I'm building a brand new online business.
And I want to take YOU along for the ride... specifically by giving regular updates on my progress.
Wins, losses, ups, downs, success, failures… lessons learned…
Let's call it "highlights".
But before I do that… it occurs to me that I should explain a little more about the business itself.
Which is what this post is about.
So buckle up… it’s time to reveal the master plan!
The Gap In The Market
There are a lot of people out there who want to build an online business.
And there are a lot of people offering courses or coaching programs on how to build an online business.
Ecommerce, network marketing, affiliate marketing, authority sites, agencies, course development… you name it, someone’s teaching it.
So how do you know what is good, what is bad, what is real, what is hype, when it comes to online business courses and coaching programs?
And how do you work out which course is right for you? Or even what kind of course or program actually makes sense for you?
And even if you can work out how to choose one… by some means other than closing your eyes and throwing a dart at a list taped to the wall… how do you maximise your chances of success with it?
The answer is obvious of course… you talk to me!
Because they’re the problems I’m aiming to solve.
Without going into too much detail (I don’t want to give away all my secrets!)…
I think there are two main areas that people really struggle to get right in the early stages of their online business.
My framework is NOT this complicated...
A. Choosing The Path
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people offering courses or coaching programs on how to build an online business.
The thing is… every one of those people are teaching a process that they themselves went through to build their own online business.
(Well, the legitimate ones are… I suspect there’s more than a few shady characters out there teaching stuff they haven’t done… or don’t even know much about.)
However it occurs to me that every person is different.
We all have different strengths, skills, preferences, budgets, timeframes…
And we all have different starting points in terms of our experience and where we’re at in our journey.
Which means that what worked for Gary Guru… and what he’s now teaching in his course… won’t necessarily work for you, me or anyone else.
So after five years of working with and studying online business models, I’ve come to two conclusions.
The first conclusion is that all of the major online business types and models DO work.
Consulting, coaching, freelancing, agency, network marketing, courses, software, high ticket affiliate marketing, low ticket affiliate marketing, authority sites, FBA, dropshipping, POD, etc, etc… every single one of them works… for the right person.
The second conclusion is that the trick is choosing the one that will work best for YOU.
Get that decision right, and your chances of being successful go WAY up.
But with all the Gary Gurus out there… professional marketers every single one of them… pitching THEIR own solution… how do you make that decision??
Well, I have been developing a framework to do just that.
It’s my ‘secret sauce’.
And I’ll be using it to deliver great outcomes to aspiring online business owners who would otherwise be stuck…. or wasting their time and money.
B. Mindset & Expectations
Understandably, most people have a lot of questions when they start.
How much money will I make?
How quickly will I make it?
How much work will I need to put in?
What will I need to do?
How much will I need to invest?
The list goes on.
So many questions...
Unfortunately, because his #1 goal is to sell you into his program, Gary Guru is reluctant to give you full and accurate answers to those questions.
Because he’s worried it will scare you off.
Instead, he says things like:
With my program you can make 6 figures… in just a few weeks… just spending an hour or two a day… we’ll do all the heavy lifting for you… and it will cost you almost nothing!!!
Bullshit… bullshit… bullshit… bullshit… and, bullshit.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that pitch… well let’s just say I wouldn’t need to book commercial flights for my next holiday. I’d just take my own plane.
Building a real, sustainable online business takes consistent hard work, discipline and persistence.
Sure you can make 6 figures, but it will take months of in-the-trenches effort… you’ll need to do it yourself… and you’ll also need to invest money, sometimes quite a bit depending on what you’re doing specifically.
You will make mistakes.
You will fail.
And those mistakes and failures will cost you more time and money.
But if you pick yourself up after each mistake and failure and keep at it, then you may succeed.
And if you have that expectation in the beginning… instead of falling Gary’s shiny promises…
Then your chances of sticking with it and making your online business dream a reality are MUCH higher.
My audience is waiting for me!!
Given the nature of my framework, I’d think it’d be enormously valuable for anyone looking to start an online business.
In fact, it would also be enormously valuable for those who have already started building an online business, but are yet to achieve the success they're aiming for.
And I’m happy to help any of those people who want my help.
That is WAAAAY too wide an audience for me to target.
My ideal customer needs to be much more narrowly defined.
So here’s how I’ve broken it down:
- Been an employee for an extended period of time
- Over 30 years of age
- Likely has family and/or financial responsibilities
- Unhappy or not engaged with work and career
- Worried about slaving away as an employee for another 20 years and then “retiring” without the health or financial means to truly enjoy it
- Believes there must be a better way
- Would love to have financial freedom and flexibility, without having to go to work every day
- May already have conceived a goal to build a successful online business... but probably hasn't gotten much further than that
Wondering where all that came from?
