Guide to Starting and Growing an Online Business
There are many courses out there on how to grow an online business.
Our courses are DIFFERENT.
This course is less about giving you an abundance of information and more about you taking focused ACTION.
Rather than passive absorption of large amounts of information you may have seen in other courses, we built this course in a way that divides the information into manageable chunks.
More importantly, each and every lesson has specific ACTION ITEMS that helps you implement what you learn immediately.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this course:
- How to create a service product and accept payments online
- How to build a big email list and leverage email marketing
- How to promote and market your business with guest posting and social media
- How to diversify your online income with affiliate marketing, ebooks & online courses
Even if you don’t have products earning money yet or technical skills.
If you’re ready to grow a genuine online business that can lead to more income, time, and location freedom, then this course is for you.
Chris & Tal
The key to seeing results is consistency - committing to a daily habit of absorbing the material and completing the action items in each email.
However, in order to achieve a big goal, you need more than sincere commitment to make it happen. You need a disciplined systematic approach to realizing your big dream.
This is where habits come in. Habits help us to continue working towards our goals even when we are not motivated. They allow us to transition through our day on autopilot.
Just imagine how your life would change if you devoted a daily practice to work on your goals. How different would your life look if you spent your early mornings doing what is truly important to you?
This can be extremely powerful.
Key Action items:
Commit to tracking your progress daily. You can use a piece of paper, a Word document, Excel file, or an online software. On this note, check out our Goals Software which we designed specifically for this type of challenge and use license code 30daychallenge1x$y after signing up to get full access to all features. (* Here's a short video tutorial showing how to use the software: http://youtu.be/fqmrLg-QnRU)
This one little tracking habit might not seem significant at first, but, from our experience, it might make all the difference.
Tal & Chris
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use the Goals Software.
Where to Start?
There are dozens of ways to monetize an online business, ranging from advertising and affiliate income to selling ebooks. The philosophy we advocate in this course is that the best way to generate income online is not from one source but from multiple sources.
A key question then becomes: where is the best place to START?
While you can kickstart your monetization journey in many ways, we believe the most lucrative approach when you're just starting out is to create a SERVICE product based on expertise and skills you already have.
Why a servicebased product, you ask? For one, it can generate HIGH DOLLAR INCOME
almost immediately, but more importantly, it’s one of the quickest ways to VALIDATE your offer to world. You see, your biggest risk in developing an online business is spending months developing something that prospective customers don’t really want.
There’s another good reason to start with a service based product: Your future online products, such as those mentioned above, can be created based on LIVE feedback from followers and paying customers. In fact, later in this course, we’ll learn how to turn your audience feedback into insight and use it to create your second income source!
Key action item: Create a list of a few ways you can provide VALUE to others, mark out the ones you are NOT excited about, and then determine which one would grab the MOST INTEREST. Remember, our goal is to just get started FAST and move with momentum in one direction.
Your Powerful Statement
Without the right foundations a clear message, a good pricing strategy, a sense of credibility, an irresistible offer, a positive emotional connection, and proper marketing your offer can be lost in the sea of other offers.
This is where a well thought out plan for your offer can be extremely useful.
We are talking about a simple ONEPAGE ACTION plan that addresses only 3 essential components: 1. Your powerful statement, 2. Your measurable objectives, 3. Your core offer.
On day 3 we discussed the first component: Your powerful statement.
This is important. One of the main reasons many service providers fail to attract customers is that they struggle to articulate the exact solution they offer in a clear, concise, and compelling way.
Key Action Items: To answer the following two questions: 1. Who is your target market? 2. What is the Number One most powerful RESULT or BENEFIT you help your potential clients achieve? Your powerful statement is a combination of these two answers: “I help [Your answer to question 1] to [Your answer to question 2].”
Your Measurable Objectives
Creating a product without a concrete outcome is like having a ship without a port you’re not entirely controlling the direction of your business.
Your overall outcome, of course, is to win customers over. But the measurable objectives are like mile markers on the road they allow you to evaluate your progress every step of the way.
The easiest way to make your objective measurable is to simply associate a number with it. For example, “I will have 25 new clients by the end of the year.” However, this is only half of the story.
The other half is to set incremental milestones that YOU have direct CONTROL over. For example, “I will publish an attractive sales page by the end of the month” or “I will actively market my services every day next month, until I get my first client”.
