Where Has the Time Gone?
It is over 4 years since I started my Blog and have neglected it for most of this time. Where I ask has the time gone and what on earth have I been doing over this period?
When I retired after 45 years in engineering and commerce, I felt a duty to explore the New Economy of the Internet and this is what I’ve been doing for the last 4 to 5 years. I’ve learnt a lot but feel disappointed with myself that I did not report progress the way I had intended when I embarked on the journey. After all, this was the reason I started the Blog.
Time has flown past, that is for sure, but what have I achieved? Although on a mission, I’ve had no clear business goals, it was more of an interest to pursue and have treated it more like a hobby. If given the choice between doing what I should do rather than what I like to do, then invariably I’ve been favouring the latter. This needs to change. I intend to have a more business-like plan for my future making money online.
I suppose I could write a book about it, but my problem is that I still have so much unfinished business to do with so little time left to do it. The positive thing is to reflect on lessons learned and share these with the making money online community.
It’s All in the Plan, or Was It?
Here is what I said at the outset of my journey…
“I’m an old guy, on a journey to investigate the New Economy of the Internet. In some sense, I see this as a duty. The system has educated me and I have enjoyed a blessed life, around 45 years in industry and commerce.”
What I found on my journey around the New Economy was rather disturbing. There are so few marketers who prosper on the Internet, indeed most fail, around 97%, as commonly reported. It’s shocking I know, but industry figures show the chance of success is only around 3%. Anyone who tells you internet marketing is easy is misleading you. Getting started making money online is hard work and requires a great deal of determination and resilience.
Many hang around believing things will change. And, of course, they might, providing the marketer changes. “Adapt or die”, as they say. So, when completing my initial appraisal of making money online industry, it became my mission to understand why failure should be the norm, and to help as many people as possible avoid the pitfalls most fall into.
You can see from what I’ve described of the plan that clearly I was on a research project with little or no business aims. The question now, more than 4 years on, is what do I have to show for my efforts and what have I learned from being persistent?
Well, it’s difficult to know where to start on lessons learned. There have been so many but here is some of the key points…
Knowledge is Power
Let’s begin with learning, as we all need to figure things out and develop the skills we need to accomplish what we set our minds to do. The accumulation of what we learn about a subject is called knowledge, and over time this gets assimilated into best practice. Apply the practice correctly, they say, and you will always get results. Hence, “knowledge is power”, but why then do so many folks fail?
There are three things I’d say… The first is that an accomplished internet marketer has to learn a wide range of skills, making money online, including communication, financial, marketing and technical. Second, each skill has its own learning curve to go through, and the third is that it all takes time. Remember, they did not build Rome in a day.
“No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.“
There’s plenty of scope for folks to drop out across the wide range of subjects we need to learn, and many do so for a variety of reasons. I’ll discuss some of these below. Survival is a challenge. You will soon realise why, when you appreciate the learning cycle to accumulate the skills that are necessary is anything between 3 to 5 years of making money online.
However, this duration should be no surprise to anyone, as mastery of any trade or profession is of the order of 10,000 hours.
The skill that is most likely to make or break you is self mastery. This is the ability to manage your mind and exercise control over your emotions and limiting beliefs, the stuff lingering in your subconscious. It is also about managing your time and having confidence to do the more challenging things in life to achieve success in whatever you decide to do.
“Mastering others is strength, but mastering yourself is true power.” ~ Dan Lok
Self-mastery is something we should all strive for. It requires a great deal of commitment, but the payoff is huge. It will build your discipline, determination, belief and confidence and, ultimately, will lead you to do the right things to achieve results and success in whatever you choose to do.
Content is King
Content gets traffic to your website. attracts subscribers to your list, builds relationships with your leads, and influences prospects to purchase your goods and services. These functions are all central to your online business success, hence “Content is King”.
At all stages of marketing, you must communicate with your market and quality content, using one medium or another, is the means to do this effectively.
There are four elements to content management… (i) Consumption, where you gather and assimilate the data, and (ii) categorisation and storage of the information for later retrieval. The third stage (iii) articulation is how you customise and present the content to serve your target audience. Finally (iv) is the production stage, at which point you create the content for publication and subsequent distribution.
Content also has a time dimension. Until the novice marketer goes through a transformation from consumer (stage i) to producer (stage iv), it is unlikely consistent earnings will be made. Such change is a key shift which represents a major hurdle for many, and a main contributor to the dismal statistics.
Traffic, Conversions and Sales Economics
Sales are the most important aspect of your business. Without sales, you have no customers, without customers you do not have a business making money online.
