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One of Asia's top Internet Entrepreneurs and PLR Extraordinaire behind hundreds of private label rights products
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7 Pelajaran Paling Penting Saya Belajar Dari Bisnes Internet

Statistik sering katakan hanya 10% bisnes masih ada dalam masa 5 tahun pertama, 30% dari bilangan ini akan terus wujud dalam 5 tahun seterusnya. Lebih kurang-kurang satu lagi tahun, saya akan telah menjalankan perniagaan Internet saya selama 10 tahun. Semoga perniagaan Internet saya masih ada pada jangka masa yang lebih lama!

Walaupun saya kira sendiri amat berjaya dengan perniagaan Internet yang dah lama saya buat sejak tahun 2005, cabaran terbaru saya dengan ‘pergi offline’ mengingatkan saya masa saya dulu masih mentah dan baru belajar bagaimana menjana wang secara online.

Memang, mencari nafkah tidak mudah terutamanya pada peringkat awal.

Tidak hairanlah ramai orang berputus asa selepas mendapat tahu ia bukan senang dan perniagaan Internet yang memberikan ilusi ‘mudah dan boleh cepat kaya’ juga tidak terkecuali.

Oleh itu, saya harap blog post ini boleh menjadi panduan dan bimbingan kepada bakal usahawan Internet yang baru bermula. Walaupun saya telah menimba banyak ilmu dan pengajaran dari perjalanan saya sebagai seorang usahawan Internet, dalam pendapat saya inilah 7 pelajaran paling penting untuk barang siapa yang berhasrat menjadi usahawan Internet yang berjaya dan memberi impak besar kepada komuniti kita:

 

1. Terlebih Dahulu, Kawal Perbelanjaan!

control-your-spending

Bagi orang yang baru mula perniagaan, inilah apa yang saya katakan peringkat ‘survival’. Tak kisahlah sama ada anda berhasrat menjadi jutawan ataupun memiliki barang-barang yang mewah, pada masa permulaan anda harus bersikap kritikal terhadap perbelanjaan anda. Kalau anda tidak memerhatikan saluran wang anda, jangan hairanlah suatu hari anda dapati anda tidak maju atau paling teruk, ada cashflow yang negatif – walaupun anda ingat anda tengah menjana sales yang banyak!

Sempena saya menulis blog post ini, saya sedang memerhatikan urusan renovasi di pejabat baru saya di Kelana Jaya. Walaupun saya dah kira mengaut keuntungan lumayan dari bisnes Internet saya, saya masih tegas ingin ‘bootstrap’ terlebih dahulu. Keperluan asas seperti komputer, meja, almari buku, dll. saya beli, benda-benda yang kurang penting seperti logo syarikat, TV besar, lantai parquet, kereta syarikat mewah, dll. saya abaikan dulu untuk masa sekarang.

Secara ringkas: beli apa yang perlu dulu. Jadi bagi usahawan Internet, benda-benda paling asas seperti domain name, hosting, autoresponder, prosesor bayaran … ini semua wajib dapat. Tapi logo, pelan bisnes, dll. tak perlu dapat – daftar syarikat pun jangan buat lagi. Buat saje bila baru untung dan perniagaan dah stabil.

 

2. Tumpukan Perhatian Dan Sumber Anda Kepada Jualan!

sales

Inilah perkara paling mustahak. Insan biasa akan diumpan oleh aktiviti yang kurang penting seperti membaca emel terlalu kerap, bina dan kerap memperbaiki laman web mereka, main Facebook, selalu bina produk tapi belum jual atau tak berani… dan sebagainya.

Usahawan sebenar akan tumpukan segala tenaga dan sumbernya untuk mencari pelanggan.

