Starting a new career is daunting as it is, but accepting the role of a new entrepreneur where you’re not following a franchise blueprint can seem even more nerve-wracking. Luckily, there are many entrepreneurs who found a way to succeed online before you and who can advise you of the pitfalls to avoid.
Being an online business owner means you have the world at your fingertips – not only in terms of your audience being global, but also the wide array of topics and interests you can tap into.
What are the Steps to Succeed Online?
There are five core principles you need in order to have a successful journey. Some might come easy to you, while others will require you to work on making them an ingrained habit.
Willingness to Learn New Things
All successful online marketers absorb new information on a regular basis. They crave it and enjoy devouring new concepts and strategies. If learning sounds grueling to you, then you have to consider two things.
First, it may just be that you haven’t had the right teachers who inspire and educate you in a way that you enjoy. Learning can be fun when the right person is guiding you. Luckily, with Internet marketing, there’s a plethora of individuals and companies to choose from who will steer you through your efforts.
If you want to learn how to create a blog, for example, you’ll find teachers of all types – some monotone and technical and some humorous and easygoing. You simply have to find the right mentor to listen to.
But there’s another thing to consider. If no one ever meets your requirements for teaching, then you could just be averse to learning in general. You might be the type of person who needs a step-by-step job that never changes.
If that best describes you, then you might not want to pursue an online marketing career – because it is always evolving and changing. This is thrilling to many people who hate routines that become stale, but for others, it’s too intimidating to consider.
The great news is, there are many media formats you can learn from. If you prefer reading, you can find guides in eBook format. If video is your things, you can watch tutorials that way.
Even podcasts or webinars are a popular teaching method for many mentors, so if you like to listen on the go, you have that option. Your biggest job will be using a search engine to find the right courses to learn from.
Courage to Implement Even When Nervous
Learning is one thing. Implementing the advice and strategies is another. Not everyone has the courage to face their fears and do the tasks required to be a successful online marketer.
There are many people who prefer to be wallflowers and never be “seen” or “heard from” by strangers. That might be your downfall as an entrepreneur – but you also have the option of creating a pen name or business persona to operate under.
What are some common fears people have when it comes to starting a career online? Leading a niche in general is intimidating to many. They don’t feel like they have the experience to label themselves an expert.
The good news is, you don’t have to have a PhD or some sort of certification to lead an online audience. Many people prefer to learn from others in the same boat, so simply blogging about your journey can help you build a formidable audience who loves that you’re leading by example.
Another area where people let fear stop them in their tracks is having to put their name on a paid course – or a book (as an author). Again, you don’t have to make up false claims of expertise you don’t have.
You’ll be amazed at how many people flock to those who are one step above them on the rung of success, so be honest about where you are in your journey and let your audience weed themselves out if you’re not their cup of tea.
Social networking is a popular method of building a rapport with your audience, and also getting free traffic to your site and offers. But this, to some people, is terrifying. You might ask, “Why would anyone care what I’m doing this weekend?”
The reason people personalize and share a little piece of themselves online is because it’s what we do with friends – talk about insignificant things because it helps paint a picture of who you are.
So go ahead and snap pictures of your meals, share a cute video of your pet being silly, and yes – talk about the weather. It’s the little things that bond us as humans. It’s also not intimidating for your audience to participate in, as opposed to someone who posted a tour of their new mansion and 99% of their audience can’t relate, so they keep quiet.
Making videos might be your impediment. Yes, you can stick to text or even podcasting (audio) if you want to. But eventually, you should start utilizing video since a large percentage of the population prefers it.
You don’t have to put yourself on camera, though. You can use screen capture video like Camtasia and a slide show presentation using a tool like PowerPoint and that will be a good compromise with your audience.
Desire to Help People Improve Their Lives
If you want to succeed online, you should enjoy the process of helping others. You’ll be addressing what’s known as their “pain point,” and it doesn’t have anything to do with health or actual pain in many cases.
A pain point is something that the audience wants improved. That could be something like literal pain, but it can also be something as enjoyable as wanting to improve their knitting skills or learning how to ask a woman out on a date.
Helping others is one of the most rewarding aspects of launching your own online business. You’ll have people contacting you with their issues and asking for help. Not only will you get to help them, but you can make products out of those ideas that help many others in the same boat, too.
Sometimes, you’ll be helping people with serious pain points. Maybe their bills are out of control and they need debt relief and credit repair advice so that they don’t live every hour of every day in despair.
