This page is primarily for people who know they would like to earn money online, but are not quite sure what to do or where to start.
I highly recommend you download the free "Success Formula" report if you haven't already done so. It talks about setting and reaching your goals. That would be a great place to begin.
If you are a more experienced online marketer, or you are seeing good success already, you have most likely already taken these steps. Of course, it never hurts to review!
Keep in mind that while each of the sections below is very important, it is only possible to touch on them on this page. There will be more information on each section in other places on this site as time goes on. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need more information on a given topic.
What's Your Why?
The first thing to do (after downloading and reading the "Success Formula" report), is to figure out why you want to earn money online. Are you hoping to be able to quit your job to get away from a horrible boss? Do you need to make more money to care for an elderly relative? Do you need to move to a different neighborhood so your children can go to a better school?
There are as many different reasons for people wanting to earn online as their are people earning online! One of the keys to the successful entrepreneurs, though, is that most of them know exactly why they are doing what they are doing.
I am not talking about the surface "why". A lot of people just say they want to earn money, or they want to earn more money that they earn a their job. That's not deep enough to sustain long term focus.
Dig deep. Look into your motivations. If your motivation is to earn more money, ask yourself why you want to earn more money. If it's to get a bigger house, ask yourself why you need a bigger house. If it's to care for your elderly parents, ask yourself why you want to care for them in your house. Keep digging. Do some soul searching.
If you have never done this exercise before, it may seem trivial or even silly. It's not. It's powerful. By taking the time and effort to dig very deep and find your true motivations and reasons for wanting this, you will uncover powerful things about yourself. If you got to the source of your motivations, by identifying them, you will have something to draw on in the future that will keep you focused and motivated.
By knowing "what's your why" you will be able to keep typing out that ebook when you are exhausted. You will be able to add content to a website when you are feeling sick or when your friend calls and asks you to go out for the evening.
Knowing what's your why is one of the best ways to avoid procrastination. Sure, you want to take the time to enjoy life, but when it gets down to it, in order to consistently earn money online, you need to be self-motivated and focused. There are no time cloaks to punch or bosses demanding deadlines. It's all on you. The more you uncover why, the better you'll be able to do that.
Not only will identifying and being able to articulate your why help you stay focused and motivated, but it will also help you with marketing yourself, with inspiring others, and with attracting people to work with you. It will lead to much greater success all around.
Below is a video of a fantastic TED talk given by Simon Sinek in which he demonstrates the power of "why" using examples of Apple, the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King. It's about 18 minutes, and I highly recommend you watch this before proceeding. It is extremely insightful and inspiring.
Identify Your Skills
There are many ways to earn money online. Which business model will suite you best will depend on your interests and soil sets. Everyone has some skill that can be put to use online. You simply need to identify your skills and choose an appropriate business model.
Below are some examples of different ways to earn money online. This list is no where near exhaustive. It is just here to give you an idea of the possibilities and to show you many different skills can be brought to the table.
- Product Affiliate (make money selling other people's products)
- Product Creator (make money selling your own products)
- Service Provider (could be websites, graphics, design, software, installations)
- Coach (teach something you are knowledgable and passionate about)
- Video creation
- Much, much more....
That is a small sampling of the types of things that can be done to earn money online. If you do not already know what direction you want to go in, take a pad of paper and start listing all of the skills you have. Are you a good writer? Can you build websites? Do you have areas of knowledge that you could share, either in information products or on a blog or with coaching? Can you use video or graphic editing software? Are you a web designer? Can you do any software coding?
Make the list as complete as you can, and even if you think a particular skill you have might not be suitable for an online venture, write it down anyway.
Once you have taken the time to do this, you will most likely see a few skills jump out at you that you can use to earn money. If, however, you have made a complete and thorough list and are still at a loss as to what might be used to help you move forward, go to the contact page and send me a message. I'll gladly help you figure out what best to do with what you have listed.
