I never thought I would be writing about the steps to start an online business.
Not in a million years. However, I’ve been getting some feedback from my email list concerning two things:
- People want to start their own online business
- Don’t really trust the “online business gurus” to have their best interest in mind
I completely understand, and I have a few things to say about that:
- You SHOULD be purchasing others’ expertise online in the form of ebooks, courses, CD’s etc…It will make your life better.
- I do know of a few “gurus” (not into this term at all) who are completely authentic.
- I am not a business guru, at all, but I do have an online business.
So in full transparency, I am not an expert on how to make money online, or how to run a business at all, but…
…my business has allowed me to quit my job, work at home full time, and support me and my lifestyle.
So if you’re interested in leaving a thrill-less job, making side income, or just getting your work and passion out there on the internet, here are the steps to start an online business that I took.
I think you’ll find that they’re rather unorthodox!
The steps to start an online business that I took where:
- make sure you’re internally ready for commitment,
- find out what I had to offer others that they were interested in paying for,
- understand who “those people” (who would be paying me) were in the first place,
- understand what kind of online business was right for me,
- put out massive amounts of free content to drive traffic,
- know the journey my people would be going through to reach their success, offer them paid solutions to those problems they have in doing so,
- and make sure I had all the best tools at my disposal.
Steps to Start an Online Business
Step 1: Do the internal work first
Everything has a foundation and that’s where you need to start.
What happens when we skip to the money making part and you make your first $10k?
Believe it or not, people experience overwhelming stress when rapid growth like that occurs in their life.
- It challenges their identity
- It opens up possibilities that are frightening to them
- It brings up insecurity and imposter syndrome
All of those changes, all at once can really cause you some mental and emotional problems.
Not to mention, you’ll be dealing with some stuff before you even make a cent.
You’ll be going into something completely different and not knowing what’s gonna happen. You might struggle with feeling good enough or be scared that you fail.
Either way, there’s some serious internal work I recommend doing before you start.
- Create some affirmations you can repeat to yourself that reinforce your ability and motivation to see this thing through. If you’re not a LoA person, then just to keep your mind aligned with how you want things to go.
- Know that there’s always room for the best, and as long as you are willing to experiment, embrace what works and discard what doesn’t you can be confident that you’re doing what you can to succeed
- Your initial faith (if not in yourself) can be in working formulas. So many have come before you and done the same thing. You’re not so special those proven systems won’t work for you as well.
- You don’t have to be fake, or change yourself. Now more than ever, there is high value placed on authenticity. It’s harder to sell when you’re fake, or lying. So putting a unique spin on things and offering your personality will go far.
Step 2: Figure out your Online Mutant Powers
[Take stock of your talents and skills(brian tracy discover your unique talents)], and stop yourself before you give me some B.S. like “I don’t have any”. Everyone says that and everyone’s lying.
- What did you study in college?
- What are hobbies you’re really good at?
- What is ANYTHING you’re really good at?
- What was your best subject in school?
- Can you play an instrument?
- Do you know every factoid about the show friends?
I know a guy who makes $6k+ on his Star Trek site from paid memberships. Did you hear that? People ACTUALLY pay him each month, to talk about Star Trek.
You don’t need to be an expert at anything. We’re only looking for good jumping off points. Where COULD you start, to make it easier?
Take a while to do this. Fill up a few pages. Narrow down your options. Match those options to niches that already exist on the internet (finance etc…), and then from there, find out who would be willing to consume your content, and possibly how you could be paid to provide solutions to their problems, or provide what they desire.
Step 3: Spy on your Damsel in Distress
Ever heard the phrase “niche”?
Maybe you’ve even gone through a few free trainings from people running YouTube ads and they told you to “pick a niche”.
Well even though the phrase might be worn out, the process isn’t.
Picking a niche just means “figure out who you’re helping”. I say helping because that’s precisely what it is. There are people out there who need solutions to their problems. They need guidance on how to achieve the results they want in life.
