internet marketing Archives - Jeff Walker

Is Email Marketing Dead?

by on May 11 2014
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Is email marketing dead?

I got that question from a reader after one of my recent videos, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard the question. Here’s my answer…

I would love to hear what you think, please leave a comment below…

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The #1 Rule For Building Your Online Business

by on Apr 20 2014
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Here’s my #1 rule for Internet success… and this is one I obsess over. This is the one that gives you a license to print money. Follow this rule, and keep following this rule… and you’re going to have success.

I’d love to hear what you think (and what your next questions are), so scroll down and leave a comment below…

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Using Surveys To Read Your Clients Minds

by on Apr 12 2014
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In my last video, we talked about how to find out what your prospects and clients want to buy – and I got some great questions on in the comments asking how to SPECIFICALLY do that. So, in this video I share my tips and tricks for using surveys (including the exact questions to ask in your surveys) – and I talk about a big mistake I see people making with their surveys…

And since we’re on the subject of asking your readers what they want to know… scroll down tell me what the #1 challenge in your business is? If you could sit down with me for coffee or a beer, what’s your #1 most burning question you’d want to ask me? Leave me a comment below and I might shoot a video to answer your question…

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A New Excuse For NOT Building Your List

by on Jun 09 2013
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I just heard a new excuse for not building your email list (in other words, why you should avoid the single most profitable strategy for your business)…

This question came in on my Facebook page… go over there and like that page, it’s one of the best ways to interact with me (and ask me questions.)

And please leave a comment down below. Not getting started with list building is one of the biggest things that holds people back…

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The 16 Rules of Internet Success

by on Aug 30 2012
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Today is a big anniversary for me – 16 years ago today, on August 30th, 1996, I started my first Internet business.

Yes… I actually started all the way back in the summer of 1996.

I’ve come a long way since then – from incredibly humble beginnings in a corner of the baby’s room to selling tens of millions of dollars of my products. (And, of course, that baby is in college now.) More importantly, my students and clients have sold hundreds of millions of dollars of THEIR products.

In any case, since this is my 16th anniversary, I thought I would share my 16 Rules of Internet Success.

These rules came to me at different times over the years. I was lucky to stumble onto the first two of these laws right at the very beginning. The rest were hard-won lessons I learned over the years. So without further ado, here they are:

1. Always Be Building Your List AND Your Relationship With Your List: I wrote about this one at this link – this is one of those laws that I somehow instinctively understood from day one. This is critical, and people still screw this up. For most digital businesses, this is the one true asset that you can truly own. And don’t forget that second part – your relationship with your list is just as important as the size of your list.

2. Only Sell What The Market Wants: I learned this one in the first few months of starting my business, when I was looking at which pages on my site were getting the most traffic. I realized that was an easy way to tell what people were interested in… and I also realized that it wasn’t what I would have expected them to be interested in. Hmmm… big surprise – and I learned to look at the data instead of trusting my instincts. You need to do the same… sell what the market wants, not what you want to sell them… or what you think they should want. There is so much data and feedback available in our online businesses, there’s no reason to mess this one up.

3. Take The Long View – Win With Strategy: So many people continually screw up their positioning, their brand, and their reputation by chasing after the latest tactic or the last dollar that… well, it’s just downright sad. The good news is that if you take the long view (and in this business, the long view seems to be anything past the next three months), then you’ll instantly stand apart. With your marketplace being so connected (and getting more connected every day), you have to deliver quality, and you have to be congruent. Chasing today’s dollar too hard can have long term collateral damage. Giving away last month’s flagship product as a bonus to spur sales this month is horrible for your positioning, and it WILL negatively impact your business in the long run.

4. Don’t Depend On Any Single Source of Traffic: If you’re dependent on your search rankings, you don’t have a business. You’ve temporarily won the lottery… and the gravy train will NOT last. Same with other sources of traffic… none of them are permanent. Diversify your traffic sources. If you only have one primary way of getting your message in front of people, then you’re living on borrowed time.

5. Sell Your Own Stuff (and Other People’s Stuff): If you’re going to have any control over your business, you need to be selling your own products. So get over it, and create those products.

AND you should also sell other people’s products – either as an affiliate or by getting paid to run ads. This is smart because it helps diversify your revenue, and because you’re not going to be able to create all the products that your clients need. More about this here.

6. The Purpose Of The Sale Is To Generate A Raving Fan: When you make the sale, your job has just started. You need to deliver a great product and a great experience. Your raving fans will return to buy from you over and over (which is where the real money is made), and they’ll become your evangelist in this uber-connected world.