There are 3 steps to selling anything… The first step is traffic. The second is conversion, and the third step is economics.
“Traffic, conversion, and economics form a Power Triangle that governs everything in sales and marketing.” ~ Perry Marshall
The “Power Triangle” states that in order to sell something you have to get traffic (eyeballs in front of your offer), and then convert that traffic (cause a percentage of leads to opt-in or prospects to buy). Economics means you have to make a profit on what you sell (after considering the costs to generate your traffic). Profit is the bottom line. It determines whether you stay in business over the long term.
Once you are making a profit, you can then re-invest the profit to get more traffic and convert that traffic into more sales, which means better economics.
According to Marshall, and contrary to what it may sound, when you start your making money online business, you need to think first about the economics. Instead of thinking… “How do I get more and cheaper traffic?”, focus on making a profit. Conversion and economics are therefore the priorities. Traffic comes last despite what most gurus may teach you. Many, of course, are selling traffic products.
Finally, note that the conversion process described by Marshall is twofold…The first conversion is at the front end of the funnel where some traffic (leads) get persuaded to subscribe to your email list, while the second conversion is to convince some prospects as they progress through your sales funnel to buy. I’ll talk more about this in the art of advertising section below.
Advertising is an Art
The primary means of getting traffic to view your content is by advertising. However, a major challenge faced by all businesses is making money online potential customers aware of its products and services. According to Russell Brunson, every year, thousands of entrepreneurs starting out fail because they have not learnt the basic art of advertising to get enough people to know their offers exist.
In all forms of business, it is essential to get your message out to the world about what you do. It’s therefore important to learn the correct steps and be systematic in how you advertise online to achieve results.
Experienced marketers use a two-stage process. They use advertising to build brand, raise awareness of their products and services, and build an email list from the leads they attract making money online. The second stage is to follow up these leads with more detailed information by way of email follow-up messages. The emails “warm” the leads and build trust. Trust forms relationships and draws out prospects before any conversion is likely to occur.
This process takes time. While some prospects will purchase after a few emails, others will require more time in the sales funnel. Indeed, some may take months, or years… And some will purchase nothing at all. Patience, while you build your business and making money online, is therefore necessary.
A common shortcut used by novice marketers is to use advertising to try to sell affiliate products making money online. This is a mistake as “cold” traffic seldom if ever converts. It is therefore necessary to apply the art of advertising to build your future, and not expect it to satisfy immediate needs.
It is easier to sell to existing customers than to find new customers for your product and service mix. Customer retention is therefore of prime importance for a successful and sustainable business making money online. In my experience as a consumer, many internet marketers neglect customer satisfaction, partly because of the automated nature of online business. These marketers therefore miss out on a potential flow of additional business as dissatisfied customers move on.
However, there is an implicit obligation on business owners to manage customer relations. A large part of this is to coach or train customers what to do with what they have purchased. This may be to inform them how to make best use of the products or train them to replicate the business and sell making money online offers to others. Duplication and leverage are important subjects in network marketing, but are also of wider significance to all marketers making money online.
The absence of good customer relations is a matter of concern for another reason… I’ll discuss the “dark side” of making money online in the following section.
The Reality Of Doing Business Online
The first thing to realise is that most internet marketing gurus only give you part of the story making money online.
There are several well-established platforms on the Internet where you can witness “the dark side of internet marketing” at play. You have probably seen it… a large group of marketers in collusion talking about how easy it is to making money online and how they have discovered some “terrific new push button software” that makes 4 or 5 figure $ incomes per week, and how you can do the same for only $7. This, of course, is just the magnet. What follows is a foray of upsells to get the consumer to part with more money.
These “dark side” marketers have been deceiving gullible investors, regurgitating and rebranding the same old products, time and time again. The glossy sales copy produced by these gurus is persuasive and can often be deceptive. That’s why so many novice marketers investigating business ideas making money online get tempted to buy. I’m living witness to the deceptive practices. I’ve been misled into purchasing stuff I don’t need many times. There is seldom any follow-up on the purchase, other than a steady stream of new unrelated offers from the same large group of marketers.
The stark truth, however, is that few of these marketers make big money doing what they preach. How they make their money is by selling “how to make money online”, and the reason they’re able to make so much money is because they are all sharing lists and testimonials with each other. It’s a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality, with no consideration given to customer satisfaction whatsoever.
Such marketers all have huge contact lists. Upon release of a product, they all promote the launch to their respective lists. Most never give a second thought about offering value to their customer base. They just share the same stuff repeatedly and because they’re all promoting one thing, there is massive social proof.
