I’m down in beautiful San Diego for 4 days of Masterminding with 35 successful Internet entrepreneurs. It’s going to be an incredible weekend learning from my buddy, Bedros Keuilian.

We even have the legendary Matt Smith stopping by on Friday for some hot seat sessions with lucky group members.

That means I won’t have much time to write…so today we get an excellent guest article from one of our Mastermind members, Robert Phillips.

He explains what you really need to focus on when selling your products online, and how this focus allowed him to not only make his first sale, but a couple thousand bucks when we promoted his product to the ETR readers back in January.

Alright, off to one of the best gyms in America, Fit Athletic, for a pre-Mastermind workout.

Over to Robert…

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How I Made My First Sale Online

By Robert Phillips

My first sale online was many years ago…probably around 2004.

It was an information product I sold for $20 or less.  And while I don’t remember specifically what I sold I do remember thinking: “WOW!  I just made money online!  This is fantastic!”

If you can make the first sale online, there’s no reason you can’t make 100 sales or 1,000 sales or more. I can share at least one way to make sales online and maybe more importantly I can tell you what not to do by explaining my past mistakes.

Two major challenges come to mind.

The first is lack of focus. It’s not unusual for entrepreneurial types to get ADD and I’m as guilty as anyone.  The opportunities are so limitless that it can be difficult to focus on one thing.

Before you know it, you’re working in six projects and not completing any of them.  The best option is to focus on one project and get it done before moving on to the next one.

The other challenge is focusing on what’s important.

My friend Bedros Keuilian recently described this as “screams” and “whispers.”  The important things “scream.”  Everything else “whispers.”  Driving traffic to your website and converting those visitors to customers is important.  That “screams.”

Choosing an autoresponder or picking the colors for your website are not nearly as important.  Those activities are “whispers.”  So focus on what is important.

Always remember, the big screams are Traffic and Conversion.

Now I’ll tell what worked for me.

First of all you need a product that solves a problem.

In my case, I got a product idea by solving a problem I had myself.  When I discovered the solution, I knew it could help other people so I created a product to share the solution.

The original problem I had was finding a job at a time when I needed a paycheck almost as much as I needed oxygen.  To make a long story short, I applied everything I had learned about direct response marketing to a job search.

It worked so well that I had 3 job offers in 72 hours.  That’s when I decided to create the product.  Since then I’ve used the same strategies to land my 6-figure dream job – twice.

The first thing I did was outline the product.  I created several modules to be followed in order like a step-by-step process showing exactly what I did and why I did it.

Then I created screen capture videos with Camtasia (I believe the Mac version is Screenflow). It’s pretty simple to use but it costs several hundred dollars.

There is a free alternative at camstudio.org.  I’ve never used it but I hear it works well enough.

I also created some written reports.  The information is roughly the same as in the videos but some people prefer to read while others prefer to watch videos.  This way I had them both covered.

Then I created some fill-in-the-blanks cover letters and a resume that were generic enough anyone could use them.  These became bonuses.  Bonuses are known to improve conversion.

The bonuses also helped with “speed and implementation.”

In other words, I didn’t just provide information and leave it to the customer to apply the information.  I actually did it for them to make it as simple as possible the implement this solution.

People are naturally lazy (myself included) so if you do the work for them, you’ll probably increase conversion.

When I was done creating the content, I put it on a website as a membership site.  The tools I used were WordPress which is free.

Wishlist member which is a WordPress plug-in that helps you create a membership site ($97 for a single-site license).  I also set up an autoresponder with Aweber.

Then I created a video sales letter using Jon Benson’s formula.

He is the king of video sales letters and his 3XFormula.com course is fantastic. When I was done with my video sales letter, I used PowerPoint to create a slide show.  Then I created the actual video with Camtasia.  I used Easy Video Player for my video sales letter.

You can also use Optimize Press.  Either one of these programs allows you to control when the buy button appears (as explained in Jon Benson’s course). Now I just needed some traffic – so Craig graciously offered to promote it to his Early to Rise list.

I wrote an article for him and a follow-up email.  The end result was 25 sales and a few thousands bucks.

The site is far from perfect.  There is a ton of room for improvement but I got it done and made some sales and now I have something I can improve upon.  Just from the exposure in ETR I have had several other affiliates promote the product.

That never would have happened if I had waited until everything was perfect.

My next steps are to drive traffic to the site and improve conversion.  I will test a video sales letter vs a text sales letter.  I will also test the price.

I need to add an upsell and an exit pop-up.  For traffic, I have created a Facebook Fan Page and there are also plenty of job-related sites to buy traffic from like Linked-In, CareerBuilder, and probably hundreds more.

When I get my earnings per click (EPC) up to $1.00 per click, then I will start approaching affiliates and asking them if we can help each other.

It’s not rocket science.  It’s actually pretty simple.

There are a bunch of small hurdles to jump over and small challenges to overcome along the way but nothing anyone serious about making money online can’t easily overcome.

Just set a goal, give yourself a deadline, and don’t let anything stop you.

Robert Phillips

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Thanks Robert.

Proud of your success, and looking forward to your updates tomorrow at the Mastermind Meeting in San Diego.

Stay classy Internet Independence,

Craig Ballantyne

Whatever is in your way, you’re stronger than it, you’re tougher than it, and you’re better than it. You’re going to beat it. I believe in you.

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com