Things to Remember Before You Start – Part 1
Avish: Now Fred, I’m sure everyone listening to this is just chomping at the bit to start building products and marketing them. But there are a few things that you want to make sure people know before they get started, correct?
Fred: Absolutely. There are some essential things, sort of like the building blocks and the foundation for your information marketing business. So, why don’t we go through those for people, make sure that they have them down.
Avish: Okay. The first thing you want to make sure people know is that Measurement Eliminates Argument.
Fred: Yeah. Again, unless you have a system set up to measure virtually everything that you do in your information marketing business, you’re going to be operating on, you know, your gut. What do I think? How do I feel? And in many cases, you know, in many cases that might prove correct, but in a lot of cases it might not. So rather than relying on your gut, I suggest to people that they rely on their data. And that data, you know, will be covered, you know, especially with something like, with their website having to do with Google Analytics, knowing how many unique visitors they get, et cetera, et cetera. But everything, remember that everything that you do online can be, you know, it can be quantified. And in order to make good decisions, we need to have quantifiable data to rely on to make those decisions.
And in every aspect of our business we should keep thinking about that. I just was recently, I have a client who’s a, an airline pilot and it’s easy for me to understand that concept because those guys are used to instruments in their, you know, in their airplanes and relying on data and what those instruments tell us. Similar to flying, our information marketing business, unless we have data, unless we have those instruments that we can look at and make intelligent decisions, we’re going to crash.
Avish: Right, and I guess with measurement you’re making sure your decisions aren’t coming just from your gut. It’s the thing, one thing I’ve heard you say many times to me and to other people, is that I don’t care what you like better, I want to know what works better.
Fred: Yeah, well not only that, I don’t care what you like better or I feel looks better or I feel, you know, I’d want to do. I’m concerned about what your customer will do, and that’s really dependent on the data that we see coming in regarding virtually any matter that we’re discussing. So, yeah, it’s not how we feel, it’s how the market place feels, or the data that we get from the marketplace and what it indicates to us.
Avish: Yeah, because I’m sure you encounter this where a few customers may tell you they don’t like something, but then they buy anyways.
Fred: Right, exactly. Yeah. And if you —
Avish: –like, I hate long copy but then they go and buy your stuff from your long copies, so —
Fred: Exactly, and the thing about it is, is that, you know, what people say and what they do are often times two very, very different things. So concentrate on looking at what they do, and that’s the data that’s really important. So, again, we can get into it later, talking about —
Fred: — the various specifics, but that’s important.
Avish: Okay, super. Next kind of philosophical idea is, Done is Better Than Perfect.
Fred: Yeah, I think that for a lot of people listening to this program, this section will be very, very helpful for them to listen to. No matter how great your information is that you’re producing, whether it be an audio, a video, whatever it is, it can’t be consumed by people unless it’s out there and available for sale. And just like the typical, as you probably know them as I do as well, Avish, the writer and the novelist who has this great American novel that they’re always just about to finished, which they’ve been just about to finish for the past, you know, 12 or 15 years.
If it’s never done and finished, no one will ever get the opportunity to see it, to use it, et cetera. In an information marketing, this is especially true because there’s information and knowledge that people really, really need to know, and they need to know it now. So the question is, are you going to wait until it’s 100 percent perfect before getting it out to people?
Now the beauty of what we do in the information marketing business is, once you’ve created an audio or a video program or a text-based program, whatever it is, if you in fact want to re-do it 3 weeks later, 3 months later, 3 years later, it’s relatively easy and painless to do, so Done is Better Than Perfect just means get it out there, warts and all, and then worry about perfecting it later. Start to make some money, understand that things won’t be perfect. I’m sure that your customers will give you feedback and tell you, but that’s okay. It’s better that it be more or less done and out there, rather than sitting on your laptop waiting to get done, because people are waiting with bated breath to consume that information that you have to give them about a very, you know, any specific topic, and they would rather have it warts and all than not have anything.
Avish: You know, along those lines, something you had said which kind of blew my mind the first time I heard it, was that you think if the product looks too good or too slick, I guess too perfect, that can actually lower the perceived value.