Well, the starting point was myself… a couple of years ago.
(Which is a great tip if you’re trying to come up with your ideal customer avatar… but that’s a discussion for another post.)
If I can find people who fit the profile I just described…
And get them to the point where:
- They have clarity on the way forward that makes most sense for them
- They have the right mindset and expectations
- They have confidence in their ability to find success with an online business
Then I’ve succeeded.
So if that’s the value proposition… what’s the business model?
(I’m supposed to be the expert in online business models, right?)
Well, in this case it’s built around affiliate marketing.
For the last 5 years I’ve been immersed in online entrepreneurship and online business models.
Over the past couple of years I’ve gained a lot of experience in ecommerce (3 separate businesses), consulting and local lead generation. I’ve also dabbled in building an agency.
I’ve had two 6 figure success stories… and a few others that have been less successful.
However, I don’t feel like I’m experienced enough, or been successful enough, to teach those specific models.
Yes I’ve made 6 figures in ecommerce for example, but I still have a lot to learn about it. There are plenty of others out there who are much better placed than I am to teach that.
Instead, you’ll notice that my value proposition is focused around understanding the different online business models, what it takes to succeed with them, and getting on the right path. I feel much more comfortable and confident with that, than with teaching the models themselves.
That said… in my travels I have done many courses, and spent many thousands of dollars, to learn each of the models I’ve tried.
(And I’m still investing. I believe that you should never stop learning so I’m continuing to develop my knowledge and skills.)
Some of the courses I’ve done have been very good. A couple have been excellent. Most have been average. A few have been fucking terrible.
As a result of all that, I have a pretty good idea of which courses in each space are good, and which are not. Certainly a LOT better than just about anyone starting out.
Which means I’m in a great position to advise and recommend.
Implementation is in three parts.
Part A: Lead Generation
Look at all my leads mom!!
I’m starting with organic channels.
That doesn’t mean paid channels are not on my agenda. They are. However I don’t have thousands to spend on testing paid campaigns. So my plan is to test all the elements of my campaign - my messaging, my CTAs, etc - first in the organic channels. Then once I have them dialled in I scale more efficiently with paid channels.
My primary organic channel is Facebook (at least initially).
Because there are a LOT of my ideal customer there… and Facebook makes it relatively easy to find them.
Other social media channels such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tin Tok could also be good opportunities (although I’m not sure how much time my ideal customers spend on Tik Tok!).
LinkedIn could be a particularly interesting opportunity. I think a lot of people see it as a B2B platform, but if I think about where I might find a high number of my ideal customers, LinkedIn seems promising. So I’ll no doubt jump into that at some point.
However, I don’t want to dilute my focus too much to begin with. So I’ll start with Facebook and add other channels as I go.
Aside from Facebook, I’ve also kicked off this website and my Youtube channel.
Both are long term assets that will take time to mature… but I figure the sooner I get them up and start putting content out, the sooner they’ll start delivering a return. You’ll see that I already have half a dozen blog posts and videos up, and the plan is to put new ones up weekly for at least the next 12 months.
Part B: Deliver Outcomes
My initial plan is to work directly 1:1 with people, primarily via Messenger.
Those efforts will be supported by my Facebook group, which contains a wide range of information and resources for people who either aren’t ready to have a 1:1 conversation or who would rather self-assess.
In addition, I require every person joining my Facebook group to supply an email address, which I will use to deliver to them additional information and resources.
Part C: Monetise
Me on my way home from the bank... 🙂
Once people have clarity, mindset, expectations, confidence… whether through a 1:1 conversation or by consuming my content… I will recommend a high quality course or coaching program that will teach them the online business model that we’ve determined would best suit them.
And in most cases… not necessarily all, but as many as possible… I’ll get paid a commission by the program owner if they enrol in that program.
This is classic high ticket affiliate marketing.
But with one key difference… rather than use high-persuasion marketing and hardcore sales to convince people to buy, I’m trying to build a much more personalised and value-stacked approach.
My goal is for people to feel like they have ALREADY received far more value than I’m asking them to pay BEFORE I even ask them.
Which may seem like overkill on my part… why would I put all that effort in when others can get decent results without doing that?
Well, aside from the fact that I run my business on the principle of over-delivery…
There are two other more “businessy” reasons:
- Differentiation… there are a lot of people out there trying to sell people into the same programs, so this is my way of standing out… by adding more value
- My longer term goal is to build a relationship with each person who comes into my world… so I can deliver even more value over time and increase their lifetime value to my business
One question you might have about this… if I’m getting paid by the product owners to recommend their products, isn’t there an incentive for me to recommend the one that pays me the highest commission rather than the one that would truly make most sense for the individual?
