One of the most common things we hear from Internet Marketers is that they’re spending hours working in front of their computer, but they’re just not seeing the income that they think they deserve. The real challenge lies in figuring out why your business is not being productive. Once you’ve solved that riddle it all comes down to learning how to manage your online business like a pro!
Internet Marketing is often sold as an easy way to make money from home. The problem with this is that it may instill the idea that discipline isn’t necessary to be successful online. While we can definitely agree that many online marketing concepts are simple, building a real business is not easy. The key here is to realize that you are building an actual business and therefore you can’t treat it like a hobby.
Whenever someone is struggling to get their first product launch out or build a successful affiliate campaign, we like to ask them, “Are you really treating your business like a business? I mean, really treating it like a business?” You see, just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have specific work hours, daily tasks, and a timely work schedule. A lack of proper time management and discipline has cost many marketers precious months or even years of earning potential.
We all spend lots of time in front of our computers, but the reason some of us are more successful than others, it stems from our ability to properly allocate that time to work on the things that matter. And when we do sit down to work, we’re often bombarded with distractions. Facebook can be the worst for IMers because we need it to do business, but there’s always something attention-grabbing in our newsfeed.
THIS TYPE OF MINDSET WILL GIVE YOU AN ONLINE ADVANTAGE
There’s one type of personality that tends to do well right out of the gate when they start marketing online — experienced entrepreneurs. Experienced entrepreneurs have the discipline to run a business like a business. They’re able to focus themselves on achieving their goal for the day because that’s the only way they’re able to get paid.
Let’s be clear: Newbie marketers without a history of entrepreneurship can still be successful. It’s just going require forming the same successful HABITS that seasoned entrepreneurs have already acquired, which may create a learning curve for some new marketers.
Experienced entrepreneurs have learned how to juggle the tasks they need to achieve each day, the setbacks that naturally arise, and their personal lives. They’re able to stay centered even when stressful challenges threaten the project they’ve been working on for the past 6 months.
Entrepreneurs also tend to develop support groups to help them figure out answers to their problems. Networking is extremely important for more than just product launches… major business decisions often need feedback from experienced businessmen before a commitment is made. Entrepreneurs recognize this and “group up” accordingly.
Remember to treat your business like a business and not a hobby. Stay focused during your business hours. Keep calm whenever trouble arises and reach out to your support group if necessary.
IDENTIFYING THE RIGHT STEPS TO TAKE FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO THRIVE
The common thread with the success stories is that they all have an above average desire to succeed and to make the show work. Perhaps we ran our own businesses, were intrigued by the idea of the online market, or maybe we had a relative or friend that was an online business owner. The concept of being our own boss appealed to all of us, and the advent of Internet Marketing made us believe that we could make quick profits with little or no investment.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the brick and mortar world, or on the web, you MUST have a business plan if you’re going to succeed in this industry. So why does the average newbie Marketer manage their time so badly, and get frustrated if they get lower than average returns? It’s because the very definition of Internet Marketing precludes us from ever arriving at a successful business plan.
By definition, marketing is raising awareness about a product to a particular audience. Selling is persuading the audience to BUY the product you’re selling. Only through selling do you make any money. So if you’re extremely focused on marketing, but ignoring the selling, you’re not going to find the success you seek.
In traditional business, the concept is simple – goods and services are exchanged for money. This is called commerce and it’s what makes the world go around. The same is true for the Internet. In traditional business, a product changes hands several times, between the creator and the consumer. The creator or inventor passes it to a developer, who then passes it to a marketer or advertiser, who passes it to a distributor, who passes it to a wholesaler, who passes it to a retailer – who eventually sells it to a consumer. That’s a lot of balls to juggle; and if you drop just one, the rest usually follow.
THE PITFALLS OF WEARING ALL THE HATS IN YOUR BUSINESS
A common mistake in Internet Marketing is that we presume that as the creator of a product, we can do everything ourselves. We often try to save money by eliminating all the middlemen (like affiliates and JV brokers) and put that product directly into the hands of the consumer ourselves. This can be a dangerous misconception. While many of these “middlemen tasks” can be simplified by using Internet resources, it’s foolish to believe we can eliminate all of them completely.
FOR EXAMPLE : You can set up your product on JVZoo, and rather than attract affiliates to promote it, you simply drive your own traffic to your sales page. This way you don’t have to pay affiliate commissions… BUT, you have a lot of work cut out for you AND it’s a slow-selling process.
Even if you create a great physical product yourself and you have a way to put it in the hands of the consumer – by means of a service like JVZoo or PayPal – this doesn’t mean that there is no longer a need for the development of that product. You still need to properly advertise, market, wholesale and retail your products and services.
This holds true for digital products as well. This is what stunts the growth of business for many newbie Marketers. They either skip the entire middlemen process altogether and try to sell their own products one at a time or, even worse, they don’t eliminate the middlemen at all. Instead, they replace these middlemen with their own time, spreading themselves so thin that nothing of value ever gets done. They assume the role of inventor, creator, developer, marketer, advertiser, distributor, wholesaler, and retailer. They juggle these tasks haphazardly, which only leads to poor time management and neglect of consecutively important tasks.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO TACKLE EVERY MARKETING TASK YOURSELF
A lot of new marketers will try to be a successful soloist. Rather than learn the business with a partner, for some reason, many marketers never partner up with others who are just starting out. This is another problem that can be avoided through networking — even if it’s just through Facebook groups.
Partners may take a share of profits, but they can help you make the profits faster and easier. Partnerships can utilize the strengths of each other to balance out the weaknesses of each. Partnerships also allow the different tasks to be properly managed so that no ball gets dropped.
Partnerships can be temporary. Perhaps you are just working on a single launch together. Or perhaps you’re going to be partners until you’ve each hit a certain goal. As much as you may want to run your own business exclusively, it may be a good to partner up in the beginning.
RUN YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A CEO RUNS THEIR COMPANY
Internet Marketing is like any other business in many respects. Its success requires a solid business plan, even if you’re doing this from your spare bedroom. We suggest that you consider investing in a whiteboard to draw out your business plan. Keep it in front of you, look at it daily, and break it down into easily manageable sections. Assign yourself daily tasks that not only suit your schedule but also your business plan. Learn to juggle these features of your business and you’re looking at a sold-out show.
PRO-TIP : There are lots of great software out there for task planning and business modeling. It might be easier to keep everything on your computer and/or the cloud.
You should consider a tool like Asana, to help you organize your projects and set goals and timelines for your tasks. Project management tools can be very useful even when you’re just starting your business and you are the only person on the team. Asana is one of many platforms that can help you keep things neat and organized. Plus, as you start involving outsourcers and partners in your business, you can easily include them in existing projects and even assign tasks and keep the lines of communications open right there on the platform.
Run your Internet business like a real business and it will reward you like a business. Treat it like a hobby and it will become an expensive pastime. The key to effective Internet Marketing lies in your time management skills. Take another look at how you run your business, and how you can improve it by concentrating on the things that really matter. If you pour all of your time into running it the right way, you’ll get that income you’ve been working towards. Then, it’s just a matter of time before you become the supreme ringmaster of your own Internet Marketing circus.