Tiada Pelanggan = Tiada Jualan = Tiada Pendapatan = Tiada Bisnes

Formula ini nampaknya mudah tapi secara diam-diam, sebenarnya ramai orang benci ‘sales’. Ini topik besar yang boleh dibincang secara terperinci lain kali tapi saya bagi kesimpulan sekarang: kalau anda mahu jana wang tapi benci buat ‘sales’ kerana ia dilihat sebagai kerja yang remeh-temeh ataupun tidak berprestij, anda tidak boleh jadi usahawan berjaya. Semua orang kaya anda baca dan kenal semuanya pakar penjual, percaya atau tidak.

 

3. Bina Network.

Majlis Iftar PUIM di Putrajaya (sesi networking pun ada)

Majlis Iftar PUIM di Putrajaya (sesi networking pun ada)

Ya anda boleh mulakan perniagaan Internet keseorangan. Tapi anda tidak boleh melakukan semua kerja seorang je! Semua pakar-pakar dan otai-otai IM biasanya pergi buat networking dengan otai-otai lain. Jadi kalau ada seminar atau acara, ambillah kesempatan ini untuk bersantai dan berjumpa dengan insan-insan lain yang sehaluan.

Di sini mungkin anda rasa sedikit kemaluan. “Macam mana kalau saya ini masih newbie?” “Saya ini bukannya pandai cakap di depan orang.” Mahu tahu satu rahsia? Saya ini sebenarnya introvert. Kalau ada pilihan, saya lebih gemar kerja dari rumah dan tidak ingin berjumpa dengan sesiapa face-to-face selain perjumpaan penting (itulah saya kerja dari rumah selama bertahun-tahun ini!) Namun begitu, saya tahu kuasa dan peluang yang ada dalam networking.

Oleh itu, saya melancong ke negara-negara lain seperti Singapura, Indonesia, Amerika Syarikat, dan lebih-lebih lagi. Kalau anda baru bermula dan belum mampu melancong ke luar negeri, tidak mengapa! Mujurnya hari ini di Malaysia pun dah ada lebih banyak acara dan seminar di mana anda boleh hadiri dan network dengan orang lain yang mempunyai cita-cita yang sama! Ini sungguh berlainan dengan 10 tahun lalu di mana idea berniaga dari Internet pun belum lagi popular!

 

4. Kuasai Satu Kemahiran Yang Bernilai.

one-skill

Satu lagi cabaran yang kerap dihadapi oleh newbie Internet ialah walaupun mereka pergi ke networking event, mereka pun masih rasa hilang dan tidak tahu bagaimana mendapat pertolongan yang mereka perlukan untuk memajukan bisnes Internet mereka. Kalaupun ingin dapatkan Joint Venture atau perkongsian dengan orang-orang lain dalam projek, mereka tidak berada dalam ‘bargaining position’ kerana dianggap mentah dan tidak boleh menyumbang apa-apa yang bermakna.

Di sini saya sarankan supaya anda tekad pelajari dan menguasai sekurang-kurangnya satu kemahiran yang bernilai.

  • Copywriting – teknik menulis surat jualan. Kalaupun anda tak tahu menjalan bisnes, anda masih boleh beri servis tulis surat jualan kepada syarikat-syarikat dan usahawan lain!
  • Graphic Design – pada pandangan saya, kebanyakan top designer IM datang dari Malaysia dan Indonesia. Anda boleh belajar skill ini dan caj klien-klien anda!
  • List Building – ini skill paling bernilai. Siapa yang ada list, dia yang jadi raja!
  • Penciptaan Produk – anda boleh jadi pakar buat riset (research) dan mencipta produk digital mahupun fizikal.
  • Dan lebih banyak lagi idea… ini cuma cadangan saya secara umum

Ingat! Anda tidak perlu jadi pakar dalam semua bidang; lebih baik jadi ‘master of one’ dari ‘jack of all trades’! Yang paling best, kalaupun anda kesuntukan wang anda masih boleh buat ‘barter trading’ di mana anda boleh dapatkan penukaran perkhidmatan atau pembelian dengan servis anda.

