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ONLINE BUSINESS HELP

Sell Yourself, Not Your Products or Services
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-03-16

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    Sell Yourself, Not Your Products or Services
    by Bill Platt

    Sell yourself, not your products or services. The point we
    need to make is that your products and services will change
    over time as your business adapts to the realities of the
    marketplace.

    If you spend your time promoting Product A and then you
    discontinue the sale of Product A, you will suddenly find
    yourself starting over from scratch with nothing to show
    for all of your previous work!

    For as long as you remain on this planet, you will always be.
    No matter the course of your product or service line, selling
    yourself first and then your products will give you the
    leverage to remain flexible in your business journeys.

    If your primary products are affiliate programs, you should
    be able to see this quite well.

    How many times have you been involved with an affiliate
    program that either changed their rules for operation to
    your disadvantage or simply went out of business? How many
    times have you seen your hard work go down the drain by no
    fault of your own?

    Selling yourself may seem a challenge, but it really is not
    that difficult.

    In the matter of selling yourself, your goal is to create name
    recognition in the market place. You need for name recognition
    for your website, your own name or both.

    There are five methods that work very well for promoting your
    online business. Those five methods are:

    1. Submitting your website to Search Engines
    2. Developing your own Ezine
    3. Ezine Advertising
    4. Using Free-Reprint Articles
    5. Direct Email

    You might note that four of these five methods incorporate
    email in one fashion or another. That is not by mistake. Of
    course, direct email is the weakest of the four methods
    employing email. The reason for this weakness is the fear
    of spam by the recipient of the email. I generally avoid
    direct email for this very reason. Better safe than sorry
    I say.

    What I am outlining here is a blueprint that all online
    business persons should strive to accomplish.

    First, we must build our website. Our website should serve
    as a direct sales letter to the buying public. While the
    website should exist for anyone looking to do business
    online, it is not the end all for your online business
    presence. Once the website is ready for the public, it
    should be submitted to the search engines. Keep in mind,
    search engines are interested in the words on your site...
    pictures don't mean a thing to the search engines.

    We should then develop an ezine to accompany our website. We
    should invite all site visitors to subscribe to our ezine as
    this enables us to create an ongoing conversation with our
    potential customers. Do not let the ezine become more than
    a tool to keep contact with your customers. I publish my
    ezine only once a month so that I may have more time for
    growing my businesses.

    Many folks agree that ezine advertising is one of, if not the
    most effective way to build your business. You should never
    simply put an advertisement out there in the market without
    testing the effectiveness of that ad first. You should also
    always be sure of the target audience of the ezines you are
    looking to are the same as your target market if that is
    possible.

    The truth is that you can burn through thousands of dollars
    in ezine advertising without ever turning a single sale. To
    be sure of the effectiveness of your ads before spending money
    for the advertisement, you might want to consider using a ad
    tracking service to determine the worth of your ads before
    plunking down the money for your advertising.

    An interesting and effective technique for tapping into the
    value of ezine advertising without blowing the bank is to use
    Free-Reprint Articles to open the door to ezines.

    The truth is that most publishers do not have the time or
    energy to create all of their own content. As a result, most
    of them turn to article lists and sites to find the content
    they feel would be attractive to their readers. Free-Reprint
    Rights is the key here. Most online publishers are running on
    a very tight budget and cannot afford to buy the content they
    publish.

    In the Free-Reprint market, there are a number of large lists
    that provide an excellent assortment of articles that carry
    the Free-Reprint rights. One example is called *Free Ezine
    Content* and can be subscribed to by sending a blank email
    to: mailto:FreeEzineContent-subscribe@topica.com . Another
    group is *Free Reprint Articles* at YahooGroups. Send an email
    to: mailto:Free-Reprint-Articles-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    for your free subscription.

    Tapping into the Free-Reprint market is easy. The trick to
    getting your articles published is being able to teach your
    readers something of value and being able to do so in an
    easygoing article style that folks will read and enjoy.

    Providing your are successful in teaching the readers
    something of value in an interesting manner, then you will
    find your articles getting published regularly, even in the
    larger ezines.

    Through the use of articles to promote your business, you
    will be selling yourself first and then your business. The
    resource box that follows every article is like a small
    classified ad that tells who you are, what you do, and where
    to be able to reach you or your business. The resource box
    is best kept to under 6 lines of 65 characters in length.

    Your resource box is your advertisement in the ezine.
    Ironically, readers will read an article and visit the
    website of an author well before they read an advertisement
    posted in the same ezine.

    As your articles get reprinted again and again, you will
    begin to see for yourself the promise of Free-Reprint Articles
    coming to life for you and your business. Your site traffic
    and sales will continue to grow as you continue to build your
    all-important name recognition in the market place.



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bill Platt owns http://thePhantomWriters.com . Do you need
    free content for your website or ezine? Our archives deliver
    more than 300 free-reprint articles available for your use.
    http://content.thePhantomWriters.com . Do you write your own
    articles? Let us distribute them for you to our network of 6000+
    publishers & webmasters http://thePhantomWriters.com/distribution
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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