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Here’s The Fastest Way to Double Your Income with the Least Amount of Effort

Your very best products – the premium stuff making you the most money – is worth even more than you think it is.

Here’s The Fastest Way to Double Your Income with the Least Amount of Effort

Let’s say you’ve got a successful membership site. You’re charging $20 a month and you’ve got 300 subscribers.

That’s $6,000 a month you’re bringing in, before expenses.

Obviously you’re doing well with that, right?

So what do some marketers do?

They make an info product teaching how to do this very thing. How to set up the site, how to get the outsourcers to create the content and how to get subscribers.

And they charge maybe $9 or $17 for a WSO or JVZoo offer on this product.

That’s one way to go.

But there is another method – one that generally makes more money with less hassles, and it’s this:

Making a premium offering.

Let’s face it – there are significant advantages to attracting $500 customers over $10 customers in the online marketing field.

A $10 customer tends to be skeptical. They need a lot of convincing because they’re pretty sure nothing works.

That’s because thus far, they haven’t met with much in the way of online success.

And when they buy your $10 program, they often need help.

A typical query: “How do I take payments?”

You: “Have you heard of Paypal?”

Your customer, “Sure, but could you walk me through on how to set that up?”

A $500 customer, on the other hand, tends to be on an entirely different level. They’ve likely already experienced online success, which is why they can see what you’re offering works.

They don’t have as many questions. And they know that any basic answers they do need (like how to set up a website, or Paypal) can be found online, rather than expecting you to do the work for them.

It’s paradoxical, I know.

A $10 customer needs $100 worth of your time. Or more.

A $500 customer generally doesn’t need help. But even if they do, you don’t mind spending the time with them because they’ve paid you good money.

So to get back to my original point, don’t sell your knowledge short.

Packaging your know-how and experience into a $10 product may lead to more frustration for you than anything else, even if you do have a great upsell.

Since, in this example, you’ve got a membership site that’s doing well, you could:

  • Offer to build them a similar but non-competing website, complete with 6 months of content
  • Offer to coach them one-on-one on how to build their site themselves (far more valuable, since they will then own the skill)
  • Work with membership site owners to get their subscribers up to a certain level

And so forth.

And for any one of these things, you can easily charge $500 – $2,000.

Get 10 customers, and at $500 each you’ve just made $5,000.

To make that same money selling a $10 book or program, you’d need to sell 500 copies, assuming you make all the sales yourself without affiliate help.

Now then, how about getting the best of both worlds?

Create the inexpensive product and sell it without any personal coaching. Make this clear – they get the information, but you’re not holding hands for 10 bucks.

If they want personal help, you can offer that as an upsell.

And if they’re truly serious, you can offer one of the above three options at full price as well.

Of course, the $10 and $500 is arbitrary. You will set your own prices as you see fit.

For example, setting up a full membership site with six months of content is obviously worth a great deal more than $500.

As long as you’re not setting up direct competitors to your own membership site, you can do this every single month if you like.

Using this method alone, you can easily double your income.

And membership sites are just an example. This works no matter what you’re doing online that is making you good money.

If You Had To Make a Million Dollars in the Next 12 Months…

…how could you do it?

We’ve come up with not just one, but potentially 4 different ways to make a million dollars in 12 months.

If You Had To Make a Million Dollars in the Next 12 Months...

Not an easy task, but it’s certainly possible.

And if you only do 1/10th as good, that’s still $100,000.

First, before anything else is even considered, you need to find a very important reason WHY you want to make a million dollars in 12 months.

The stronger your reason, and the more often you play out that reason in your head, the better your odds of achieving your goal, regardless of which method you choose.

Now then…

Method 1: The Chris Sacca Method

Chris initially became a millionaire by leveraging $10-20 thousand dollars into 12 million dollars by taking advantage of a flaw used by online trading brokers.

When the market crashed, Sacca found himself $4 million in debt. He negotiated to have it reduced, and then paid off the balance in no time.

So how did he earn his next millions? That’s the method we’ll cover here.

