As someone working in digital marketing and online business industry, I’ve seen a fair share of people who have a variety of ideas for their online businesses.
And for the country like India, where “online entrepreneur” is fairly new term, people really bring crazy ideas to us.
A year ago, we had a Dentist, who wanted to build a website. The crazy part was, he attended a seminar where he learned that after you set up a website and a YouTube Channel, you can “make money” with them.
We were puzzled about how we should explain him the concepts of AdSense and ranking and traffic to his website & YouTube channel.
After a lot of meetings, he did understand the concepts and to our surprise he completely abandoned the idea of website.
As an insider (for digital marketing industry) that he completely misunderstood the importance of website. But for an outsider (for seminar industry) we were completely horrified.
Then, there was a financial planner, who wanted a membership website. His idea was actually brilliant, to bring together all the financial planners and give them a platform. So that they together can market their expertise and customers can take up any planner that they want.
The crazy part here was he wanted to take money from other planners, who were going to be the members of his site and bring business to him. And he didn’t even have a free-trial idea. He just wanted to make a lot of money – in a recurring income way (he actually knew that term).
Also there is a young generation who thinks that making a video viral on YouTube or developing an app once; will make them money and will keep bringing them money.
I’m sure that Internet is the biggest invention of this century and it has brought some amazing benefits to us.
As in we can get information about and learn anything new immediately or at our own pace.
Our communication around the world got way better and faster.
And it has reduced the time period and also cost for getting any work done.
Geographical and location barrier has been removed completely.
Also spreading information and interacting with all this information has become easier.
And the most important of all, we can provide or “sell” our expertise to anyone, at any time and from anywhere in the world and can get paid for it and can earn money.
But as all virtues have vices, Internet also brought many phony trends. And these have become the traps for all the entrepreneurs. But they don’t actually feel like traps. They feel like crazy but simple ideas with the help of which one can change the world.
Some of them are:
- Get Rich Quick schemes
- Affiliations of certain types
- Work only once and keep making passive income for lifetime
- Having to work only 4 hours a week
- Sell online and earn money
- Email bursting
- Earn through websites, YouTube videos or Apps
- And live life on your own terms.
How to be an Online Entrepreneur?
While these all trends sound like living an entrepreneurial life is easy, it doesn’t mean that it requires less efforts.
Being an entrepreneur always takes immense level of work and action taking and also patience.
And it stands true for being an online entrepreneur also.
While you can build and scale your online business faster and quicker, the principles for making it successful are same as they are for any businesses.
Be An Expert in your Vocation
You have to be an absolute expert in your field to survive online. Having mediocre results can get you through (and make you a little money). But to thrive, you must keep getting better. Unless you are an expert of your niche and in your locality, you cannot earn the amounts of money to truly live the life on your own terms.
Another thing is you have get out of a consumer mindset and adopt a creator mindset.
You have to start creating and inventing on your own.
All the products or services you sell online and all the content you are distributing have to be unique and creative. Re-twits and affiliate marketing can only get you a little ahead.
Solve Real Problems
The absolute requirement for having an online business is you must think in terms of solving real problems of real people. Everybody turns to the internet these days to get their questions answered. So it makes sense that your products and services should provide answers to these questions.
If you can solve a nagging problem and make anyone’s life easier, they’ll happily pay you for that. And to discover the problems people face, you have to be willing to listen to others. You should learn to get out of your own head and actually start caring for your potential clients.
It’s true and tested. And it’s easy to build a product around a market than to create a new market.
Provide Immense Value
And the keyword in online business industry is “value”. You have to provide as much as value as you can. All the information is readily available on the internet. So to get on top of this sea of information, you have to provide your clients and fans and followers an immense amount of value and that too, for free.
That’s why Gary Vaynerchuk wrote, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. He meant give, give, give and then ask. He says always provide so much value upfront and then guilt people into buying. They must get insane amounts of value from your free content, so that when you offer them a product, they’ll be eager to pay you money and buy from you.
And if your free content is valuable, then your paid content should always over-deliver that value.
Get this through your head, you have to always over-deliver on your product or services.
It’s not a one-time work!
Having an online business is not a one-time work. You have to keep providing value. You have to keep upgrading the lives of your clients. You always have to make your offerings better and better.
And then, there comes a part of strategizing and planning.
You have to be the marketer, promoter and salesman of your own business. You have to play in all of these categories. You have to keep your website up-to-date and write blogs regularly, you have to post on all social medias. You have to wear many hats at the same time.
And you can’t simply copy-paste the same content all over the internet. You have to rightly capture the mentality of users on different social media and plan your postings accordingly.
And finally, you have to be the brand of your business offline also. At your clients’ place, in meetings, at industry seminars, you have to represent your online business at these offline venues.
Many people think that an Internet itself can be an entire business for them and they’ll earn money automatically.
In fact, Internet is a great platform to showcase your business or expertise. Treat it as it is! Not as an answer to all your questions.