Why Your Business Is Failing Online

Why Your Business Is Failing Online

There are 2 ways that I can approach this blog post...

I can tell you what you want to hear. You know... you have probably heard some of these before:

  • Your doing great building your online business
  • All you need is to build a list and you'll be rich!
  • Keep doing what your doing and you'll be living the "lifestyle"

and on and on and on...

I know this is what you want to hear...

How Do I Know?

Over the last 4 days I built a new list of 2,426 new subscribers (we can talk about that some other time) so that I could do a little experiment.

I sent them 2 "personal" videos showing them concrete actions they could take to actually stand out to their prospects and customers with a call to action asking them to leave a comment about how they were going to build a better business and relationship with their clients.

I Got HUNDREDS of Responses

And I personally replied with custom videos and emails going into detail about personalized action plans each person could do for their business.

These weren't big things. Just small tweaks and tips that would get them better results.

Of the over 100 personal responses I sent I got less then 7 replies. I am guessing those were the few people that actually read them.

Anyone Else Confused?

Why ask for help and then turn your back on it? If you constantly feel like you are getting the "short end of the stick" online, maybe it is time to take a real look at your business and start finding ways to build it into the machine you want.

Now here is what you need to hear.

Building an online business is not as different as you have been led to believe than building one offline.

You still have expenses, no matter what you have been led to believe.

  • You still need an education
  • You still need to do your homework
  • You still need to DO SOMETHING that works

Here is the thing. I finally understand why SO many people fail online. They somehow believe that having a "business" online is like the gold rush.

They just push a button... money
They just build a big enough list... money

If the main focus of your business model is to "provide value" to your subscribers, I want you to think about the following...

HAVING to use deceptive headlines like

  • "PayPal Is Not Accepting Payments Today..."
  • "re: You Purchase"
  • "Your Commissions Have Been Aproved"

etc, etc, etc.. followed up by a "free offer" to get even more junk from another marketer is NOT providing value.

Don't get me wrong, these are fun to use and can be very effective, but this is NOT a business model, there is a big difference.

Second, simply hoping that you can run a "numbers game" and get enough people on your list to click on a free crap offer and then run them through an endless cycles of upsells and exit popups is NOT providing value.

Are there places for upsells and exit popups and tactics like this? Of course! Just NOT the way you might be using them.

It's Time For You to Make a Stand and Take Responsibility for Your Business

Be responsible for the success of your online business

It is about personal growth, relationships, passion and dedication.

If someone led you down the wrong path.. who's fault is that?
If you bought into a scam... who's fault is that?
If your not getting the results you want... who's fault is that?

The good news is you can start changing these things immediately and your business and your happiness will benefit as a result.

The real keys to online success are actually really simple
Systems that work
1) Provide REAL value, stand out and be yourself... No one can duplicate YOU

2) Study systems that have a proven track record from people that actually "walk the walk". If someone is telling you that you need to build a big list... do your homework and make sure they actually know how to do that. If someone tells you that you need a Facebook Fan Page with millions and zillions of fans. Make sure THEY have one. If someone tells you that you should build membership sites. Make sure THEY have successful membership sites (and not just the ones that teach you how to make one)...

3) Then rinse-and-repeat what ACTUALLY works.

Building an online business can be fun, profitable and extremely rewarding, but when was the last time you really got something GREAT without a little elbow grease.

So what are you going to change TODAY that will make sure you build a thriving, successful online business?

Share this post

Comments (46)

  • Vita Reply

    True. I agree. You reminded me. I guess I have to spend less time reading those e-mails and think over this again and again until I find out what is my next step.

    October 19, 2010 at 9:08 am
    • Lance Tamashiro Reply

      So what is your next step Vita?
      What tangible action can you take right now?

      October 19, 2010 at 9:09 am
  • VIc Reply

    Thanks for the blog post. It is amazing how easily one gets taken away from the business by distractions and false promises. Time to roll up the sleeves and get back on track.

    October 19, 2010 at 9:16 am
  • Lillian Reply

    I agree with what you’ve said, but the main problem I have is that people want everything for free. I can’t afford to give the listeners free stuff all the time. I need to make a passive revenue that supports the station operationally so I can update it technologically and grow the station so that I can offer more quality content, information, audio and video.
    How do I do that?

    October 19, 2010 at 9:23 am
    • Clyde Reply

      Unfortunately now days it seems the only way to get people’s attention is to give them something for free. The whole world seems to have an entitlement mentallity.

      On the other hand you can train or even retrain your list to become buyers, not just freebie seekers. The new program Lance and Robert have just launched has a complete interview section on that. I believe they also have training on that subject in another product but I do not recall what that might be. Make sure you check out http://doubleagentmarketing.com and you will see what I am talking about.

