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Thread: How do I teach others to make money online to make money for my business

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    How do I teach others to make money online to make money for my business

    without drawing in the naive and beginners to a program they will never be able to implement? Can I, should I, attempt to protect people from themselves? If so, how?

    I would love to know how to provide and promote online education to make money, and tell others of my abilities without appearing to possess self-aggrandizing narcissism While I enjoy helping and love to see others succeed, I have always made my living and paid my bills by providing that help. Please know that I am a business-person, not a philanthropist. To that end, I would like your advice.

    I don't know if it is fitting to distrust any and all education in the MMO arena, simply because of past experience. Yes, we all know there is misdirection for personal gain from educators. This occurs daily all over the Internet. Even when the information is accurate, a majority of students will never be capable of applying the knowledge obtained.

    The goal here is to find the means by which to market knowledge without appearing to be an opportunist or a predator. Well over half the members on EP are qualified to teach; Many do just that every day here for free. What is wrong with teaching for money? In most cultures, educators are respected. How do I support myself and my family, by teaching others to make money, without being considered as trying to profit from naive n00bs?


    I am going to suggest two very different classes, and ask you to assume I am capable of teaching these. I would like your recommendation as to how to proceed to assist the greatest number of people, in the MMO or get-rich niche, with the caveat: This is being done as a business for profit, not as charity work.

    Digital property MMO seminar

    For this example. let's assume that I know domain names well enough to be able to provide new knowledge to most people interested in domaining. Let's also assume that I've been a domainer for a number of years, collected a good amount of tested research, and know how to make money buying and selling domain names. For years, I have used these processes to my personal benefit, and currently make money doing the activities I would like to teach.

    Let's also assume that, because of my experience, the processes I follow still work (and will for the foreseeable future). Let's assume that ICANN rules and regulations are still identical, drop-catching, while more competitive, still provides opportunity, and I know how to teach someone to foresee future trends to buy FTR names that will have value in 3 to 5 years. I will be teaching everything from how registrars work to finding end-users to online services such as Estibot, DomainTools, and more providing resource manuals and worksheets.

    Let's also assume that I am familiar with the tools available, the websites that support this activity, cover legal and professional applications, and can supply someone a complete process for making money as a domainer. If I were to assemble this knowledge into a coherent course, it could take months of hundred-hour weeks.

    Assuming I have the background to do just that, and decide to pursue creation of the course, while having the knowledge to adapt the processes as the markets change, the questions are:

    • Do I sell it to anyone who wants it (or should there be prerequisites in place)?
    • How do I sell it (without appearing to be an opportunist)?
    • How do I price it (as a weekend seminar or an ongoing subscription)?
    • If I can tutor a couple of people (which has already been done) on the processes to refine the methods, is this adequate proof of concept?
    • Should I have to be responsible if others cannot apply my methods (that I am certain are working for myself and others)?


    Physical property MMO seminar

    For this example, let's assume I know stores and eCommerce well enough to reverse engineer and deconstruct any online retailer. This allows a determination of whether there is opportunity to compete online across multiple venues. Let's also assume I've been a successful eBay seller and online store owner for quite the number of years, collected a good amount of tested research, and know how to buy and sell physical, and represent digital products online. For years, I have used this knowledge to my personal benefit, and currently make money doing the activities I would like to teach.

    Over the years, I have developed processes for making money in eCommerce. Let's assume, also, that the processes I follow still work (and will for the foreseeable future), and so I am willing to release my start-up analysis methods to the public (even including 9 of the 17 proprietary forms used if there's an NDA). Let's assume the ability to analyze competition, find sources of supply and drop-shippers, determine cost of doing business, and that the overall environment, while substantially more competitive than in years past, still provides great opportunity. I will be teaching everything from eBay stores to Amazon to osCommerce to Ecwid for social site stores, providing manuals and worksheets.

    Let's also assume that I am familiar with the tools available, the websites that support this activity, cover legal and professional applications, and can supply someone a complete process for making money in eCommerce. If I were to assemble this knowledge into a coherent course, it could take months of hundred-hour weeks.

    Assuming I have the background to do just that, and decide to pursue creation of the course, while having the knowledge to adapt the processes as the markets change, the questions are the same as above.

