Create a killer course experience: With your course validated and in the works, you need to figure out how people will take it. Most course creators choose to host their courses from their own websites. This way, they get all the value of bringing customers back to their site on a regular basis. I host my own courses from a subdomain on my own site so I can easily add more. The course experience is incredibly important as well. And after trying most of the solutions, I highly recommend Teachable—an online platform designed specifically for courses.
Navid is the world’s leading expert on producing profitable virtual summits. His media coverage includes Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and much more. His mission is to show entrepreneurs what's really working to build a profitable online business. Find out more about his courses, summits, and expertise on his website. For now, here's his business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
The Moz Blog is a beautiful collection of information written by SEO and online marketing experts (also known as wizards). If you’re stuck on a project, their site has the ability to filter through over 30 niche categories. You might know Moz because of their infamous MozBar (if you don’t, you’re welcome). MozBar is a free SEO toolbar that provides a collection of SEO related data from virtually any website. Peruse through their site to check out all of their invaluable resources!
If you're at all interested in starting your own online business, there's no time like the present. We live in a golden age of wealth. As much as the media tries to glorify the perils of our society, we actually live in a time that's ripe with opportunity and the potential for monumental business growth at a scale never before experienced. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, the amount of commerce being conducted online has experienced explosive growth.
Jon is the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over. He’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose and Staples. Now, he speaks to hundreds of thousands of people annually and reaches over 4 million readers on his blogs. Here's his business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business:
Digital marketing is defined by the use of numerous digital tactics and channels to connect with customers where they spend much of their time: online. From the website itself to a business's online branding assets -- digital advertising, email marketing, online brochures, and beyond -- there's a spectrum of tactics that fall under the umbrella of "digital marketing."
As a digital marketer, your focus will be on digital marketing strategies to get success. This blog thinks the opposite. It enables to think out of the box. Instead of following some basic rules of digital marketing, it will inspire you to think some other ways to connect to your customers. In brief, it will enable you to motivate offline customers. The blog does not cover general tips, practices, and strategies. Instead, it helps to find a different angle for marketing.
Silas and his wife Grace are the voices behind the wildly popular lifestyle, travel and personal finance blog, Chasing Foxes where they teach thousands of monthly readers how to live their best lives. Check out how they recently made over $3,000 in a month working from home. Here's the business advice Silas has to share with first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own:
Once you’ve enticed people onto your email list and warmed them up with great content, you can automate the entire process. Subscribers should receive a welcome email, a multi-message onboarding sequence, and an occasional “newsletter.” Every now and then, as circumstances warrant, you can drop in a powerful offer that they’ll already be inclined to go for.
Event planning is a bit like wedding planning, just on steroids. The scope of this idea is so large that it includes everything from cheesy stag and hen do parties to sophisticated product launches. Again, the entry barriers are rather low, but a flush work portfolio and a few glowing testimonials are something you need to consider to get a good head start in this field.
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
Running a business consulting company is a great option for those who’ve been involved in the process of building a business before. Whether you’ve gained your experience through working with a number of different startups or learned the secrets of business management in a more corporate environment, helping other entrepreneurs achieve great results can include everything from business planning and forecasting to liaising with banks and institutions.
Online marketing can be risky yet it's worth your time and investments in order to make your business a success. Whether you own a small business or a large corporate project, you shouldn't ignore using online digital marketing. Creating a perfect mix of offline and online marketing techniques will multiply the chances that your brand becomes more noticeable and profitable. Are there any other online marketing tips that are worth a mention? Spease speak up in comments.
Instead, you’ll be following a proven strategy for maximizing views of multiple videos on a regular basis. You’ll be creating useful content…something engaging that people want to watch. And it works in many, many different niches. It could be a how-to video, a talking-head video on a topic of interest to people interested in your niche...the sky is the limit.
Now you’ve got many different options to start earning online. If you saw something that really interests you, try it out and learn more about it. If you’re really wanting to make a full-time income online, you need to be dedicated to learning how to do what you want to do. There are tons of free resources out there. You just have to search for them!
