The Real “Secret Ingredient” To A Successful Online Business

Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not what you know but who you know”?

It seems like the kind of saying that only applies to people in traditional retail and marketing channels but I believe it’s every bit as relevant for people in internet marketing.

There are a lot of people making a boat load of money online with garbage products.

Re-hashed, out-dated, irrelevant garbage that isn’t worth the bandwidth it’s downloaded through.

How are these people making so much money?

They have built relationships with people that allow them to leverage their business far beyond what they would be able to do on their own.

It’s a sad and frustrating reality that people can peddle low quality products online and be rewarded with profit but it’s a simple fact.

Why You Need To Build Relationships

The beautiful thing is that you can take advantage of the same principles of building strong relationships to bolster the sales of your great products.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on the latest information product to come through your inbox, consider ways to build your network.

Pat Flynn talks about his concept of “being everywhere” and thinking outside the blog.

This is seriously great advice.

If you spend an hour writing your latest blog post, spend another 2 hours reaching out to people in your niche and making a connection. By building relationships with people in your niche and cross-promoting each other’s content and products, you are going to be miles ahead of your competition.

Make the effort to reach out to “non A-list” bloggers who are still building up their audience and start to form the foundations for relationships that could prove very fruitful down the line.

There are very few successful bloggers out there who don’t have a network of people evangelizing their content and helping them promote their products.

It isn’t enough to just create epic shit and hope that the masses will beat a path to your URL.

Build strong relationships and with those people you can build great businesses together.

Have you spent enough time building relationships in your niche? Have you mapped out a strategy on how to expand your network and strengthen your online presence?

Let us know what’s working for you in the comments!

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  1. Adam says:

    Yes Jon it’s definitely a case of building “know like and trust” by associations with well known bloggers, yes I’ve spoken with Corbett Barr at Think Traffic, which led to me contacting Chris Ducker at VBL, Glen at Viperchill, Pat Flynn at SPI, who are all quite well known and all know each other.

    However I do need to reach out more to theses guys and I haven’t taken enough time to do that.

    Social proof is important in business, but it seems paramount online, where people are really afraid of scams and so reassured by good connections with reputable people.

  2. Jon says:

    Hi Adam – yes I think you hit the nail on the head there. It’s all about building trust online as people are becoming more and more wary of “scammers” online and automatically think people aren’t genuine.


  3. Devi says:

    I must admit that this is my weakest trait. I am introverted, so I find it hard to just reach out and start talking to people, even though it online and therefore less risky than face to face. However, you are completely right about the relationship thing. I realized this when I noticed the same people showing up on blogs like Copyblogger and Problogger. All of those people cross promote each other’s stuff and partner up to offer joint products. It is a good way to tap into an audience already primed to buy.

    • Jon says:

      Hi Devi – I’m very much an introvert myself actually. You’re right though that it can be easier to build relationships online than face to face when you’re introverted.

      The important thing is to always be reaching out and trying to make connections. You never know when you might sync up with someone that can help boost your business to the next level.


  4. It is definitely who you know. I have seen no short supply of crappy products out there being promoted successfully on relationships. I’ve also seen some incredibly valuable products that have never really caught on because of a lack of JV partners to promote them. I would never willingly promote a product I didn’t trust myself. Most of the people I’ve worked with are the same. But even so, a great product is one thing, promoting that great product is a whole other game…

    I would also add that almost all of my clients have been referrals. I haven’t taken on a single client in years who wasn’t referred to me. That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t take on other clients. I would if they had a great product that was in need of promotion.

    But that’s just the way that it’s worked for me. I have found since day one that the best way to get business is to simply be friendly in the right place at the right time.

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