Use Authority Status to Sell Anything

A few months ago, I got an email request from a lecturer friend (a Nigerian born Professor) based in South Africa. He wanted help in marketing his published works for sale online. If you do any form of formal writing (including publishing research papers as a lecturer in the academia), it’s always a good idea to explore the possibility of selling your written works. I’ve been doing that since 2005, through a variety of channels – both offline and on the web.

What you’re about to read is based on excerpts of the response I sent to my lecturer friend.

To Sell Successfully, You Need to Develop Authority Status

My friend is a highly qualified expert in agriculture. And many of his published works are already on sale in online journals. Because he is a recognized and accomplished professional in his field, people are naturally drawn to purchase his papers.

Academic papers on Agriculture in particular are often in high demand. Some websites require fees to access the agricultural papers listed on them. That’s why my friend feels he can earn substantial additional income by offering his papers for sale directly to buyers.

I – a non-academic person – have over the years, gotten people to send me N1,500 to over N13,000 to get my agriculture related publications (e.g. my feed formulation handbook), and other products (e.g. my ration formulation software).

That includes a Canada based Farm project manager, who sent $63 payment to me, via my brother-in-law’s Paypal email address(!) last November in 2012. Think just how confident this man had to be, to send money to a Nigerian, in Nigeria, via another person’s email address.

Before he did that, he’d called and spoken with me on phone, after watching the demonstration video for my Excel-VB driven Ration Formulator.

And our conversation lasted over 30 minutes. During that time, we talked about his interest in my app, how he could get money to me, since I lacked credit card payment processing…and the challenge of Nigerian 419 scams.

Like I said in an article I wrote about it back in January, this Canadian gentleman (who later revealed he was a priest!), took a massive leap of faith, to get what he wanted from me.

And he came back to say he was glad he did.

What could have convinced him to take a risk most other people would not?

It was the "authority status" he saw that I had. He discovered it from encountering my article, and videos relevant to his subject of his interest online.

That was what got him hooked.That is what keeps getting others hooked as well!

In essence I’m saying that once you become an authority in your chosen field, you can definitely can expect to attract buyers for your published works or writing..

But it has to be done right to achieve that outcome.

I Propose The Following:

1. Setup a proper website in your name using a Content Management System (e.g. Joomla or WordPress): that will make it easy for you to manage/update the site yourself – without needing to call your designer everytime.

NB: You will purchase a domain name – e.g. www.yourname.com, and a hosting account for one year or more.

I use hostgator.com, and I highly recommend them. Note that I do not resell their products. So I’m not saying this to earn referral income.

2. You could then setup an automated monetization system to sell your articles, digital files, videos or images directly on the website.

Even better, you could require visitors to pay a subscription fee to access your website daily, weekly monthly or annually.

In other words, your website would offer items for sale, and also offer access to your content for a fee.

Systems that do the above, work by sending money to you either via Paypal or Bank Transfer at the end of every month or shorter intervals.

Alternatively you can settle for the Bank/Wire transfer option. At month end, it arrives in your account.

Choose Your Payment Processing Platform Carefully

To sell online you need to setup systems to accept payment via a variety of digital channels.

Payment processing platforms now occur in growing numbers – in Nigeria, as well as globally.

Some are more popular than others. Also, your ability to easily, conveniently and safely use them depends sometimes on where you’re based.

I’ve had situations in which I signed up to use a US based payment processing service provider’s platform. They even got me to come on Skype for over 30 minutes to have my account setup. This was during a second contact period back in June 2013. (About a year earlier I had series of email exchanges with their representative, and a developer in the support department for over 2 months. Then I lost contact with them.)

The whole process took quite a while. For some weeks, nothing seemed to work right.

Then one day, I clicked on a post I’d set as "Premium" and the required subscription signup form appeared. It restricted access to the article’s content. I was elated.

As the weeks went on, I set a few other posts to "premium" and tested them by clicking their links on the blog.

Again, the subscription system came up, presenting differently priced options – for a week, month and one year access.

So I assumed all was well and stopped checking.

Then about 2 weeks ago, I found myself on a page with a link to one of those premium post. Out of curiousity, I decided to click to see the signup interface would appear.

Surprisingly the post simply opened for immediate and full viewing of ALL its contents!

Baffled, I checked and confirmed that I was logged out of the WordPress administrative interface – even though that should not have made any difference.

Then I tried checking from another computer. The same thing happened.

I felt like an idiot. It was impossible to tell how long it had been that way. And I was not interested in finding out why.

I’ve since disabled that payment processing system on my blog.

