Product Launches

People Don’t Buy During The Holidays?

December 26, 2016

I don't lose any sleep over this, but I roll my eyes when someone says...

  • November and December are slower months!
  • No one is online during holiday time...
  • Don't even bother marketing or sending emails until January...
  • Don't you want to take some time off?

And my answers are:

Of course I take time off -- that's what scheduled blog posts and scheduled autoresponder emails put in the queue in advance are all about (bonus if people can't really tell if they're live or pre-scheduled)...

Many people (not you personally, but others) are working too hard and not working smart enough. They could get a lot more done in less time AND possibly use these few days off to plan their next move or squeeze in an hour here and there...

What about eBay? Amazon? Retail stores? There are tons of people buying. And if you say that's apples and oranges because I run an online business... well... aren't there some people out there who are using this end of the year time to look into running their own online business?

Sure, grandma won't buy an e-book or course but grandma might give those grandkids gift cards or money that they'll use to build their business

This is the last chance for many business owners to lock-in their purchases (business write-offs) for tax time -- for example, I bought myself Google Glass (now discontinued) during the holidays one year...

And most importantly, what's the difference if you setup a web page in late December 2016 that gets sales in January 2017? February or March 2017? You have to set it up in the first place...

"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." -- Zig Ziglar

What's the easy answer? You need to setup, at the very least, an opt-in page and a sales letter using Paper Template.

Of course take a bunch of time off to get that perspective, recharge your batteries and figure out your next move... but what counts is not so much thinking or planning, but ACTION...

Setting up a web page that sells something is the best ACTION you can take this holiday season, and using WordPress plus Paper Template is the best way to do it quickly while also having all the little features you need.

Templatize It: Where is Your Sales Letter and Information Product?

January 24, 201545 Comments

If you take longer than three days to go from having an idea for an information product to having a buy button online, then you're doing it wrong. I want to ask this to you today, but you don't have to answer it:

If you HAD to put that info-product online within the next three days…
if you absolutely had to, were required by law,
faced death and the loss of your family if you didn't…
you'd find a way, wouldn't you?

REAL Information Products (Most Info-Marketers Miss This)

Let me explain an information product: people have always and will always want to discover how to play golf or learn the guitar…

But they don't want to walk into a music shop and have someone pitch to them, they're afraid of looking foolish, they don't want to pay hundreds of dollars a week to a guitar teacher… they don't want to a commit to a community college class or have a family member teach them…

They need you to give them a "package" usually of pre-recorded videos that get them from point A to point B. You're cutting through the "academic" crap and actually SHOWING the simple way (you actually explain a part of guitar playing and then play it on-camera).

Because you're ROCKETING towards the goal of them being able to play these three popular songs on guitar, you can avoid the long tedious "intros" or fanfare about the history of the guitar. You just get right to it. Get right to your system.

Fear of Launching

It frustrates me when I meet someone at an offline event, for example, and then I "run into" them a couple years later on a forum or Facebook group and I see that they're still not making money yet…

I don't have to tell you why this is:

Reason #1: no real sense of urgency: this person has another stream of income so there's no real motivation to make any money online

Reason #2: fear: it's as simple as that. I remember having my first information product (a collection of PHP scripts like a calendar plugin, quiz plugin, basic email autoresponder, etc.) ready to go and WAITING for a week. I asked this person and that person if I should put it out now, or wait longer? What if it was a flop? Shouldn't I add more bonuses? Was the price right?

In reality, I was asking around for the answer I wanted all along. I was hoping someone would tell me: don't put that product out yet, wait 6 months until this happens, or spend 3 months adding these bonuses so you can double your sales. Yeah right.

Let's say you had that guitar course. What's the harm in buying up what's called "private label rights" (just do a Google search) about guitar? Someone's already recorded videos doing what you want to teach, that you can buy for $20 or so.

After it's COMPLETE and selling, you can go back and decide if you're unhappy with the existing videos. Maybe you want to change the course to recommend the ONE specific guitar for beginners? And provide your Amazon affiliate link and also get them to buy a specific tool to make learning the chords easier -- or perhaps you mail this to them as part of the course…

Do you get it? Get something simple online (as simple as possible), focus on making sales NOW and improve later. It'll never be perfect, just improve incrementally.

"Lack of time is actually lack of priorities."
-- Timothy Ferriss

Reason #3: confusion: that all sounds great, but how the heck do I buy these resale rights? How do I record video? What do I use to host my site or my files?

24-Month Shortcut: Use PayPal to Take Payments

What about taking payments? Seriously, I've seen way too many people LOSE OUT on their internet marketing success, or have it delayed by TWO YEARS or longer just because they were confused about how to take online payments. I can't use PayPal… they don't have a 1-click upsell and they don't let me take offline credit cards! Maybe I should use Stripe, InfusionSoft, Ontraport?

Question: do you have a 1-click upsell ready to go? No you don't… that's something you can add later and it's not going to make or break your initial product sales…

I understand… you "might want" to take direct credit cards someday. But how about you forget about that for today and cross that bridge when you come to it?

The answer: use PayPal. Just do it! Not because it "has the most bells and whistles" but because you'll have something up and running today.

Income Machine System

As far as hosting your site, our Income Machine shows you how to register a domain name with NameCheap, get a Baby Account with HostGator, point your domain to your web hosting, now someone can type in (get a dot-com and not a .net or a .biz or anything like that) and end up on your (blank) website.

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."
-- Vincent Van Gogh

What do you put on that website? WordPress, so that you don't have to learn HTML coding or how to upload files, and then our Paper Template so you can have one of those "piece of paper" looking sales letters…

With Paper Template, you can click one button and create a sales letter (pre-written, just fill in the blanks and delete what you don't need). Click another button to create a simple download page (hidden from your navigation and the search engines).

If this all seems confusing, it doesn't have to be… inside our Income Machine course, we give you a clone that you can stick on your site so you have SOMETHING setup that you can edit…

At this point you have a "template" of a sales letter (the front page of your site or the .com) and a "template" of a download page (one single page). Now what???

