Start an Internet Business

The Proven System to Help You Grow a Hugely Profitable Internet Business… Without Breaking the Bank!

Onwebglass.jpge of the questions I get asked all the time is "Derek, how do I start a successful Internet business?"

My response? There is a very specific sequence of steps you NEED to follow to guarantee your success.

How do I know?

Because it’s the exact same sequence of steps that my team and I have used to grow from a one-man company to a team of over 100 Internet marketing experts… generating more than $60 million in sales!

Over the years, my team and I have continually tested this system, and have proven its effectiveness over and over again.

But this system hasn’t worked only for us… Since IMC opened its doors in 1996, we’ve seen a staggering number of real, everyday people follow these steps to earn life-changing incomes with their Internet businesses. And the numbers keep growing exponentially!

Anyone, from newbie to seasoned Internet marketer, can benefit from going through this proven series of steps. No matter where you are in your business, it always pays to revisit the basics and make sure you’re doing everything possible to grow your business to be as good as it can possibly be.

Read on to review this proven eight-step system – and discover how simple it is!

Step #1: Find a hungry niche market – BEFORE you decide what to sell

Most marketers make the mistake of looking for a "hot product" to sell when they’re first starting out online – and they end up choosing a product before they determine whether there’s a market for it. And this is the reason the majority of Internet startups fail!

The fact is, most people do NOT go online to buy. They go online looking for information or to solve a problem.

What you need to do is find an untapped niche market: a group of people who are going online to solve a common problem, but are not having any luck finding a solution.

By doing some simple research, you can discover EXACTLY what these people are looking for – and then figure out a way to give it to them. That way, you KNOW you’ll have a market that’s eager to buy your product – before you even know what it is!

Once you’ve found a hungry niche market and come up with a product that will satisfy their wants, it’s time to write your salescopy…

Step #2: Write compelling salescopy that draws in your visitors

Without a doubt, the most important part of your website is your salescopy. It’s the only contact most of your visitors are going to have with your business – so you have to make sure it does the job of a top-performing salesperson.

A lot of people don’t feel confident about writing. But don’t worry! Writing salescopy is a "science," not an "art" – there’s a specific formula to follow that will lead your visitors smoothly through the sales process.

You need to focus on how your product or service will solve people’s problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer: "What’s in it for ME?"

A few key things to remember when you’re writing your salescopy:

  • Include a headline and subHdrlines that are packed with benefits
  • Build credibility with testimonials
  • Offer a strong guarantee
  • Pile on the bonuses
  • Don’t forget to ask for the order! Never assume that your visitors will understand what you want them to do on your site – you have to TELL them, and then make it easy for them to follow through with their purchase.

And remember: You want your copy to emphasize the BENEFITS of your product, not its features. What’s the difference? Features TELL, benefits SELL.

Say, for example, you’re selling low-energy washing machines.

Feature: They use less electricity than conventional machines.

Benefit: You save money with every load!

Do you see the difference? You want your visitors to have a clear idea of how your product is going to help improve their lives – because that is what’s going to convince them to make a purchase!

Step #3: Design a winning site that converts visitors into buyers

Yes, it’s true: You should only start building your website once you know what you’re going to sell and have written your salescopy. That way, your site design will facilitate the sales process, rather than get in its way.

The most important thing to remember when designing your sales website is KEEP IT SIMPLE! You only have 10 seconds when someone arrives at your website to grab their attention – otherwise, they’re gone, never to be seen again.

Some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a plain, sans-serif font (like Arial or Verdana)
  • Use black text on a white background
  • Make sure your navigation is clear and simple, and include a sitemap
  • Avoid using cheesy or distracting flash or audio (using video and audio is OK so long as it supports, rather than distracts from, your message)
  • Make sure you include an opt-in form to collect visitors’ names and email addresses – offer something useful, like a free subscription to a monthly newsletter or a free report that’s loaded with useful information

Whether you decide to teach yourself a bit of HTML and design your site yourself, or hire a web designer to do it for you, your goal is not to confuse your visitors, but rather to draw them in and lead them step by step through your sales process.

