So you’ve made the decision.
You want to work for yourself, be your own boss, and do work you actually enjoy. You want to start an online business, but you don’t know how to start. On top of that, you don’t have money to invest and you don’t have any experience.
If all that describes you, today’s episode is going to hit home. I’m going to share seven steps you can take to start an online business with no money or experience.
The only thing you WILL need is an internet connection, of course, and a deep desire to succeed. If you can checkmark those two things, you’re golden. Let’s get started.
Step #1: Get Clear on Your ONE Thing
Once you start to make your way into the online business world, the floodgates are going to open. You’re going to be inundated with thousands of different ways of making money online. Not to mention the shiny objects people will try to sell to you: courses, classes, programs, and all sorts of info products. It’s easy to veer off path.
Therefore, as you’re starting, the first order of business is to get crystal clear on your intentions. What will your ONE focus be? What are you so passionate about that you’re willing to focus on for the next couple of years?
This can be almost anything under the sun. It can be organizing, like Alejandra from Home Organizing By Alejandra.tv. Her passion is teaching people how to declutter and organize. It can be healthy cooking, like Dani from Clean and Delicious.
Here are some other ideas:
- personal development
- exercises for busy people
- home cleaning
- online business
- social media marketing
You are only limited by your imagination. The most important thing is that you pick one thing, get started, and stick to it.
Step #2: Find Your Tribe
Let’s get this out of the way now. You can’t and won’t appeal to everybody.
If your one thing is cooking, who will your recipes be for? Working moms, college students, 30 year olds, 60 year olds?
Each of these groups of people are extremely different. Their interests differ. They are attracted to different content, colors, and graphics.
It’s important to figure out exactly who you want to serve. This will make your message clear and concise. Most importantly, it will help you create better, more targeted content and offers.
Step #3: Add Value to Your Tribe
Now it’s time to connect step one and step two with a business model.
What is a business model?
Dictionary definition: “a design for the successful operation of a business, identifying revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing.”
Examples: A restaurant’s business model is to make money by cooking and serving food to hungry customers.
My definition: a proven way to deliver value to your tribe and make money online.
Let’s look at an example I used in step 1. Alejandra from Home Organizing By Alejandra.tv has several online business models she uses.
- Advertising: She adds value with her free YouTube videos that help people organize their homes and lives. She makes money with the Google AdSense program.
- Digital Products: Alejandra has also created an online training course called the “Productivity Power Program.”
As you see, you don’t have to create something from scratch or reinvent the wheel. It’s all about taking what’s been done before and adding your own creative twist.
Step #4 Study, Learn, and Grow
You don’t have to be an expert in your chosen field. But you do have to invest time in learning about your one thing, your tribe, and your business model.
Here are some free ways to learn and grow:
- Seek out people who are doing what you want to do. Read their books, follow their blogs, and subscribe to their newsletters.
- Do topic research on Google, YouTube, Quora, and Facebook groups.
- Occasionally, you can find free trainings and online classes on platforms like Creative Live, Udemy, and Skillshare.
Step #5: Get in the Game
It’s easy to think you’re making progress when you are watching video after video and reading countless books to prepare you for creating your online business. But the goal is tangible progress, not accumulating more knowledge.
Learning is nice. It helps you make informed decisions, but too much learning can be a distraction from taking any real action.
You should spend about 20% of your time learning about your industry. With the other 80%, you need to be on the field playing the game, making moves, and taking shots.
You will never know if the business model you chose is something you enjoy until you put it into practice. You will never know if your ideas will take off until you implement them.
Step #6: Evaluate and Adjust
The online space evolves rapidly. Nothing is set in stone, especially in online business. Be willing to pivot at any moment. Make time every single week to assess your business and analyze your data. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s producing results and what’s not?
- Where is my traffic coming from?
- What can be improved?
- Which actions can be eliminated?
Use the answers to these questions to adjust your actions. This will help you stay on course and continue to make progress in the right direction.
Step #7: Be Patient
Building an online business is a process, not a one-time event. It doesn’t happen overnight. It happens one day at a time. You have to hang in there, be persistent, and consistent.
Good things take time.
Think about it. Have you ever heard of any successful person who tried and succeeded their first time trying? No, right? But I bet you’ve heard of many authors, comedians, YouTubers, and many other entrepreneurs who failed multiple times until they succeeded.
You can’t expect to publish one video and be successful. You can’t expect to publish one book, and all of a sudden, you have thousands of loyal readers.
You have to be willing to be patient, and at the same time, persistent. If you don’t see results from your efforts, then evaluate, adjust, and try again.
As long as you keep your focus on your one thing, your tribe, and continuing to improve the value you bring to the table, the rest will take care of itself.
My book Online Business Success goes in-depth into all the topics we covered today. When you purchase the book, you’ll receive three bonuses:
- 14 questions to help you find your passion
- Your Perfect Customer Workbook, to help you define and attract your tribe
- The I Commit Contract, to help you keep going during those times when you feel unmotivated (because it happens)
You can pick up your copy on Amazon. It’s currently available in eBook and paperback. The audiobook is coming mid to late October. Join the #momboss newsletter to receive an email when the audiobook is ready.