Which exact actions and activites really put money into our pockets as online (affiliate) marketers?
What tasks drive revenue and truly add to our bottom line as online business owners?
That’s what income producing activities are all about:
More money in your pocket as an online entrepreneur.
If you focus primarily on the implementation of these actions, you will grow your business.
But first, let’s put things into perspective:
How Does Any Business Generate Revenue?
By making sales.
Any business has to sell products and/or services to people in order to generate revenue.
Nothing happens until someone sells something.
- Peter Drucker
So the real question is:
How To Generate More Sales With An Online Business?
It’s a simple two step process:
- Getting the attention of a potential customer
- Selling him/her your products or services
In online marketing lingo we say traffic and conversion.
(I go into way more detail in my Online Business Blueprint (PDF) that you can get here for free.)
The Direct Response Marketing Process
This is what the complete process looks like:
Now, if we take a look at the “top of the funnel” - in the process schema above on the left side - we see two steps:
- attract (potential customers to you)
- capture (their contact information)
These two actions define our minimum viable funnel:
The Minimum Viable Funnel
Therefore, we need to have - at the bare minimum - a simple lead generation funnel in place:
We need to focus on driving traffic to our opt-in page.
That’s our only focus for now!
What is the goal here?
Why can’t we sell immediately?
Building Trust And Rapport
97%+ of people we encounter won’t buy from us immediately.
Especially so if they never heard of us or our products.
Therefore we have to build a relationship with our potential clients first.
The simplified 3-step process now looks like this:
- Getting eyeballs of potential customers (traffic generation)
- Building respect, trust and rapport with them
- Making the sale (conversion)
But how do you build respect, trust and rapport with potential customers?
How do we build a relationship with them?
Primarily by providing lots of value and actually helping them.
Thereby we also position ourselves as the expert within our chosen niche and ideally become the trusted advisor to them.
Turning Pro: Building Honest, Valuable Relationships
If you focus on developing great relationships with your potential clients first, the sale will be much easier to achieve.
Plus, you can spend significantly more money on the client attraction part and still be profitable. (long-term/back-end approach of doing business)
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
We need to provide value and build true relationships while - repeatedly - making irresistible offers.
Building Rapport With Potential Clients
The process of building trust and rapport is often referred to as KLT or RTR:
- You want the potential customer to Know, Like and Trust you.
- You want to create Respect, Trust and Rapport with the potential customer.
As an affiliate marketer, you job is not really to make the sale but instead to prepare the sale.
Your job is to pre-sell the affiliate product by positioning it as the best solution to the prospect’s problem.
(let’s be real: Once you understand the process, you could easily use it in unethical ways and promote shady products for a quick buck. Don’t make this mistake. It will only damage your reputation! Instead, recommend truly great, helpful products that you ideally use and love yourself.)
You take responsibility for the attraction and building interest and desire parts, while the vendor (and his sales page) does the final selling part.
Value First, Sale Second
You prepare the sale by providing value first, educating your potential clients, position yourself as the expert authority in your chosen niche and then pre-selling the solution by giving an honest recommendation.
Above statements about KLT/RTR are really important, because in order to make a recommendation for a product or service, the potential client has to know, like and trust you first.
Otherwise, he/she won’t even listen to you.
If you try to force things too much, you come across as a sleazy salesperson.
Think used-car, very pushy salesmen - nobody likes them, right?
Because we automatically feel they don’t have our own best interest in mind, but instead they can only think about their commission check.
So that’s clearly not how we want to come across.
That’s why we truly need to understand our potential client’s issues and objectives.
And then educate them. (aka providing value)
Coming back to the income producing activities…
But What Can We Specifically Do? What Actions Truly Add To Our Bottom Line?
Now that we understand we primarily have to market and pre-sell - in a cool, helpful way - we can work on:
- Getting more people to know us and see what we have to offer (generating traffic)
- Building a stronger, more trustworthy relationship with them by providing lots of value, so that later more people buy from us (conversion optimization)
- Creating new (and more) high quality, irresistible offers (increasing client’s LTV) and position those as the solution to the prospect’s problem (conversion optimization)
Now we know what we need to focus on, right?
But how exactly do we do that?
First, we have to learn all about these activities, acquire the necessary skills to then be able to apply them.
Then we want to consistently apply and cycle through these to add revenue to our bottom line.
Let’s look at these activities in more detail:
How Can We Generate More Traffic?
Here’s two ways to look at this:
First, you can figure out where your audience / ideal clients hang around and spend time online.
This could be social media networks, niche-related forums, Facebook groups, YouTube communities, etc.
They could also perform very specific searches on Google and other search engines.