      October 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm
  • pete Reply

    I can not see the whole picture clearly in my mind and have no system to work to.
    Also I would like to learn from someone who would explain
    EVERYTHING in detail and not leave parts out so there is still no clear picture of how it is supposed to look at the end.
    Some courses are offered but are way beyond what I can afford now having spent so much on stuff that does not really live up to it’s promise.

    October 19, 2010 at 9:24 am
    • Lance Tamashiro Reply

      Hey Pete,

      You have sort of put yourself in a weird position.
      You claim you want the best step-by-step system out there, but you don’t want to invest in anything to get it.

      You can probably find almost everything you need for free “somewhere” on the internet, but the part you are going to miss is the experience and know of getting the right system.

      I like to think of it, as you usually pay for what you get.

      If you were starting an offline business you would need operating and education capital. The same is true online, but you can do it for MUCH cheaper.

      Here is a link that you can check out that will give you everything you need to get a clear picture and the step-by-step to get started.



      October 19, 2010 at 9:25 am
  • Dennis Reply

    Thats a great question,I’ve just started my business,and to be expected its been frustrating.I do have a good product that should be of interest to 30 and older,its just getting it to their attention.The problem is theres alot of promises from these telemarketers that you’ll get so much traffic and make so much money.I just havent seen it.Any suggestions?

    October 19, 2010 at 9:26 am
  • nate Reply

    The Gold Rush analogy is so true. Everyone thinks that having a website and “buy” button exempts them from the laws of productivity and business. The key is understanding the difference between making money on line, regardless of how little / how much, for how long or short, and having a business. They are two very different things.

    Thanks Lance.

    October 19, 2010 at 9:36 am
  • Cheryl Antier Reply

    Hey Lance,

    I agree with what you’ve written – especially about providing unique content that comes from you – and about taking action by following a proven system that works. (And by the way, that’s why I bought membership cube – I checked you out and discovered that you walk the talk.) I do have one question though – how can I get on that list you were talking about? You can bet I’d answer back after getting your advice…

    And as for what I’m doing, I’m trying a test of direct mail to my target market with a limited time offer and bonuses for responding. I’m using postcard marketing. It will be interesting to see how it works.

    Good post – hope more people respond.



    October 19, 2010 at 10:02 am
  • Dr. Debra Reply

    Hi Lance,

    I think my tip would be to know your personality and what it is you need to stay on track. Some people just need direction and they will run with things, some need a step-by-step approach, some need one on one coaching. Once you know what you need, then go get it! Find someone you resonate with and learn all you can from them following their teaching instead of going after every new teaching, system or product.

    Today I just finished answering a series of questions from a life coach that I resonate with to move forward with clarity and confidence in business and life. I am investing in my future. Focus has been a huge issue for me so I felt this was my next step to course correct.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:04 am
  • David Bibby Reply

    Providing value is what I do. Everyone who buys from me becomes a “client” so to speak, and they get ongoing support and motivation from me to complete what they started. While I’m not selling a lot of them right now, I plan to grow the business slowly as I increase the value in what I’m offering.

    All this means for me is that I have to keep on writing and providing value without having to resort to gimmicks and freebies.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:06 am
  • Taco Reply

    Maybe a stupid qeustion but are you part japanese? It’s because of your surname. Love the post by the way. I have some friends living in Japan, they are Japanese ones where my nebourghs.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:22 am
  • Prasuti Reply

    Hi Lance,
    I am way out,I have always worked for a living and expect to carry on doing so. I am just looking for work on the net but they even want one to pay for getting work so it has been a no starter for me from the beginning. I have only learned how to use a computer over the last nine months and would really like to be able to earn a living working from home doing something useful. I also sew and cook vegetarian organic food for a few different people, when the need arises, but I have never been into hype so I have never charged huge amounts for the service (plus the people that I heal by cooking good food usually can not pay huge amounts). I would like to publish a small cook book on line but can not figure out how to get paid for that. I also have a small organic garden where I grow greens and beans for daily consumption, it is wonderful to eat freshly picked veg, the freshness makes a big difference.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:42 am
  • Thom Leonard Reply

    I have my personal opinions about why I am not succeeding and I would rather not air them in a public place.
    Thanks back to Real work that could make me money!

    October 19, 2010 at 10:47 am
    • Lance Tamashiro Reply

      Alright Tom…

      Although committing to making in a change in your life or business is not really “airing out” why you aren’t succeeding.

