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The 5 Keys to a Successful Online Business

Let’s boil down a successful internet lifestyle retirement system to it’s five most important steps.  If you want to make good money online while living a lifestyle you enjoy, these are the key issues.  Just about any online system can make you successful if you have a lot of money to invest and 80 hours to work it every week, but that most definitely is NOT what I want.  This is all about having an Internet Lifestyle and the money that goes along with it. 

I’m sure you’ve read ebooks about marketing online that leave you more confused than where you started.  They list a few dozen different steps or principles.  And it seems they just keep you running in circles not knowing what to do with your online business. 

Forget about it.  When you understand a subject, you can make it simple.  Here are the five principles of being successful in your business.  Write all 5 out and post them on a post-it note right to your computer monitor.  Type them up and post them on your fridge.  Quote them till they’re memorized.  Tattoo them on your arm.  OK, that last one may have been going a little too far, but you get the point.    

If you want an Internet Lifestyle business, KNOW these keys.  LIVE these keys.    
Key #1: Choose the Right Market Idea

Early on in my business career I heard Gary Halbert tell a scenario about having a hamburger stand.  He asked people in a conference what advantage they would want for their business is they could have any advantage for their hamburger stand.   

Some wanted the best tasting burgers.  Others wanted the best location.  Still others wanted a well known brand. 

Gary said he could beat all of them with one simple advantage.  He wanted a HUNGRY CROWD.
 I’ve seen many would-be internet entrepreneurs work their butts off to create their “homerun” perfect product.  Then they come to me and ask, “How do I sell this online?”  
That’s the wrong question!  The question that shows you know what you’re doing is if you were to ask this one, “I found this hungry audience, what do I sell them?” 

That question is EASY to answer.   

Always find the hungry crowd BEFORE you develop the product.  This is one of those tips you should tattoo on your arm.   

1. Are people already searching for a product on that subject in the search engines?   
This is easy to find even with free sites by doing keyword searches on pages such as: http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/   

2. Are there forums that people talk about that subject and how they wish they could find more information? 

A good place to search discussion boards (also called forums) is at: http://boardreader.com . Type in your keywords and click on the little “Forums” tab at the top right of the page. You can also just do a search on Google for “yourkeyword discussion board.” 

3. Are there people who already successfully sell to that market?   

Here’s where people make their primary mistake.  They try to find a market where there is no competition. It’s not going to happen!  In fact, I get really nervous in any market where there’s no competition.  It’s highly unlikely you’ve come up with an idea no one has ever thought about yet.  This means any other product in that market has failed. 

In contrast with what others may tell you to search for in finding an empty market, I look for markets where there are a lot of competitors.  Even better is if there are a lot of competitors making money with poor websites.  That’s what I really love! 

Here are 5 idea generations for finding markets where people are already making money…
Idea Generator #1: Paypal Shops https://www.paypal.com/shops

You can search through the different categories of shops. When you visit different companies accepting Paypal, they’ll even share the number of Paypal transactions that shop has had. You don’t have to guess where the money is at or where it is flowing. Look for products or services that are selling with with a lot of transactions. 

Idea Generator #2: Lulu http://www.lulu.com/browse/stats.php?fType=topSellers 

Lulu is a site for self-publishers essentially that allow book authors and information product developers to upload their material and they will print out a book on demand. They keep statistics about what titles are selling in what categories. You can get a sense of what’s selling there for small publishers.
Idea Generator #3: Shopping http://shopping.com/top_searches 

Shopping.com has a Consumer Demand Index showing the hottest searches for what people are actually looking at buying. Consider this. People who search on Google are often looking for free information. You can translate some of those searchers into buyers. The research we’re doing is showing what people are actually buying!

Idea Generator #4: eBay http://pulse.ebay.com/

Choose any category in eBay and find out the most popular searches and the biggest eBay stores. What are customers looking for to buy online? eBay (the biggest online shopping destination) shares their stats with you!

Idea Generator #5: Magazines http://www.magazines.com

If a magazine can be supported and has been in business for a while, that means that people are paying for the magazines and advertisers are making money. The magazines are supported by advertisers. If there aren’t enough advertisers in a marketplace to support a magazine, I’d be very nervous about entering that market.

You’ll notice the whole principle behind all these ideas is we’re following the money trail. If others are making money in the marketplace, then it’s passed step one of the marketing process. If there aren’t proven winners already, I’ll pass on the market. And I recommend you do the same.

What’s the one problem with going after “competitive” marketplaces?  Obviously it means you have competition.  Your product is going to have to be unique or at least appear unique to your customers.   

How will you make your product stand out in the competitive marketplace? 

It could be as simple as going after a different price point or format.  If every single product in the market is a low cost ebook, use a different format.  Create a DVD or put together a home study course at a much higher ticket price (then partner with all those ebook sellers to offer your product on their backend).  You’ll be surprised how often this is just how easy it is. 

You can also choose to “niche” your product inside that larger market.  If you’re selling a weight loss product, it’s obviously loaded with competition.  Instead of selling to “everybody” in the market, focus on an easy to target group: teens, new mothers or brides-to-be.  By choosing one of these groups, you can create a much more specific and sellable product. 

Here’s another idea.  Let’s say you wanted to create a dog training product.  Well, instead of focusing on training every dog, create a separate sales process for each breed of dog.  While the majority of the information may be the same in each of your products, you can still make changes to focus on that niche.  So you’re not selling “dog training,” you’re selling “golden retriever training” and “rottweiler training.”   

If you don’t believe that can be done, go down to Petsmart or any store that carries a large number of books about dogs.  You’ll find several brands of books that have published 50 or more books…one about each breed.  Probably 75% of the information in each of these books is the same.  The differences are the breed specific info and the pictures throughout the book.   



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