Of course, if you do happen to find a flaw in online trading software that you can take advantage of, terrific. Otherwise, you might try copying Chris’ second method:

Sacca created a fake company, complete with a great looking website and business cards.

Frankly, your company doesn’t have to be fake, it can simply be new. Make sure you choose an impressive sounding name like the Sadlias Group.

Now get tickets to every networking event in your field. Go to these events and network like crazy, making contacts with entrepreneurs.

Look for people who want to change the world, and find ways to help them make that change.

Introduce yourself and – get this – offer to help them out for free.

That’s right, for free. Do you want to stand apart from everyone else at that event? Do you want them to remember you, contact you and work with you? Offer to help them for free.

Using this method, Sacca became one of Twitter’s first four investors.

Even if this method doesn’t make a million in a year, it will make your life interesting, exciting and highly relevant. You’ll find outstanding mentors to help you along.

And you’ll make contact with investors who can back you when you decide to start your company for real.

Take notes along the way, so when you do make your first millions, you can write your tell-all book letting people know the inside story of how you did it.

Method 2: Day Trading

This is a great way to make money fast. And it’s an even better method to lose money even faster.

You’ve got to be good. You’ve got to know what you’re doing. And you’ve got to leave all emotion and ‘gut instinct’ behind as you follow proven, trusted methods that work.

Frankly, it can take you 2-3 years of daily practice just to get good at this.

Then again, you might have the capability to make a million in the first year. It is completely possible, just not highly likely.

If you choose this method, invest in the best education and hundreds of hours of practice trading.

Your best shot: Start with $10,000, margin it to $30,000, and find 180 trades that will return 2% or more in 1 to 2 days.

Easy? No. Doable? Possibly.

Method 3: Sales Funnel

Build the best sales funnel you can – everything from a free product to get subscribers onto your list, to a $10,000 product you sell to your best customers and everything in between.

Think about this: To earn a million dollars, you can sell any of the following:

1,000,000 products for $1 apiece

100,000 products for $10 apiece

10,000 product3 for $100 apiece

1,000 products for $1,000 apiece

100 products for $10,000 apiece

10 products for $100,000 apiece

1 product for $1,000,000

Look at Dollar Shave Club and you’ll see they’ve chosen the first option on this list – selling a $1 product to millions of guys.

But if you have an effective sales funnel, you can take those $1 customers and upsell them to your $10 offer, your $100 offer and so forth.

Once you start selling $1,000 products, it no longer takes massive sales to reach that magical million dollar mark.

Things to remember – focus more on what people WANT than what they need.

Sell them the way they want to be sold.

Make the entire experience fun and easy for the customer.

Whenever possible, find ways to make your messages go viral, even if there is no immediate pay off.

Your primary goal is to get as many qualified people onto your list as possible.

Your next goal is to move them up the sales funnel by always giving them great value for the money.

Do these two things and your final goal of making a million will take care of itself.

Method 4: Sales

If you’re already good at sales, or you can acquire sales skills fast enough, AND you have the right product to sell, then you can make a million dollars in a year.

Obviously you want to sell very high ticket items with high commissions to scale your income faster. And of course already having a sales background will be a tremendous help, if not a necessity.

If you want to take this route and you’re willing to invest 2-3 years, it becomes much more likely you will succeed.

Spend the first year becoming great at sales. Study sales techniques, get a great mentor, work in sales 10-12 hours a day.

And during your first year, find out what kinds of products pay the most in commissions. Make contacts in those industries and get yourself a job where you can make the most money.

Then spend your second and third years making that money.

It will take plenty of hard work, but it will be worth it.

Method 5 – ??

These first four methods should get you thinking.

And maybe, just maybe you’ve got an even better idea.

Like creating the next social network, winning the lottery, doing a one million dollar deal… there are plenty of ways to make lots of money.

The trick is to pick the one that works for you, and then work it tenaciously until you succeed.

One Simple, Precise Promise is All You Need to Make Tons of Sales

It’s true… One promise is all it takes, and being precise pays.

