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Episode Number 104 is posted under Ask Derek, Miscellaneous

Derek Gehl’s Digital Business Predictions For 2019

Project Ignite Podcast by Derek Gehl 104 – Derek Gehl's Digital Business Predictions For 2019
00:00:00 00:00:00

Summary:

In this episode, Derek reveals where he sees some of the hottest opportunities, traffic sources, conversion strategies if you want maximum success with your digital business in 2019.

Transcription Episode 104: #AskDerek: Derek Gehl’s Digital Business Predictions For 2019

Hi. My name is Derek Gehl. I want to welcome you to my Annual Internet Marketing Update where I’m going to reveal where I see some of the hottest opportunities, traffic sources and conversion strategies if you want maximum success in 2019.

I’ve been very fortunate over my past, and last year officially broke 20 years in this whole internet business thing. I’m fortunate that I’m still actively involved running numerous different digital businesses from information marketing to physical products and everything in between.

I’m also involved in numerous different businesses that reach into different countries all over the world. What this gives me I think is pretty neat perspective and exposure on the big picture of what I see is happening.

In addition to my own businesses, I belong to numerous different mastermind groups like the War Room Mastermind through Digital Marketer and a multitude of Facebook groups. I’m always attending events and conferences.

Just last week, I was down at the Affiliate Summit which was related to one of my affiliate network businesses. As a result, I get a really wide view of all the stuff that’s going on in the world of digital marketing.

What I like to do at the beginning of the year is look back on what happened in 2018, and where I see trends starting to develop things that we need to be aware of. I like to do this because when somebody is just starting out you’re focus is on your business and doing your thing. On top of that there are all these other things and it can be hard to keep up with.

That’s what this webinar, if you will, is all about. It’s just to give you the big picture and more specifically, I’m going to answer a couple different questions.

Number one is, as I said, where are the bigger opportunities? Where do I see growth, opportunities to start, grow in scale, and make money on the internet in 2019 and beyond?

Number two is, where is the best traffic sources? Traffic is always evolving, websites are evolving. I want to take a few minutes and talk about where I see the big sources of traffic going in 2019.

Number three, how do we convert that traffic into sales? There’s always predictions of this is dead, that’s dead, this is working, and that’s not working. I want to give you some clarity into what I’m seeing working and what I believe is going to be the most effective path forward. As well as, how are sales processes evolving along with technology, buying habits, markets, et cetera.

The last thing I’m going to reveal is what I consider to be the number one biggest mistake sabotaging success. Over the past 20 years and even today, I’m actively involved coaching, teaching, helping regular average ordinary people start extraordinary businesses on the internet. There’s one mistake that I see sabotaging success on the internet. I’m going to talk about that at the end because when you leave this webinar, I just want to make sure you’re set up for success as you move through into 2019.

Let’s dig into this.

First of all, opportunities. Where are they?

What are the big opportunities? Where are the growing markets in 2019?

Well, first of all, I want to talk about some of the big distractions that I saw in 2018 and 2017. Really, the last couple of years, these were what I would call distractions from the real opportunities to build real businesses.

One of the biggest distractions I saw was all of the drop shipping FBA, (FBA stands for Fulfilled by Amazon) type of businesses. They’re still out there and I still see people chasing them. The whole premise of this business model if you were not familiar with it is to go out and source cheap products from China and then find a drop shipper that holds the inventory. Then you can just go and sell them on platforms like Amazon and have Amazon fulfill it.

You get a cut of the profit there, and they ship it directly to the customer. That’s drop shipping. This took off like a rocket over the last couple of years. Amazon, in particular, obviously is a massive, massive ecosystem, an incredible ecosystem for selling. It can be a powerful marketplace to sell products.

I sell a lot of products on Amazon, although I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Amazon because they’re really about driving prices down. Which, if you have a brand, isn’t necessarily a good thing. They can however be a massively powerful platform for launching new product ideas, new brands, et cetera.

Unfortunately, people are always looking for the shortcut. In the early days of Amazon, people figured out, hey, we can go and get these products drop shipped from China and all these dropshippers popped up.

Then people started launching courses and how to make a fortune on Amazon saying all you have to do is drop ship. You don’t have to buy inventory. You don’t have to buy products. Somebody else does all that for you. You just start your store, connect the drop shipping and… Boom! You’re going to make money. It sounded really good. Some people even made money initially.

With anything like that, all of a sudden, and you have probably seen it; Amazon platforms popped up everywhere. When I travel the world, I see this on platforms in Asia, Lazada, Shopee, all of those are inundated with cheap products coming out of China, many of them being drop shipped.

Now, we’re in marketplaces where there’s a million people selling the same products and they’re all going out there competing for the same traffic. Where we saw a real hit to this business model in 2018 was when Facebook really started to crack down hard on what has been coined “low quality commerce”.

Drop shipping, cheap products using the Facebook advertising platform to spam them all over the place was happening more and more. Facebook basically said, that’s enough, we’re cracking down on low quality commerce. We don’t want this on our platform, which immediately just squeezed pretty much the biggest traffic source for all of these FBA stores and their drop shipping business models.

It was a big distraction. I’ll be honest, I never saw a business model there. It was a way maybe to make a bit of cash, but how is that a business? You don’t own a product, you don’t have a brand. You’re using someone else’s platform selling someone else’s product. Sure, you can make a little bit of cash flow, but that’s not building a business.

A real business is building your own products, your own intellectual property, your own brands, having your own customers. Yes, you can use platforms like Amazon. You can use platforms like eBay, and Lazadas, and Shopees, and all of that stuff but you own something there. It is yours, it cannot be taken away and people aren’t directly competing with you.

Bottom line is this is a huge distraction. I see more and more people going, “Holy cow, this whole E-commerce, drop shipping, FBA thing, lot harder than we thought it was.

A lot of people have now abandoned that. It was inevitable. It was going to happen. That brings us to the next one which was low quality commerce. Selling cheap products.

Here’s the big kicker. I think a lot of people realized, even ones that were sourcing goods out of China and stuff like that and doing E-commerce, low ticket items, cheap product, stuff like that. They figured out very quickly that:

A), it’s very low margin. You don’t make a lot of money.
B)There’s tons of headaches. When you’re sourcing these products out of China and you have no control over manufacturing quality, stuff is broken, customer complaint, stuff like that, it’s a pain in the butt.

Add to that advertising platforms like Facebook cutting that source of traffic off and the sales really take a dive.

The other big distraction of 2017, 2018 that has to be mentioned is good old cryptocurrency. When I was at the Affiliate World Summit in Bangkok at end of 2017, and another one at the beginning of 2018, Bitcoin was through the roof, gaining like crazy. The stories of overnight billionaires had everybody distracted, watching this and trying to participate to make money on it.

It was funny because I was at affiliate conferences but all anybody wanted to talk about was crypto stuff. Now, I’m not saying crypto is dead. I think crypto is eventually going to have a place somewhere, but it was a huge distraction.

I call it shiny object syndrome. “Oh, what’s this?” Fear of missing out, FOMO. “Oh my goodness! I got to be over there.” There’s a lot of distraction there. That being said, I still believe there are opportunities there, although I’m not the expert on that.

