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How to Double Your Sales With Only $2000 or 50 Hours

Double SalesI know that this title is a bit click-bait like. I also know that I made this sound easy and cheap or quick to implement, but if you stay with me through this method I’m going to talk about a client we had that made us $10,000 and who went on to make $30,000 a month in additional sales. It only cost us $2000 in implement and about 3 hours work (but if you don’t have $2k then you can do it yourself in about 50 hours.)

The technique itself involves listing products on Amazon and ranking them in their search engine. Tons of people now go straight to Amazon when they are looking for a product to buy. If you have a great product but it isn’t on Amazon then guess what? – You don’t make any sales. More than that but people will be inferior products just because of the channel they are shopping on! It’s unfair but it kind of makes sense as Amazon is such a trusted online store!

AmazonThe method Itself

The method itself is very simple. All we are going to do is set-up an Amazon business. There was a full post on how to do this here by the Amazon seo expert but if you don’t have time to read an 8,000 word guide I will outline the main points below. I link these sources as this is how I learnt the process and this is also where the $2k went to optimise and rank the product listing (best money ever spent in my opinion!)

Step 1 – Pick a product, get it created.

This is obvious but you need a product to market through Amazon. Chances are you will already have this in place, but if you don’t you need to do this first.

Step 2 – Sign Ups, List and Ship.

Essentially what you want to do here is sign up for an Amazon merchant (seller) account. This lets you list products on Amazon and decide how you are going to sell them. Next you need to list the product itself, remember to use keywords in your listing. And finally if you are utilising the FBA network then you need to send your stock to Amazon in the form of a shipment. This is all relatively easy to do but if you are new or not very tech savvy then you can contact their support which is great.

Step 3 – Ranking your product & Reviews.

Ranking high in Amazon is like ranking in Google. Everyone clicks one of the first few results which means if you are on page 2/3+ no one is ever going to see, let alone buy your product. This happens all the time with businesses and products on Google. And its still the case with Amazon.

To rank the product itself you have to generate a lot of initial sales and reviews. This takes time and you will have to get creative, for example sending individuals directly to your Amazon product page to check-out is a good way to start. But once you have these initial sales and 5-10 good reviews then you can start the Amazon PPC campaign. Which, in a nut-shell is the easiest way to make sales period!

Launch List

4 More Marketing Tips To Be A Successful Tech Startup

Last month I did an article on the Jack Boxers blog about 7 marketing tips for tech businesses. This was an article I didn’t really feel was perfect, but it was still pretty relavant so I didn’t want to remove it completely. Instead I thought I would add 4 more tips and have a more start-up orientated article to really get in-front of the people who need these tips the most (The ones just starting out.)

Most tech companies FAIL. And fail hard! I mean lose millions for investors, lose years of their lives that they can never get back. But if you truly have a product or service that can go all the way to the billion dollar mark, then starting off correctly is so important. Take the time to implement the processes from the very beginning and the knock on effect throughout the next 3 months to 30 years will be huge. In a positive way of course. Okay to the tips.

Launch ListTip 1 – Create a Launch List

Easy to say, harder to do. But investing money into creating buzz about your product is one of the most successful ways to launch a product. Nowadays even more so. With social media evolving the way it has, if you can reach one of the top hashtags, then guess what? You get in-front of millions of eyeballs worldwide! All for “free”. Obviously there is an investment both money and time upfront to get to this position but if you can get there then I would recommend investing upfront and worrying about the smaller details later on.

IndividualsTip 2 – Talk to Individuals (Don’t be corporate)

There’s nothing worse than a company that is a startup but already thinks they are one of the fortune 500 companies. Get over yourself you are a startup that could go under anytime! But whilst that might seem like a disadvantage, it actually involves your odds of connecting with customers! It helps people understand that you are a startup and what you offer is the best product on the market. Be individual and go out and connect with new customers individually. That’s your advantage vs a big corporate company!

