliates on board. (having a solid product is a given)
If you are overwhelmed with all of the rest, then pay someone to do it BUT make sure you focus most of your time on getting affiliates on board. This is key. No affiliates, most likely no sales, money or list - it's that simple.
Build a massive buyers list fast!
Straight up the fastest and cheapest way to build a massive buyers list is to offer 100% commission for your product on the front-end and on the backend. Period.
If you have a solid product with some decent copy and you offer 100% commission on the Front- and Backend - then I have a very hard time (just as every other affiliate) not to promote your offer.
And that's exactly the goal, if you can make it so enticing for affiliates that they would be stupid to not promote your offer, then you are in a great position!
Case in point, for my last WSO I offered 100% commission on everything and I also created a JV contest with great prizes - so at first sight it looks like I made no money and I actually had to invest money for the prizes and for the copy, which is true.
You are missing the point though - I made the offer so strong for affiliates that they just couldn't say no and that resulted in more than 6 thousand sales, adding 6k people (buyers) to my list, it created the second best selling WSO of all time, it created a lot of buzz and I received a lot of recognition in the market place because of it.
As you can see, it was well worth it to sacrifice short term gratification and after the launch I had a chance to build a relationship with the buyers and to recommend them other products that I believe in, therefore making a lot of money that way with follow ups.
Long story short, if you'd ask me what the fastest way is to a massive buyers list then you have it here. Do it and you'll be amazed and you'll crush others that just don't see the value of giving away the commission.
Creating a membership site from scratch
You just learned that I've made my first money on the Warrior forum and that I've built my list on the Warrior Forum, it shouldn't surprise you then that I also started my membership site here. (now you understand why I'm so grateful for the forum)
Here is exactly what I did:
Once I had a couple of products out and small list in place, I had people asking me if I ever considered a membership site where people could get my products for 'free' or where I'd teach more advanced stuff.
I never really wanted to bother with membership sites because I didn't know how to set them up (I'm completely lost when it comes to technical stuff!) and I didn't understand the power of recurring income.
After starting my local marketing business I decided that I give it a shot because I wanted to create a community of local marketers.
The way I did it, big surprise, was by offering it as a WSO and the strategy that got me started was to offer a $1 trial for a couple of days for people to check it out. It obviously helped that I created solid products in the past and that I always focused on building a relationship and trust with my customers.
Therefore, my customers jumped on it and I picked up a lot of people from the forum by bumping my WSO to the top every other day. Now, 2 years later I have about 350 members and I actually had to stop accepting new members.
The most powerful way to do it is to have some kind of unique software or tools that people can't find elsewhere. No worries if you don't have that yet, you can also offer interviews, advanced training, webinars, PLR stuff or anything else that you believe adds value to the market.
Implement the strategy of offering a very cheap trial, offers something unique and you'll be on your way before you know. Also, and I hope you are seeing the theme here - the fastest way to grow your membership site is to get affiliates to promote it, that's where the true leverage is.
In order to easily set up our membership sites my assistant is using Optimizepress (we love optimizepress) right now but we also successfully used Wishlist Member. To protect it, we've tried Digital Access Pass and Memberchamp and they both work very well.
Local Marketing - Fast Way to the Cash
After a couple of month on the forum I learned about 'Offline Gold' and I was VERY intrigued by the idea of making money from local businesses by simply helping them with their Internet Marketing.
As always, I moved fast and jumped right into it. Here is how I started out finding my first clients:
Firstly, I got me some business cards from Vista Print and I did the 'obvious', I told all my friends and acquaintances about my business and that I was helping local businesses with their Search Engine Optimization and Google Places. When I went to the dentist, farmers market, bakery, jewelry store or any other small business - I told them what I did and left a business card with them.
That's a great way to get started if you are on a low budget. The next step I took was to post free ads on Craigslist in Miami promoting my services and I also contacted the businesses that were on Craigslist asking for SEO help.
Keep in mind, so far I didn't have to spend a single dollar on advertising and after 2 weeks I already had my first client on board at $997/month, from Craigslist.
I then tried direct mail after buying a WSO on that topic and it worked well. I only contacted law firms though that were advertising in the Yellow Pages. That way I knew that they're already having a marketing budget and that they understand the value of leads and marketing - so it was a lot easier to get them on board and I didn't have to educate them as much.
I also hired a call center with some success and I've built 2 websites that now rank on top of the first page for all the SEO terms in Miami and the other site is slowly but surely grabbing all the top rankings for law firm related Internet Marketing terms. I get about 3-5 leads a week through my websites.
