Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The difference between making and earning money

Making money is too easy - it's a numbers racket. You get people interest by appealing to keywords which they associate with whatever they most want. This is mostly done by survey, but can be simply done in SEO by finding high-volume search terms and phrases. Then you find out what people most associate with those terms and send out some spam - or article market into their email-scam.

To make money, you really never deliver anything of value - you just keep on offering hope that the next-higher price-range product (or series of products) will deliver what that viewer thinks was promised.

Bulk mail and spam works because 3 or 4 percent of any outreach will buy anything - and everything. Doesn't mean that people improve their lives with your product, it just means they will buy about anything you ask them to.

Cults, Fads, Scams - they all lose about 97 percent of their initial public within a few years. And then keep making money off those gullible (and money-loose) few 3 percent. If you see this type of customer turnover in a company, realize they don't have a real and valuable product. A decent product line would have that 80/20 ratio Pareto got fame for. 20 percent of the customer-base producing 80 percent of the income. Better than that would be to develop a customer-base loyalty like Apple's, where they have held onto around 6 percent of the personal computer market for decades, regardless of what Microsoft and others do - even despite Apple's own management changes.

Making money is therefore a numbers racket. The more you send out, the more you make. The pure concept is to keep your costs low - like doing infomercials late at night when the rates are lowest. People still buy. That's why spam took off - you only had to have a mail server and some good bandwidth.

This is what gives advertising a bad name. (Or it's actual names.) Promise the world, but only deliver the hope of it - sell the sizzle, but never deliver the actual steak.

Earning money is completely different. You start out by giving things of real value - something useful, that the person can improve their actual life with. You give them some real tools to change their life-style or quality of living.

And then follow this up by giving them incredibly underpriced-for-the-quality services at every step. And they all work, and all help the person far beyond what was asked for.

That is how you earn your money. You can quickly separate the wannabe's from the actually rich people this way. Look at their product. If you get a sample series of articles-turned-special reports - or a short selection from a book which has only a title - you've got a rip-off artist on your hands, no matter how much money he says he makes. Because he's running a scam, a racket, a numbers-game.

Most of these guys just want you to quickly get up to the point where you are paying them hundreds a pop for "personal coaching". But they have no real product below this point.

Mini ebooks are fine as intro services. Kits comprising collected ebooks and affiliate products are OK for low-cost services. But does that person offer you a complete book on how to get where they are now as a first major product you buy? Only then could you see that they might be able to help you form your own business plan or set up your own autoresponder email series.

Otherwise, it's a get-rich-quick scheme with them on the end of the "getting rich". Guess who is paying their way...

How to tell the difference -
  • Where's the book? It should be on Amazon - or at least on Lulu.
  • Google them - they must have done something online.
  • Look them up on Wikipedia.
  • Check them out in various forums for their areas.
Now, it doesn't mean that because they have critical people flaming them that they are criminals. There are a sizeable number of people out there who flame everything they know of - their life is one big, noisy flame-out.

You are looking for the absence of any real product. You are looking for the absence of any record, of any identification that says what they've done with their life so far. That's your problem child.

I know of some who are all networked together and give each other incredible testimonials. But when you look up their products, all they've ever produced is a bunch of 50-page ebooks. Yet they all praise the heavens when you mention one of their names to the other.

How about this - what charities do they support? How much of their wealth do they give away?

You will find independent websites covering real producers, real income earners. Fan clubs - well, ok. But you'll find real people who have done real things with their lives. They don't suddenly come from nowhere as the latest and greatest expert.

One guy I used to follow was really knowledgeable about article marketing - because that is all he ever did. I followed him because he made sense and I was researching that particular area. But his main claim to fame was how many articles he's published. His products, and his advice on creating income funnels is just to take some articles and make ebooks, then collect some more articles and squeeze pages and emails and call that a kit. Then collect up a huge number of articles, organize them into a 100-page book and sell that for your middle range price. After that, sell online seminars and personal coaching for your top-end funnel product.

However, he isn't known outside of article marketing lines (and article directories). His biography is short, succinct, and useless. And no, nothing comes up on Amazon or Wikipedia. His life really revolves around his articles. (I did find someone by his name asking for freelancers to write 100 articles a week for him - all original articles.)

So this test, at least for now, holds up.

As I can, I'll post more by Earl Nightingale about how he covered this area.

Surround yourself with money-earners, not money-makers.

- - - -

What can you do to avoid this?
  • Do give out ebooks - even if these are simple collections of your best articles - and make these viral by giving "free redistribution rights". And have these link to an actual site page where you give real information - and sell them your product line.
  • If you give (or sell) a snippet of your book - make damned sure you do at least get that book up on Lulu, while you prep it to get it Amazon-ready. Then the customer can buy that actual book, even if you price it for hundreds.
  • Get a blog and post it weekly. This gives you credibility on Google.
  • Put up some Squidoo lenses on whatever you are passionate about.
  • Whatever products you offer, make sure you over-deliver - make sure you not only cover everything your customers are asking for, but also additional bonuses they didn't expect. Even thousand-dollar products can be over-delivered.
  • Encourage donations to your favorite charity through PayPal links to it on your site(s). And make sure you are regularly donating to it yourself. (That actually increases your income, however illogical it may seem at first.)
  • You can't put up your own wikipedia page - but keep getting good products out and someone will.
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