Step 1 of 3: Resale Rights & Download Page

As I said before, resale rights are a great starting point for your product because it means you can setup something for now and improve later. You can pay somebody a one-time fee (usually $10-$20) and in exchange, get the rights to place their videos and sales letter on your own site, keep all of the money, and make any changes you want including putting your name on it, rename the product, edit it as much as you want.

I know what you're thinking. Resale rights, only 20 dollars, it must be crap. A lot of resale rights are low-quality, especially things like written articles, but in my experience, PLR video is usually decent. Sometimes you get stuck with a bad PowerPoint-based product, but most of the time the videos show them actually taking some action.

For 20 bucks they'll give you a large 400 MB sized zip file with videos. Download, right click and unzip, verify that you're allowed to sell them and do what you want with them. Then re-zip JUST the video files. They're usually MP4 or AVI files. In Windows, select the files you want, right click, Send To, Compressed Folder.

What do you do with that zip file? WordPress has a way for you to upload SMALL files such as images, but for a larger download, you can use your web host's cPanel File Manager to upload right into what's called your WordPress "upload" folder. You don't need to install any software to upload files to your site.

Then you can browse to the Download Page on your WordPress site and link to that zip file for someone to download. As a bonus (if you know how to do this) you can upload the MP4 files individually to your YouTube account and set them to "unlisted" so they aren't public but you can place them right there on your download page.

Step 2 of 3: Sales Letter & Payment Button

You have a way for someone to claim and get their download, now let's create a way for someone to pay you money and get access to that download. (It's a lot easier by going backwards in this way.)

PayPal allows you to create a "buy now" button (we also show this inside our Income Machine course) where you basically tell PayPal: I want to sell a product with this name (what people see on the checkout page and on their payment receipt), for this price (i.e. $7.00 one-time), and send them to this specific URL only if they pay. This is your download page.

Once you've created the button (hosted at PayPal), they give you a special link or button you can place on your page. Guess what? If you had nothing else but a "piece of paper" template with nothing on it other than that button, you still have something for sale!

If you have five minutes of free time, stick a headline at the top of the page. Paper Template has dozens of headlines built in (I've distilled all of the various headlines that make sense on the Internet down to just a few). We are the only sales letter plugin out there with a built-in swipe file.

If you have five more minutes, add ten bullet points under the headline giving people just ten good reasons to buy your course on guitar, or ten things they'd walk away with after completing your paid course.

Step 3 of 3: Membership Site & Email Sequence

Notice I deliberately left out the "fanciness" that comes later. You have two choices: either try to ten things in "parallel" (at the same time), get tripped up, eek along and have ten things at 10%, ten things at 20%, ten things at 30%... or do it in "series" (one after another). Knock out your download page. Knock out your payment button. Knock out that basic sales letter.

THEN you can add in fancier stuff later. An easy example is your membership site. Create a separate WordPress installation in your "members" folder, create a SINGLE PAGE download area, and create your new payment button and switch it out onto the sales page. (Income Machine includes our Member Genius membership plugin.)

Keep in mind this is a membership site where people only pay ONE TIME and only get access to ONE PAGE. The only improvement is that they now create an account to login and get back to that single download if they need it. If you want to add a 2nd page, other levels such as an upsell. That comes later.

Most people are setting things up in the wrong order. They create the "nice-to-haves" first instead of the "must-haves." They create their opt-in page first, their email autoresponder sequence, then they get tired and don't actually create something to sell. Complete things that make money first!

Templatize It!

What makes money: sending paid traffic to that sales letter, breaking even on the ad cost, and building a list of buyers. Joint ventures and affiliate traffic. Building your list. Mailing offers to your list.

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
-- Chinese Proverb

What good is the best information product in the world if no one actually buys it to see it? Get it online, get it selling, and when you're looking to improve that product… instead of throwing out the whole product to start over, think about this instead:

What step-by-step checklist or template can you give someone to make better sense out of those existing PLR videos?

No one cares about how many years you've studied guitar, how many hours the videos are (in fact, if you say there are 100 hours of videos, it talks me OUT OF buying), or how many pages are in the transcript.

They don't even care about "work" or "learning." They care about getting the result they paid money for, while having the most fun, doing the least amount of work, and getting it in the shortest amount of time!

That means your guitar course can have an additional checklist that says… buy this specific guitar, buy these strings, buy this pick, buy this equipment. Master these finger positions. Show you can properly mark time in this way. Play the background part for these five very simple songs. Play these five simple guitar solos.

Give people some easy tasks to check off. You can create any kind of checklist or fill-in-the-blank component in your membership site using our WP Notepad plugin.

If you can get rights to a piece of software or app that helps people to play the guitar, or recycle your early profits into outsourcing such a thing, that's another component you can use to improve your offer. Add in a 30-minute video Skype consultation (using TimeTrade to schedule the appointments) keeping in mind that only 10% of your customers will take you up on it, you'll record it and add it to a section of the member's area, and it's something you probably would have done for free anyway!

"There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing."
-- Elbert Hubbard

The easiest way to start making passive income is with an information product. The quickest and simplest way to sell that kind of product is with a piece of paper looking web page such as Paper Template.

My question to you today is:
Where is your sales letter?

Be sure to post a URL below with a page of yours that has a WORKING buy button.

I'm curious and I'll be checking it out soon. Thanks.

035: Alumni Pitch Webinars and Version Two

August 8, 2014

Listen to today's Robert Plank Show to discover the launch technique you can use whether you're making $100 per month or $100,000 per month from your online business at the moment, including:

  • the "fire and motion" most product launches forget about
  • the exact kind of pitch webinar you need to use to promote your products (teach long division and sell the calculator)
  • how to re-promote your existing products to pay your bills for years to come
  • how to avoid being stuck in "product creation" or "product launch" mode and still make money when you update your courses
  • And more! Please welcome our brand spanking new sponsor for this week: Membership Cube
  • Additional resources: Membership Cube (create that membership site), Webinar Crusher (pitch your products with webinars), Make a Product (self-publish on, Podcast Crusher (create your own podcast on iTunes)

Join Membership Cube 3.0 to Claim Your
Membership Site Training, Plugins & Clones Now

Like the Robert Plank Show on Facebook

Amazon FBA Seller Income: The Secrets of Retail Arbitrage and Private Label Sourcing That “They” Don’t Want You to Know

April 18, 2014

There's this thing called the Amazon Seller program that I've been using for the past 30 days to make a "side income." As an internet marketer, it's super important to have multiple streams of income...

