Selling online:   How 'Common' Entrepreneurs  Move From Obscurity To Build Multi-Billion Dollars Companies, and become Famous Super Stars.

sell anything online

Why are some companies so successful while others are NOT?

I mean, what would make some companies smile to the bank with millions or even billions of dollars while others are just getting by?

We had a seminar the other day for top entrepreneurs and during break, I saw one of the participants Googling  ‘how to sell online’ and I asked him why he was doing that.

He told me that he wanted to quickly check a new product launch marketing strategy because he wanted to launch a new product.

Naturally, this made me push for more details and during our discussion, I noticed that he had marketed a product before and he failed. In fact, he even hired a marketing agency to help them handle the entire product launch campaign.

Let’s face it, running a business is very, very hard and running a successful business or launching a product or service that people eagerly buy is even harder.

However, why is it that some products and services sell like hotcake while others don’t?

As an entrepreneur or CEO, you and your team work really hard to develop that new product or service.

You had sleepless nights, you tried to dot your ‘I’ and cross your ‘Ts’, you even hired some advertising agency but at the end of the day, you got little or next to nothing.

You sat down,looked at your competitor who is really crushing it and you said to yourself ‘…but my stuff is better  than this guy’s staff, why do people prefer his?’

If care isn’t taking, you start thinking like most Africans. ‘Maybe my competitor is using juju’ or ‘maybe I should call in the prayer merchants’.

Now, before you do that ‘STOP!’.

Why are brands like Apple, Coke, Amazon, and others super successful stars?

Let’s take a look at Apple for a moment.

apple company

Have you ever wondered why Samsung, no matter how hard they try will never beat Apple? 

 I use both products and I can tell you that they are good but why do customers queue up and pay in advance, and sometimes even hire homeless people to stay on the queue to buy Apple products.

Maybe you didn’t get that, let me help you simplify it.

You want to launch a new product or relaunch an existing product but weeks and months before the launch date, you have millions of people waiting in the queue for you to collect their money.

Yes,  to be a top player in your market and sellout your products and services, you need to have hunger, relentless drive, and incredible work ethics but you need one more thing, and I think it is the most important thing.

Let me give you two personal examples...

Recently, we released a new book, which is now an international best selling book. Passion To Dollars.

Guess what?

We sold more than 2,000 copies of the book before we even wrote the first word of that book.

There are alot of examples I can give you, my own and those of my clients but let's save it for later.

Let's go back to Apple.

Take a look at Apple, it is now a 1 trillion dollar business.  Yes, while their competitors are still struggling with the B figures, Apple has moved to trillions.

applu one trillion capitalization

How the heck did they do that?

I’ll tell you in a moment but let us also look at Jeff Boaz's company, Amazon.

According to a recent report by CBS, Amazon is now a $1 trillion company.

Johnson Emmanuel

Elera Nwogu

CEO,  A'Dimes Symphony

Our Company was going through serious challenges. We had sink in over 25Million naira but nothing to show for it. I had to take a leap of faith to fly to Lagos from PH to go meet Johnson Emmanuel and that singular decision saved our business. We are still reaping the benefit of people who came to us through his marketing strategy , it would never have been possible without his help. Thank you so much, mentor of mentors, it’s a privileged knowing you.

That’s right, $1 trillion dollars.

Amazon is officially the second US company after Apple to hit the trillion dollar mark, and the first tech company to do so in history.

Did I hear you ask if all the Nigeria banks put together are worth that much?

Like our own beloved Omawumi would say 'if you ask me, na who I go ask?'

Does Jeff Boaz (the founder of Amazon) have relentless drive, focus and hunger, the answer is YES.

Is that how Amazon became this expensive? The answer is a resounding ‘NO’.

So, what the heck did they do?

Let me introduce you to a guy named Dave Asprey, you may or may not know him but he is an amazing guy with relentless drive, focus, and brilliance.

He’s the founder of Bulletproof coffee.

He didn’t invent coffee and like you know, in the west, the coffee market is a highly competitive market but this guy got into the market and crushed it.

He used a unique selling angle to market his product and today, that company is a $40 Million per year business.

Why do some products or services sell like crazy, why others do not?

Take a look at BioTrust, a supplement or bodybuilding company.

biotrust nutrition

They got into the market despite the fact that there were thousands of established competitors. They were able to hit $100 Million in their first 12 months.

Look, let me be very honest with you.

If you want to smash your growth goal, beat the pant of your competitors and sell your products and services like crazy, listen up.

Creating a good product and services is very important but knowing how to market the product is more important.

The CEO or owners of these big brands I showed you have one thing in common, they are marketers.

Most business owners or entrepreneurs think the reason they are not successful is because of lack of resources, mainly money but that is rubbish.

I mean, it is not true.

I have seen a company with a 15 million naira advertising budget that didnt get any ROI on it.

I have also seen a comapny use less than 1 million naira advertising budget to displace their biggest competitor.

The key to a business breakthrough is n’t a breakthrough idea or original product idea.  Take a look at all these guys I mentioned, they didn’t create stuff out of this world.

They all had stiff competitors, which means, what they were selling was not new.

