When setting up the foundation of a million dollar internet business, it is common for people to feel overwhelmed with no clear direction on what to do first and how to get started simply because of the sea of information available out there.
And after not only helping many people launch their business but also closely monitoring the first steps taken by some of the most successful web business owners, following the 5 steps outlined below are the fastest and easiest ways to build a successful internet business.
Step 1 – Come up with a Business Idea
As you may already know, the key to success in business is finding people with a problem they’re wanting to solve, and offering them the solution. When you do, you’re almost guaranteed to reach success.
In order to choose a target market, you first need to come up with potential business ideas. Coming up with business ideas is easy. List your various experiences and list anything you saw that frustrated you, anything you wanted to improve or develop further. Then, ask yourself if you have an interest in that particular field. The more interest you have, the more likely you are to successfully pursue your business idea. Also ask yourself if that business idea is in a healthy market. In other words, whether the product or service you’re thinking of selling, can be sold to people who already spend money (and preferably spend lots of it) in that particular field.
For example, golf and any golf-related product or service is considered to be “a healthy market” as most golfers usually have high disposable income and tend to enjoy spending money on golf memberships, golf gear, golf training and golf accessories.
On the other hand, targeting the student market is usually perceived as an “unhealthy market” as students tend to not have enough disposable income and tend to prefer pursuing special offers and discounted items rather than splurge on products and services. Although this is a gross generalization, you get the idea!
Once you’ve come up with a potential business idea targeted at a healthy market, research your target market further to ensure your idea is worth pursuing. To conduct market research, a good place to start is checking on Google whether there are any “For Dummies” books on the topic you wish to pursue. There are currently over 2,300 “For Dummies” books on different topics, and if there is a “For Dummies” book on your topic of interest, chances are, your target market is healthy and big enough.
For example, should you wish to sell a fishing related product, type in Google “For Dummies Fishing” and you’ll find out whether the book exists. (Spoiler: it does!)
Another way to check whether there’s a big enough audience online you can easily target, is by going to websites such as Youtube.com and seeing if videos related to your topic have a lot of views. In addition, you can go to Amazon.com and look at any books listed for sale, relevant to your topic, and see whether there are many reviews. The more reviews there are, the bigger and more engaged the target audience is.
You can also perform a keyword search, using Google’s keyword tool, that will let you know how many monthly searches there are for the keywords related to your topic of interest.
Bonus tip: By looking deeper into Amazon book reviews and Youtube video comments, you’ll be able to analyse your audience further, and find out their pain points and desires.
Step 2: Build your List
There is no doubt, that the bigger your mailing list is, the more sales you’ll be able to generate online and the easier generating sales will be. To build a mailing list, you will need the following:
- An optin page (also known as a lead capture page or squeeze page). You can build optin pages easily using tools such as “lead pages” which allows you to choose from hundreds of high converting optin page templates. Alternatively, you can create your own lead capture pages using platforms such as WordPress with the “Optimize Press” plugin.
- A free offer. In order to incentivize people to submit their contact details and become a subscriber of yours, you will need to give them a free offer in exchange. Free offers can be anything from reports, checklists, video trainings, templates, consultations, scripts, etc…
- An email database management tool (also known as a CRM system) such as aweber, getresponse, mail chimp and infusion soft. These tools allow you to store your database and send customised emails to thousands of contacts all at once.
- You’ll need to drive traffic consistently to your optin pages, either by leveraging free traffic (social media, blogs, forums, etc…) or by leveraging paid traffic such as social media ads, online banner ads, Google adwords, etc…
Ideally, your optin pages should convert at 30%. In other words, for every 100 visitors, 30 of them become email subscribers. In order to build your list faster, create 15 different optin pages or more.
Step 3: Promote Offers to your List
Once you’ve started building a mailing list, don’t stop there. If you want to turn your database into an income-producing asset, make sure you email them regularly with a combination of free offers and products to buy. Ideally, 80% of your emails should be used to nurture your list through free content, in order to turn them into loyal customers who like and trust you, and 20% of your emails should offer products and services to buy. A mistake some list owners make is either not asking for the sale enough, and therefore making the list used to never buying anything, or offering too many products to buy and turning people away. Make sure you find the right balance between free offers and paid offers.
Step 4: Joint Venture to Accelerate your Success
Leveraging joint venture partners is a fantastic way to scale your business. A joint venture is simply a business arrangement between two people or two parties who agree to share their resources. For an internet business, it simply means you can come to an arrangement with another business owner who owns or controls a database of people who matches your target audience to promote your business. Once you have identified potential joint venture partners, you can offer them in exchange for promoting you, either commissions on sales generated, a flat fee or a reciprocal mailing to your list.
To identify potential joint venture partners who have mailing lists, perform a search on Google to identify websites that attract your ideal target audience and check whether their website includes a lead capture form. If it does, it means they have a list. Don’t hesitate to optin and check how often they email their list and what they email about.
Step 5: Automate
The problem with owning web businesses is that a lot of tasks that need to be performed are quite time consuming and can tie up your time.
So how can you use more leverage, make more sales, and free up your time? That’s where outsourcing comes in.
‘Outsourcing’ is the practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house employee handle them, so as to concentrate on what you do best and where you create the maximum value.
For example, you can outsource your daily internet business related tasks to English-speaking workers in the Philippines, who will work full-time for you for less than $250 a month.
Websites such as fiverr.com, upwork.com or craigslist.com will allow you to outsource most of your tasks and free up your time.