I recently returned from a 10 day Spring Break vacation on one of the most charming islands in the entire world, Anguilla...
A friend of a friend has a financial services business there. And that got me thinking (yes, I know, THAT'S always a dangerous event -- luckily, it's rare!)...
Do you know what the single largest sector of the business world is?
Care to guess the single most overlooked business opportunity on the Net?
Let's digress for a moment before we talk about the excellent online prospects in the area of SERVICES...
SOHOs/small businesses *DO* have excellent prospects in the two major online e-commerce areas that *DO* get so much coverage...
o Affiliate programs -- Done properly, there's good money to be made PREselling other merchants' products.
Allan Gardyne (yes, of associateprograms.com
fame) has said that "if you join only one
program, make it the 5 Pillar Program" and he
has called it "the perfect revenue sharing
program." Ralph Wilson (wilsonweb.com) says
that "Ken Evoy has taken affiliate programs
to the next level."
For more information...
o E-goods -- Develop your own e-good and sell it online.
What's an e-good? It's a digital product.
What's so great about this? It turns the Net into a frictionless DISTRIBUTION medium.
So what? Well, if you have an online store that sells widgets, you still have to pick-pack-and-ship, just like any OFFLINE mail order operation. In this case, the Net is reduced to merely being a COMMUNICATION medium, an online catalog, really... an excellent one, of course. But you still have all the hassle of dealing with products made of MOLECULES.
Give me products made of ELECTRONS, any day! They pass right through the Internet... real smooth! The powerful combination of digital fulfillment and total automation (so easy and D0-able on the Net) translates into a unprecedented ability to SCALE your business! After you've developed your e-good, your incremental costs are the same whether you sell one product, or 1,000,000 products... ZERO time (no pick- pack-and-ship) and ZERO dollars (except for small % for transaction processing).
What could me more encouraging and satisfying? (Besides Angelina Jolie smiling at me, that is? :-) )
If selling e-goods interests you...
Three NEW modules are coming to Solo Build It! in the near future (April-May window).
An *E-commerce Module* provides you with a
merchant account to clear credit cards
online. Plus, you'll have the ability to
digitally deliver your e-goods in much the
same fashion that SiteSell does now.
An *Affiliate Module* will allow you to build
and manage your own affiliate program. Offer
your visitors "commission incentives" to
promote YOUR products on their Web sites.
A *Mailout Module* will allow you to build,
manage, and contact several E-mail Address
Lists (in text and HTML formatted e-mails)...
1) Opt-in e-zine
2) Customer e-zines
3) Affiliate e-zine
(In addition, we are putting the finishing
touches on a powerful server-side module
which will provide Photoshop-quality logos
and navbars which you can build with a few
keystrokes and button clicks.)
This e-commerce value bundle (the first 3
modules) will be offered separately, for a
fixed annual fee, plus a percentage of your
sales that's lower than ANY OTHER COMPANY in
this space. (The OPT-IN zine will be part
of the "regular," current affiliate value
But you haven't heard the BEST part yet...
I'll be offering ALL 3 new modules in the
e-commerce value bundle to current SBI!
subscribers for FREE. Solo Build It! will be
THE ultimate, the total, e-commerce Web
hosting package! Heck, even in its present
form, SBI!'ers are super-impressed with its
innovative capabilities and affordable
Wait 'til they see how e-goods e-commerce
adds to the bottom line! :-)
If you're already a Solo Build It! subscriber
when we launch the new modules, these modules
will AUTOMATICALLY be added to the remainder
of your current annual subscription... AT NO
ADDITIONAL CHARGE (except, of course, for the
% for transaction processing).
If you're NOT YET a SBI!'er, get it now.
Start building your site while you create
your e-good (digital book, collection of
photos, software, etc., etc.). By the time
you're ready to sell your e-good, we'll be
ready to accommodate you with the most
radical, advanced Web hosting on the Net, at
no extra charge, same as for existing
SBI! is the future of e-commerce Web hosting.
(Think about it... you don't have to take
your phone apart and understand its
technology to make a business phone call, do
Get SBI! now... and receive the E-commerce
Value Bundle free for the rest of the year,
OK, end of digression (actually, end of SIDEBAR off the digression!). Our bottom line so far? Building an affiliate business and selling e-goods certainly deserve all their "good press."
But NOW, let's talk about the largest single sector of the business world, SERVICES!
Selling your services online is a FANTASTIC way to leverage your income-building potential -- all at a minimum cost.
By services, I don't necessarily mean Net-
related services like programming or Web
design (although they can and should be
included here). You could be...
o a cartoon artist
o an import/export specialist for Germany
o an investment specialist in Brazilian bonds
o an expert in Japanese netsuke
o an accountant with special knowledge of tax havens
o a copywriter
o a trainer (of just about anything!)
o an editor for medical articles
o someone who creates indexes for books
o a pharmaceutical expert
o a translator (do you know two languages?)
The diversity of this world, and the people
in it, never ceases to amaze me. Just about
everyone has an expertise in something that
they could sell. Heck, odds are they are
already selling it as their primary income
source... but have never thought seriously
about generating customers globally by using
the Web's full potential. (Which brings me
back to my friend of a friend in Anguilla!)
Dubious? Don't think this happens? Well, consider this...
I found SiteSell's current FileMaker Database Programmer on the Internet. I've never met him in person. He happens to live in Australia, which is about as far from Montreal, Canada, as one can get unless you move to the South pole! But this "service-provider" has made over $80,000 of additional income from SiteSell in the last 18 months!
