"The Birth of an Internet Business"
The following is a real example of the birth of an internet based business. Anyone trying to make money online is hereby invited to copy this proven cyber-business model. Each step is carefully presented so that anyone can follow this strategy and achieve excellent results.
Summer 1998: A fellow by the name of Harvey Becker sends me an email message looking for some internet marketing assistance. With thousands of self-published manuals sitting at his office, Harvey has been unable to sell a single one. Mr. Becker ships a manual to me and requests my opinion.
After receiving the manual, I'm impressed. The manual teaches people how to buy a diamond. Is it "sellable" online? Absolutely. After all, just about every man in the world will be faced with this daunting task some day. I myself, would have been happy to spend a few dollars for this very manual when I was diamond hunting.
So what's the problem? Well, Harvey is a diamond expert, not a cybermarketing expert. This explains why he was having zero success. After a few emails back and forth, I got busy. First, I went to his website. I had lots of trouble connecting to it. When I finally did get it to load, I saw why he was having problems moving those manuals. To put it gently, his web presence needed work.
Like most small business owners, however, Harvey did not want to commit a large amount of capital until he knew if his business could be profitable online. Based on his existing web presence and limited budget, I made my recommendations... I told him to get off his current server where his URL was a mile long www.user/of/someone/elses/domain/.
The slow connect time was reason enough to move. Beyond that, you really need your own domain name to make a business fly online. He registered howtobuydiamonds.com - a URL that in itself, tells people about his site.
Next, I told him that he needed a professional web site that was designed to educate his prospects. If he could share some of his knowledge, folks would surely see how much he knew about the diamond industry and would be happy to part with a few bucks for his manual. I put him in touch with Lisa Schmeckpeper, a moderator at my CyberMarketing Info Board and a super web designer. http://www.lrsmarketing.com
The three of us shared ideas and Harvey contracted Lisa to design a basic, yet professional site. We all agreed that the main focus of the site should be to educate first, and make the actual selling secondary. This is the strategy I've been using for years and I know that it works online.
Lastly, I recommended that Harvey select an "upper echelon" host for his new site. Although this was one area where he could have saved a few bucks, Harvey read my hosting report and decided to steer clear of the budget hosts. Instead, he decided that a speedy server and 24hr. "live human" assistance was the way to go. (Real people actually waiting to help you can be a life- saver, especially when you're a newbie. You can only get this level of assistance from a few hosts.)
Fall 1998: I bowed out and left the next part to his designer. Lisa's been at this a while and knows how to design an effective site without the likes of me hanging over her shoulder. It was a wise move. A few months later Lisa informed me that the site was just about done. She was loading the META tags and wanted a few ideas.
After emailing her a list, I jumped to Harvey's new site to see how many crucial points he had implemented. I was thrilled. As I clicked through each lesson on buying a diamond, I was tempted to buy a copy of the manual even though I already had the free sample Harvey had given me! I clicked through the entire site and found one key website component after another... A catchy main page that just pulls you into the site. Graphics scattered throughout the site that are sharp, small and fast loading.
Meta tags that were well thought out with plenty of relevant keywords. (Click "view", "source" in your browser and you'll see for yourself.) There was my own letter I had written after reading the manual. I didn't realize what a powerful testimonial it was, but I'm glad HE did! And most importantly, as I read about his book and clicked on the jewel shaped order button, I was taken to a secure server where I could order with any major credit card. The real key to e-commerce enabling your site!
So, with a beautiful and effective website in the fold, Harvey's work is finally done, right? Wrong! It's just beginning. Now that he has all the tools in place, it is time to get the word out. Marketing is a never-ending process of promoting yourself, your company and your products and services.
But now Harvey has a place to send prospects. A place that does the selling for him. A place where he can educate his consumer, gain their confidence, and take their order. He has a real internet presence. Winter 1998: Promotion begins... With his professional internet presence in place, it's time for Harvey to start moving into promotion. There are lots of ways to promote a business online.
Below are the cheapest. I've pasted excerpts from my actual email conversations with Harvey detailing these low- cost methods below... Harvey Becker wrote:
>I have already shipped the first order!! What are my
>next steps Jim?
>The next steps are proper registration with the major
>search engines. I recommend you do the majors manually,
>by visiting each search engine. Be sure to write a good,
>keyword-rich description of your site so you have it for
>each engine when you get there. Do this asap.
>Here's a list of the engines you can start submitting
>your URL to. As you get to each URL below, find the link
>that says "add URL" then follow the directions and
>guidelines at each site.
> Alta Vista: http://www.altavista.digital.com
>Best regards, Jim
Note: Harvey's first submission to AltaVista has already been accepted and thanks to a well-planned and properly designed site, his ranking is excellent... buying diamonds - #1 diamond buying - #1 diamond buying book - #5
After search engine submissions have been completed, here are the next steps to be implemented... - Ezine marketing I recommended he visit http://ezinesearch.com and gather ezines/editors related to jewelry, retail, online shopping, etc.
Ask them if they would be interested in an article occasionally. (Each article would include his URL, of course.)
- Adding related products and services to increase profits.
- Offering a free newsletter to his site patrons so he can stay in regular contact.
- Setting up a reseller program.
I could go on and on, but I think I've given Harvey and other ambitious webmasters plenty to do already.
Oh, and by the way, this stuff really works. I've been using each and every strategy above in my own online business for years!
Article by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing.
Jim's site has helped 1000's of regular folks profit online. Check out their FREE "how-to" cybermarketing assistance, free software, business opportunities, manuals, web services and more!
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