Archive for

Sales and Marketing – The Keys to Success Online

Many of you have heard the saying, “build a better mouse trap, and the world will beat a path to your door”. Well this is only true if the world knows about your better mouse trap.

You can have the best product, service or business opportunity, but if no one knows about it then you will not be successful. Nothing happens until a product is marketed and a sale made. These two disciplines are often treated as two separate and distinct departments. I would argue that they are merely two very necessary and important steps in a process. 

Marketing is the process of letting people know what your product, service or opportunity is. It provides just enough information to engage a prospect and entice them to take action. Usually, the action taken is to find out more detailed information. This is the beginning of the sales process. If you are not able to market effectively on the internet you will not be successful. Sales is the actual process of turning a prospect into a customer. This is accomplished through a consultative approach where the prospect is an active participant in the process. The final step of the process is the customer agreeing to the sale.

In order to learn how to market on the internet you need to understand how the internet is different from traditional forms of marketing. The first thing you need to know is that your potential audience is staggeringly huge. In fact, it is global. The potential for dilution of your message is incredibly high. As a result, you must set yourself, and your message, apart from you competition. You also must be crystal clear about who your target market is. If your product applies to several markets, then you must write separate, targeted ads for each market segment.

Decide if you are going to use free or paid methods of advertising. Paid methods, such as, Google, Yahoo, MSN, on line classified ads, and ezine ads will usually yield the fastest results. One note of caution here, do your research before you invest your advertising dollars. It is easy to set up advertising campaigns for any or all of these services, but you need to know what you are doing. If you don’t you will spend a lot of money, for little or no results. The rules for using these services are as fluid as the internet itself. Make sure you are up to date on the latest changes and seek out help when you need it. This is not the area that you want to just “wing it”. It can spell disaster for your new business.

Free methods of marketing are now more accessible then ever before. The internet has reached a new stage of development. The ability of non technical individuals to develop successful marketing campaigns is a reality. This does not mean that there is no learning curve involved. It does mean that the “determined entrepreneur” can master the necessary skills to put in place a marketing campaign that might have cost thousands of dollars just a few short years ago. Collectively, this group of free services are known as “Social Media” or “Web 2.0″ (meaning the second generation of the Web). Some of these are Ezinearticles, Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, and Squidoo. This is only a small sample of the free sites available to market your business. The list is extensive and new players are appearing everyday.

I would recommend that you seek out one of the reputable training services to help you learn both the paid and free methods of marketing on the internet. It is an investment that is worth its weight in gold, and is also a business expense. Many new internet entrepreneurs are on a tight budget and will choose to use exclusively free methods of marketing. There is nothing wrong with this approach. It can be very successful, but it requires more time to develop on the front end. Ultimately, is would be most advantageous to utilize both free and paid methods of marketing in combination. This does not mean that you need an enormous budget for paid marketing. Start out small until you are confident that you know the ins and outs of the service or services you are using. You can then choose to increase your budget or expand into other paid services.

Bottom line, you must become proficient at marketing on the internet. Develop a plan, implement it, follow through and be patient. Commit to continually educate yourself on new and advanced techniques of marketing. This will not only refine your skills for your primary business, but also allow you to market those skills to others.

If you take the time and seriously apply what you learn to this new business frontier, you will be successful.