Affiliate ProgrammeTip 3 – Create an Affiliate Programme

This is one I have seen on a number of websites, most recently on choseaquadcopter, a site designed to actually help people buy the correct drone for them. This works as follows. An individuals wants a specific item that isn’t brand relevant, they visit one of these sites, maybe they go to youtube and search instead, but they get onto the video that will direct them to the right product. They get the product they wanted and it took them only 10 mins, the end seller gets the sale from a customer that really needs what they are offering and the affiliate gets their commission. Everyone wins…. Seriously Everyone! If it’s good enough for Amazon its good enough for your business!

Tip 4 – Don’t Be Perfect

People hate perfection. Products are never perfect so don’t try to pretend to be! Not a marketing tip as such, just a business tip in general. There is something in business called an MVP. It stands for Minimum viable product, this is the minimum good product you can bring to market and then get some sales from, gain experience and make it better as you go along. That is the way to launch a product, not to go all in on a launch thinking everything is perfect and saying it is too, only for people to be disappointed.

7 Marketing Tips for Technology Businesses | JackBoxers

Marketing TipsIn every business, marketing is the only way that can gain profit and increase sales. Every marketing staff or employees do have their own style of increasing the popularity of the product or service of a company. Some would spend large amounts of money and some would only have a little budget but use their own resources in marketing their products and services as much as possible.

Success

Marketing can take on different forms. You can always do your marketing in different styles as long as it can really attract the attention of your market. You can be creative yet stick to a budget or you can go expensive and creative. This is about your technology business and this requires you to be more creative and stylish. This needs you to be more technological and a goal to attract your technological market should be performed. So how do you go about your marketing in your technological business?

  1. Be more creative and unique. Make your marketing strategy really effective in doing stylish and one of a kind marketing. A unique kind of marketing style that no one else has ever made.
  2. Choose your market well and do attract them with your style. There are a different ages in your kind of market and be sure to please them and let them be curious of what your product or service is all about.
  3. Make your hardware more visible, more user-friendly and not so strict on the budget. Make sure you have the nicest hardware in town.
  4. Straight to the point. Clients would love to have companies that would talk about the products or services straight to the point. In this way, customers would appreciate the point and how it is useful.
  5. You can build relationships with your customers and be online as much as possible to your website and social networking accounts. This is what the market needs to have. They want to have the kind of company that are present and gives time to answer comments and suggestions part of every client.
  6. Be the one to introduce the new and latest trend or style in the market. Challenge yourself to compete with the others and make yourself be the sought after company. Be sure that your website and social account area is always updated and you as the owner is present as well. Market would love to interact with the company and this way you can gain more clients than before.
  7. Do create advertisements that you know for sure can really attract the market. This will make the market really curious and will also become the reason they will be visiting your website and office.

Do always become a company that will make everyone curious. Through your marketing styles, people would love to try new things and purchase anything new to them. Make this a habit to always surprise the market. In this way, you will really earn hug sales in no time.

5 Best Tech News Websites 2016

Tech SphereLast week I did a post on the 3 reasons I believe the tech industry is booming and is about to explode beyond all measure. This is down to now close to every individual on earth having a mobile phone, if you can promote to a worldwide audience, the profits are just there to be made! I estimate the next industry to be disrupted (in the way that Airbnb has disrupted the hotel industry and in the same way that Uber has disrupted the travel/taxi industry) is EDUCATION. I could write a 10,000 word article on why I believe this to be the case but for now we will just leave it with – The oldest industries tend to be the ones that get disrupted and education is suffering at the moment!

My second guess would be agriculture, with the introduction of advanced farming and automated chemical technologies, it is just a matter of time until businesses get themselves onto the agricultural map through smart technological advances…. But that is not the purpose for this article so I will get on with it!