By focusing on what you have control over in the near future, you’re less likely to get discouraged and throw in the towel.
Key Action Items: Start with ONE long term objective (preferably yearly) and don't be afraid to aim high. Ask yourself “What is the specific and measurable outcome I’m looking to achieve?” Once you have your long term goal, set smaller checkpoints along the way, and focus on what you have direct control over. Lastly, don’t forget to set firm deadlines in order to create a positive sense of urgency.
Your Core Offer
On day 5 we covered the last part of your onepage ACTION plan which provides a great opportunity to uncover some of the most important components of your proposed solution.
We focused on 10 categories:
1. The Problem What is the main problem you're solving?
2. The Solution What is your solution and your product’s features?
3. The Why Why should your prospective customers choose you and not your competitor?
4. The Benefit What are the top benefits your clients receive by working with you?
5. The Result What results can clients expect from using your service?
6. The Price How much will your product cost?
7. The Client Who are your ideal clients and where are they hanging out?
8. The Objection What would be the main objections to your offer?
9. The Urgency Why should someone act immediately on your offer?
10. The Credibility What kind of credibility do you have?
Key Action Item: In a word document or on a piece of paper brainstorm all 10 categories and make sure you use a short paragraph for each there is no need for a super detailed description. Remember, we want a onepage plan that can QUICKLY turn into ACTION.
Writing Your Offer's Sales Page
On day 6 we used a sales page structure example to demonstrate how to construct a winning sales page.
We identified the following key sections:
1. Attention grabbing headline Write a headline that catches attention and offers results to the reader.
2. Open with an emotional hook Pull the readers into the content of your sales page by connecting with them on a deep EMOTIONAL level right from the start.
3. Vividly paint the problem Describe the problem/s causing the pain or preventing the pleasure in more detail.
4. Include yourself in the conversation Show the reader you understand what they are experiencing and that you get it.
5. Show credibility Emphasize why the reader should listen to you, take you seriously, or believe you.
6. Reveal your solution Introduce your product or service. Explain to the reader what it is, what it isn’t, and what's in it.
7. Include a list of key features: Spell out in a bullet point list the features of your offer.
8. Add a list of core benefits Be sure to communicate not only features but also the underlying benefits of your offer.
9. Consider qualifying your prospect Qualify the reader by making statements about who it is for and who it is NOT for.
10. Embed a well crafted Call to Action Wrap up your sales page with a clear and compelling CalltoAction, requesting the reader to take the next step.
11. Make an offer hard to refuse Make an irresistible offer that can help you seal the deal.
12. Guarantee your offer Give a money back guarantee or some other satisfaction guarantee with your services.
13. Proof that your service actually works Ask for short testimonials from anyone who has ever used your service, and embed them at various places on your page.
14. Wrap up with a positive note Wrap your sales page with a line about being excited to work with them, get started or see them taking action.
Key Action Plan: Create a sales page in your Wordpress site. You can take payments on your sales page with PayPal or Gumroad.
In this tutorial we show you how to put a Paypal button on your website.
In this tutorial we show you how to use Gumroad to put a "Buy Now" button on your website.
Weekly Review 1
This a review of all the key concepts and action items from the past 6 sessions.
Building an Interested Email List
These days, on average, you’ll need to connect with your prospective customer seven times before they will eventually buy from you. If you go into a “pitch mode” WITHOUT first building TRUST and a relationship with your prospects, you’ll have a hard time converting them to paying clients.
This is where building your own email subscriber list can be a GREAT asset.
An email list can help you establish a longterm relationship with your visitors, validate your future products, keep in contact with your prospects, promote your business, drive traffic, and most importantly, it can raise your bottom line.
Key action item: Head over to Aweber (or MailChimp) and sign up for an account.
Setting Up Your Email List Correctly
There are some basic settings that need to be set as you create your first list.
Here are the important ones:
List Name: A unique name that identifies the list. List Description: A few words that describes the subject of your list.
"From" Name and email Address: What subscribers see when the receive an email.
Contact Address: Your residential or business address.
Notifications: Receive an email notifying you of when a subscriber joins or unsubscribes.
Company branding: This includes your company name, website address, etc.