Now, here's an online business model that has unfortunately become the butt of far too many jokes. This is because a certain segment of society (that’s you, hipster!) went around loudly telling anyone willing to listen that they were full-time bloggers. The net result of all this misplaced enthusiasm is that if you tell any of your friends or family you're going to start a blogging business, they'll wrinkle their collective noses at you, while coughing politely.
Kit Needham: We start almost every one of our startups doing customer discovery interviews (the right way; they are not allowed to talk about their idea). Our recommended minimum is 100 stakeholders. If done correctly, pivots take place before the product/service is even developed, there is more confidence of market-market fit, knowledge of how well current solutions are working, priority of what is most important to the customers, etc. In short, they are solving the right problem, and then they go back and ensure they are solving it the right way.
Instead, you can get paid by companies to leave positive reviews and highlight products on your blog, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or other social channels. The higher your profile, the more of an impact your brand recommendation will make… And the more you’ll make with product placement. So long as your fans aren’t turned off by this advertising, affiliate marketing is one way to have your cake and eat it, too.
Author, speaker, and the founder of Quiet Power Strategy®. Tara works with business owners to help them transition into more profitable business models, more compelling messaging, and more influence. She's featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc, and DailyWorth for the work she's done on TaraGentile.com. Here's Tara's take on the biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make when they want to start a business:
For example, to implement PPC using Google AdWords, you'll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google's search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it's a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.
The number of websites and blogs operating online demand a constant stream of high-quality, beautiful photographs that can help businesses attract and convert more customers. If you are a photographer who likes to try new things, supplying professional photos to businesses in this capacity can be a the most popular business idea for you. You can scale easily by setting up a stock photo library. This is a great business idea as it targets virtually every industry regardless of a company’s size. Check out sites like SmugMug, Photoshelter and iStockPhoto for more information.
The ultimate goal of digital marketing is to make your business more money. One of the most powerful tools marketers now use to achieve that is marketing personalization. The Monetate blog focuses on topics related to using marketing personalization to increase profits, including the technology you need to accomplish one-to-one marketing, tips for testing and general ecommerce trends.
Crypto currency trading is the next big thing in finance. The value of crypto has shot up in recent months with Bitcoin reaching over $18k for just one Bitcoin! You too can get a piece of the action by purchasing crypto currency from one of the bitcoin / crypto exchanges and waiting for the value to increase. I would recommend you do your research before you dive in, and don’t forget to only invest what you can afford to lose.
Sujan is a growth marketer and co-founder of the content marketing agency, Web Profits. He also runs MailShake, Narrow.io and jumps out of airplanes in his free time—but seriously, Sujan has some impressive marketing skills and he (unknowingly) taught me much of what I've learned about how to drive traffic to my website. Here's his best business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business today:
My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.
If you’re handy or creative, you could craft your products and sell them on sites like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay, straight out of your home. The biggest challenge would be getting discovered, depending on your niche and how viral your products are. But thankfully, there’s tons of advice out there, from pricing your work properly to taking the best photography possible.
"Instead of praying an audience (or customers) will find you, get in front of people in your space. Start a blog, podcast or create video content. Take advantage of social media. Attend in-person events. One way to make "putting yourself out there" easier is by making an effort to help others. (Sounds counterintuitive, I know!) On the individual level, maybe it's by making an introduction. For a larger audience, perhaps it's by writing an actionable blog post. However, by being helpful you'll make a lasting impression."
25. Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.
There are thousands of clues and even direct blueprints to how to make money if you know where to look. Find a successful company that is creating products or services that you are interested in and figure out HOW they are doing it. I use a process called reverse engineering to isolate two important factors: Their traffic and monetization. Where are they getting people to see their products? How are they converting them into buyers? If you can answer these two questions with a systematic approach, you can start to build a business around it immediately.