7. It’s All About Relationships In Your Industry: I don’t use the word “competitor” in my business. I only think in terms of “partners” and “future partners”. I suggest you try that out for a while… because your net worth is equal to your network.

8. Get To Dollar One: I always want to get to my first dollar of revenue with any new product or business. I’ve heard so many grandiose plans that never got off the ground… often because the plan was just too big, or because there was no real plan for revenue. The danger in any new business grows exponentially for every day that goes by without revenue. Force yourself to figure out how to get at least some revenue flowing as quickly as possible.

9. Opportunity Cost Is The Most Important Thing (And It Becomes More Important As Your Business Grows): I wrote about this here… bottom line is there are always more opportunities than there is time. You can only do so much. Every time you choose a project, it comes at the cost of another project.  Choose wisely.

10. Get Out Of The House And Go To Live Events: My business changed radically after I started going to live events – that is where the connections are made, it’s where the deals are done. I met nearly every one of my top Joint Venture partners at a live event, long before any of them ever promoted for me.

11. The Power Of The Mastermind Is Enormous: I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if I wasn’t actively engaged in various mastermind groups over the last 13 years. Get in a mastermind group now. More here.

12. It’s A Lot Easier To Sell With The Human Touch – The “Corporate Voice”  Is Death: I’ve always been happy just being me, and not pretending to be some big corporation. I didn’t refer to myself as “we” in my emails… and that set me apart from the very beginning. Back in the early days, everyone was trying to sound big and important – I was just writing my emails like I write to my best friend. It worked. People want to connect with people, not corporations… that corporate voice will kill you.

13. Live Below Your Means… Don’t Buy That Ferrari Yet: When the money starts rolling, it’s easy to let your lifestyle grow very quickly. Fight that urge. Remember Rule #3 – the long view. It’s a lot easier to do the right things and make the right decisions when you aren’t chasing the next dollar… when you aren’t worried about making the payment on that Ferrari.

14. Baby Steps: I have a video about this here… your first site will suck, that’s OK. Your first sales letter will suck, that’s OK. Your first email will suck, that’s OK. The important thing is to have a rock-solid plan, and keep moving forward. You’ll get there… just get started. Be gentle with yourself, forgive yourself for mistakes, don’t expect to be perfect – just get moving, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

15. It’s All About Creating Value: In the short run, you can use tricks and tactics to create some level of success. But if you’re doing that stuff without delivering real value, then you’re just spinning the karma wheel… and that doesn’t usually work out so well in the long run. The path to long term success is by creating massive value for your clients… and your clients are the ones that will be measuring that value.

16. Invest In Yourself… No One Can Take Your Skills From You: I spend a lot of time, energy, and money on my skills and knowledge. I’ve been doing that from the start, and I’m not ever going to stop… no one can take that away from me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have long term success… but I’ve also had set backs. I’ve had significant revenue streams disappear overnight – but it never slowed me down. In fact, it really wasn’t even very troubling, because I knew I had the skills to bounce right back. Once you’ve developed your chops, you have the ultimate control over your destiny.

So there’s my 16 Rules of Internet Success… I’m not claiming they are all-inclusive, or that they’re a fit for everyone. After all, I only had 16 to work with. But they’ve been working really well for me…

So let me know – what’s your #1 law? What was the one you learned first? Which one was the most painful to learn? What did I forget? Leave a comment below and let me know… I read all of the comments.

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What If You’re Not An “Expert”?

by on Nov 27 2011
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There were THOUSANDS of questions on my webcast last week… and there was one that got me fired up more than all the others combined. This video is all about that question…

Let me know what you think – please leave a comment down below…

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15 Years Of Internet Success (And The First Law)

by on Aug 30 2011
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Today, August 30th 2011, is the 15 year anniversary of the start of my Internet business career.

That’s right… I actually started out in 1996. Sorta crazy.

15 Years of Internet Marketing successAnd it’s hard to imagine more humble beginnings. The story is too long to recount here, but I started out of desperation – I needed a change in my life.

And I started with one single action… I sent out an email newsletter.

I sent that first newsletter to everyone I personally knew who had an email address. Back in 1996 email was still somewhat rare, so the newsletter only went out to 19 email addresses.

Of course, one of those addresses was my second email address and another was my wife’s email address… but I figure there was 19 emails on the distribution list, so I’m sticking with the story that I had 19 subscribers. It felt more important than if I only had 17 subscribers. :-)

That was the start of my publishing career… and the crazy thing is that newsletter eventually grew to more than 80,000 subscribers.

Since then I’ve sent out well over 10,000 email broadcasts, and I’ve sold millions of dollars of products… and I’ve helped other folks make HUNDREDS of millions.

