Selling Digital Products VS. Selling Services

My two favorite internet business models are 1. Selling Digital Products and 2. Selling Services.

In my opinion, these are the two most profitable and relatively easy ways to make decent money online.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of both…

1. Selling Digital Product Online

I place this one first because it’s my business model of choice. If I had to start all over again with an internet business, I would sell digital downloadable products.

In case you’re wondering just what digital products are, they include PDF ebooks, software, video training, audios, graphics, website templates etc. Basically, any thing of worth in digital form that can be downloaded falls into this category.

The thing I love most about selling digital products is that if you’re the product creator, you work once and get paid over and over again.

This is different to selling a service for example where you are trading your time for dollars.

Selling digital products gives you the freedom to choose when you want to work and how much you want to work because everything can be completely automated.

Thanks to computers and websites that work on autopilot, you can take orders and deliver the download to the customer while you’re out playing golf with your friends.

You can even follow up with your customers if you put them in an autoresponder.

The down side to all this is that it takes a fair bit of work to create your own products.

You can go the affiliate marketing route where you sell someone elses product for a cut of the sale. This works well for beginners or for a cross promotion with your original product if it’s related.

2. Selling Services Online

The basic definition of selling services means that you perform a service for your client that helps them. It’s kind of like ‘freelance’ work where you get paid to perform tasks for your employer.

Some examples of services you can perform include everything from copywriting, ghost-writing (articles, ebooks, press releases etc.) graphic designing, programming all the way to consulting.

There is a lot of money in selling services online. You’ve probably heard of copywriters getting paid $50,000 to write one letter… and consultants  getting paid $10,000  a month to meet (online) with clients to discuss marketing strategies, etc.

It’s not uncommon to find professionals earning 6 and 7+ figures a year selling services online.

Apart from the potential for big pay checks, you usually get paid first too before you do any work.

In this way it beats digital downloads because there is often a big time and money investment initially in getting your digital product ready to sell.

However, there are downsides. And these cons may turn you off selling services because the terms of it aren’t for everyone.

The biggest downside I find is that it’s still like a job – trading dollars for hours. You don’t have the freedom to do as you please when you sell digital products. You have work to do that your client is waiting for.

And that brings me to another drawback – clients.

Most clients you get will be totally happy with your work because they trust your expertise and aren’t all too fussy, but on the odd occasion, you will get the client who will be very hard to please.

It’s clients like this that will almost make the deal not worth your time for the amount they paid you.

There is a way to sell services and take yourself out of the picture, and that is to have staff under you who can handle the contact with the clients and do the work. You will have to pay your staff but you will have to be the ‘manager’.

There you have it, a brief overview of the two best online business models. If you aren’t already, try them out and see which one serves you best.

It really depends on your personality and goals, and a whole lot more, but whichever you choose, give it your best shot and you can make a great living online with it.

To your online success,

Stuart “Sensei” Stirling

p.s. Which business model do you prefer? Why? I’d love to hear your comments.

“I Want To Make Money Online!”

As a teacher of Internet marketing, I get emails very frequently from subscribers and blog readers with a similar theme…

“I want to make money online. Can you help me?”

My reply is always “Yes, of course I can help you!” quickly followed by a question of my own.

“How do you want to make money?”

Imagine walking into a job recruitment agency and telling them “I want to make money!”

They will probably say, “Ok, you’ll need to get a job. What kind of job do you want to find?”

So, when you come up with the idea to start an internet business or start making money online, your first step is to think about “how” your going to go about it.

Here are a few essential questions to ask yourself that will make it easier for you to get closer to your goal of making money online.

  • What business model am I going to follow? (similar to when the job search agency asks “what job are you going to look for?”)
  • What am I going to sell?
  • How am I going to sell/market it?
  • Will I make a blog? Will I build a list? Will I create  a membership site?
  • Will I be an affiliate? Or, Will I create and sell my own product/service?

After you have a good idea of what you want to sell and how you’re going to sell it, you’re ready to move on. You can go and create your business and start marketing it.

And finally, two tips.

1. Research successful business models and borrow ideas from ones that work. There’s no point in re-inventing the wheel.

The same thing goes when you’re playing with ideas of what you want to sell.

2. It might be better to ask yourself “What do people want?” or “What are people already buying?”

It’s a million times easier to sell something they already want than trying to convince them they want it but don’t know it yet. In other words, don’t make it hard for yourself by trying to create a new market for your product/service.

Thanks for reading.

In a future post, I want to talk about and compare some of the best online business models that I’ve used and seen used with success.

Stuart Stirling

p.s. Are you still trying to find a way to make money online or have you got a firm grasp on what business model you want/have? Leave your comment below.

4 Internet Marketing Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes in business, and it’s OK, because that’s how we can improve.

All you need is to realize where you’re going wrong and learn how to fix it.

This article will show you a few mistakes I made (and still make) so you can skip them and succeed faster

4 Big Mistakes You Can Learn From

1. Not having a clear goal.

You might have heard this before…

“If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know where you get there?”