As a bookkeeper, you are responsible for keeping track of the company’s spending to ensure that business’ financial accounts are in good order. In practice this means processing invoices, receipts and payments, completing VAT returns, identifying expenses on bank statements, repairing cash flow statements, helping to prepare financial statements and producing management accounts. Some of the most popular accounting software programmes are Sole Trader, Xero or Quickbooks.
Why? Let's take a look at the numbers for a moment. Consider this: according to a report by eMarketer, digital ad spending in the U.S. will exceed traditional ad spending for the first time this year. By 2023, digital will surpass two-thirds of total media spending. Total digital ad spending in the U.S. will grow 19% to $129.34 billion this year -- 54.2% of estimated total U.S. ad spending.
Take good pictures. Some of the options below don’t require you to actually take the picture and sell the product, but for the ones that do, make sure you take a clear picture that makes your product stand out from the others. If you’re going to be taking a lot of pictures, set up a small “studio-like” area in your home with a backdrop and proper lighting to really make your pictures come across as professional. And of course, you’ll want a good camera too.
As an affiliate marketer, you are earning commission from selling someone else’s products. You might need to make an initial investment and buy a basic portfolio and marketing materials that you then resell. However, that does not always have to be the case as there are companies which will provide you with products free of charge, and only take a part of the profit. One of the most popular sites for affiliate marketers nowadays is Clickbank. Other well-known sites include Amway and Amazon Associates.
22. Get Positive Reviews – What people say in reviews matters to consumers. In fact, one study determined that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation. And as these reviews are visible in search results, having positive reviews with high rankings can help persuade interested consumers to give your business a chance.
Cafe Press: This website allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on the platform. You'll earn a commission for everything that sells and you'll never have to deal with logistics like printing, warehousing and customer service. If you have some graphic design skills, then this is a great potential source for your web-based income.
Hiring the wrong people is one of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs. You need to bring on employees who have the relevant background and experience. They need to fit into the company culture you are trying to build. They need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in startups often have to function in multiple roles. You must do thorough reference checks on them. Make sure your offer letter says they are “at will” employees and can be terminated at any time. Don’t forget the old quote: “Hire slowly. Fire quickly.”
Those engaging with your company online via mobile devices need to have the same positive experience as they would on desktop. This means implementing a mobile-friendly or responsive website design to make browsing user-friendly for those on mobile devices. It might also mean reducing the length of your lead generation forms to create a hassle-free experience for people downloading your content on-the-go. As for your social media images, it's important to always have a mobile user in mind when creating them as image dimensions are smaller on mobile devices, meaning text can be cut-off.
Even if every single class I’ve ever taken applied to entrepreneurship, which I can assure you is not the case, it’s hard to take what we learn in a classroom and apply it to the world around us. I learned more in my first week of trying to come up with a business idea than I did in at least half of the classes that I took throughout my high school career – for many young people this is the case.
Your product or service has to be at least good, if not great, to start out with. It has to be differentiated in some meaningful and important way from your competitors’ offerings. All else follows from this principle. Don’t dawdle on getting your product out to the market, as early customer feedback is one of the best ways to help improve it. As Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn, said: “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
"Finally, another crucial mistake I learned from a previous blog I ran is to get REALLY clear on who you're speaking to and what you're speaking about before you get started. If you try speaking to everyone, you'll end up speaking to no one. And don't be afraid of being too niche. If you're 1 in a million, there's still 7000 other people just like you in the world."
Throughout your customer journey, there are bound to be moments when timely intervention on your part makes the difference between a sale and a “let me think about it.” Make sure that your marketing supports sales in finding these moments – whether it means sending automated follow-up emails to prospects that leave the road or designing new offers.
29. Videos – This could be an entire section on it’s own. Many people have made money by creating YouTube videos. Evan of EvanTube is a kid and he has made millions by creating reviews of products that other kids his age would use. It’s not easy to get views into the millions, but once you do, you’ll start seeing some cash come in. Many bloggers have completely turned to videos to get their point across by starting a video blog.
