30 Mar 07 2:55 am
Dear Affilo-bud Ronts,
I just recieved this email from an online marketer named Andy Jenkins. Maybe it will help.
There are two fundamental questions that anyone, who sells anything, EVER, online asks himself.
Question #1 - What the heck should I sell?
This is often asked in...shall we say...piquant tones of frustration and desperation?
And even when that question gets answered, the products picked and the frustration just about to ebb, its quickly replaced by the rising anxiety of...
Question #2 - Now how can I sell more!?
And the frustration cycle beings anew.
These are actually well-timed questions for me lately. Based on some surprising a2armory.com data, I've lately re-thunk ways to answer those two questions above.
I've been rolling around this issue my head like a mixed up Rubik's Cube for the past week or so. How SHOULD folks decide what to sell?
Aside from the typical keyword research, and the de rigueur market research - what more can they do to ensure that they are making the most they possibly can? And that's when it came to me.
A new and more powerful definition of R&D.
I no longer focus on "research and development." I focus on "research and DIVERSIFICATION."
Time to be asking yourself new questions Ask yourself, right now - what am I selling? And now....ready for this?
What ELSE am I selling?
Let's back up. Imagine you're driving and you realize you need cash where you're going. So you stop at the next convenience store that has a big "ATM INSIDE" sign in the window.
Now how many times do you walk out with JUST that cash? Don't you often also grab a newspaper, a pack of gum, a candy bar, a SOMETHING else?
This is different than upselling, folks. Stay with me.
You know that idea that there are three kinds of knowledge? There are the things you know, the things you KNOW you don't know... but there are also things you DON'T KNOW that you don't know?
Well in very much the same way there are things your customers they KNOW they want to buy, and things they don't want to buy...and then there are things they don't YET know they want to buy.
And it's your job to show them. How? By diversifying.
Imagine if when you walked into that convenience store you were met with just an ATM. That's it. You need cash? We got cash! Come get it .
You sure would get the cash that drove in the store, but that's it. No chance you'll be buying that gum, or that magazine. (Hint - stores make WAY more money on gum and candy bars and magazines than they do on ATM fees.)
But they advertised the ATM machine on the side, because they know that a lot of people would be looking for that. But they also know that you're likely to buy something else while you're there. And that's where they make their profits.
In much the same way, you should be looking at your keyword traffic in new ways all the time. And making sure that you are offering everything that particular shopper might want - even if it's NOT the exact product that brought them in the door.
You need to look your keywords in context. You need to put yourself in your customer's shoes and think "what else might I need while I'm here." Brainstorm like crazy. Then make sure that you are offering the ENTIRE universe of products that would be attractive to that particular client.
NOT just what they specifically came to you for.
This kind of thinking, this jumping-into-the-shoes of your customer is a powerful, worthwhile exercise.
Here's proof that it's worth it: our BEST-SELLING item on a2armory.com is one that has NO search volume. It's appears nowhere in our Wordtracker stats. But it's our #1 seller, because it's related to original product they WERE searching for. We're capturing sales that we didn't even know we were missing because there was NO keyword data for it.
I'll jump in my own shopping-shoes for a second.
Hi, I'm Andy. Happy online shopper. What am I shopping for? Lord of the Rings stuff! I love Lord of the Rings! I would love to have a cool LOTR sword.
I hear about this "Sting" sword a lot so I'll do a search for that. But wait - the Sting Sword is what a hobbit carries. Do I want to identify with a hobbit? Short, whiny goofy hobbits? With hairy feet?
Not exactly how I self-identify.
(Note to self: Inspect for feet-fuzz later today.)
No, when I look in the mirror, I don't want to see Hobbit. I want the chiseled features, the flowing blond hair, the "I never get a scratch on me!" ness of Legolas, the Immortal Elf!
And here he is. I searched for "Sting Sword" and landed on a website that not only sells that sword but has a photo of Legolas on that page as well. I click on that and next thing you know I'm putting my credit card information in for the "Fighting Swords of Legolas."
See? Think about your customer's shopping experience and make sure you're not meeting them with the products they are most likely to buy...which MAY NOT BE the ones that they originally were searching for!
In fact, and this is fascinating, Google recently reported that 50% of all their searches were brand spanking new. They were one-offs, 'newborns.'
What makes that fact so profound is that it tells you that there are millions of shoppers out there entering keywords that there is NO DATA FOR YET.
It's almost like the itty bitty end of the 'long tail' of keywords we talk about all the time. The vanishing point. And just like with the rest of the long tail, there are BIG bucks to made in this zone.
But if there's no keyword data, how are you supposed to find that sweet spot. You do what I mentioned before - you inhabit your customer's clothes. You envision yourself in their shoes, shopping at your store. You anticipate their needs...before THEY even know they have them.
