Go After Untapped Market Opportunities
Competition is fierce online. Anyone can set up a website and start competing against the world. This leaves many wondering, how do you survive this situation? The answer is to go after untapped market opportunities.
Why Is Competition So Fierce?
Competition has always been rather strong. When one business sees another business has an advantage, the one business will try to exploit what the other is doing. It's just the way the world works.
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However, online businesses are easy for all to see, 24x7. The minute you put up a web page, the world has the potential to see what you did. Worse, they can reverse engineer your page and figure out why your page is successful.
You also have people from all over the world grabbing at their slice of the pie. With all these forces at work, how could anyone find an untapped market?
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In many ways, standing out make a huge difference. If you can offer something that is difficult for competitors to offer and it is something buyers want, you'll have a nice edge in the market. This isn't easy, but it' not impossible, either.
For instance, most businesses are unwilling to offer free information or the freebies they offer are token efforts. If your business stands out by delivering quality information for free, you'll make a connection with the online community you are targeting.
Target the Right People
While we're on that subject, many business don't know anything about how to properly target their customers. Many think they should sell to everyone, which is always a mistake, especially online. People are busy and looking for specific products and information. Be there when they search for it, and you'll get the conversion.
There are plenty of ways to learn about who your customers are (or should be). One of the best ways is to use Facebook's targeting mechanism on its advertising platform. You don't even need to create a full ad to use it.
Don't forget about your analytics accounts. They give you significant insights into who your content is resonating with. Learn about tools such as Google Analytics and Search Console from Google. Both give great insights into the demographics of your visitors. There are plenty of free training modules on how to use these tools online.
The Following Untapped Markets Where Competition Makes No Difference
What do you think would happen if I let you know about a marketing medium where you can get a boatload of traffic, irrespective of whether others are using it? Better still, many of your competitors don't have a clue about this and probably won't for a long time.
The marketing medium that I am referring to is affiliate marketing. However, it's not you becoming an affiliate. It's you setting up an affiliate program and recruiting people to sell your products.
Okay, maybe stating that competition makes no difference is a bit of a stretch. However, even if your competitors create affiliate programs, it doesn't mean they know how to manage it properly. Unlike you (with my help), you'll have access to an affiliate tracking solution that is affordable and easy to set up. If your competitors jump on the affiliate marketing bandwagon, they are likely to pay hefty prices while you won't.
Even if your competitors learn the same infromation that you are learning here and copy you, it's not going to make that much of a difference. That's because your products that you sell via the affiliate program are different from theirs. If they aren't different, than find ways to differentiate them.
For instance, take the time (or outsource it) to create a product guide that helps customers know everything they need to use the products you sell. Try to find creative ways to put the product to use.
Some Competitors Will Copy You
It's sad that some loser competitors won't have the business savvy to compete on their own laurels. But, in this day of instant gratification, that is what we are left with. Competitors will steal from you, and that stinks.
But, it won't matter as much as you think. That's because you'll already be way ahead of them in your campaigns. By the time they steal your ideas and retrofit it to their own campaigns, you will have become the early adopters and have taken a bunch of market share from the start.
Since you'll be the early adopter, guess what that means in terms of recruiting affiliates? They will likely recognize this status and want to work with you. This will require you to offer generous commissions (another mistake other vendors will make in not offering them).
Support Your Affiliate Recruits
Here is one great way to stand out from your competition. Offer wickedly great support to your recruits. Make it as easy as possible for them to sell your products. You can do this by offering training videos, assets that help them sell like videos and images, ideas for advertising campaigns, and social media interaction.
While none of these activities are necessary for you to make money with your affiliates, doing so will differentiate your affiliate program. Most vendors don't do this as often as they should.
What Does Starting an Affiliate Program Cost?
You'd be surprised how inexpensive it can be. Let me ask you, if you went through your change from your loose change buckets, do you think you could find enough quarters for each day of the year for one year? I am going out on a limb and state that most people would say yes.
Here's the rub. It costs slightly less than the quater-per-day rate for one service that I am recommending to you (see below). Therefore, since you were able to find those daily quaters, you already have the costs covered.
The cost of the lowest-priced tier for the service is $47 per month. With that, you can recruit up to 200 affiliates. That's not difficult to do, and the platform helps you find affiliate recruits, too!
If you took the $47 per month divided by the 200 recruits, you'd get 23.5 cents per day. That's a penny-and-a-half less than the quaters you found.
Will All 200 Recruits Produce?
The truth is, the 200 recruits you receive will not produce anywhere near what you hope they will, although if you implement training and assets as described before, you'll increase the likelihood. Still, suppose only ten affiliates sell for you.
Further, suppose the price of one of your products is $150 and you give your recruits a 50% commission. If these ten affiliate sell ten products each, that would be $7,500 ($150 / 2 * 100) that you would earn, all from their efforts.
The distribution for affiliates is likely to be much more spread out than just ten affiliates. There are those that won't sell any products ever (you can drop these people if you want). At the opposite extreme are recruits that will sell significantly more than the ten used in the previous example.
Even if you had five powerhouse affiliates selling 50 products each, that's 500 products x ($150/2) = $37,500. That's with no added promotional costs. The affiliates take care of that for you.