Key action item: Head over to your chosen email service provider control panel and start setting up your subscriber list.
In this tutorial you'll learn how to create your first email list in Aweber.
In this tutorial you'll learn how to set up a confirmed opt in in Aweber. This is also known as a "double" opt in.
Configuring Your Opt In Form and First Message
On day 10 we finalized the setup process with the configuration of your optin form and the first message to your future subscribers.
We recommended that you keep the number of fields in your new optin form to the minimum. The less fields on your form, the higher the conversion rate. In fact, my forms often contain only the email address field. If we want to be more personal, we also collect the subscriber's first name. But that's it anything more than that and you're at risk of hurting your conversion rate.
Key action items: 1) Set your first message to your future subscribers. 2) Configure your optin form and publish it on your site.
In this tutorial you'll learn how to create an autoresponder message in Aweber.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to embed an Aweber sign up form on your WordPress website.
Creating an Attractive Opt In Offer
If you want people to give you their email, and more importantly their attention, you must HIGHLIGHT the incredible value you offer for those who choose to subscribe. So instead of just having a little box in your sidebar, that says “Sign Up for Updates", express specifically the BENEFITS you offer.
Here are some great examples we've seen online:
“The top 5 tools to reduce, prevent and cope with your teacher stress and tension. (Hint: They work immediately and cost nothing!)”
“Baby Sleep Guide: The 5 essential things you need to do to help your baby sleep more! (Hint: It does not take an entire book to explain!).”
Key action item: Brainstorm and create an attractive optin offer that people will find difficult to refuse. Ask yourself, “how can I highlight more value in my offer in order to get people on my email list?”
What To Send To Your Email List
We discussed two main options:
Option A: Sending Live Broadcasts: A broadcast is an instant email message. You can send it out to your subscriber list immediately or you can set a date and time that you want the email to be sent.
Option B: Autoresponder series: An autoresponder is a followup email that you schedule to go out after a certain number of days from the day a subscriber first opt into your email campaign.
Our recommendation: Mix them up!
Key action item: Choose an email sending strategy. Decide which types of email you’ll send to your email list, in what frequency, and in what order.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a broadcast message in Aweber.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a follow up message or autoresponder series in Aweber.
In this tutorial you'll learn how to create an automatic blog broadcast in Aweber. This is also known as an RSS driven email campaign.
Make Your List Stick
When the time comes to promote something you care about, you’d want your list to be responsive to your cues, because it is only when you’ve got their attention and trust, will they start responding.
There are three ways to create a responsive list, and these are:
1. Your Personality The more real you are with your list, the higher your chances of holding their interest and making them engage.
2. Value and Usefulness Providing something of substance that engages your reader to keep on reading until the end.
3. CallToAction Every email you send should have some sort of call to action and be designed in a way that get them to click on something.
Key action item: Rewrite your 1st message to your list so it creates more interaction.
Weekly Review 2
This a review of all the key concepts and action items from the past 6 sessions.
Driving Traffic the Smart Way
As you probably know, there are various ways to drive traffic to a website, ranging from social media, to search engine optimization, to buying ads. These are all valid methods to consider, however, when it comes to growing your email list, one approach seems to consistently work better than all the others. It's called guest posting.
The main reason high quality guestposting works better than other methods when it comes to building your email list is because you are warmly introduced to a tight audience, something that increases your credibility and reputation among that audience. In other words, you are vouched for by an influencer.
Key action item: Create a list of quality blogs in your niche that accept guest posts.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to evaluate the popularity of a website with Alexa.
Landing Your First Guest Post
What is the best way to get a quality blogger to accept your guest post request? There is no one formula for this, of course, but one thing is for certain the email you write needs to be clear and short. Five or six wellcrafted sentences are enough.
There are three super important points to consider before sending your first email:
1. Take a few minutes and actually READ their blog.
2. Consider leaving a few thoughtful comments on their blog BEFORE you make your pitch.
3. If you have already written guest posts, mention some of them in your email.
Key action item: Approach a few bloggers each day for the next 7 days and see if you can land a guest post.
Constructing Your Guest Post
Writing just another quick random blog post is not enough. You want to write a great blog post, one that gets shared across social networks, generates traffic to your site, and ultimately leads to new subscribers.