One Simple, Precise Promise is All You Need to Make Tons of Sales

Which of these two products would you most likely buy:

“How to sell stuff using Facebook ads”

Or…

“How to make 461 affiliate sales totaling $8,384 in commissions in the next 72 hours using $112 in Facebook ads”

The second one, right?

How about these two…

“How I lost weight”

Vs

“How I lost 93 pounds in 6 months and went on to win 2 bodybuilding championships at the age of 42”

Of course, it’s the second one that gets your attention.

Why is that?

Because the second titles are exact and precise, which is exactly what people buy.

Vague isn’t interesting. It isn’t sexy. And it doesn’t make sales.

To be clear here, we’re not just talking about having great titles. That’s crucial of course, but so is this:

Base your products around just ONE main promise.

Compare these two:

“The complete, no-holds-barred, definitive encyclopedia on Facebook Marketing”

Vs

“The 3 step formula to selling almost anything on Facebook and making a profit within 24 hours, guaranteed.”

The first one presumably covers everything you could imagine about Facebook marketing.

The second one makes a single, precise promise.

Guaranteed, the second one will outsell the first one 10 times over or more.

Choose one thing and cover it in depth. This is what makes sales.

It’s easier and faster to make this type of product.

It’s simple to explain in your sales material.

And it’s a no-brainer for the customer to grasp.

They know exactly what they can expect, which makes it far easier to get the sale.

And best of all…

…let’s say you’ve got a book/program/software that covers or does a whole range of stuff.

If you break that product down into ‘one promise’ products, you will have more products to sell, and you will sell more of each product.

You might want to read that last sentence again, because it is a million dollar piece of marketing advice if you understand and implement it.

Make the title of your product a single promise.

Then go deep, not wide.

Rinse and repeat.

Using this method you can crank out a product a week instead of a product every month or two.

Frankly, if you work on this full time, you can do even better than that.

And you’ll actually sell more of each product.

Paradoxical, maybe.

But it flat out works.

One last example:

You’re building a WordPress plugin that does everything but the kitchen dishes.

Stop.

Break that plugin down into several small plugins, with each plugin delivering on a single promise.

Your marketing just became easy as pie.

Your sales letters and videos will practically write themselves because it’s now so simple.

People will better understand what you’re offering.

And you will sell TONS more.

Okay, I’ve harped on this enough.

One promise products – be specific – go deep, not wide – rinse and repeat.

Octopus Teaches Online Entrepreneurs about Reaching Goals

The National Aquarium of New Zealand reports that Inky the Octopus has escaped. The smart 8 legged creature squeezed out of a small gap at the top of his tank, slithered across the floor of the aquarium and used a sea-water runoff pipe to make his way to Hawke’s Bay, and on to freedom.

Octopus Teaches Online Entrepreneurs about Reaching Goals

Octopus are known to be very intelligent and curious, and enjoy pushing boundaries.

If you can, imagine you’re Inky, trapped in that aquarium. You remember what it was like to be free in the ocean, and your big goal is to return to that ocean.

So you study your surroundings. You learn everything you can about the place – when the human captors are watching. When they’re not watching – where the possible escape routes are.

You notice that water always runs to that small hole in the corner. You think about that – where does the water go? Where does all water go if you’re an octopus? To the ocean, of course. And as you study the situation, you devise a plan to win your freedom.

Then when the time is right, you make a very daring and risky escape.

Remember, you don’t know for certain where that pipe goes.

You don’t know for certain you can make it to the pipe. After all, you’ll be out of your element. You won’t be able to breathe properly again until you get back into water.

You’re taking a really big chance. It would be safer to just stay in the aquarium, eat the free meals and spend the rest of your life lounging about like a lazy couch octopus.

But not you. You want more out of life.

You push up against the heavy lid on the tank and manage to just squeeze out.

You slither down the outside of the tank, across the floor through an element that is totally foreign to you – air.

You reach the pipe. Little do you know that pipe is as long as 5 football fields and full of the foulest smelling stuff you can imagine.