Note the word "current" above? I like to
keep him on his toes! ;-)
I learned that from my wife, who introduces
me as her "first husband." ;-)
How much of that $80,000 would he have earned if I had not found him through the Internet?
That's correct -- ZERO.
And that's another VERY attractive aspect about selling your services on the Net. A SINGLE CLIENT can bring in substantial dollars (don't ask me what a MARRIED ONE can bring in!). So techniques like mastering the SEs, paid-inclusion programs, listing in directories and building massive Pay-Per-Click campaigns have a terrific ROI (Return on Investment).
What do most service businesses do online to add new clients to their roster? Either...
o nothing at all
o put up a "circa 1997" brochure site that no one visits (except for a few local clients, who don't see the point, nor would I)
o post their services on any number of online spots, such as Guru.com. That simply does NOT get the job done.
Think about the process of hiring a new service provider, say a top-notch FileMaker programmer or a real estate agent in Anguilla! What's the key?
o Are they good?
o Are they honest?
o Are they easy to work with?
o And so on, and so on...
Building that trust means building a relationship with a potential client. That's why anyone selling their services via the Net really MUST have his/her own Web site.
In order for someone to hire you...
1) First, they MUST be able to find you (most surfers use search results provided by Search Engines).
2) Second, they simply MUST get to know you and trust you. You accomplish this by building credibility and providing valuable information (the content) on your site. You have to show your potential employers that you can provide THE solution that they seek.
How do you get found? Simple. Build lots and lots of Keyword-Focused Content Pages, all within a Theme-Based Content Site, which of course is tightly related to the service you are selling.
OK, let's recap...
In order to effectively sell your services online, you must have a Web site that...
o introduces you as the expert, and builds your credibility with your visitor.
o effectively targets various appropriate keyword phrases to ensure that the people who need your service find your Web site.
o "GIVES before TAKING" -- provides the visitor with some free valuable information in the form of content, and/or a free opt-in e-zine. Actually, when it comes to selling a service, a top-notch e-zine is INVALUABLE!
And what's the easiest, headache-free way to accomplish all this? You guessed it...
Solo Build It!...
With SBI!, you focus ONLY on your business. We take care of all the rest for you. It's as easy as using the phone, unless you're using one of those new-fangled wireless babies, in which case SBI! is much easier! ;-)
Here are just a few of the many more reasons why Solo Build It! is a MUST for A-N-Y-O-N-E who wants to sell a service online...
1) With the server-side tools of the SBI! system, you can build your own Theme-Based Content Site(s), filled with as many keyword-focused content pages as you wish -- without the complexities and headaches of HTML or FTP. *YOU* only have to worry about what you already know... your business.
2) The client-side SBI! Manager and its incredible Brainstorming tool hones in on the most profitable keywords for you to target.
3) Use the Manager, as well, to build a massive Pay-Per-Click Search Engine campaign.
These intensive tasks would normally take
hours, even days but with the SBI! Manager
they can be done... in minutes.
4) As I mentioned, the ROI is superb. It's really worth it to spend on paid-inclusion programs, Pay-Per-Click campaigns, and directory listings (and naturally, SBI! makes it all, including the tracking, a snap!) When a client can bring you thousands of dollars in business, it stretches how much you can afford to pay for certain traffic-building strategies.
5) SE expertise? Ha! Just hit the "Analyze It!" button, and your page is critiqued for over 30 parameters that account for top Search Engine (SE) rankings. All you have to do to start ranking well at the engines is follow directions! :-)
6) What about submitting, and when should you re-submit? Relax and focus on your business -- SBI! submits your pages automatically, in an SE-friendly way. We even track and report spider visits to ensure that the SEs "get the message." And SBI! tells you how well each page is doing at each of the major engines.
7) SBI! also tracks and analyzes click-ins (INTO your site) and click-throughs (OUT OF your site) so that you can easily get the "big picture" of your traffic-building efforts... that way, you know where/how to spend your time and money.
8) Soon, you'll have your own opt-in e-zine ability, to continuously build and strengthen relationships with potential clients. And you'll also be able to sell an e-book on your area of expertise, which has two advantages...
i) develops an extra stream of income
ii) builds a strong-but-unspoken "expert" image.
I could go on and on, but here's the bottom line...
Solo Build It! truly is a fascinating and amazing tool! If you haven't yet seen how some of our enterprising customers are using SBI!, click on the "Click here to see actual customer SBI! sites" link on the SBI! home page. Enjoy the slide show...
Remember too... the SBI! guarantee is "good as gold." Try it. If Solo Build It! doesn't do EXACTLY what you need and want it to do, just ask for your money back. You can even keep your new domain name as a gift from us, as our thank you for giving us a chance to do business with you.
Remember, as mentioned above...
Purchase SBI! now and get the full e-commerce value bundle FREE for the rest of the year...
o E-commerce Module -- automatic sale and fulfillment of e-goods, including merchant account.
o Affiliate Module -- now you can have thousands of folks PREselling for YOU!
o Mailout Module -- build, manage, and contact several E-mail Address Lists.
No doubt about it... it's amazing how under-represented services are in the land of e-commerce. But, in a sense, that's a good thing.
SBI! is about to give you THE edge on your competition! :-)
By Ken Evoy, M.D.
"The World's most USABLE E-commerce E-zine"
Reprinted with permission from Issue #024, March, 2002
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