With all those distractions as we come into 2019, where will we see the most viable opportunities?

Well, let’s start off with the information industry. Information marketing is still viable. It’s still growing and evolving. You look back to when I started back in the 1990s, I remember giving out CDs. We even had audio cassettes. It was our way of sharing information.

What has not changed in 2019 is people’s desire for information. People are looking for information. We are in an information revolution. When people need information, where do they go? They go to the internet.

The way we deliver information to people is the only thing that has changed. We live in this incredible time and place where we can sit down with our smart phones and our computers any time, anywhere.

We can create these amazing videos. I’m sitting at my desk in my office here. I’ve got cameras. I’ve got mics. I’ve got all these things that just plug into a computer and I can create these amazing videos to teach you guys stuff.

In just about every niche imaginable, there is a need for information. The need for information is never going away. What is evolving is what kind of information people need and how we deliver that information.

We live in this time and place where now creating membership websites, creating communities online can be done on platforms with a click of a button using programs or platforms, like; WordPress with different themes and plugins. There are other platforms like the Thinkifics and Kajabis which allow you to build incredible membership websites where you can interact, and engage with other people.

One of my businesses, Ignited Academy, is a massive membership website where I teach entrepreneurs how to do this kind of stuff. Information is never going away. What changes is how we deliver it, the technology we deliver through.

We live in this time now where video is commonplace. When I started online, you couldn’t stream video over the web. You couldn’t even download big videos. It would take forever on our 336 modems. Now, we can stream stuff live. We can jump on our phone and we can broadcast our messages out globally.

I look at information as the gateway to creating just about any kind of business. Because when you go into a market and you build a relationship with the market, by sharing and delivering information that helps those people change their lives, and improve on something. By bettering themselves in some kind of way, you are now building a relationship with that person. You’re transitioning yourself to becoming what we call the good old trusted adviser.

Once you’ve built that relationship and become a trusted adviser in a market, you can now leverage that relationship to sell just about anything that market needs related to what that niche is. It could be physical goods, affiliate goods, or even simply more information. Information is still huge and it’s always evolving.

Now, commerce. I talked about low quality commerce. The cheap crap that everybody is sourcing out to China, pilfering it on all the platforms hoping people will buy. That kind of commerce, people are getting sick of it.

Low quality commerce, I think it’s dead. There’s always going to be a need for low cost cheap stuff. People want low cost cheap stuff for sure. The fact of the matter is, you need economies of scale to actually become profitable in that kind of a market because you have to sell so much to so many to make that kind of profit.

In particular, when you’re a drop shipper, you’re just a middle man which means there’s always going to be somebody making the product that can sell it at a lower price than you and still make money while you’re losing money. If you want to make money in 2019, you need to start focusing on high quality commerce.

What’s high quality commerce? High quality commerce is delivering legitimate good products that have a real band name behind them. A brand that people like, and use. One that adds value to their life. We’re not competing necessarily on price, we’re competing on quality.

If you want to build a successful and profitable business without having to worry about the economies of scales of the Walmarts of the world, focus on selling premium high quality products that people are looking for that have good profit margins. That’s the kind of commerce that Facebook will always like, the big advertising channels will always like.

When somebody is buying a quality product at a reasonable price point where everybody makes money, you can also afford to spend more on advertising. In turn making the whole process a heck of a lot easier. High quality commerce and emerging markets go together.

The U.S. is still the biggest buying and consumer market in the world. China is on its way up, for sure. When you look at the sheer spending power of the U.S. versus any other country which is a combination of population as well as wealth, it’s enormous. That being said, that is why that market is also where every business is competing and targeting.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to talk you out of targeting the U.S. What I’m saying is rather keep an open mind because there’s a lot of emerging markets, emerging economies that are opening up and buying more and more stuff on the internet.

What I’m seeing in these other economies is it’s kind of the good old days of where we used to be. We have lower cost ads because there is less competition. It’s an easier place to compete. Emerging markets I think represent an incredible opportunity.

In my programs I do a lot of events in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, China, and Australia. I always talk to these people over there and they’re all trying to target the U.S. market. Meanwhile, I’m visiting their countries and saying, “Wow, there is so much opportunity within your own country to start building out businesses that may have already been done over in other more advanced or more progressed markets.”

These are emerging markets that are coming online where the countries are now having more and more buying power that represents what I believe to be an incredible opportunity for a lot of entrepreneurs.

Now, the one market that is probably the hardest one I think to penetrate for somebody outside is China. I’m speaking from experience because over the last couple of years, I’ve taken one of my businesses into China and we’re growing that there successfully. We’ve gone from $0 to just about $2 million a year in the last couple of years. It’s going to grow exponentially I believe. Having said that it’s very, very difficult to get into that market. You need people that are there, that understand the market, that speak the language, and understand all the different platforms that are available because it’s a very different yet fascinating ecosystem of different platforms they have.

China is a bit of an exception to the rule. When I look around at India, India has a huge emerging middle class, they’re buying online. It’s an incredible market. Population wise, they’re set to overtake China, to become the highest population in the world.

If you can get in there and start figuring that out, bring in the products they want while targeting that market, that can represent incredible opportunities. Again, look at these emerging markets. If you happen to live in these countries, don’t just be focused over here in a lot of the western markets that everybody assumes have the biggest buying power.

I’m not saying don’t go after them. Just don’t discount these emerging markets because that’s where I see a lot of unmined gold that is waiting for entrepreneurs to jump on.

When I first started doing one of my conferences in the Philippines two years ago, a lot of people said to me, “No, no, the buying power is not there. They won’t be interested in this.” I was blown away by the reception I had there, the number of people that showed up. I’m fortunate that I didn’t listen to all the naysayers because it represented an incredible opportunity.

Those markets exist all over the world. It’s funny, when you look at the stats of how many people are connected to the internet, there’s just over seven billion people in the world. I believe we’re sitting around three billion online. Half the planet is still not connected to the internet yet.

For us, we probably think, “Wow, how’s that even possible?” We can’t imagine our life without connection to the internet now. There is still massive growth. Watch these emerging markets all over the world, South America, Eastern European countries, Middle East, and all over Asia. There’s amazing opportunities. You just have to look for them. Not only that, the buying power and the platforms that are there for us to be able to do business.

Emerging markets is probably one of the biggest shifts I’ve seen. The real challenge is being able to build, being able to fulfill. What’s happening in countries like, let’s say India, for example, there’s a lot of different local payment systems and options that you can utilize as a business. When you go into these markets, you need to take some time and educate yourself on how these markets work.

For example, in North America and most western countries, we’re used to going to a website, we enter our visa, our mastercard or whatever our credit card is. We pay right then and there and it’s shipped to us. Where in India, a lot of the commerce is all done via cash on delivery. You sell it, but then a company takes it, delivers to the person. As they’re handing it to the person, that person pays them. Again, very different models that you need to understand.

When you go those markets, you got to say, “Okay, what is different here and how do I adapt my business model to work for that?” Incredible amounts of opportunity exists.

