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The Art of the Online Alliance

By Monique Harris

Putting up a content filled Web site, and submitting it to dozens of search engines may seem like the key to success. But truly it's a hit-and-miss game, that you might or might not win. Remember, you're always in competition with thousands of other site owners, who all want the same thing... a top 10 position.

However, savvy Netpreneurs know that explosive growth almost always occurs when you strategically team up with others. Teaming up means you can effectively reach a larger segment of your marketplace, through more than one outlet. Plus, you're not at the mercy of a fluctuating search engine.

Here are a few tips to help you master this profitable art:

1) Form BIG Strategic Alliances.

Starting an affiliate program is a great way to increase your profits, without having to spend countless hours doing all the marketing yourself. In fact, an affiliate program can draw as many as 100-1,000 new resellers every month.

But the key to success isn't 'quantity,' it's 'quality.' Why? Because typically 5%-20% of your affiliates will be responsible for 90% of your sales - (and sometimes even more than that.)

It's important to locate and sign-up affiliates who run high-traffic Web sites or online newsletters. Choose people who are popular within your niche, or attract a lot of attention. The larger your strategic alliance, the better chance you have of making more sales.

2) Use the Power of Association.

No matter what product or service you sell, there's probably an association that has members who are more than willing to buy it.

For example, I've written an e-book titled, "The Web Site Hosting and Designers Promotional Guide." So my best prospects would probably be members of Webmaster, Web site hosting, and Web designer associations.

I could do any of the following to reach those members:

  • Advertise in these associations online newsletters;
  • Purchase banner ad space on their sites;
  • Ask the associations to become affiliates, so that they'll earn a percentage from each e-book sale;
  • Contribute content to their site or newsletter.

You can find all types of associations to team up with at the American Society of Association Executives Web site, http://www.asaenet.org.

3) Exercise Your Swapping Skills.

However big and bad you think your competitors are, they can dramatically contribute to your bottom line, if you approach the relationship in the right way.

Teaming up with your competitors will allow you to do such things as:

* Exchange sales leads.

Sometimes when I'm swamped with work, I'll ask my top competitors to take on a bit of my overload. And now that we've formalized the relationship, they'll often do the same thing with me.

* Trade links.

It doesn't matter if the two of you sell the same thing. You competitor may have a particular style or color that your prospect wants, and vice versa. If you don't have what the customer wants, they're going to look elsewhere anyway. So trading links makes the prospects shopping experience more positive, and both of you gain from one another. It's a win-win-win situation.

About the Author

Monique Harris is the co-author of "Make Your Knowledge Sell." This 1,143 page manual is packed with info on creating, promoting and selling your booklets, e-books, audio tapes, newsletters, and other information products. For more info go to http://infoproduct.sitesell.com.

Tags: E-commerce and Internet



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