Now, listen carefully to this…

The key to a business breakthrough is how the idea and product are marketed and sold.

For example, you want to deliberate spend time to know…

Where to find the best clients and ‘hyperactive buyers’ in your marketplace? That is exactly the question Apple answered. They got it correctly and they are now worth $1 trillion. I can tell you that Apple is Microsoft nightmare.

You need to generate hundreds or even thousands of prospects while positioning yourself as a trusted authority (even if nobody’s ever heard of you) and that is what Bulletproof coffee did and got to 100 million dollars in their first 12 months.

 Create irresistible offers that will practically FORCE your prospects to buy your products or services.

Sharon Akinroye

Sharon Akinroye

CEO/MD, Justelunch Catering Services LTD

Johnson Emmanuel has proven himself with my business. I see exponential growth as a result of working with his company and his team.  If you want to see massive  growth in your business like me, he is the best marketing guru you need.

 Let’s face it, people don’t buy your product, they buy experiences. I recently didn’t a post on how to create irresistible offers, offers that your market cannot resist.

 Sometimes, you have a small advertising budget, and that is fine but your ability to outsell your competitors – even if you’re up against an industry GIANT like Bulletproof coffee did is extremely important.

 Seriously, you don’t need any more innovative marketing strategy for selling a product or service than what I have shown you today, and like they say in law, 'the fact speaks for themselves'.

In this case, the results I have shown you so far speak for themselves. It doesn’t matter if you want to sell online or not, this will work for you.

Now, let me share a quick SAD story with you.

I have this clients that came to us for help. They had invested over 30Million naira on marketing but the business wasn't growing.

So, we asked 'how much have you invested in marketing till date?'

Guess what we were told?

Take a guess...

200,000 naira.


How can you invest 30 Million naira and all you can spend on marketing is just 200,000 naira?

No wonder this lady was always praying and fasting thinking that by some luck, things will work out fine.

Marketing is the life blood of any business. You cant succeed as a business owner without it. It's not possible.

 No matter what market or your price or the nature of your product, if you learn how to sell your idea and product correctly, you’d be shocked how you will crush the stiffest of opposition.

My colleague, Russell  Bronson took his bootstrapped startup company to 100 million dollar in record time because he focused more on marketing the stuff than just building it.

Some people spend million and even billions starting their businesses but they are reluctantly to advertise.

The man who stops to advertise because he wants to save money is like the man who stops the clock because he wants to save time.

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Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal said one of the reasons Paypal grew was because of a HUGE investment in marketing.

Infact, he said,  the wrong notion that if you build it they will come will totally crumble your business because they'll not come. You need to tell them about it.

You cant grow more than your marketing. Your business growth stops where your marketing stops.

 I’m curious to read your comments and questions, I will reply to all comments and questions, use the comment box below.

About the author 

Scalers Engine

Johnson Emmanuel's agency, Havanzer, is behind most of the wildly successful marketing campaigns for some of the fastest-growing companies, and well know entrepreneurs, generating over $500M in revenue for his clients. He's the marketing expert other marketing experts go to when they need help with engineering predictable, profitable & scalable customer acquisition campaigns.

  • How you market is everything! It’s the customer and consumers perception, and if done well, it will propel companies and products beyond comprehension, like you mentioned!

    Awesome post!

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Yes, Johnathan, I have seen alot of guys with massive value but who dont really know how to sell their stuff. All the multi-billionaires in this word are first of all, great marketer. Glad you like the post and do let me know if you need help along the way.

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Segun, happy to know you love the post. let me know if you need help along the way.

  • it is awesome reading your post. Marketing is the key. I have written a book tag: how to win customers for life: A practical solution to business failure. I don’t know how to market it. And I don’t have money for marketing, how can you be of help

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Ekarika. Yes, marketing is KEY. For your book, you may want to checkout this post. We have had huge success selling our book. As at the time of replying to this message, we have sold nearly 16,000 copies of our book. Let me know if you need help along the way. All the best!

  • Thanks for this Great insight. But the question of ‘how to’ is not really answered here. Yes!, marketing is the key. But how can one go about it to get results?

    How can one market his product and get the desired results?

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Hi Courage, thanks for the positive comment. You there, there’s no one ‘size fit all’ marketing strategy. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either trying to make a sale or doesnt actually know how marketing works. First, i need to know what you are selling, I need to know who you are selling to, I need to know your price point and alot of other things. then, a customized strategy will be developed from that. Feel free to check this out

      Meanwhile, the starting point is creating an irresistible offer and you can read this post to see what it takes to create one.

  • Yeah, Marketing is KEY.

    So enlightening article.

    It’s very disappointing most times when I see many entrepreneurs who are ready to spend so much in production, hiring among other business engagement, yet with little budget for marketing.

    My question then how do you intend to make money?

    Cos, if you don’t advertise, you can never be priced.

    Thanks emmmanuel

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Williams, I agree with you. Every money spent outside of your business is an expense. Only marketing is investment. People go to VC for fund but if your marketing is good, you dont need any VC or bank loan to grow your business because the customer will always bring you fund. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    • Johnson Emmanuel says:

      Au, great to hear from you! Thank you!

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