But you don’t stop.

You. Do. Not. Stop. until you reach your goal – open water. The ocean. Freedom.

And yes, it is believed that Inky did indeed make it all the way back to the ocean in his daring night time escape.

Now imagine you’re an entrepreneur.

You have a big goal (or at least hopefully you do).

Just like Inky the Octopus, you study the terrain and formulate a plan. You rehearse it in your head. You know you might encounter obstacles along the way, but you have confidence that you’ll deal with those as they come up.

It’s time. You’re nervous and scared, but you’ve got the guts to go for it.

And once you launch, there is no turning back. You are now on your way to something bigger, better, scarier and a whole lot more exciting.

That sure beats watching reruns on TV or going off to a J.O.B., doesn’t it?

Lessons from Inky:

  • Have a big, daring goal.
  • Learn everything you can that will help you achieve your goal.
  • Formulate a strategy.
  • Fear is just a word. Do it anyway.
  • Execute your strategy like your entire future and your very life depend on it.

Can’t you just see Inky emerging from that pipe into the bay? Imagine how happy he must have been. From there it was a relatively short, joyful swim to the ocean and total freedom.

Inky

Way to go Inky!

And when you reach your big goal, way to go YOU!!!

What Are the Secrets Only the Wealthy Know?

That’s the question posed in an online forum recently.

Answers ran the gamut of the spectrum, but here are 28 we found especially helpful, in completely random order…

What Are the Secrets Only the Wealthy Know?

Become financially educated. Read personal finance management books, starting with Rich Dad Poor Dad. Learn how to budget and how to invest.

Live frugally. If you’re thinking you can’t save more of your money, take a look at homeless people who live on almost nothing. Yes, you can save money. Stop eating out so often. Cancel the cable. Don’t buy a new car. Don’t buy a new used car until you absolutely need one.

Always pay yourself first. Devote the first 10-30% of your pay to savings and investments.

Spend money on assets (real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.) not liabilities (everything that loses value the moment you purchase it). Thinking of buying a new car even though your old one is fine? Take that money and invest it in your business, in stocks, in real estate or something that is an asset. Then buy a good used car in a few years, when you really need one.

Don’t care what people think of you. Your neighbors think you’re poor because you don’t buy new cars? Little do they know that $20,000 you would have spent on a car is now earning you a 10% compound interest rate.

Invest in yourself. Self-education equals new knowledge. Add execution to that new knowledge and you get results. Repeat continuously.

Find ways to help as many people as possible. The more you can help others get what they want, the more money you can make.

Scale. Don’t render services when you can mass produce products. Better to make a $10 profit on a million sales than a $1,000 profit on 100 sales.

Stuck on services? Go upscale. If you’re going to render services, find the niches that pay the most.

Have multiple streams of income. This way if something happens to one, you are still in good shape overall.

Sell stuff. Lots of stuff. Hire others to help you, so that your earnings are no longer tied to your hours.

Always keep the return on investment in mind, whether your investment is time or money.

When you want to buy something, figure out how to make the money. Don’t take money out of your savings to buy a car or a vacation. Instead, figure out how to make the extra money needed to cover the new expense.

Be friends with people who have more money than you. Their mindsets and thought processes will rub off on you. That said, do not try to compete with them – keep the car and house you have now, at least for a while.

Leverage your abilities to their fullest extent instead of working harder to get ahead. Forget working hard and focus on working smart. For example, a personal coach can create a course and sell it for $297 a million times over, but can only coach a few people one-on-one at any given time.

Take calculated risks. Failure is a part of the journey. If you’re too afraid to fail, you will never take the smart, calculated risks needed to become wealthy.

Use your head more than your heart. Make your financial decisions based on provable fact rather than gut instinct.

If you have a business, work ON it, not in it. Your labor isn’t needed to make the business a success – your ideas and leadership are.

Things like sports and entertainment are simply distractions for the masses. While you’re watching sports and shows 2-6 hours a day, the rich are making million dollar contacts, doing deals and starting businesses. If you get more of whatever you focus on – maybe it’s time to stop focusing on distractions and start focusing on your finances.