The most powerful strategy though is referral marketing, that's by far my best source for new clients. Over-deliver, bring fast results to keep your client happy and don't be afraid to ask for referrals and your business will grow like crazy.
You can buy 50 WSO's about offline marketing not doing anything or you implement the tips that I just shared with you helping me to go from 0 to 10k/month within 4 months in local marketing. It's up to you.
One of the most important things that I learned from Dan Kennedy - which helped me to grow fast - was to focus on only one industry. That way I was able to charge more and to differentiate myself.
Think about it, if I offer SEO for everyone, then I'm just another 'SEO Guy', nothing special about me at all. And that's exactly what I did when I started out.
Then, I actually specialized on law firms and I made all my marketing (website, business cards etc.) talk to lawyers specifically, I used their language and I've built case studies over time with other lawyers.
Now, just like that, I moved from being just another 'SEO Guy' to being a 'Law Firm Internet Marketing Specialist'.
Completely different positioning, allowing me to charge premium and to be the expert. (I hope you get this, it's critical)
That's it my friend, this was my exact business model in 2011 helping me to go from 15k in January to 50k in December. (Creating WSO's, Promoting WSO's as affiliate, Membership Site, Offline Clients)
Now it's up to you to pick something that you think that will work for you and to go for it, whatever it takes!
So Mario, after this 3 year journey, what did you learn from it that could benefit us?
Laser Focus is key. The IM world is so overwhelming that we all get distracted all the time and we jump from method to method not achieving anything.
Pick ONE method only and run with it! Work at it, study the market leaders, see what they are doing and see if it works for you. Get a coach or accountability partner to make sure you stay on track, we all need a 'kick in the pants' more often than not.
What would you say is your unique secret to success Mario?
It's by far, taking imperfect action!
A lot of people, some of them my friends now, started at the same time as I did and most of them either gave up or they still jump from method to method not being able to make a full time living with IM. Some still haven't made a single dollar online.
The only main difference that there is between me and them, according to their feedback, is that I was and I'm willing to take imperfect action while they try to make everything perfect and they wait until they are 'ready'.
If you look at my products or my marketing you'll realize that basically non of my stuff is perfect, and I mean nothing. My website, fan page, download page, blog - they're all not done and I still have them out there generating business and leads for me.
When I learned about local marketing I just went after it without a website in place going to networking events and telling everyone what I was doing while others where busy buying WSO's about it and telling themselves that they are not ready - so within 3 month I got clients and money while they were still 'planning'.
My first WSO was a disaster when it comes to product delivery and product creation but I still put it up and buyers where patient with me because I made clear that it's my very first WSO. That WSO generated 3k in the first month while my buddies where still reading WSO's about article marketing telling themselves they are not ready yet to launch something.
My first live event was a risk too, I never did one before and I still decided to do it. The marketing was horrible, I only had 1 month to promote it and didn't know how to do it but I just stuck with it and got 60 people to show up at $500 per person.
It's my willingness to take imperfect action - I think that is my secret to success and I encourage you to try the same. 'Good' is often good enough, so don't try to make everything perfect, just go for it and get results!
What are the key lessons that you learned about business?
Always give the customer more than what he expects.
Follow Up !!!
It's all about Leverage! (relationships, affiliates, mastermind, Joint Venture partners)
Finish what you start, laser focus is key!
Do what you do best, hire others to do the rest.
Systemize your business as much as possible, set it up as if you already know that you're going to sell it one day. (meaning don't have it being dependent on you)
There is never enough time to do everything, but there's always enough time to do the most important things. (80/20 rule)
3 books I must read?
Rich Dad Poor Dad (got me stared)
The Go Giver (gave me the right mindset)
The E-Myth (helped me to systemize my business)
Are you going to stick to your successful business model?
Not at all, the only constant thing in life is change
I'm actually moving away from WSO's and my goal in 2012 is to make at least 1 million bucks in revenue but I understand that the things that I did to get my to my current level won't get me to where I want to go.
Right now I'm working hard on my sales funnel going deep in the local marketing niche and I committed to having 80% of my business based on recurring income, so I'm putting things in place to achieve that.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm no fool - so I won't just give up my core (affiliate marketing/product creation), I just have to modify the way I do it, change the pricing, go deeper in the niche and get more leverage.
I hope you got a lot of value out of this post, now it's time for you to pick a method and to run with it.
If you have any question at all, just ask along and I'll answer it to my best knowledge.