If you can’t describe your business model in terms of a system or formula, arguably you don’t have a business.
You have a loose collection of ideas that might work for a while but that will eventually start to unspool.
Successful businesses in the real world, if you look closely, all have some kind of pattern that they follow. And often it’s this model that helped them get the ball rolling.
In the early days of Virgin, for example, Richard Branson expanded his music stores across the UK by scouting for good locations but only leasing the space if he could negotiate a pass on the first 3 months of rent. The savings covered the expenses of setting up the new outlet and ensure each new store started off in the black.
Then, of course, McDonalds figured out a way to systemize food production and ensure every restaurant’s output was standardized.
Starbucks created an ambience that made over-priced coffee seem essential.
Amazon sacrificed short-term profits for long-term market share.
We could go on all day. Every major corporation that has achieved significant success has a story to tell.
Are online businesses any different?
Not at all. In fact, successful online businesses, if anything, are even more dependent on a reliable formula to drive traffic, engage prospects, make sales and retain customers.
The only question is WHICH formula to follow.
The Internet ecommerce space is so new that it feels like new technology is springing up all the time. It’s a constant challenge to decide when to embrace a new system and when to stick with what you know works.
But, of course, this assumes that you have (or plan to have) a system in place at all. As I said in my introduction, it’s all too common for businesses to focus on their idea to the exclusion of creating a solid foundation.
So, here’s a formula for you to use.
It’s not the only one in existence. Of course, you can tweak it to better suit your market or your long-term goals.
But what this formula has going for it is that it has worked, more or less, since internet marketing began. Even endless rounds of online technological advancement haven’t created a need to substantially change this working system.
If anything, modern Internet tech has made this formula MORE effective over time.
Step One: Create a freemium and give it away in exchange for an email address.
Step Two: Build a relationship with your prospects by communicating with them by email at a ratio of three gifts for every sales pitch. Save these emails into an autoresponder so every new prospect receives the same sequence of messages.
Step Three: Create a website on which you can post articles. Use this content to give away to your prospects and to drive fresh traffic.
Step Four: Drive free and paid traffic to your Freemium offer.
Step Five: Create a new freemium based on a topic related to your original freemium or on a subtopic.
Step Six: Create a new autoresponder series of gifts and offers (still at the 3:1 ratio) specifically targeted at this new related topic or subtopic.
Step Seven: Promote this new funnel to new prospects and existing subscribers.
Step Eight: Repeat steps 5-7 indefinitely.