The bottom line is this is; as we move forward, opportunities evolve, they come, they go, different things evolve as technology changes. But the foundation of the entire system of starting an online business from zero doesn’t change. That is step one, find a niche market, find a group of people that have some common need, want or problem. Then, when you find that market, if you have a product, great, you could start marketing that product.

The most important thing that I want to do, before I start selling to a market is I want to build a list in that market, give them a reason to give me their email address so I can start then building a relationship, sharing information, communicating with that person to become that, as I mentioned before, trusted adviser.

Then once you become that trusted adviser, that’s when you start recommending solutions, physical, digital, affiliate, whatever that happens to be. Look, if you take a look around at so many of these six, seven, eight, nine-figure gurus, experts, entrepreneurs and you look at what they’re doing, it is this exact model.

They’re not out there just arbitraging cheap products out of China drop shipping, stuff like that. They’re taking the time to build a database of people, and then build a relationship with that database, and then leveraging that relationship to sell.

If you look around at the different big marketers and big celebrity entrepreneurs that exist out there, in many cases, this is the exact model they’re following with maybe a few specific variations here and there.

Find the niche, build the list, become an authority in that, share information. Then, as you build that relationship, you don’t have to sell, you recommend. Recommend solutions, guys, the foundation has not changed. The platforms are evolving for us to get in front of the people, the technology is evolving but the fundamentals have not changed since I started back in the very, very early days of this whole internet game.

Now, let’s shift gears. Let’s talk about traffic sources. All right, traffic, always a hot topic, people are always asking me, “Where do I get traffic? Where I should I do this?”. I could talk about traffic for days. Here are some of the big things that I’m seeing going on, things we need to be paying attention to in 2019.

Let’s start with good old Facebook. Facebook still reigns supreme in the world of social media outside of China. They are the biggest. Not only the biggest, they have such a massive lead on everybody else that they don’t already own.

It’s going to take a long time before anybody catches up or somehow disrupts them. Couple things to point out is Instagram is on a tear. Now, Facebook owns Instagram. Instagram is going to become more tightly integrated I believe into Facebook. Instagram is going to continue to be the dominant force over Snapchat.

Now, Snapchat is awesome. Snapchat right now is an amazing ad platform. There’s a lot of traffic you can get from it. A lot of people are doing good commerce stuff on it. I’m running test on it right now for a few different products.

Instagram is really becoming that Snapchat competitor. I believe it’s going to continue to dominate that. Why? Because they’ve got the marketing muscle of Facebook behind them.

Video is going to continue to gain dominance. There’s always going to be a place for the written word and there is always going to be a place for photos. Although video is becoming more and more prevalent, and dominant. If you’re in a business and you’re not doing anything with video on Facebook, you need to start now as people engage better with video. The fact of the matter is, video is not difficult.

The only reason video is difficult is because we make it difficult. Right now, I am using my webcam, I’m using a mic. That is it. That is all I’m using in a screen recording tool called Camtasia that is recording all of this. We don’t need anything fancy.

It’s funny, I say, “We don’t need anything fancy,” but if we look at the cameras that exist in our phones today, they are fancy. This little phone, I can do 4K high quality, high definition video and I can then take, grab a little mic, put it on here, I can record into a cheap little audio recorder, put high quality audio over that.

Video is the communication medium of the future.

Now, that being said, 2018 was an interesting year in video on Facebook. The reason why is, well, Facebook was busted for misreporting some of their video sharing stats. Basically, what was happening is Facebook was saying, “Hey, here’s a video, super popular, look how many shares it got.” Then, what they found was underneath there was a little bit of a flaw in the algorithm counting shares was quite highly inflated.

The bottom line is, photos and stuff like that, imagery still get shared big time. Video, I still believe is going to be the most dominant. Now, the other reason video is going to play such an important role in the future is because the race for video supremacy is on right now.

What I’m talking about here though is Netflix, YouTube, Apple, Amazon Prime, and Facebook. All of these companies that are investing in original content to keep you on their platforms. Facebook is continuing to develop this, obviously YouTube is as well.

Here’s the trick. If you want to be able to leverage the video they’re creating and put your ads in, you’ve got to be creating video because you can’t slap a text ad into a live video. As they evolve these videos platforms and ad platforms over the course of 2019 so should you. You’ve got to be using video to engage with video and to utilize the advertising with those videos.

Videos can continue to grow in 2019. That said, Facebook is going to continue its crackdown on low quality commerce. If you are going to run ads for low quality crap, they are going to crack down on it. Through the tests we’ve been running, I’ve been seeing that Facebook is definitely tweaking their algorithm to increase ad cost with certain types of businesses versus other types of businesses.

If you’re running events and seminars, I can see that they are definitely inflating the ad cost for webinars and lead capture and stuff like that versus if you’re doing a high quality commerce only product.

Again, you need to be paying attention to the seasonality of your ad buys. One of the things that we notice through Christmas is the ad cost went up massively on Facebook . They know it’s a buying season and although they don’t tell us, it looks like they tweaked the algorithm to artificially inflate those ad cost, kind of making some assumptions here. Maybe they don’t, but it really felt that way.

Bottom line is this, they’re going to continue to crack down on low quality commerce.

You’re going to see the platforms continuing to evolve and get smarter and smarter. Over the last two years, Facebook has been under an absolute ton of scrutiny with their targeting and tracking and as well as from regulatory bodies, government, stuff like that. Particularly after the big scandals around the Trump election and the Cambridge analytic scandal and stuff like that. They are actually starting to pull back on some of the targeting options that they are giving to us.

They’re starting to peel back some of the targeting options we did have. It may have been a little bit too invasive. I think we’re just weathering a storm. I think that’s going to continue to evolve and it is going to continue to get better.

We are going to start to see over the coming years far more regulatory control over advertising, fake news, misleading stuff in the world of commerce. Frankly, that makes me happy because particularly in my businesses that are in the health space, one of the biggest challenges we have as a legitimate company selling high quality products is when you’re in a space competing against people that are making false claims and using hype advertising and effectively breaking advertising laws, it drives up our ad cost and it makes it very difficult to compete.

There is a silver lining to all those regulatory stuff. This going to push out all the BS nonsense and crap from the advertising platforms which will actually I think start to bring down ad cost. In 2018, through into 2020 the ad platforms are going to continue to mature..

More competitions landing on board. That’s going to lead to increase click cost and also tighter control on ads. To that point as well, as this continues to evolve over the coming years, what will eventually happen is the bigger advertisers who are spending more will get preferential treatment over the smaller guys.

That sucks, I get it. It’s just the reality of what it is. Here’s the reason why. I know this because we saw it with Google AdWords. When Google AdWords launched, its success was driven initially by all the small businesses that jumped on board and started using it.

Over time, it’s more profitable for a Google or a Facebook to be able to deal with less advertisers spending more money than more advertisers that spend less money. That’s why over time, it’ll get more and more difficult for the small guys to get started.

