Product vs. promotion. That’s the topic of this post.

Which is more important, the product or the promotion…and why?

Each week I get a stack of emails, faxes, letters, etc. from people offering me the opportunity to get in on the “ground floor” of their product launch. Why do they offer this to me? Because they know that no one knows publicity better than I do. No one can get them more publicity than I can.

Their offers are almost identical – if I’ll do the promotion for their product and get the media to beat a path to their doors, they’ll give me 10% of the profits.

Shortly after they contact me, I reply with what is probably their first real lesson in marketing. Here’s the lesson:

The product is 1% of the equation. Promotion is 99%.

Products are all around you. You should never be at a loss for products to sell. Whatever type of product you want, someone can provide you with. Don’t waste your time developing products until you’ve mastered promotion.

You can have the greatest product in the world. Without good promotion, it’ll just take up space on your shelves.

On the other hand, you can have a mediocre (or lousy) product. But with good promotion, you can make a bundle.

Understand we’re not talking ethics here. We’re talking solid business principles. Is it ethical to hawk a worthless product that claims to remove hair effortlessly and painlessly? Of course not. But this junk is sold by the truckload every day because the owners of the products know how to promote.

If you have a product you’re convinced will change the world and make you a multi-millionaire but you don’t know how to promote it, either be prepared to give up a huge portion of the profits to the people who will promote it for you or be prepared to have lots of it sit on your shelves.

How much will you have to give up to people who know how to promote? A typical deal goes like this – the owner of the product get 3-15% of the money. The promoters get 85-97% of the money.

Don’t think that’s fair? Think you should get more because you have the product?

Why should you get more? I just told you great products are all around you. What did you risk? Very little if anything. What is the promoter risking? Potentially a huge amount of money on advertising and other promotions, fulfillment, staff, etc. not to mention years of learning how to promote.

Actually 3-15% is a very fair deal.

And what’s the best form of promotion? You bet – publicity.

Why is publicity the best? It’s easy to learn and gets fast results for very little or no money. Can’t beat that with a stick!

The lesson here? Stop wasting your time developing an endless inventory of products and learn how to promote them the best way possible – by using publicity.

If you know how to use publicity, you can have the media eating out of your hands. You’ll be providing them with great stories and they’ll be providing you with lots of customers.

But always keep in mind, if you’re going to follow my formula for getting publicity never try to sell your product through your press release. It just won’t happen. Instead provide great information about your topic that reporters can pass along to their audiences. The reporters will do all the selling for you. They’ll not only do all the selling, they’ll do a better job than you will. After all, they know their audience, they know what makes them respond and they have a long-term relationship with their audience. You have none of these.

As for finding great products, one of the best ways of doing that – and a way that I’ve used for years – is licensing. I don’t always develop the products myself. That takes way too much time and effort. Instead I often purchase a license to produce and/or sell products that other people have developed.

I’ll talk more about licensing in future issues.

That’s it for now. See you next time!

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