Now, as I sit here 15 years later, it’s pretty interesting that the very first thing I did was start building an email list… even before I had my first web site.

And that leads to my First Law of Internet Business Success:

It’s All About The List (And Your Relationship To That List)

For almost all Internet businesses, your only real asset is your list. Or more accurately, your lists, because you should have many of them (prospects, clients, affiliates, email, social media, etc.) …

Your content can get knocked off, your technology can be bettered, your search engine rankings can go away. But no one can take your list away. And with that list you can overcome nearly any setback. It’s your “license to print money”… it’s your insurance policy.

BOTTOM LINE: In your Internet business there are all kinds of things you can’t control, but your list is the one thing that you CAN control.

Of course, I’ve been saying that to people for almost 15 years now. Some people listen, many don’t.

The thing that really kills me is the folks who complain that they don’t have a list.

Well NEWSFLASH – none of us came out of the womb with an email list. We all got them the same way – we BUILT them. Every list starts with a single subscriber. If you don’t have a list yet, that just means we started before you. But it’s not a race, and there’s no finish line… so just get over it and start building your list.

Remember, I started with 19 email addresses.

Of course, building the list is only the first part of the equation. The second part is every bit as important… you need to have a relationship with your list. But that’s a whole different blog post.

Whew… I really didn’t mean for this post to turn into a rant. I figured I would reminisce about the past 15 years. Maybe compare getting started now with getting started back in the day, possibly even give you all 15 of my Laws of Internet Success… but then I got carried away.
I guess I just get worked up when I see people making the same mistakes that I was seeing back when I started.

Just get over it, and focus on building your list.

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The Durango Double

by on Mar 24 2011
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Last Sunday I pulled off what I call the “Durango Double”… I went skiing in the morning, and then in the afternoon I drove down from the mountain, traded my skis for my mountain bike… and I got in my first mountain bike ride of the year.

It was a big day with lots of calories spent… it left me exhausted but elated. And it left me totally energized for a big week for my business. It also got me thinking…

There’s this phrase that gets thrown around a lot – “the Internet Lifestyle”…

I think the typical way it’s portrayed is you spend an hour or maybe two working on your business while you’re in a lounge chair at the beach. Then the cabana boy brings you your second umbrella drink… so you close up your computer and call it a day.

Well, I hate to disappoint, but that’s not how it works. (And really…beaches and computers are a bad combination.)

The reality is that most of the Internet marketers and online entrepreneurs I know are actually working their butts off for long hours at a time. And most of them haven’t gotten enough sun in a long time.

At the beginning of a business, that’s understandable. Most of us end up “bootstrapping” our businesses, which means we end up wearing many different hats when we start our business. And with the connected nature of our businesses, we feel like we always need to be connected.

So what the Internet Lifestyle usually ends up meaning is that the last thing you do before bed is check your email… and the first thing you do when you wake up is check your email. Not good.

And that’s not the way I do it.

My business is lifestyle-driven. I mean, I’m in business to help people, to change the world… and yes, to create an abundant lifestyle for my family.

But I refuse to do that at the expense of my life.

My business allows me to live anywhere I want. So I choose a beautiful place to live… Durango, Colorado. It’s got great small-town living, incredible weather, it’s a wonderful place to raise my kids… and it just happens to one of the best places in the world to pursue many of my passions such as mountain biking, skiing, and whitewater kayaking (in fact, people literally come here from around the world to do those things in and around Durango.)

I also take vacations. And I know this is shocking, but lots of times I am 100% offline when I’m on vacation (when you’re on a two-week river trip in Grand Canyon… there is no electricity, much less a connection.)

That’s why it was important for me to get in the Durango Double this year – it’s now the second year in a row that I’ve done it, and it makes me happy and proud to hit that goal.

And if you could see my list of goals, you would see a lot more goals about how I spend my time (things I want to do, people I want to be with, experiences I want to have) than you would about money and possessions.

My point in telling you this is this… YOU can do the same thing. You can live where you want and do what you want. You can take vacations, you can have adventures. Just because you have an online business doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7/365.

The “Internet Lifestyle” that you see in the get-rich-quick BS stuff is complete fiction.

But the Internet lifestyle that allows you to design exactly how and where you want to live your life… and then gives you the opportunity to put in the work to get to that life… well, that Internet lifestyle is alive and well.

You just have to do the work and make the choices on how you want to live. Choose wisely.

P.S. Another big benefit of the Internet lifestyle is being able to pick who you want to work with and who you’re not willing to work with. But that’s another post for another time.

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