Now, has that window closed? Absolutely not. Facebook is still amazing particularly in the emerging markets. The longer you wait to get on the Facebook bandwagon, the more it is going to cost you and the more difficult it is going to be.

Now, something else that I think is going to happen much sooner than later and probably in 2019 is far more regulation over the Messenger chatbot. 2018 was the year of chatbots.

Chatbots took off like a rocket. We’ve all seen them. If you use Facebook, you get those automated messages where you can engage with them. You can actually do commerce through a Facebook Messenger. Honestly, after going to China and spending time there and seeing how they use WeChat.

WeChat started off as almost like a Facebook Messenger. Now, people live through this platform. They buy, they sell, they transfer money. When they’re walking down the street, if they want to buy a hotdog from the hotdog vendor, they open up their WeChat account. They pay through that. I even heard the story of a homeless lady in China. Somebody was walking down the street. A homeless lady begging for money and she had her phone like, “Give me money through WeChat.”

I believe Messenger and Facebook has an intention to eventually get there with their Messenger where commerce is happening right through that. It’s in its infancy right now. What I’ve seen happen is I believe Facebook Messenger, Facebook said, hey, let’s throw this out there and let’s let companies like ManyChat and different chatbot companies access it and let’s see how people use it. Let’s see how businesses and marketers begin to use it. They don’t put a lot of regulations in.

They put some regulations in so it doesn’t get abused, but they’re pretty open to how they let people use this. They’ll watch and they will learn and they will adapt. Once they figure out how is it being abused, they’re going to start to put more regulatory systems in place to prevent abuses and to shut people down that are abusing it.

I think the Messenger marketing, when we look at WeChat in China and where that’s gone, I think it’s bloody amazing. I think Messenger could go that way if Facebook does it right, but it’s going to take some time to get there. I think 2019, we’re going to continue to see that evolution. There’s the big picture of where I see Facebook going. In 2019, again, it’s going to reign supreme.

Now, let’s shift from Facebook, the dominant social media to good old Google, the by far biggest search engine and it’s going to continue. Nobody is about to knock Google off their throne. Bing is still a tiny fraction of that. In most countries around the world other than China which really Baidu is the winner there and I believe Russia uses Yandex.. Google is still the biggest in most countries. Now, there’s a few exceptions to that rule but Google is going to continue to dominate. That’s not going to change.

Now, let’s talk for a minute about the Google algorithm and what’s going to happen with organic search engine like getting ranked in Google. Now, if we go back a couple of years and then prior to that, Google had a pretty consistent algorithm update schedule.

There’s always little tweaks and stuff. One would be an algorithm update that was targeting onsite and site optimization, the other one was more focused on backlinks. That being said, gone are the days I believe of those monster updates. Why?

Because I think they’ve got the general algorithm relatively dialed. Now, they’ve switched from what I’ve seen a model of monster algorithm, big, big updates to more smaller high frequency algorithm updates that are happening.

I notice this really, really heavily over the latter half of 2018 and now coming into 2019. I watched some different tools, one in particular I watched is the SEMrush SERP Sensor which is literally monitoring different categories, different markets, health, sports, all these different things and monitoring the volatility of the SERP. Volatility, is how fast the ranking is changing, and the site switching in and out in the search engine result pages.

In August, there was a big update which was named the Google Medic update and it hit a ton of health sites, but a ton of finance and lifestyle site as well. It was a pretty big update. It was focused more on trust and authority than onsite or backlinks. There was this big shift.

Again, a lot of this comes back to Facebook who took a lot of flack for fake news and conspiracy crap, polluting its pages. I think Google started asking, hey, how we do get a lot of this crap out of our algorithm or at least push it down?

They’re focusing more on higher authority stuff, high trust websites. That said, over the last six months, the frequency of algorithm updates have been massive. Just last week, I was watching in the health space and the frequency of updates was almost daily! I think we’re going to continue to see these higher frequency updates rather than a few big ones and then relative stability in the SERP. That sucks in many cases because it gets really hard to predict and scale especially for smaller websites.

That being said, as you move forward, if you want to play well with Google, it’s about authority. It’s about trust. It’s about high quality content. It’s about giving the user what they’re searching for, keeping them on your website. I’ll talk more about that in a second though.

I think we’re going to start to see more algorithm updates that are targeting very specific niches. Rather than saying, “Hey, here’s our overarching algorithm update to penalize crappy backlinks across all websites,” they’re saying, “Okay, so let’s now focus and update on health related searches. Let’s focus and update on news related searches.”

They’re going to start to tweak individual categories to fine-tune those. There is going to be updates where like an August health sites, lifestyle sites may have been hit but standard commerce sites, nothing. That’s a bit of a shift in how they’ve gone forward.

I think we’re going to see an increase frequency of manual site reviews. Now, Google has a team, but all they’re doing is manually reviewing sites. Now, Lord knows, they could never get through all of them. There’s hundreds of millions of websites out there. Adding that element of human reviews in there I think is going to increase the quality of search because as good as an algorithm could ever be, it’s never going to be as good as a human looking at a website.

Now, here’s the downside of humans looking at websites. Every single human, I don’t care who you are and I don’t care what checklist you have, brings a bias to the table. That bias could be they got cut off in traffic this morning and they’re having a bad day. There are going to be biases that exists.

It’s a love-hate thing for me. I think it’s good because a human can always do better than an algorithm. At this point in time, I’m sure in the future, AI will get there. A human still wins, but I don’t like having that human bias in there because it’s too unpredictable. Again, a heavy push towards authority and trusted content. That’s where they want to be.

When you’re building websites, the more things that you can include that are going to elevate your trust. That comes down to the basics, having a phone number, having a address, having terms and conditions, having all of those things that makes your site trustworthy. In 2019, your site needs to have a secure certification. It can be HTTP: it needs to be HTTPS: It needs to be secured. Anything that you can show them that, “hey, I’m a real business with a website that gets updated”. That shows authority, and is going to help your rankings.

As we move forward, you’re going to see I believe even more weight given to the engagement metrics on that website. At the end of the day, the best test of whether a website is good or bad is if Google send them 1000, 2000, 3000 visitors and watches what they do, do they stay? Do they engage? Do they click around? How long do they stay? Or do they hit the back button and leave?

They’re going to look for more and more ways to leverage engagement metrics to continue to judge quality of site because I truly believe that is one of the best ways to judge how good a website is in their algorithm is how people use said website.

Despite all of that, despite all of these changes, backlinks are still going to be the number one ranking factor, they still have. Out of the hundreds of different ranking factors that Google looks at in their algorithm. High quality backlinks are going to have the biggest influence on your rankings.

I know people in the SEO space, I know guys that are doing this and they set up websites and they’re still using, and I’m not saying to use black hat but they’re still using black hat link building. PBNs, blasting links at websites, and boom! They shoot up in the rankings. You cannot deny the power of backlinks.

As much as Google is going to stand up and say, “It’s all about the content, it’s all about the authority, all these stuff.” Realistically, it’s about backlinks, quality and quantity and relevancy of those links. It’s going to go up. Still the number one ranking factor.