Bad decisions are better than no decisions. Any decision that moves you forward is better than total inaction. The key is make decisions quickly and work until you get results.

Confidence and belief in your ability will take you further, faster. The higher your confidence and the more you believe in what you’re doing, the easier it is to bring others on board, to convince buyers and to make money.

Having a lot of money doesn’t change life as much as you think. It’s not a magic shield from illness, tragedy or loss. You’re no smarter for having it (although perhaps wiser if you made the money yourself.) You still have problems, although they might be an entirely new set of problems. On the plus side, you never have to worry about putting food on the table or paying bills, which frees you up to think about bigger things.

People will look at you differently when you are rich. The upside is they respect you more. The downside is most people will want something from you.

It’s best to not flaunt your money, but instead put it to work to make more money. Many millionaires drive beat up cars and live in perfectly average homes. Few people know they are rich and they like it that way.

Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Rent it, borrow it or do without. And don’t carry a balance on credit cards. Ever.

Never borrow money to make discretionary purchases. Only borrow money to make money.

Start with the end in mind. If you’re starting a company, from day 1 ask yourself what to do to make your company as valuable as possible so you can one day sell it for millions.

Lastly, having money is power. Power to help any charity you choose. Power to help anybody or anyone. Power to make positive changes in your community, positively impact the lives of others and make the world a better place.

10 Signs You’re Going to be Super Successful

Do you have what it takes to succeed in your own online business? You do if you have the following qualities…

10 Signs You’re Going to be Super Successful

You’re relentlessly persistent. When you decide to do something, you tenaciously work towards that goal until it is completed, no matter what.

You’re realistically optimistic. You know that believing you’ll grow wings and fly won’t make it true. But you also know there is a method by which you can fly, and you’ll keep believing this until you find a way to do it.

You take failures in stride. Yes, you did all you could, but you failed anyway. But you realize this is just part of the success process. So instead of lamenting the loss, you ask yourself, “What’s great about this?” And you take what you learned and apply it to your next attempt.

Your face is in the dictionary under the word “self-improvement.” While some people think learning ends with graduation, not you. You are continuously reading and learning more and more, and putting what you learn into practice.

You take action. Planning is a necessary part of the process, but you know that nothing happens until you take action.

You keep an open mind. You realize you don’t have all the answers, and you’re willing to listen to others to find the answers you seek.

You maximize your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. Some folks think they need to work on their weaknesses – not you. If you’re not good at something, you’re smart enough to outsource it. Instead, you focus your efforts where they shine, and that’s what makes you and your business successful.

You’re ambitious. Sure, you could settle for a small online business that just covers the bills. But instead you’re looking to create a real business you can sell in 5-7 years for 7 or 8 figures. Shoot for the clouds and you might only hit the rooftops. But shoot for the stars and you’ll at least hit the moon, which is pretty darn good.

You set goals. You can’t get someplace if you don’t know where you’re going, so you set goals to keep yourself moving and on track.

You spend 90% of your time on the present, 10% on the future, and no time on the past. The past is over and done. Childhood was lousy? Didn’t get into the school you wanted? Passed over for that promotion? First business failed? No matter because it’s ancient history. You’re all about what you can accomplish right here, right now, with an occasional eye to the future.

You delight in delaying gratification. Sure, you could watch TV right now, but you know there is a bigger reward to be had down the road if you just keep working instead.

You don’t listen to naysayers. There’s always somebody ready to tell you that you can’t do it, you shouldn’t do it or you’re an idiot for trying. But you just smile, say thanks for the advice and keep on doing what you need to do to be successful.

After all, the best revenge on naysayers is success.

And if you have at least 8 of these 12 qualities, you’re almost certainly going to meet with success on a grand scale, and soon.

12 Keys to Creating Content Readers Share on Social Media

Before they share it, readers have to love your content. So how do you write the next viral blog post?

