I read an article about affiliate marketing by Newspapergrl. Janet interviewed Teresa Tao, a 2007 Commission Junction Horizon Award winner and affiliate marketer of www.shoebuy.com. They talked about 3 simple steps to start up an on-line business. My question is, “Is starting an online business as easy as 1, 2, 3?” If you are in the process of starting your first online business, these 3 basic steps will help you lay a solid foundation. You will need that solid foundation if you plan to survive when “the rains [come] down and the floods [come] up.” (too many nursery rhymes with our little ones)
1. Focus on one market or marketing strategy then build upon it. This is so important. If you haven’t read the article about industry focus before, here’s the most important part:
Focus on the smallest possible problem you can solve that will potentially be useful. One of the biggest problems many new companies make is trying to do too many things at once. This makes life really difficult and can impede our progress. Focusing on a small niche has so many advantages: with much less work you can be the best at what you do. Small things almost always turn out to be much bigger when you zoom in.
My recommendation here is to focus on an industry you are interested in, something you will enjoy working on day to day, week to week, FOREVER!
Create a list of hobbies, interests, things you have some knowledge about or at least would love to do research on and become knowledgeable about. Keep options open but don’t go so far out there that you get lost in all your ideas. One of my favorite quotes is “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” Ask yourself this question as you create your focus list.
2. Educate yourself constantly. As many of you know, I was mentored by one of the best in the SEO business. He laid the entire opportunity out there for me, taught me more than I could really handle, and then said “Good luck – go to work” (or something like that). I feel it’s what I did with Mat’s knowledge during but mostly after my initial mentoring that has helped me see the results I’ve seen to date. From using all the resources available to me at Prosper, to reading blog after blog about on-line marketing and SEO, to finally just taking a step in the dark and doing what I was taught, the education has been ongoing.
What you’ll find with an internet business is that the job is never “finished”. There will always be something new and exciting out there, a new strategy, more competitors, changes in what Google looks for, etc. If you expect running a business to be a walk in the park, you can probably expect to be one of the statistics of a business that throws in the towel after not seeing the immediate results they’d hoped for. As Mark Twain said, “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.” (Any of you ever heard that before 🙂 )
3. Persevere with a positive attitude. My wife and I’s first date was to the movie “Remember the Titans”. One of the lines that still sticks out from that movie is “Attitude reflect leadership – Captain!” Self motivation, confidence and mindset are all components of a positive attitude.
It’s sad to say, but after having worked with so many clients from all over the world with different backgrounds, experience levels, and internet knowledge, I can almost tell after the first or second meeting if they are really going to achieve a lot with their business. Knowledge and internet understanding have nothing to do with it – it’s ATTITUDE! “If you think you can or you think you can’t – you are RIGHT!” What an over-stated cliche but it’s true! My favorite thing is when a client who may be somewhere in between positive and pessimistic decides to make a decision to not look back and just go for it. Abraham Lincoln stated: “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” Why not YOU?
So, how are you going to implement these basic steps to on-line success? It’s all about the basics really…