Choose a Business Model
The next step is to choose a business model that fits your skillets. There are a few things that need to be done to complete the business model, but at this stage we are just identifying the "ten thousand foot view" of it. What general method(s) will you be employing to earn money.
Below is a more detailed list than we had in the section above, but again it is just a starting point. If you see something that you think you would enjoy doing that also matches one or more of your skill sets, then you have a potential business model that might work for you. I have only touched on some of the skills for each section. This list is not to be considered complete, but more to get your creative juices flowing to help you decide which direction to go in.
Keep in mind that it is important you enjoy it. It is hard enough to stay focused and motivated working on your own. If you factor in a business model that you do not particularly care for, you have increased that difficulty exponentially.
If you see a business model that you think you would absolutely love, but do not have the necessary skillsets to do it, you can always outsource part, or even all, of the tasks. I am not going to get into outsourcing on this page, but we'll cover it elsewhere.
writing, research, creativity, sales, copywriting, organized
Product Creation (Info Products)
research, writing, communication, knowledge of topic
Training / Coaching
Knowledge of topic, great communication skills, friendly
Domaining (Selling or Flipping Websites)
research, web skills, writing, communication
writing, ability to follow instructions
SelfPublishing / Writing
writing, creativity, marketing, knowledge of topic
writing, profiling, understanding of psychology and sales
Direct Sales (such as eBay or Amazon)
creativity, copywriting, organization, punctuality
writing, creativity, knowledge of topic, web skills
experience, research, communication, technical, writing
creativity, graphic software proficiency, communication
creativity, coding, databases (possibly), writing, follow-up
communication, software proficiency, presentation skills
Technical Work (such as setting up websites)
knowledge of technical aspects, organization, punctuality
Create Your Business Plan
Your business plan does not have to be a super detailed thesis or prospectus, but it will be most beneficial to you if it is more than just an overview on the back of a napkin. Below is a list of helpful things to include in your plan. The more detailed your plan is, the better idea of where you are going and how you'll get there, and the more successful you are likely to be. This is a step most people skip when starting to work online. If you treat this like a "real" business, you increase your chances of success.
Suggested items to include in the plan:
- Name: Your name is important. Are you going to be using your personal name or a company name? This will also become part of your branding and now is the time to think on that. If you will be setting up an actual legal entity, such as a corporation, partnership or company, you will want to also see of the name is available in the jurisdiction where you will be operating. You might also want to see if a matching website domain is available before deciding on this.
- Mission Statement: This is a short overview of the business and its mission. What does it do and how does it do it. Thinking of your "why" and taking the approach that Simon demonstrates in his video will help you come up with an incredibly powerful mission statement.
- Products / Services Offered: This one is relatively easy. List what it is you are offering. If you are able, include prices.
- Assets Owned: These are assets you currently have for the business, such as hardware, software, supplies, etc.
- Assets Needed: These are assets you will need. Think especially of software or supplies you will need.
- Financial Requirements: What cash will you need to get started? Think of everything. It is better to plan for more money and not need it, than to be deep into a project and run out of cash. I've been there and done that, and it can be devastating to your plans. If you don't have the cash needed, you will also want to lay out how you will acquire it.
- Budget: I would calculate a monthly budget and take it out at least a year. It is imperative to know how much you will need to be spending each month. Do not forget to include items such as marketing in this!
- Goals (with deadlines): List out short and long term goals. Be sure to include deadlines: a "will" without a "when" is a "won't". Download the Success Formula report for help with this section.
- Specific Methods To Achieve Goals (with timelines): It is not enough to set the goals. You must detail how you will reach them. What activities need to be done and include timelines for each step. This is getting into the heart of the business plan. Take your time and think through as much as you can. We all know things come up and "life happens", but the more detailed you are here, the better you will be prepared for the unexpected.
- Customer Avatar: You want to know who your customers are. You need to create an avatar of the typical customer or client. How old are they? Where do they live? What is their age and sex? Are they married? Children? What fears do they have that you can help overcome? What are they looking for in a product or service you might be offering? The better you know your customer, the better you can serve them and also the better you can market to them. Check out my product here, which will teach you exactly how to arrive at a great customer avatar. This will also help you find profitable niches if you are not sure about that yet.