In some forums on the Internet, users refer to these platforms as “flea markets”.
In summary, you don’t need acclaimed gurus to help you make a six figure income. What you need to understand is building and making money online business is hard work, and it’s rarely as easy as the gurus make it out to be. There is no substitute in the long term for the learning cycle and learning the essential skills for yourself. Your development as an internet marketer will take time and you will equally need to learn to use imagination to fuel your creative energy, hopefully to support and add value, rather than deceive your fellow marketers.
Imagination is Greater than Knowledge
According to Albert Einstein, “Imagination is greater than knowledge”. The rationale is that… “Knowledge will get you from A to B, while imagination will get you everywhere”.
In order to explain this, I’ll return to planning and what this entails. It’s a future-oriented thing and therefore comprises perception, a combination of knowledge and projection. What fertile minds don’t know, they make up! They use imagination and intuition to fill out the gaps.
We can only measure the quality of a plan at the end of the period once results are known. The outcome, therefore, hugely depends on the experience and abilities of the person making and implementing the plan. A plan is about options for the future (strategies) and making a choice of what strategy is likely to provide the best outcome in the fullness of time. Any foray into the future therefore requires both imaginative and analytical skills.
All experienced business owners will have a plan which encompasses the goals they want to achieve over the forthcoming period. Such entrepreneurs have gone through a mental shift from business opportunity seekers to business owners. Having made the shift, they have a clear focus on the results they want to achieve.
There is important learning here for novice marketers. This shift will go a long way to help you avoid distraction from “shiny objects”. Hopping around from one new product to another is characteristic of most inexperienced marketers and something we must all learn to control. The advice is to make a plan, break it down into chunks (goals), and work on it.
One caveat, however. For novices, it is notoriously difficult to plan and execute. There are problems arising from having a low customer base and small sales volume to plan upon. Therefore, the assumptions made in such circumstances, are likely to be very hit or miss. It is also a matter of record that limiting beliefs held by novice marketers thwart sales progress until they gain confidence in their products (Tony Robbins).
“Only When Belief Turns to Certainty, Will the Clouds Lift.” ~ Will Banks
Recommendation: Let’s Sum Things Up With a Shortcut
I need to wrap this up and will do so positively. Although it is bad news about the failure statistics, the reason is simple to decipher. And the good news is that there is a remedy incorporated within this concluding section. First, however, a recap on the findings…
While the failure rate of new businesses is high, there is a solid reason behind the statistics. Most novice entrepreneurs enter the industry alone, lacking the knowledge and skills to do business making money online Also, many do not have the financial and mental resilience to weather the storms they are likely to encounter when trying to climb the many learning curves they have to go through. Typically, mastering a trade or profession can take up to 5 years and if the internet marketer works alone from home, with little or no support, it is easy to see why so many quit and give up.
However, I don’t want to use the statistics to scare you or to deter you from a career online. My aim is to raise awareness so you can make informed choices about your future.
The good news is that there are ways to succeed in a shorter time frame, providing you get guidance from reputable, well-established marketers or marketing firms with suitable done-for-you programs available to franchise, at an affordable cost. I’ll present the shortcut below.
Franchising an Existing Brand to Make Money Online
The idea is akin to setting up a Starbucks or McDonald’s franchise store on a smaller scale without the enormous cost. Such franchise companies set up stores for investors in the same way many times over, as they are proven systems that have been shown to work making money online. The aim of franchising a brand is to make money for business owners from the outset. Investors in such systems receive everything set up ready to operate with full training in the specific things to be done to grow their businesses. It’s a win-win situation for all parties to the arrangement.
In the online version, as an entrepreneur, you will be provided with a website with all the required content. All you do is send visitors (traffic) to your web pages and let the system do the selling for you. You’ll be shown how to promote your site effectively because you are part of a team which is there to do everything to help its members achieve profit.
You will be trained to do your job, which is the marketing part, and everything else is provided. This includes all the work setting up your website, creating content, and training materials. This is a community situation where members support members, including all help and support needs.
In summary, the concept is that of an existing success story or brand (the franchise) which will build your business online for you. It is open to beginners. You do not have to be making money online to get started and ultimately succeed. You will be trained to refer people to the existing brand, and your leads and prospects will be sent back to sign up to your team through your affiliate link.
You can subscribe for further details on one such franchise arrangement here.
Finally, I encourage readers to engage with the blog article and in case of any questions, comments or suggestions, please raise them in the comments section below so I may respond to you.
All the very best,