I’m sure you have heard the cliché a million times: if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Achieving internet business mastery requires that you understand the steps involved to creating a business you will be happy with. The reason it is so important to be happy with the business you have created is that if you’re not happy with what you are doing for a living, you will quit long before you achieve success.
Starting a business online allows you to achieve both personal and financial freedom. With tools like autoresponders, good content management systems and the right advertising systems, you have the potential to automate the important tasks in your business so it runs smoothly and frees your time. This allows you to focus on the tasks that actually make you money: product creation and marketing.
An internet business offers you another advantage: it allows you to make money even when you aren’t working by creating a streamlined sales system that is working 24/7 to sell your products or services for you. After all, what good is building a business if you spend all your time working?
To get started, the process is always the same. Follow these steps to help you achieve success. Internet business mastery provides you with a solid foundation for success in business.
1. Determine your personal and business goals.
Before you spend any money or buy thousands of dollars in training you may not need to use, determine what your overall goals are for starting a business. Although some business strategies are easy to scale so you achieve a larger income, some systems will only help you achieve a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If your goal is to retire a millionaire, then you need to choose the right systems to help you get there.
Let me give you an example:
If your goal is to earn a few hundred dollars each month to make ends meet and provide some of the luxuries your family may want to have, your business plan may only include selecting a product and then posting free classified ads to market the products you are selling. You won’t need a website, you won’t need a complex marketing plan, and you may only have to work one or two hours per day to achieve your goals.
2. Complete the administrative tasks in your business.
Regardless of where you live, certain laws will govern how you conduct your business. You may need to have a separate bank account to deposit the money you earn. A good accounting system allows you to track how much money you make and spend, and this will help you determine whether or not you are making a profit.
Do these foundational tasks first. With the exception of keeping business books, you only have to do these tasks one time. Make sure your business is in compliance from the beginning so you don’t run afoul of the law and lose your business and potentially thousands to millions of dollars in profits.
3. Choose your products and/or services.
You may already have a product or service in mind for your business. Whether you have a product or service or not, you still need to do some research. Research will help you determine whether or not there is a market for what you are offering.
One way to do this is to use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner to help you determine what your potential customers want to buy. Although these numbers aren’t perfect, they do give you a starting point to determining what your customers want. Forums, social sites and even image sites are a good place to look to find out what they want. Use sites like Ebay and Amazon to help you determine your potential market.
4. Build your website.
If your goal is to build a full time income from your business, then a website is absolutely essential. It can be something as simple as a three page website that includes a lead capture page, a thank you page and a download page. Sales letters are another option.
A content website is your third option and allows you to create a public relations tool to build a relationship with your readers and potential customers. At the heart of any successful business is a loyal following. It also allows you a place to collect leads so you may recycle your traffic as well as educate your them on how your products or services solve their problems.
If you do choose to create a content website, consider choosing a content management system. A good content management system like WordPress allows you to create a search engine friendly website that allows you to focus on content creation instead of design. Focus on creating great content, and you’ll create a base of rabid fans. Since most web hosting now offers Fantastico to install your content management scripts, it’s easy to find the best scripts for your project and install them with a few clicks.
5. Create your marketing plan.
You can have the best product, the best service or the best idea for creating either one and still fail. The reason is that at the core of any successful business is a successful marketing plan. Without this plan, no one knows about your offer.
To create a successful marketing plan you must determine which internet marketing techniques you want to use. Will you use paid or free techniques? Free internet marketing techniques include article writing, search engine optimization, forum marketing, social marketing, press releases and free classified ads. Paid techniques include ads on sites like Facebook and Google.
Before you start marketing and waste a lot of time and money, choose one internet marketing technique and learn everything you can about it. Try it out to see if it is the right one for you. Master the technique and then add a new technique to help you get even more traffic.
One consideration here is email marketing. Regardless of what type of site you choose to build or how you choose to market, email marketing is a critical component of your overall business strategy because it allows you to connect with and build a relationship with your potential customers. You also have a chance to show them how you can solve their problems. That is how you get them to buy from you.
6. Write your marketing materials.
Once you have chosen an internet marketing technique, your next step is to start creating your marketing materials. This includes ads, articles, videos and even sales letters and emails.
If you choose to create these materials yourself, take the time to learn how to create them first. Just as planning your marketing plan and then learning how to execute it will increase your chances of success, so will learning how to write your marketing materials first before actually creating anything.
If you don’t feel comfortable writing your own marketing materials, then consider outsourcing. Just make sure you choose a writer that deals with direct response advertising. You want measurable results. Measurable results means that you are making sales and that your profit is greater than your income minus your expenses. In the beginning you will have more money going out than coming in.
You will find plenty of free tools available on the internet to help you with creating your marketing materials and save you a huge learning curve. Simply do a search in the search engines for the type of creation tool you want. An example would be free video creation software or a press release writing tool. Some of these tools are online tools while others are software.
One important thing to remember here is that the law of averages is in play. The more marketing materials you have circulating, the better the chance of success you have to make sales. Create new marketing content consistently and then test and track it to see what works.
7. Test and track your efforts to determine what is working.
There are many things you can do to test and track your efforts to find out what is working. The most obvious test is using this formula: Income – Expenses = Profit.
Income is the amount of money your business has earned before you have paid your taxes or covered your expenses. Expenses are your taxes plus anything you have to spend money on to generate your profits. This is an important metric. It doesn’t lie. If you’re not making money, then what you’re doing isn’t working. Use the feedback you get here to help you change course.
Other ways to test and track are using tools like Google Analytics. This is a tool that can be integrated into your website to tell you how it is performing.
You may also want to consider comparing your income to your advertising costs to determine how well your marketing plan is performing. Simply divide your advertising costs by your income to give you a conversion metric. For example, if you’ve made $100 and you spent $25 for advertising, you have a 2.5 percent conversion rate. This is actually a good conversion rate although there are ways to improve it.
Some changes you may want to make to increase your conversions effortlessly include changing the headline in your sales letter, rewriting the copy or making the same types of changes in your ads or other materials.
Remember to only make one change at a time though. It’s difficult to tell which change you made increased your conversions if you change everything at the same time. Make one change at a time, test that element to see if the change improved your results, and then change another element.
If you are considering starting a business, and you want to achieve internet business mastery, it is important for you to ask yourself certain questions.
1. What skills do I have that will make a good product or service?
2. Do I have a product or service idea that people actually want to buy?
3. How much money do I have to use to build a business?
4. Can I build a website, and if so, what will I need to do to maintain that website?
5. Which internet marketing technique or techniques do I need to market my business?
6. What marketing materials do I need to create to market my business?
7. Which metrics do I need to test and tweak to grow my business?