My Top 5 Sources of Technology News 2016

  1. Cnet Tech – Cet is an internet based tech supplier of great and more importantly up to date news. They have new stories any time of the day when it makes the most sense and relevance to post them! They don’t promote rubbish channels or clearly promoted content either.
  2. The Verve – More talking about the consumer element of tech news, including the most up to date revolutionary products that are already, or at least very close to going to market. I don’t feel they have the same reach as the others on the list but still a great and no BS tech blog.
  3. Tech Crunch – Probably the number 1 leader in tech news nowadays, and one of the biggest tech blogs ever! Tech crunch is great for everyone, their articles are concise and well written and you don’t need to be a techy to understand most of the content either, which is always a plus. This should be the first on your list for news.
  4. WIRED – Another giant in the tech niche, wired magazine is my go to place for tech related to business advancements. They make a great connect between technology that is cool vs technology that genuinely can help the community. They also have high quality business, design, transport, science and security sections if anyone is interested in those topics too.
  5. Telegraph – A newspaper first, this is perfect for individuals who want to see the biggest technology stories without having to look through the other smaller or less significant stuff. I read the telegraph on a daily basis including a quick flick through these sections to see if I have missed any important tech news!

There is also a pretty good Youtube channel for tech news, one of there videos is below.

3 Keys to Successful Tech Businesses

Technology businessesOver the past 5 years there has been 1 very clear trend in business, and that’s = Tech businesses are becoming hugely popular and successful! Not just for the owners of the business, but also the venture capital firms that invest in these start-ups. The funny thing is that the Tech industry is still so open, there are so many examples and ideas on the market that can literally be brought for a few thousand dollars. These are the next Uber or Airbnb, but instead these are just sitting at the same investment level. Below are the 3 reasons I think tech businesses are becoming more and more successful and why we are on the eve of a huge technology explosion, that will result in a lot of money for a lot of people.

Funding1.) Raise Funding as early as possible

The tech market is booming, its not quite the .com bubble level but its growing by the month and its hugely profitable for the venture capital firms, especially the ones down in San Fran!

VC’s are particularly interested in the tech industry and advancements which can be controlled through mobile devices, before you would need a degree just to work a computer, these days you can do everything almost naturally. The same will be the case with hugely advanced tech. For example, the old drones that were produced used to need thousands of hours of practice to use. The smaller drones and quad copters on the market nowadays only need a few hours and then you are ready to get started! It’s crazy but its true!

Wheel2.) Don’t Re-invent the Wheel, just re-invent the way it works or is interpreted.

My next piece of advice is something I see people trying to do all the time. They are trying to reinvent the wheel. Please stop. All you need to do is improve something above the next most valuable metric. For example, did Uber or Airbnb think they were better than every hotel or taxi service? Of course not! They simply made it easier for people to use the services, and in many cases cheaper for these same individuals, which led to hugely profitable results for the tech giants. But also the individuals associated with the companies, for example the people listing their house on the sites or the individual driving tourists around, it benefits everyone, which leads me to my final point nicely.

Helping People3.) Help External Sources / People

For example if you build a business with the sole goal to make money, sure you might make some money but it is likely you won’t change the world and you won’t build these hugely profitable billion dollar businesses. Instead you have to have a larger goal, something that people will flock to and think wow this is really cool, or has an overwhelming help to society.

3 Examples of this that I have seen in the last year – 1.) A motorbike helmet that makes people safer through using rear view cameras, sensors and other gadgets. 2.) Drones that help transport medication to 3rd world countries suffering from wars or in extremely dangerous locations. 3.) Solar Panels – I know these are not anything new but it is only recently that solar has exploded, this helps the planet, individuals and everyone in the solar loop! But anything that helps individuals and the environment in the process is a +1 from me and a +1 for business generally.

How to Market in an Extremely Spam Filled Industry!

Hi guys,

No SpamToday we’re going to look at a few tips you can use to market your business in an extremely spam filled industry. The reason why an industry becomes filled with spam is not because it is a bad industry but because it is highly profitable! The industry we are going to look at today is E liquids. The reason for the article is due to a company (www.snakevape.co.uk) came to me looking to do some online and offline marketing for them. After initially being worried I decided to work with them, but warned how competitive this relatively young industry was.

So I decided to write a quick article on how to market tough or spam filled industries.

