"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along."
First written 3/7/2016.
In this week of research, I have encountered countless tools by marketers. But since I don't want to end up like the allegory of making/finding a better tool without actually doing something, I'm just going to go out with these:
Mailchimp is what I have been using for most of my listbuilding. I have tried out Constant Contact as well, but Mailchimp's simple style is what I like.
Mailchimp now offers FREE Automation! Exactly what I have been waiting for.
Send In Blue
SendInBlue is free and has an unlimited number of contacts. The interface is very clean.
Email Listbuilding: Privy
Surveys: Google Forms
Sales Funnels: Clickfunnels
An all-in-one package, although expensive. I think it's better overall than LeadPages. However, since I haven't launched yet, I will update on that if it works.
Website Builder: Weebly
This is my favorite free website builder so far. Wix is very slow comparatively to Weebly and also less flexible.
I made my first store Merchant of the Universe with Shopify.
Google Domains offers $12 per year domain subscription. While pricey for some, it is very clean, and offers quick integration with Gmail addresses.
Freenom provides free domains, as its name suggests. I might transfer to another soon, if this experiment works.
Facebook Messenger Bots:
ManyChat offers free automation to unlimited subscribers, except for their Growth Tools.
MSGHero offers unlimited send to Messenger from comments to unlimited pages, unlike ManyChat.
Chatfuel seems to be a good alternative to ManyChat, except without the ability to send to Messenger from comments, yet.
Other: Nothing else I can think of.
Set all retail item weights to 0.01lb
Set all free/promo item weights to 1lb
So for example, someone orders 2 free items and 99 retail items, they will have to pay $19.99 shipping. Follow the picture below for the guide:
Check out my new store Merchant of the Universe!
Or "How I made $20,574.61 for my client in a month without realizing it".
Let me tell you the first time I realized the power of a list.
I've built email lists before for my websites.
Let me change that, I started to build a list. I didn't really think it was the most important thing.
I focused a little more on promoting the Facebook pages, or putting up photos on Instagram, or hoping my page be in the first page of Google.
I held off those personal business projects and worked for a PAC. I was a political consultant, well, I still am.
It was a PAC supporting a specific candidate.
Anyways, the PAC had an email list.
I was tasked to set up the email campaign for the list to bring in donations.
The list was about 152 or so people.
I created the squeeze page, the trap, for the donations, too.
Didn't really think many people would actually donate, now.
The PAC gave me a long donation letter. I copied it over to my email sender.
After revisions and editing spelling and grammar, I sent the email.
Money started to pour in the first hour.
By the end of the month, there were over $20,574.61 in donations from that email!
Today, the list has generated $61,748.84 in donations in the span of six months.
It didn't hit me at first. I had to stumble upon a list building video by Amy Porterfield.
Building an email list finally made sense after I saw it.
Once you have a list of customers or followers wanting whatever you have to say, you can sell them anything.
Hey, you can even have them donate $20,574.61 in a month!
Do you now understand the power of building your email list?
Will this work for my business? You ask.
Yes. This works for any business. If you have customers that have any email addresses whatsoever, this will work.
But they were donating to a cause they believed in! You object.
That makes it easier to sell something of value to your customer? NO! Begging for money is a lot harder.
"The money is in the list."
Money does not grow on trees. Money grows on lists. The list is figuratively the tree where money grows on. You have to take care of the tree, prune the tree, water the tree...
But when it grows the right way, it can sustain you for years to come.
List of what, exactly? Your customer list, of course!
Online, your customer list is your email list.
Why an email list?
Would you rather have your customers go to you randomly, or you go to your customers whenever you want?
You want to be always reaching them. If you have them in your reach, you can provide value to them, and they will provide you value of their own, usually in the form of cash.
But you can't do that if you can't reach them.
That;s why you need their email.
Why not their Facebook account or placing on top of Google or?...
Say someone likes your Facebook page. It is proven by statistics they will probably never see it again. When was the last time you went back on a page that you liked?
Facebook posts from any page are only seen by 6% of its likers. Do you really want that?
If someone searches you on Google and you show up on top, they probably won't remember you next time unless they search the same thing again. And you will also be competing with other businesses for that first page of Google.
You need a direct line to your customers. That is your email list.
With a direct line, you can sell again and again to the same customers.
You can remind someone who was interested but hasn't bought anything yet.
Facebook and Google and advertising and blogging and all that are only good if all the prospects you gain from them go to an email list.
Don't take it from me, here are quotes from listbuilding veterans:
Disclaimer: None of those quoted are in any way, shape, or form are affiliated with this website.
So after a couple weeks in California, I am back in Ohio, ready for an adventure!
This blog/experiment/whatever is called "Forays Into Marketing", which means an adventure.