However, many other successful business models have suffered from similar flaws… financial advice, real estate, buyer advocacy.
Plus any type of affiliate marketing!
And in my case there are also mitigating factors:
- I have identified high quality programs for most of the major online business models, so I have an acceptable option no matter which path is chosen
- My integrity and the quality of my advice is FAR more important to me than an affiliate commission… which means that I WILL NOT recommend programs that I haven’t personally experienced myself and don’t believe in
- Because I want to build a long term relationship with each person… even if I would get a short term financial boost from giving them bad advice, not only would it violate my integrity, it would not be in the best interests of my business anyway
I’ve been a bit hesitant to put a specific goals out there (at least in public).
It would just add to the pressure to make it work.
But then I think… if I’m going to do this, I should do it properly.
So what the hell.
My goal is to get from zero to $10K per month in revenue… and to do it in 6 months.
As I write this it’s early December 2020, so that gives me until early June 2021.
So where am I at right now?
- I mapped out my offers… which courses I’ll recommend and what extras (bonuses) I’ll add for free to people who sign up
- I set up my Facebook group, structured it and seeded it with initial content
- I set up my email list and started writing daily emails
- I created this website and started posting articles (like this one)
- I created my Youtube channel and started posting videos
- I optimised my Facebook profile, with links to my Facebook group
- I’ve been posting pretty much daily on Facebook for the last few weeks
- I’ve been active in various Facebook groups populated by my ideal customer… posting value posts, engaging with other posts and adding friends
- I’ve started filling my Messenger pipeline and having conversations
Now, in December:
- The #1 focus is content - getting more of it out there on this site, on Youtube, on Facebook, and to my email list
- Getting as many people as possible into my Facebook group and on to my email list
- Having as many Messenger conversations as possible
One thing you may notice… even though my overall goal is a revenue-based one… I haven’t said anything about how much money I want to make in December.
The truth is I’m not focused on generating a whole lot of revenue just yet.
Much more important at this stage is building up my community, providing as much value as possible, and continuing to refine the process and value proposition… although if I do happen to get a couple of commissions on the board then of course I won’t be complaining! 🙂
A Couple Of Final Thoughts...
So that’s my plan… for now.
I’ve put a bit of work into it (as you can probably tell).
Having a plan is important because it enables you to be clear, consistent and focused.
But the most important thing is that I’m not letting planning get in the way of execution.
As you can see I’ve been super busy setting up my assets, churning out content and connecting with people… while fleshing out my plans.
Press it! Press it!
Not waiting until the plans are done before acting.
It’s one of my core principles: take massive imperfect action.
Get out there. Do it.
That means I’ll make mistakes.
I’ve already messed up a few times, even in the first month. In fact just the other day I accidentally sent a half-finished email to my list.
But I’m learning, adapting and going again. And I’m still driving hard towards my goals.
I don’t know exactly what this business will look like in 6 months… but one thing I know for sure is that it will be different from what I’ve described in this article.
So I’m not wasting time trying to predict that… I’m making the best plans I can based on what I know now, but more importantly I’m executing fast and hard…
And based on how that goes I’ll adjust tweak, change. Maybe even pivot.
One other thing…
I’m also doing a few things for the first time… which means I suck at them right now.
My YouTube videos are a great example. I want you to watch them… but at the same time I sort of don’t want you to. Because they’re so bad.
The thing is though… everyone sucks when they start.
Russell Brunson is one of the best video and stage presenters on the planet… but I recently saw some footage of one of his first on-stage presentations. It was reassuringly bad!
But even though he sucked at first he kept at it, kept practicing, kept learning and tweaking… and now he’s awesome.
So I’m still doing mine… and I know that the more I do, the better I’ll get.
I just gotta have the guts to get out there and do it.
(BTW I’m not saying I’ll ever be anywhere near as good a presenter as Russell… just that I’ll be a hell of a lot better than I am now!)
If you’re interested in seeing how this plays out…
In seeing if I can successfully build an online business from scratch in the next 6 months…
Then feel free to jump into my Facebook group!
I’ll give periodic updates here on the website and on my Youtube channel… but most of the REAL action will be in the Facebook group.
It’s a a little meta, I know… I’ll be trying to deliver real value to my ideal customers… while at the same time showing them behind the scenes how I’m building a business off of them.
But in my mind that’s what makes it so cool…
Because I’m all about building an online business.
So when you become part of my community you get the information and resources that I’m bringing to the table… PLUS the value (and entertainment) of seeing me blaze the trail myself and build exactly the type of business you might want to build.
And for me, I get to create social proof around my value proposition in real time.
It IS a risk though… if I fail in building my own business it won’t exactly inspire confidence in others that I know what I’m doing.
But what the hell… either way it should be fun!
So jump on board HERE!