Being in the online world and making money for well over a decade, I have seen a lot of trends come and go.
“Goo-Roos” come and go.
And even entire markets come and go.
But no matter what business you choose to do online, I have found that there are six major roadblocks to having a successful business.
These are going to be the big key factors in whether or not your business fails right from the start or one that succeeds.
More about this in a minute.
But first, Let me give you some context by quickly unpacking a story.
A few years ago, my good friend and business mentor Frank mentioned that I should teach all this online business stuff. Said I was really good at it and I knew my stuff.
It took me a LOT of convincing in order for me to accept that I was going to teach marketing and showing people how to make money online.
I didn’t want to be just another “Goo-roo”?
When I finally decided to teach, one of the very first things I did was I started asking questions from my fellow entrepreneurs and Frank followers.
I would ask them questions on how they got started and all the problems they had.
While everyone didn’t want to share all the bits and pieces with me, quite a few of them did.
One of the people I talked with, Luca, owned an e-commerce business selling handcrafted jewelry rings to actual jewelers.
He would create these absolutely stunning gold and silver rings without any stones so the jeweler could add their own into it.
During our talk, he mentioned that the hardest thing for him getting his business running well and being successful with it was..
1. Understanding who his target customer really was and what they were really looking for.
2. Figuring out all the tech behind setting everything up to sell his products.
He wasn’t a tech genius. And he sure wasn’t a prolific marketer that had been doing this for decades.
He was a jewelry maker that had apprenticed under someone and eventually went on his own making custom jewelry out of his home when his wife got sick.
(Which btw, she did recover and lives a very healthy life now)
And turned that little operation into a nice little business.
And there were dozens of other people just like Luca that I spoke with that had one issue or another.
A challenge here, a roadblock there, but from every single one of those interactions, I kept seeing that they fell into 6 main categories.
What I call "The Six Roadblocks".
RoadBlock Numero Uno (#1)
Choosing Your Niche & Business Model
This has got to be the most frequent thing I heard when asking people about the issues that held them up when starting their businesses.
While there were a lot of people that KNEW (beyond a shadow of a doubt) what they wanted to do, the majority of people just knew they wanted to do....something.
They wanted to make money, but didn’t really understand all the possibilities that were out there for them.
And this is where it starts.
Choosing Your Niche.
No matter how you pronounce this nifty word “niche”, one thing is for sure, choosing it can be a pain in the neck.
With so many niches out there and sub-niches, and even sub-sub-niches, it can be really hard to pick from one of the 10 gazazillion (not a real number) out there.
What I normally recommend to people just starting out is try and see about getting into a niche that they like being in.
What I mean is, let’s say you like sports. And your sport of choice is....say martial arts.
You LOVE Jiu-Jitsu. You can’t think of anything else but Jiu-Jitsu.
Why not see if there is a way that you can get into the Jiu-Jitsu market?
Maybe you like Rubik’s cubes and are a master speedcuber.
See if there is a way into the market there.
Like I said, try and find something you love and try and figure out a way to get into that market.
But it doesn’t really matter if you have a deep thriving passion for it or not.
The biggest thing is, can you solve a persons problem in that niche. (More about this later).
Once you find your niche and are sure this is the market you want to be in, then next thing we hit is:
The Business Model
What is that business model going to be like?
Will you do a course or something providing information on the chosen topic?
Or maybe a membership website, or some e-commerce site?
Maybe you just want to make a blog on the topic.
Whatever the case is, figuring out the HOW of helping people can be a bit tricky.
With so many ways to help, it comes down to
1. What is the model that is best for your target market?
2. What is the model that works best for YOU?
Like I said there are many models to choose from.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Selling Courses
- Membership Websites
- eCommerce sites
- YouTube channels
- Books and eBooks
Each of these models have pros and cons to each. Personally I like them all.
But you should choose just one of them to focus on for your primary business model. After that, you can branch out once your business is successful.
The second biggest challenge I saw from people was the lack of clarity over the offer they were trying to present to their chosen markets.
Some people were adamant that if they just provided more "stuff" that their peeps would be happy. And they would sell their...whatever it was better.
Let me put this simply.....people DO NOT want more...stuff.
What they want is results.
And this is the only thing they truly want.
They want results, and they want them fast.