    Besides those questions, what other considerations should be in place?

    Which of these two subjects do you feel has less of a negative perception for being sold as a seminar, and why?

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  3. #2
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    Ken, fantastic post.

    I've often had the same questions. I know a little bit about buying and selling websites. I know that the real size of the market and the difficulty with finding sites to buy, doing the due diligence etc. But there's no money in explaining those truths. The money is in creating a feeling of a new gold rush, whipping up a frenzy and then quickly selling shovels and getting the hell out.

    I feel I have experience and knowledge that would be useful to people. However, to sell it to the market that's most likely to benefit from it is a different matter. Honesty would find it difficult to compete in a market of crooks - it's an uphill journey. Maybe the trick is to find a different market. There's a high road and a low one. Here's, generally, how I see the differences:


    High Road
    Low Road
    I see you ... In a suit, sitting at a business meeting with a laptop and a file of papers In shorts and a T-shirt with a 34DD blonde from hire-a-bimbo posing in front of some rich geezer's house and Porsche for a photo
    Target Market
    Professional Business People; Corporates; M&A professionals; PR and Branding companies; Intellectual Property Experts Gullible newbies, MMO junkies, the kind who go for every WSO and sign up to every "guru's" newsletter
    How To Reach Customers Business sections of the broadsheets, financial newspapers and magazines, trade journals, professional bodies' in-house mailing lists, industry events Partner with other players in the industry. Pay them to recommend your product to their list, carry your guest blog post, interview you. Start an affiliate program and give other MMO merchants an opportunity to make money if you make money. Don't worry about product quality. Concentrate on the conversions and funnel
    Price A few thousand dollars paid up front or a few thousand dollars a month for access to a SaaS solution. Smaller price - $97 or $147, that kind of thing. Or, better still, give free initial access after taking their credit card details for later billing / automated subscriptions. Keep automated charges small so they don't notice it for a while.
    Presentation An in person pitch at business meetings, stalls at exhibitions, guest speaker at professional organisations' annual events Long sales letter, squeeze page, free pdf to build your list so you can extract more revenue by cross selling other MMO schemes. Target the SERPs via linkbuying, doing articles in UGC sites, creating videos in YouTube to try and capture as many slots on page 1 of Google as you can.
    Form of Delivery Some printed material supported by personal advice - whatever form is best for the customers of the service. Blog, podcast, downloadable pdf. Or give the appearance of even more value by splitting the course up into numerous videos and ebooks and "tools" (don't forget to create some images to show what that material would look like if it was all printed out)
    Location A formal business address. Perhaps offices in multiple physical locations with proper landline phone numbers A few get rich quick domain names registered behind a privacy service to not disclose your home address. A PO box number if you need to receive post
    Size of operation An organisation with staff A one man band
    Your Reputation / Credibility An industry leader. Someone who is respected for his wisdom and knowledge You don't have reputation. You try to build it on your long sales page letter by making unsubstantiated claims, posting bought testimonials. It's about bluster. Be a tomato frog.
    Modus Operandi You're in it for the long term and your primary goal is taking care of your customers Just sell the bloody shovels while the going's good, dammit!
    How you see your customers You see them as professionals like you and talk to them on your level You maintain a "guru" status. Your customers don't know much and because you know a bit more you come across as smart. So you exploit that by telling them how you'll hold their hand and assist them every step of the way.
    Language Sophisticated. Grammatically correct. High editing quality. The language, jargon and buzzwords of the corporate world. Keep it simple. The odd grammar or spelling mistake may not be noticed and even if it is your customers won't mind - to them it's the message that's important, the upbeat tone, the encouragement. Talk like a pal, use colloquialisms, it ain't going to cause no harm.
    You address your customers as Sir or Madam or Mr / Mrs / Miss. Some of them may have other titles like Dr or Prof. Dude!
    You want your customers to think of you as ... A reliable business partner Their cult leader

    I was going to fine tune the above, re-edit and add a few more, but I've gotta go now, I'm taking the kids out. I look forward to seeing how this thread shapes up.
    Last edited by Clinton; 7 April 2012 at 3:04 pm. Reason: some editing and added a few more rows
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    I would say the 2nd option, a physical property mmo seminar, would have less of a negative perception. My reasoning is that to have a successful online physical goods store requires more committment on the part of the store owner with regards to sourcing products, carrying stocks (not always neccessary but in most instances), arranging shipping, storage costs (warehousing), packaging costs etc, so this route is less likely to attract the 'get rich quick' types who want to make money without realising how much time and effort they really need to put into it. Many of these types would graviate towards digital products and, upon realising that they may not succeed due to their own shortcomings, would be the first to criticise the teaching methods as being flawed rather than admit that they themselves were too lazy or stupid to make it work.