3 Keys to Successful Marketing in these industries

1.) Clear Visuals & Sales Funnels

The issue with quite a lot of these companies is they are what are known as “pop up profiters” this means individuals will set up a basic website, buy some low quality stock and aim to sell out as quickly as profitable, using unethical and sometimes illegal marketing techniques, just to make a quick buck in a highly lucrative market.

Your goal as a business owner is to do the exact opposite, you want to position yourself or your brand as the expert in the field or the company that will be around forever! Repeat customers are the most profitable to your business and hence these are the ones you want to concentrate your marketing on, but before you get started you have to have a clear idea of your sales funnel and the aim for the business itself, without that you may as well forget any marketing you do.

2.) Referrals & Repeat Customers

The 2 greatest methods to marketing a competitive industry is to get other people to do it for you. The best way to do this is to have your pre-existing customers do it for you. Note you can also use an affiliate network but it gets slightly more complicated when you invest in creating one of those. So for now we will stick with referrals. Offer an individual a 20-30% profit when they refer someone, so you are essentially saying they will make 20% on whatever the person orders! Free leads so you can take the slight hit on the profit margin as it is only the first sale value too.

The other aspect we want to look at is repeat customers, as mentioned in point 1, we want to get customers for life not just one time purchases. The best way to do this is reward programmes. Offer X number of points which can be converted to products. This is the easiest way to motivate an individual to sign up and commit to your company over a competitor as they feel they will get prizes or at least discounts in the future!

3.) High end Paid Marketing

I say high end as you don’t want to look like every other TDH when it comes to these industries. Step one is you want to find where your target audience hangs out and go directly to them with an offer they can’t refuse, usually money but it can also be a revenue share % too.

But the next thing is important, you want to set up retargeting for anyone who visits your website. This will help conversions drastically and instead of only 2-5% of your market buying, you will be likely to get nearer 8-15% who come back and finish the checkout process!

7 Lead Generation Tips for Competitive but Sleek Businesses

Ferrari SpiderSo I’m writing this post in relation to someone from http://supercarhire.co.uk/ who stated they cannot generate leads for their business because their market is far too narrow. Sure, target audience for supercars is relatively small. I mean you have to have people who are interested in supercars AND the ones that have enough money to afford to rent one for a day or a week. But never the less there are still multiple lead generation strategies you can use and will be successful!

7 Lead Generation Techniques for Sleek Businesses

  1. National SEO campaigns – Ranking for the relevant keywords in Google is probably one of the best long term strategy to generating leads on a consistent basis. It takes a long time to rank in Google, or it might also cost you a lot of money if you hire an seo agency, BUT the results achieved should be 1000% times what you pay and hence SEO is one of the most cost effective ROI marketing strategies.
  2. PPC campaigns – Again one of the easiest ways to generate leads, but quite expensive when you are in high competition niches such as the supercar hire ones. The easiest way to do this is to get a PPC expert to set up a profitable campaign for you. Chances are this will result in a ROI of 300%+ which means once you’ve given them their cut, you can make some extremely good profits! PPC also helps you get instant or very quick leads, from day 1!
  3. Direct Mail – Purchase leads from a database that has individuals who earn over £100,000 a year. This allows you to break down the first barrier for sleek businesses which is the individual doesn’t have enough money to pay for this. Next you want to create a PERSONALISED mail that has people itching it get into a car. Then its just a follow up game! Follow up all the leads personally and get them on the phone. Close the deal!
  4. Quora – Quora is great for marketing, when its done right. If you see any posts related to supercar hire or even just luxury car rentals, jump in and answer the question with a link to your site. Also state a discount code, don’t make the service sound cheap but you need to make them take action and not “maybe later” response.
  5. Phone – Get on the phone. Again this usually requires hours of data mining or at least purchasing some good leads from a lead gen company. But once you have them, make sure you call them and make an offer they cannot resist. Remember this people do have the money for it so if they don’t get a rental its because your salesmanship isn’t good enough!
  6. Affiliate Programme – Create an affiliate program so others can promote the business for you. This is a great strategy if you don’t have a lot of funds to invest into marketing. You can offer the affiliate anywhere from 5-50%, although I’d recommend around 10%. This sparks smart marketers to actually promote your business for you!
  7. Social Media – Utilising social media hastags and questions. For example if someone makes a statement about the cost of supercars, you can come in and say its only 0.5% of that to rent a supercar for 2 days. Chances are they will engage with you, even though you will likely not make the sale, if you do this a few times a day, you should be able to net 1-2 sales a week!