12 Keys to Creating Content Readers Share on Social Media

1. Offer a simple, practical way of accomplishing a task. According to the New York Times, 94 percent of people share content because they believe it will be helpful to others. That’s why articles such as “10 Ways to Save Money” are popular.

2. Write “how to” posts. These kinds of posts are always popular and tend to stay evergreen for a long time. For example, few can resist, “How to Make the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever.”

3. Give them what they want. Figure out what your readers want to learn and write about that.

4. Use the active voice as much as possible. Instead of writing, “Donna is loved by Richie,” write “Richie loves Donna.” It’s easier, faster and more interesting to read.

5. Use present tense as much as possible. Instead of writing, “Last week when we were going down the mountain…” Write, “Imagine this: We’re going down the mountain when a cougar leaps in front of our motorcycle…” It puts the reader right there in the scene with you and makes it more exciting to read.

6. Entertain the reader. If you can delight the reader, make your content irresistible and even bring humor to it, so much the better.

7. Be credible. If you can back up what you write, your readers will trust your content enough to share it.

8. Cut the fat. It’s not the length of your content that matters, it’s the conciseness. Tighten up your sentences, rewrite anything that confuses, eliminate words like “very” and “just” and basically tighten up your writing. Every word should count.

9. It’s not War and Peace. Use shorter lines instead of longer sentences whenever possible.

10. Engage the reader emotionally. It’s not just about the facts, it’s also about grabbing the reader by the emotions and not letting them go until the end.

11. Tell stories. If you can illustrate your point through a story, do it.

12. Never, ever be boring. Have someone read your content before you post it. Ask them to watch for any place where their mind starts to wander. These are the places you’ll need to work on, so you don’t lose your reader’s attention.

If you find yourself writing in a style your English professor would adore, try again. The best tip of all to getting your content shared is to write as though you’re talking to your best friend, sharing useful stuff they want to know.

The Secret to Getting What You Want

A man sets out on a journey of a lifetime.

The Secret to Getting What You Want

The problem is, he doesn’t know where he wants to go.

So he spends the next 40 years wandering the back roads, never really going anywhere.

Another man chooses his destination. It’s a promised land, far, far away. The dangers he faces along the route are great and the challenges seem almost insurmountable.

Yet because he knows where he wants to go, he is able to find his way, overcome the challenges and eventually reach his destination, where he retires in 10 years’ time.

One man didn’t know where he was going, and so he wandered for 40 years and achieved nothing.

The other man knew exactly where he wanted to go, and because of his belief and determination, he was able to overcome every obstacle and reach his destination in 10 years.

Which person are you?

Most people won’t define what they want until they have clarity on how they will get there.

But because they don’t know what they want, they don’t have the clarity, and thus end up doing nothing.

That’s why you’ve got to decide first what it is that you want, and be totally clear on what that is. Write it down in detail.

Only then will you figure out how to get to where you want to go.

One more thing: Once you begin your journey, take time every single day to revisit your goal.

Just like a builder continually consults the building plans, you should continually go over your goal so that your subconscious mind knows exactly what it should be doing to get you to where you want to go.

This will also help you avoid time wasting activities that you don’t need.

Advanced Tip: Measure what you treasure.

Whatever your goal might be, take daily measurements of how you’re doing.

For example, if your goal is to reach a certain income level, you’ll want to track your profits daily.

If your goal is to exercise and eat right, you’ll want to keep a journal of everything you eat and every exercise you perform.

Whatever your goal might be, measure what you treasure and you will get more of what it is that you want.

Biggest Mistake Email Marketers Make

I recently asked a group of marketers this question:

“When you send an email to your list, what’s your #1 goal?”

Biggest Mistake Email Marketers Make

Some of the answers I got were…

To get readers to open it
To get readers to READ it
To give some useful info
To build rapport
To sell a product
Those are all good answers…

But they’re also all WRONG answers.

Of course you want them to open the email, read the email, build some rapport, maybe give some useful info, but none of these are your primary objective.

So what is?

To get the CLICK.

That’s it.

Everything else is simply in support of that #1 goal, getting them to click the link you send to them.