Tutor students. Many families prefer the flexibility of using an online tutor. Depending on your background, you could be simply helping a child with homework or providing college-level support. You need to have your own computer and high speed internet. Experience required differs among companies. Some require “strong experience,” while others require a specific educational background. However, most companies do require a college degree.
The first type of education to consider is something directly related to your field. If you are looking opening an auto shop, you will obviously need some education and certifications related to car repair. If you are thinking about being a self-employed electrician, you will need the latest education and training with wiring and circuitry. If you want to run a restaurant, training in food service will be useful. Pretty obvious, right?
High-ticket consulting or coaching: You could sell your own high-ticket consulting or coaching products from your website. You'll still need a website, merchant account, sales funnel, lead magnet and many other items. But you can easily earn a substantial amount of money from each individual customer, making it well worth the arduous setup required.
Aim to offer something unique under the hood, something that is not being offered by the existing players, something that covers the gaps in the existing system, something that people want but are not quite yet getting from the existing players. This uniqueness will provide you the edge and attention you need to be successful. Study your domain well, study your competition and then devise a competitive strategy.
A pop-up on your website allows you to collect information such as email addresses, from people who visit your site. You can also use a popup to offer a coupon code or discount to first time customers to further entice them to continue to your site or buy your product or service. Combine them for the ultimate popup: A coupon in exchange for an email address. Popups are so helpful because once you create them, they do all the work for you.
Arianna is a co-founder of The Huffington Post, author of the recent New York Times best-seller The Sleep Revolution and recently stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post to pursue her new wellness startup, Thrive Global, which will offer wellness trainings and workshops on stress reduction. Here's her business advice for entrepreneurs who want to start a business for the first time:
From an institutional perspective, it's worth noting that most universities don't break even on their tech transfer operations. Patent prosecution and skilled staff are expensive and difficult to justify solely on the basis of economic return. It can be very difficult to determine which technologies are worth pursuing at the early stage at which they are disclosed in a university environment (WAY before VCs make their decisions, with typically a 1 in 10 hit rate for big returns), but even so, many investments need to be made with low hit rates for a financially successful outcomes. Less than 1 percent of university inventions generate more than $100k in licensing revenues (per analysis done at Stanford).
A few years after founding Fit Brains, it was acquired by Rosetta Stone. In the process, I learned a lot about working with a large, corporate business. When Rosetta Stone approached me, they had a larger vision of how Rosetta Stone’s products and Fit Brains could join forces, and I knew it was a positive move for Fit Brains. I was lucky—the timing was right. However, you never know if the acquisition will go through right up until the end—so many things can pop up and derail the whole deal. Proceed with caution, and always have a plan to put in place for how to move forward should the deal fall through.
In order to target local consumers, make sure that your company details are available and updated in Google maps. It would be nice to have several customer reviews with high ratings there. Also think about publishing more local information on your blog (e.g. news and gossips, hotel or restaurant reviews) or just include geo-specific content everywhere, so that people in a certain geographic area could see it first. That's one of the top Internet marketing tips for beginners. Go local in order to make your online marketing for small businesses to deliver fruitful results.
With affiliate marketing, you offer the products for sale, for example, on your blog or e-commerce website. Each product has a unique link that tracks back to your account with your affiliate partner. A prospect who clicks on the link is taken to your partner’s shopping cart for checkout. Once they buy, that purchase is recorded and you receive a commission. It varies depending on the affiliate partner, but is generally 5 percent to 25 percent, or 50 percent or more with digital information products.
"To prevent disasters like this, I recommend taking a 50% upfront payment before you even start, then taking the final 50% before any final files are provided. Any client not willing to work this way is unlikely to ever pay and should be avoided. I also strongly advise freelancers to have a written freelance contract, signed by the client, detailing what’s been agreed upon and what will happen in various different circumstances. This will give you ammo should your client be unreasonable, and will also add a level of professionalism and credibility to your service."