In 2014, I decided to venture into a new foray of Internet Marketing known as "list building", and admittedly, I have made many mistakes along the way.
I am sure most people will agree with the fact that having a mentor helps to reduce the steep learning curve of any business venture. However, when I first started my online business, I didn't have any mentor and I had to learn everything the hard way due to the limited resources I had. Although it took a longer time, I managed to see results. Every mistake made formed my learning lessons in becoming an online entrepreneur.
Of course, if I had the choice, I would get a mentor to have more progress in my business and life. Below are the seven strategies that I have personally used to generate $50K in revenue in 2014. It is a form of encouragement to garner for more results. I am still far from successful but I thought it will be useful to share the journey of what I have done so far. There are still a lot of things that I need to improve on, of course.
I have limited capital
I started Internet Marketing while I was still in polytechnic, and not earning any income, which is why I couldn't afford any coaching. Getting a coach would cost an estimated sum of $3,000 and I couldn't afford to pay that kind of money for a coach. Every single dollar is extremely crucial to me and I had to be meticulous with the financial decisions I made. Thankfully, I have managed to get a positive ROI for most of the investments I made over that period. If given more capital, I am sure I would have blown it without doing sufficient homework!
Jack Ma, the Founder of Alibaba, once said
"The problem with some people is not because they have no capital but those who have too much capital and they do not know where to put it in so they anyhow throw their money without doing sufficient research."
There is a misconception going around that you need a lot of capital to get started. Getting started in this business does not require a lot of capital unless you are inventing proprietary technology, where you will then involve venture capitalists and angel investors, and that is a totally different story to begin with. Once your business starts to generate revenue, that's when you know you can use it to roll over and scale up to a higher level.
Treating it like a real business
Most people who have failed to make money from their online business do not treat their business as a serious affair, especially when it comes to starting an online business. Most people treat it lightly because they do not have to pay high overheads like rental and staffing costs, so they are fine with not getting any results. They do not feel the pain of paying monthly hosting fees and other smaller overheads like signing up for autoresponder services. Hence, they neglected it and didn't put in sufficient hard work into it.
Since you are the one in charge of your own business, there is a tempting tendency to laze around without getting "fired". This is one of the most common reasons of why people can't generate any income online. Truth to be told, it really requires much more capital than most people think.
If you are focusing on paid traffic then you will need a larger budget because every single step you take, you will need to spend a certain amount of money. If you are looking at free traffic then you do not need to spend as much money as paid advertising but bear in mind that it can be very time consuming to rank websites and any Google updates can simply destroy your website ranking overnight. Unless you are doing SEO on niche and less competitive websites, it is almost impossible to rank on Google.
Paid traffic worked and continues to work for me, but I will move into free traffic once I think I have more achievements in paid traffic.
It requires a certain level of discipline when we are working on our own business, because no one is there to monitor our progress and it's very easy to procrastinate. There are times that I felt really lazy and didn't feel like doing anything. Those blocks are very common but what I did to prevent that from happening is to think of the end goal "“ "What will I achieve if I continue to progress?"
I am doing my best to stay focused and not to drift apart from my goal. When you are intending to give up, the big "WHY" will determine if you are able to persist on or return to the dreadful (but comfortable) 9-6 job.
Network with the people who are already successful in that expertise
If you want to learn how to play the piano, you should be seeking advice from people who have had years of piano playing, instead of a soccer coach, right? Same goes for business. It's always good to always network with people who are more successful than you and you will be surprised that you will know what you didn't know before after chatting them up.
By talking to people who are much more successful than me, I have learnt a lot about creating digital products, setting up tracking software etc. Those are difficult to learn just via a Google search. You need to be learning from someone who has the experience and expertise to share it with you. Sometimes, we need to take the first move to approach people, after all, they are doing us a favor of sharing that knowledge to us.
I don't intend to further my studies
After graduating from polytechnic, I found it really hard to focus on my studies because my heart is no longer with academics. I solely want to focus on entrepreneurship and learn real-life skills that required in this world. I always believe that school can never give the kind of knowledge we need in this ever-changing society, and the only way to learn it is to personally experience it.
Most of the people around my age are getting into University to get a degree and I wanted to get a faster head start, so I decided to put in 100% of my time and commitment to make things work in my online business. I cannot afford to fail because I have no backup. I do not have a degree, hence, it's quite hard to get employed with the kind of education I have right now. Thus, I needed to succeed in order to survive. Therefore, I always push myself as much as possible to make sure that I really give my best.
Write down your goals and to-do list
I will usually have a notepad with me and I will write down my goals and the things that I need to do for the day. I will also create a mind map that represents the things that I want to achieve short and long term. Writing down goals can be useful if you are monitoring it consistently.
It will also act as an accountability contract to make sure that you have followed the plan you have created yourself. Although I skimped some days, I tried to make it as clear as possible so that I stay on track.
Create an exercising plan
Ever since I started exercising regularly, I feel more energetic than ever. I highly recommend you to start exercising now even if it is going outside for a stroll. As long as you are putting in some effort to take good care of your body, you should be seeing some changes in your physical health. I will run at least 2 times a week at 5am in the morning before work and I also work out in the gym 2-3 times a week.
Ever since I started reading the book "The Miracle Morning" I feel more determined to wake up at 5am more often. It's a great book that expounds on the benefits of waking up early. Once you have managed to do that for the first time, you will feel the sense of satisfaction of waking up early and you may not need to set an alarm any longer. I am still not able to wake up at 5am sharp without an alarm clock, but I will follow this plan as often as I can.
To conclude, I am still far from successful but I just want to encourage people with whatever results I have, to just take massive action to manifest your dreams. I leave a parting quote for you here to ponder over:
"Small consistent actions lead to stunning results over time."