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It has taken me 18+ months of sleepless nights, non-stop research, and defeats to understand the lessons below. Something seems to have finally clicked.
If you want to successfully sell a product or service, you must learn and implement these business and marketing lessons.
These are my 3 biggest takeaways from Traffic & Conversion Summit (a digital marketing event): 

Lesson 1: Understand and fully implement the framework to Customer Value Optimization

Man, I love frameworks (see below). This enables you to create an optimized and profitable sales funnel for whatever product or service you’re offering.
This is the same framework Amazon, Starbucks, and McDonald’s use. Apply this to everything you’ve learned in the past and will decide to learn in the future.
Stop wasting time learning new things like YouTube Advertising or social media without understanding how to apply them to this framework. Learn this and you will be unstoppable! 

Customer Value Optimization Framework
Customer Value Optimization Framework:

A) Choose your product/market fit
This is hugely important and where most people go wrong. The product or service must address an immediate need for the market.
B) Choose a source of traffic
Facebook Ads is a great place to start testing.
C) Lead your prospect to a lead magnet
What’s a lead magnet? An irresistible offer that provides a specific and immediate solution or value in exchange for their contact information.
This doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does definitely need to offer tremendous value.
D) Offer a trip wire
This is where your prospect moves from casual window shopper to buyer. It’s a small initial purchase that the customer can’t refuse. And remember, this is their first purchase with you, so don’t disappoint.
Don’t try to make money here. You want to close to break even on this. Many people even give their trip wire away at a loss.
E) Offer them your core product/service
This is your flagship product or service. Again, some successful businesses also operate at break even here.
F) Offer 1-2 profit maximizers (upsells)
Make sure these are very related and valuable. This is what will increase the average transaction value of each customer, and make you profitable. 
G) Put them through a return path
Communicate with your customer (they want to hear from you!) and continue to offer new solutions.
The goal is to increase the number of transactions per customer.
Repeat. Move your customer back through an entirely new funnel, or offer a specific solution (e.g. a trip wire or core product). You can do this through email marketing, retargeting, social media, etc.
Note: Make sure all of your solutions are in the appropriate position in the framework. Sometimes your core product should actually be your trip wire, or vice versa.
For much more on this, go here.

Lesson 2: Increase the lifetime value of your customer as much as possible

Initially, when I created my first course, I didn’t do a very good job of implementing this framework. I didn’t even know it existed! I was missing the profit maximizer, which means my average customer value was much lower than it should have been.
The higher your average lifetime customer value, the more you can spend on acquiring a customer.

“Your margin is my opportunity.” – Jeff Bezos—CEO of Amazon

Maximizing your average lifetime value will allow you to spend more on acquiring customers, which in turn means you will be able to beat your competition.
Achieve this by following the framework above and always offering a high-value, high-quality solution for your customers.
Rather than simply give your customers a massive manual to read on how to achieve their objective, offer different tiers of solutions.
Remember that some of your customers will want you to “show them how to do it”. Others will even want you to “do it for them”.
That will be your high-end luxury solution.
It took me a long time to really understand (and believe) people are willing to pay crazy amounts of money just to have the best thing you offer. This is why every successful company offers a “do-it-for-you” solution.

Lesson 3: Create brands, not products or services

Attract people into your community of followers, prospects, and customers by offering more value than everyone else.
Your product or service is not a business, nor is it a company. You must build brands. You can have multiple brands. This is the secret to building a truly valuable company. 
If you base everything around a few products, all you’ll have are products.
Brands are much more powerful than products or services, and can be built pretty quickly if you’re able to invest more than your competition on acquiring a customer (using the framework above).