Now, let’s shift gears and let’s talk about AdWords. AdWords, is obviously still Google. In 2019, and I started to see this in 2018, there’s going to be bigger shift back to AdWords from Facebook. Initially, it went the other way. Google AdWords for years was the biggest source of paid traffic until the Facebook ad platform came along. Then Google, they were draconian, horrible, mean AdWords to deal with.

They shut your account down. They wouldn’t tell you why. Getting your account back up was an impossible task at times. It was brutal. Facebook came along and everybody went, “Screw you, Google. I’m going over here to Facebook and I’m going to go buy traffic there.” Now, Facebook is getting bigger and a little bit more difficult. Everybody’s now shifting back to Google, because Google realized, I believe, this is my theory, that everybody was mass exiting to Facebook. To bring them back, well, maybe we can’t be assholes anymore. We need to be nicer to our clients, and so they were. They did a lot to make their platform more lenient, and easier to work with.

The next thing that we’re starting to see as well is Google, as everybody has been over here focused on Facebook, they’ve really put a lot of working time into their targeting platforms. More specifically, one of the big shifts that has been happening over the last year and I think it’s going to be really prevalent this year is a tighter integration of YouTube into their ad platform.

This is going to represent some really interesting opportunities for marketers. Because historically on YouTube, their ad platform was crappy. You could throw ads out on different videos and stuff like that, but it was really hard to target.

Now, they’ve tied the YouTube ad platform tighter into the AdWords. Now, if somebody searches a keyword in Google, and typed in PowerPoint remote into the search engine and then later on they were watching YouTube, I know that they searched PowerPoint remote and I can target people that searched that keyword who are now watching YouTube videos.

Now, we can advertise on YouTube to people that we know have a really high interest, the intent is there because they were searching for it. The biggest thing with search has always been its very clear intent.

It’s a high converting lead because you knew exactly what they were searching for and you can put that exact offer in front of them. Now though, we can say they searched over here, but we can advertise to them over there whether that’s still relevant offer on YouTube. I think that’s going to make a really interesting targeting in 2019.

YouTube is a behemoth. It is a powerhouse. It’s the second biggest search engine in the world. It’s funny because I don’t look at YouTube as much as a video website. From a marketing standpoint, I look at it as a search engine. Because as a business, that’s what we want. We want to know what people are searching for.

If their search is relevant to what we have, we want to put that ad in front of them. YouTube, is an incredible opportunity in 2019. It falls under that Google AdWords umbrella. There’s my Google update and predictions for 2019, which now brings us to one of the big shifts that I’m seeing.

In 2019, we are going to see the rise of the influencer. What do I mean by the rise of the influencer? Well, look, influencers have been around since … I mean, I don’t know when the term was coined, but they’ve been around for years. Influencers are anybody that has cultivated the following on a social media platform and that following is listening to them. They can influence their followers. They can make recommendations.

Influencers have existed for years upon years. I think probably one of the first terms of influencers that I remembering hearing was mommy bloggers. Back in the day, mommy bloggers was a term and that was moms that were blogging and they had followers of moms reading their blogs. Those were effectively influencers.

Now, with the dawn of social, it’s become much easier for people to cultivate mass of followings on YouTube, on Instagram, on Facebook, on Snapchat, on all these different platforms. Over the past few years, I’ve really seen a lot of bigger brands leveraging influencers.

When I say influencers as well, I mean we’ve got the Cardi Bs, we have the Kardashians. Yes, they’re monstrous celebrity influencers. What I’m actually talking about though isn’t celebrity, it is what I would call the micro influencer. In fact, we should say 2019 equals the rise of the micro influencer, not the influencer, the micro influencer.

These are regular people that have cultivated incredible followings online. Ones that you can now reach out to and have them endorse your product. Pre-2019 influencers though, were really used more in a branding activity. Companies that have advertising budgets would go out, get endorsements.

It was more for a branding activity to build brand awareness. Big companies like the Procters & Gambles of the world were leveraging influencers to get their messages out there. Now, that being said, where I’m seeing the big shift now though is advertisers are now trying to measure direct ROI from their influencer marketing spend.

Historically, big companies are going to say, okay, we have a budget of $10,000. We’ll give some to this guy, some to this guy, some to this guy, some to this guy, and they’ll blast it out. Voila! They have spent their budget and they got their message out in front of X amount of people.

Now, what I’m starting to see is the convergence of direct response marketers, that’s us. When we spend $1 on advertising as a direct response marketer, we want to make a measurable, predictable return in the shortest time possible. We’re not interested in branding.

We’re seeing a convergence of us, the direct response marketers, working with influencers but finding ways now to directly measure the ROI from our influencer spends so that we’re making those profitable. It’s a shift. It’s no longer branding. Branding becomes a byproduct of it. It’s about getting active real leads to come and buy our product really quickly. Again, we’re not talking about celebrities.

We’re talking about micro influencers. Micro influencers are the new celebrities. Why I think it’s really going to start to take off in 2019 is because it’s becoming far easier to reach out to the influencers. There’s numerous different platforms and tools in marketplaces where you can now take your product, your offer, and you can drop it in and start reaching out to influencers that are looking for these offers.

It’s no longer about having to sit down on Instagram and figure out where to go and how to find. That still works, but we’re looking at more tools, more agencies, more systems of connecting with mass influencers on scale without having to have teams of people out there doing it for you.

Here’s the neat part about influencers is influencers really don’t understand how to value themselves. Frankly, it’s really difficult for us to value themselves. Now, I always look at influencers and now I think to myself, why would you with 80,000 followers let me pay you $400 to endorse and recommend my product? Why wouldn’t you just sign up, become an affiliate of mine and take the affiliate commissions because you probably make way more money in the long run?

I don’t understand that. I’m always been someone who I would rather be paid for the performance because I typically make more money that way. That’s not how influencers think.

Influencers are like, “Pay me, I’ll post it.” We live in this time now where we have all these influencers but there’s no standard metric to determine how much they should charge. Frankly, I’ve been blown away by how cost effective we’ve been able to leverage influencers.

The example I gave of somebody with over 80,000 followers a few hundred dollars to endorse. These are people that have huge engagement. There are still tons of great deals to be had in 2019. It’s in its infancy. Like any ad channel mechanism platform, the more people that jump on board, the higher the cost becomes as we move forward.

Lots of good deals to be found in influencers which now shifts us to our other traffic sources to watch. Look, there’s tons of traffic sources that exist out there. Here’s a few that I’m keeping my eye on. Reddit. Reddit.com is massive. I believe in the U.S., last year, they overtook Facebook for unique visits daily. Reddit is enormous.

This enormous community where you can post, create subreddits, engage. They’re also now offering an ad platform where we can advertise. Here’s the beauty of Reddit, is it’s very intent-based advertising. What I mean by that is whenever I can drop my ad into a place where I know people were either searching or talking about something totally related to what I’m selling, we have super clear intent.

I love that. That’s my beef with ad platforms, the native ad platforms that we’ll talk about in a second or advertising general traffic on the CNNs of the world, is it’s not targeted. The intent is not there. When I can advertise in a platform where there’s clear intent and what they are interested and I drop my messages there, I love it.