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  7. #4
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    Thanks, Ken. This discussion should attract a very wide range of ideas - I can almost picture a hired conference room, with you standing in front of a flip chart filling out a mind map as people brainstorm their way round the challenge.

    Clinton, I like the idea of finding a different market from the one currently targeted by the MMO operators. I even like your High Road, but I'd want to see some market research (or even a hypothesis that can be tested by market research). For instance, does your target market member need to get out of their particular rat race but not want to lose their comparatively high income?

    If we look at the steady stream of new EP members, we can split them into three groups:

    - young, inexperienced people looking for an alternative to a salaried job
    - people who are already in business, not necessarily online, who want to learn more about running an online business
    - retired people with no business experience, looking for a way to supplement their pensions and/or keep mentally active

    ...plus a few additions to the philanthropic group of old hands who want to stop people getting ripped off as well as swapping ideas from time to time, but these are not part of your target audience.

    We can group these by disposable time, budget and prior knowledge into two groups with very different education needs.

    The first and the last have very limited disposable income, may or may not even have theoretical financial and business knowledge, and lack any significant experience of putting business ideas into practice. They are fairly flexible in how they would like to receive their training, but some would prefer not to use any of their limited budgets for overheads like live seminars. I'd like nominate them as my Low Road target audience.

    The middle group shouldn't need basic business education, but rather a course designed to help them make the transition from B&M to online trading. The professionals that form Clinton's High Road target audience should know enough about Business and Finance to fit into this group, too. These people are my High Road target audience. They need scheduled seminars that are short enough not to impact their day jobs - just like the ones the salaried ones' employers send them on. This, my High Road target audience, is probably the easiest audience to tailor your material for, and the one most likely to be able to justify paying a price that would give you, Ken, a good return on your total effort.

    The Low Road group seems more difficult to address, but should give you a real sense of achievement if you can succeed. Here are some ideas about how to do so:

    - Eliminate as many as possible of those doomed to failure from the start. Tell them up front what the toatl cost will be, not just the price of the course.

    - Perhaps get them to deposit a working fund which they will use to buy tools and pay for subcontracted work. Insist on them doing this even if they have some of the necessary skills (e.g. website creation), and let them pay themselves for such work during the course.

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    Personal view - as long as you are honest / spell out the risks / rewards / costs / what is needed / etc. then I don't see a problem in selling anything...
    If you tell folks that your course will cost 1,000 and if they invest 200 a month in their portfolio they have a 40% chance of hitting 200 profit a week - or whatever the figures are - then it is over to them...
    I don't see issues in MMO courses other than in the dishonesty - the pretence - the leaving things unsaid so that the punter assumes / hopes something different...

    If you have the knowledge / are credible / resoponsible / honest - then do it

    Alasdair

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    I even like your High Road, but I'd want to see some market research (or even a hypothesis that can be tested by market research). For instance, does your target market member need to get out of their particular rat race but not want to lose their comparatively high income?
    We need to move away from these pitches about getting out of the rat race, making passive income, working from the beach ....

    Established B&M businesses should be the target customer. The high road, IMO: Explain to B&M businesses the opportunities with acquiring online micro-businesses to get their hands on subscriber lists they've got, the domains they control, the leads they generate for competitors, the traffic they get. Convince the board of the worth of adding new websites to their mix of SEO and SEM. Demonstrate how the quickest route for a B&M to build an affiliate program is to reverse takeover an existing program and provide the affiliates a better deal.

