Selling During Covid

There can be zero doubt that selling in the pandemic world in which we live has become much more difficult in certain sectors of the economy.

Whilst Jeff Bezos is doing very well at Amazon thank you very much, other areas like retail, hospitality and entertainment are in the gutter. If the economy is not released soon we will see many hundreds, thousands even of businesses go under.

The Human Cost

Whilst end game calculations are currently impossible, we are already seeing businesses in Spain crumble ( an economy which is much less online) and suicide rates in the U.K quadruple.

The human cost of the pandemic is going to be huge. Indeed the damage the lockdowns cauuse may well end up being far more costly than anything the virus itself could possibly have dished out.

Selling In A Bad Economy

So, what’s it like to try and sell in an economy that is going down the tubes?

Certainly trying to generate new sales in the current economy will be hugely difficult. The U.K is seeing thousands of redundancies with jobs being lost in bulk. Most businesses are cutting back and B2B sales are on the floor. The furlough scheme does, thankfully, keep money in consumers pockets, so the recession is not as deep as it would have been without the scheme.

But B2B sals are extremely difficult. The people who are winning are those with long-term relationships and solid client bases. Trying to generate new business is more than difficult at the moment.

Retail Sales

Retail is undoubtedly one of the most difficult areas at the moment. The new lockdown, dubbed “Lockdown 2” in the U.K has nipped any recovery in retail very much in the bud. The Bank of England are now suggesting a double dip recession. That is unprecedented stuff.

But, it is interesting that where true personal service is offered places can thrive. I found this really good article on Butterknife Books about outrageous service in the second had car sales market. You can read the article here. It’s kind of warming to the heart to see people succeeding depsite everything. And,the essence of the article is that by offering a ruly personalised service and nuturing their clients over many years, a second hand car sales business is thriving in the most trying and testing of times.

The Sales Message Is Clear

It is indeed crystal clear. You simply MUST offer the best, most outstanding servcie to win in the Covid pandemic. The businesses that can win now, will carry that success forward once the pandemic is over and wiill win even bigger post Covid. Come what may, your business should be trying to adopt the best and most exacting customer service protocols now. It will help your business survive now, and prosper into the future.

Social Media – Importance in 2020

Why Is Social Media So Important

It’s certainly true that social media is one of the most amazing phenomenon of the 00’s

The growth of Facebook has been nothing short of stunning. It seems every new social media platform immediately has a billion followers even if they are brand new like Tik Tok.

But the question for most small business owners is…

“How do I leverage social media for the benefit of my business?”

Facebook Advertising

It seems most people want to jump on the bandwahon and get into Facebook advertising. However, I have something of an issue with Facebook. Firstly, pre-pandemic, they were moving very much in line with Google Ads and marginalizing the small business onwer and entrepreneur.

It’s fair to say, ad prices were increasing rapidly and it was becomning very difficult for the small man to compete. The big brands and big agencies were dominating and using budgets mainly for brand awareness as opposed to online sales.

Given the big brands had big budgets, Facebook played to those big budgets and the small business owner started to become priced out.

Funnels

Certainly using online sales funnels to maximise funnel value helped the small online entrepreneur compete to a degree, but it was still expensive to advertise on Facebook.

And, FB does give you some excellent tools to use in your marketing. But it was getting expensive.

Enter Covid

There is no doubt that Covid-19 has changed the world beyond all recognition. It’s also given the small business man a chance to fight back with Facebook ads.

As major brands have run for cover ad prices have tumbled and opened the door for the online marketer and entrepreneur.

This site at Veloce Internation has some great information about this. But, with the world in turmoil, and no-one is really sure where to turn next, now is a great time to get your message out there using Facebook ads.

It still doesn’t help that Facebook change the ad manager interface so often, another play for the big boys with big budgets and making it extremely difficult for one man companies to keep pace with the changes. But if you can keep up, now is a good time to get involved and build an online presence.

Instagram

It’s also extremely interesting that Instagram are giving much more traction to smaller business and one man bands at the moment.

I was told by an Instagram expert that Insta now offers much better engagement, particularly in the Internet Marketing niche. I have only just started to explore this but initial results are encouraging.

So, I hope you have found this initial overview of Social Media towards the back end of 2020 useful.

Are Online Marketing Mentors Worth It?

Online marketing can be a minefield to negotiate. After all there are so many and varied techniques you can employ in a Digital Business in 2020. Today I ask is an online marketing mentor worth it?

If you wanted to start any business, traditional knowledge will suggest that you find a mentor. Find someone who has alreayd done waht you wnat to do and at worst copy him or her. If you can afford it, pay that person to teach you how to do what you want.

Mentors Do Not Come Cheap

It’s true! If someone is making a lot of money in whatever field, their time is expensive. It may be almost impossible to even contact that person, let alone get valuable time with them.

In online marketing there are plenty of people who will offer to mentor you. Yes, they are also expensive, but how do you tell the difference between who is fake and who has a genuine success story to share. And, how much should you be paying?

Work Out Your Process

In my humble opinion you really need to go about this in a surgical manner if you are going to find a mentor.