Ideally, you want to train your list to click your links like (pardon me here) mind-numb robots.

You want them to click automatically – without thinking – because it’s what they always do when they open your emails.

You don’t need to sell the product – the sales page or video you send them to should do that for you.

You don’t need to tell them everything about the blog post you’re sending them to – the post will do that for you.

Your job is simply to get the click.

So how can you improve your click-through rate?

1. Give great information. People will like you and TRUST you if you give them great info that helps them. Clicking the link is just a natural extension of that.

2. Show them the ‘what’ but not the ‘how.’ You might give them a really useful tip on what drives super targeted traffic, but to learn how to do it they need to click the link. And yes, that link goes to a product you want them to buy. You haven’t sold the product in the email, but you have sold them on the method. The product is simply an easy shortcut to using that method to get the result.

3. Don’t always send them to sales letters; send them to fun stuff, too. Show them your blogposts, your videos and even other people’s stuff now and then. Did you see a video on YouTube that taught you something really valuable or made you laugh out loud? Try sharing it with your list. Remember, you want to get them in the habit of automatically clicking your links. And giving them rewards when they do, like useful information or a good laugh, will teach them to do just that.

4. Now and then surprise them with a free product. Your email tells them a method to list build using Facebook. Then you send them to a link that will give them 5 more list building methods. And when they click the link, they see a very short sales page offering the product for FREE. How much do you think they love you right now? And what are the odds they will click more of your links in the future, just in case there’s another free product on the other side?

Of course, your list and your niche may call for slightly different methods. But bottom line, your primary, number one goal of email marketing is ALWAYS to get the click.

The more trained your list is to click, the more money you will make in the long run.

7 Of the Worst Business Decisions Ever

While it’s true we can learn from our own mistakes, it’s much easier, faster and sweeter to learn from the mistakes of others.

7 Of the Worst Business Decisions Ever

With that in mind, here’s 7 doozies that belong in the Business Mistakes Hall of Shame:

Schlitz Beer – At one time, Schlitz was the best selling beer in America. Then they decided to change their formula, replacing quality ingredients with inferior ones, adding chemicals to try to mask the changes, and even changing the brewing process. All of this was to increase their profit margins so they could continue to compete on price against Budweiser.

Basically, the Schlitz people worked very hard to ruin a best selling product. By the 1970’s, they’d changed the product so much that the bottom of each beer contained a repulsive mucus-like substance.

Of course sales plummeted, and the brand lost over 90% of its value. Schlitz beer was now relegated to the bottom bargain beer shelf for only the most desperate and poor of beer drinkers.

Lesson for online marketers? It’s clear isn’t it – quality DOES count. Whether you’re creating products or acting as an affiliate marketer, if you don’t offer your customers a quality product, they won’t be back for more. And you’ll get a lousy reputation in the process.

Star Wars – A long time ago in a studio far, far away, 20th Century Fox made one of the lousiest business decisions – ever.

In 1973, George Lucas negotiated a deal with Fox Studios on a film he wanted to direct – sort of a space western. Fox had offered him $500,000 to direct, but George offered to do it for just $150,000 if they would grant him all merchandising rights as well as rights to all sequels.

As of today, combined revenue from merchandising and sequels of Star Wars is an estimated $42 billion.

Yes, that’s right – Fox lost BILLIONS to save $350,000.

When you create a product, don’t stop there or you’ll be leaving most of your profit on the table. Create an upsell, a down sell, a continuity program, a coaching program and yes, sequels and updates.

You work hard to get your initial program sold, so why not bank on the goodwill you’ve earned to sell even more?

Take a lesson from George Lucas; the big money isn’t in the main product, it’s in everything else that comes after.

Kodak – Did you know Kodak invented the first digital camera? But they panicked and made a terrible decision – sitting on the invention so they could continue to sell film.

Naturally, it was just a matter of time before other companies invented their own digital cameras. Since Kodak owned the patent, they made millions – until the patent ran out in 2007. 5 years later Kodak filed for bankruptcy.