For example: “How to do (X) without (Y)” or “What’s the best way to (X)”.
But it could also be something entirely different and not mentioned here; simply put yourself mentally in their situation.
What would you do to solve your issue?
Where would you look first and where/how would you research your problem to find a solution?
Second, you could take a look at the most visited locations online and try to get your message in front of the right people there.
This works best for mass markets and problems/solutions with mass appeal.
To give you a good starting point, check out the top 50 sites on the web according to Alexa here.
Chances are, you find very popular sites and online services - that you’re potentially using yourself daily - near the top.
Work Your Way In, Or Buy Your Way In
Once you’ve identified where your ideal customer hangs around online, you’ve got two options:
- You can work your way in
- You can buy your way in
But what does that mean?
Work Your Way In: “Free”/Organic Traffic Generation
Basically speaking, you produce content that attracts people to you.
This could be done via providing value on social media, or forums, or answering questions and responding to problems on Q&A sites like quora.
There are countless more ways how and almost unlimited places where you can provide value to the market place by producing and distributing helpful content.
You could also dive into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to rank websites high on Google and other search engines, and get valuable eyeballs that way.
==> Get My Secret SEO Cheat Sheet Here
(it’s part of the Online Business Blueprint)
Content marketing is a rather slow and work-intensive process - but it works and can attract really targeted traffic to you.
And once your content is out there, it can bring in highly targeted traffic for years to come!
But it takes work upfront and some time to see tangible results.
To speed up the process and scale (faster), the other option you have is to…
Buy Your Way In: Paid Traffic & Media Buying
Now that you figured out on which social media networks, forums, websites and other places your potential clients gather online, you can do what companies are doing for centuries:
You can put your ad in front of them. (aka advertising)
In other words, you pay the publisher - for example Facebook - to put your ad on their platform.
That way you’ll be able to get people to
- notice your ad,
- click on your ad if it’s relevant to them, and
- see what you have to offer.
Most of these people likely don’t know who you are (yet) or if your company can really help them.
Therefore, I’d highly recommend following the process I described above:
Get them on your email list first so you can
- follow up with them,
- educate them further on their problem and potential solutions, and
- present them - ideally irresistible - offers.
Traffic Generating Activities
Paid Traffic / Advertising / Media Buying
- PPC campaigns (Google / Bing / FB / …)
- Native ads
- Coming up with new ad angles
- Adding ad creatives
- Adding ad groups
- Adding keywords
- Testing and optimizing ads
- Display / bBanner ads
- Sponsored posts / advertorials
- Buying solo ads
- Media buying on social networks
- Joint venture projects (JVs)
- Affiliate recruitment
- CPA marketing deals
“Free”/ Organic Traffic Generation / SEO
- Building websites
- Keyword research
- Adding content (Coming up with new angles / categories / infographics / videos / audios / reviews / how-to’s / guides / lists / …)
- Revamping old content
Content Marketing on 3rd Party Platforms
- Video marketing on YouTube
- Podcasting on Spotify
- Publishing articles and posts on Medium or LinkedIn
- Answering critical questions on 3rd party platforms like Quora
- Joining conversations on targeted websites
- Guest posting on blogs, magazines and other sites
- Providing value on discussion boards, forums, facebook groups, reddit, …
Conversion Optimization Tasks
List Building & Email Marketing
- Creating new, high quality and easy to consume lead magnets
- Adding new, dedicated opt-ins and squeeze pages
- Providing more value by adding new emails
- Sending valuable, helpful emails
- Be fun/entertaining, tell stories
- Sending product-related emails
- Engaging your audience, answering critical questions, helping them with issues
- Testing and optimizing (working on subject lines, optimizing open- and click rates)
- Nurturing the relationship, making offers
Working On Your Offers
- Creating new and improving existing offers
- Finding new and better ways of solving problems for your clients
- Working on your USP
- Improve the communication of your USP
- Improving and completing existing offers (adding bonuses, etc.)
- Finding or developing new, excellent products and/or services like ebooks, courses, training programs, membership sites, saas products, …
Improving The Copy (On Your Website, Emails, Sales Pages)
- be more clear and direct
- speak to your client’s pain points
- add your own results
- add client’s results/testimonials (social proof)
- show how it’s done
- shorten and summarize important points
- become better at communicating your message
Coming up with new and better ways to help your clients and improve their lives.
Get them better results!
I hope you find this resource helpful.
Thank you for reading and stay awesome,
Tim for Online Business Dude
PS: Get The Cheat Sheet (PDF) Of The Income Producing Activities Here
(part of the Online Business Blueprint)