      Let’s start focusing on the positive.. ie) you identified and problem and you are going to do something about. That should make you feel empowered!


      October 19, 2010 at 11:07 am
      • Thom Leonard Reply

        You are right Lance, I have been spending less time reading emails and more time producing content.

        October 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm
  • Ron Barrett Reply


    Excellent information! I think you have hit the nail on the proverbial with your examples of subject lines and the fact that people think they can just build put up a site with a buy button and people will automatically find it and spend money on whatever they are offering, no matter what the cost.

    These are the same people you can find in the forums and other places screaming that IM is a scam and it doesn’t work.

    I believe that as long as you are offering something worthwhile and that people are looking for, the money should follow. You also have to be willing to invest in your own education and continue to build on your knowledge of how the business works.

    October 19, 2010 at 11:04 am
  • rusliesophian Reply

    Hi Lance,

    For the past 2 years I’m still subscribing with more than 100 IM around the globe. Everyday I”ll receive not less than 500 emails. As you mentioned about the deceptive headline…, I’m very much agreed with you. To my great shock in life, even lately came with the headlines of “FINAL WARNING” and other non-relevant headlines.

    I guess they must be real desperate. But there again, very few of these IM will link their mails to their website’s. I even make my own effort to track their website, but failed. So my final solution is to unsubscribe.

    The 2 years experience behind me has put me to a great alert and understanding of generating income online. It’s not that easy. It’s a real patience and dedication of great hard work when you don’t have money for capital investment. Nevertheless, I’m still working hard to achieve it.

    October 19, 2010 at 11:16 am
  • Gavin Reply

    Top post lance.

    Interested to hear your thoughts on all those video responses.
    Is it worth it?

    October 19, 2010 at 11:30 am
  • Gavin Reply

    Top post lance.

    Interested to hear your thoughts on all those video responses.

    Is it worth it for only 7 replies?.

    October 19, 2010 at 11:31 am
    • Lance Tamashiro Reply

      Hey Gavin,

      Totally worth it… However, the “personalized”
      mass approach is MUCH better.

      You want to leverage your time.

      When I use this tactic with the parts of my list that “KNOW” me I get a whole different response.

      What I would suggest is:

      1) Use a mass “personalized” videos with your prospect list
      2) Use personalized videos for your best customers

      So YES and YES

      October 19, 2010 at 11:35 am
  • Lesley "Wes" WIlson-Klatt Reply

    HI Lance,

    Thank you for your post. I feel that I’ve made a lot of progress over the past few months but I do work hard to continue to build my business.

    I do offer value to my subs and never try to sell them something I haven’t used myself.

    As for tricky titles, forget about it, I just delete them and would expect the same from my list.

    October 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm
  • Jo Reply

    Lance, it is refreshing to have a marketer drop the syrup and tell us the truth straight out and be honest about it.
    Keep it up and thank you for all of your instructive e-mails.
    Warm regards

    October 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm
  • Mike Reply

    I think a clear focus is what I need to succeed. The problem is I get money from affiliate marketing/Adsense (not cash in hand because I’m awaiting the $100 payout threshold) but my passion is creating info products to sell to a similar market.

    The first site averages close to 100 people/day 3k/month and earns inconsistently. My other site is lucky to hit 10 per day so if I want to put up a sales letter and sell info products (not to mention creating the product to begin with) I don’t have sufficient traffic to put in front of my offers.

    I’ve been trying to straddle both and while my traffic and earnings steadily gain, they’re not enough to justify further investment right now.

    Selling a product is a lot more riskier than having someone click an Adsense ad or click through an affiliate link and buy someone elses product. I find I over complicate the sales process and still haven’t put up an honest-to-gosh sales letter. I think deep down that I’m afraid to put my product out there for whatever reason, I definitely have to put off my procrastination tendencies to make real progress.

    But I feel that I’m closer now than I ever have been. I have a quality freebie, I have an auto responder setup. For the time being I’m not going to worry about the salesletter, but will add relevant ads on my download/thank you page and build up my list and auto responder sequence. Then I’ll have some warm prospects to send to my salesletter. That gives me a little while longer to get the letter and sales process ironed out – both of which are useless if I don’t have any incoming traffic.

    So I need to stop the ‘busy’ work and promote my stuff out there and get the traffic coming to my site, build my list and then start selling to them – or am I over complicating things again?

    October 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm
  • Kevin Reply

    wow, GREAT post!! So true- it’s so very easy to get sucked into the vortex of online B.S. and expect it to be so easy, but the countless hours of consistent effort put in by those who are succeeding online (at least initially) is what we do not see as we look in from the outside.
    Your post comes at the perfect time for me, when I have been pondering these very things- and I had just admitted to myself that I had in fact fallen into the trap of expecting online gold to be so easy.
    So, thank you Lance, and keep on rockin it!