  • There are only so many people in your niche to buy your products
  • There are only so many people willing to join your monthly program
  • There are only so many people who will use your software
  • Only so many people are the "right fit" for your coaching program and so on...

Let's go mass-market. Amazon Seller is different from their Kindle program (digital books), CreateSpace (physical books), and WAY different than their affiliate program (promote Amazon products for 5%) so let's not get it confused with that...

This is a lot like eBay minus the "auction" and "bidding" part of it. You say I have THIS for sale at THIS price. You can usually just add yourself as a seller on one of their existing products. For example, you have a copy of the Four Hour Work Week around the house (as I had several copies), you list it in New or Used condition with the price you want to sell it for (shipping is added on).

2014-04-14 17.00.41

When it sells, Amazon emails you and says... here is the shipping label to print out, put that item you just sold into a box and mail it.

Heck, the FIRST time we looked into the Amazon Seller program was to sell physical copies of our home study courses. Because technically, you could combine a printed manual and DVD set in a cardboard box, buy your own UPC code for $1.99 and sell a physical product (in a box) of your course as an Amazon product. But let's not get too off-track with the possibilities...

Many people have been able to turn this Amazon Seller method into a full time income (you can scale it to the point where your items sit in Amazon's warehouse and they handle the shipping as things are sold). You can get your own physical products private labeled (outsourced)...

What "They" Tell You

I'm not in the business of trash talking any other internet marketers, but the DANGER is that over the past few months I've seen one marketer tell you to sell supplements using Amazon's program... I wouldn't do this without a quality control process and without a lawyer...

Another marketer claims to make $100,000 per month when I heard around the grapevine he spends $100,000 per month on ads... so he's breaking even in order to get that screenshot to then sell you a course on "how he did it"... not good.

And still another marketer pitched a course showing a so-called "Amazon listing" of a product he had created. A couple problems: one, I searched his company name and product name on Amazon, no results. Another issue is the listing he showed had a 3D DRAWING (computer rendering) of the item that was selling instead of the item that was selling. When was the last time you saw something on Amazon with a cartoon instead of a picture of the real product? You don't. It's against Amazon's rules...

Four Real Ways to Do It

Let's not allow a few dishonest marketers ruin it. There are tons of people making money as Amazon Sellers and you personally deserve to be in that category. The point is there are a couple of marketers who are sharing bad knowledge and let's not let that ruin our day. There are two ways to make money as an Amazon Seller:

  • Retail arbitrage: pick up items with a certain criteria from discount stores (scan using a smartphone app) like Walmart, BigLots, Costco, sell them at a profit from Amazon (add yourself as a seller in an existing Amazon listing)
  • Product sourcing: get your own wine bottle opener, water bottle, LED flashlight, vegetable peeler, muffin making pan, etc. created for pennies and sell on Amazon (create your own Amazon listing of a brand new product)

Those are the two strategies, and there are also two different ways you can ship items on Amazon:

  • Fulfilled by Merchant: you don't send anything directly into Amazon, you just list it as your inventory. When it sells, you print the shipping label yourself and mail out to each customer
  • Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): you send your items in a big box to Amazon, they sit in Amazon's warehouse and you're done. When a sale comes in, Amazon mails it out themselves using prime shipping

You can do both... have some of your inventory on-hand and more in Amazon's warehouse. The point is there are four ways total:

  • Retail arbitrage + fulfilled by merchant: Great if you want to try this thing out, find a used book around the house, price it at a penny, make a dollar or two profit from shipping
  • Retail arbitrage + fulfilled by Amazon: My preferred way to do it, pick up a ton of SPECIFIC items from discount stores (like 20 water bottles that showed to have a HUGE seller ranking plus a huge profit margin), mail them all to Amazon in a box so I don't have to print 20 different shipping labels when those items sell
  • Product sourcing + fulfilled by merchant: you could get, for example, a whistle or jump rope or foam roller made... have them ship samples directly to you, or even get that first shipment of 100 or 500 right to you. When the orders come in, YOU label and package and mail these items out so you don't have to wait 1 week period for Amazon to process your inventory
  • Product sourcing + fulfilled by Amazon: this is where the big bucks are made. Have your product sourcer ship your items directly to Amazon's warehouse (this is the method Lance used in our Dropship CEO course while I was playing around with retail arbitrage)

Lance and I have a course where we show us doing this called Dropship CEO, and to my knowledge (I don't look TOO closely at competitors) -- NO ONE combines both. Retrail arbitrage to get started, then product sourcing to ramp it up and scale.

SOLUTION: Start With Retail Arbitrage, Then Add Product Sourcing

What also surprised me is that several of the students inside that course realized they wanted to stop for a while and focus just on retail arbitrage... build that up and then switch over to product sourcing once they became tired of it. I think that's a WAY better way to get started than jumping right into the product sourcing part of it.

And not to toot my own horn, but Dropship CEO course (showing BOTH retail arbitrage and product soucing with Amazon) is available to you instantly, right now. No 8 or 10 weeks of drip fed content, no theory, no padding. I want you to get started on this FAST instead of waiting a couple of months to make your first dollar (which would be the case if it was drip-fed).

Does Amazon take a small fee out of every item you sell? Of course. But so would eBay or PayPal. That's called the cost of doing business.

Paid Amazon Ads: Huge Goldmine

There are also lots of hidden Amazon Seller opportunities "the others" skipped over for some reason. For example, Amazon has a paid advertising network that's better for marketers than Google or Facebook. The very first day we advertised on it, Lance sent me a screenshot that showed 3 dollars profit for every 1 dollar spent.