Make it EASY for them to purchase, and they will!

Step #4: Use the ‘Net’s top search engines to drive tons of targeted traffic to your site

Now that you’ve got your site built, it’s time to start selling. But how do you get traffic to a brand-new site? The answer: search engines!

Over 90% of Internet users start with free search engines when they’re looking for information online, so you want to make sure your site ranks as high as possible in their listings.

There are two ways to use search engines to drive traffic to your site: Using pay-per-click (PPC) programs like Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing, and getting ranked in the "organic" search engines. You’re going to want to start with PPC, as it’s the best way to start driving IMMEDIATE traffic to your site.

Once you have some paid traffic coming to your site, and you’ve figured out which keywords are performing best, you’ll want to optimize your web pages for those keywords so that your site starts showing up in the organic search engine results as well.

Step #5: Tap into secret sources of cheap (and even free!) traffic

As an online marketer, one of your most important assets is your reputation. People need to know who you are, and why they should trust you!

So how do you "spread the good word" about you and your business to the far corners of the Web?

Easy! You can:

  • Give away free, expert content! Write a series of short, informative articles packed with useful information and tips, and submit them to online article directories. Include a brief bio and a link back to your website at the end of each one.
  • Issue press releases about your business. This is a great way to announce a new product, or report on exciting developments in your industry – and it’ll drive traffic back to your site.
  • Become an active expert in industry forums. Find out where your target market hangs out, and share your knowledge with them by posting knowledgeable replies to their questions… and remember to include a link back to your site in your signature!

Sending all this great information out – with your name and website URL linked to it – will also help you get a better ranking in the search engine listings, since every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines LOVE inbound links from relevant sites, and they will reward you accordingly.

Step #6: Use the power of email marketing to keep in touch with your visitors… and turn them into buyers!

I hear it all the time: email marketing doesn’t work anymore. And when I hear that, I just laugh… because it’s not true AT ALL. In fact, according to PostFuture, 82% of online buyers have made at least one purchase in response to an email promotion.

It takes an average of four to seven contacts with someone before they will be comfortable enough to buy something from you, so you need to stay in touch with your visitors and build a relationship with them.

Email marketing is the ideal way to do this. You can show your subscribers you really know what you’re talking about and make them feel comfortable enough to make a purchase.

Plus, you can stay in regular contact with your existing customers and keep them informed of new products you have to offer!

Step #7: Grow your business by selling new products to your existing customer base

It’s a little-recognized fact that at least 36% of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again IF you follow up with them. That means one-third of your customer base is just waiting for you to offer them something new!

You have already cultivated a relationship with your customers – you have put in the time and money to get their attention, establish credibility, and close that first sale. That’s by far the most difficult part – not to mention the most expensive!

(Think of all the planning, advertising, and promotional activity that goes into getting those initial sales… )

But once you’ve acquired those customers, you want to develop their "lifetime value." An old marketing adage says that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your customers.

This means backend selling and upselling are your best bets. You can:

  • Offer products that complement their original purchase
  • Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit
  • Include an offer for related products on your "Thank You" page
  • Sell affiliate products that complement your product or service

By staying in regular touch with our customers and letting them know about new products we have available, we were able to increase our revenues by over 30%!

Step #8: Harness the power of affiliate programs for hands-free traffic… and sales!

Once you have a profitable business on your hands, you should always be on the lookout for new ways to grow it. And one of the best ways to do that is to launch your own affiliate program.

Affiliates are people who promote your products on their web site for a cut of the selling price. Every time they send you a buyer, you pay them a commission.

With an affiliate program, you have the power to exponentially increase your income. Think of it… You don’t have to go out and spend any money on advertising because your affiliates do the advertising for you… and you only pay them when they make a sale. You can’t lose!


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  1. [...] Marketing Tips featuring Derek Gehl wrote an interesting post today on Start an Internet BusinessHere’s a quick excerptThe Proven System to Help You Grow a Hugely Profitable Internet Business… Without Breaking the Bank! … that my team and I have used to grow from a one-man company to a team of over 100 Internet marketing experts… [...]

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