I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately all about how to get started online. Things like – “What are realistic timescales to make money?”, “Where do I start?”, “What do I need to do to get started?”. So in answer to your questions I am starting a mini-series here on my blog all about getting your online business off the ground!
Todays article constitutes the first in a short series of posts on ‘Creating a Business You Can Take With You – Getting Started‘. I hope you enjoy it!
Before you tackle how to create and grow a business you can run from anywhere in the world, it’s important you understand what you’re taking on!
This my friend is the antithesis of “Get Rich Quick”. With the amount of time and work involved in creating a business I can’t believe anyone actually came up with that term in the first place, as there really is nothing farther from the truth!
The official definition of Online Marketing is;
“The marketing & promotion of products or services over the Internet.”
That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. “The marketing and promotions of products and services over the internet.”
Also known as online advertisement, internet marketing, (a term people seem to love to hate these days!) online advertising or e-marketing
Whatever it’s known as though, the clue really is in the title.
It’s the “marketing” of. It doesn’t say – ‘the creation of ‘and then the marketing of. Online Marketing or Internet Marketing is about the ‘marketing’ of.
Sorry to hammer that home, but I think that’s a very important definition you need to understand!
The creation of the products & services part comes first and this I believe is where the gap and confusion is with the online marketing, internet marketing phenomenon.
My question to you is – what business are you in?
You see to create or grow a business, any business, on or offline you have to have something to sell. You have to have a business to market.
An online business could be; information products, photographer, web designer, author, coach, consultant. You name it, but the key is to have a business to start with. (Hold on all you affiliate marketers who are currently arguing this, I’ll get to you!).
Once you know what business you’re in, the next step is to master how to market it online. Again you can choose online or offline (or both of course), but it is the opportunities of reaching a global marketplace instantly and cheaply that makes marketing online so attractive!
When I started my offline business nearly 10 years ago now here’s what I did;
When I started my online business 3 years ago here’s what I did;
Can you see the similarities?
The biggest difference was in the startup capital and the ongoing costs. Without doubt an online information product style business has lower overheads and therefore greater profit margins.
Perhaps thats where the “get rich” part of the ‘get rich quick” saying comes from?
But believe me the work needed to get it off the ground and keep growing it is no different to an offline business! In fact I would go so far as to say the learning curve for an online business is greater when you take into account all the technical know how you need to acquire.
Over the years people have been promised great riches from following a few automated steps and that’s NOT what it’s about. In fact that is simply not true! Creating and growing a business online is just as tough as creating and growing a business offline, they are very similar beasts.
What you’re doing by starting a business online is not ‘making money online’. What you’re doing is being an Entrepreneur.
When people start businesses offline you don’t say to them – oh great you’re getting into the ‘make money offline market’! You should actually say you’re going into the ‘It’s bloody hard work you fool’ market’!
So, where am I going with all this?
Well, let’s get back to the Online Marketing part of the puzzle, because that’s what it is, it’s just part of the puzzle, but it’s the part of the puzzle so many people (and certainly my audience) want to master. And rightly so, because the rewards are amazing both spiritually and financially.
Marketing is a skill like any other. Content creation is a skill, web design, copywriting, blogging, affiliate marketing. These are all skills.
It stands to reason the more skills you have or that you employ in your business the more likely your business will succeed.
Therefore when looking into ‘Creating a Business Online’, it is imperative that you hone your skills. That you educate yourself in all the little facets of the business so you understand how it all works. That you’re prepared to start climbing a super steep learning curve and that you arm yourself with the knowledge that this ain’t gonna happen overnight!
If it was as easy as many says it is, many more would be making millions by now!
This brings me to affiliate marketing as I know many people may say, ah yes but Jo, if I affiliate for other people’s products I don’t need my own business right? I’m just marketing for someone else’s.
But affiliate marketing is a business in it’s own right. Just like being a party planner for Virgin Make up or Ann Summers.
Just like being a re-seller or a franchisee! You are taking someone else’s brand and reputation and using that as a stepping stone for your own business.
The same amount of work is involved as if you were setting up your own business. You still need to advertise, market and generate leads. Plus what makes affiliate marketing even harder online is the sheer amount of people doing it badly and all the online scams. (Please note we will address affiliate marketing in much greater detail in later articles.)
Therefore nowadays affiliate marketing isn’t just about the right marketing message, it’s hugely about trust and credibility aswell.
People will buy from people they like, know and trust!
So, my lesson here? What’s your business? Choose your business first. Then you can work on getting and building the skills necessary to make your business go!
The faster you learn, the faster your business will grow.
Be realistic, be passionate and be downright determined to make it work. Anyone in the world can be an entrepreneur. You just need to decide if you want to be!
Look out for my next article in this series – “10 Steps to Building an Online Profitable Business!”
Where are you on your journey? I’d love to hear your story, please tell me in the comments below! :)