Quick… What business is McDonald’s in?

Burgers, right? It says so right on their sign. Bazillions served every day.

BUZZZZZ… Sorry. No prize for you. Thank you for playing.

McD’s is REALLY in the business of selling…

Sugar water.

Don’t just nod your head and move on. Take a minute to think about the size of the machine that Ray Kroc and friends created for just this purpose… this hidden purpose that almost no one (except you and me) knows about.

400,000 employees. 31,000 locations. Imagine the health insurance, the franchise infrastructure, the legal fees, the workman’s comp, the advertising… all of it just to get in front of 47 million customers every day and make it easy for them to say “yes” to bladder-busting, diabetes-inducing gallons of dark brown sugar water.

The burgers keep the lights on.

The sugar water pays for the CEO’s Lear jet and luxury estate in the Hamptons.

So what does this have to do with your success on the Internet?

It has to do with understanding the difference between “front-end” products (the burgers) and “back-end” products (the sugar water). Basically, you market an attractive front-end product to bring in new customers. Then you keep going back to those same customers with increasingly profitable back-end offers.

Having coached thousands of companies in nearly 200 industries (not to mention becoming famous as the author of the Definitive Guide to Google AdWords), I can tell you that not 1 in 100 entrepreneurs truly gets it.

If you’re among the first to figure out that the big money is on the back end,  the profits quickly slide into your wallet.

Example: You look up, say, “sciatica pain” in Google because you want to sell information related to that subject. It’s got great volume. You begin to imagine the money rolling in. You see your competitors selling $49 e-books. You conclude that all it takes to compete and win is to come up with a better e-book of your own.

What you don’t realize is that in that market there are one, maybe two or three, marketers that have honed sophisticated systems designed to just get in front of a huge number of potential buyers… and eventually sell them something. Something very different than the e-book you see them promoting on their landing pages.

They’re immune from surges in Google traffic costs. Heck, they’re mostly immune from even getting banned from Google. Because they can afford to buy almost any traffic out there: banners, media, postcards, magazine ads, you name it.

Here are a few ways to take advantage of this information:

1. The more competitive your market, the greater the need for you to actually buy your competitors’ products. Crawl around in their marketing machines and see what they’re REALLY selling. Look for the sugar water.

2. If you’re currently fishing in a secret “honey hole” that your competitors aren’t savvy to, now’s the time for you to figure out the “sugar water” equivalent to sell to your market… so you can ride the ups and downs of your market while your competitors freak out and watch their profits evanesce.

Allow me to suggest a strategy that will cost you nothing, yet educate you through content AND demonstration. By getting my free 5 Days to Success With Google AdWords course, you can see if you like the way I sell my products to you. (I think you’ll like it a lot.)  The course not only gives you a handy “cheat sheet” on Google’s system, it demonstrates how I capture prospective customers and earn their trust.

Savvy marketers will go ahead and also purchase my Definitive Guide to Google AdWords, just to see how we handle people after they buy. The Definitive Guide not only teaches you the intelligent way to research your market, it demonstrates the concept of Visitor Value. You’ll discover why it’s THE pivotal determining factor in who dominates your market.

But most important, when you buy my Definitive Guide, you will have purchased my primary front-end product — and you’ll soon see what my sugar water is. If all I sold was an e-book on Google advertising, I would have gone out of business long ago. You’ll see how I practice what I preach.

One last story before I go: One of my clients is a pair of brothers named James and Joseph Bridges. They started an information marketing business in 2008 because they were tired of real estate. When we first started working together, they were netting somewhat below zero, selling sets of CDs and instruction guides in a cutthroat market.

We sat down together and built a lead-capture system and a series of back-end offers. A year later, they were making $20,000 per month and rapidly expanding their market share. And they got much more traction with their fan base because they were coming through with problems solved, rather than just selling e-books. Entire branches of their business had also become invisible to competitors.

If you’re like the Bridges brothers, and if you’re like McDonald’s — if the business you’re really in is not obvious to most people — you’re getting the hang of it.

[Ed. Note: Ready for more of Perry Marshall’s expert advice on doing business online? Perry, the noted Internet marketing and Google AdWords expert, offers a free “Google AdWords Cheat Sheet”.

Understanding the incredible profit potential of back-end marketing is just one of the things you’ll learn at Early to Rise’s upcoming 5 Days in July Internet Business Building Conference. Every year, we bring in experts like Perry Marshall to give you the tools and techniques to be successful. Build your own fully operational business in just five days. But don’t wait to sign up. Spots are going fast — and our early sign-up bonus ends this Friday.]

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