Derek Armson explains the process he went through in the video above. I talked to him about how he found Paul O’Mahony as his mentor.

“If you read my post about findning an online marketing mentor“, he starts, “you’ll understand that I went through a very specific process to find Paul as my mentor. I knew I wanted to find a mentor as I had gaps in my general online marketing knowledge. I’d got SEO nailed and had a successful SEO agency. But, I wanted something different from the online world. I wanted a business on my terms not on any client’s terms”.

“Now I understand that many people who are looking to start an online business want that Internet Lifestyle, the digital nomad thing. I get that and having lived it, I can tell you it is a great lifestyle. But of course, it requires discipline as well. When I am in my apartment in Spain, the last thing I feel like doing some mornings is going and sitting at the laptop. But, if I want the lifestyle, then I have to do the work. And, a big misconception is you push a few buttons and mjoney comes rolling out of your computer – wrong!”

It’s A Real Business

Yes, Internet Marketing is a PROPER business. You do need to work at it.

So, yes, there are days when I’d rather go to the pool or walk along the beach. But I make sure I do whatever needs doing for the day first before I toddle off to the beach or pool, or for a short tapas run. And,yes, of course it’s preferable sitting on my terrace working than in the cold and dark of winter in the U.K. But you still need discipline.

If you don’t have that self drive, online marketing is NOT for you!

So, the process I went through is explained in detail in the post of my website that I mentioned above, here it is again. And, I also explain I had to know what I wanted from my mentor before I started thge process of finding him (in this case).

It’s the old adage, if you don;t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there. So, I had a specific set of criteria that I needed fulfilling. I then set about watching a number of my potential targets in action.

I narrowed that down to two potentials and I then paid out circa £2k to each to go to one of their weekend retreats and picked the winner from those two.

Why Use A Mentor

There are a number of reasons, which for me, were as follows:-

  • Specific knowledge
  • Accountability
  • Coaching
  • Tools (business management and softwares)
  • Ongoing access
  • Online training modules
  • One to One training
  • Mastermind Group

All of the above were key factors in my choice.

In the end one of the most useful things was the Mastermind Group. I met many like minded people and that always helps you remain positive. Sometimes, when you’re working all alone, you begin to feel you are the only person on earth “fighting the good fight”. Tp have others you can talk to and exchaneg ideas with is worth so much more than you ever pay in my opinion.

My thanks to Derek for some great insights.

Start Your Business

Starting a business online has never been as easy as it is today, in 2020.

Having said that, there are just so many ways in which you can go about it. The gamut of Digital and Online Marketing technqiues that abound make the difficult part deciding what strategy to implement.

An Online Business Model

This is an example of what an online business structure might look like in the modern world of Internet Marketing. The use of a Funnel Strategy makes the potential for profit far more than a traditional website or eCommerce store.

Profit Potential Unlocked

The use of a three or four stage funnel process has a number of benefits.

Firstly the first page, the squeeze or landing page, gives the website owner the ability to capture leads rather than just let them wander aimleslly through the site!

Secondly, the funnel structure directs the visitor in exactly the customer journey the website owner wisahes them to take. Visitors are given explicit instrcutions at every stage of the process.

Funnel Stages

So, each stage of the funnel has a purpose.

As explained the first page captures contact details (normally an email address and name at the very least).

The next stage is some form of sales letter. For digital propducts this is generally a long form sales letter or a video sales letter accompanied by the written word as well.

eCommerce style products tend to have a descriptive page with examples of what the product is, how it works and demonstrating the benefits.

Building Value

This is where most traditional online business models stop. Many don;t even have the capture mechanism at the front of the funnel.

Owners will drive traffic to a website that is basically a brochure. Visitors do not know what to do and end up navigating around until they get bored and then leave!

Sales rates from such sites are on the rangle of 0-1%. However, employ a funnel structure and the pictures looks so very different.

Funnel Figures

You can expect to get about 20% (as a minimum) of your visitors offering their email address, even on the poorest landing page. This figure can be as high as 60%. More about this later.

Of people signing up, about 30% will take the offer on the sames page.

A good funnel will offer an extra product on the order page (this is called an order bump).

About 20% of people will take the “bump”.

After the order form, a good funnel will make an offer of a further product at least once if not twice.

It is here that the magic truly happens and profitability is increased.

Ad Spending Power

It was once said that the person who can spend the most on advertising wins in any given market.

Implementing a funnel structure offers you much bigger income and therefoire much bigger as spending power. Quite simply you can afford to pay a much higher cost per acquisition of a customer and out spend your competition to get the customer.

The best funnel structures, of course, don’t stop there.

eMail Marketing

If you collect email addresses, the re-marketing to the people who don;t buy initially becomes easy!

This is what the model now looks like.

The added power of re-dirercting non inituial buyers back to the sales funnel further increases profitability

This is what Digital Marketing looks like in 2020, truly effecting and well structured Internet Marketing.

And this model works for all styles of Online Marketing from Digital products, to eCommerce, to fund raising through fitness and health to Amazon selling.

It is a tried and tested model that works and one you should be implementing in your online business.