It’s pretty often that we receive a call or an email from someone wanting to start a new online business. And what are the first words we usually hear from these entrepreneurs? It starts off like this:
I’ve built up all this knowledge over the years now is the time to put it to use and start something online.
Have you been thinking of starting something online? In this post, we write about what you can expect when starting your own online business. We’ll look at your life experience, brand identity and how to build on yours. This should take about 3 minutes to read.
Translate your Knowledge to content
Have you’ve been running your own business? Maybe a brick and mortar location, home-based, or maybe you’re a professional working for a large corporation. Whichever it is, if you’ve been doing it for a while you’ve most likely gained a good amount of knowledge in your field or profession. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase- knowledge is power, but what good is the knowledge if it stays in your head? I’d rather you think, knowledge is power when you share what you know. F’rinstance as in blog content, video, or social media. This accumulated knowledge will also help with running your new business.
People consume content usually to help solve problems that they may have. Or, they’re interested in the product or service details that you offer. They’re looking for answers to their questions- if your content offers solutions or answers to their problems then there may be a good chance that the reader will interact with you, ask for an opinion, come back to read more etc. It might help you to read a past blog post on Editing, Publishing, and writing tools for WordPress.
People don’t care much about the specs on a hand drill- they just want the 4″ hole that the drill makes.
To be an online success yourself selling a product or service you need to provide the help, you need to provide answers to those burning questions, (the 4″ hole) that people may have. A blog on your website is where this knowledge base lives. It can be text, produced as a video or an audio file it really doesn’t matter that much. People will perceive you as credible, knowledgeable and as a valued resource when you offer content that is relative.
Can you think of a better feeling than getting paid for what you’ve learned over the years while helping someone else achieve their dreams, making it on their own? In a recent blog post, I talked about starting your own thing. In case you didn’t see it here is a refresher.
Can you make it big online? I’ve seen some people make a good amount of money online, but like anything else, it takes work, planning, persistence, and dedication. The point is you really do need an online presence like a website and social media accounts if you want to be found. Especially if you’re starting a new venture.
Plan your move to online carefully
I refer to this as “yin-yang” of starting your own thing. So the “Yin” may be the independence you feel from staring your own business and the “Yang” may be the pressure of not earning what you did from your previous job- at least not yet. It’s not a good move to take the jump too early, to leave the security of your current job or business without knowing a few things. Maybe you’re thinking, that experiencing a little pressure might be a good and that it will drive me to focus. Perhaps, but it could also drive you to the hospital. It’s really not normal to jump from a 15 or 20-year career position to running your own show on the next Monday! Not unless you’ve planned this transition well in advance, and done some serious research.
Setup your team before setting up your business. I realized the value of having a good accountant and lawyer when I started out. Then I hired marketing specialists in other areas to get me jump started. Starting your new adventure too early without having a support team in place can cost you. When constructing an online business you need to ask yourself a few questions.
- Will my new business need an e-commerce solution?
- Will I need 3rd party software to integrate with my website for whatever it is that I’m doing?
- Will I need an email program?
- How will I generate content for the website, will it fall on me or others?
- Will I need video equipment or photography for product shots?
- Will I need to adhere to compliance laws?
- Will I be doing online promotions, like Adwords, a Facebook campaign, or working with a marketing person?
Building your brand online
How to identify yourself as a brand
- Repetition- Once you identify what you want to do, (your brand promise), you then need to be ruthlessly consistent with your message. On all the social channels, blogs, website right down to the business card etc. If you’re a collections guy, investment guy, or WordPress trainer guy… your clients should know this about you. He or she should have been exposed to a consistent message over the time that they have known you. Be very careful when adding other verticles, i.e. (products or services), that might not fit in with your brand, it can get confusing.
- Persistence- Get your brand out there via blogging, social media posting, video, and newsletters. I have clients who consistently post on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin etc. This exactly why I remember him. In addition link out to other sites from your blog posts. Rand Fishkin, MOZ explains in this post why it’s good to link to others from your website.
- Practice tolerance- Nothing happens overnight, well almost nothing. Building a brand takes time, of course, the more you focus and do things right the less time it will take. Big brands take years to build, think of any car company, computer brand or software company. They continue to reinforce their message even after years in business.
- Keep learning- It’s so easy to get information today on nearly anything, just Google it or go on YouTube you’ll find someone explaining how it’s done. This is precisely why a potential client would call on you? Because they don’t have the time or don’t care to research. This is especially true if your business is service based.
The focus is critical when attempting to run your own business.
1. Keep living your life while your starting or running your business. In America, we tend to define ourselves by what we do so that it becomes who we are. So I’m Marge the pet care women, or Tom the carpet cleaning guy. Your work takes on your identity. Whereas we should be saying, I’m Marge I married and have 2 children, I love to read and work in different service organizations and ride my bike.
2. Fear, what was it that Franklin K. Roosevelt said? So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And he goes on to define it… nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes. How true this is, how many times have you feared something in your life that you found paralyzing in that you just couldn’t make an intelligent decision? So you must put things in perspective.
3. Debt, don’t go crazy, start off slowly with only the bare essentials. You can add on later as you become profitable.
4. Failure, I love what Morpheus said in the Matrix, don’t think you can, know you can! It’s a mindset, thoughts become things, so keep positive thoughts
5. It’s never too late to start something. Most adults over age 50 feel at least 10 years younger than their actual age. In a New York Times article, there was a survey taken in 2005. One-third of those between 65 and 74 said they felt 10 to 19 years younger, and one-sixth of people 75 and older said they felt 20 years younger. Whatever your age it’s never too old to start thinking about starting a small business, whether by yourself as a consultant or with a team.
If you’ve read this blog post through to the end the chances are your interested in starting your own thing, which is good.
Thinking of starting something? let’s talk.
Hope you enjoyed reading our blog as much as we did writing it. Until the next time keep at it, and don’t give up!