At first, I was going to go alone in this journey, but I realized, I needed people to work with. And who else better to work with than my friends from my college program?
My friends I made through College Plus, and particularly the VDP Student Leadership Society, are some of the smartest and most hard working people I know. God has blessed me to be able to get to know them. I've worked with them before, so I know they will deliver.
Being alone is great at first because you have everything under control. I am an introvert so working alone is my default. But even lone wolves eventually need a pack. You can't achieve what you want to do without a team of people following your vision. You can't do everything yourself, and that's from someone who describes himself as a jack-of-trades.
So introducing my team of businesses:
Elizabeth is a modesty fashion blogger. She sells Jamberry.
Catherine owns a writing and editing business targeting businesses and students.
Alyssa sells handmade jewelry, crafts, ukuleles, and other things in her Etsy shop.
Judah sells hand crafted knives.
I consider all these as my close friends. I will be recording our adventure here. Our goals as follows: Double their current sales
Double their customers
All within 3 months
So pray for us!
This is not an April Fool's joke. This isn't an announcement of new relationship, engagement, pregnancy, suicide, breakup, Donald Trump voting, etc.
Today, I sit in a hotel room at Anaheim, California. The sun is shining. The palm trees are waving. I have a very nice view of the Hilton across the street on my patio.
When I started this blog/website.experiment, I didn't understand my audience. But that was supposed to be my first step. I kinda started writing to fellow internet marketers.
But they aren't my audience. Not at all.
I sent out surveys (one which you can fill out here) to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
And you know what? They know nothing about marketing. Or at least in our marketing lingo. Advertising may ring a bell. Traffic, listbuilding, niches... those are all foreign words to them most of the time.
So, my main goal is to help entrepreneurs, not internet marketers.
With that in mind, my blog will transform into a small business-focused site from internet marketer-focused site by:
1. Lessening internet marketer affiliate programs and focusing on simpler business products
2. Slowly educating my audience in internet marketing techniques while keeping language simple and approachable
3. Lessening technical terms into understandable terms
4. Other similar things such as that.
My first change to reflect this will be the blog author tag line.
The tag line before reads: "Samuel Garcia is an internet marketer from Columbus, Ohio."
The tag line will now read: "Samuel Garcia helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and hobbyists succeed in using the Internet to increase their business."
Have a great April Fool's Day! Don't get too rowdy.
I think paying for Wealthy Affiliate is not for me. At least currently. I'm fine with my free membership.
Most of the supporters of Wealthy Affiliate tout its greatest benefit is the community. And I agree, but I have not actually gotten into the community. I go on and off since 2014.
What It Is Not:
It is not a scam. It does teach some good things. I just don't have the time to learn from it enough to pay for the 47$ monthly membership fee.
It is not a product. Or rather, it is a platform with products such as a website builder and community.
What It Is:
It is a community. It is a community of affiliate internet marketers. It is a place where one can be... an internet marketer.
It is course-based. There are a lot of courses. They are very hand-holding courses. So if you have absolutely do not know what you are doing, just look at the steps and do them.
What You Are Getting For Free:
What You Are Getting For the Premium ($47 per month):
If you can put in the time and effort in learning, get Premium. Otherwise, settle for the free membership.
Q. Are there upsells/additional products/hidden costs?
A. Yes, the Premium monthly membership (47$ per month), and the keyword tool (which you can get for free), and other products they promote. But really all you need is the free one. If you want domains on your website, that's a cost (but you can free ones anyways through here).
Q. Is the free trial limited?
A. No, it is forever, think. If not, my trial started since 2014. The Premium features are active for the first month, though, and you lose that as the month rolls.
None of that limited time free trial stuff.
A wise man said if you can't make money without money, you can't make money with money.
That is part of my philosophy here at Forays Into Marketing.
I don't hold it too strictly, but I do believe every prototype must first be free and successful before I start throwing money at it.
I avoid monthly subscriptions until I know I can get a return to afford that monthly subscription.
My current autoresponder, Send In Blue, only has automation in Beta.
Which means I would have to email them to get access to automation. And I did.
But instead of waiting for their answer, I took the time to find some truly free alternatives for automated marketing automation. No 14-day trials. No free-but-no-automation-at-all email clients. Free marketing automation.
Free Plan: 200 profiles and 400 emails per month. All features included.
Features: A/B testing, Triggered Emails, Liquid Templating, etc.
Free Plan: 1 user and 2500 contacts. All features except advanced automation, some customization, and API.
Features: Web Form Submit Actions, etc.
Free Plan: 1 user and 400 free emails per month. All features except for some extra modules such as e-commerce, affiliate, and helpdesk modules after 2 months.
Features: Marketing Autopilot, Sales CRM, etc.
Free Plan: 20,000 emails and 2,000 contacts. All features except some customization.
