No matter what business model you choose to explore it’s super important to know what business you are actually in.
For example you might be thinking ‘I want to start blogging’ or ‘I want to be an affiliate marketer’, or ‘I’d love to be a life coach’ or ‘a writer’.
But what does that actually look like?
What niche are you in? How will you best serve your potential market? How will you monetise?
When I started I was already an entrepreneur in the offline space and I knew I wanted to help small business owners build an online business but I had no experience in building an online business myself, so in the early days I focused on Facebook fan pages.
I immersed myself in how to use facebook fan pages to generate leads for a small online business.
I quickly became an expert in all things facebook and became the go to for Facebook marketing for online businesses for a while. (I also unwittingly started a small software business which nearly sank me, you can read about that in my post – How to Start a SAAS Business.)
I had attracted an audience of small online business owners via going niche on one element of their business and learning everything I could about that niche.
I was then able to gradually expand to all social media, then to marketing as a whole to today where I can confidently teach and demonstrate how to build a lifestyle business online because it’s exactly what I do and have done for the last 10 years.
So let’s unpack that and do an exercise I hope will help.
1. What type of information marketing or service based business attracts you the most;
- Affiliate Marketer
I’m not saying you can’t diversify and have some multiple streams of income in the future, (in fact I actively encourage it), but having a starting point would be a good thing.
If you love to educate, via big posts, podcasts, videos, whatever your medium of choice will be (we’ll get to that), then educator is definitely for you, but you may choose to educate for free and monetize via affiliate offers. We’ll talk more about your profit plan in Day 5.
You may want to start as an educator and then become an author, or vice versa.
You might start as a freelancer, build your skills and income and turn that into an agency or a coaching business or your own educational website.
You might become an author, an educator, an affiliate marketer and down the line grow into an influencer, or you might start out with influencer in mind and therefore your whole focus is on growing your audience so they become your product rather than selling products to them.
I started as an educator, added affiliate marketing to the mix and then ecommerce. Plans moving forward now are to add author and influencer to my resume!
We will dig much deeper into your profit plan, but for now just bear this question in mind as we delve deeper into your potential biz opportunity.
2. Make a list of all your interests, things you love to do, talk about and things you’re good at
Some examples might include;
- I love tinkering with websites & anything technical,
- I love photography,
- I love home decor,
- I spend all day discussing the future of AI & technology,
- I love travel & Instagram,
- I’m a keen gardener and enjoy helping my neighbors with their gardens.
- I love baking.
- I’m a natural born coach and love to help people feel great about themselves,
- I‘m a fitness fanatic and love talking about nutrition
- I love writing
- I love marketing
- I love business
What are the business opportunities you can pursue from your interests?
Here are some examples;
Primarily an education site on all things wordpress, they’re affiliate marketers and a SAAS company, monetising via affiliate offers on their site and selling plugins they build.
Here Emil brings his love of photography alive through his educational website and monetises primarily through his courses.
These ladies bring their love of home decor, photography and lifestyle together into an inspiring website which started as a blog. They monetise via adsense (yuk), advertising, sponsorship, courses, books, their own airbnb properties and I’m sure numerous other ways off of the site such as speaking opportunities, partnerships etc.
Matt took his love of travel (particularly on a budget) and turned it into an informational blog monetising via guide books, print books, courses, affiliate income & revenue from adsense.
Here this lady has turned her love of gardening into over a million views a year! She monetises via the Amazon associates affiliate program, consulting, some guest posting and a book.
Brooke Castillo is a force to be reckoned with. She started as a weight loss coach and over time has grown her own online life coaching school & certification program generating 8 figures a year.
Jeff Goins has taken his love of writing and turned it into an educational writing blog for writers, monetising via his books, courses and affiliate sales.
Jason Fladlien started as a freelancer, ghostwriting and copywriting for other businesses. He then took his skills and began monetising ebooks, started to create courses, plugins, membership software, a coaching program, became a master of webinars and now runs multiple Amazon businesses. He’s pretty much done it all!
