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THE ONLINE INVENTOR -- January 2002

(c) 2001 Market Launchers, Inc.

http://www.marketlaunchers.com

Publisher: Paul Niemann

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FAMOUS / INFAMOUS Quotes

 "A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do," 
by Walter Gagehot

"You will become as small as your controlling desire; 
as great as your dominant aspiration," 
by James Allen

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Article # 1: "Research Companies in Your Industry," by Paul Niemann

(EDITOR'S NOTE: These first 2 articles are taken from the same article that I wrote for Inventors' Digest, but have been divided into 2 separate articles here due to length. You can receive my future Inventors' Digest articles much sooner by subscribing to ID at www.inventorsdigest.com or by calling (800) 838-8808.)

You can use the Internet to increase your chances of finding a licensee by researching the companies that are capable of licensing your product. 

Use search engines and directories to help you find useful web sites. Search engines include Lycos, Yahoo!, Excite, AltaVista, etc.; one of my favorites is Lycos. You can learn a lot about your product category by doing an Internet search. For example, if you have a hair care product, you would go to www.Lycos.com and type in "hair care products." A search is based on the keywords you type in, and this particular search indicates that there are more than 340,000 web sites on "hair care products." To narrow your search, you can type in specific keywords, such as "hair ribbons," which shows that there are more than 47,000 web sites that mention hair ribbons. 

The most relevant sites for any search engine are listed at the top; you usually won't need to go past the top 10 or 20 sites that result from your search. The search results are determined by the keywords that you enter. The site's web designer is responsible for entering the keywords into the site and registering it with the search engines. Regardless of which search engine or directory you use, most of them have instructions on how to use it. 

Another benefit of doing research online is that you are taken directly to web sites of companies that contain the type of information that you need. One of the best places to begin is the "Thomas Register of American Manufacturers" (www.ThomasRegister.com) for listings of companies that make products similar to your invention. You will find potential licensing candidates for your product, as well as potential manufacturers if you decide to make and sell the product yourself. The Thomas Register contains 63,000 product and service categories, more than 168,000 companies and more than 7,700 catalogs on its web site. The site also gives you company addresses and phone numbers, a listing of the types of products the company sells, a link to a brief company profile and, in some cases, to the company web site. 

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Paul Niemann runs MarketLaunchers.com, which specializes in creating web pages for inventors, and their Invention Database lists new inventions available for licensing. You can learn more about getting your own web site or web page by visiting www.MarketLaunchers.com or by calling (800) 337-5758. 

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Article # 2:    "Use a Web Page to Promote Your Invention," by Paul Niemann (reprinted from the Inventors' Digest article, "Let the Internet Help You Find a Licensee")

(EDITOR'S NOTE: If you don't know how to build a web page, read on anyway, because you can always hire someone to build one for you.) 

Use a web site or web page to promote your product. The major benefit of having your own web page is that a company may find you when they search the Internet for new products to license. Your web page is your "online brochure." 

To create your "online brochure" you can: 

*    Buy your own domain name and build your own site (or hire someone to build it for you), or 
*    Advertise your invention on another company's web site. 

OPTION # 1:    Buying your own domain name and building your own site: 

The advantages to this option are that you get your own easy-to-remember domain name, such as www.widgets.com, you control the content on the site, and your domain name will never change unless you decide to change it. Buying your own domain name and building your own site is appropriate when you have a product(s) that you manufacture and sell yourself. A web hosting company charges between $120 -- $300 a year and the cost of owning your own domain name is only $35 a year.

The primary disadvantage of having your own domain name is that you must learn how to build a web site or pay someone to build it for you. Running your own site requires that you put in the hours necessary to promote it properly. The saying, "Build It and They Will Come," may be successful if you're building a baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield but not when you're building web sites. A web site is not the key to instant success. It will take a minimum of five hours a week to promote your site when you're just starting out that's a minimum. The cost disadvantage is that if you have to hire a web designer, it will cost you between $500 -- $1,500 for a small site plus future costs for changes that you need made to keep the site "fresh."

Note: Be sure that the domain name is registered to YOU rather than in the name of the person or company who builds your site. This ensures that you will own your domain name, rather than your web designer.

OPTION # 2:    Getting a web page on another company's web site:

Having a web page on another company's site enables you to have pictures and a description of your invention on the Internet. This is appropriate when you're trying to find a company to license your invention from you rather than selling it at retail.