It's like getting a sales team without all the overhead.
It's not likely that you'll have only five powerhouse sellers. Others will be above average, several will be average, some will be below average, and some still will be duds. Suppose you had the following (fictitious) distribution (assume only one product that sells for $150):
The total sales in this scenario is $245,625, all without any extra promotional costs on your part. Remember, the $75 represents 50% what's left after the 50% commission is paid.
I have included a spreadsheet that will allow you to run what-if scenarios on the scenario given above. Even if you cut the numbers of units sold in half, you are still looking at over $120,000 in sales for your affiliates' efforts.
How Much Commission Should You Award Your Recruits?
As you play around with the numbers in the scenario, you'll likely run different commissions. You may be tempted to undercut your affiliates and take more of a commission yourself. This may work too, for a little while.
The problem is affiliates are always searching for the highest rates. Many of these recruits won't factor all the variables into the equation. They will be rate hunters and move onto a better rate given by your competitors. The experienced affiliates (usually the top sellers) will look at more than just the rate. But, even with them, if the rate differential is too great, they could move on from your program, too.
It's a delicate balance of giving up profits in exchange for more sales, sale that you wouldn't likely receive without the affiliates (or it would cost you more with an in-house sales team). You have to weigh the different scenarios and try to be fair. Remember, it costs your recruits time and money to promote your products.
The good news is most of your competitors will likely undercut their affiliates. This gives you an opportunity to grab those affiliates for yourself.
A Few Items Worth Mentioning...
In the above scenario, you'll notice the number of recruits doing the selling was less than 200. In fact, it was 56 to be exact. Again, the distributions are likely to be more spread out. Plus, a lot depends on how your product sells.
This scenario represented selling only one product. Imagine if you changed the projects for 10 products. It's likely the number of units overall for all products will increase due to the diversity of offers to customers. However, guess how much it cost you to run this (aside from productions costs for your products)? $47 since you have less than 200 affiliates. That means, if you increase the number of products offered, and more affiliates sell as a result, your sales could be significantly higher.
Providing Resources for Recruits
I mentioned previoiusly that you should set up training for your affiliates. However, I didn't specify too many details on how. Generally, the type of training (and assets) I was referring to was for affiliates that have some experience with affiliate businesses.
For these affiliates, you can offer tips on how to sell your products. After all, you know everything about your products and you can pass on what they need to sell more effectively.
You could offer videos they can include on their websites or YouTube channels. You could offer cheatsheets and industry statistics, etc. You can even give them marketing tips like Facebook groups to join or Pinterest boards to pin to, etc.
How to Help the Beginner Recruits
Wouldn't it be great if you could poll your current (or past) customers and ask if they would be interested in recommending your products to others? Further, you could offer financial incentives for them to do so. This will likely spark an interest with these customers. This is called a referral program and is the basis for many affiliate programs. For most companies, the terms are interchangeable.
However, this presents an interesting scenario. You'll receive initial sales from these referrals but they will likely stop after they have run out of people to recommend your products.
You pay for the number of referrals in many affiliate tracking systems. If they are one-hit wonders as far as referring others, they will sit idle and not produce for you. Besides, they did what you asked them to do - to refer their friends and family.
A better approach is to convince them they can earn by referring others along with their friends. Help them understand the potential earnings they can enjoy by creating an affiliate business.
Of course, most won't know how to do this. The concept of an affiliate program is simple, but the implementation takes more work. You probably don't have much time to hand hold a bunch of newbies on how an affiliate business works.
The good news is you can use a free system to help them learn how to sell with an affiliate program. Why reinvent the wheel? Pointing your recruits to a proven system will get them the training you need while freeing you up to run you business.
What the proven system will teach your recruits is how to set up an affiliate business, from the website to the necessary pages (privacy policies, affiliate disclosures, About Me pages, etc.).
It also helps them develop a framework for a fully working website by the time they complete their training. It even shows them how to create effective content to start making money. Best of all, they can get started for free, and they receive two free websites they can use to learn. Give them the following link:
If you are not familiar with the affiliate model, it's not a bad course to take for yourself. The best part is you can start for free and don't need to leave a credit card. When you sign up, I can even show you how you can make money from those beginner affiliates who sign up as well. Just come back here and leave me a comment on this post. Use the link above to sign up and get started.
The point is, beginner affiliates will learn all they need to know about the affiliate business which leaves them in a position to start out of the gate running. You don't have to spend any time at all teaching them about how an affiliate business is run. It's a win-win situation.
How You Can Go After Untapped Markets
You are now ready to go after untapped markets the way I described. All you need to do is sign up for a free, 15-day trial period to OSI Affiliate. When you sign up to OSI Affiliate, it usually takes about 10 minutes to get set up. If you get stuck, though, their support is great. Just reach out and they'll help you get set up.
Once you're set up, you can start finding affiliates (the untapped market) to sell your products. Want a good start on finding recruits? Talk to your existing customers. It's an easy sell. If a vendor you previously bought products from offered commissions on future sales from friends or family, it's probably something you would consider. So will your existing customers. People love to buy from friends and family.
You can then funnel these people into the affiliate training I discussed before. Many of these customers may not be familiar with an affiliate business model.