    Established B&Ms have the most to gain from buying profitable websites as they can make more use of these properties. Want to start selling shoes in eBay? Buying out a small one-man band who has built up a 10K +ve feedback in eBay selling sunglasses could give an immediate and massive advantage. Have a underworked tech team you can't sack? Buy a scripts website or a hosting company or an app producer and get a head start on a diversification exercise. Profitable online businesses are worth more to these B&Ms because of the synergies they present. Current multiples that sites are selling for look expensive to the bloke who wants to work from the beach. To the established B&M these prices are dirt cheap.

    There's a product or two I may even consider (have considered) creating for these markets. Should there be someone who has an idea or two and would like to work with me, feel free to use the PM.

    There are even opportunities to provide a regular and on-going service to B&Ms looking to develop their web presence (and there must be one or two of these businesses). Taking on a few of them, keeping track of their strategic objectives, and finding them what they need through your relationship with all the major website brokers and classified listing sites is just one potential service that's not being provided now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    We need to move away from these pitches about getting out of the rat race, making passive income, working from the beach ....

    Established B&M businesses should be the target customer. The high road, IMO: Explain to B&M businesses the opportunities with acquiring online micro-businesses to get their hands on subscriber lists they've got, the domains they control, the leads they generate for competitors, the traffic they get. Convince the board of the worth of adding new websites to their mix of SEO and SEM. Demonstrate how the quickest route for a B&M to build an affiliate program is to reverse takeover an existing program and provide the affiliates a better deal.

    Established B&Ms have the most to gain from buying profitable websites as they can make more use of these properties. Want to start selling shoes in eBay? Buying out a small one-man band who has built up a 10K +ve feedback in eBay selling sunglasses could give an immediate and massive advantage. Have a underworked tech team you can't sack? Buy a scripts website or a hosting company or an app producer and get a head start on a diversification exercise. Profitable online businesses are worth more to these B&Ms because of the synergies they present. Current multiples that sites are selling for look expensive to the bloke who wants to work from the beach. To the established B&M, these prices are dirt cheap.

    There's a product or two I may even consider (have considered) creating for these markets. Should there be someone who has an idea or two and would like to work with me, feel free to use the PM.

    There are even opportunities to provide a regular and on-going service to B&Ms looking to develop their web presence (and there must be one or two of these businesses). Taking on a few of them, keeping track of their strategic objectives and finding them what they need through your relationship with all the major website brokers and classified listing sites is just one potential service that's not being provided now.
    As many will be aware - my business is online dev / design etc. tied in with business consultancy for B&M businesses...
    quite agree - there are a lot of opportunities for this type of approach - however:
    - the big guys (B&M) may not be interested - they want 'their own approach' / they may see it as too small (I know of a mid 6 figure deal on something where one possible player responded that the deal was too small)
    - the small guys (B&M) are often loathe to invest / take on someone else's business - they often just don't get it...

    - the small - medium guys who have a hunger / agrression - they are the ones worth targeting and yes, there are those who are interested in exactly this...

    Alasdair

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    Thanks, Clinton. The penny has dropped at last. We're talking moderate sized B&M businesses that already have a significant investment in their online presence - not mom & pop shops.

    Part of the sales training that I underwent on moving out of a development lab included the insistence that you sell to people who could commit their company - senior managers, particularly FDs. Soemetimes you needed to start by getting the attention of the people who understood what you were offering, but the real target was the person who controlled his budget. How would you incorporate that into your High Road plan?

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    I would say that is aspirational with mid-size businesses...
    One of the philosophies I have with my web business is that I only have clients where I can (if necessary) pick up the phone to the MD / Owner - however that is limiting - once you are above a small size business (10-12 people?) that becomes rarely possible unless you know that person... So, to aim to deal with the decision maker is correct - however with a mid-size business it is not easy - you will generally find that there are several layers of people to go through before you get to that person and if you are looking at acquisitions (i.e. their acquiring from you what is in effect a small business) then it will generally be a board-level decision...

    What you need is a strategy to accelerate up the ladder of influence - taking each person with you

    Alasdair

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    Rather than trying to sell to a whole organization, it's sometimes more effective to cultivate a 'white knight' within the organization who will push for the adoption of your product or service. If you can find the right person, ideally with power, then it is much more likely that this white knight will persuade the organization. Your efforts can be geared to arming that white knight with the weapons he or she would like to use to persuade their colleagues that this is the best decision.

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