I've ramped up my retail arbitrage too. I literally do it in 1 hour per week. I rush in while I'm already out and usually on my way home from something else, I load up the cart and usually buy out the store's inventory of that item. I tell the cashier not to bother bagging my items, just scan and go. I load up a shipping box (re-used from previous Amazon purchases) and I even tell UPS to come by and pick up the full boxes from me. No more trips to the post office.

Let's not get bogged down on technical details or get ourselves confused here.

Amazon is a great way for anyone to make money. Whether you're looking for a side income, replacement income, or you want your kid to pay for their own college education (as Lance is doing with his daughter). Someone in your house should be doing this and I want to show you how inside our Dropship CEO Amazon course, so click right now.

CLICK HERE to Claim Your Amazon Seller Training

The Golden Rules of Internet Marketing That Unsuccessful People Miss, and Successful People Follow (Whether They Realize It Or Not)

July 13, 201385 Comments

I almost wish I could say the clichéd line, "I don't know where this industry is headed..." But the fact is, we always have been, and probably always will be, distracted by at least 1000 new ideas and concepts every day when we're trying to build an income and a lifestyle online.

The biggest trap to avoid is the "herd mentality." If you've visited message boards in your niche you know what I'm talking about. Someone asks a question like, "What's the best membership software?" Gets a couple answers, doesn't get the exact answer they were looking for, waits until there are at least 20 different answers. You probably had one good answer in that heap somewhere but it was out-voted by the 20 other answers of the mob mentality.

You can't always tell who's telling the truth and who's making it all up. Who's actually teaching you what works or talking about something just because it's "hot right now" (like Google Hangouts).

I saw someone post on a forum the other day that just ran their very first webinar. I was about to post a congratulatory message... until I read further. The first webinar this person had ever run, was about how to run webinars! (Wait, what???)

Another very high profile marketer has taught, for a long time, to locate 20 competitors in your niche, buy all their products, then release your OWN products basically combining all their ideas together. Then this person bought one of my high ticket products... I quickly, quietly, and politely refunded the person.

For some reason,
many people label "untested" as "new"
and "proven" as "old."

"Creating an optin page, selling a product online, getting affiliates on my affiliate program, that's old stuff... I want something new and exciting." There's nothing wrong with new and exciting, as long as you have the BASE SYSTEM IN PLACE! (Lance and I call this the "Income Machine.")

Here are the biggest "strategy" problems or mindset problems I'm seeing today's marketers make...

  • Mistake #1: Can't Separate the Forest From the Trees
  • Mistake #2: Going Down the Rabbit Hole
  • Mistake #3: Risky Marketing
  • Mistake #4: Ignoring the 80/20 Rule
  • Mistake #5: Not Understanding Why People Really Buy

Here's what I mean...

Mistake #1: Can't Separate the Forest From the Trees


The next time I hear someone teaching that everyone needs to sell at exactly $97, and have a $37 upsell with another $27 upsell and a $17 downsell, or use a big orange button on their sales letter with the text "Add to Cart" ... I just might throw my computer out the window.

Using your own success as a case study template for others to follow is just great. But did you make 1,000 sales at $97 just because the product was at $97 and that reason alone, or was it because...

  • You had a clear compelling offer that people really needed that was the right thing at the right time
  • You had a list of subscribers that trusted you
  • You followed up with them multiple times

For me, it comes down to "must-haves" versus "nice-to-haves." Sure, maybe you said 1000 copies available, 34 copies remaining (and you were telling the truth) and that gave you a BOOST. Or you said offer closes Friday (and you were telling the truth) which gave you a BOOST. But it improved something that was already selling.

Mistake #2: Going Down the Rabbit Hole


The next logical thing that happens when people try to teach how they made money online... a new twist on an idea, which leads to a spinoff of one hair-brained idea after another.

Someone thinks, how can I improve the conversion rate on my sales letter? I know... charge people a few dollars to read the sales letter... then they end up with a page with almost NOTHING on it, asking people to pay money, when people have no idea what they're getting...

The modern day version of this is a thing people have tried called a "paid webinar." I've seen a few people do it every few years. They say, I'm doing a webinar, it'll cost you 50 bucks to attend, I won't tell you what you're buying exactly, just trust me.

It might work ONCE. But it sells based on the novelty and curiosity, and maybe a little bit on the trust you've built up with your subscribers... so it won't work with new traffic.

The solution? Add more detail to that sales letter explaining what they're getting for their $50, so now you need a free webinar to explain the details on that sales letter... you're back to selling a regular $50 product.

(It reminds me when "non fast-forward" videos were popular. Remember those? I ran a few, and tracked about a 2% conversion rate across the board with webinar replays with videos where you could fast-forward to the end, and 3% for non fast-forward videos. Meaning... that boost in conversion from 2% to 3% made it an OPTION for me, but not always an option I choose to take.)

Mistake #3: Risky Marketing


But it gets even worse. About three years ago I saw a marketer run a "trial" webinar. Basically, get people to sign up for a $0 3-day free trial (which gets them access to the webinar). The idea is they get your free training, they get access to a product at the end (so there's no pitch), if they don't want it they can cancel the "trial" before it rebills, if they do like it, they do nothing.

It's almost as if everyone forgot how scary things were a few years ago when there were new FTC rules, Visa/MasterCard rules, PowerPay rules.

For example, people seem to have forgotten that most popular payment processors FORBID a countdown timer on a sales page! Or that using the term "cure" anywhere in your marketing puts you in Kevin Trudeau land.

If you have any kind of rebilling, to clearly state the price and frequency on your sales page itself -- don't just rely on the terms spelled out on the order page.

And one-click upsells... the customer must confirm that extra charge TWICE, meaning no 1-click upsells.

For some reason, people either forgot, weren't around back then, or think "the coast is clear" and are falling back into the trap of having multiple upsells and downsells...

Mistake #4: Ignoring the 80/20 Rule


The good news about this thing called the 80/20 rule is that if you have just 20% of the skill you can get 80% of the results. When I started I was a terrible copywriter.

You know what else... I don't always choose the "best" headlines. I forget many times to speak with "bucket brigades" (starting sentences and paragraphs with words like "Because..." or "And then..."). I don't know anything about rhythmic hypnotic language or appealing to different senses (do you see what I'm saying, hear me out, this is what it feels like).

