I know there’s only supposed to be one elephant in the room that nobody’s talking about or not paying any attention to. But I think there are three, and they’re tied together in starting an online business.
So I’m not going to separate them out that much in this post.
These elephants are: secrets, what key elements need to be done, and getting those key elements done. To change the analogy, the last one concerns how to eat these elephants – a bit of a tortuous thought, I know.
The secrets to internet marketing success are many. In fact, as many as there are people seeking them. Something is only a secret if you don’t know about it and find it difficult to find out about it. There are some fundamental “secrets” you need to be aware of, without which it’s difficult to get an online business going. However, there are also “secrets” within you as to how you will frame your business, then develop and grow it. Once the fundamentals are there then it can be taken in masses of different directions – it all depends on what you want to do and the decisions and actions you take. These personal “secrets” are waiting for you to face and take action on.
Plenty of people know about secrets to online success to some extent or other, some of which in this post you’ll have heard of. But they haven’t understood them or their significance. If you’re a business opportunity seeker, jumping from product to product hoping to find the “one” which will change everything for you, I bet you’re still disappointed – but still hopeful. You will know lots of “secrets” from the products you’ve bought. But none of them have brought you success. You probably didn’t take action on any of the products or you did but gave up when quick money didn’t materialize or the product itself wasn’t enough by itself to create a business for you.
The business has to be sustainable
This is one of the big secrets. What makes an online business sustainable? Can an offer which provides you with a website, hosting, emails, and 2 or 3 products – and the claim you can just leave it to run itself – give you a sustainable business? The odds are against it. Because to be sustainable, and this is the second elephant, a business has to:
have many products and preferably your own
have your voice running through all the content, including emails
believability: prospects have to trust you
keep developing: new products, methods, ways of working better for customers
have your involvement, though automated as much as possible
It has to respond to the market it’s in. And also lead the market where it can, in order to differentiate itself and give itself an advantage.
You’ll notice that email marketing is involved in, or the means to, these key elements.
You need to write your own contents, including emails, or have the same person write everything, so the voice is consistent across content and time. This leads to trust, believeability and credibility. Make offers through your emails, plus emails themselves can be wholly or partly products you sell, such as courses or coaching. You’re in communication with your subscribers and customers, and are able to be flexible enough through emails to keep developing new ideas.
It takes time to build a business
The third elephant: how to eat them and get the key elements done?
One of the secrets to internet success many people don’t like to hear. Yes, some products probably can make you quick money, but that’s not a business. Unless you develop the quick method into a business, the money generation is unreliable. It’s likely you need the first year to get it going and even then most of them fail in five years, a lot through lack of cash flow. This is why you need a strategy for action based on your values that will see you through the basic building phase. You need persistence more than energy or intelligence.
The key question on starting is: why should anyone pay any attention to you as against the attractions and distractions of others?
How are you positively different from others in the market? You need a unique or original:
voice that customers come to recognize
flow of contents
set of products that customers value
sense of, and action in, customer communication and support
Again, email marketing involves all of these. Take a look at your market competitors. How many fulfill these criteria. They’re falling down somewhere, which gives you an advantage you can use against them.
Get the basics right
People forget, even at the start, to look after the basics. These are the processes and systems which will keep your business running. Have them for: creating content in various forms, generating leads, converting those leads to subscribers, converting those subscribers to customers, converting those customers to lifetime ones or, at least, buying all your products in a sales funnel, and customer support at each stage.
You can automate a lot of this, as with, for example, an email campaign in an autoresponder. Once you’ve found a sequence of emails that works, you can leave it, at least for the present, and move on to the next one or other things.
Stick to your knitting, keep focused on your market, what they need and want, and what you do for them, as it’s easy to get diverted into what seem more cool activities, such as new software you don’t really need or a business opportunity that you think might just work. Really, every action you take should be aimed at or progresses the improvement of the business and achieving its goals.
This comes right from the start in that you decide what sort of business you want. What kinds of products it will sell, and how it will be structured, as structure is basically strategy.
These are the elephants hardly anybody talks about, or perhaps even thinks about if you look at the high percentage of people who don’t have success on the web.