But coming up with solid and compelling content on an ongoing basis is not always easy. To assist with this, we recommend you use a supportive writing framework for easily creating solid content, something you can always “fall back on” when you need to.
Key action item: Define exactly what you want your personal brand to be known for and then sum it up in one paragraph.
After Your Guest Post Goes Live
Your job does not end with writing a guest post. If you want to be successful in the online world, you must also be willing to actively promote your work and strengthen the relationships you’ve built. Here are a few simple steps you can take:
1. After your post goes live, take a minute to send a quick thankyou email.
2. Interact with readers who comment on your guest post.
3. Consider adding the host blog’s logo and link to your “Featured At” section on your site.
4. Spread the word about your post.
5. Strengthen the relationship with the blogger who featured you.
Key action item: If you haven't done so already, Join Twitter and any other high traffic social media network that suit your business.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to get started on Twitter.
Your Social Media Persona
Social dynamics online are no different than those offline. It’s very similar to how you’d join a certain conversation at a cocktail party and share interesting stories with a certain group you’re just going to do it online.
Your social media persona is a function of social interaction and is formed by your interests, preferences, and most importantly goals. Similarly, Your audience segments are any group of people who find common interest in your stories and the conversations you start.
Key action item: Define your audience by creating groups of people with common characteristics who may be HIGHLY interested in what you’re going to share.
Building a Social Media Audiance the Smart Way
You primary FOCUS should remain on building your EMAIL LIST. Do not confuse social media metrics with what really matters and that is building INTIMATE relationship with your prospective clients using email.
But that doesn't mean you should ignore social media entirely. With more than a billion social media users worldwide, it is pretty selfevident that your business can benefit from using it. By utilizing social media CORRECTLY, you can increase traffic to your online business and ultimately your bottom line.
Here are 3 ground rules:
1. Avoid selling directly on social media.
2. Avoid sharing content that's only about you and your brand.
3. Don’t just share... Interact.
Key action item: Create a list of key influencers in your niche who publish high quality content. By interacting and sharing their content on Twitter, you get to build both relationships and credibility.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create lists in Twitter.
Week 3 Review
This a review of all the key concepts and action items from the past 6 sessions.
Your Second Online Income Source
Coming up with a viable idea can be challenging, but a good place start is to think about your eBook as a SOLUTION to a problem. Contrary to common thought, you don’t necessarily need a new or unique solution to make it popular you just need to give people a BETTER or more useful solution than your competitors offer.
Key action item: You want to get really clear on your audience’s PAIN points. Send an email or pick up the phone and ask: “What are you currently most struggling with?”
Creating Your Ebook
We recommend you use your own platform to sell your eBook and apply the same process we just went through to sell your servicebased product. There are quite a few drawbacks to using Amazon as your main platform. The biggest, and oftenoverlooked, drawback in our opinion is that Amazon does not reveal ANY information on who bought your eBooks not an email, not an address, and not even a name.
Key action items: Brainstorm a draft table of contents for your new eBook and start gathering ideas for your book cover. Most importantly, commit to a DAILY writing habit and show up each and every day.
In this video, you'll learn how to use the Amazon marketplace to brainstorm a draft table of contents for your ebook.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to design an eBook cover quickly and easily.
Supplementing Your Income With Affiliate Marketing
There are 3 keys to becoming a successful affiliate marketer.
1. Picking the RIGHT products
2. Building trust and credibility
3. Driving the RIGHT traffic.
We already took care of the second and third keys by building an interested email list and using it to create a relationship with your prospects. Picking the right products is key. You want to make sure that whichever product you’re going to promote has to be 1. extremely useful to your audience or community, and 2. highly recommended by credible sources and fellow experts.
Key action items: First, make a list of products you LOVE using that can appeal to your audience. Second, make a list of products and services that can be extremely useful to your audience and sign up to their affiliate programs.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use the Pretty Link plugin to shorten, brand, and track clicks through your affiliate links.
Transforming Your Ebook Into an Online Course
Creating an online course leverages both your time and the need for physical infrastructure. We recommend you first publish your course on Udemy.com. It’s thе world’s lаrgеѕt destination fοr online courses which means you don't have to worry about traffic. In addition, becuase selling your course on Udemy.com is a noneclusive agreement, you can sell your course on other onlineeducation portals and your very own site.