There’s no point keeping something that’s likely to make me look incompetent, and damage my credibility at any moment.

Before then, my attempts to use other global payment processing platforms on my website – as a Nigerian based in Nigeria – had been rejected.

Back in June 2013, I’d sought Patrick Meninga’s opinion about how to take my blog to the next level. He sent me the URLs to some affiliate marketing websites I could join. All rejected my applications. Some gave no reasons. A few said "we do not currently accept applications from your location." Or something like that :-)

Ah…the joy of being a true entrepreneur. Rather than stump me, rejection actually motivates me. That’s why the above NEVER stopped me!

So, I looked closer home. There had to be Nigerian based providers that could offer something useful, I mused…

In the past one year, I have carefully researched payment platforms offered by Nigeria based providers. And I’ve tested a few.

What has however kept me from adopting the ones I tried has been the periodic "erratic" or "inconsistent" results I seem to get.

I often started out thinking I understood how I was going to get charged for something. I would read all the steps required and compute the charges associated.

Yet, every now and then I discovered what I received was lower than what I expected.

Another thing. More serious too…

One day, I sent money for a particular provider to make a payment on my behalf. A long delay followed, which had never happened in the past.

This led to my website hosting renewal payment deadline expiring. And my website got taken offline as a result!

The provider never offered an explanation or apology.

Not even after I wrote asking why, 3 full days after they confirmed receiving my funds, the payment I requested was never made to the hosting company.

You must understand that my expectations were not baseless.

In the past – and on more than one occasion too – this same provider had effected similar payments to the very same company on my behalf.

And they had done it within 6 hours of my depositing cash in the provider’s bank account.

That day, I reasoned that if this could happen when I sent money through that provider to others, then it could happen when people sent money to me, through the provider.

And I would end up looking bad!

The foregoing made me quietly stop using the service – despite knowing they offered all sorts of payment processing apps I could embed on my website.

Your experience may of course be different.

Whatever be the case, I make no recommendations. Research and make your own mind up about what to use.

As for me, I continue searching for a solution. For now, online sales for my information products happen mainly via this Lulu.com store.

After You’re All Setup, Make "Getting People to BUY", Your Number One Priority

And that requires doing smart online marketing, to get what you offer for sale, found via search engines.

That’s where the work will be.

I use my writing – based on intelligent Web Marketing System – to attract visits mainly via search engines, and social media.

And I avoid spreading myself too thin, jumping on every platform.

The Pareto rule applies to every aspect of life – including business.

Facebook, Twitter are the key social media channels I focus my energy on in terms of social media marketing.

That’s why my blog posts are setup to auto publish to both channels via RSS feed.

I know there are others coming up. But I’d rather maximize use of those two first. With time, I’ll discover what others would be worth adding to my arsenal.

Setup a facebook page to promote your works. Invite visitors to your website, and readers of your articles to stop over and LIKE the page in exchange for a "gift".

Link from your articles, and website/blog to the page. And from all of them to the sales pages or online stores for your publications.

Most importantly, setup a promotional email newsletter in which you will send out short previews of your available papers to your subscribers.

At the bottom of each email, the reader will be invited to visit the website, the blog, as well as facebook and twitter pages/profiles.

Another thing you can do is: Create a profile at a place like www.ezinearticles.com to publish short article-type excerpts of your papers, as promotional pieces.

Through a combination of the above efforts (and others), people will likely begin to discover your website and papers for sale.

It Will Pay For Itself

What I have given you in this article, is a basic description of how it is done. It does not yield success over night.

But it always works, if you do not relent in your efforts!

I use it, and I also develop and implement it for clients. The results are always positive, as long as it’s done right.

If you have the quality of content people will want to buy, you can implement the above plan to get it to them.

I call it the Development of a Web Marketing System. Get in touch if you want me to help you set yours up.

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

Practical Livestock Feed Formulation Handbook

Available as a PDF ebook, and also as a spiral bound print manual (from me). Click here for details.

You can also get it as an PDF ebook via my online store.

Screenshot of ebook in online store

$82.5 USD to buy it from my online store (PDF download)

N8,000.00 [Eight Thousand Naira] for persons who wish to send payment direct to my bank account.

Payment of N50,000.00 gets you the physical handbook and software on CD with videos etc, PLUS practical one-on-one, in person training with me at a feed mill in Lagos, Nigeria.

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Tayo K. Solagbade*
Performance Improvement Specialist & Multipreneur
*Best Practice Farm Business Support Specialist
& Founder of the MS Excel Heaven Visual Basic Automation Club & Competition(www.excelheaven.biz)



Excel-VB Driven Ration Formulator

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