Put together an offer that solves a real problem that real people are having right now, make a convincing argument to why you're the best and they need you right now... get it out there... you can always tweak "clever wordage" later (but the dumber, simpler sales letters always convert better for me).

Mistake #5: Not Understanding Why People Really Buy


This leads me to the real triggers that get people to buy. Many people wrongly think that limiting the number of copies available, increasing the price, dropping the price, adding a deadline on it... is what gets them extra sales. All it's doing is WINNING OVER those people who already know they should buy, but are on the fence and need one more reason TO buy...

Off the top of my head, here is a quick list of the reasons people buy from you...

  • It solves their problem right now (value)
  • They're ready to solve their problem (timing)
  • They know they need it now (urgency)
  • Bad things will happen if they wait or if they go to your competitor (scarcity)

Basically, if you know what brought people to your website, you know the state of mind they're in, the problems they've had leading up to discovering you and what they've tried in the past... plus knowing what they know and don't know... is a GREAT starting point for your sales letter... which leads me to what I think is the first rule of internet marketing...

Rule #1: You're Not Your Market

Remember earlier how I said someone ran their first webinar ever, and it was all about how to run a webinar?

Here's the problem: if you create a business around teaching weight loss, or webinars, or WordPress site building, you yourself don't stay "intermediate" for long. Either you're brand new to it and know nothing about it (so you shouldn't be teaching it) or you know it so well that you're an expert (and then you can't relate).

This is the big reason why I see these guys teach "advanced" internet marketing topics like automated webinars, 1-clicks upsells, funnels, traffic arbitrage. They're bored with the simple stuff. Not realizing that the majority of their market is not advanced. They're newbies, they just don't want to admit it!

Right off the bat, if you talk about running weekly webinars where it filled up all 1,000 seats every time... you make $100,000 every time you run an event... you're in the top 1 percent... you don't know where to stash all this extra money... and don't even bother asking "dumb questions"... you're not relatable!

On the other hand, if you dumb it down and talk about running webinars with 10 people where you make $100 or $1,000... that's not exciting enough.

The solution? Before and after... empathizing and connecting by saying, "I was just like you."

"I was just like you. I ran webinars and no one showed up, I was nervous and scared, I did everything wrong, until I developed a system for doing it the right way and here it is."

Rule #2: People Are Easily Distracted


Speaking of your pitch and your story... you SHOULD run these things called 1-hour no-cost pitch webinars where you demonstrate value, share some knowledge, introduce your offer and ask for the money and close it down.

The easiest way to simplify it so that you'll actually do it, have fun doing it, and continue doing it? Or the easiest way to make them more effective if you're already doing them?

Compress it all down to 1 hour. People don't need to know your life story, you don't need to start the webinar late ("to make sure everyone shows up" -- I guess???) You also don't need to unmute anyone else during the call, not even a business partner. This is a big one.

And if you're going to "launch" a product of yours (I've been doing them since 2001) limit it to 1 week, 2 weeks at the most. Meaning... you don't need 4 videos dripped out and a blog post with 2,000 comments and a PDF report or a mindmap.

Mail every day for several days leading up to a free webinar you're running. Run the webinar pitching your product where they can buy that night. Mail for several more days to the replay where there's a link to buy from the replay. Mail for a few more days directly to the offer. Done and done.

The reason for all this is because people are easily distracted. This is the same reason why, on a webinar, we mention the URL we're promoting multiple times... ideally, 10 different times, because most people are only half paying attention.

When it's a product with a payment plan, I list the exact dates they'll be rebilled when they join today, because most people aren't looking that closely.

If there are two payment options (like pay full price vs. a payment plan) I'm sure to list them side by side (NOT one on top of the other) and list out identical bullet points so it's 100% CLEAR that whether someone pays full price or a payment plan, they're buying the same thing.

We put the contents of our entire offer compressed into one single table, an offer stack, because people aren't going to scroll around or skip through the video to find out what module 3, 4, or 5 are.

Rule #3: Build the Damn List

Remember when Senator John McCain had the campaign slogan, "Build the damn fence?" Kind of an angry, almost immature thing to say but my attitude is the same with list building. Build the damn list!

Lance and I have private discussions over and over again about this marketer, or that marketer, who made it big in 1999 or 2004 or 2006 or 2008 or back in 2010 and are hurting big time, but don't want to admit their income has dropped drastically... and they have no idea how to get back to where they were...

I know the answer. Build the damn list! What happened back then was, everyone had "launch calendars" and when it was your turn, all these affiliates of yours would send massive traffic, massive sales, enough money to live off for a couple of years.

What happens when the money runs out? Most of these guys didn't email their list after their big launch, not really. Maybe once a month or once a year. The list ran out and the cashflow stopped.

You need to keep your list alive. If you treat your list well it'll decay at 1% daily and if you ignore it, or email too much, that will drop off even faster. But best case scenario, if you build your list up to 10,000 subscribers and aren't adding 100 leads a day, your business is slowly shrinking and dying. 50,000 subscribers and less than 500 leads a day, shrinking and dying. 100k subscribers and less than 1,000 new leads, dying.

Most people don't have the urgency that I think they should for building their list bigger, for some reason they think a small "tribe" of 1000 or even 100 or 10 people is going to support them. Not long-term it won't.

Rule #4: It's All About the Joint Venture

You need those little things like forum posts, articles with your name on them, blog posts, podcast episodes, paid ads but those are all just tiny trickles of traffic.

To get real traffic you need to tap into other peoples' lists.

The only realistic way to make that happen is with an affiliate program.

Setup an affiliate system with tools they can use to promote, actively get people to join and then regularly contact those affiliates to promote -- another big step people miss.

Once you have that affiliate program setup, you're going to want to do a bunch of things to get your name out there.  This includes doing things that the majority won't do (but are easy) like attending offline events. Connecting with people on Facebook groups and legitimately helping them without asking for anything in return.