Lesson learned? Don’t try to fight progress. Instead, be an early adopter and use it to your advantage. Those who were first on board with online video did really well, as did those who jumped on board social media and so forth.

Things will inevitably change, which is why it’s better to roll with the flow, look for new opportunities and never stick your head in the sand like Kodak did.

Blockbuster – In 2000 when Netflix was still a niche DVD postal rental company, they offered Blockbuster the chance to buy them for $50 million.

Blockbuster laughed at Netflix’s CEO and what they thought of as his ridiculous offer. After all, they were making good money with their stores and late fees – why change?

It wasn’t long before Blockbuster was chasing Netflix, copying their DVD rental by mail plan and failing miserably.

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010. And Netflix is now worth $30 billion.

Lesson learned? Always keep an open mind when presented with new opportunities. You never know when that crazy idea someone just pitched you could be the next Netflix.

Ayds – In the 1970’s and early 80’s, Ayds candies enjoyed brisk sales as a diet aid that helped suppress appetite.

But along came the Aids epidemic in the mid 80’s, and it’s no surprise that all of a sudden people didn’t want to buy Ayds. As of 1988, sales had dropped off by half and were continuing to plummet.

Now, most manufacturers would rebrand at this point, but not Ayds. They added the word ‘diet’ in front of Ayds, but it was too little, too late and the product was withdrawn from the market.

Lesson for online marketers? Unexpected things can and will happen. It wasn’t the manufacturer’s fault that an epidemic carried practically the same name as their candy, but it did. Had they bit the bullet and rebranded, they could have saved their product.

If you find for whatever reason that you need to make a change in your business, it’s best to do it quickly before it’s too late.

Telegraph to Telephone – There was a time when the telegraph was the most advanced communication system on the planet. Then in 1876 a fellow named Alexander Graham Bell invented a little gadget he called the telephone, and was ready to bring that invention to market.

But first he contacted Western Union, the most important communications company at the time, and offered to sell his patent for just $100,000. William Orton, the president of Western Union, turned him down and instead set up his own phone company in secret in an attempt to compete with Bell.

Bell successfully sued Western Union for infringing on his patent. In 1879, Orton was legally forced to pull out of the telephone business altogether, and of course Bell went on to build a business empire.

Lesson learned? Whenever possible, work with your competitors rather than against them. That $100,000 Orton ‘saved’ literally cost him a fortune and spelled the eventual demise of the communications portion of his company.

MySpace – In 2005 when MySpace had more users than Facebook, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp decided to buy the super popular social media site for $580 million.

MySpace had 300 million registered users and was valued at an estimated $12 billion. So he got a good deal, right?

No matter how good the deal, if you try hard enough you can really muck things up.

Facebook was threatening their number #1 status, so to immediately make MySpace profitable, they filled the site with tons of garish ads.

Next, they instituted the same corporate policies as News Corp, thereby preventing MySpace from adapting quickly to its competition.

After 6 years, News Corp sold the site for just 6% of what they had paid for it.

Lessons learned? First, if it isn’t broken, don’t ‘fix’ it. By plastering MySpace with ads and banners, they drove away their users.

Second, have patience. If they’d spent a little time thinking about their strategy to monetize the site, they could have come up with much better solutions than tons of ads.

Third, be flexible. Shackling your company with corporate policies that make progress slower than a snail’s pace is not going to win the day on the Internet.

One last note: It’s really easy to play ‘Monday morning quarterback’ and talk about what these companies ‘should’ have done. It’s a lot more difficult when you’re in the day-to-day grind trying to find your way.

Something all of these companies and business people had in common is this: They did what they thought was best at the time. And sometimes that’s all you can do.

If you ever find you’ve made a colossal blunder, or even just a stupid mistake, here’s how to make it right again: Get back up, forgive yourself and then let it go. Don’t dwell on the past except to learn. If you can live in the present with an eye to the future, you’ll be fine.

We all make mistakes. Some of us just have the opportunity to make bigger mistakes than others.

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