Get them that, and you are well on your way to selling your stuff.
No one wants a 3000 video, 600+ hour course that is going to give them "X" result.
They would rather buy a 1 video, 2 hour course that gets them that same result.
Even if they say they want more "stuff"...... their wallets vote the exact opposite.
Give them RESULTS.....and give it to them FAST.
Without traffic to your website, landing pages, or your offers, you don't have a business. Period.
Traffic is the lifeblood of your business. And the more you have, the better.
Now, this particular post is not going to go into the infinite ways that you can drive endless amounts of traffic to your offers.
All I will say is this...
There are free ways to drive traffic to your offers and landing pages, and there are paid ways to drive traffic.
Most "goo-roos" out there will tell you to go the route of free traffic. And while I see their point...
I always recommend doing BOTH.
Get as much free traffic as you can. That's great.
But also spend a little to drive traffic with things like Google ads, Facebook Ads, and even Pinterest ads.
Even if it is just $1 per day. It's worth it.
When it comes to engagement, most people I talk to have no idea what engagement actually is.
Some people think it's people that comment on there most recent social media post or YouTube video
Or maybe replying to your forum post.
Yes, that is engagement.
The reality is that engagement is ANY action a person takes with you.
It could be:
- Clicking a link in an ad
- Submitting their contact info on a form on your website
- Watching one of your YouTube videos
- Reading an email of yours
Any action they take with you is engagement.
So our job is to get as many of these engagement actions as we can possibly get.
This is something that needs to be planned, and outlined.
This step is CRUCIAL to a successful business.
Even maybe more important than the next roadblock.
This is what everyone THINKS they need help with.
When generally it is the other roadblocks they need the help with the most.
If you have a solid business model, a great offer, you are targeting the right audience and getting traffic, and people are engaging with you, conversion is Inevitable.
You really don't need to try that hard.
We are not trying to hard sell anyone here. This isn't a used car lot.
If all the other things are in order first, you will convert a high percentage of people.
Conversion also primarily happens AFTER they are on your list.
95% of all cold traffic people WILL NOT buy your thingamajig when they hit your sales page.
It is our nature to say NO.
So if you really want to make money online, you have to consider the backend funnel.
The last big roadblock is all the "tech" stuff that goes along with creating an online business.
Which email Automation software should I be using? (I Use ConvertKit)
How do I even set up email followup campaigns?
What is a good way to build out sales pages and landing pages? (Use Clickfunnels)
Is it better to set up Facebook ads or Google ads and how do I do that?
So much to know. And sooo much to learn.
But as far as tech goes you only really need 3 things to get rolling.
- You need a way to build you email list and send emails automatically.
Personally I think ConvertKit is the best out there. And not just for beginners either.
Just one of my 5 ConvertKit accounts has more than 75,000 contacts on it.
ConvertKit can do everything the "Big" softwares can do at 1/10th the price.
And in all the time I have used it, I have NEVER had anything go wrong. Ever!
You can automate emails. Tag and segment your audience and customers. Create option forms. Accept payments. And so much more.
- You need a way to create landing pages & Sales pages.
You are going to want to be able to create landing pages to drive traffic to and actually collect people's contact information, and you are going to need a way to send your peeps to a page that explains your offer as well and allow them to purchase whatever it is.
This can all be done with one tool.
Now, if you are pretty good at building websites, and you have those skills, I recommend using WordPress (Free) and a paid plugging like Thrive Themes. Thrive Themes is actually a whole host of plug-ins and themes for your site. It's awesome and want I use on nearly all my sites.
But if you don't have those skills, then I highly recommend using Clickfunnels. NOT something "like" Clickfunnels either. Use Clickfunnels.
Clickfunnels makes building landing pages, funnels, and sales pages so easy. And it connects with all the other software systems out there.
Including ConvertKit. ?
- A marketing and/or advertising plan
Last thing you are going to need is a way to drive traffic to those landing and sales pages.
This could be creating a blog or YouTube channel.
Or going out and investing in advertising.
No matter what you do, you need a solid plan and work that plan.
Once you have all this stuff down, you will have a solid business.
Don't let all this "stuff" overwhelm you or stop you from doing this.
It will be worth it in the end. I promise you.
And I believe you can do it.
Until next time,