Features: Advanced Workflow Rules, Social Media Integration, etc.
You can't go anywhere online right now without hearing something about Michael Cheney's "Commission Black Ops".
The hype is phenomenal.
It seems everyone is keen to promote this thing and make a quick buck.
But what is it really like, is it actually any good and should you buy it?
That's what you're about to find out in this review.
Firstly, I have to say, I know there are people out there who don't really "gel" with Cheney's upfront style of marketing and writing salesletters. And I can understand that.
I personally love it.
And more importantly - you can clearly see everything he does in a certain way is done for a reason.
This isn't some new kid on the block we're talking about here - Michael Cheney has been mixing it up in the internet marketing space since the year 2000.
So anyhoo, what is Commission Black Ops actually like?
Well the first thing you notice when you get into the members area is just how professional laid out everything is. No getting lost or wondering where your downloads are - everything is easy to find.
You can dive right into the Commission Black Ops "Field Manual" and I'm gonna be straight with you here - it's worth every penny.
Now sure - if you've been doing affiliate marketing for a long time then there may be around 1 - 2% of this info which you already know.
The content is pure gold and I took masses of notes and have already started implementing his strategy.
The way he breaks it down is really step by step so you can just copy it for yourself and start using the method in your own business.
This is what I really like.
It's also cool when you see how much money he's made with this strategy.
You know this stuff works.
And for the small fee he's asking for this I'd recommend it to anyone doing affiliate marketing or anyone considering doing affiliate marketing.
As Michael Cheney says - he's looking to train up his own legion of "affiliate special operatives" who can then smash it for him on his next product launches. It's a smart strategy.
And as long as you go through the product and apply what you learn there's no reason you can't become a top-earning affiliate too.
So there you have it;
I give Commission Black Ops a big thumbs up, 9/10 rating (because nobody's perfect) and recommend you grab it right now like I did and start making money with this thing;
Get Commission Black Ops and become a top-earning affiliate!
Building up curiosity is the main takeaway of this course. If you can't build curiosity, you can't build sales.
Using media and culture material such as headlines from Buzzfeed and lines from movies and books for your copy is another takeaway.
But the most important takeaway, I think, I will only send in an email, as it is far too important to disclose here.
It is his secret for making 4 times the money as other affiliate marketers. So you see why I have to keep it back?
This whole review until the takeaway? It was swiped from the affiliate page. So no, I didn't actually write it, but I agree with most of it so far.
I'm going to go through this course and apply it to properly review it, not just give you the website-given blog review.
The only way you can find out exactly how the takeaways apply, however, is by subscribing to the email list or actually buying the product.
So if you don't want to spend the money to know if the product is legitimate, just pop in your email, and I will give you updates as I go through the product.
The first piece of internet marketing tutorial I decided to critique is Brian Dean's excellent list for listbuilding. I will be listing the 17 things to see if I was able to implement them quickly.
1. Use Content Upgrade Popups
If you now notice the email subscription popup, that is the application of this item. Cool, huh?
2. Hack Qualaroo To Build Your List Fast
Qualaroo costs money, so I tried finding a free survey alternative. Haven't found it yet.
3. Optimize This Often-Ignored Page and Increase Your List By Up To 25%
The ignored page is confirmation page for a double opt-in. As this website uses single opt-in for various reasons, I don't need this action but it is noted.
4. Make Users Feel Like Idiots for Not Opting In
This is a bit tough with the platforms I am using for my opt-ins, so I can't give two choices.
5. Use This Simple Trick to Solve The “Social Proof Paradox”
The trick is using testimonials. I can probably lift up some testimonials about me somewhere.
6. Use BuiltWith.com To Steal Your Competitor’s Best Conversion Tools
I don't need to do this yet, but the website is bookmarked in My Favorites now.
7. Use The LPF Technique to Turn More Blog Traffic Into Subscribers
I created a Landing Page, but I have not integrated the actual page to this website yet.
8. Turn Your LinkedIn Group Into a List Building Fire Hose
I don't have a LinkedIn Group (yet).
9. Use These 8 Words to Dramatically Increase The Value Of Your Giveaway
The 8 words are:
I plant to add one of the words to the opt-in.
10. Giveaway a Bonus For YouTube Videos
No Youtube videos yet.
11. Use “Readers” or “Visitors” to Generate Social Proof
I'm not really comfortable lying about my site's numbers, and beside it only recommends doing that for those who already have 5000 visitors.
12. Pitch Your Email Newsletter to Twitter Followers
No Twitter account for this blog yet.
13. Surprise New Subscribers With a Free Bonus
I am planning a new bonus for new subscribers.
14. Use a Blog Post Teaser
I might use this on the next blog post... actually, I will do that now, ha.
Samuel Garcia helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and hobbyists succeed in using the Internet to increase their business.