Helping people like that, who turn their lives around thanks to your advice, is very rewarding on a personal satisfaction level. You’ll wake up every day eager to help others and go to bed each night satisfied that someone is sleeping better because of what you have to say.
Sometimes, this part of the job can be difficult for some people. Depending on what niche you get into, it can be heartbreaking opening yourself up to that type of topic day after day.
For example, if you were in a niche for depression, you might feel sad interacting with heavily depressed people on a continual basis. So consider that sharply when you pick your niche.
You might flip the concept and turn it into a happiness niche, teaching people how to pursue more happiness in their lives, rather than, “how to treat depression.” Slanting it is key to the type of audience you’ll attract and be interacting with regularly.
You want to make sure you have the type of personality that doesn’t belittle others and their concern for their problems. Sometimes, you may not personally realize the depth of your subscriber’s pain, but if they reach out to you, assume that it’s a big problem for them, and gently guide them to a solution.
It takes a lot of courage for them to seek you out and put themselves out there by reaching out and putting themselves out there with a blunt request for help to make things better.
Commitment to Be a Leader in Your Niche
Being a leader in your niche is something every online marketer should strive for. You should never be okay resting on your laurels and putting just enough effort into the process to get by.
Consumers are looking for cutting edge, current marketers to lead them – regardless of what their issue is. They want someone who is always learning and sharing and coming up with innovative ideas that maybe they haven’t heard yet.
Yes, you can lead under a pen name or business persona. But regardless of the name you represent yourself with, you need to be committed to leading your audience. That means showing up to serve regularly.
Don’t start a site and then disappear for months on end and expect to resume your communication with those people whenever you feel like coming back. There are many competitors who will be there for them on an on-going basis, so if you’re the type of person who might be flighty – then your leadership skills may need some tweaking.
Leaders are always devouring new information, including paying attention to what’s in the news about their niche. And they come to their audience with those facts – whether or not they agree with them.
As a leader, you have to be willing to step up and have a vocal opinion on what they should and shouldn’t do. Be willing to say, “I don’t agree with this, and here’s why…” because most marketers won’t do that – they’re too scared to speak out.
Leadership doesn’t mean shoving the bulk of your business tasks off onto outsources. The best leaders are in the trenches with their audience. They want to stay tuned into their customers’ needs and reactions closely.
As a leader, people will come to you asking about things you may not know. Can you honestly let them know you’re not informed about it – and be willing to find out more and report back to them?
That’s what a good leader does. You don’t have to pretend or avoid communication. That’s what some people do when they’re approached with a question they don’t know. They hide.
Don’t be a leader who hides. Get out there and ask questions and dig around until you expand your knowledge and can address whatever issue it is that you were previously uninformed about.
Ability to Silence Your Excuses on an As Needed Basis
Excuses can kill any amount of success you may enjoy. They’ll create roadblocks to keep you from further growing your income, so you have to learn how to navigate around them or silence them so that you can make progress.
Your mind will come up with all sorts of reasons why good things can’t happen – or won’t. It will tell you that you don’t have enough time to do something, or that you’re too old or not attractive enough to be a leader in your niche.
It will try to make you believe that, because there are already dozens of competitors in the niche, that your voice is not needed – or welcomed.
The best thing you can do is not believe a word of fear that your mind tries to tell you. We have a way of sabotaging our own success. Maybe we grew up with it, thinking we were just being humble – but it’s not an attractive quality in a niche marketer.
In fact, you have to continually nurture your own self confidence and make sure that it’s growing steadily, along with your knowledge. If your problem is something like time, then you need to make a plan of action that addresses that issue.
Instead of just being too busy to succeed, how about you rearrange your schedule or multitask in some way, shape or form? Start saying no to people who infringe on your time (especially since you “work at home”).
Ask your spouse or someone else to take over some of the household tasks or errands. If you have to run around, download a lesson and listen to it on the go instead of listening to music or talk radio.
Some people want success so much that they get up an hour early or go to bed an hour later – after the kids are asleep – so they have some peace and quiet to concentrate on their business.
Don’t use money (or lack of it) as an excuse, either. There are many ways to start a business online with nothing. You can also do it on a shoestring budget where all you’re paying for is a domain of about $10 a year and hosting of about $10 a month.
What could you sell or give up to have that money you need to get going? You know it’s doable, but are you willing to do what it takes to have the bare necessities of launching an online business?
Becoming an online marketer can be intimidating in some ways, but it’s also the most rewarding career – void of bosses and clocks you have to live by. You’re in control of your destiny, and while it might make you a bit nervous at first, you learn to embrace it as a thrilling adventure that no job could compete with.