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ilya

Becoming the expert

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Have you ever wondered why we admire and follow certain people online, either on a forum, social site or YouTube? Simply because they've helped us in some way. In most cases they have given us valuable information or entertained us. And if these people are selling/promoting some products, we end up buying them.

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This exact principle stems from the music industry, where artists promote clothes, sprites and gadgets onscreen. So by default we end up liking their products because we like the artist mainly. Some people realize this effect and are able to apply it in their business successfully. It's what marketing is all about.

"Create a need or desire, and sell it".

One real-life example from the HipHop world: The vodka 'CÎROC' was rated #50 on the world's best vodka list. So the marketing managers of that company wanted to boos the sales and contacted the artist P. Diddy. For a percentage of the profit, he started promoting the drink in his industry (music videos etc.). And in just a few short years it was in the top 5 of best vodkas. Pure marketing, average product.

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Now let's apply this in our online ventures: If you're not already in a certain community or network related to your product, then start searching for platforms where people are selling similar products to yours. The reason is simple, if others are selling it on that platform it only means that it's working, don't think of it just as competition. And it's also untrue that they have dominated that platform, in most cases they hold max 20% of the market, leaving 80% available for you. Start by replicating them and adding small details that make you better than them.

Whenever I say "connect with people", whatever the platform may be, make sure you are not simply selling, but help them with their problems. Don't ask them to pay you for your time (unless you're a full time consultant), do not be pushy. Be helpful and you will attract customers. The key is to make people like, trust and respect you. So whatever you promote or sell, people will buy it from you as long as they trust and believe you.

Marketing yourself

Don't believe the story that you need a lot of money to make money, this is BS. The internet is free, Twitter is free, Facebook is free, 99% of other social sites are free, so you have free access to chat with other people, great isn't it! All you need to do is help other people with their problems. If you can care more about their problems, then your problems won't matter, and by default you won't have any money related problems. And each person you help will admire you and refer his/her friends to you, they will open doors for you that you wouldn't have ever opened by yourself.

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Be authentic and human. It's funny when people that start in sales forget the basics so quickly. If you ever noticed a friend opening a store, as soon as you come and visit them they are trying to act "more professional" rather than casual. With people this isn't a good strategy, people like people, not salespeople. So do make jokes, do ask how their day was, do talk about personal matters. This is a people-business, you must be good with people, not just the selling process, people have emotions you know. If you still don't agree with me, then think about this: would you buy clothes from a store where the salesperson doesn't even greet you upon entering? I wouldn't, unless they really have something I need (usually not).

This process of self-promotion will expose your true passion. If you're not really interested in the process of helping other people and providing a solution to their problems, then you won't be able to do it well for any amount of money. It may end up being a very slow and boring process, especially if you're not very interested in your niche. As soon as you have these difficulties, it would be wise to reconsider your plan. Before building any kind of product or plan, make sure you have a way to connect with people, and make sure you can enjoy doing it all day long.

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Stay human, helpful and resourceful. It may take weeks or even months before you've built up a good reputation. But it's a long-term and wise investment of your time and effort. It will be a guaranteed source of income, you won't even have to worry about buying ads for traffic. Start this process as soon as you have a niche in mind, even before you start building your product. And continue building your network throughout the entire process, even after you've started selling your product. This will keep your pipeline full at all times.

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