Josh Kraus is a Chicago-born, Denver-based writer and mediocre autobiographist who likes to make things. When he's not writing, he attends to his t-shirt business, Bird Fur. Find him at joshkra.us and birdfurtees.com. As a freelance writer by trade, I asked Josh to tailor his success tip to freelancers specifically. Here's his best business advice for new freelancers:
"Thinking that ideas are more important than teams. I hear a lot of first-time entrepreneurs tell me 'I have a great idea for an app; I just need to find a technical co-founder to code it.' But successful startups iterate their original idea constantly based on market feedback. Sometimes they even radically pivot like Paypal or Slack. Only great teams can do that, so the execution is much more important than the original concept. And it’s easier to change the idea than it is to change the team."
Instead, you’ll have to research the SEO optimization of the sites you see on auction, predict which companies and industries will be looking out for new domains, and get creative with out-of-the-box names that you can buy for little but turn around easily. Plus, patience is a virtue: it can take months, or even years, to get the right price (or any price!) for some domains you’ve purchased.
Passion is a powerful thing. When dreaming up my last company, Fit Brains, I was driven by the desire to build a business that would have a strong social impact. Inspired by advancements in neuroscience and how brain training could help everyone from baby boomers and kids to people with concussions, I went all in and started a company that fused neuroscience and gamification. My team’s passion for helping people allowed us to navigate the peaks and valleys of establishing a successful product and company.
"Then, taking that first step is always the hardest. It's terrifying, but really, it’s about preparation. We all go through this process where you’ve got the business idea, you get that feeling in your stomach and you get all excited. Then you talk to a friend, and your friend says, ‘oh wow that’s pretty cool, I’ve never heard of anything like that. I’d buy that.’ And then you do the Google search.”
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.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
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.”
Formatting is used to make documents appear more professional and visually appealing for a reader. This task involves selecting an appropriate font for plain text (headings, subheadings paragraphs, etc.), choosing the colour of the font, dividing texts into paragraphs, bullet points or numbering, headers and footers, writing quotations in the right way and, if need be, adding bibliographic references.
15. Optimize Your Website for Local Search – If your law practice only handles cases in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then it doesn’t do much good to get it seen by consumers searching for legal consultations in Crawford County, New Hampshire. Make sure your business website includes local information, like a phone number, address, and geo-targeted keywords so that local consumers call you.
If you are a professional photographer or have a real flair for photography, then selling your images on other sites could be an idea. This could be done alongside your own photography site, as it is a good way to help get your work viewed by a wider audience. There are numerous stock image websites to contribute to, but choosing a popular high-end site like Shutterstock should ensure your photographs make you some money.
Once you have a thorough profile of your customer, determining how and where to reach them is much easier. This step may take awhile, and that’s OK. If you start marketing before you have a clear customer profile though, you will likely be wasting your dollars in places that will never reach your customer. Just because Pinterest is growing rapidly, doesn’t mean your audience is the one making it grow.
Online business ideas are endless and all-inclusive. Most office-based jobs can now be done online through freelancing or remote working. The beauty of technology means that profitable online businesses will keep growing and growing, making the world a truly global marketplace. If you are considering moving away from the traditional career path and want to start your own business, read through our list of business ideas a few times and contemplate the many ways you can start a successful online business today.
If you're at all scarcity-minded, it's important to understand how much abundance exists today. Considering that virtually every brick-and-mortar store has made the transition to an online business, there's certainly no shortage of competition. But there's also plenty of so-called blue ocean. While most might make it out to seem like Amazon is the only company reaping the benefits of the ecommerce boom here, the growth is widespread and across every single sector in business.
With Nielsen, you can make an easy $50 per year just to keep their app on your devices. The app collects anonymous usage statistics. It’s also low impact, so it won’t take up space or reduce the speed you get on your browsing device. You’ll earn $50 for the first year that you have the app installed. You don’t need to change your habits. You don’t need to write reports. Just download the app and earn!
The quote above was taken from a Search Engine Watch article by Raehsler titled 5 AdWords Optimization Checkpoints You May Be Missing. Negative keywords help ensure your message only appears to interested audiences, and this added level of control can increase click-through rate and decrease average cost-per-click. For example, if your company sells wall calendars, your negative keywords could be “Mayan” and “do it yourself.” This would keep your ads from appearing to anyone searching for “Mayan calendars” or “do it yourself calendars.”
