The Internet is 25 years old and is still really nothing more than a young adult. If you look at any other technology – for example, cars – you would see that it takes decades before the real innovation and opportunity starts to exist. As is the case with the Internet, we are only just getting started and there are crazy amounts of money to be made online if you have the right intentions.
Recently I heard a story of a guy who had a blog and sold his 45-page eBook for $20 each. Over the last two years he has sold 15,000 copies. That might sound like a lot but if you do the maths he has made $300,000 – the eBook took him two days to write!
If you have dreamed of owning some of the finer things in life then maybe you should jump into the online space see if you can create something that people love, by using your passion for a niche.
Let’s analyse this further below and find out the 3 reasons why most of you still don’t understand the opportunity that exists online.
1. Piracy is at an all time low
If you had told me that eBooks and audio would be profitable for any person to sell online I would have thought you were crazy. I am starting to see that this opportunity is becoming more and more real because piracy is becoming less and less. The average person wants to be seen to be doing the right thing, so they happily buy things from iTunes or a website if they feel there is value in it.
A few years back, even if there was value in a product, it was all about trying to get it for free and thanks to torrents this was very easy to achieve. More and more Google is blocking search results from torrent sites and the main torrent providers are being closed down. This means that the ultra savvy IT guys can still find the content you are after, but normal people are finding it harder and harder.
Where am I going with al of this? If you have something to educate people on then the time is now to offer that advice in a media form that works for your niche. Go out there and create a podcast, eBook, blog, piece of software, video or photo collection and don’t be afraid to charge a small fee for it.
The key to this is to be providing some sort of value for free first. Gary Vaynerchuk’s method of JAB, JAB, JAB, RIGHT HOOK is a great strategy to employ. This means in simple terms that you will provide advice 3 times for free and then on the fourth time you will ask for a small purchase. When you have provided someone with something they value they almost feel obligated to make a purchase with you at some point.
2. Scale, through social media, is beyond belief
You hear this in so many articles and you are going to keep hearing it on A2S, social media will help you scale your startup better than any other means. There are so many social platforms now and whilst you think the market might be getting crowded, it’s actually allowing you to be much more targeted and explore other avenues that are not Facebook or Twitter. Below are some examples of things that have happened to me that further prove this point.
- The other day I was searching for cool office layouts and I came across a few on Pinterest. I don’t typically use the platform at all, but I found it a great way to find lots of designs all in one place. I then found one I liked and when I click the picture it took me straight to the builder so I could get a quote. My experience started off as social, but it later turned into a sales process.
- If I look at some other things I have brought recently then the social journey seems to start without me even realising it. I started following “The Sugar Film” on Facebook because I am a bit of a health buff, and for the last 3 months I have been reading their content on how to be healthy and being consumed by their very provocative pictures. After 3 months of viewing their content, I finally went and watched their movie. My intention at the start of following them on Facebook had nothing to do with purchasing anything, yet I still ended up doing business with them.
- The same thing happened again on Instagram where one of the success sites I follow regularly posted up cool content that I really loved. Then one day, out of the blue, they said that one of their staff had written a book on success and I should check it out. I ended up buying the book because I found them relevant and trusted their opinion, so when I was looking for a book to read, their opinion was valued in my eyes.
- Then again, I had another experience a few weeks ago. One of the entrepreneurial events I have been following for the last 18 months had another free event. I went along to meet some cool people like I normally do, except this time around there were some products that they were selling. Having been to their events and liking what their whole vision was, I ended purchasing a few things and introduced a couple of my contacts to their brand, who later ended up purchasing as well.
My radar for being sucked into purchasing things online is higher than most and I generally am not a shopaholic, but when I see value in something its only human nature to want to know more. The key to these stories is that the sale happened much later than the first interaction. If you can hold people’s attention long enough then eventually they will be led to a sale if you make it easy and valuable for them. In each of these interactions, the businesses were authentic, real and had my best intentions at heart.
They also all had amazing customer support to back it up (in other words they could answer an email). It is no wonder that more and more millionaires are being born thanks to the online opportunities that now exist, which are being amplified by social.
3. Authenticity online doesn’t really exist
Back to my earlier point, a lot of online businesses are still not authentic. The moment you go to their social media or their website it is very obvious that they just want you to buy. The ones that do it well are the ones that spend their time educating you in authentic way. It’s easy as an entrepreneur to create a product or service, and then to put it out into the marketplace, and assume that everyone understands it and knows how to use it.