Snapchat, still a ton of great deals. I don’t know where Snapchat is going to go but right now, lots of great advertising deals there. Quora.com. Quora is a fascinating one. They recently went public. They’re growing like crazy. If you use Google, I’d be shocked if you haven’t seen Quora. It’s a monstrous Q&A website.

They too have launched an ad platform. Again, like Reddit, it’s very intent-based. You can say, “Hey, people who have asked these questions or asked questions about blah, I want them to see my ad.” If they’re asking a specific question that relates to your product, boom! You want to have your product in front of them on that.

What I like about Quora is not only people asking questions, but when somebody ask a question and a thread grows, the amount of traffic that then can come out of Google because Google seems to love Quora. As a result Quora has a lot of potential there as well.

Retargeting, remarketing, whatever you want to call it is going to continue to grow and evolve. It’s a fascinating time for retargeting. Just refresher, retargeting is when somebody come and visits your website doesn’t buy or take action and then you display ads to them following them around another website. That’s remarketing.

You can do that on Facebook. You can do that across tons of different websites, native network, stuff like that. Retargeting is amazing because you’re showing your ads to people that were obviously interested because they came to your website.

What we’re going to start to see in 2019 is the evolution of more sophisticated retargeting a cross-device, cross-channel, cross-browser retargeting, all these different things. Retargeting is going to continue to evolve as will native ads. Native ads have got a heck of a job ahead of them.

The native ad networks are definitely very effective. They’ve been massively abused by deceitful advertisers. We’ve all seen those scummy ads on the major new sites, stuff like that. That’s people abusing the native networks. Native ads are going to continue to evolve as they look for ways to be effective. If you’re in a more general market, always worth a shot.

That being said, one of the biggest challenges with native ads or any type of nontraditional ad, native ads that are a simple ad embedded in a website, no problem. One of the biggest problems with display ads that we’re going to see over the coming years is anything that is less intrusive will be fine, but anything that’s more intrusive is going to be blocked.

All of the browsers are rolling out more advanced ad blocking. Autoplay videos, won’t be any more of those. Dropdowns that take over your screen, and things like that are blocked, going to be gone.

Last other great traffic source, guys, podcasts. Podcasts are an amazing sources. There are so many great opportunities out there to start building podcasts in so many different niches. Where they don’t even currently exist or there’s very few.

Look, podcasting is not hard. Anybody can create a podcast. I believe there are still a ton of untapped niche opportunities there. Podcast is becoming the new radio. I don’t listen to radio anymore. I listen to podcasts, full stop. I can’t count how many people I know that are exactly the same and it’s going to continue to evolve.

Little summary of traffic here. Of all the things I’ve just said to you and all these different traffic sources, the most important message that you need to take away is this.

Focus where your audience is listening, where they are actively interested and talking about what you have. The bottom line is, is I talk about these platforms and I say, “Oh, there’s Reddit, there’s Quora, there’s Facebook, there’s all these things.”

People get excited and they rush over there, but they never stop to ask the question of, “Well, is my market actually there?” Because if your market is not there, you shouldn’t be there. Focus where your market is. Master those traffic sources. Build your audiences while it is still cheap. We live in this amazing time right now where social media platforms are still figuring themselves out.

We can go and set up Instagram channels and YouTube channels and Facebook pages and groups. We can start cultivating and building audiences for pennies. It’s incredible how cheap it is to build audiences of people. As things evolve, they get more expensive. Today should be about building those audiences, investing your time in building content, getting it out there, building those audiences, and then engaging those audiences.

In order to do that though, that brings us to number three, if you want to be successful in building your audiences, you have to have a voice. You have to take a stand. You have to stand for something.

You can’t be afraid of offending a few people along the way. In fact, if you don’t offend a few people, you probably aren’t trying hard enough in your niche. You need to have some kind of a voice and to polarize your market and take a stand.

That’s why you see some of these massive influencers, the guys like the Gary Vs of the world or the big YouTubers that have huge followings. They take stands. They have opinions. They’re on one side of an issue. They’re not trying to bridge both sides of an issue. You know what? They’re going to piss some people off and that’s okay. Because the people they don’t piss off are the people that agree with them.

When they agree with them, they love them. Have a voice. If you’re on social, don’t be vanilla. Also remember, content doesn’t have to be perfect, just has to be. One of the examples I love to give here is Gary V, Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary is a content behemoth.

Now, Gary has built up Vayner Media, huge company offices all over the world. He has a team of people that all they do now is produce content of him, getting his content everywhere, building it. He does a fantastic job of that. Now, we don’t need teams of people, we all have a device just sitting, recording, talk about something, build your channels. You can do this. You don’t have to have a big team.

The reason I’m pointing out Gary V. though is because if you ever listen to his content, you see his content, it’s not polished, it’s not super professional. It’s candid. It’s him. His podcast, if you’ve ever listened to his podcast which is one of the top podcast out there, tons of listeners, half the time, he’ll be in a meeting talking to somebody, he records it because he’s coaching somebody. Then he throws it up as a podcast. He takes past talks he’s done. He throws them up as podcasts.

It’s not polished, doesn’t have fancy editing or anything. It’s just him authentically talking about stuff, and people love that. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just has to be, get it out there.

Now, as we shift away from traffic, let’s talk about conversion. How do we take that traffic and how do we turn it into sales? The reason I brought this up in this webinar is it’s real simple, because I get these questions all the time.

There’s actually three questions I get it every year is, number one, is email marketing dead? Email marketing is dead. It’s dead, right? It’s gone. It’s dead. Nobody uses email anymore. Email marketing is dead? That’s the questions I get. Are websites dead? Do we need websites anymore? Are they dead? Then, the latest one that’s been coming up are, are sales funnels dead?

Let me address these questions, because it’s freaking nonsense. Let’s talk about email marketing. Is email marketing dead? I just pulled some recent stats on email, which actually compared it directly to Facebook. Let’s have a little look here. We have total users, email, 2.6 billion, like everybody on the internet. Then, Facebook, 1.7 billion. Okay, so we’re winning on email.

First online check of the day, 58% of people, email, 11% Facebook. People that use the channel daily, 91% of people use their email daily, 57% use Facebook. People which prefer it for permission based promotions, most people prefer it. 77% of people say they prefer getting promotions by email. 4%, via Facebook.

Where do people check for deals from companies they know? 44% email, 4% Facebook. People that have made up purchase as a result of marketing through a channel, 66% have made a purchase from email, 20% from Facebook.

Your email list, you own it, Facebook can be terminated. Is email marketing dead? Absolutely not. It’s funny, when people ask me, “Well, is email dead? I mean, Facebook. Everybody uses Facebook.” I always look at them and go … There’s a questions I always ask, “Look, if Facebook has a really important announcement to send to you, how do they send it to you?” The person says to me, “Well, via email.”

I’m like, “Yeah, right? Do they send it via Messenger?” “No. They send it via email.” Even when Facebook has an important message to send, they send it via email. Email is still the number one communication platform for marketers.