    October 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm
  • Marilyn Reply

    Straight and to the point… I love it. Too many folks are selling snake oil and when people buy it they blame “the Internet”. Thanks for reminding us that we are responsible for our own results. We’re introducing folks to the possibilities online and fight the preconceptions/misconceptions daily.

    October 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm
  • Trevor Reply


    Thanks once again for the good advice.

    I, like some others, have spent all of my money on products which have not worked for me – many of them were simply rehashed rubbish…

    My offline business has also fallen down as a result of other matters beyond my control.

    Now, with a very limited budget, I need to put in the hours to get things moving in the right direction.

    I want to thank you for the REAL personal email you sent me, and to point out to others that you truly do attend personally to your readers – not just the fancy scripts for the “personal” emails and videos…

    I will keep reading, and hopefully find the right answers to help me grow a successful online business or two…

    October 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm
  • Bernadette Hinton Reply

    Invaluable information, truth,think it over! Now this is it!

    October 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm
  • Glen Wayne & Dan Tredo Reply


    What a fabulous post. We have noticed a whole lot of emails with deceptive headlines and frankly we have been quite surprised with “who” has succumbed to such lack of class in their marketing.

    Needless to say we have been unsubscribing to any marketers doing this.

    We can always count on Lance (and Robert) to give us the info we need even if it right between the eyes! Thank you for this bringing us great info over and over again.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm
  • Alice Reply

    Hello Lance,

    I really appreciate your post! There is a lot of truth in what you have to say here. I want to build by business in an honest way so that I can do the best I can not only for me and my family but also for those in the IM field that are trusting me with the info that I provide to them. Building an online business I am finding does takes a lot of work, a lot of education and maybe most of all, a lot of – Perseverance!

    Thanks for keeping us focused on the important things in builing our online business and not falling for all the hyped up messages coming our way.

    Best Regards,

    October 20, 2010 at 7:23 am
  • David Hunt Reply

    Well put Lance. I’m so tired of deceptive subject lines I usually just unsubscribe from a person’s list if they do this. If they have provided quality content in the past ill give them the benefit of a doubt, and I’ll put a filter on their name to move them to the read it if you ever have free time folder. But if they continue to use deceptive subjects they’re gone.

    On the other point someone once said if you think education is expensive try ignorance. In Internet Marketing that means the cost of trying to figure things out on your own versus buying the how to from someone who knows.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:34 am
  • Gudmundur Joelsson Reply

    Hi Lance and thank you for educational report,wish that more people did act like this come strait forward and tell the truth about what to do and what not to do sometimes I am confused some say that and some say to do different about the same thing hope you can take peak on my web and say me what you think about him what I can do better .
    thanks again

    October 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm
  • H.M.Tahir Khan Reply

    Dear Friend – Lance Tamashero !
    Thanks a lot for inviting me on your Blog & giving me an opportunity to Comment on your Blog Post! It appears as if you have just put your fingers on the Pulse of the majority of our fellow-Marketers. All are Suffering from the same illness, with a slight overlapping Symptoms, but with No Diagnosis!
    You have rightly identified the main Cause, giving Relief to a number of I.M.Victims. Your Post is Precise, taking you Closer to the Diagnosis. It is Really, Just Awesome! Wish, others should also have Considered to investigate the main Problem, as well. You have left Behind all, just by taking the initiative. Wish you Best of Luck to SUCCEED in your MISSION on Line!

    October 20, 2010 at 2:09 pm
  • Shane Reply

    Lance LOL!

    Wow awesome post, yes I am one that falls into what you were pointing out! ZThanks for the reality check! Time to get back to the basics!

    October 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm
  • Azman Reply

    Regardless of the marketing media, issues are the same. People are looking for the easy way out. I strongly believe the main reason is due to tons of marketing ads that tell them how easy to make money online.

    October 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm
  • Manuel Viloria Reply

    The personalized approach looks interesting. And I’m sure you got more than 7 readers, Lance. It’s just that a lot of people prefer to read/watch rather than write.

    Anyway, I’m looking for systems that can scale.

    So my next step is to build a Customer Service team that can handle the “personalized” approach for me, because there’s just so many hours in a day.

    October 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm
  • Ken Toulou Reply

    Great Post Lance

    All I can say is if you are like me you need to stop shopping and start work on your business.

    Don’t just go on to another product when the one you are using isn’t working like it should. Go to the support area and ask your questions. Find out why you are not having the success that was offered up in their sales letter.

