I never dreamed of being an entrepreneur.
I don’t have stories of running a lemonade stand or selling crafty products to friends.
When I graduated college, I was excited to become an elementary school teacher.
It wasn’t until years later when I started working at a traditional “corporate” job that I began feeling that there was something more and that I should spend my time and energy pursuing my own goals and dreams (not someone else’s).
That’s when I started diving into the idea of starting a business online.
Now, before Teach Good Stuff, though, I tried a WHOLE LOTTA ideas. I tried my hand at:
- health and fitness
- personal organization
- hair care
- professional speaking
- food and wine
Yeah..I was a jackie of all trades, but a master at none.
I finally, after much trial and error, started Teach Good Stuff.
Teaching was my passion and what I knew a lot about. So, I set off to create a business that helped women business owners package up their expertise into e-courses and digital products that made a difference in people’s lives.
People are scouring the inter webs for all types of information. And, if it’s information that you have, then you have the foundation of starting an online biz.
What goes into the business of starting an online business?
I’ve spent a whole bunch of time and energy (and still am) learning what it takes to grow and build a business.
So…Here are my 7 tips on how to create an online business from what you know:
1. Define Your Version of Success
As you scour the internet, looking for inspiration, don’t get hooked into the idea that you have to have a certain type of business. When I first started out, I got caught up in looking at what others had. I figured I should do and have the same thing as them.
Big Mistake. I felt as though the business I was building was an exact copy of the 9 to 5 that I left. (No bueno!)
Defining your idea of success requires that you back away from the computer (maybe after reading and commenting on this post 😉 and getting in touch with WHY you want to start a business and what you want your life to look like.
2. Get Your Mind Right
Dude..(yes.I usually say that when I’m making a really big point), when I started creating my business, I thought it would be all about business learning. Never did I realize that I’d go on this personal development journey as well.
Since I’ve started my business, I’ve improved my spiritual and prayer life, built my confidence, and have personally grown. The biggest battle I’ve had to fight was with myself.
So, as you build your business think about how you’ll grow yourself. Will you have a morning routine? Spiritual practice? Read motivational books? Whatever it is, make time to add it to your day!
3. Make Time For Your Biz
You totally know that I’m all about productivity and managing your time. I’m all about setting priorities and creating a weekly schedule that incorporates those priorities.
When I started my business, I worked full-time and still made time for my biz by waking up super duper early (I’m totally not a morning person), going to the coffee shop during my lunch break, working before getting home, and saying NO to some of the things I used to say YES to. You have to prioritize your business if you want to make it work.
4. Let’s Chat About the Website
If you’re starting an online business, the website is super duper important. A website is like your virtual billboard, proclaiming yourself to potential clients or customers.
It’s a marketing tool that shows you know what you’re talking about and spotlighting the services you have. It’s also a fantastic way to grow a relationship with your readers!
Some of the most important pages to have are the: About, Contact, Services, and Blog (if that’s your thing).
It’s pretty easy peasy these days to whip up a nice looking website with WordPress. But, the best advice I can offer you is to stop tinkering. Yes..I said it. Stop it. Right now. You’ll always and forever find something you can change: the colors, the header, the fonts, etc. But, honestly, your header won’t make your business. Having products will.
I spent an entire 9 months tinkering with my site before I sold my first product! 🙁 So, hands off chica.
5. Create Kick-Butt Content For Your Readers and Potential Customers
Content is the cornerstone of an online business. It allows your potential customers to get to know you and what you can provide. Creating content, though, is also about being of service to your readers.
There are many types of content to create: videos, blog posts, kick-butt freebies, webinars/workshops, printables, etc.
If you’re struggling for content ideas, a great place to start is get in touch with your readers or potential customers. You can either send a survey, provide a question in your welcome email, or engage with people in Facebook.
Keep a running list of problems, suggestions, struggles, and other brilliant ideas to use for your kick-booty content.
6. Build That Email List
Having an email list gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with your readers and potential customers. When you send an email list you continue to build that relationship, show your expertise, and provide value.
To build an email list, start with an email provider such as Aweber or Mailchimp. Then begin to promote yourself:
- Create and promote a freebie that helps solve a specific problem for your readers. I’ve created the 5 Essential Elements of a Course, which helps walk people through the most important pieces of a course. Create a free guide, pdf, training, or download that helps people solve a problem and gives them a taste of working with and/or buying from you.
- Actively market yourself and business through Social Media (how about promoting that freebie), holding webinars (provide massive value and info), Facebook Ads, and promoting your blog posts.
- Reach out to individuals. Send an email to family and friends letting them know about your business, what you have to offer, and how they can stay in touch with you. (Don’t forget to share your freebie! 😉
7. Create a Product or Service
Now, we’ve come to what makes a business a business: generating income. There are many ways to get moola for your ideas. Here are a few ideas (that I use) to get you started:
- Coaching services. Coaching gives you an opportunity to work one-on-one with clients and really make an impact. I really love helping women organize and outline their online courses with my E-Course Action Plan and Create That Course services.
- Digital Products. If you’re looking to create passive income (what people call, making money while you sleep) then you can create ebooks, e-courses, and other digital content. This gives you the opportunity to service more people at one time.
- Consulting/Review Services: Sometimes people just need a wee bit of handholding or review of their work. So, whether you’re a designer, photographer, or like me, providing course help, there may be market to provide consulting and review services.
- Affiliate Links. If you love and use a specific software or product, becoming an affiliate allow you to share the product with your readers and get a little thank you money from the company for sharing the love.
Starting a business online is a rewarding experience – both personally and professionally. It also should be one that helps you live the lifestyle you dream of. But, at the end of the day..building a business is all about getting started, trying and tweaking different things, and getting out of your own way.
Oh..and if you’re curious about what online tools I use to actually run my business, check out this post: 34 Tools to Rock Your Business.
In the comments, let us know what is your online business? And, what are your business goals for the rest of the year?