The only exception to that is in China where WeChat is gaining dominance for sure. Even there, everybody has email. Email is still king. It’s the highest response of all my channels for direct response marketing. Email wins every single time. If you think about every big company that you’ve subscribed to, market that you subscribed to, email is one of their biggest channels. Email is not dead. It’s never going to be … I don’t want to say never.

I don’t see it ever going away in the foreseeable future. Remember, an old saying, “The money is still in the list.” One of the biggest flaws I saw with this whole low quality commerce drop shipping stuff like that is people were just selling products, but they were never worried about building a database. They were just looking for the next sale. That’s a very short term business model.

If you want to succeed, it’s about building a targeted list of people, building a relationship with them and then being able to communicate with them and make offers to those people. That is the magic, becoming the trusted advisor to that list.

The most valuable asset you’re ever going to build is an email list. Once you have a response of email list that is listening to you, it’s like a license to print money because if you launch a new product, you don’t have to go up there and find new sources of traffic. You simply sit down and you write an email, and boom! You immediately start making sales.

The money is in the list.

Now, let’s move to the next question which was, are websites dead? Most people say, “Well, why do I need a website when I could just have a Facebook page?” The fact of the matter is, you do not own Facebook. You do not own your Facebook page.

I have seen numerous businesses, people over the year who one day logged on and their Facebook page was shut down for some bizarre obscure policy reason. Does it happen often? No, it doesn’t. However you do not own it. You cannot customize it. Facebook can advertise other stuff on your page. They can recommend competitors on your page.

Facebook is not a replacement for your website.

Your website is the property you do own. Facebook is a channel, one of many channels that should be driving traffic and leads to your website, to your business. Your website is your property. It is your real estate that you can do what you want with.

The bottom line is websites aren’t dead. Websites are never going to be dead. Now, is technology evolving? For sure. WordPress is still the dominant platform. I don’t see that disappearing any time soon for building websites. WordPress is amazing. All of my websites are now run on WordPress. I have hundreds of websites, commerce websites, information websites that are running off WordPress.

That being said, some platforms are evolving getting better. Now, I’m not a big fan of the Wix’s, and the Weeblys, and the Foursquares. The reason why is any time I’ve had students that have been using that, eventually they run into a wall.

They’re too restricted by those platforms. The beauty of WordPress is you can make it whatever you want. You can customize it however you want. Now, the only exception as far as a third-party platform that I do see potential in and I do like is Shopify.

If you’re doing straight commerce, you’re selling physical goods, I love Shopify. Shopify is a great platform for that. That said, pairing it with a WordPress website can be useful also. Bottom line is, is you need a website. Websites are not dead.

That brings me to, are sales funnels dead? I love this one. This actually just started popping up. I saw some marketers leveraging this. Sales funnels are dead in 2019.

I’m like, “What are you talking about?” Sales funnels are never going to die, because the sales funnel is just the process that you take people through to get them from just first hearing about you through to becoming your customer and then continuing to buy from you. It’s a process. That’s what a sales funnel is. That’s never going to disappear.

What is happening and what has changed is the good old short click and buy sales funnels are dying. They are fewer and far between. What I mean by that is back in the day, somebody would search something, they click your website and they would buy. That was pretty common.

We’re now in a time and a place where there’s a lot more competition, there’s a lot more options. What I’ve seen is the buying process takes longer. It’s not that the sales funnels are dead. Sales funnels are evolving to support a longer sales sequence, a longer sales process. We got to wine and dine the customer a little longer. We have to build more of a relationship. We have to stand out from the competition.

Realistically, it’s not just click to go to website to buy, it might be click to opt in, to the warm up email sequence, to the webinar and then buy. There’s different processes. Or it could be click to website, they shop around, and then it’s retargeting, and then a follow up, and then they buy.

We’re now in the time of multistep sales funnels. It’s never just two steps anymore. That’s where sales funnels are. They’re evolving as the markets evolve. Sales funnels are not dead.

How do we maximize conversion in 2019? Look, guys, everybody is always looking for the shortcut, the secret. Derek, what’s the secret? There’s no secret. You need a great product, create a great product, take that great product and put it in front of the right customer at the right time when they want it. Then, make sure when you put it in front of them, there’s a well-crafted offer. Great product in front of the right customer at the right time with a well-crafted compelling offer.

That is how you maximize conversion, whether you use Clickfunnels or you use WordPress or you use blue on your landing page or pink on your landing page. All that stuff doesn’t matter if you don’t have a good product, if it’s not in front of the right customer at the right time with a well-crafted offer. Full stop, that’s it, bottom line. People are always looking for the secret, but that’s it guys. That is it.

The number one skill to maximize conversion is understanding the psychology of selling. It’s funny, I see how many people jump on board. I’ll use Clickfunnels as an example. I’m not beating on Clickfunnels. I like Clickfunnels, great product.

So many people, they see Clickfunnels as the Holy Grail. It’s going to solve all their conversion issues. I look and go, “No, it’s not.” That’s just a tool. You still have to have a great offer. You have to have a great product. You have to have a compelling sales copy, and then you use Clickfunnels to deliver that.

Clickfunnels is not going to help you understand the psychology of selling. Sure, they have some templates and stuff like that. They’re not going to be perfect for your business. You need to come up with your own offer, your own product, your own ad copy, your own messaging. If you want to succeed in any business at any time, you need to learn the psychology of selling.

You need to learn the sequence of a good sales process. If there was one skill that you could take away that I would say would be the absolute most important skill to at least start to study so you have a basic understanding, even if you’re not going to master it, is you have to have an understanding of sales copy, sales letters, how to write them well.

Because when you go out and start studying how to write sales copy, how a good sales letter or sales sequence works and you learn from the big copywriters, the Dan Kennedys of the world , it changes the way you think.

It changes how you think about authors. Once you understand that psychology, and that’s what ad copy is, really comes down to. It’s using words to convince people to take an action. The words on their own don’t really mean anything unless you understand the psychology behind said words, the sequence, all of the things that convince people to buy. If there’s one book you haven’t read, I put on your list for this year’s; “Influence” by Robert Cialdini.

Because, again, that is the psychology of selling distilled down into I believe six different traits. Look, if there’s one thing you’re going to master, if you’ve been struggling, you’re not getting good results and you know SEO, you know how to drive traffic, you know all the stuff, take some time this year and start learning how to craft ad copy.

If you’re not a great writer, that’s fine. By studying this, you can either hire people or you can rough it out and hire somebody to polish it for you. You’re going to have a much better understanding of how to sell your product. All the tools, Clickfunnels, all that crap, not going to do it for you. You need to understand how to sell. Then, layer that on top of all these tools and you’re going to be successful.

That now brings me to the final section of this 2019 update. The number one mistake in 2019 is, mindset. It’s never learning to think and act like a successful entrepreneur. If you want to succeed at this whole entrepreneur thing, maybe you already are.

If you are, pat yourself on the back. This might be a great reminder for you. If you’re struggling and your trying to build something and you’re just not quite getting there, one of the biggest reasons I see people fail at starting online businesses or succeeding at this whole online entrepreneur thing typically has nothing to do with their training, their skills, their product, stuff like that.

