Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Which products should I promote?

Guest post - more great information from Willie here

How I Choose Which Products To Promote
Copyright (c) 2009 Willie Crawford
Willie Crawford Incorporated

Once it became known that my subscriber database was approaching
800,000 (across numerous niches - some fairly obscure), I started
getting dozens of joint venture proposals every day. These "JV
proposals" are generally just requests to become an affiliate
for their product, or to help with an impending product launch.

Most of the proposals I get are in the internet marketing niche,
while less than 1/4th of my database is in that niche. If a
product isn't a perfect match for a niche, I don't consider
offering it to that niche. Experience has taught me that offering
inappropriate products is one of the quickest ways to lose your

I thought that it might be useful to share some of how I decide
which products to promote and why those criteria matter. This
should prove useful to both product owners looking for joint
venture partners, and to those also trying to decide which
products they will promote.

Here are some of the questions that I consciously ask myself:

1) What does it do, and is this something that my subscribers
both need and already want? If they want it but I don't feel
that they need it, then offering it to them may cause an ethical
dilemma. I don't compromise my ethics! If they don't want it,
and aren't already looking for it, then making sales can also be
an uphill climb.

If it's too difficult to explain what it does, then the sales
process will have to be protracted. If it's just "the next
shiny thing," then telling my subscribers about it is probably
more of a distraction than a service.

2) Does it really work if my customers will just use it? A
skilled copywriter can make burnt toast soaked in hemlock sound
appealing! What value does the product actually add to the stream
of life?

3) Do I know the product owner and feel that they are reputable
and someone I want to trust with customers whom I care about and
nurture? I work very hard at building a relationship with my
customers and trying to actually help those willing to be helped.
I won't do anything to un-do years of hard work.

4) Has the product owner ever promoted one of my products and how
much effort did they put into it. Many people have been trained
to point out that they are a subscriber or customer in a joint
venture proposal. My question then becomes did you become a
subscriber, or buy my $5 product, just so that you could stick
that in your joint venture proposal. Did you register as an
affiliate, and then promote no harder than making one blog
post... which barely generated 10 clicks?

5) Are they a member of The Internet Marketing Inner Circle, my
membership site, where they are both exposed to the culture of my
online operations, and I get to interact with them... and get a
feel for them and their business accumen and standards?

This my mastermind where we discuss many complex issues related
to marketing, and running an online business. If you are a
member, then you will have been exposed to many important
concepts necessary for success, and that puts you ahead of many
of your competitors.

6) Does this compete directly with one of my own products or
projects, or one of my clients' products or projects? As a
business owner, it's generally foolish to sell a direct
competitor's product instead of my own... though not always. I
also feel an obligation to promote my clients products before
promoting those of someone that I don't have a relationship

7) Is it appropriately priced for the value that it delivers?
After testing/using/studying the product, do I honestly feel that
it's worth the price being charged? Will it deliver many time
that much value to my customers who actually use the product?

8) How good is their customer service? How do they provide
customer service? Will my customers who have problems be able to
easily reach someone? Do they have a helpdesk so that there is an
easy way around email deliverability issues? Do they have an easy
to find phone number and mailing address? Is it clear WHO owns
the business?

9) When is it being released, and how will the release or launch
be handled? Is there sufficient lead time to sequence it into my
calendar without interfering with one of my own or one of my
clients' projects? Will the tools that I prefer to use have time
to work, or am I forced to only mail for a 2-3 day period after
which the product is no long available? How much hype will
surround the launch, and what long-term impact will this have on
my customers?

10) Will there be long-term demand for this product, or will the
market forget that it even exists in a week? Can I use tools that
will deliver a steady stream of orders over the long-term, or is
this a product that there might be alot of short-term demand for
but that customers will likely set aside in favor of "the next
shiny object" next week?

11) One year from now, will my customers be happy that I
introduced them to this product? Is this something that is easy
enough to use, and that they can easily sequence into their
business processes/systems in a way that they will still be
benefitting from the product a year from now?

12) Would I buy the product if I fit the profile of "the ideal
customer?" Knowing the product as well as I do, after thoroughly
studying it, would I buy it if I didn't already own it, IF I
were the target customer that it was designed for?

13) If I did a previous promotion for them, did the product owner
pay commissions promptly? Running my own business, where I pay
numerous professionals for their expertise in a timely fashion, I
prefer spending funds recently paid to me over tapping into
capital that I've already invested/employed in other places.

Late payments combined with a lack of communication WILL result
in my refusing to ever do future promotions for a given company
or individual. If they mistreat a business partner then they will
likely mistreat my customers.

14) Am I really satisfied with all of the answers I gave myself
to all of the questions above. Am I being totally honest with
MYSELF, and am I... by promoting this product, living up to the
standards that I set for myself?

If I can answer yes, to all of the above questions, then I will
consider promoting a product. If not, then I should politely
decline promoting that product, pointing out why if asked.

Willie Crawford is one of the world's leading Internet
marketing authorities, and an in-demand joint venture
broker. Most of his mentoring is done in a group
setting on the member-only discussion forum at:
http://TheInternetMarkeingInnerCircle.com Join that
discussion to experience phenomenal business growth!

Greg Cryns

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