All Right I know what you're thinking. You've seen these types of articles before and none of them have led to the Holy Grail of start up business success.
There's certainly no shortage of information written or videos produced that cover this subject.
So why is this one different? Well for starters, this one's written by a Former Vice President of Sales (successful I might add), turned Entrepreneur who found out first hand how important having a system is to success.
But before I get into the meat, I need to take a slight tangent. Almost Every Entrepreneur (remember I was one of them) makes a common error when getting started. Though this is not a step to success, not heeding it could cause you failure.
It's the "I can handle anything/do everything syndrome". Most people if they were ever Employees forget that Oranizations have Departments/Job Descriptions to handle different tasks. Though it's unclear as to why Startup Businesses do it, most seem to think they could cover all the bases.
Let's be honest shall we, there are only 24 hours in a day and even if you were good at all of them, you couldn't possibly get them all done in a day.
Fortuntately for you, there's a concept called Outsourcing.
Companies like Fiverr.com or Odesk.com offer just about any Outsourcing Services and best of all, at prices you could afford.
All right that being said let's get back to the "Start-up business Success Steps".
Since Lists tap into our preferred way of receiving and organizing information here are the 3 Steps to Master:
3 Steps To Mastering Business Start Up Success
So lets break each down in a way that is definitive with principles that can be transferred into any business. Whether you're a brick and mortar, Home based (MLM) business or in Internet Marketing, get these down and you'll be well on your way to reaching your goals.
Step 1: Mastering the Art of A Good Capture
What's a Good Capture you ask? Well this is simply just Your Offer created in a way that provides value and allows you the opportunity to capture the prospect's contact information. You should have a good understanding of your Target Market if your offer will resonate and get you leads.
Let's take a look at an example. I have no alliances with the following page, however I found it online and thought it to be captivating.
The Offer here is pretty clear and the giveaway entices the Prospect to enter his contact information. If your company was looking for someone to provide you social intelligence, perhaps you'd enter your information to start a FREE trial. They've successful captured a Lead. It's that easy.
Unfortunately many people get stuck on this step, unclear on how best to structure their offer.
The Key: Get Specific On The Solutions your product offers and present tem in such a way that influences your prospective customers on a subconscious level.
Fortunately once you know who your target market is and know the Product they're interested in, there are services that make creating capture pages relatively simple.
My personal favorite is offered at http://www.leadpages.net. Don't worry this is not an Affiliate link and I'm not getting paid for the endorsement. I just believe that LeadPages offers top notch capture and sales page templates that will work with any profession.
Here's a sample of a Basic LeadPages capture page:
To get the most effective conversion, it's best to focus on one specific product per landing page so as not to dillute the message. Here's an example of focusing on one product.
Here the Insurance Agency is offering a chance to save 40% on auto insurance in exchange for the Prospects' information. Though I'm fairly certain that the company has other products, in this offer they're offering a savings only on their car insurance. Get it?
On to Step 2...
Step 2: Mastering The Art Of Traffic
So now you've thought out your offer and have the capture page setup, it's time to get traffic to the site (aka: your ad).
This goal of this step is to get traffic as fast as possible so you could see if your ad works and will produce results. Once you see that you have a winning capture page, it's time to Scale Up and get your ad in front of a larger audience.
The Goal: Good producing capture page, on a scalable level, getting consistent results.
Great you say, but how do I Generate Traffic?
This is always the million dollar question and I'll go on record to say that Generating Traffic is actually not that difficult once you know where to begin to look for it. It's also important to have a winning capture page.
Though these will be covered in subsequent blogs, suffice it to say there are a myriad of ways to generate on-line traffic. From Facebook, to PPC (pay per click) ads, buy leads, SEO on your Blog, to good old-fashioned mailings; though that's not exactly the topic here.
Best Advice: Focusing on one strategy and mastering it is the best bet for long term success.
If you're brand new and have never taken any Marketing Courses, I would strongly encourage you to invest in furthering your education. Irrespective of your skills, online marketing is definietly a learned trait.
There are plenty of good and not so good on-line courses and training systems on-line today, but which one will give you the best bang for your buck.
I guess I've been fortunate to have had prsonal experience with a few of them. The two that stand out most are MLSP and Empower Network.
Of course the question I get asked most by my peers and Clients is
"Which One is better"?
Though I can honesty say I am affiliated with both systems, my personal referal would be Empower Network.
The reasoning behind my decision is based on "content" they provide. Though the MLSP system is a good start into getting your feet wet, The Empower Network offers a blogging system hosted for only $25/month, which I'm currently using to write this blog post, that gets you started in your business right away.
It's an easily customizable blog with a high Alexa ranking, which will help you promote your business and get found in the search engines.
But beyond the blog, The Empower Network has put together Online Courses that cover mindset, as well as online strategies to show you how to market online. Though the upfront fee may seem a bit steep, it's one of the best comprehensive courses for the money.
Many other systems offer an array of courses on various topics, but they're sold seperately so the hundreds of dollars for each does eventually add up.
Show me more
Again this is a personal recommendation and as always I encourage everyone to check out their own options.
Ok, on to step 3...
Step 3: Mastering The Art Of Conversions
So you've got your capture page, have a reliable traffic source, now what?
The last step in business success is converting your prospects, i.e. making the sale.
This is a difficult concept to "teach" and master because it requires you to have a skill in closing as well as positioning yourself as an expert in your topic. This is something exceptionally difficult for those that may be new to an industry. As we all know, Expert status comes from learned and taught experiences.
It's here again that education and mentoring again come into play. Furthering your education will greatly improve your communication skills and lastly help Influence the sale.
The Takeaway: Learn - Do - Teach
As you learn a new skill, use it then teach it to others. It's by actually doing what you've learned and then sharing/teaching it to others that you become seen as an expert and begin to see business success.
The goal is always to learn from the best, people that have achieved your desired success, which will allow you to grow. It's not a coincidence that it's said that your income will be the average of the closest four people around you.
And lasty, be prepared for the common mistakes and don't let them discourage you. Being an Entrepreneur is a challenge, often times with a big learning curve, but it should never deter you from not going for your dreams.