It’s the wrong mindset, full stop.

What is the right mindset? I started to break it down. I think it really comes down to these things. First of all, entrepreneurs are people that have a vision. They have a plan and they set goals. They set goals and then they work towards achieving those goals. So many people have said, “Oh, I want to have an online business. I’m going to have a website,” but they never sit down and build a plan and then set goals along the way that they have to hit to achieve that plan.

I love this saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You need a plan. There’s a million different goal setting strategies and systems out there. I use one from Verne Harnish.

I got one of his books out there on setting goals, setting our BHAGs, our annual goals, our quarterly goals, our weekly goals. In fact, I just spent the last week meeting with my different team members and setting goals and mapping out the year. If you just let life happen to you, your chances of succeeding are slim to none.

You need a plan. You need to set those goals. Then once you set those goals, you need to find ways to hold yourself accountable for hitting those goals and also for the results. One of the biggest mistakes I see and I hear is people say, “Oh, I couldn’t do it because of this or that.” They’re blaming all of these different things.

The only reason you don’t hit your goals, that you’re not achieving what you want in your life is because you have not made a plan and held yourself accountable to hitting that plan. When things go wrong, you do, “Oh, it was this, it was that, it was this.” You don’t look inwards and go, “Hey, what can I do to avoid that?” You need to hold yourself accountable.

I’ll be honest. I’m sick and tired of hearing people say, “Oh yeah, I wanted to start a business online. I started my website, but I got really busy.” Well, to put it bluntly, everybody is busy. You got to find a way to make the time, to set that time aside.

I hear it all the time, people say, “Oh, I was really busy. I didn’t have the time. This gotten in the way.” I say, “Hey, did you watch Game of Thrones this year?” They go, “Yeah, I watched the Game of Thrones.” I said, “Yeah, great. Well, there was 10 hours. Did you watch this?” “Yeah, I watched that series.”

Cancel your Netflix account. Cancel your cable. We all have time. You have to make the time and then find ways to be accountable to hitting those goals. Then, stay focused. The other big mistake that I see people make is they’re not focused. They’re trying to do a dozen different things. They’re always chasing the next shiny object.

I always call it shiny object syndrome. I see it so rampant with entrepreneurs where I watch entrepreneurs that are the next … Cryptocurrency was the perfect example. People that were working on all these viable businesses were making the money and growing, and then they’re like, whoop! Bitcoin is the next greatest thing, and that’s where their focus was.

Meanwhile, over everything over here was suffering. Stay focused. A good business does not happen overnight. It takes time. It takes focus. It takes perseverance. It takes patience. Patience is key.

I can’t tell you how often I hear from somebody that says, “I put up a landing page. I put up a squeeze page. I put up an offer. I run a Facebook ad and I didn’t make any money. This doesn’t work.” I’m like, are you kidding me? Do you know how many Facebook ads I have to run sometimes before it actually does make money? That’s all part of the process.

You need to be patient. You need to understand that this is going to take some time. Now, you see on my slide here, I said be patient and I said sometimes. Because there’s other times where you don’t want to be patient. When you’re waiting for somebody to deliver something, when you’re trying to get something done, patience is not a virtue. I’m not a patient person. I want stuff done and I want it done now. That’s cool.

There’s other times where I have to say, “Okay, this is going to take some time.” If I’m not patient, I’ll walk away from a great opportunity because I wasn’t willing to put the time in to see it through the fruition. As entrepreneurs, we need to be willing to embrace failure.

I can’t count the number of times somebody says to me, “Oh, I tried that internet thing, I put up a website, drew some traffic, that didn’t work. I gave up.” I shake my head because if I gave up every time a website I put up didn’t work, I would have never started. Every entrepreneur I know has more stories of failures than they do successes.

It’s all those little failures that led to the big success finally. Every time you try something and it doesn’t work, you’ve now learned something and you’re one step closer to succeeding but you got to get off your ass and be willing to fail, to take those risks, to try those things.

I look at people who are like, “Whoa, I don’t want to spend $100 on this Facebook ad.” Meanwhile, they go out and they spend $200 buying the new pair of Nikes that they don’t really need. What’s going on with that? You got to think this through. Be willing to invest, to try some things.

The next time you’re looking at, oh, maybe spending $50 or $100 or $200 on your business and you’re feeling uncomfortable about it, think about the last stupid thing you bought for $200.

You might be like, “Yeah, okay, good point.” Invest in learning. I constantly invest in learning. Find mentors. Find people that have already solved the problem and learn how they solved it. Quit reinventing the wheel.

The best investment you can make that you will never lose on is training, learning the skills, learning from different people. That is going to get you a long, long ways.

Guys, go out there. Be bold. Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid to make people mad, to piss off people in your market. You got to be okay with that. This goes back to what I was talking about a few slides back about having a voice, polarizing your audience, taking a stand.

Every single successful entrepreneur I know in a niche has taken a stand. There’s people that love them and there’s people that dislike them and some cases hate them. That is okay, because the people that love you will really love you.

At the end of the day, and I’m not going to get political here, but if we look at the U.S. elections. I’m Canadian, just pointing on a record here, I’m not American. If we look at the U.S. elections, that’s exactly what Trump did. Trump went in and he polarized the entire population of the U.S. The people that loved him were raving fans during the election, absolute raving fans.

The people that didn’t like him had a visceral reaction, but worked for him. He won that election.

In a market, be bold. Take a stand. You’re going to upset some people, but you’re going to resonate with the people that are going to become your customers. Finally, guys, learn to sell. Learn the psychology of selling. Study how to sell. No business can succeed if they don’t understand how to sell.

When I say sell, I mean it’s a combination of marketing, selling. Taking people that don’t know you through a process where they’re willing to now pull out their wallet and invest in whatever it is you have to offer. Selling has been studied for the last century.

There are amazing books out there, Influence. Read the different copywriting books. Understand the psychology of selling. Once you do, you’re going to be able to craft and position offers and make money anywhere, full stop. Learn to sell.

On that note, guys, I hope you guys have taken something out of this webinar. I put you on a track for 2019. Just to wrap up, I want to leave you with what would be my hands down favorite entrepreneurship quote because I truly believe this is so true. That is this, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

It’s funny, we don’t become entrepreneurs because it’s the easy decision today. That’s not why we do it. We become entrepreneurs, we build these online businesses or any businesses for that matter because they give us a pathway forward so we can live incredible lives much sooner than everybody else.

When everybody else is still working at their job, trudging along towards retirement, you’ve made it well before them and you’re living a life they could never dream about. That is why we do it. The reality is, guys, is you got to have the mindset aligned. You have to be thinking in the right direction.

Once that mindset is there, you have the right products, the right training, and the right skills. The sky’s the limit as long as you persevere. There you go, guys. There’s my update for 2019. Go forth, make 2019 an extraordinary year for you.

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment over on our Facebook page. If you’re not already engaged here, come see us there. My YouTube channel, projectignite.com, you know all the places you can find me.

There you go, guys. Have a great, great year.

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