Most of us have an idea of what we want to achieve but until you actually sit down and make really targeted goals, you’ll be wandering around aimlessly.

2. Being too perfect.

Perfectionism is a big hurdle that slows progress big time!

I can be a perfectionist sometimes…but I really wish I wasn’t. Sometimes I’m stuck before I start because I’m trying to make my idea perfect.

But some of my biggest successes have been when I got an idea and ran with it. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough.

3. Tying to do it all by yourself.

Running your online business by yourself is a big job, as you might already know.

I still do most of my work myself…but I should outsource more.

When I DO outsource, it’s a massive burden off my shoulders. I really recommend it. Even if it’s just small things like getting graphics or articles written, this is where you can really get things done.

4. Not developing skills.

An online business requires you to have computer skills, marketing skills and a whole lot more.

I found that as I learned new skills, like copywriting for example, it helped me write better ads which helped my business grow.

You still might be learning how to use your PC or to type.. and if that’s the case, learn it well!

Your computer is your tool you use to run your business, and if you don’t know how to use it, you can’t run it very well.

It’s like trying to win the F1 and not even knowing how to drive a car.

The more skills you can develop, the more help and service you can provide to your customers.

Remember though, you don’t have to learn how to use every video and photo editing software..or learn php coding… because like I mentioned above, you can outsource that kind of work.

Skills like that can be “borrowed” but skills you might want to develop as an online business owner could be marketing, networking, time management and managerial skills.

———

I hope these little pointers help you avoid some mistakes that could stop you from achieving your dreams of making a living online.

Stuart Stirling

How To Make Money Giving Away Free Stuff

FREE! It’s the most powerful word in advertising.

But logically, it doesn’t make sense that you can actually make money giving away free stuff.

To newcomers to internet marketing, this concept may confuse them and lead them to ask the question, “If it’s free, how do you make money?”

To seasoned marketers, we know the power that lies in the “free” marketing concept to make a lot of money, while giving our customers exactly what they want.

Just about everywhere you turn, there is someone offering a free membership, a free report, free advertising, free trial and so on.

But…what happens when the recipient wants to get the free thing?

They sign up!

In other words, they become a lead, a subscriber, a prospect, allowing the marketer to continue contacting them and lead them down the sales funnel.

The free stuff is just the bait – to get them in the door.

Giving away that freebie is NOT the end, it is just the beginning of the relationship between prospect and marketer.

After the freebie seeker has signed up, they’ll be placed in a database to contact in the future.

And in those future contacts, they’ll be shown offers to buy something, upgrade their membership or register their software. Sometimes an offer is made to the prospect right after they sign up!

And that’s where the money is made.

Leads are where it all starts. That’s why list building is so important. And the great thing about having those prospects on a list is that you can contact them over and over.

The thing to remember is that you need to provide value in your free stuff. Because your prospect will think, “Wow! If his free stuff is this good, his paid stuff must be frikkin awesome!”

I’ve got numerous websites where I give away really great info and services away for free…they’re lead collectors for me while they give the recipient what they want.

But, I know you might not have your own website or free offer to get people on your list.

If that’s the case, you can become an affiliate of and promote other websites which have good free offers and upsells which you can make commissions from.

The websites of mine which affiliates have had the most success promoting are

1) www.TurnkeyCashkits.com and

2) www.StartMyTraffic.com.

Both of these not only have great free offers you and your referrals will love, but also high-converting back-end offers which you can make money from when you refer a sale.

That is the key to getting this business model to work

1. An irresistible free front end offer,

2. A high-value upsell,

3. …and if you can throw in an affiliate program

like I have, your websites will take off because they make everyone (your affiliates, your prospects and you) happy. It’s a win-win-win!

To your success,

Stuart Stirling

Where 99% Of Online Marketers Go Wrong

I have to say that I was guilty of making this mistake, particularly when I was just starting out starting up my internet business. But I feel that many others are making it too.

The common mistake is to be solely focused on “making money”….or making a “quick buck”.

Of course, almost all of us, myself included, like money. We need money. We work for money to bring in the moolah that will let us live the life we want, or simply just pay the bills to get by every month.

However, many people’s mindsets suffer from a misconception when it comes to making money “online”.

They think for some reason, (probably all the hyped up videos and sales letters) that making money online is as easy as clicking a few buttons, writing an ad and voila – you’re a millionaire overnight!

So people go around with the mentality that they can sell anything and it will be an instant success, turning them into internet marketing rock-star millionaires like the ones they see on the websites…

Well, sadly, if you haven’t had a taste of what actually happens online, then you probably are yet to find out that all that is total garbage.

So what is the right mentality to have?

Plainly put, “making money” should not be your first objective. Of course, we want money, but seeking only money, rarely results in it coming into our hands.

What I had to re-shape in my mindset was that before thinking…“what can I do to make money?”

….I first try to think “what can I do to help people get what they want?”

