as you may have heard, Starbucks aren’t doing so well these days, so they are going to hire Ronald McDonald clowns to entertain the crowds whilst waiting for their coffee in an attempt to get more customers into their stores. [source: itotallymadethatup.com]
ok, whilst that’s totally made up and you may be spared the sight of Ron in action for a wee while, the exact same thing is happening in a forum near you:
specifically the WSO section of the Warrior Forum. (which is representative of many other parallel Universes …)
If you look at the products being sold there, it’s gone from
“hey, here’s my stuff, if you want it, click here” (and I’ll pay my affiliates 50%) about 2 years ago
“hey, here’s my stuff, if you want it, click here” (and I’ll pay my affiliates 100%) about 1 year ago
“frig, I need to pull off a giant dog ‘n pony show and some serious Ronald McDonald clownery to even get someone to look at my offer and I have to give away 100% on the front-end, the back-end, and then pay 25% on top of that to even get someone to promote for me” round about now.
Current example: Brad Gosse & Anthony Aires’ traffic WSO:
100% off everything goes to affiliates, and they have to put on a giant show – in this case hours and hours of their time doing live webcasts in the WSO thread.
that’s hours and hours of their LIVES gone forever.
All in the name of doing a dog and pony show to get people to buy a $8.87 product of which Brad and Anthony will get NOTHING.
Yes, Brad and Anthony know what they’re doing, and they’ll make money on the back-back-end (the back-end itself is there to satisfy the affiliates)
Incidentally, I just want to make this 100% clear:
what I’m saying here relates to the *marketing* that’s required to shift low-ticket items on the WF, not the items themselves.
Meaning: I’m not saying anything about Brad’s and Anthony’s product, I’m just using their launch as a case-study (I could’ve equally well taken Enrique’s/Neil’s WPMobi launch, same principle, or any of the upcoming ‘big’ launches).
I guess what I’m trying to get across is this:
- this particular market (the WSO section of the WF) has been conditioned to respond to sub $10 offers so much, that you now have
- a very hard time selling anything over $10 (ask Bill Guthrie about his recent launch where he ‘dared’ to ask for $17 for a nice, high quality product that should really sell for $197), and
- almost no chance of selling anything unless you have a major dog and pony show and/or clowns going on.
- both buyers and sellers appear to overlook that it takes time (and hence money) to produce quality products:
All of this creates a big-time vicious circle:
buyers expect top quality products (which sellers cannot produce without charging for it appropriately), so sellers have to use dogs, ponys and clowns to sell stuff they can cobble together quickly (Anthony and Brad on 2 six-hour live webcasts, that’s 12 man hours, plus they had someone in the background, that’s a LOT of time that could’ve been spent on creating a high-quality product! – however, chicken and egg, no point doing so because then you don’t have time for doggying, ponying and clowning around, so noone is going to buy your high quality product.
And of course, all the dog & pony circus acts attract clients who are, well, attracted by the dazzle, rather than real content that makes a real difference. Meaning: they’re even less likely to invest in higher quality content, and so the cycle continues.
Let me wrap up with my take why I think this circus-train is heading for serious dead-end very fast:
in this particular market, the products that have to be produced on the cheap provide no real value beyond the ‘quick-fix’ buzz you get from the act of buying it … a bit like a nice cup of Starbucks coffee.
Wears off rather quickly, and off you go again to make another purchase.
Granted, there is value in that … in makes you feel good for a short period of time, but ultimately you don’t get the value you were seeking in the first place (like, oh, mhmm, grow your business, or get it started in the first place).
There’s a second factor at work here and that is this:
in the real world, traffic is always getting more expensive!
In the above example, 2 years ago you could make quite a few sales through the forum itself (you keep 100%), and ‘only’ give 50% to affiliates.
Then it got more expensive, you had to give away 100% on the front-end, then monetize it on the back-end.
Right now, we’re at the point where you monetize it on the back-back end, plus you have the ‘lost’ time (and hence income) due to having to put on the dog and pony show.
In other words: the real cost of traffic is ever increasing on the WF.
Meaning: in the long run, only those who can monetize the back-back end, will make money, everyone else will lose money (and often not even notice it because they put it down as “it’s part of lead-gen”) or simply leave the WF and look for a different traffic source.
Now, once again, this is not a ‘wagging finger raised in the air’ or pointing at anyone or any forum, it’s just an example of what’s going on in the real world:
if traffic is profitable, more and more people will jump on it, and the more people jump on it, the more expensive it will get.
Google Adwords used to be dirt cheap and you could make a campaign profitable in a few short days or weeks, now you’re more likely looking at months of optimization until you finally break even … that’s how expensive that traffic source has become.
Meaning: whichever traffic source you jump on, no matter how big the ‘loop-hole’, eventually that loop-hole will be discovered by enough people to drive most competitors out of that traffic source, simply because it’s no longer profitable.
Just a crazy thought then:
maybe the secret to making money online is NOT to find loopholes and super-cheap traffic sources, but maybe, just maybe it’s actually knowing how to build profitable sales-funnels that
- make a profit no matter how expensive the traffic is (read: it’s always a tiny bit better than the other guys in the market), and
- are designed in such a way that you can actually spend time on creating quality products, rather than doing the dog, pony, clown dance just to give people their next quick fix.
Then again, I might be wrong….