Why Losing Money On Branding is So Important

Yes you did read that right.

Spend money to make moneyEver heard the saying “you have to spend money to make money”. I believe this statement to be 1 million percent true. When it comes to business you have to be willing to go one step further. You have to be willing to lose money to make money. Losing money through smart long-term marketing is better than making a quick few thousands with a smart slogan that your product doesn’t live up to. We see this so much nowadays but with the internet connecting everyone so fast, if you have a poor product you will receive negative reviews and you won’t sell anything…. Seriously you just won’t.

Instead you should be willing to lose money to make money. For example an old client of mine used to sell fitness logo t shirts these were very plain but they sold them for a cheap price and the product was good! Why in the heck would sell a product at a loss! They were selling these at a loss! Seriously I didn’t know at the time so I had to ask why and the response was something that has stayed with me, well the concept has anyway. 

The Compound Effect.

I’m paraphrasing here but it was along the lines of: “If I can make a £2 loss selling 1 t shirt, this means I have a happy customer let’s say… Now this customer is pretty much an employee, I’ve only paid them £2 but that’s the cheapest employee I’m ever going to have, so if they are happy with the product they are going to wear it, and guess what? It promotes our brand, which means the more they wear it the more people see it! If 1000 people see it and only 1 person decides to search the brand and visit the site then that’s fine, I got a new visitor which I’m happy with! Now multiple this by 5-10 a day and we have lost maybe £10-£20 but our brand is out there and growing, more people see it and the brand image is improving by the day. It’s the viral illusion.

So I lose £30,000 in my first year of business? Selling 15,000 t shirts. Now guess what, I raise the price slightly and I order a higher quantity which reduces MY COSTS. This means I can raise the price by £2 but I’m now making £1 profit per shirt…. The brand image continues to grow and I make £15,000 profit this year, remember that conversions would decrease but we have more people wearing them by the day and this leads to more people through the site anyway.

But 100% the kicker to this technique is the cross-over. If I sold 30,000 t-shirts in 2 years, I would have 30,000 people on my email list that I can contact when we release our next product, let’s say its another fitness related product such as a hoody, we release it in September when it just starts getting cold and its well designed, the quality is there and we can offer it “for sale” but at a price we can still make a £5 profit per unit…. Guess what happens now?

We send an email to these 30,000 people. If we get a 10% conversion rate and a 5% CTR that’s 1,500 “viewing” the item. Even if only 10% of people decide to purchase the item that’s 150 sales in a matter of days = £750 in profit (from a sale item.) The branding effect currently now we have another 150 brand ambassadors, more people see the brand and purchase a t-shirt… Now the ball is rolling. Year 3 we make a small profit of £5,000 but have 45,000 people on the email list.

Year 4 begins and we dive further into marketing and advertising the brand, we slowly build the lists further and keep our £2 profit per tee and £5 profit per hoody.. It’s getting big now, the list is growing and we sell some awesome stuff, building the range up and engaging with the audience through social media and email marketing. At the end of year 4 we’ve got 80,000 people on the list but we didn’t make much profit, only £25,000 as a lot was re-invested into stock and marketing.

Year 5 is what I like to call the pivot, this is when you become a hugely profitable business. Let’s say we launch a tracksuit bottoms range, it costs us £10 to produce a unit but we are going to sell it for £20 with a “limited stock levels” offer to drive sales in the early days. As we now have a loyal following we can send this offer to all 80,000 people on our email list. At a 10% conversion rate and a 10% sales rate that means = 800 x £10 profit per unit. We just made £8,000 pure profit in a few days. If you relate this back to the very start, if we raised our prices to where they should be (market price) we would have had no sales at the start as no one knows the brand!) Instead in year 5 we have a half a million pound business with only 4-5 products.