When you ask the latter question, the getting money part seems to work itself out without much effort at all. It’s easy to ask a decent price for a great service or product that fulfills thewants/needs or solves a problem of your customer’s.

After all, money does NOT grow on trees. You can’t make it from thin air.

Earning income is the process of customers trusting you enough to invest in your product or service.

And if you can show them how much your doobie-whacker can really help them, that’s when the cash really starts flowing in. But by then, you’ll probably be more pleased that people are loving your product than by the dollars filling up your bank account.

This is a quote from Zig Ziglar that sums it all up:

“You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.” — Zig Ziglar

Remember that. Practice it…and you’ll never go wrong when it comes to succeeding in business getting anything else you want out of life.

Regards,
Stuart “Sensei” Stirling

How To Start A Successful Internet Business

Selling stuff via the Internet (commonly known as Internet marketing) is a great business to be in! Billions of dollars are spent online each year by consumers and that number is growing bigger every year.

Maybe you’re eager to get into the IM scene and start an Internet business for yourself, but before you jump in, there are a few things you need know about.

And these are four most important online business fundamentals you need to know, in my opinion.

– How a business works
– How to sell (receive money) and deliver a product online
– How to get web visitors to see your offer
– How to grow your business

I’m going to try to answer these 4 big questions for you to give you an outline of what an online internet marketing business is made of.

1. How A Simple Online Business Works

In my short internet marketing career since starting in 2006, I have learned a lot about what makes an online business profitable and what makes a business un-profitable.

These are the 4 main things that make up the guts of a good solid online business:

1) You need a product or service you sell
2) You need a killer sales message (USP-Unique Selling Proposition)
3) You need a way to get paid
4) You need a way to deliver the product or service to the customer

That’s basically it – a simple online business structure described in a nutshell. Pretty simple right?

Other basic principles (or ethics) to make a successful business to take note of are: The customer is always right. Customer service with a smile goes a very long way & under-promising and over-delivering on your offer goes even further.

2. How To Sell, Collect Money & Deliver Your Stuff

The engines that runs all the selling and product delivery for your business is typically a website. Unfortunately, for a lot of newcomers to the internet, setting up a website is where most get lost and give up.

Websites can be as complex as the Starship Enterprise or as basic as a bicycle in terms of functionality.

As long as it does the few basic functions of displaying your sales pitch and then collecting the money you ask for your product or service, that’s all you really need.

A sales message doesn’t have to be any amazing masterpieces to work either. A good sales letter can be nothing more than a short description of your offer with instructions on how your customer can get it.

Which brings them to the next part – an online merchant account to take orders via credit card, debit card etc. It’s not everyone’s favorite, but I recommend www.Paypal.com to manage online payments. It still is a popular choice for many online business owners.

After your customer goes through the order process, they then need to be able to download or sign up for access to your product. For this, you need is a separate “thankyou page” where your customers are forwarded to after payment.

On this thankyou page, you can have your download link if you sell downloadable products, or a form to collect their name, email, shipping address etc. if you’re selling a physical product. Services like Paypal can redirect your customer to any page you specify for you.

Luckily, there are website systems you can set up to manage this type of e-commerce website. I have been using the RAP script for quite some time with great results. It offers all the functionality I need and more to sell my digital products online with security and automation.

3. Getting Customers

Once you have your online “store front” ready to take orders, you now need people coming to your site. This flow of visitors is called TRAFFIC!

The best advice I can give for traffic generation is this: USE THE RIGHT BAIT IN THE RIGHT LAKE!

In other words, you need seek out where those people who want your product are hanging out and don’t waste your time anywhere else.

If people are searching on ebay looking for what you sell, advertise it on ebay.

If people are searching Google for what you are selling, get your website ranking high in Google with SEO (search engine optimization) and so on.

The wrong way to go about traffic generation is to buy a bunch of cold, un-targeted leads just because you think 10,000,000 random email addresses for $100 is a bargain.

Go where the right crowd for your offer is. Seek out where your TARGET market spends time online and go after them with your advertising!

4. Plan For Long Term Success

For real success, we need to be in this business for the long shot. We need to have a long term vision and plan it.

The truth is, it takes time to build a real business. If you are too worried about making money now, you might give up before you get anywhere.

Everyone starts at the beginning and works their way up. It can take more time for some – and less time for others. It’s a combination of learning and doing and being patient while doing both.

But the most important thing to do is to actually start doing what you learn. That’s why I created the Newbie Start Up Guide, so as to help beginners take the short cuts to getting up and running online with a simple internet business.

Internet marketing is a constant learning experience. For me, my long term plan is to grow my business bigger and better while learning as much as I can. I try to be constantly thinking of and creating new products and offers to fit my customers needs to help them achieve success with their online ventures too.

To achieve this, it means thinking ahead, setting goals and working towards them with the big picture in mind. That with a positive attitude and determination, it’s almost impossible to fail with your online business.

Stu Sensei