Contact people one on one (make a schedule for X number of people you want to contact per day) with a PERSONAL message. See if you can get THEIR affiliate link for YOUR product on THEIR download page or membership site. Schedule a 20-minute interview with them if they have a blog or a podcast.

Get your affiliates on a mailing list so you can broadcast to them and remind/encourage them to promote. Give them lots of tools like pre-written emails and banner ads. When new affiliates join, they get on a timed follow-up sequence so they've given instructions on what to promote for those first 30 days. We run specials like prizes or increased commissions for short periods of time.

Anything to break even on our sales or even take a slight loss, because every one of those affiliate sales builds our list for us.

Speaking of joint ventures... the ULTIMATE joint venture that many people seem to miss is..

Rule #5: Get a Mentor


I'm not talking about JUST becoming a busybody on a forum or Facebook group. Or even attending offline events (which is good but not enough). Or even joining a mastermind where everyone is an equal. I'm talking about paying for a COACH who will tell you what to do to get you where you need to go. And to SOLVE all the problems that creep up on you!

Look, I've seen far too many people fall into the traps we've talked about today such as... giving away their best ideas before they've taken action on them. Next thing you know, you aren't as motivated to take action (because you talked about them so much), or someone copies you before you had a chance to implement. Or the strength in numbers from the inexperience mob drowns out the real answer you should have listened to. Or just maybe... you have actually been asking the same question over and over until you get the answer you were looking for. Don't do it!

Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes a coach will tell you, you're doing too much of this and not enough of that... or... throw this part of your business out because it's not working. It all comes down to this: do you want to be "comfortable" (and continue getting the same results you've always been getting), or do you want to be "temporary uncomfortable now and comfortable later" (get new and different results) with someone who's helping you?

I know what I want.

I think these five tools combined will really help you with your internet business:

  • Rule #1: Understand you're not your market and sell to the mass newbies in your niche
  • Rule #2: Make your marketing and offer as clear as possible because people get distracted
  • Rule #3: Build the list so that your business is growing and not dying (maintenance is a myth)
  • Rule #4: Recruit people into your product's affiliate program to take advantage of the "real" internet traffic
  • Rule #5: Get a mentor who's already achieved what you want so you can follow their path

Now it's your turn. If you had to add just one extra "rule" to your personal internet business, what would it be? Comment below with your one-sentence "rule of internet marketing" right now.

019: How to Create an Email Followup System That Makes You Sales and Money on Automatic Pilot

July 6, 201318 Comments

Be sure to tune in to this edition of the Robert Plank Show...

"Create an Email Followup System" FREE Report

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You'll discover:

  • Why most "product launch systems" don't really matter and what to do instead
  • The best way to reach your audience right now
  • The best way to avoid email list decay
  • How you're leaving money on the table and how to extract the hidden money from your list right now
  • How to do it all effortlessly and in no time at all!

Related question for you: what's your best tip when it comes to sending out a quick email to your list?

Magic Offers: How to Run Strategic Product Launches and Increase Sales (Using This Method That’s Better than Copywriting)

June 21, 201343 Comments

Product launches have been on my mind the last couple of weeks, not just because Lance and I run a 1-hour webinar launch just about every week, but we have recently come off of a "tear" of lots of NEW product launches (as opposed to us running webinars to promote existing ones)...

  • Our Product University live event
  • Updating our Webinar Crusher course to version 5
  • Updating Setup a Fan Page to version 2
  • Updating Newbie Crusher to Income Machine

Plus of course re-launching those old classes that we created initially as live webinar courses, then repackaged into home study courses – including a member's dashboard, transcripts, affiliate program, evergreen webinar replay, post-sale autoresponder sequence, all the usual "product" stuff.

And when I see other internet marketers try to do the same for their business, they fail to think and act in strategic terms. They incorrectly focus on the MECHANICS they think they need, like creating a blog post with 2000 Facebook comments. Making 4 pre-launch videos. Creating a report (or whitepaper) about the product they're about to create.

These are things that DON'T make the difference
between a successful and unsuccessful product launch!

Things No One Cares About

  1. How much time you spent creating your product
  2. How many pages, megabytes, or minutes of video you have
  3. A too-big 3 to 5 hour webinar
  4. A too-long launch sequence of videos that takes 4 weeks
  5. How great, smart, or rich you are
  6. Wordplay, hypnotic language, the confusion close

"Tricks" That Get People to Buy (Sometimes)

  1. Time running out
  2. Offer closing
  3. Price increasing
  4. Limited seats
  5. Disappearing bonus
  6. Price (high or low)

What Actually Works

  1. What they'll know
  2. What they'll GET and HAVE
  3. Cost of NOT doing it
  4. Repeat success or exponential success
  5. Speed
  6. Ease of use
  7. Power and effectiveness
  8. Hungry crowd
  9. Compelling magic super-offer that combines logic (and proof) plus emotion

The Answer You've Needed All Along

Here's how to think "strategically" about your product sales and launches.

I keep scouring books, courses, and the internet for something better than WWHW, Eugene Schwartz, and Robert Cialdini but I haven't found it yet.

Basic sales copy tells us to structure a sales argument in this way:

  • Attention (promise)
  • Interest (problem)
  • Desire (solution)
  • Action (buy it now)

High school English class told us to structure our writing like this:

  • Why (why is this important)
  • What (what am I going to discover)
  • How-To (how do I do this thing)
  • What-If (what are the possibilities once I take this action).

Eugene Schwartz tells us there are five levels of marketplace sophistication: novelty, enlargement, uniqueness, sophistication, and abandonment. But if you think about it, you can combine #3 and #4 so it's just...

  • Novelty (something is new to the marketplace)
  • Enlargement (bigger claims)
  • Sophistication (faster and better)
  • Abandonment (too complex and back to the original)

Robert Cialdini tells us there are six social weapons of influence to get what we want. Let's organize this as well...

  • You use Authority (why people should listen to you) in the Attention phase of sales copy
  • Liking (why you are similar) and Reciprocity (I'll give you something, like free information, now you owe me in return) introducing a Problem
  • Desire, which is where we explain our solution, uses Consistency (get people to agree with you every step of the way), and Social Proof (how have others used it)
  • In the final phase, Action, where we want people to buy, we use Scarcity the most (buy this now or else something bad will happen).