Year 5 should continue on this route, you can also utilise your audience now, emailing offers, creating new products ect. Getting a 1% sale rate from your email list shouldn’t be difficult if its built on previous sales. By the end of year 5 you have a 100,000 email list which converts at 1% for similar products. You launch 1 new product every 2 months and you make £500,000 in pure profit this year.

Live in the compound effect. Money lost now is 10X in a few years time.

Branding a “Sexy” and a “Boring” Business

Ferrari SpiderIn 2014 I partnered with a couple of investors to launch a supercar rental business. This is currently doing well with another party and you can find out more about them here and here.

Although I really enjoyed being able to drive around in Ferrari’s, we seriously made a mistake with our branding. We were targeting the corporate CEOs that wanted these cars as a weekend vacation option. This was not the way to go as it turned out. The actual way was supercar enthusiasts if you are wondering. But anyway, we realised we had made things way to complicated so I got the help of a few experts in corporate branding from the branding division. These guys know everything about building a brand and knew how to solve my issues (eventually.)

The problem they summed it up as, was the following. I’d been building businesses in boring industries, so I had been focusing on the benefits and value that my product or service would give, and although that’s great, that isn’t why people want supercars! They want to feel and experience it, not understand why X supercar is better than Y supercar… This is a hugely important issue that I think many people miss.

There is no point positioning your business in an area where your prospect aren’t, you wouldn’t do this with traditional marketing so why do you do this with your branding campaigns. Brand your business to your potential customers but know what they actually want first, is it benefits and value or is it the thrill of a fast car?!

Rant over….For now.

Prospecting and Marketing on a Budget

How can you generate sales when you don’t have a lot of money to invest into marketing or advertising? This is a common problem for start-ups but also a pretty common problem for anyone who can’t source funding, which in our post-recession economy is quite a few of us. Personally below is the strategy I used to generate 5 clients for my digital marketing agency, although 5 clients in 6 months doesn’t sound like a lot, these are what I’d call IDEAL prospects, not the type of people that will quit after 2 months. Combine they have brought us over £6,000 in revenue so far and its only an average of 4 months into the campaigns across the 5 clients.

Step 1: Create Your Enticement.

I call it an enticement but you can call it whatever you want. I tend to shy away from using the word offer as that then relates that you are lowering your perceived value of the product or service. Anyway in my case I was offering free actionable advice, in most cases this was a quick basic audit which took me about 10 minutes to complete but to the individual it was invaluable. I also didn’t just pitch or pick and choose the information in this document. I gave away the farm. People are usually too lazy to do it for themselves so I wouldn’t worry about telling them how to fix something!

Step 2: Find A Place Where Your Prospects Hang Out.

In our example this involved me going to a popular UK small business forum, but not one that was flooded with people looking to get work. If you are going to a overcrowded area you aren’t going to get noticed. As I was looking to connect with businesses, mainly local ones this was the perfect place, but if you are not the online business type, then you can do this physically as well, you just need to know where your potential prospects will be. For example if you are in the fitness industry you’d probably be looking in gyms, create a list of gyms that might be interested in what you are offering.

Step 3: Build a Connection.

This is probably the most important step. If you are just looking to pitch your business constantly people will get bored and defensive very quickly and just turn off to whatever you are trying to promote. If you instead start by building a connection with an individual, talking to them about what they are struggling with and then explaining how things actually work, again don’t pitch. Just give away the farm!

Step 4: Create an unrefusable offer.

The hardest dollar to make is the first, this is the same for all potential clients. I don’t recommend ever offering something 100% free but you can offer a subscription for £10 in the first month and you provide extreme value in that time then you will have a much higher conversion rate as opposed to the “Pay me £500 now” and you will rank.

I hope you enjoyed the post and took something from it as well, remember to go and take action now!!