- Competition: Identify who your competition is. The more you know about your competition, the easier it will be to set yourself apart from the crowd. You will be able to find out how to beat them in the search rankings and how to outperform them in product, pricing, benefits, etc.
- Marketing Plan: A great marketing plan will include many facets. It will contain your advertising, branding, promotional materials, online pretense and reputation management and more. A good start on this will be to figure out how you will be reaching your customers or clients. How will you get the word out and once you do how will you "cut through the clutter" and get noticed?
- Expansion / Scaling Plan: Every successful business will see growth opportunities. When they arise, how will you seize this opportunities? Will you hire worker or outsourcers? Will you expand into an office? Will you increase your product or service line? These are things to think about now and put into writing.
Once you have your business plan in writing, you will have a much more focused idea of exactly what actions to take and in what order.
Setting Your Plan Into Motion: Get Started!
Actually getting started and the specific things you now need to do will depend on your business model and your business plan. If you are already familiar with the steps needed, you will now have pretty much exactly what you need.
However, if you are venturing into an area that is new to you, you will need to now start delving deeper, even beyond what you needed to do to get your business plan together. You might need to learn things as varied as how to buy advertising, how to set up a website, how to best use social media, how to find affiliates or joint venture partners.
For these things you will need to do research (for this, Google is your friend!) and probably a fair amount of networking. There are some great forums and social media groups that could be potentially great resources for you. There are a few listed in the Networking section below.
Caution Advised: Do not blindly follow someone's advice. Not even mine! Do your due diligence and get references before hiring a coach or spending money buying into someone's "system". You will find software or an info product that will seem like a great solution for an aspect of your business. Make sure you have checked it out before spending money on it. Also avoid Bright Shiny Objects that could distract you from your goals.
Check the other resources on this site as part of your research for where to begin and be sure to check our the Networking Resources on this page and elsewhere on this site. If you want additional help getting started, please contact me and request a free Skype, phone or email consultation.
While many people are attracted to working online because they get to work by themselves, I have found this not necessarily be the case.
The most successful online entrepreneurs do a lot of networking. They have support groups, forums, coaches, accountability partners, and outsourcers that they spend a lot of time with. My day typically consists of about 4 hours of actual work, and the rest of the day is spent networking, helping others, and learning new skills and strategies.
There are a few online places I recommend checking out just to be exposed to others who are working online.
My absolute favorite place is not free, but is worth every penny. I have been a member there since 2010. It is a forum run by Dennis Becker. It is more like a family. While there are many free resources such as coaching, downloadable products, trainings, etc., the real value is in the members. It is the one place where people truly, unselfishly help each other out. The membership has everything from brand new people who have never made a dime online to people making 7 figures a year. We all learn from each other.
It is called the "Earn1kaDay Insider's Club" and the purpose is to help everyone there reach their first day where they make $1,000. You will find that when you've done that once, it gets easier and easier to repeat it.
Earn1kADay has a related Facebook Group called "The IM Inside Track". It is free to join. It also gets lots of great interaction and you will meet and be able to network with some very successful people. Click here to join this group.
I started a Facebook group for people who want to help each other reach their goals. I call it "Successification". It is brand new, so it may not yet have a lot of people, but you are certainly welcome to come hang out with us online and watch it grow as we help each other grow. Click here to join the Successification Facebook group.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to find more niche-specific places to network. Depending on the niche, I can most likely point you in the right direction or even make some introductions.
That's it for the getting started page. Yes, there is a lot more you will need to learn and do, but much of that will be specific to your niche, your business model and your skillsets. Check back to this website frequently, and find me in the networking groups I just mentioned. You'll find what you need. Working online can be the most fun and lucrative thing you've ever done. I look forward to seeing you succeed!
If interested, I do customized coaching and would be happy to talk about your goals and see if I can help you get where you want to go.