Worst Sales Mistake a Website Owner Can Make

by shawnhorwood

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PerfectionismWhen it comes to conversions most people talk about headlines, the offer and other standard copywriting stuff. But today I’d like to discuss the biggest hindrance that I experience with conversions and traffic and pretty much everything to do with my business actually and it has nothing to do with standard copywriting practices taught by conversion experts.


Perfectionism is something that a lot of people struggle with, but may not realize it. I never used to think of myself as a perfectionist (you should see how I mud drywall). But when it comes to my business, this is me putting myself out there for all the world to see.

And that’s TOUGH. I don’t want everyone to think I’m an idiot, I want to actually help people, and I want everyone to think I’m as awesome as I think I am.

When I put out my first product, I was lucky. I just got it done, wrote my first sales letter and started selling it.

But then people started asking me questions, and they wanted me to add a few small things to my product. Not really a big deal – until I moved on to other products.

When I tried to make my first motivation product, I redid it 23 times! I didn’t like the way it was written. I didn’t like the organization. I wanted to make sure I covered everything. I didn’t even like my own humour at some points! But I decided to just get it out there, and the first person I shared it with said it was great information, really useful and helped him a lot.

When I went back and looked at the guide a few days ago – I hated it. I think it sucks. I think I could do a lot better. And the sales letter? It’s even worse (though not online since I’m not selling my motivation info anymore).

But it’ll never be perfect. I can always make it better. There’s always room for improvement. It doesn’t matter though. If I wait until it’s perfect, I’ll never help anyone. I could probably still be working on that one product to this day and it wouldn’t be perfect.

And if I had waited for perfection, that man I first shared it with would probably not have achieved his goals. He would’ve had to keep searching for help and hope he stumbled upon someone who actually knew how to help him.

All the other people that benefited from my information would’ve been left out as well.

Every sales letter I write, every squeeze page I create, every presell page I setup I hate. I’ll be completely honest with you. I HATE the pages I create. I think they suck. I think I could do way better. I think I could hit hot buttons better. I think I could write better bullets. I think I could connect with my audience better.

And truth be told 90% of those pages never go live. And I kick myself for it daily because when I do get a page up and start driving traffic, I start getting results. They’re never as good as I’d like, but they’re a starting point. No, my pages aren’t perfect – but they’re at least SOMETHING.

Low conversions beat no conversions any day.

You cannot get results if you’re not getting stuff out there. You’d be amazed at what works. And sometimes things that you think are terrible end up doing really well. Just because you don’t like doesn’t mean your audience won’t.

Don’t wait for perfection. Get it done and get it out there. As you get feedback (either from your website stats and visitor behaviour or from feedback from your audience), you can improve. Get closer to perfection. You’ll never get it perfect, so don’t aim for perfection.

Remember, every day you’re not selling you’re not helping people who need your help.

If you have no idea where to start with sales letters or squeeze pages or whatever, swipe ideas from successful people. Even use a template if you have to because it’s SOMETHING. You can always improve as you go along.

Action Steps:

Get something out there. Today. Don’t wait for it to be perfect. The longer you wait for perfection, the longer your audience is waiting for your help. You can’t get results if you’ve got nothing to get results with.

I’ve got two more conversion killers I’ll be covering in my next two posts. For now, focus on getting stuff done and getting it out there – even if you don’t think it’s perfect.

ABOUT Shawn Horwood…

Shawn Horwood is a fitness expert, affiliate marketer and information marketer. He makes the majority his income through affiliate marketing at ShawnHorwoodFitness.com and his other fitness websites.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexander Umanets October 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I agree to some degree (it is funny that I could write poetry even English is my ESL:) with Shawn that perfectionism is a huge brake on your performance online and offline. But here I can dispute and argue about this. From one side we have Microsoft and its Window OS that was done follow non-perfectionism way: get it done somehow, sell and improve it down the way. And from the other side there is Apple and X OS that was done perfectly from the beginning (credit to UNIX system that was used as a very solid foundation for Apple’s software).

So, my question is: What do you like more Shawn Apple OS or Microsoft OS?
(I know that my question is kind of a rhetoric one, but still which one is better or perfect? :)

Now we can say that perfectly done in sortest time frame product is the one we have to take as an example to follow, in my opinion.
It is definitely another question that far not everyone can do it, but this is a topic for another discussion, I guess…


Shawn Horwood November 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

You’re assuming that Apple is perfect though. It’s not. They claim you can’t crash it – I’ve barely used Apples and I’ve crashed one and my brother has crashed 2. They claim they have no viruses, but that’s simply because they have no market share so it’s not worth targetting their operating system with viruses.

In my opinion, Microsoft is 100X better than Apple. It can do TONS more, and it’s a much more practical system. Apple is an “artsy” operating system. Ya, they’ve got a strong cult following them but their system is still far from perfect – otherwise why would they release new stuff all the time?

I don’t think using Apple as an example is very valid, because the opinions of the two operating systems are highly based on OPINIONS. Neither is perfect. Far from it. And they’ll never be perfect. But they still get stuff out there.

I could go on about this, but essentially nothing is perfect. Especially not Apple OS or Microsoft OS.


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