 

5. Fikir Secara Global, Jangan Jadi Jaguh Kampung.

global-thinker

Tahun ini, saya telah pergi ke Indonesia sebanyak 3 kali (setakat ini). Tahukah anda mengapa otai-otai IM di Indonesia lebih cun dari pakar-pakar kami di sini – DAN JUGA Singapura? Mereka bukan sahaja berfikir global, ada juga sifu-sifu IM yang berniaga secara ekslusif di Indonesia sahaja dan jadi jutawan besar! Yang lebih menghairankan – kebanyakan mereka tidak pernah melancong ke luar Indonesia! Mengapa ini boleh jadi demikian??

Pertimbangkan ini: jumlah populasi di Indonesia pada tahun 2014 ialah kira-kira 250 juta penduduk. Indonesia merupakan negara ke-4 terbesar di dunia. Ya, kuasa perbelanjaan seorang rakyat Indonesia tidak tinggi dibandingkan dengan rakyat Malaysia tapi mereka ada jumlah penduduk yang 8 kali lebih besar dari kami!

Sedangkan di Malaysia populasi kami hanya kira-kira 30 juta penduduk (dan ini membuat andaian besar di mana semua orang ada Internet dan beli barang online). Singapura yang mempunyai jumlah penduduk kecil iaitu 5 juta orang sudah tahu mereka tidak boleh setakat berniaga sesama orang diri, jadi mereka pergi ‘international’.

Jadi, mengapa tidak lebih ramai lagi usahawan Internet Malaysia berbuat demikian?

Ada banyak lagi peluang kalau anda pergi berniaga di arena antarabangsa dan saya kira Malaysia sebagai satu-satunya negara di Asia yang ada banyak kelebihan berbanding dengan negara jiran lain. Tambah lagi Internet yang membenarkan kita berniaga dengan negara-negara di rantau lain, saya rasa sayang kalau ia digunakan cuma untuk berniaga secara domestik!

 

6. Fikir “Cara Menyelesai Masalah” Bukan Setakat “Macam Mana Mahu Jana Wang”

make-money-online

Tak salah kalau anda memulakan bisnes Internet dengan hasrat menjana lebih banyak pendapatan (kan kita semua mahu itu?) tapi minda usahawan Internet top class tidak boleh setakat mahu jana wang saja. Kalau anda ingin menjana lebih banyak wang, anda kena berfikir “Ada apa-apa masalah yang diharungi orang lain?” “Di mana mereka berkumpul?” dan “Bagaimana saya boleh tolong selesaikan?” Inilah sebabnya saya tak cipta produk dulu baru cari pelanggan – saya buat riset dulu di forum dan buat perhatian umum baru ciptakan info produk.

Dan akhir sekali…

 

7. Bersedia Untuk Mengalami Evolusi Yang Terpantas Dalam Sejarah Manusia.

Evolution-mobile-phones-21

Tak lama dulu saya tanya mak saya yang dah berusia 54 tahun, “Mak, dulu bila masih muda adakah dunia dan teknologi banyak berubah macam sekarang?” Mak pun terfikir-fikir, kemudian jawab, “Sekarang baru saya ingat. Dulu bila mak kecik lagi gaya hidup lebih ringkas. Tapi sekarang dalam masa 10 tahun ini, gaya hidup macam dalam ‘fast lane’!”

Itulah saya dah curiga. Sebagai contoh, pada tahun 2007 saya beli iPhone3. Dalam masa 7 tahun ini, iPhone sudah keluar iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, dan khabarnya iPhone 6 pun dah mahu mari. Teknologi touch-screen yang masih baru dulu sekarang dah jadi mainstream (semua orang dah lupa apa itu PDA dan stylus pen… hahaha)

Dulu pada tahun 2007 sampai sekarang, kenalan bisnes dan rakan JV saya dah pun berubah 80%! Dulu yang macam-macam berjaya dan ‘set for life’ hari ini bayang pun tak nampak; ada yang gagal dan ada yang cari rezeki dalam bidang lain.