There are two ways to do this. Get a page on a site that specializes in building web pages for inventors and has a listing of inventions available for license. These types of sites are already set up to receive a high number of the types of visitors that you want -- manufacturers, product scouts and other potential licensees. Also, most web sites of this type will build your web page for you, which is much quicker than learning how to build one yourself. Examples of this type of site include InventionConnection.com, Invent-Invest.com as well as our own MarketLaunchers.com. 

Another way to get a web page on another company's site is to use one that offers a "free" web page. These include sites like Geocities.com and FreeYellow.com. However, these "free" web pages are not completely free. First, they usually require you to place a large banner ad at the top of your page, which advertises someone else's products. These banners are distracting, and they do nothing to help your efforts to promote your invention. Second, you may still have to build the page yourself even if they do host it for free. Third, if another company buys out that web site, your "free" web page could be in jeopardy, even if you've spent time promoting it. Finally, most of the sites that offer a free web page are not inventor-related so they do not focus on attracting the types of companies that look for new products. 

The exception is sites hosted by inventor groups that offer free pages to its members. One such site is the United Inventors Association (www.uiausa.org). 

When your page is hosted on a site that is dedicated to promoting inventions, you benefit from the traffic they work hard to attract, they take care of dealing with the web hosting company and they create and update your site as needed. 

One of the downsides is that you don't get your own easy-to-remember domain name like www.widgets.com but, rather, something like www.widgets.com/YourPageName.html. 

Whether you own your own domain name or have your web page on someone else's site, a presence on the web is an important component of attracting attention to your invention.

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Paul Niemann runs MarketLaunchers.com, which specializes in creating web pages for inventors, and their Invention Database lists new inventions available for licensing. You can learn more about getting your own web site or web page by visiting www.MarketLaunchers.com or by calling (800) 337-5758. 

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Article # 3:    "Make Your Project A Success!" by A.T. Rendon

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was written for entrepreneurs doing business on the Internet, but its message can be adapted to what we, as inventors, must do to get our message out as well.)

Most small business people on the Internet are on a budget and that forces you to be "creative". Either you work on a tight budget that hampers your activity or you do much of the work yourself to save from paying others to do it.

That is the nature of the entrepreneur.

Just because you are doing, or want to do, business online does not change the work involved to create those sales and make money.

Here are a few points to keep in mind while doing it online:

1. Test Your Ad Copy.

Testing is important and a constant ongoing part of any marketing plan. You need to test various 
approaches and be able to access the results.

The simplest manner to do that is with Auto-Responders.

For a FREE list of some good Auto-Responders that can be used for online business, send for at: mailto:[email protected]

You can easily set up a different Auto-Responder for each different test that you run. For example, if you were to market software, you could list your Auto-Responders as: [email protected], [email protected], etc.

This allows you to test different ad copy, headlines, prices or whatever and to gauge the results just by viewing the responses you receive to each approach.

2. Stress Your Strong Points.

A. Product or Service.

Tell your prospect why you are excited about your own product or service. If you can convey the passion you feel for your own project, you may excite your prospects to share in your experience.

B. Focus on the Benefit.

Tell your prospects about the benefits that your product or service will provide for them. Will it save them money? Time? 

Make a list of the benefits and then stress them.

C. Keep it Simple.

Do NOT send out a ten (10) page email trying to sell your product or service. Keep it simple and to the point. You should be able to excite and entice your prospects with a simple five (5) line ad.

3. Study Your Competition.

Study the ads and web site of your competition.

What might work great for your competitor, may very well be completely wrong for your own project. But just the act of research and study of your competition may very well spur you onto new ideas and projects.

Following these few hints can increase your traffic, response rates and even your sales!

Make your project a personal extension of what you need to accomplish with it.

Set aside a consistent amount of time that you can afford to invest daily.

And, test, test, test until you find just the right combination of elements to make your project a HUGE success.

Copyright 2002
All Rights Reserved

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A.T.Rendon is an entrepreneur and published writer. Subscribe to FREE Business Classifieds Newsletter & receive FREE online access to our Password Protected "FREE Submit To Over 2.7 MILLION FREE Ad Sites!" mailto: [email protected]
Visit us at: http://emailexchange.org/?Articles

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Copyright 1999 -- 2002 
Market Launchers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

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Click here to read the December 2001 issue.