Let's keep with using my store as an example, and I'll show you how to successfully brainstorm this, and how to diversify your product line.
There are three kinds of diversified products:
Related products. If my core product is medieval swords, a related product would be a medieval shield.
Derivative products. Medieval sword/flintlock pistol.
Accessory products. Medieval sword/ sword-shaped letter opener.
You find related products by putting your core product in CONTEXT. When you envision a sword in its 'natural habitat,' what else is there? What else occupies that space? And there, you have it. A medieval shield.
Next is Derivative products. I find these by moving my focus from the core product itself over to the customer HIMself.
(Yeah, I said it. Him. Anyone want to challenge me that I should be politically correct and say him/her when talking about someone WHO BUYS MEDIEVAL SWORDS? Okay. Didn't think so.)
So I 'derive' other product needs by analyzing my customer. Why would someone be buying a medieval sword? I think we can count a few possibilities out.
I'm going to guess it's not for everyday wear. I can't see many guys looping a sword through their chino belt loops and heading off to work.
I'm also going to go out on a limb and assume it's not for USE. I doubt any of my customers are using their sword to knight someone this weekend. Or that they're gearing up to liberate a kingdom, or free a people.
No, I'm going to guess that most of my customers are collectors. They just like old, historical artifacts. Weapons, particularly. They're buying this sword because they want to display it somehow. Hang it on their wall or put it in a schmancy display case.
So might they not also be interested in OTHER historical weapons? Ones that have nothing to do with medieval swords, like flintlock pistols?
And finally we come to Accessory diversification. This is when you look the wider spectrum of "all things sword." Anyone who'd be willing to pay $99 for a Templar sword might be likely to buy a sword-shaped letter opener. Or lighter.
Now I'm not going to lie. This is hard work. Brainstorming diversified products can be time-consuming. But aside from being kind of fun, imagining your customer's ownership experience is probably one of the best uses of your time as a store owner.
The only harder work involved in diversifying your product line is actually FINDING sources for those accessories, those related and derivative products. Why? Because though they may sell like hotcakes on your site, to your customers, they don't usually merit a store of their own. So it can be very hard to locate sources for them.
People ask Brad and I all the time what is our trick for our continued success online. What keeps us continuously successful?
And I wish I had a less disappointing answer.
Here is the magical online trick, the entrepreneur voodoo chant, the amazing secret, I want to whisper to them.
But I can't. Our 'trick' is actually quite basic. We take path of least resistance at every turn. In every operational aspect, we find the most smooth, frictionless path to success.
If I wanted to get EXTREMELY good at golf, and I could afford to hire Tiger Woods to teach me...would I go out and practice alone on the driving range? Hell no! If I want to play like Tiger Woods, I'm going to 'take the easy way' and have him help me get to become a great golfer - FAR quicker than I ever would on my own.
And that's what Brad and I do when it comes to finding sources for our diversified products. I don't spend my time combing the internet or going to the library or even schlepping through trade shows to find my products.
I just don't.
If you've ever read or heard anything we've ever taught, I'm sure you've heard us mention WorldWide Brands. And I've been using WWB's services to find my products for the past seven years because it's a frictionless way to find the best resources and get the best results.
Over and over and over again.
But as much as we love World Wide Brands and as much money as we've made because of them, their new product OneSource is different. OneSource lets me:
·Perform keyword research.
· Do competitive research.
· Do advertising research.
· Identify related products and search phrases.
· Identify drop shippers.
· Identify wholesalers.
· Identify importers.
· Identify liquidators.
All from one interface.
OneSource is the product I myself would have made to create the most frictionless research and statistical analysis mechanism I could ever conceive of.
If this is your business - if selling things to people who use the internet to shop - if that's what you do, then you need to take a look at OneSource. http://stompernet.worldwidebrands.com
If only to check out their free preview, where they reveal search volume, stats, everything you'd want to know. The only thing the free copy doesn't do is show you the source's contact information.
Hey, look, I realize that this may not be for everyone. But if you think it might be for you and you're ready to make your research and diversification strategies truly frictionless, then WorldWide Brands if offering a big discount as part of their new OneSource rollout AND an additional discount because you're a StomperNet newsletter subscriber. http://stompernet.worldwidebrands.com
Seriously, if all you do today is go back and look at your site and embrace the ownership experience idea, it will help your customers buy more from you and your business WILL grow.
Once you identify those additional products to help service your customers, use OneSource to put those products into play.
Now, off to shave my feet!
3012 Adriatic Court, Norcross, Georgia 30071, USA
To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:http://www.aweber.com/z/r/?zEyMrOyctMysrGxMDCys
I am not affiliated with this product in any way but it looks like it would be a time saver.
God Bless and Flame-On!