Jadi dalam bisnes pun sama – memang akan ada perubahan – terutama sekali Internet. Walaupun saya hampir 10 tahun berniaga, tiada jaminan model bisnes saya akan kekal kerana masa hadapan boleh juga berubah. Tapi yang paling penting: kita juga mesti berubah dan ikut trend kalau kita ingin mengalami evolusi ke peringkat yang lebih tinggi!

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Apakah Satu-Satunya Pelajaran Paling Penting Untuk Anda Dari Perniagaan Internet Anda? Sila Komen Di Bawah! Kalau Anda Suka Artikel Ini, Sila ‘Like’ Dan Share Di FB Anda!

If You Want A Guarantee, Buy A Toaster (Why Serial Refunders Are Losers)

You know what those marketing books and courses usually don’t tell you about? Refunds.

And oh boy, there WILL be refunds because when you start making more and more sales, you will also start to encounter customers who are unhappy for whatever the reason.

The Internet lifestyle is rewarding but it’s not all beds and roses and there will be storms now and then to interrupt your smooth sailing.

In niches like Internet Marketing and Biz Opp, there are countless desperate people going around aimlessly, groping in the dark clueless, hopping from one opportunity to another – hoping that the latest ‘shining item’ is the ticket to riches that they have been looking all their life up until now.

And when they get disappointed, they want their money back. They’d tell you that it’s within your guarantee terms. It’s their right. And sometimes they are honest enough to let you know that they are broke and they need their money back… so they can try another opportunity somewhere else.

While most of the time these refunders don’t come back, every once in a while I encounter serial, chronic refunders.

 

In The Latest Episode…

There is this lady from Singapore who bought my Private Label Rights offer and its Upgrade package. She had trouble figuring out how to get the download access and after a couple of messages through the support helpdesk to get her access, she decided that it’s not for her and she wants her money back on both purchases. She must be watching her calendar like a hawk because it was the 29th day and one more day later my 30-day Guarantee term expires.

Since I offered a  30 day 100% satisfaction guarantee, I obliged and gave the refund. (I really should reword my guarantee terms carefully after this)

I thought that would be the end of it. After all, refunds are part and parcel of business.

2 weeks later I got repeated emails and support tickets from the same lady, this time asking for refunds on other products. Here’s the thing: I used a pen name for one of those products so she isn’t aware that the pen name and I are the same person. Furthermore, the two other products she requested a refund on aren’t even mine!

I couldn’t help but feel curious and even after asking why, she gave no reason but just insist on asking for her money back.

 

Straight her email address went into my buyers black list and I alerted my circle of intimate JV Partners to do the same.

As I am writing this, her PayPal dispute for her purchases failed since it’s way past the 30-45 day period and I’ve ignored her emails and support tickets since.

serial-refunder-dare
I don’t win transaction disputes all the time though.

Most of the time, a customer can get away with the refund request no matter how illogical or nonsensical the reasons are. Such is the nature of digital marketing.

One of the most common answers I get is, “this product doesn’t work for me.”

Think about that statement for a while.

And let me ask you this: who should be doing the work? The product? Or YOU?

(In this scenario and throughout, I am going with the assumption that the products are designed of high quality… if you create low quality stuff then of course waves of refunds and dissatisfied customers shouldn’t come as a surprise, duh)

 

No One Can Guarantee Your Success But Yourself

The reason guarantees are in place is to protect buyers from fly-by-night vendors and shoddy products. Granted, there are a lot of products in the marketplace today that’s just total whack.

But what a lot of people don’t really want to come to terms is that the marketplace – in Internet Marketing and Biz Opp to be exact – have its own fair share of whack customers.

Customers that feel entitled to the end results but are unwilling to make it happen for themselves.

Put those together and you have people with shit mentality.

