The Squeeze Page - 7 Components of a Killer Squeeze Page that Gets Thousands of Leads

So what exactly is a squeeze page? It’s a destination where visitors land, created for the purpose of getting them to opt in and give up their information (name and email address).

Believe it or not, there are a lot of intricacies involved and the best squeeze pages are those that have been split tested countless times to maximize conversions. For example, a slight change in layout, a tweak in the headline, or even a new color can have drastic effects on the sign up rate.

Top 5 Crucial Internet Marketing Tips for 2010 – Are You Prepared?

Can you believe that it’s already 2010? I’ve been involved with Internet marketing and SEO for over 7 years now and each year has always been more exciting than the previous one. 2010 is looking to be no different.
There are so many opportunities online to make money and make a difference. If you ever wanted to get started in this space, now’s the time.

I know that I’m a few weeks late, but I want to use this post to reflect on the past year in terms of what I learned about online business building and marketing. I’ll outline my top 5 learnings from 2009 and share my Internet marketing predictions and tips for the new year. Cheers!

How to Take Your Product Offering From Good to Great – Without Actually Changing It

upgraphA few days ago, a friend and I were discussing ideas for possible new online business ventures. We were looking for ways to expand our market and create new streams of stable income. While the discussion was productive, we constantly got stuck on one component – the product. For instance, after many of my suggestions, my friend would say, “but doesn’t something like that already exist?” It seemed like he wanted to create something entirely new, something never done before. In other words, he placed his entire focus of the business on the product.
While a new invention has the potential to hit it big, I don’t think it’s necessarily a good idea to rely on it for your business – especially in the online world where competition is rampant and anyone can easily copy your ideas. Just think about the evolution of search engines. The first ones to enter the market were Excite, Lycos, Looksmart, etc and even as first movers they were eventually dominated by Google, a better search engine with a marketing message that everyone loved.

balance scaleWhich brings me to my point – marketing is just as important as the product, if not more. How so you ask? It all comes down to perception. The subjective quality and value of a product changes with the perspective of the customer.
Let’s look at a few examples. Why does Pepsi Cola taste so much better (based on sales) than RC Cola when the contents are pretty much identical? Why do you read TechCrunch for tech news over Joe Schmoe’s Tech Blog?  Again, it comes down to good marketing. You use products from brands you trust and are familiar with.

Don’t Just Make Money Online – Build Business Assets

building constructionThe Internet holds a giant online marketplace and there are obscene amounts of money to be made, especially as more and more people adapt and get accustomed to the web as a daily part of life. If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that opportunity abounds online. It’s just a matter of finding the right niches and focusing your efforts on the highest impact ideas.

But what exactly are the highest impact ideas? What’s worthwhile and what’s not? In my experience, I’ve found that there are two different categories of online business opportunities: money makers and assets. A money maker represents quick cash and not much else. You’re not necessarily building your own business or anything of value you can leverage later on. 

You’re simply making money. On the other hand, an asset is a real business that continues to grow in value as you invest your time and resources into the project.

Business Assets > Money Makers

So what’s better? What’s more worthwhile? In my opinion, business assets win over money makers every time. I’d much rather focus on investing in long term assets rather than making a quick buck off of the various online opportunities.

The 6 Key Principles of Powerful Persuasion

1. Reciprocity
reciprocityIt’s a give and take world – you give a little and you get some back. In any Internet business, you can’t expect to sell anything unless you provide real value to your customers. Furthermore, you can’t expect to keep loyal friends and business partners unless you put something into the relationships. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. If you want a favor, it pays to do a favor for others first.

Application: Give away value to your prospects – through your blog, newsletter, and free products (ebooks, videos, reports). Once you do this, people will appreciate the valuable content that you provide and reward you by buying your products or subscribing to your feeds.

2. Scarcity
scarcityEvery Christmas shopping season there’s a hot toy that everyone wants to buy. In fact, the scarcity factor drives rabid buyers to pay hundreds of dollars more for a fad product. Remember the Tickle Me Elmo, Furby, and Tamegachi crazes?

Scarcity is extremely powerful and significantly increases the perceived value of an object or event (e.g. rare coins and collectibles, a chance to meet a celebrity, tickets to the Super Bowl). Use it effectively in your product launches and you’re more likely to sell out.

Application: Build scarcity into your product offering and marketing. Emphasize the fact that there is limited supply and that people need to act fast in order to reap the benefits. For example, if you’re selling an information product, package it with a consulting bonus (only X spots available) and a special price for a limited time. The scarcity component will force potential customers to place more value on the offer and act fast so they don’t miss out on a great opportunity.

3. Liking
likingHere’s an obvious concept that should come to you naturally – people are most influenced by others they like and trust. Build relationships, be transparent, and connect with your audience through personal anecdotes and stories. Be personable , both online and off, and build a following.

Application: Use various outlets to show people who you are and connect with your audience. Write blog posts injected with personality and opinions, create videos introducing yourself and explaining your thoughts, and be active on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. The more you put yourself out there, the more people will like you. The more people like you, the more influence you’ll have.

4. Authority
authorityIn order to expand your influence, you can’t just be popular, you also need to be knowledgeable and act as an expert in your field. There has to be a benefit for people to follow you – and often times that benefit is to gain knowledge and learn from your experiences.

Application: Work on becoming a top authority in your niche. Share your ideas through a blog and back up your knowledge base with solid examples and case studies. You don’t need to know everything, but you do need to know more than your target audience.

5. Social proof
social proofLike it or not, it’s in human nature for people to follow. We tend to look at what others are doing and flock towards towards what’s popular. For example, if there was a line for a restaurant that stretched 2 street blocks, many people would join in simply because of the social proof. If a lot of people are lining up to wait, the restaurant must be phenomenal, right?

Application: Highlight social proof factors in your business. If you have a high RSS feed count for your blog, prominently display it for everyone to see. If you’ve sold a million copies of a certain product, use it as a key piece in your marketing. If you get so much traffic that your server crashes, write about it and apologize for the down time. You get the idea. Sometimes it pays to brag about your accomplishments and popularity.

6. Commitment & Consistency
commitmentThere’s no such thing as an overnight success. Internet businesses take hard work and only reach a tipping point after a big commitment and consistent hard work from entrepreneurs. If you believe in your site and believe you can be the best at what you do, never give up. You’ll have a much bigger sphere of influence if you prove to your audience that you’re in it for the long haul and aren’t just out to make a quick buck. This means you need to be committed to your sites and be consistent with your efforts.

Application: Choose a niche that you have a passion for and build a business in it for the long term. Make a commitment to providing value with your sites and be consistent with your work and your marketing. For example, if you want to make money online with a blog, choose a posting frequency and stick with it, even when you think no one’s reading.

How are you using these six principles of persuasion to expand your sphere of influence online? Are you maximizing your influence to improve your Internet marketing?

Are You A Slave To Your Online Business? Outsourcing for Effective Time Management

What’s the difference between a professional Internet marketer and a wannabe? Besides hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits, the biggest difference is in the way they manage their time. Both types of marketers have the exact same 24 hours in a day, but those who excel have mastered the art of time budgeting.

The biggest mistake I see Internet marketers make is their refusal to outsource their work. They’re too afraid to even take a few days of vacation time, and if they do, they always seem to drag their laptops along with them. Sadly, these marketers can’t see that they’ve become slaves to their online businesses.
People dream of starting a business so that they can be free to do what they want, when they want. 

Unfortunately, many marketers simply never learn how to properly budget their time. Ironically enough, as their business grows, it requires more and more of their time and attention. Not only is this a recipe for personal unhappiness, but it can also cost thousands of dollars in lost profits.