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Sell Yourself, Not Your Products or Services

By Bill Platt
Posted Sunday, September 12, 2004

Sell yourself, not your products or services. The point we need to make is that your products and services will change
over time as your business adapts to the realities of the marketplace.

If you spend your time promoting Product A and then you discontinue the sale of Product A, you will suddenly find
yourself starting over from scratch with nothing to show for all of your previous work!

For as long as you remain on this planet, you will always be. No matter the course of your product or service line, selling
yourself first and then your products will give you the leverage to remain flexible in your business journeys.

If your primary products are affiliate programs, you should be able to see this quite well.

How many times have you been involved with an affiliate program that either changed their rules for operation to your disadvantage or simply went out of business? How many times have you seen your hard work go down the drain by no
fault of your own?

Selling yourself may seem a challenge, but it really is not that difficult.

In the matter of selling yourself, your goal is to create name recognition in the market place. You need for name recognition for your website, your own name or both.

There are five methods that work very well for promoting your online business. Those five methods are:

1. Submitting your website to Search Engines
2. Developing your own Ezine
3. Ezine Advertising
4. Using Free-Reprint Articles
5. Direct Email

You might note that four of these five methods incorporate email in one fashion or another. That is not by mistake. Of
course, direct email is the weakest of the four methods employing email. The reason for this weakness is the fear of spam by the recipient of the email. I generally avoid direct email for this very reason. Better safe than sorry I say.

What I am outlining here is a blueprint that all online business persons should strive to accomplish.

First, we must build our website. Our website should serve as a direct sales letter to the buying public. While the website should exist for anyone looking to do business online, it is not the end all for your online business presence. Once the website is ready for the public, it should be submitted to the search engines. Keep in mind, search engines are interested in the words on your site... pictures don't mean a thing to the search engines.

We should then develop an ezine to accompany our website. We should invite all site visitors to subscribe to our ezine as
this enables us to create an ongoing conversation with our potential customers. Do not let the ezine become more than a tool to keep contact with your customers. I publish my ezine only once a month so that I may have more time for growing my businesses.

Many folks agree that ezine advertising is one of, if not the most effective way to build your business. You should never simply put an advertisement out there in the market without testing the effectiveness of that ad first. You should also always be sure of the target audience of the ezines you are looking to are the same as your target market if that is possible.

The truth is that you can burn through thousands of dollars in ezine advertising without ever turning a single sale. To be sure of the effectiveness of your ads before spending money for the advertisement, you might want to consider using a ad
tracking service to determine the worth of your ads before plunking down the money for your advertising.

An interesting and effective technique for tapping into the value of ezine advertising without blowing the bank is to use
Free-Reprint Articles to open the door to ezines.

The truth is that most publishers do not have the time or energy to create all of their own content. As a result, most of them turn to article lists and sites to find the content they feel would be attractive to their readers. Free-Reprint Rights is the key here. Most online publishers are running on a very tight budget and cannot afford to buy the content they publish.

In the Free-Reprint market, there are a number of large lists that provide an excellent assortment of articles that carry the Free-Reprint rights. One example is called *Free Ezine Content* and can be subscribed to by sending a blank email to: . Another group is *Free Reprint Articles* at YahooGroups. Send an email to: for your free subscription.

Tapping into the Free-Reprint market is easy. The trick to getting your articles published is being able to teach your
readers something of value and being able to do so in an easygoing article style that folks will read and enjoy.

Providing your are successful in teaching the readers something of value in an interesting manner, then you will find your articles getting published regularly, even in the larger ezines.

Through the use of articles to promote your business, you will be selling yourself first and then your business. The
resource box that follows every article is like a small classified ad that tells who you are, what you do, and where to be able to reach you or your business. The resource box is best kept to under 6 lines of 65 characters in length.

Your resource box is your advertisement in the ezine. Ironically, readers will read an article and visit the website of an author well before they read an advertisement posted in the same ezine.

As your articles get reprinted again and again, you will begin to see for yourself the promise of Free-Reprint Articles coming to life for you and your business. Your site traffic and sales will continue to grow as you continue to build your
all-important name recognition in the market place.

About the Author
Bill Platt owns ( . Do you need free content for your website or ezine? Our archives deliver
more than 300 free-reprint articles available for your use. ( . Do you write your own
articles? Let us distribute them for you to our network of 6000+ publishers & webmasters (


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