Yet this is the market I am in.

In the recent months I have started building a mailing list in niches that have little and nothing to do with IM, and I observed that refund rates are low to non-existent! This is confirmed by a friend and mentor of mine who did $80,000 commissions for selling niche products in a SINGLE DAY on ClickBank… yet his refunds were below 1%!

NOTE AND TIP: In the digital product business, if your product sales have refund rate of 5% and below you’re doing great indeed. If your refund rate is 10% and above then it’s alarming. You might want to review your offer, product quality… or whether your audience is the RIGHT audience after all…

This isn’t to imply that everyone who hangs out in the IM – or rather the ‘Make Money Online’ in general – have the wrong mentality. But I am sure you too can see that there are heck a lot of desperate people who want to make the money first before working for it or determine that they need to have the right mental capacity to handle the wealth they desire to make.

If you’re selling any products in the IM or MMO niches, get ready for some refunds.

No matter how much dedication you put in… how high quality you perceive your offers to be… or how convenient your software is… there will always be that refunder who isn’t willing to put in any effort. Because they are actually more interested in saving money than making money.

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been a scapegoat for their failures and I guess if I searched the net hard enough I might find some not-so-flattering comments about myself from these folks. But I can’t be bothered and I don’t think you should too, when your turn comes.

Some people find comfort in bitching about others because it’s easier than taking risks and building a real business.

If I had the same mentality, I would have asked for my money back from some programs or products already – but I did not. I treat them as ‘tuition fees’ and stepping stones to progress; I don’t give myself the chance to turn back so I have no other choice but to go all in. In retrospect, I seldom view any of my ‘mistaken investments’ as a total waste and somehow I always find a way to turn them into opportunities – if anything they serve as a great propeller.

Because I know what I want. I want to MAKE money, not SAVE money.

What about you? Are you in business to MAKE or SAVE money?

To the serial refunders who’s been hopping from one product to another, I quote Clint Eastwood’s character:

quote-Clint-Eastwood

5 Good Reasons To Use A Pen Name

If you’re not sure whether it’s a good idea to use a pen name instead of your real name – for whatever reasons – here are 5 good reasons why you should consider using pen names when selling stuff online.

2014-06-30_22311. Having pen names let you have multiple mailing lists.

For many years, I marketed myself as “Edmund Loh” however it was only recent practice that I also have pen names partnered to myself (e.g. Edmund Loh and [PEN NAME]), which in effect lets me clone the same list to two or more owners. Which leads to the next interesting point…

2. Different names might produce different responses and results.

Because of years of branding myself as a Private Label Rights marketer, I don’t seem to command higher response and sales when promoting products that are non-PLR related. That’s why I think I have the ‘Mark Hamill disease’. True I can try to un-do my branding and impression but that will take a very long time. So a faster solution? Build a pen name that is positioned in other sub-niches!

If you want to buy fried chickens what do you think of first – KFC or McDonald’s? Even though both franchises sell fried chicken, KFC comes up #1 choice since it’s their specialty. In the same vein, I use a pen name in other niches that definitely produces more sales for the same mailing vs. just using my own name.

This is interesting to look into because you can very well conduct your own social experiments and see which pen name or personality draws more response.

3. You can take on more Joint Ventures simultaneously.

While I prefer to go all in for every promotion I back, sometimes there will be a clash – two launches going on in the same day. Or different partners launching different products in different niches. Not a problem anymore! Today with multiple niche lists, not only I can sell my PLR products, I can also promote graphics offers with my graphics mailing list, reach the local audience in the Malay market, and also tap into the Personal Development audience with a new list I have been rapidly building since last month.

4. People won’t be confused when they google search your name!

This worried me initially. It would be very confusing if people google my name and it turns out that I do Internet Marketing + go airsofting + an author in the personal development niche + in the graphics niche (people might think I am a graphic designer?) + more. So you can imagine the positioning would have been poor and not memorable. Ultimately, you cannot be everything to everyone so you should have your name (or a pen name) specialize in one major thing to be remembered for.