Key action item: Go to Udemy.com, search for your eBook topic and review each product by pressing on the “Free Preview” link below the price button. The key question you want to answer is “How can you make YOUR course BETTER?”.
How to Deliver Your Online Course
As an Udemy instructor you can deliver your course in different formats (e.g Text, Audio, Video) however, we recommend you heavily rely on video. There are some good reasons for this.
First, the ability to bring lessons to life and provide a unique learning experience. Second, the effectiveness of your course scientific research indicates that using video in course content improves learning and retention. And third, the perceived value of your product video has the highest perceived value of any other media, more than text and audio.
Key action item: Write copy for your short introductory video which will be around 1 minute in length.
Creating Your Online Course
We recommend you focus on creating slideshow presentation videos in which you are adding a voice over. Then, once you have developed good foundations for functions like editing and content delivery, you can go and master other aspects of video creation.
You can follow the following step-by-step approach:
1. Create your presentation slides in your desired software
2. Use an editing software to add your own audio.
3. Create screen capture videos if needed.
Key action item: Create your short introductory video based on the copy you wrote yesterday.
That's it for Week 4. We still have a few things to cover. Tomorrow we’ll be sending you an ebook, some more tips on finalizing your new products, and some info on where to go from here, so stay tuned!
Week 4 Review
This a review of all the key concepts and action items from the past 6 sessions.
Finalize Your Products
As promised yesterday, attached is a PDF with all the lessons so you can refer to it whenever you need it. It is over 15,000 words long which equates to the length of a small book. We hope you make good use of it.
Now, depending on the scope of your new ebook/course, it can take you anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks to finalize your products.
Hopefully, by now, after 4 weeks of daily action. the habit of taking action is well ingrained in you and you naturally do it. If that’s the case, Your progress should be consistent. Just remember our advice to show up each and every day, EVEN if it's just to write a few paragraphs.
Today we’d like to focus on some of the key points you want to consider before releasing your product to the world.
1. Course Price Our recommendation is to make your online course free for the FIRST week, get a number of participants, and only then switch it to be a PAID course. There are two reasons for that. 1) You’ll be able to show a larger number of participants on your course summary page which is crucial for credibility. 2) You’ll be able to ask for testimonials which are also extremely important for gaining credibility (p.s on this note, make sure you ASK for it. if you don’t ask your students for reviews or testimonials, you probably won’t get them...)
2. Supplementary material Consider creating and adding useful supplementary materials to your course such as worksheets, checklists (like the one we provide in today’s lesson), and short PDF guides.
3. Coupons Consider offering your course at a steep discount using coupon codes. A lot of Udemy’s marketing is done through discount promotions so you can drive more sales when you optin to their promotional program. You can also do a onedaysale and/or offer variety of free and discount promotions to your own email subscribers.
4. Affiliate partners Udemy has an affiliate program that gives affiliates 50% commission so there are incentives for other websites to promote your course. All you have to do is apply within the Udemy’s instructors admin area once your course is finalized.
5. Udemy’s desired standards Udemy has a long list of requirements but not all of them are equally essential. We’ve summarized the key components for you in the attached document. You want to make sure your online course meets those standards.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE ACTION ITEM ============================
Your task today is simple: Download our Course Key Components Checklist and start filling it out. This will help you keep track of some those important tasks you might forget to do.
One last point before we tie things up for today. Talk and build a bit of hype about your upcoming course/eBook BEFORE they are even ready.
This includes writing a series of blog posts about your course’s topic, sending emails to people who might be interested in your course, contacting influencers in your niche and invite them to be affiliates, etc.
Conclusion + What's Next
Developing your own products is an important step, and a foundation upon which to build. But having great products and a new audience to market to are not enough to make your online business successful.
In order to build a successful online business you'll need to continue building your audience and creating a deeper relationship with them.
The possibilities are endless literally! It has never been more affordable in human history to start a business.
So, No more hesitation. Your "one day" is now!
Your partners in crime,
Tal & Chris
P.S. Our challenge has now come to the end, but before you go we'd love to receive your feedback. Could you please let us know how was your experience in general? Is there any specific areas where we can improve? We'll use your feedback to make The Online Business Challenge even better.
Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in our next challenge!