The quote from above comes from his article, Turn Your Company Into a Content Empire by Using These 4 Steps. He says that if you choose a good platform but your audience isn’t there, you won’t reach them no matter how many resourceful articles and tips you post. By reverse engineering the demographic you’re aiming at, then evaluating the results, you can find out where your customers are and the best way to reach them. Vaynerchuk also reminds marketers to respect the platform and audience by understanding how the platform reaches people and considering what your audience wants to know, instead of what you want to say.
On-demand printing technology allows organizations to order print resources within their budget, as needed. This approach minimizes the waste of paper resources while allowing companies to update and send content to remote offices, stores, and satellite locations. Essentially, this service takes out the long wait time to receive the materials companies require for their businesses.
First-time business persons should not be shy in seeking guidance from those who have already tasted both failures and success in their own business. The principle behind this is simple, why should you aim to reinvent the wheel? There is no reason for you to hit the road first and then personally witness the ups and downs when you can learn about it from people who have already witnessed it. Seek guidance from experienced people; learn how they made it possible, how they missed it, and what they did to come out of it. The idea is to be prepared so that you can take appropriate actions without wasting time!
Online reviews rank in search engines, thus helping your business to rank higher as well. Online customers tend to choose those products and services that were reviewed by other buyers, which grows the reliability of your brand automatically. Reviews can also encourage the web users to take a specific action, like placing an order or checking out details about your offerings.
No matter whether you cater to B2B or B2C, one thing is a fact: Your prospects go online when they have problems to solve. Don’t be afraid to help them solve those problems ... in fact, get in the habit of providing significant value to prospects before making a cent. This builds the trust you need to position your business for later sales, especially if you have tough competition.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
Establish yourself as an authority in your niche and strive to be the best in it. You should always choose a niche topic that you’ll never grow tired of learning more about. With this online business opportunity, people create their YouTube channels and websites, conduct webinars, or write eBooks to share their expertise with others who may be willing to subscribe or even pay for what they have to offer.
Also known as Logo Geek, Ian designs logos and brand identities for startups and SMEs. He also has over 80,000 Twitter followers and runs a popular social media group where he creates valuable resources for designers. Here's his best business advice specifically for freelancers, and for more check out his episode on my podcast about how to become a freelance designer:
"Creating a company is hard work, most startups fail. The one characteristic you need above all others is resilience. You need to be relentless and work harder than the competition, and even then you will have tough times. It is for this reason I have always started companies with more than one founder. It means there is someone to share the load, to reflect and to support each other."
HubSpot – Listed 12 out of 20 times, Hubspot is known for starting the inbound marketing movement, and they are considered for giants in the marketing universe. It is a high-quality marketing blog filled with insights and tips and presents a great example of content that delivers value to its users and target customers alike. Hubspot has three blogs: marketing, sales, and agency— each targeted to a slightly different audience.
“A great brand starts with understanding who you are and what you stand for, understanding your marketplace, and understanding your positioning. What is the perception that you need to create in order to appeal to your target audience? The intersection of credibility, differentiation and uniqueness, and relevance is where you want to best position your brand.” – Re Perez
Mobile has transformed the way people browse the Web. Even Google has now made mobile #1 in its indexing. If your site still isn’t friendly to mobile users, odds are good your brand is quickly vanishing from the Web – at least where the Big G is concerned. It’s time to take a close look at your design and make sure your site renders beautifully when viewed on Android, iPhone, and the rest.
If can't afford to buy a website there are just as many opportunities in buying and selling domain names. The people who do this are referred to as domain flippers. The principle is the same – you buy a domain for as little as $10 and flip it for several times that amount. Do companies still pay thousands of dollars for a domain name you own but they want? Absolutely.
You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.
It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of running a business, but you MUST carve out time at least once a week to take stock of what you're doing for the long-term health of your business. That includes marketing, training, employee development, community engagement and capital development. Sound investments today will pay dividends in the future. - Jim Judy, Try Franchising
Jason helps entrepreneurs connect with influencers and experts to rapidly grow their business together at TheStoryTellerMarketer. He also co-hosts the Content Promotion Summit and teaches other entrepreneurs how to get more out of the content they create every day. Here's what Jason has to share with aspiring entrepreneurs who need some business advice before they start a business:
There are book lovers all over the world who are still interested in buying books, no matter the amount it will cost them. Starting an online book store is another way of making money from the internet. A company like amzon.com are making huge revenues from selling books online and you can start something similar. You can sell eBooks, audio books and hard copy books on various subjects and from various authors on your online book store. Please note that starting online book store means that you will make provision for shipping.
