Sustainability is a buzzword often used today in discussions about green living. Just to be perfectly clear, sustainable marketing has nothing at all to do with a green approach to running a business. But it’s a network marketing strategy that every online entrepreneur should employ simply because it makes sense.
Before we discuss how to leverage sustainable marketing, let’s first talk about marketing itself. A definition that seems to work well describes marketing as the process of bringing prospects to your point of sale. For an online marketer, the point of sale is the website or squeeze page where a prospect is encouraged to buy. More on that in a minute. Arguably the most important word in that definition of marketing though is process, because effective marketing is just thata process, as opposed to an event. In order to workto consistently fill the sales pipelinemarketing needs to happen continuously. Online, that means 24/7, 365 days a year. And by the way, advertising costs money.
Now the sales part. At the heart of every business transaction is an exchange of value. In its most basic form, you provide a product or service in return for a payment of some sort. Selling is always a challenging undertaking, but selling online is even more so. Someone buying a product in person can actually see it and touch it. In much the same way, when buying a service in a face to face situation the seller can establish personal rapportand credibilityin order to close the sale. Online, this kind of direct personal experience isn’t possible, so a seller needs to build credibility some other way. This is important because as credibility grows, the customer’s willingness to buy grows as well.
A good way to build credibilityand to offset online advertising costsis the use of a funded proposal. The basic concept is that instead of trying to sell your prospect on your entire product or service, you sell them a little piece of it at a nominal price, typically well under $100. This does several things. The customer can start doing business with you at minimal risk. Even though they haven’t spent a ton of money, that prospect is now partially qualified as serious since they’ve actually spent at least something. And the revenue generated from your funded proposal can be used to offset your online advertising costs.
Most people fail in network marketing because they run out of money, or a willingness to spend it. Funded proposals create a sustainable marketing system that can run indefinitely until the business begins to turn a profit. It’s a tool that should be in every online marketer’s toolkit.