Fred: Yeah, I think that that’s, you know, it has a couple of, we have a couple of implications of something being too slick and too good, which is that oftentimes people look at, and I, you know, it’s just sort of the Nightingale-Conant syndrome, as I call it.
Nightingale-Conant is a large producer of information audios, and they make everything. They put everything in these very slick packages, 4 color, you know, very, very, not like this program where we’ve, you know, basically we’re using Skype to record it. They would have us in a studio with sound engineers. And after we were done, they would do that, all that kind of editing. And the net result is, those programs, which are commercially available, usually go for, you know, around $10 per CD, and I mean, basically your price points are much lower. So my idea is that the more you look like some fancy Fortune 500 company that has produced something, I don’t think that people really perceive that as the secret super-special information.
You know, the super-secret special information is being written with a manual typewriter in a basement somewhere in a bunker. And you and I talking about this via Skype is an example of sort of that in audio form, so that people will oftentimes perceive things that are just, you know, put together without fancy editing and slick production, as being much more valuable.
Avish: Alright the next idea is something you say, that is, that you need to Sell Free as Hard as You Sell Paid? What do you mean by that?
Fred: Well a lot of times when people, one of the things that everyone is going to be doing who’s listening to this program, if they’re going to get into the information marketing field, is to develop some free information that they give away to get people to give you their email address or anything else, other actions you want them to take. Or you just give something away for free without any email expectation.
But remember that when you give something away for free, people are going to evaluate what they think the value of your paid products will be. And so you have to, you know, if you’re trying to get someone to take advantage of one of your free offers, you have to really sell them on doing it, because free products are no longer really free. And for real, I mean, you, in actual fact they never have been. Because, you know, even though I, you know, I allow you to download one of my e-books for free, Avish, if you spend time to read that e-book, is it really a free product?
Well the assumption there would be that the value of your time is nothing, and so therefore it isn’t really free. So we’ve got to sell people on downloading our free product and getting our free information ,because frankly we’re dealing with their time, which is their most valuable resource, and now they’ve discovered that.
Avish: Okay. So we’ve got to put a much effort into marketing that free stuff or writing a copy as you would for anything that you’re asking money for.
Fred: You’ve got it.
Avish: Alright, what about, you know, in this business you will periodically get returns. So you think that’s important, people understand how to properly handle returns?
Fred: Yeah I do. I, just in fact, this morning I got some message from someone. He didn’t even tell me what the product was, but he wanted a refund. Now, in old, in the olden days where people would have to physically send something back in the mail, that would really get annoying, because I just hate the idea of seeing a UPS truck going in the wrong direction, which is coming towards me rather than leaving me when I was selling physical products.
But, you know, the thing about it is, is that returns will happen, and there will be a certain number of people who are scamming you, and there’s certain number of people who, you know, legitimately should be returning a product. So understanding that fact, you have to take a very, very non-emotional approach to getting returns, which is, it’s just a cost of doing business. You should expect them. And if you’re expecting like I used to, by the way, I used to, we, you know, I used to expect people to never, ever, ever return my products because my products are great. But no matter how great your products are, you will get returns and you’ve got to, you know, create, you know, and make sure you have a fixed skin on this. And for a while, I know people actually, Avish, who don’t, you know, ever want to see their returns.
They have, you know, someone else, either a virtual assistant or a regular assistant, handling their returns because they just don’t want to see it, because it really, it either freaks them out or pisses them off. So, you know, remember, returns are part of this business. Get used to it. Don’t take it personally.
Avish: And would you, will you remove a person who returns something, so they can’t buy something from you in the future? Or, you just kind of let bygones be bygones, and take that chance with them again?
Fred: Good question. I think that if it happens once, it’s possible that they may have made a mistake on a product, the product may not have been right for them, or I’ll understand that. But basically in, you know, a little bit different than baseball, two strikes and they’re out for me. So if they do return a product twice or a separate product twice, two products twice, then I will block their IP address which you can do in a Web Marketing Magic, making it impossible for them to order again.
Avish: Got it.