Finding Your Brand - Basic Steps to Achieving An Effective and Powerful Online Brand for Yourself

Lesson #25--FINDING YOUR BRAND: WHAT CAN YOU SELL?

Once again, welcome to internet income course lesson twenty-five, which simplifies the difficulties of starting and running a profitable online business by breaking down important principles in simple English. Course author, George Little, continues to reveal tips, real-world advice, and in-depth, step-by-step instructions on setting up your Internet-based business. Read the previous lesson 24 here.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
We began this Internet Income Course by emphasizing the importance of Internet traffic. We followed by outlining the five goals of effective Internet traffic building. In Lesson 4, we introduced you to the first of those five goals, Utilizing Effective Branding. In this lesson, we return to that first goal with a more hands-on approach.

Back To Basics

My approach to Internet Income, as with most of my endeavors, is to go back to the basics often. Go back to the foundation and inspect your work to make sure it has been true. If it's not true, rebuild it. If it's working, use your past work as a guide to expanding.

Going back to the basics, let's look at the phrase "Internet Income." Our goal is to use the Internet to make income. Pretty fundamental. But, let's examine closely what "income" means. According to the dictionary, "Income" is money that an individual or business receives in exchange for providing a good or service or through investing capital. While you can use the Internet to invest--and many people do--that is not within the scope of this course. We're talking about "providing a good or service." Specifically, we're talking about providing a valuable good or service.

What Can You Sell Best?

So, the very first step of your venture into Internet Income is to determine the good or service that you can offer for value, i.e. that you can sell online. The good or service that you can provide varies greatly between individuals. For some of you, it's easy. You may already have a viable business selling a particular good or service. If you have been making jewelry and selling it to friends and members of your local community, you know what you have to offer. Your focus becomes how to best sell it online. If you are a photographer, you know what you have to offer. Your focus is how to sell your photos or services (photographing weddings, graduations, etc.) online. If you make beautiful custom furniture, you need only be concerned with how to sell it online. But, many people do not already have a business or a particular skill and have to struggle to decide what to sell online.

For those that don't make their own products or provide their own services, you can't begin to be a successful Internet entrepreneur until you first determine what you will be selling. Fortunately, there are organizations like SFI and TripleClicks that make a world of products and services available for you to sell. But, you can't begin to be successful until you narrow your focus to specific items or services that you can best promote. So, the question becomes, "what am I best suited to sell and why?"

Here is where you should engage in the self-examination we discussed in Lesson 4. If you are a good handyman, you might be best at selling tools and materials for home improvement. If you are a great cook, you might be best at selling kitchen appliances and recipes. If you are knowledgeable and concerned about the environment, you might be best at selling green cleaning products, organic fertilizers, harmless pest control products, solar appliances, and the like. If you are a really good fisherman, you might do well selling fishing lures, rods and reels, and the like. If you are well-versed in literature, you might best be suited to sell books. If you have a passion for fashion and have learned to dress stylishly on a reasonable budget, you might be best suited to sell apparel. If you are a computer expert, you would do best selling computers and software. Bottom line is that the things you know about and are passionate about are going to be the things you are best suited to sell.

The Importance Of Making A Choice

When successful people are asked what made them successful, they will invariably mention "focus." They will attribute their success to a dogged determination focused on reaching a specific goal. When you examine unsuccessful people, you most often uncover a lack of focus. Focus is the key. "Focus" means to make something the center of your interest and the motivation for your activity. You think it and think it clearly. You feel it. You do it. You apply your energy to it.

To make income, you must sell a useful good or service. To make substantial income, you must be focused on selling a particular good or service (or a particular category of goods or services). The first step in getting started is to determine what you are best suited to sell and making a firm decision to focus on selling it. If you haven't already done so, take the time right now to make that decision. Make a thoughtful decision, based on a hard examination of your own strengths and weaknesses, your particular knowledge and skills. Then, return to Lesson 4 and build your brand around that choice.

The Payoff Will Be Bigger

There is a saying in golf that always makes me smile. Many years ago when I still played a little golf, a good friend took the time to help me improve my game. He encouraged me to relax and not swing so hard, even with my driver from the tee. He used to grin and say, "now, you make sure to take an easy, relaxed stroke this time, and you'll just have to learn to live with the extra distance." It worked, the easier and more relaxed my swing became, the greater distance I got.

I also recall from my younger years of Karate training. My Sensei insisted we stick to basics. Some of the students in the class would approach Sensei and recount having seen some expert who jumped and spun with fancy maneuvers and great flare. Sensei would reply simply, "yes, after decades of sticking only to the basics first."

By focusing your efforts to a single product or service or category of products and services, you will find the same to be true. TripleClicks is a big affiliate eCommerce site you can join, and is designed to allow a visitor to search for any product or service that may cross their mind while on the site. If you join as an affiliate, and you brought that customer to the site through your focused efforts on a single product or service, you will still receive commissions for anything else they happen to buy while there.

And, with time and experience, you will see clear opportunities to expand to other products and services in a particular promotion. One day you will have fancy maneuvers, great flare, and amazing results. But, you get there by focusing on the basics.

CONCLUSION
You cannot effectively brand yourself until you decide what you're going to sell. The very first step of your venture into Internet Income is to determine the good or service that you will be selling online. There is no one answer for everyone. What you can best sell depends upon you. For those that don't make their own products or provide their own services, you can't begin to be a successful Internet entrepreneur until you first determine what you will be selling. SFI and TripleClicks make a world of products and services available for you to sell. But, you can't begin to be successful until you narrow your focus to specific items or services that you can best promote. Take a hard look at yourself, examine your strengths and weaknesses, your knowledge and your skills and then decide. The things you know about and are passionate about are going to be the things you are best suited to sell. Once you decide, focus your time and energy on promoting that product or service. When you apply this focus, you will be surprised at the results you achieve.

WHAT'S COMING NEXT
Once you have determined what you will be selling, the second step in creating your brand is to find your target audience. Our next lesson will discuss how to identify and connect with your target audience. Read the next lesson here: Finding Your Target Market - An Introduction.

Author
By George Little, Panhandle On-Line, Inc. For more information on the Internet Income Course and other works and courses by George Little, see http://www.profitpropulsion.com

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