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Why do so many people get into internet marketing and try to sell you systems to do internet marketing?  The reason lies in the answer to one simple question.   Who got rich during the California gold rush era? HINT: it wasn't the gold miners.   The answer is: The people who sold the miners and other gold rush followers the tools and supplies they needed.

 

Think about that.  Millions of dollars of gold were extracted and the people who got rich were the ones who sold shovels and the other essentials that miners needed to find the gold.  This was especially true for the store owners who arrived at the California Gold Rush first.  Other successful entrepreneurs were people who provided  services and other essentials the gold miners needed such as restaurants, saloons and hotels. 

 

So, in a real sense the reason that so many people try to sell tools is because they are doing the number one thing that successful marketers do.  They are providing a solution to a problem.  If you are a marketer or a fledgling marketer trying to make money on the internet you are the proverbial miner looking for gold.  The internet marketer trying to sell you a system is trying to sell you the tools to find that gold.

 

What happens though when there are, not one, not ten, but hundreds of people selling shovels?  The market becomes flooded with shovels.  There are so many people selling shovels that a price war breaks out.  Soon you can buy shovels for as little as $1.  That's great for the miners.  They don't care if the shovel is the best shovel ever made.  All they care about is "can you dig with this shovel?"  And "When I am 40 miles from town will this shovel break?"    So, the marketers with really good shovels can charge $2 or $3 for a shovel if they can convince the miner that the shovel won't break. Otherwise you are stuck trying to make a profit on something you may not be able sell.  

 

That's the state of internet marketing today.  Lots of people selling shovels.  The ones that can convince the miners that they have the best shovels might be making a profit.  But, don't bet on it.   Unless.... They sell more than shovels.  Yes, sir I understand you need a shovel.  Have you got a pick?  Why do you need a pick?  Because sir,  when you dig here in California the dirt has rocks; BIG rocks.  Rocks that no shovel can move unless you loosen them up with a pick first.  You can dig for hours and break your back or... You can spend a few minutes using this here pick and loosen that rock up before its time for your next coffee break. 

 

Besides if you buy the shovel and the pick we can throw in a pick and shovel sharpener for only another $1.  You see where this is going don't you?  If you want to sell something in a crowded field you have to create a higher value for your product or service than the other shovel seller offers. 

 

Some ways to create value for your product:

Offer to replace it at no charge if it ever breaks.   No questions asked.  It breaks. You replace it.  Imagine that.  Costco did that for me with a pair of eyeglasses they sold me.  One of the ear pieces broke off.  I took the eyeglasses in and showed them the broken ear piece.  The customer service guy replaced the frames and had me on my way in less than 30 minutes.  No questions asked.  They added value to their product.   I will probably always buy my eyeglasses from Costco Optical. 

Offer a money back guarantee.  One thing you can do with an information product is offer to refund the person's money no matter how long it's been since they bought it.  I have even seen some marketers offer to pay more than you paid if you are not 100% satisfied.  That sounds like a bad idea until you realize that the return rate for a good well written information product is very low.  The return on the perceived value of your product is bigger than the minimal refund rate you get.

Offer free shipping.  Free shipping is a really good value added service; especially when shipping costs are going up.  The instinctive response to increased shipping costs for some marketers is to pass on those costs to the customer.  But, if you want to stand out in a crowded field then doing what everyone else is doing isn't the way to do it.  

Give them a bonus product.  If you are selling them a shovel you might throw in an inexpensive brush for cleaning the shovel with.  Or if they buy the shovel, the pick and the wheelbarrow give them the pick and shovel sharpener for free or even at a greatly reduced price.   Have you noticed how all the internet marketers today are throwing in a free report or something of value as part of thier offer.  They are giving you a bonus product.

Offer additional Savings.  Buy One Get One or BOGO is a really great way to increase sales.  One popular vitamin shop always has some variation of BOGO going on.  Buy One Vitamin Product at regular price and get the second one for 50% off is a really frequent promotion they offer.  I usually wait to get my multi-vitamins when they have a BOGO on them.   The value goes up because I am buying more product for less money.  And they make a point of pointing out how much money I saved on the sales receipt.  It never hurts to make a point of telling the customer how much value they are receiving for doing business with you.

Gold Nugget Tip:  If you are in a crowded field do something to stand out and give more than the other marketers are giving.  Create value.  Prove that you have the best shovels.   Give more than your competitors do. 

P.S.  Did I mention that one of the first e-books that I acquired on the internet that taught me about making a living online was Jim Daniels special report Make A Living Online.  And he gives it away for free.  Imagine that.  The man is giving away free shovels.  Yes, he will definitely try to sell you a pick. But, here is the crazy part.  You don't have to buy the pick and he still gives you the shovel for free.  All you have to do is click the gold key on the webpage and you get a free e-book valued at $97.00.

 p.s.  Don't foget to click the gold key and get a free e-book valued at $97.00

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