5. Many pen name accounts can help boost your EPC or ClickBank gravity in a product launch.

This is an added perk. If you have multiple accounts with JVZoo for instance (I have 3 now), you can test the response of your different pen name mailing lists and boost your EPCs. This is also a common tactic with Clickbank vendors who use multiple clickbank IDs to boost their gravity in the marketplace, which in effect boosts their visibility so they can have a higher chance of being seen and promoted by other affiliates on ClickBank.

On a final note, there is nothing illegal or unethical about using a name other than your real name. Many celebrities and renowned authors don’t use their real names anyway. So if for any reason you’re not comfortable using your real name – maybe because it’s hard to pronounce or you prefer your name to be remembered for something else – don’t think too much about using a pen name. :)

How To Create A Bonus Instantly

Customers almost always expect to get a bonus with every purchase in the information business, and yes it can become a headache to keep drumming up ideas for bonuses to go with your main offers.

So here’s a sneaky way to get your bonus out without exerting extra effort (applies to information products)…

Take 2 – 3 chapters from your book or 2 – 3 videos from your video course that you think are valuable enough that they can sell as standalone titles.

Then position them as bonuses.

Done!

I think this is the shortest blog post I’ve written so far but don’t discount it – I’ve sold hundreds to thousands of copies of information products where the bonuses already derive from the course themselves but just positioned as bonuses to give maximum appeal :)

Okay So I Pissed Some People Off (But Are You?)

The other day I sent an email to my subscribers list about a coaching program that one of my top affiliates, Kevin Fahey, is doing, when this email reply got my attention.

My subscriber was offended with what I said in my last email:

If you’re committed to your own success then come on in:

=> http://jvz6.com/c/4528/102532

If you’re still thinking ‘maybe’ or ‘I want someone else to
guarantee my success for me while I do no work’… then this
whole make money online thing isn’t for you.

He went into a long rant so to sum it up: he thinks it’s the job of ‘gurus’ to GUARANTEE his success, do most of the work for him, and furthermore he feels that struggling newbies like him should be entitled to get the coaching free.

Read that line again. Let that sink in for a while.

Doesn’t that just make you want to “WTF?!” (It better)

And then I saw emails from two more subscribers this morning – that share his opinion! (minus the lengthy rant)

Well, what can I say?

SCREW THIS ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY

There are many successful people I know who are generous with their time to train others, but ultimately NO ONE owes you success.

There are LOTS and LOTS of opportunities out there. It’s up to you to get your butt up and seize them.

I was a broke newbie 9 years ago, groping in the dark and trying to figure out how this ‘make money online’ thing works. I was a very, very angry person that time, but not once I blamed my frustration on others let alone the ‘top gurus’.

Or else the show would have been over for me a long time ago.

So if you feel you’ve been running around in circles for longer than you liked, it’s time to examine your inner thoughts. Do you still blame others or think you’re totally entitled?

Or are you ready to get up and do something for yourself?

If you still feel the world owes you, I’ll tell you what I always tell others: quit Internet Marketing. This is not for you. While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to leave my mailing list. Because I want to spend my time and energy with passionate people who are excited about online marketing and recognize that learning doesn’t end after school.

If you want to see your name come out on top of leaderboards and bestsellers in marketplaces – and you have no qualms investing in yourself because you know YOU ARE WORTH IT – then you absolutely have my support, whether in person or moral.

It’s an option to invest in yourself, get training from the people who have been there, done that, and getting a flight ticket to meet people to speed up your learning process in Internet Marketing.

So is whining and bitching about why life isn’t fair.

I tell you: people who act today will have it EASIER down the line, and you can start making stark comparisons against others next year because they chose to do NOTHING today.

Get Ready To Define Your Success Or Let Failure Define You!