    Consider asking for a refund if you don’t get the answers you need to make their products work for you.

    When you buy products for your business it is an investment, and you will never succeed if you are not getting value for your investment dollars.

    Ken Toulou

    By the way, Lance has answered every question I have ever sent to him.

    October 21, 2010 at 9:14 am
  • Warren Hayford Reply

    Hi Lance,

    Great post. You are spot on when you say online business is not that much different from offline business. Most people would agree with your statement.

    Yet how many of their websites say the opposite. If they were in synch with what you are saying their web sites would be more interaction and less advertisements. Would anyone start an offline business with billboards being their only communication with their prospects? No one!

    But isn’t that what is being done with web sites? Content, content, content and no interaction. I am no expert, but I think you have to have interaction to sell. That’s why companies spend so much money on salespeople and so little on brochures.

    Thanks again Lance.


    October 21, 2010 at 11:15 am
  • donna Reply

    Good points. Will definitely check the websites you’ve listed. Have been working on info overload…recently have been building my website. Next month will register domain and get hosting.

    October 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm
  • Lori Reply

    You would think that repeatedly reading about how my business(or lack of)is failing, I’d get a clue. I’m afraid I’ll miss an important email about webinars and calls . I know I need to clean up my page and engage on Facebook. I feel so overwhelmed. I know I’m associating with the successful; but how do I pay attention to the “big wigs”, friends, Twitter, email, groups, subscriptions, and family too. I don’t even watch TV anymore. I’m trying to create a presence. My mind is literally “buzzing” from trying to do so much. I need more computers and more of me just to get it all done. I need a clean up.

    October 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm
  • Clyde Reply

    I am glad to see someone finally step up top the plate and tell people that building an internet business takes work. I have never met anyone who wanted to start an offline, brick and mortar business that expected to do it for nothing and without any work why do people think the internet is any different.

    Dave and I have been trying to convince people for a year now that they need to do the work and treat their online business like a business and not a hobby. I was begining to think we were the only people in the world that thought it took solid business practices to run a successful online business.

    Keep up the good work and keep the info coming. I always learn something from what you have to say.

    Many Blessings,

    October 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm
  • Sam D'Amico Reply


    Thank you for you insight.


    November 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm
  • Trevor Reply

    Lance – you’ve done it again…

    Brilliant and succinct.
    Pete commented on having spent all of his money on stuff that doesn’t work – Not wanting to sound callous Pete, but –
    Joint the CLUB…

    I made the same mistake of following big name Gurus, and spending way too much money (yes – it is counted not in weeks or months, but years of income that I foolishly spent). But I was looking for the real clues, and I thought that the big guys would have the better ideas. They probably do, but you can’t get the ideas form their courses.

    Finally, I woke up –
    I came back to one of the little guys, who is genuine, who teaches only what he knows, and truly practices what he preaches.

    My advice to you –
    1) find the money to work with Lance, and you will learn what you need
    2) don’t try to “learn EVERYTHING in detail” before you get started – Lance will teach you step-by-step.
    He will show you what you need to know to get started, then what you need to move forward, then what you need to make good money, then what you need to give up your day-job just like Lance has.
    As he learns to be a multi-millionaire, I am certain that he will continue to to teach us to do what he is doing – he is like that

    You don’t need to know everything – you just need to know enough to start, and then to progress.

    Thanks Lance.


    December 7, 2010 at 4:05 pm
  • Bolaji O | WhoIsBolaji.com Reply

    What’s up, Lance?

    Thanks for the note.

    For me, I need to do two things:

    1: Build that profitable marketing engine.
    From Squeeze Page –>
    To low-cost front-end offer –>
    To immediate upsell to higher-priced back-end offer –>
    To autoresponder series selling higher value items

    After much meandering in the Internet Marketing world, I’ve been laser-focused for the past two months.

    2: Optimize that marketing engine
    For example, I have 5 free eBooks, 1 low-cost product ($7.95), and a brand-new moderately priced continuity site ($40/month for 3 months). But I’ve had no uptake yet on the continuity site. So I have to revisit, optimize, and so on.

    3: Execute faster.
    Once the marketing engine is making money, then I need to scale up, and automate by outsourcing. I have an outsourcer standing at the ready. But first, I have to get the engine working.

    4: Survey customers for what they want. Then deliver.
    I’ve built products in the recent past that I thought would be valuable. I’m finding that’s not a great approach. Ha ha! You live and you learn.

    Thanks for the post!


    April 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm
  • mrr ebook Reply

    Magnificent web site. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks to your sweat!

    February 26, 2012 at 6:06 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *