Basic Rules for Building an Online Business That Actually Makes Money

Rules for Building an Online Business

There’s a new kind of entrepreneurship that has been created with the rise of the Internet and social media. Superstar entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Peter Thiel all got their start by building an online business.

An online business is different from a traditional business in that it allows the entrepreneur to run the business from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a laptop and wifi. Over the last 6 years I’ve lived in various countries at the beaches of central America, the Caribbean and even spent time in Southeast Asia.

Starting a profitable online business is much easier said than done though.

Every time you log onto your Facebook account, or you’re watching YouTube videos, you’ll hear from these “gurus” or “experts” who talk about how they made 7-figures in a year. It’s honestly annoying seeing most of these people who are selling this information, because they overhype what an online business actually is.

The good news is that 2.5 BILLION people log onto the Internet. That’s BILLION… yep, with a B.

That means that the opportunity to build an online business is terrific, but that of course doesn’t come at its cost.

Questions like these are probably on the top of your head…
– Who should you learn from?
– Is guru X a spammer?
– Can I make money from Instagram?

All of these questions are pretty common, so if you find yourself asking them… you’re doing a wise thing in asking questions.

Instead of me preaching to you about how I’m a guru, I’m going to simply give you some basic rules that my team and I follow to grow our business. You can make up your mind whether or not you want to listen and implement based on other research I imagine you have already done.

Here’s five simple steps to making money from your idea

1. Focus.

When you see focus, you might immediately think I mean the niche you want to go in… or you might think that this isn’t for you, because you’ve struggled to focus in the past. Don’t worry, I struggled a ton in school with that kind of focusing too. There’s just so much going on and so much to do.

Yes, figuring out a niche is important. Yes, focusing on one thing at a time is important… but this is a little bit different.

This type of focus means to figure out WHO you want to serve, and HOW you will be able to deliver value to that group of people.

 I honestly could stop right there, and you’d have more information than 99% of the gurus will give you, but instead of doing that… I’ll expand on these briefly.

Who?  Who is your target market for the problem you’ll be solving?

Where? Where do they hangout online? Are they reading blogs, are they browsing Facebook? Are they watching YouTube videos?

Bait? What is the thing you can give them to take them away from what they were doing, and over to your “thing”?

Result? What is the result you can give them?

There’s a great book that I highly recommend you get a copy, that explains each of those in greater details. You can actually get it for free, you just gotta cover shipping charges.

Either click here to get a copy, or click the image below.

Here’s a few tips for improving your focus… 

– Unsubscribe from 80% of the newsletters you’re on in your email. You can use the service Unroll.me to do it, they make it simple.
– Instead of learning 100% of your time, spend 80% of your time on creating content and marketing that content to the market you’re serving.
– Limit your social media use to 1 hour a day.
– Focus on one niche to start.

2. Build an audience.

A few years ago, I was preaching how important it was for people to build an audience online… and today still, I do the same. When you have an audience, you can simply find out what they need, and give it to them, thus collecting as much money as you would like (in accordance to how many problems you solve for your audience)

Think about this for just a second… let’s say you have this super sweet product that’s just the coolest thing you’ve ever seen. You know everyone is going to love it, because you do… yet you still don’t have anyone handing over their hard-earned money to purchase your product.

Why is that? Well, one of the biggest reasons is because you don’t have the audience. Picture this for just a second, actually here’s what I want you to see..

This is Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the Duke Blue Devils play basketball.

The picture on the left is an empty stadium, while the one on the right is during a game, when the stadium is jam packed full of crazy fans and you can almost hear how loud it is, just looking at the picture.

Which of these would you rather have when it came to selling your product?

the one on the left where it’s silent… and no one is there? Or the one on the right with emotions running high and thousands of people in an excited state?

I don’t know about you, but i’d much rather hang out and sell to people who are already there (and you know what they are there for!) Can we agree on that?

Many new businesses miss the mark big time with this one. They spend thousands on a website, trying to learn how to do widgets, wingdings and other techno-babble. You might have the greatest website in the world (according to you or your designer), but if no one is seeing it, there’s no chance it’ll ever make money.

… and that whole “if you build it, they will come” thing? That’s only true in the Field of Dreams…

You can however tap into other people’s audiences…

wait, what?!

Yeah, it’s possible to tap into other people’s audiences (if you haven’t built your own yet).

Here’s just a few ways you can build your audience by leveraging other people’s audiences…

– Be a guest on a podcast.
– Guest post on blogs. Find the blogs that your target audience is already spending time reading, and write for them. Do it for free. Remember to put a call-to-action within your blog posts to visit your site for more info.
– Find people in your niche who have big Facebook pages or big Facebook groups, and add value to that person’s life. If you can find a group in you’re niche that is passionate about the subject matter, spend a few hours a week providing value to them… then contact the owner and see if they would be open to you running a Live broadcast to the group, and splitting profits with them.

 

3. Develop a plan to monetize.

Yes, this is the part we’ve all been waiting for… SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!

You should already know how you are going to monetize your new business, but if you don’t, you need to start thinking about it. Your new website/blog isn’t going to just magically make you money…

Depending on the type of business you are building, you’ll have a variety of different ways for monetizing your content. If you do physical products, you’ll want to have a value ladder of physical products that your ideal customer can buy from you. If you are doing virtual products (information products), then you’ll want to have the same.

Let’s look at a simple little value ladder, just so you have a general idea of what needs to be created (and planned) for you to get the most out of your business.


You can change out the steps of the ladder anyway you want. For example, let’s say the first product (the loss leader) for your business sells for $7. The next step of the ladder would be your first up-sell, which could sell for $27… after that, let’s say you have a $97 product, a $497 product and then a $997 product.

You can substitute any numbers you want in there, but we’re using these numbers for this specific example… so that you can understand the importance of your monetization strategy.

If you didn’t have this value ladder in place, let’s say someone comes onto your site to purchase something. They see the product and they buy it (for $7) and then they leave.

Cool, you made $7….

But what if AFTER they bought the $7 product, you gave them an opportunity to buy another complementary product for $27. If the product was an appropriate fit, a percentage of people would take that second offer, right?

Well… the same is true all the way up the ladder. There will always be someone who wants to buy the best of the best, the primo offer you sell.

Which would you rather have? A $7 one-time sale? or a possible purchase of $7 + $27…

that’s not counting all the other up-sells you can (and SHOULD) be adding to your monetization strategy.

4. Test, test, test .

At this point, it’s time to send some people through your sales funnel. Let them be kind of beta testers for your new business. They’ll go in there, find what works and doesn’t work… and can report back to you. Give them a discount for being first too. The discount way they’ll feel like they are getting hooked up with being first movers AND they get a deal on it.

They win because of that… and you win because you have a mini-army of people ready to tell you what needs to be fixed.

… after that, testing is still important… one of the most important things you be honest, because things can always be improved later on.

If you have watched the movie, Black Panther, there’s a terrific quote by Shuri, T’Challa (Black Panther main character) his younger sister.

Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.” – Shuri

Once you have your sales funnel and it’s working (generating leads and sales)… you’re going to have a lot of data coming in that you can analyze and make use of. This is where you will find major opportunities for growth in your business.

If you don’t see these, you can schedule a call with me to identify them.

Testing out everything from different headlines on the landing page, to different price points, different color schemes and even minor changes could have a major impact on your business over the long run.

Let me give you one example of how one letter… accidentally put into a headline… bumped response by about 300%.

Pluralizing The Verb In Your Sales FunnelYears ago, there was an advertisement selling cassette tapes. The headline of the ad read, “Put Music In Your Life”.

When the ad was run again, an extra letter was accidentally put into the headline. The extra letter was an ‘S’, making the headline, “Puts Music In Your Life”.

And that one change nearly tripled response.

This is why it’s so important to constantly test things within your sales funnel. Can you picture what it would be like if you tripled your response rates in your business?

You never know until you test. (If you’re a friend of mine, you’ve heard me say this time and time again)

5. Launch and scale.

At this point, you should be launching your business. Even if you think you aren’t ready, you should still launch your business. I’m a huge fan of the “ready, fire, aim” process when it comes to building things.

It’s never going to be perfect, and the best way I’ve found to find errors and room for improvement on things is to simply start it, and let the audience tell me what’s wrong. The majority of the time people are good, and will understand a little error here and there… after all, you aren’t running Apple.

Although even Apple has released things before they are perfect.. the first iPhone that came out didn’t have a “copy & paste” function built into it… did you know that?

Now that you’re ready to go it’s time to just do it. Take action on your idea and turn your dream into a reality.

If you haven’t gotten a copy of the book I recommended before, DotComSecrets, get a free copy by clicking the image below:

 

Chris Hughes

Chris loves learning, going on adventures, surfing and having fun. Chris on Google+

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