In this age of instant and fleeting fame, it's comforting to find people whose business acumen and efforts have stood the test of time. Hence, it was with great anticipation that Hilary Stewardson welcomed Willie Crawford to the "Seminars with the Experts" hot seat.
In the Internet Marketing world, Crawford stands out as a legitimate pioneer and expert. Active since 1996, he has parlayed initial success with a cooking recipes website into a suite of full-fledged, multi-layered internet properties that boasts over half a million list subscribers and customers. Now identified as an Internet power broker and services supplier, Crawford is a popular e-book publisher, speaker, and workshop facilitator for newbies and veteran marketers alike.
Mr. Crawford boasts the prerequisite "Rags to Riches" story common with many Internet Marketers. However, he maintains a humility that regular folks can relate to. He wastes no time by advising listeners to break out of the "Poverty Mentality" by thinking big. Start off with a solid business plan that will catapult you to success.
How to Get Started.
Like other Internet veterans, Willie Crawford suggests that affiliate marketing is the best way for beginners to get off to a fast start. Through a judicious choice of e-books, software etc. they can offer quality to list subscribers and prospects without the hassles of product creation and customer service. If one product does not sell well, simply move on to the next item. Ideally, your choices have been market tested and have a track record that adds credibility to your overall marketing efforts.
On the other hand, new product creation offers many advantages:
1. The creator/author, i.e. you, set the terms of profitability.
2. You do not compete for 'affiliate' dollars; are outside the fight for commissions.
3. A successful campaign allows you to establish expert status within your niche.
The obvious danger with product creation lies in selling and creating products nobody wants, thus losing your time and financial investment. In either case, you must overdeliver to make a name for yourself.
Marketing for Success.
Business success or failure is mostly determined by your marketing ability and the quality of your industry contacts. Market testing is critical and performance needs to be measured; fast methods (e.g. Pay-per-click) and slow methods (e.g. article marketing) can both be effective when done consistently and systematically.
Crawford shared several ideas with listeners for building a list of proven buyers. For example, creating then selling $5 or $10 products can help you generate entry-level purchasers. Once they have "raised their hand", you can build trust by offering high quality product reviews. Acting as a trusted source and filter, your recommendations should help customers decide what they really want. Therefore, provide a mix of yeahs and nays to establish credibility.
Willie Crawford's Take on Outsourcing.
When asked about outsourcing's place in business, Mr. Crawford advises people to consider the standard "Time vs. Money" dilemma:
"Can I afford it?"
If the answer is yes and you can access reliable services, concentrate on developing ideas and delegate the heavy lifting to specialists. Marketers are ideas people first, and the more ideas you try out, the faster it will be to find the one that works.
Willie belongs to several mastermind groups, but also advocates another networking model that can benefit beginners. Too often, newcomers have a hard time accessing critical information about new product releases and reviews. With most new product revenue generated in the first 2 weeks of launch, only insiders with advance notice win. Thus, Crawford introduced the concept of a joint venture (JV) database to develop future JV partners, create an alternative to outsourcing, and serve as a promotions exchange.
Would ya Believe?
Even with the Digital Age's technological advances, Willie Crawford still prefers "face to face" networking. He still considers it the best way to get a feel for people before pursuing business relationships with them. It allows him to better judge personality, body language, and overall fit. Human nature is all about finding a person's "hot" buttons, i.e., "What makes you tick?", and Crawford readily admits to placing great value on personal relationships.
Judging by his hectic schedule, Willie Crawford is not about to retire from the Internet Marketing scene anytime soon. He continues to build alliances and partnerships that keep his organizations ahead of the curve and generate fresh marketing ideas. Crawford's entrepreneurial spirit, online experience, and passion make him a respected advocate for Internet-based business growth. The right way.
Rahul Majumdar is a full-time information marketer specializing in teleseminar reporting, article marketing, and information product creation.