Why Your Money-Back Guarantee MAKES You Money

Let’s say you sell a $97 product about how to set up and successfully run an organic garden in your backyard. It consists of an ebook, videos and some bonus seed and soil selection guides. It’s delivered completely by download to the buyer’s computer. Should you offer a 100% money-back guarantee for 90 days if your customer is not completely satisfied? Your first reaction might be, “of course not, anyone could ask for her money back, but there’s no way to get the product back.” It’s like walking into Foot Locker to return a pair of shoes and asking for your money back without giving the clerk the shoes back. Craziness. Not so fast though. Because the answer is an unequivocal “yes,” you should absolutely offer your customer her entire $97 back if she asks. Even if she then goes on to use your product to create the most bountiful organic garden in the country. It doesn’t matter how high-dollar your product is, you need a money-back guarantee. And yes, even for your services and your live events, you need some kind of a money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Why? Because such a guarantee will actually make you money. There are at least 3 reasons why. 1. Confidence Sells You’ve certainly seen or heard it before: “We’re so convinced that you’ll love your new XYZ that we’re offering you a full 30 day money- back guarantee.” Such language isn’t just for the late-night infomercial. Your potential customer needs to know that you’ve created something so awesome that you have no fear of going broke from all the refunds. Let’s...

Why Your Branding is Boring, and How to Fix It

My Facebook news feed is overwhelmingly red right now. A good portion of my friends have changed their profile pictures to a red version of the Human Rights Campaign logo. What I find interesting about this is that there isn’t any discussion about “why” people are doing this, or what it means. Everyone that’s even mildly connected with the issue knows the Supreme Court is considering equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, and the red HRC logo is a show of support for such rights. So nothing has to be said. You see the logo, and you immediately feel a certain way (depending on your views). You see the logo, and certain words come to your mind ~ civil rights, equality, gay marriage. How’s Your Branding Compare to the HRC? I know, your brand probably isn’t as widespread and popular (yet!) as the Human Rights Campaign. But comparing your branding to the HRC is not a stretch. While your audience may be significantly smaller, you still want them to feel a certain something when they see you online. Be honest with yourself, what do they feel now when they see your face or your logo online? Unfortunately, it’s probably something close to indifference. If you surveyed people on what words come to their mind when they see your face or your logo, they would probably struggle to come up with any. The reason behind this is that you’ve been concentrating on looking good online, without thinking about how to get your online visitors to feel good about you. As a consequence, your audience might like the way you look, and yet...

5 First Impressions That Will Make or Break Your Business

Did you know that when you meet someone in person, you form 11 impressions about that person in the first 7 seconds? Sounds pretty incredible, but more than one study seems to bear it out. Meeting someone new doesn’t exactly mirror a potential client’s first contact with your business. But, especially when your business is online, it’s fair to say that you have at most 7 seconds to make a “do or die” first impression. To help completely understand this, let’s compare a visitor’s first contact with your online business, to your own experience walking into a physical store. Let’s use the example of a shoe store. There are 5 big first impressions that matter when you walk in to find the perfect pair of shoes to wear on a big night out. Those first impressions matter even more to your online business. Let’s look at what they are, and why you need to make sure to get them right. 1.  Look Good You drive up to the shoe store, and two of the letters in the store’s neon sign are burned out. You walk in to find peeling paint, faded signage, and mis-matched placards displaying the price next to each shoe. Your first impression is that this doesn’t look like the kind of store that will have that special shoe you’re looking for. Your visitor lands on your website. Do they recognize the colors or logo or your picture as being consistent with what they saw when they “met” you on social media? Or when you handed them your business card at a networking event? Does your site look like you paid a professional to do...

How to Create a Profitable Business When You’re Broke and Dumb

There are two big lies that keep most would-be entrepreneurs from even starting an online business. Today, we’ll eliminate both of them. If you’re in love with your excuses, if they make you comfortable and you like being comfortable, if you like talking about change way more than doing anything about it, you should probably stop reading here. But if you’re willing to own up to the fact that “I don’t have any money,” and “I don’t have any technical ability,” are excuses ~ and NOT valid reasons for failing ~ then let’s get started erasing those excuses. “I don’t have any money” Usually, “I don’t have any money” means either (1) you think it takes way more money than it does to start an online business, or (2) you aren’t putting your business above your daily Starbucks on the priority list. Let’s talk about exactly what it takes to start your business. There are people who will argue that you can do all of this for free. Maybe that’s technically true. Maybe. But, if you want to create a profitable business, rather than a hobby, you’re going to have to spend a little money. I know, you’re broke, but really, it’s just a little. 1. Domain Name First, your online business needs a website. Resist the urge to go with a free blogging platform such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com. Free blogging platforms weren’t meant for doing business. If you’re not convinced of this one, take a minute to read my article on 2 Big Reasons Your Online Business Needs WordPress.org. Because you’re going for what’s called a “self-hosted”...

How to Easily Replace Your Google Reader

Despite the Change.org petition garnering over 100,000 signatures, I don’t see Google changing its decision to end its Google Reader service effective July 1, 2013. So, if you’re worried about how you’re going to track your favorite blogs after Google Reader is gone ~ or about how your loyal readers are going to keep up with your blog ~ I have easy answers for you today. I recommend you take three steps to make the switch from Google Reader to a new RSS Reader. These three steps will (1) save all the feeds you have in Google Reader, (2) allow you to choose the best replacement RSS Reader for you, and (3) get your new Reader up and running with everything from your Google Reader easily in place. Step One: Google Takeout I’m don’t think this step is even necessary, but I did it out of an abundance of caution. On the Google Reader blog, it states that if you want to retain your Reader data, including your subscriptions, you can do so at Google Takeout. Google Takeout allows you to download an archive of all of your data from most any Google service. It’s a simple process. First, go to Google Takeout and select “Choose Services,” and then select the “Reader” button: The screen showing your Reader size will come up. Click the red “Create Archive” button at the bottom of this screen: Finally, the download screen will come up. Once it says “complete,” you can click the blue “download” button and it will download a zip file of your Reader information to your computer. The screen will look...