How to start your first online business

Jul 20, 2021

Most people fail when they start their first online business.

A list of reasons why they fail is exhaustive:

  • Wrong niche
  • Wrong messaging
  • Wrong ideal customer
  • Wrong pricing structure
  • Wrong product offering

The list goes on and on and on...

Want to give yourself a better chance at success?

Here's what I would do if I were starting my business from scratch tomorrow...

Step 1: Understand one problem that one specific group of people have

Notice I didn't say "all problems" or "all people". You need ONE problem that ONE very specific group of people have in common.

Once you know the problem, you need to know how to solve it.

The easiest way to find this? Look backward in your life.

What's a problem of your own that you solved a few years ago?

Start there.

Example: Let's say you and all of your friends from the local state college wanted to break into a great tech company out of school, but only you figured out how.

Congrats. You can solve someone else's problem.

Step 2: Create a clear and concise roadmap to solving that specific problem

We overestimate how much people want to learn at once.

Mostly, people are looking to solve one problem.

To get from point A to point B easily, quickly, and affordably.

Point A --> Point B

Craft an offer in the form of a roadmap or blueprint that is aimed at your specific target audience.

Example: The 14-day roadmap that shows state college graduates how to land their dream job at Google.

What state college kid, who wants to land his or her dream job at Google, wouldn't pay money for that?

Step 3: Figure out your product format

This doesn't matter as much as step 1 or step 2.

Just pick something you're likely to complete and complete it.

  • Like to write? Write an eBook.
  • Like to teach? Record a video course.
  • Like systems? Build out digital materials.

Doesn't matter.

Just get it done in whatever format means you'll actually finish.

Step 4: Figure out where to host it

Much like step 3, there are a million solutions out there.

If you're just getting started, please (PLEASE) don't overcomplicate it.

Go with Gumroad or Flurly or LemonSqueezy or something simple.

Just pick one and get started.

Get complicated down the road. Just make sales now.

Charge between $75 and $150 for your product. That's affordable enough to get buyers without building trust over years.

The goal? Make sure you deliver thousands of dollars worth of value, if not more.


Step 5: Find some customers

With the internet, there are zero excuses for not being able to find some customers.

  • Write an article on Medium or on your website.
  • Chop it up and put it on LinkedIn.
  • Double it up on Twitter.
  • Drop a nice snapshot on Instagram.
  • Answer questions on Quora, write on IndieHackers and Makerpad.
  • Find Subreddits and Facebook groups.

Yes, it's work.

Find which of these lead to sales and then triple down.

Work smart.

Step 6: Turn customers into testimonials

Once you have a few customers, start automating testimonials.

I ask for a testimonial on Gumroad with an automated email 2 weeks after someone buys something.

Use Testimonials everywhere.

Your website, landing page, social media, articles, blogs, etc.

Social proof sells. Don't believe me?

Check out how obnoxious the social proof is on my latest course website.

17.2% of people who land on this page buy the product.

That has led to over $81k+ in sales in the last 3.5 weeks.

Step 7: Create a system for repeatable selling

Every good online business has a repeatable system

Know exactly where you'll post each day.

Know what times.

Know why.

Here's a great starting point to shoot for:

Find 4 people who will buy your $75 course each day.

4*$75*365 = $109,500

That's how you create a 6-figure online product.

Back out of that number. If you know 10% of people buy when they get to your website, then you need to drive 40 people to your site each day.

Find your best channel from above and get 40 people there.

Well, that's it for today. I hope this encourages you to go out and get something started.

If you need some help, I offer 1:1 coaching calls where we deep dive into the strategies I've used to reach 70M content impressions and build 4 revenue streams generating over $1.7M in income.

You can book one here.

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