AIDA, WWHW, Eugene Schwartz, Robert Cialdini,
all just different ways of saying the same thing.

What's a "Strategic" Product Launch?

It's where your email sequence, videos, sales letter, pitch webinar, everything all matches up to a consistent message and MOST people think they have to flood the marketplace with information, list 53 different components potential buyers need to have. Nope, you just need to walk them through the FOUR STEPS.

The only way I've found to do it, that works every time, is to list out the ALTERNATIVES people might take (but you make fun of them) so that the only logical and emotional course of action is to buy from you.

Let's take our Webinar Crusher product for example...

Alternative #1: Don't run webinars. Alternative #2: Run webinars from free services. Alternative #3: Run evergreen webinars.

Alternative #4: Run webinars using our Webinar Crusher system.

At each point along the way we make fun of each alternative and point out its disadvantages to the extreme. There actually is a method to this madness:

  • Alternative #1: Not Doing It ("Novelty" or "Attention” or "Why Is It Important")
  • Alternative #2: The "Too-Big" Solution ("Enlargement" or "Interest" or "What Do I Do")
  • Alternative #3: The "Too-Complex" Solution ("Sophistication" or "Desire" or "How Do I Do It")
  • Alternative #4: Your Solution ("Abandonment" or "Action" or "What-If I Use Your Solution")

Just by listing these four things, we've structured most of our sales letter, the webinar pitch, the email launch sequence, everything. We didn't brain-dump a laundry list of alternatives that sent people elsewhere. We didn't jump in with our solution right off the bat. We've LOGICALLY listed out the possible avenues while EMOTIONALLY exhausting people with the pain and frustration of those other guys without specifically calling them out.

Too many times, I see people in an uninteresting niche, with a boring product and offer, or the wrong positioning, just trying to make it work. For some reason they think that more traffic, more subscribers, more affiliates will help... a slick sales pitch, fancy videos, or amazing sales letter graphics will help. They won't.

What will help? Having the right offer, in front of the right crowd, and presenting it in this (4-step) process.

Please comment below: Do you think that 4-step sequence will make it easier for you to come up with sales copy, webinar presentations, email sequences, and more?

016: Use Video with Camtasia, FreeMind, PowerPoint, and YouTube to Make Money Online

April 12, 201329 Comments

Go ahead right now and check out the reason why I was able to quit my job, create a full time income and shortcut months into minutes by clicking the record button, showing a few things on my screen, clicking the "Save" button and turning it into money.

"How to Use Video to Make Money Online" FREE Report

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Topics covered...

  • How to create a video sales letter (plus the 3 things most video sales letters leave out)
  • Technical details (the software and hardware I use for everything from small tutorials to full blown products)
  • How to even turn scary things like "presenting webinars" into a total breeze and repeat the formula over and over again
  • How to personally connect with your best customers, clients, prospects, mentors, joint venture partners, and more!

Listen right now and leave a quick comment letting me know what you thought of this week's show. Comments will be closed after 50 comments, the transcript will be posted after 10 comments (although it may take a few days for the transcriber to deliver it for me).

015: Run a Webinar Class to Create Instant Products and Make Recurring Money Online Using GoToWebinar, Camtasia, and PowerPoint

March 30, 201323 Comments

If you want to make a nice bundle of money online in a short amount of time, without doing a lot of work, and help the largest number of your customers at the same time, then you need to run a webinar class. I started doing this in 2008 (the same year I bought my house), more than doubled my online income the following year AND quit my job just a few shorts months after I started doing webinars...

"How to Run a Webinar Class" FREE Report

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Do you like the sound of getting paid for a product before you create it? What about making $497 or $997 per sale instead of a measly $5, $10, or $20? Today we're going to cover how you can use this thing called a live webinar to create information products that make you money before you create them, as you create them, after you create them, and over and over again.

As someone who wants to make money from the information you have, this is the best, the fastest and the most profit-producing way to make money from your knowledge and create these things called information products. Topics covered:

  • The exact steps you need to take today to go from idea to a real life rapid product launch
  • The secret to modularizing your upcoming course (that way it's easy, fast, and fun for you to create -- PLUS your customers get quick and massive results from your training -- so they'll buy from you over and over again)
  • My personal secret to customer engagement, retention, and results that most product creators miss -- but now you have the secret weapon
  • How to run a webinar business so it doesn't take up any longer than 1-hour per week

Check it out right now! This is a "normal-length" episode so you can listen to it even if you're a hurry, this is perfect timing for you if you're sitting on the fence about joining our upcoming Webinar Crusher class and need one last thing to push you over the edge...

What’s the Upsell? It’s the Next Logical Step!

February 9, 201350 Comments

Early on in my internet marketing career I realized that I needed to build a list -- and I quickly realized that my best way to build that list was to launch low ticket products.

Years later, when Lance and I began selling high ticket training courses on a regular basis ($997) the list stagnated for a few months. Our business stopped growing. We had to make it a point to go back and create those low ticket products in order to keep building that list of buyers...

People would buy that $7, $27, $47 WordPress plugin -- many of them would buy the another $7, $27, $47 plugin every month after that -- and then a small portion of those new people would buy our high ticket $997 training courses (usually broken into a payment plan of $97 a month or so).

Trust me, life is so much easier when you've built up a list of even a few thousand buyers! Every time you need comments on a blog post, webinar attendees, or some good old fashioned sales, all you have to do is ask and then click the "Send" button!

But Just Like Everything Else, I See Everyone Overcomplicating This...

For example:

  • The number one thing to remember is that THEY ARE JOINING YOUR BUYER'S LIST! That means even if you don't have an upsell ready for them, it's not the end of the world -- you'll be sending them followup emails in the future. If they want to buy something, they'll buy.
  • Beware of "upsell hell" -- this is where people load 5 or more upsells, downsells, cross-sells... you just bought something from me for $7, how about something for $27? No? What about $97? How about this $37 product? This $27/month membership with a $1 trial? The next thing you know, I've loaded so many things into the cart, I don't even know what I bought...
  • ONE upsell is fine. It doesn't have to be a one time offer. In fact, I've had great success offering an uspell just before the download, and even if they say no, take them to the download page, and then present that same exact upsell right under the download link, and I'll make extra sales there.