Your business is the help they need, and you get paid to help them. Simple as that.
You know how screen writers for TV shows create characters? You’ll want to do that.
- Literally draw a stick figure
- Give it a name
- Describe it’s plight (it’s desires, goals, dreams,)
- What keeps this person from getting there?
- What are there other interests in life?
- How do they consume content? (you vids before bed? Or blogs over coffee at lunch time?)
- What is their journey? What steps do they take to get from where they’re at to where they desire to be?
Step 4: Locate your Fortress of Solitude!
You might think that a website is necessary, and it certainly helps, but that’s not the only way to have an online business.
Think about promotion, how will you alert others when you have something to sell, or something to say?
- How will you communicate with them?
- Where will you be posting your free content and advice?
- Are you making videos? (websites aren’t the best for that)
- Are you publishing written content? (instagram isn’t the best for that)
- Are offering packaged knowledge? Or are you selling services based on your knowledge?
After you’ve found your niche, and created your niche person, understand how you will help them, and decide what platforms are best for that.
Platforms include: social media, websites, podcasts, email lists, etc…
Take this quiz and find out what your ideal online business is. This quiz takes 30 seconds, is free, and figures out your unique personality type, the type of work you enjoy doing and formulates an idea for your ideal online business to start. (most important of the steps to start an online business!)
Step 5: Start to lay the groundwork for a crime free metropolis!
Now that you’ve chosen your platform (by platform I mean what kind of online business and where) it’s time for you to start publishing content.
IF you think about this in terms of “sales funnels” this content is the free sample – like stuff that you publish for others.
It’s free advice, that DOES offer significant aid to them, while also wetting their appetite for a more intense relationship with you (in the form of you helping them solve their problems or reach their goals, and them paying you for it).
As a blogger, I use tools to find out which keywords are being searched in google, and at what volumes. Then I publish blog posts about that. When people search for those terms, my post comes up, and they read it.
You can use similar methods, depending on the type of online business.
- Do keyword research to see what people are searching for on google
- Outline your niche person’s journey from sad face to a happy face. Then create free content (posts, guides, videos) based on their first step.
Step 6: Understand the daily plight of your citizens!
- Take a piece of paper and fold it long ways.
- Draw a frown on the left side.
- Draw a smile on the right side.
- Now connect them both with a line.
The frown represents the people who will benefit from your online business in their current state.
- They’re frustrated
The smile represents them in their future, after they’ve come into contact with you and your business, received your help, and solved their frustrations/achieved their goals.
Make a list of everything that makes them frown, and list everything that would make them smile.
- Why are your people frustrated? Do they have mindset issues? Is something in their life difficult? What is a pain in their ass?
- Now, list everything that would improve their situation. What needs to be solved? What needs to be achieved? Do they need help with something? Do they need more time?
Step 7: Start to deliver medicine to them
Outline (from beginning to end) every step that’s required for them to get from frown to smile.
Maybe you’re a mindset coach, and you offer services to help others beat fears of starting their own online business.
- Your free thing might be “7 things that are REALLY holding your business back…and their all in your mind”
- Their next step could be an exercise you created to isolate fears holding them back and conquer them ($7)
- After that, maybe they need to replace those fears and limiting beliefs with powerful ones, so you have a one-on-one coaching session with them that lasts an hour, you accomplish this with them and they offer you $100 in return.
Think of all the steps there are. You want to fill in each space with products and services you can offer them to improve their situation.
Step 8: Add the right tools to your tactical belt!
A master craftsman is nothing without the chizel. There are tools on the internet that will make everything smooth sailing for you.
Then, there is the hard way, which requires more time, energy, and life from you than necessary.
This one is pretty simple, but often overlooked.
If you’re a blogger, google search “best blogging tools”.
The same for any business you think of starting.
You’re probably wondering how to choose what online business you’ start and how. Check out this article I wrote on the best online business you can start right now.