It has been 7 days since I started my 30-day online business challenge. I have been dedicated to working hard on this concept and cutting through all the empty promises that are out there. I never expected a quick fix or easy buck, but there are many people out there promising just that.
The amount of free giveaways or insider secrets that are touted as life-changing or previously unheard of knowledge is astronomical. A lot of the stuff out there (not all of it) promise you much but deliver little, and then ask you to buy more.
That seems to be the way much of the online market is operating. Does this actually work though?
Here of some of the things I have learned this week.
- It takes a lot of time
- Unless you very proficient at using computers, it is not all “drag & drop”
- People selling the “course/program” are often more focussed on collecting money than adding value
- Lots of people are trying the exact same thing
- Sales tactics are a dime a dozen, and some are very good, but that is not always a reflection on the content
- It really does take a lot of time
If you are planning to do this in your spare time, then you need to be willing to work early into the morning and late at night to fit it around the normal 9 – 5 routine. In the past 7 days, Tania and I have spent at least 30 hours on getting this going. Initially, I said that I would only spend 2 hours a day on the project, however, due to the 30-day time constraint that we had set, I decided to fast-track the first stage. We have worked until 11 pm and got going again at 5 am on days to pull this off. If you are thinking of starting an online business just be aware that it does take a considerable amount of time.
- You need a certain degree of computer knowledge beyond basic word and excel. There are some really wonderful programs out there that walk you through things step by step, but even so, you need to have an open mind and be a fast learner. Building the back end of your business is crucial to your success and you must get the set up correct. It is not impossible, but it is not the same as updating your Facebook feed.
- Let the buyer beware. Many of the courses recommend selling coaching. They will give you a free 23 Step guide to becoming a Life Coach or Nutrition Coach. My Executive Coaching course took months of hard work, weekly lectures, study guides, lots of required reading and practical coaching as a coach and a student. I have yet to meet or engage with any proficient coach that is willing to “teach” the trade let alone write a short guide on how to do so. If this is the material that you are going to try and sell or buy, then proceed with caution. Ask yourself why you are getting into the online game in the first place. Are you looking to add value to people or just try to collect their money?
- The internet is full of people that all have hopes and dreams of becoming millionaires. I have been following groups and forums for the past week and a lot of the chat between members revolves around how to grow their customer base and how to “hook” more people into their system. Everyone seems to be competing for the same client base. Yes, there are as many ideas as there are people, but the market is flooded with online businesses that will fix, cure or solve anything. If you going to play in this field, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from the rest. Therein lies the challenge.
- Beware of “falling” for the smooth-talking salesman. Some of the material out there is so well written that by the end of reading the first page you cannot help but wonder how on earth you have survived so long without the very product that they are trying to sell. Since looking for tools to help me fast track this challenge of mine I have come across some wonderful sales pitches. These guys are good. In fact I have even downloaded some of the free stuff. Most of the time the free stuff is not worthwhile and I end up spending a lot of time reading through things that are not aligned with what I am trying to achieve. Don’t fall into that trap. If you promising a 6 figure income, then be sure that you have tested the method and succeeded yourself. If you are promising that, then please get hold of me, I would love to know how you get it right.
So, my first week was tough. It was frustrating at times, but at the same time, as I do with everything I set my mind to, I went in 100% committed and Tania and I had fun. When we went live with our idea this morning just before 8am there was a feeling of accomplishment and relief. We could relax for a while and take pride in our work.
Would I recommend an online business to anyone? Absolutely. The journey so far has been one of learning, growing together as a couple, and finding ways to make a difference in other peoples lives. It is what Tania and I do. There are so many wonderful ideas out there and the opportunities are endless. I have spoken to people that really do make a living from their online business and I have come across some people that “know the formula”.
For us, this is about the research into the whole idea and to see if the “average” person can pull off what many of these adverts profess. We have three weeks to go. Next step is to drive the sales side of things. With that, let me close off. Tonight I will trawl the internet in search of the best “sales strategy” or newest piece of “free software to drive thousands of customers my way”. Who knows what one might find out there on the world wide web?
And finally, our secret weapon that has been indispensable in getting this off the ground has been this free book; Expert Secrets by Russell Bruson.