Ever Googled 'how to start an online business?' I bet I know why...
No, I'm not psychic - and no, I haven't been stalking you, I promise! The thing is, when you look at people's motives for wanting to know how to start an online business and a way out of their 9-5, they pretty much always lead back to one core goal.
Perhaps you're sick of working to someone else's schedule, of missing time with your family and of having to plan your life around your job.
Learning how to start an online business will give you freedom of time.
Perhaps you feel trapped - and never more so than when you're sitting in your cubicle, staring out of the window and wishing you could be anywhere else but here. You want to travel, to experience other cultures and other places. Perhaps you just want to be able to work in your pj's in the comfort of your own home!
Learning how to start an online business will give you freedom of location.
Maybe you're sick of feeling under-appreciated and under-paid. You're fed up with your salary being decided by some arbitrary set of results, rather than by your own ability, ambition and achievement.
Learning how to start an online business will give you freedom of money.
We want to be free to live our lives the way we want - and that's what it always comes back to.
Why I want YOU to be free
In fact, it's only since I've started to feel that freedom myself, that I've realised just how trapped I was in my corporate role. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret it. It taught me a huge amount, I met some of my best friends there. But not once, not even for a day, did I feel free.
Now, here I sit at my dining table, in my jeans and slippers, looking out of our big bay window and already looking forward to the little walk I'm planning with my 3 year old later. We're going to put on our boots and play in the autumn leaves. But when I say 'looking forward', it means something very different to me now than it did when I was in my corporate role. Yes, I'm looking forward to my walk - but I'm not wishing away this moment right now. I love the peace and quiet of sitting and working while the boys are at school. I love getting to write and getting to help people and do something I'm passionate about. So I don't wish this time away - I just feel grateful for each moment.
That's why I feel so passionate about helping other people to find this same freedom. I truly believe that anyone can make a living online (and a good one at that!) and that if more people were given that opportunity, we'd be a happier (and freer) society.
How to be Free
So, we know why people WANT to know how to start an online business.
Do you want to know why so many people DON'T?
Well, there are a ton of reasons of course, but one of the biggest reasons why most people don't even try - or if they do, they don't get past the ideas stage?
You know yourself, if you Google 'how to start an online business' there is a LOT of information on the subject. There's so much you have to do!
'You gotta validate your idea'
'Check your competitors!'
'Make sure you've got a website (oh, and it had better be perfect)'
'Ummm... do you even have a brand?'
'Be on Facebook'
'Be on Pinterest'
'Aren't you on Twitter yet??'
'Do more videos!'
'Quick - run a webinar!'
'Guest posts.... Blogs.... Podcasts....'
'Build that email list!'
That's why I've broken down your journey to starting an online business into 4 manageable steps - and, you've guessed it, those steps spell out the word FREE.
Pretty rad, right? 😉
(Side note - I'm nearly 40 - I really shouldn't be saying rad...)
Want to know more? Well, good - cos I REALLY want to tell you! I'm SO excited about this business model and I hope it's going to help a lot of people to get started without that nasty overwhelm...
F is for Foundations
Look, I get it. You want to jump straight to the good stuff. The part where you're earning loads of money and getting grateful emails from people telling you how much you've changed their lives?
That's all possible - but not unless you've worked on your foundations first. What do I mean by that?
You need to get super clear on what your business is for (well, duh)
You need to check that it's a viable business in the first place - is this actually going to make you money?
You need to research your competitors.
You need to set up your platforms (your website and social media).
You need to get your finances and legal obligations in order.
And you need to set yourself goals and write a business plan.
It's not sexy but it IS 100% necessary.
R is for Reach
Once you're set up and ready to go, it's time to let everyone else know that you're out there! This stage is all about finding your ideal clients and helping them to find you.
You'll be focusing on content marketing, which is basically providing valuable free content which helps you to reach more people and grow your credibility.
You'll be doing things like;
Blogging (so don't forget to download your free copy of my Blog Post Checklist - that's going to make life SO much easier for you!)
PS. I don't mean ALL of these things - we want LESS overwhelm, remember!
PPS. Seriously, if you want to make life much easier for yourself, get your free copy of my blog post checklist here - no overwhelm, just simple steps for awesome blog posts, more traffic and engagement. Do it. 😉
Get your FREE Brilliant Blog Post Checklist here!
E is for Engagement
Once people know who you are, it's time to hook them in! Your goal is to build trust - without that, no one is going to buy from you. You'll focus on ways to deepen your relationship with your ideal clients...
You'll build an email list through creating simple lead magnets which give your ideal clients a quick win.
You'll grow your social media following, providing ways for your ideal clients to interact with you and to get to know you and your business better.
You'll develop a sense of community through whatever channels work for your target audience. It might be a Facebook group, LinkedIn group or perhaps through the comments on your own blog.
E is for Earnings
Let's not forget that part! After all, if you're not actually selling something, you don't have a business.
Once people know who you are and they like and trust you, then there's a good chance that they'll buy from you too. Woohoo!
In this stage you'll create your products and services.
You'll create launches.
You'll set up sales funnels.
You'll speak to your ideal clients and find out what they want (and what they don't)
This isn't a rule book
This business model is called FREE and I want you to feel just that. At each stage, you can find a way to work that suits you and your own personality and skills. There is no one right way of doing things - that's the beauty of it!
You don't need to look at everyone else and compare yourself and what you're doing.
Just be you. Do you!
Work through each stage until you're ready for the next one and you'll get there. I promise.
Don't forget your checklist!
I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, then I'd love to help you more! The Blog Post Checklist that I created gives you all the (simple) steps you need to plan, create and promote your blog posts for more traffic, engagement and leads.
No need to feel overwhelmed - just follow the steps and enjoy the results!
Oh - and I'll ALSO tell you the 3 biggest mistakes to avoid with your blog... sign up now and you'll see them on the very next page.
Want a step-by-step checklist telling you how to plan, write and promote your blog posts?
Subscribe now and I'll email one right over to you!