Gary Vaynerchuk as we all know ran a wine company with his Dad, then following the success of Wine Library TV, went on to grow VaynerMedia, a digital marketing agency, with his brother and over time has become a heavyweight influencer.
3. What audience do you want to attract?
This is hugely important as knowing the type of people you’d like to work with, serve, add value to can help immensely with getting clarity on which niche you should pursue.
In Day 4 – Identifying Your Ideal Customer we’ll hone in on your ‘who’ in great detail, but for now think of who collectively.
For example I knew I wanted to attract small online business owners or people who wanted to build online businesses.
I could have talked about how to use facebook pages to grow your hairdressers, or accountants practice or your restaurant.
But I talked specifically how to generate leads using FB pages to your online business.
So ask yourself what audience do you want to attract?
Men over 40 looking to improve their fitness
Coaches & consultants
Creatives or artists
Small offline businesses
Women in business
Once you know who you want to attract you can start to look at where their challenges & problems are and where you can help or meet a need.
4. Where do you want to be and where are you now?
Focus in on your strengths, skills & interests.
- What have you done, that you have a wealth of experience with that you can now help others in that space?
- What interests you to the extent you’re willing to immerse yourself in and learn everything about?
- What current niche could you hone in on that would attract the audience you want to expand into?
In my example, I had no facebook skills (in fact if truth be told I wasn’t a big facebook fan), but I had learned how to generate leads via a mentorship program I had attended and I was great at taking the complex and breaking it down into simple steps on video.
I immersed myself in FB and learned everything there was to know so I could teach others the same. This was a pattern throughout my online journey to be honest, so don’t let the fact that you’re not yet an expert in your given subject be a barrier to getting started.
As long as you’re willing to do the work and learn everything you can, there’s no reason you can’t teach as you learn.
5. Are you your own target market?
In other words, is there something you’re struggling with that you feel others are in the same position and you feel you have the solution?
Think ‘Joy’ here. Have you seen the movie with Jennifer Lawrence in which she portrays Joy Mangano who frustrated with her conventional mop, designs a new self wringing mop and goes on to build a multi million dollar empire.
According to Wikipedia;
“Mangano holds more than 100 patents for her inventions. “I think my products have been successful because they have mass appeal,” she has said. “I’m just like everybody else out there. I’m a mom, I work, I have a house to clean, things to organize. We all have similar needs, and I address them.”
What’s missing in your world that you wish there was a solution for and you’re sure others feel the same?
6. Can you do it better?
Perhaps you’ve spotted something already in the market that you just know you could do better a job of.
Maybe your frustrated by the service, the product, the operations, whatever it is you’re constantly saying to your spouse or friends, ‘if only I ran that business, here’s how I would do it!‘
Well here’s your chance!
7. Pick One Thing!
I can’t remember the amount of times I’ve said this over the years. In fact I’ve said it so often my old tech manager Neil (God Rest his soul), made a cartoon audio of my voice speeded up shouting ‘Pick one niche’!
Unless you have unlimited energy and resources if you try to catch more than one rabbit you’ll lose them all, so pick one thing.
Keith Cunningham, the inspiration behind Robert Kiyosakis Rich dad series says;
‘Get rich doing one thing, stay rich by diversifying.’
You can do anything my friend but you can’t do everything, so pick the one path that excites you the most, put your other ideas into a little black book and commit to making your idea a reality, even through the tough times!
8. Get uber clear on your business.
Over the next few days we’re going to define your market, your uniqueness and the money path. Your goal is to come out the end with a very specific and clear description of who you are, who you’re for and what you do.
Spend some time here.
This is an area that trips people up. They pick something that doesn’t suit who they are or what they’re trying to achieve or it just looks good or easy or something someone told them to do.
Every single business you start is hard work. Some models may be simpler than others (which of course is subjective), but there is not one single business model that is easy money.
Start off on the right foot by picking a business and niche you are passionate about and that you won’t give up on when the going gets tough, which it will!
By the close of today you should have a basic idea of the type of business you’d like to start and the niche you’d like to pursue.
Awesome job! Let the journey begin! 😎