If you have a good idea for an app, and the skills to create it, then producing your own premium app can be profitable. However, with so many free apps available, it may be hard to convince people to pay. If you want to go down the premium app route, consider having a basic free version to encourage people to download the app in the first place. You can then provide the option of upgrading to a premium plan once users realize how useful the app is.
Risk is often the major reason why people avoid becoming an entrepreneur, but consider this: someone who works for a company has one source of income: their employer; while an entrepreneur has many different sources. If the employee gets laid off, they are out of a paycheck, but if an entrepreneur loses a customer, they have many more to fall back on. When managed properly, being an entrepreneur can actually be one of the safest careers possible.
According to Statistica, 76% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and by 2020 the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion (650 million of these from China alone). Of the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most dominant - as of the end of the second quarter of 2018 Facebook had approximately 2.23 billion active users worldwide (Statistica). Mobile devices have become the dominant platform for Facebook usage - 68% of time spent on Facebook originates from mobile devices.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
Entrepreneurship is a challenging but rewarding path to take and you have highlighted some great tips here. I agree with your point that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to work smarter, not harder. I believe that working smarter is all about hiring the right team and delegating responsibility. Think about it this way. Today’s entrepreneurs are working with the ‘Millennial’ generation, those born after 1980 and before 2000. These people are digital natives who have very different ideas around what they look for in their leaders, compared to the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation. For example,‘Millennials’ look for their leaders to be strategic thinkers, inspirational and have strong interpersonal skills. Millennial’s will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, so entrepreneurs really need to tap into their younger employees and involve them in company decisions.
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.
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.
Creating your own food blog, will not only be fun but done well it should also be profitable. Link your site to affiliate cooking products, sell your food photos, create and sell your own physical cookbook, or launch a cooking app. Equally, you could turn your cooking blog into a membership site. You would then share all your content, including recipes, how to videos, food photographs, and much more, with only your paid up members.
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:
If you are more confident in your skills, you can also market directly to websites and blogs. You can contact the sites by email to market your services. That will also enable you to select the specific types of sites that you are more comfortable working with. Since there are literally thousands of websites and blogs on the web, the potential market is limitless.
Steli is the CEO of Close.io, a high-powered inside sales communication platform (and my pick as the best CRM for small business) that's powered by his years of experience driving millions of dollars in sales for hundreds of venture backed Silicon Valley startups. Here's what Steli has to share as far as business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business today:
Every entrepreneur, from owners of roadside cafes to global startups, needs to be versed in management, finances, taxes, and other business-related topics. You don’t necessarily need a master’s degree in economics, but an educational foundation in business will certainly help. An entrepreneurship education could mean an actual entrepreneurship degree or a more general business education that will prepare you to meet the day-to-day challenges of an entrepreneur career.
It’s not easy to convert a prospect into a customer. It is, however, relatively easy to convert your prospects into list subscribers. For many businesses, the email list – which prospects land on by volunteering their contact info in exchange for content – is the best asset they have. By sending a single email, you could make thousands of dollars in one day.
"The way we’ve gotten around that is to always work with somebody on a project before we start handing over significant equity stakes or large sums of money. If the trial project goes well, then talk about expanding the scope of the relationship. Sam Altman from Y-Combinator once said something to the equivalent of 'a bad hire in the first few employees can be detrimental to a startup.' I've really taken that to heart in my business."
The sad truth is that for all the SEO consultants out there who know exactly what they're talking about, there are hundreds of others who are clueless, money-grabbing sharks. Their sole focus is on getting customers signed up to a 6-month retainer based on promised results. They then kick their heels for the first few months, pocketing cash for doing nothing.
The quote above comes from a Tech in Asia article titled Twitter Story and Tips from @AskAaronLee. In the article, Aaron states that monitoring both your own brand and competitors online could provide insight on how to position your product in the future. He also says that businesses should never try to sell on Twitter, instead, they should focus on engaging and assisting their followers with relevant problems.
Most of these virtual assistants are outside of the US; at least the ones you can pay and still turn a profit. Effective communication with someone outside of the US requires a different art form and a lot of attention to quality control. You can’t merely say "make a logo look like this," and email it to me in two days then deliver it to your client.
If you can speak and write more than two international languages, then you can make money from the internet. All you need to do is to list your services online and people who need the services your offer will contact you. Just ensure that you have resource materials (softcopies that can aid your teachings). If you know how to speak and write 2 or 3 of any of these languages; French, English, Spanish, Chinese, German and Arabic, then you should consider starting an online foreign language training / tutorials / coaching.