There's a huge attraction to starting a digital business and making money online. I get it too.
There's a very low barrier when it comes to starting a business on the internet, IE no significant start up costs (you aren't paying for a facility, staff, and the like), as all you really need is a computer, an internet connection, and a few select programmes to get you started.
All in you could make things work for a couple hundred quid or less when you first start out.
The problem is most people who go down this road don't take into consideration two fundamental principles - audience and product demand.
Let me explain.
If you were to go and start yourself a pizza place, you'd have a number of things to contend with before you even think about launching.
Is there a demand for pizza in the area?
Is there much competition?
Is there something unique about YOUR pizza business?
Who's gonna be your number one customer? (marketing to over 80's is a shite sight different than marketing to millenials)
The point I'm trying to make here is many people seem to look at an online business in a completely different light, when in fact there's absolutely no difference.
These people forget to lay the groundwork for success, and instead barge in crash bang whallop, trying to flog their wares to people who've neither the need nor the desire for what they're selling.
You can't simply jump right in and start marketing a programme, product or service without intimately knowing your market inside and out.
Treat It Just Like a Fully Functioning Brick n' Mortar Business and Create a Business Plan
Thankfully creating a business plan really isn't that difficult.
You needn't be worrying and fretting about coming up with financial projections for the next 10 years, where you're gonna get financing from, sourcing suppliers, or any of that stuff.
Yes, if you've created a product yourself and you're trying to get backing from some silicon valley millionaire, then you're gonna need a solid business plan that's been scrutinised by professionals.
In your case however, you only need to start with two things:
1. Get clear on your ideal audience
2. Research whether there's a need for your product or service
Lets start with the first one.
Creating a Customer Avatar
As I mentioned earlier, you need to intimately understand your audience and their problems before you start creating any kind of marketing campaign. To do this you need to create a customer avatar... and no, I'm not talking about those gangly blue creatures from that James Cameron movie.
Your avatar comprises everything about the person you're gonna sell to, and makes up their personality traits, lifestyle emotions, and their problems.
Now there's so many ways you can do this, I've decided to make it easy for you. Below there's a direct link to a customer avatar sheet, created by the good guys at Digital Marketer HQ that you can fill out. There's no sign up required so just click and it'll be there.
Once you've filled this out, you'll literally have the foundations for every single marketing campaign you'll run for your business. Pretty cool eh?
Now having completed your avatar you'll already have a good idea of whether there's a market for what you're selling. But your work's not done yet.
The next stage is to go out on the big ol' tinternet and do some scouting.
What're you looking for?
The simplest way I know to determine a) whether there's a market, and b) what sort of marketing works, is to get out there and spy on your competition.
Now there's different tools you can use out there, but my preffered method is simply conducting a search on Google, using some of the search terms I believe people would use to search for the sort of thing I sell.
For example, if I sold webinar software I would presume people might enter "webinar software platforms" into google.
The beauty is every time you enter something into Google, predictive text shows you what other terms people have been searching for, which relate to your particular search term.
It looks something like this:
The beauty is this gives you an insight into the sort of terms you can use in your pay per click advertising, but it also let's you spy on the competitions ads.
If you're seeing other businesses paying for advertising using these search terms, then there's a pretty good chance they're making money from them.
If you're serious about building a business online, that's great, but it's gonna take more than sheer determination and pigheadedness. You have to think smart and treat it as if you were setting up a brick n' mortar biz.
Again, the two principles you have to get nailed before anything else:
1. Knowing your audience and their pain points
2. Getting clear on what's working already, and verifying your business idea in the marketplace
It's all pretty simple stuff, but I know all too well it's not always easy.
So if you'd prefer to have your hand held through the whole process of starting and growing your business, without wasting time, money, and quite frankly your sanity, you can get Free access to the Six Figure Mentors online business start up bundle.
Just click on the banner below to kick things off.
In the meantime though, keep smashing it and remember, you're just one great idea away.