How To: Create an Online Empire
July 21st, 2008 · 26 Comments
by Gina Ratliffe, Ladies Who Launch member, Los Angeles Creating your own at-home online empire is one of the most exciting business moves you as a woman entrepreneur can make, because it automates your business and opens your products and services up to a worldwide audience quickly and relatively easily. Do you want to take your business to the next level? Would you love to generate more wealth? Want to be more creative, and not get drained? All of this is possible when you apply these strategic Internet tips to your business. 1. Wealth consciousness. Before you set up any Internet structure, it is critical that you have the ability to receive wealth, both on a philosophical and practical level. Philosophically, you must have the mindset and believe that you can both generate and receive great wealth for yourself. It’s very much a self-confidence issue. On a practical level, it is crucial to set up your office and business for success: make sure your desk area is neat and organized, have a backup system in place for your computer, and know exactly what your monthly expenses are and what financial goals you have. Most importantly, create your success team. These people include personal assistants, virtual assistants, housekeepers, bookkeepers, attorneys, accountants, interns, personal trainers, coaches, etc. 2. Branding and target market. You cannot spend enough time studying your target market! Knowing what keeps them up at night and how you can help them will make every step of building your empire easier. 3. Copywriting. Since copywriting is one of the most expensive skills to outsource, it is a good idea for most entrepreneurs to study and learn the art of speaking to their target market in the exact language their clients and prospects will understand most.
4. The branding Web site. What I’m about to share is THE most controversial part of my entire online empire system. The only purpose of your Web site is to promote your brand. That’s it. So if you’ve spent a lot of time and money on a great Web site, and it’s not making you money, no worries. The truth is it’s not supposed to sell for you, it’s only meant to promote your brand. And for those of you who do not have a Web site yet, hold off, because for Internet marketing purposes, it is the least important part of your empire. 5. The squeeze page/landing page/content page. They all mean the same thing. It is a single Web page that only allows your prospects access to your full information after they enter their name and e-mail address in your opt-in box. An example of one is www.EstherExperience.com . The only purpose of your squeeze page is to build your list. 6. The free report. It’s critical to give away valuable information for free to your prospects. Offering something like a free report, sample, or audio class will allow them to discover how great you are at no financial risk to them. The free report is what automatically arrives in your prospect’s inbox (from an autoresponder) once they have entered their name and e-mail into the opt-in box on your squeeze page. 7. Automated lead generation. Automating your lead generation will change your life and your business growth! Google Adwords is an advertising service that Google offers. You can use this feature to post your own ad, so that when people Google your specific keywords, your ad will appear on their results page. MySpace and Facebook are both examples of social networking sites. For free, you can create your own profile on each of these sites and use them to drive traffic to your squeeze page, 24/7. It instantly opens you up to a worldwide audience (or you can customize if you only want to target a specific geographical range). 8. First and second tier products. In the infopreneur world, it is best to go digital and make your first product in the $27-$47 price range, and your second tier approximately $57-$97. Of course, prices always depend on industry norms. Selling products is a great way to create passive income and eliminate the need to always have to trade dollars for hours. 9. The sales page. The only purpose of the sales page is to sell your product or service. For info products/services, you will get the best results by offering only one product or service per sales page, because a confused mind always says, “No!” Also, it’s been proven that longer copy always sells better than shorter copy. I know, I know, we all say we “hate” those 10-mile-long sales pages, but word on the street is that copy can never be too long—only too boring. 10. The e-zine (e-mail newsletter) and blog. The only purpose of your e-zine and blog is to build a relationship with your clients and prospects. So make them fun, make them personal, include great pictures, and let your target market really get to know you. Be sure to have a featured article that also gives away valuable information for free to your list. For example, check out a complimentary subscription to the Esther Experience Ezine at www.EstherExperience.com . 11. Subscription teleclasses and of-the-month-club products. This is the best way to generate consistent income (which we all know can be a rare thing for the beginning entrepreneur).
Offering an ongoing teleclass or recurring product series allows you to sell once and then get paid, paid, paid! 12. Affiliate programs. This is when other people sell your products and services for you and you pay out a percentage of the profits you receive from their lists. It’s a systemized referral system that allows you to tap into other people’s circles of influence easily. A great way to automate your affiliate program is with www.1shoppingcart.com. 13. Joint venture programs. A joint venture is when you team up with a colleague who has a complimentary product or service to yours and you expose each other to your lists. For example, if a nutritionist held a weekly health teleseries, she might do a joint venture with a chiropractor by inviting the chiropractor on her call to share the health benefits of spine adjustments and promote chiropractic care. Conversely, the chiropractor might feature the nutritionist in her weekly health e-zine. 14. High-end products and services. All of the steps mentioned prior to this point help the service-based entrepreneur stop having to trade hours to generate wealth. When you do choose to work a service hour, it is important that you are well compensated for your time. High-end services can include private coaching packages, retreats, high-end telecourses, and seminars. You can usually record most of your services and turn them into products, which helps create multiple streams of income. 15. Stop, track, test, tweak, and evaluate. This is a step most women entrepreneurs skip. It’s so important to test and track your results and to constantly study the effectiveness of each piece of your empire. 16. Holiday campaigns. This is one of the most underused areas of the empire and it can generate great cash. Using the seasons and holidays to spoon-feed the relevancy of your product or service to your target market is highly effective. It does not mean that you have to develop a unique holiday product. For example, on St. Patrick’s Day I sent out one simple e-mail to my list offering them my coaching package. I had fun with the holiday marketing angle and made an additional $4,000 that day. It’s easy and works like a charm! 17. Public relations. Attract the masses with the media and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Part of your empire includes having a press kit, and if you do have a Web site, a media room tab on your branding Web site. Also, using the media to direct traffic to your squeeze page will help you capture names and build your list. 18. Offline marketing. As important as it is to meet your clients and prospects online, don’t forget all the other great ways that you can reach them offline, too. Direct mail, faxes, and phone blasts are a few ways to do this. 19. Speaking. Let your future clients meet you in person! Speaking is a great way to build your list and obtain clients. It gives you a chance to shine and share your talents. Other ways to meet people in person include through networking groups, trade shows, and seminars. Speaking
doesn’t necessarily have to be at in-person events, however: You can also speak on the radio and at teleseminars and webinars. 20. Have a 12-month plan. So often entrepreneurs are “winging it” through their business day. After you set up one or all of these structures to have a fully functioning, online empire, take the next year to give attention to the areas where your business needs the most improvement, based on a well-designed plan. 21. Accomplishment ritual. As women, we can be such overachievers, always looking to see what we need to be doing next. As you create your empire, stop and take time to truly honor yourself, your work, and your accomplishments. Gina Ratliffe is a member of the Los Angeles Incubator and a nationally known motivational speaker, radio talk show host, and professional Life and Success Coach with a Master’s degree in clinical psychology. As the founder of www.EstherExperience.com , Gina has created products, programs, and services to help women create the lives they want financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
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