Here's what I've found is the best upsell to deliver to your buyers: a product that's in the same "class" (i.e. another plugin, or another report) at the exact same price point (i.e. $47 frontend product and $47 upsell) that directly complements the original product (it's the next logical step).

For example: someone buys Paper Template for $47, the upsell is Backup Creator for $47 -- another plugin, same price point, and after someone gets a website (sales letter) setup, they'll want to back it up or possibly clone it.

You sell a $97 video course on how to get traffic, make your upsell SEPARATE a $97 course on how to get that traffic to convert. You sell a $27 report on how to make quick money setting up website for local offline businesses, make your upsell a $27 report on how to get local traffic from Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Yelp!

My mentor Armand Morin calls this selling them "the next logical step" -- a saying he borrowed from NASA.

Here's where I want to help you. For the past year or so, as Lance and I have been selling these low ticket products on lots of different storefronts, we keep getting the same questions like...

"What's The Upsell? What's The OTO?"

Basically, what are you going to sell me once I buy from you?

I'm reluctant to answer for a couple of reasons: I don't want to confuse the offer, I might change that upsell... and I didn't answer until I noticed a disturbing trend in how everyone else is selling information products!

Someone is teaching this and it sucks. It hurts your conversions as a seller, and it's an annoying process as a buyer.

Whoever it is, is teaching people to basically sell the same information product as 3 separate products -- good, better, best...

This means: I see a course promising me how to create and sell a bestselling book on Amazon for $7. I buy it -- but it turns out to be a 60 minute or so video product of someone going through a mindmap.

That's it. 100% theory. They "tell" me how to outline a book, how to choose a niche and a title, they talk about writing the content, but they don't do any of it in front of me. I have to buy the "better" package for $27 to actually see the person create a book in front of me.

And then to get the REAL answers, to get all the nooks and crannies answered so I don't get stuck anywhere, I have to buy the $47 or $97 "best" package which usually includes a 3 hour video "Q&A recording" where people sent in questions here and there, and the person answered the most random (but specific issues) and somewhere between the mindmap videos, the implementation videos, and the Q&A, I actually have what I need.

I basically call these "crippled front-end offers." It's a TERRIBLE way to teach and to learn. I buy a webinar course for $7, it gives me the basic "what-to" outline but no "how-to." I have to buy the $47 upsell to see it done, and then I have to buy the $97 Q&A to get all the parts they skipped over.

Why Not Just Charge Me $97?

Here's a better solution: if you're going to sell me a course about offline local businesses, plan to set one up as part of the course.

Decide where people are when they start (usually: no money, no website, no templates) and where they should end (one paying client, website setup for them, they've been paid, and they might even have some recurring passive income setup).

Break it up into exactly four "how-to" modules. Let's say you setup your course like this:

  • Module 1: How to Find Your First Set of Offline Prospects
  • Module 2: How to Sell Your Offline Prospects into Clients
  • Module 3: How to Setup Your Client's Website
  • Module 4: How to Earn Passive Recurring Income from a Maintenance Package

Plan each module as a 60-90 minute video where you switch from a PowerPoint to a screen capture format, and structure it as WWHW: Why, What, How-To, What-If. For module one...

  • Why (10 minutes): why we're doing this module in the first place
  • What (10-20 minutes): what we're going to do, the exact steps before we do them
  • How-To (30-60 minutes): you actually performing the steps, like identifying which businesses you'll approach and maybe even contacting a few of them
  • What-If (10 minutes): a recap of what you just created, a checklist so they can repeat your process, and a simple assignment so they can get started on it

The EXACT lengths don't matter so much as keeping in mind that the how-to is the BULK of your module. The other pieces are just there to prepare them for the how-to component, and to recap what you showed them so it's all easy to follow.

Once the course is finished, if you are really concerned about an upsell, then your NEXT course should also be priced at $97 and it should cover the Next Logical Step

What If They Don't Buy At $97?

Here's the reason I "think" people try selling you these courses... they're afraid of selling at 100 bucks. I have a couple of solutions for you...

Step #1: Get Over It! Your competitors are outselling you at way higher price points than 100 dollars. How? They actually run real businesses. They consistently pay for traffic, they have social proof, they have well-written sales letters, videos and webinars, they have an email followup sequence. Move your prices from $10 to $100+ and you'll get slightly less buyers, but more total money overall, especially if you actually market your product -- what a concept!

Step #2: Walk the Price Up. You don't HAVE to initially launch your product at $97. What about $47? Create a quick sales letter listing out the four modules of your course. Spend a week or so getting your list ready for it. Bring on some affiliates and joint venture partners.

Launch your product on a free 1-hour pitch webinar where you demonstrate value, solve a simple problem and then introduce your upcoming 4-week, 4-module LIVE class for $47 where you'll show everyone how to setup these website for offline businesses.

Throw in a few HTML templates or WordPress themes and plugins as bonuses, your introductory letters and sales scripts telling people what to say when they approach these businesses, and make it a point that you personally will be landing an offline client during the course and making $2,000 from one transaction. 47 bucks is a no brainer at that point.

After the live course is done, close it up and re-open it a few weeks later for the full $97. Collect results and testimonials in the meantime and make a couple extra passes at your sales letter.

Step #3: Enhance the Offer. After you've finished your course, you can make a couple of additions to your web page templates, get the recordings of your live classes transcribed into reports with screenshots.

If you've added an assignment to the end of each module, you now have lots of case studies of people who followed along with you. You can organize the modules into an easy to follow dashboard. Now instead of waiting 4 weeks for you to deliver the course (as you did live), people get it all at once and can go at their own pace... even land their own offline client TODAY if they're fast!

It doesn't have to be any more complicated than that. As usual, if you deliver a COMPLETE course that worked for you, that has real results and your own live case studies -- and there's just ONE thing to buy and it's all in one place, you'll stand out from the crowd.

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