I am sure you have searched for “how to be an online entrepreneur” and come through my article. Well, thanks! I am flattered you take time to read this article.
My journey as an online entrepreneur has been filled with a lot of trials and errors. It is not easy being indoctrinated that I won’t make it, but here I am, being a tropical wanderer and enjoying what life has to offer.
There are many things we are already used to hearing: have faith, be strong, don’t listen to others, all those Buddha quotes.. You name it. It is like this “last song syndrome”, wherein it puts you in this repeated sequence but never really prompts you to take action.
It is the same thing as when we read tons of books, trying to find a “secret method” to guide us in our “quest for success” (Haha I know this post has a lot of cliche, but hang on!), but all we need is specific and actionable steps we need to frame ourselves for success.
Do take note that the following steps are what have worked for me; I am not saying that it will not work for you, but it is you yourself who dictates it.
Your biggest enemy is yourself.
Yet, the person you should love the most is yourself.
So here are some things you (might) don’t know about how to be an online entrepreneur.
There are more sharks out there (and they are multiplying at an exponential rate!)
You know what I mean. People who will eat you alive, trying to lure you in their traps and swallow you whole. We are in the information age, and there are many out there. Just make sure you deal with people that are worthy your time.
I am not saying to be cynical, but when I was starting to make my mark in online business, I have encountered quack entrepreneurs, something like “fly by night”. The Internet has very extreme sides– you could make a huge payout, or a downfall. Barriers to entry are low; put up a site, copy someone else’s code, pretend to own that business, make a sale with huge margins, and shut it down.
Choose wisely who you trust and listen to, and this leads me to the next part.
Don’t listen to “experts” (Clue: copy them!)
These are the “Internet business experts”, the “proven”, “widely popular:, and “money making machine” online entrepreneurs. Always read with a critical eye. I tell you one secret. Find an expert (just look at Youtube, tons of “experts”!), go to their landing page/blog of some sort, and examine how they write their copy.
Take note of the following details:
- Content above the fold
- Content below the fold
- What benefits does it highlight?
- Does it have testimonials?
- Are the testimonials’ image from “stock photos” ?Haha.
- How does it gather its leads? (ex: email opt-in)
If you want to take it a step further, opt-in to their “no commitment” email series, and be deliberate in their content, triggers, and call-to-actions.
I tell you in no time, you are getting a “more than free course” that is worth a thousand of dollars.
Now, who is the “expert”?
You have to eliminate hangups.
Starting an Internet business involves letting go of things that cloud your mind. If you are in an distracting relationship, you are at war with your boss, or your parents, it is time to rebuild those bridges.
You might think that you can separate your emotions. I am sorry to say that when you are starting an online business, you will need all the mental and emotional strength you can master. First because (a) there are many sharks; and (b) too many “experts’ that sway your decisions.
Think of these hangups as hangnails in your toe; you have take it as soon as it still not buried under, otherwise you might have a mini-surgery if it gets deeper. I know my analogy is a bit off-putting (haha), but I am sure you get the point.
You have to have new ideas everyday
A great online business and entrepreneur always have something going on. For example, you just discovered that the “click to tweet” generates a lot of clickthroughs and twitter follows, but over time it fades. First because everybody is copying it, and second people get tired of seeing it. That’s why it is essential to be an “idea generator” if you want to succeed as an online business entrepreneur.
If you see that they are already copying you, move on and think of the next one!
Appreciate what you have– make use of your existing resources
One of the thinking hurdles that cripple those who want to start their online businesses is that they think that capital is essential. I am telling you that you don’t need much; you just need something that works– something good enough to work. What is this “good enough” in terms of ingredients for starting an online business? Say you want to start with CPA marketing, you need:
- Site to get traffic to – set up a good enough site. You can get shared hosting for as low as USD 40/year!
- Offers- The greatest resource you need here is your time and effort to find a good niche. Sweet talk your way to the account managers and for sure you will find one to start.
- Traffic- there are many ways to get traffic– organic, search, and referral. With organic, you can do a lot of SEO homework yourself, but it takes some time before you notice a real change. Search, on the other hand, gets you faster results, but if budget is out of the question, and you are not experienced in handling accounts, you might want to put it aside. Referral traffic, might be a good choice though. All you need is to begin with a platform that you can easily scale, and where your audience are hanging out. Do not take all the platforms at once. Say you begin with Facebook, then Instagram, then maybe you can try Pinterest.
Aim to be significantly better than your nearest competitor
The thing is, the more copycats there is, the lesser our attention span becomes. So if you would just “do what others do” then chances are, you are not gonna survive the competition; you would die earlier on. Success means diving on the competition and raising the bar higher.
To be better everyday, ask yourself these set of questions:
- Am I better yesterday/ last week/ last month/ last year?
- What are the points I could improve on?
- How can I improve on these points
You have to honest in answering these questions. You alone can answer them.
Read faster, type faster
We do a number of reading and writing (those admin tasks like reading an email, writing a report, filling in a form) tasks during the day, but only large and strategic tasks. Hence, it makes sense to learn how to read and type faster.
If for example it takes me three minutes to read an article, reading faster would take 1.5 minutes. If you are reading several articles a day, you would have an extra 5 minutes. In a week it would have an extra half hour for you for other tasks.
Indeed, small changes make big difference.
Focus on what you do best
In the beginning, being an online entrepreneur carries a huge amount of workload. But in order to train yourself to be a leader, you have to delegate the tasks, or automate the tasks.
Delegating tasks means using the old school outsourcing. If it will take 5 hours for you to set up a site, while a developer can do it in 2 hrs, you would be better off assigning it; you could dedicate your time to doing what you are good at.
If money is the problem, then maybe you could approach someone to help you set it up.. I am sure one of your friends would be able to help you or point you to somebody that can teach you the how-tos.
Ask, and never assume. You never know that there are people out there that are not sharks!
You have to care somehow
If you ask the “experts” of CPA marketing, they would tell you the three golden rules for success: audience/ market size, the programs that will suite your niche, and your costs viz-a-viz your income. These rules are pretty much standard to any business, but I personally believe that you have to genuinely care about the programs you promote and the customers you are targeting. In the short-term, it might not be very profitable, but in the long-run, when you have already earned the trust of you audience and they stick with you, the easier it is to sustain your business.
Many newbies fail because of this. They stick to one program, earn the money, then stay until it lasts (or your account manager kicks you out!).
It takes so much time to scale your traffic, you don’t want to waste that.
You have to document it
This is the same thing as having a diary. Whatever you do related to your business, be it finding a good offer for your audience, building your email list, or creating a content for XX topic, write down the steps you have done. Documenting allows you to have a playbook or recipe book of the things that matter to your business. As your income grows, you can further improve this steps, delegate it, or build a system out if it.
When I was starting out, I didn’t know these tips, so lucky you! You don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. Please share this article or write down your comments below!