I have made this mistake many times before and what I now know is that you have to educate in a simple way if you want anyone to ever do business with you – your business is essentially an online education provider. Most of the online businesses I have seen don’t this or when they do, they educate you in a way that’s not authentic and makes you feel like you are going through a sales process.
The only reason you would ever not be authentic online is if you are not trying to provide value or don’t believe that what you have to say is important. Even if your business message has been said before, it may not have been said in the way that you communicate it, and therein lies the value you bring. If what your business does is important and shaking things up then you will naturally be authentic without even trying to be. Allow the mistakes of your business to shine through. Share things that went wrong with your business or product.
“Pull out your smartphone as much as possible and share videos and photos with your audience”
A recent interview I did with Grammarly really highlighted this for me. Their whole marketing revolves around making funny jokes about Grammar and sharing them with the world. Their hope is that you will read a few of their jokes and then ask yourself “who is this company Grammarly that post up all of these jokes?” When I first saw their product I didn’t believe in it and never ended up purchasing it. When I started to research some content on grammar, their brand popped up everywhere and they gradually started to build trust with me. After a while, I tried their product and it actually ended up being what I was looking for.
This is the power of being authentic online and building credibility with an audience!
If you know of some other cool online stories please share them with me below in the comments section or message me on LinkedIn.
Lessons I Have Learned About Scaling a Business as a Startup Founder
When I set out to start my own business three years ago, I never imagined bright lights and private jets to New York or Shanghai for business meetings. Good thing I didn’t because it is nothing like that at all. It was a struggle from day one and I had to embrace the grind to grow. (more…)
5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
Remote Work + Education: 3 Tips for Students Who Want to Have It All
Probably one of the greatest changes for the last year is the shifting to distant learning and working. There are many advantages to the issue, like, not having to commute every day, staying at a cozy home for a whole day. It makes our lives easier in terms of saving time and energy.
If you’re a student, you don’t have to bust out your textbooks every time you go to university. Instead, you have everything close and on the tips of your fingers.
However, within all the positive moments of distance learning, it is highly challenging for many of us. At college or in the office, we have a schedule, a plan which we simply have to stick to.
There is also a boss or a teacher who gives us tasks, checks and monitors our performance.
Well, now, we are our own bosses and teachers and have to come up with the plan and track our tasks independently.
So, how to stay tuned and efficient if you work and study from home? How to get the most of it and not drown in the ocean of procrastination? In this article, you will find three tips to help you out!
Set Up Your Workspace
When many think of a distance learning or work, they imagine themselves wearing pajamas and lying on a couch all day with the laptop. No more dress code, make-up, early mornings, coworkers or group mates, paradise!
This is a common misconception of remote work. If you want to work and study from home, it is crucial to create a space where you would stay focused and productive.
Still, if you have had a hard day and feel like having rest on your comfy couch, but there are assignments to be done, leave your worries to professionals in paperwritingservice, just place an order and enjoy your day.
When we both work and study from home, we stay with all those household essentials and, at the same time, have to focus on tasks. That is why a perfect workspace has to be created. So how to reach this ideal atmosphere at home? Here’re some pro tips.
Separate Spaces for Everything
This is a common problem for many that they sleep and study at the same place. Our body is a smart mechanism, which gets used to conditions very quickly.
So, as you sleep in your bed, every time you lie on it, your body gets ready to relax and concentrate is the last thing it is ready for. This principle is applied to any other space in your house.
So, your workspace should be particularly aimed at learning or/and work. Every time you get there, your brain will be ready to do the job.
Get Rid of All Distractions
This is a very important step if you want to stay productive at home. Your home may be a dangerous space in terms of concentration. To make it easier, help your brain and get rid of everything that might attract your attention and ultimately prevent good performance.
Plan Your Day
Every morning when you wake up, you approximately know what the tasks for a day are. So, what’s the sense in planning a day if you already have it all in your head?
This is one more important concept that helps us have everything done on time. Planning a day saves you time and boosts motivation and disciplines.
Here’s how it is done:
- You write down a list of tasks that have to be done;
- Prioritize them from less important to more important;
- Hang this list somewhere, where you can always see it;
- Mark completed tasks.
When you mark the task as accomplished, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction, which may be compared to some sort of praise. There are many tools to write a to-do list from paper to online apps.
Dedicate Time for Yourself
When you work and study from home, there will be a risk of abandoning our personal time in favor of more important matters. This factor leads not only to great results but also a concept called burning out.
When people face it, they feel exhausted, demotivated, and apathetic. To avoid this, it is crucial to have time for things you enjoy. It may be a sport, hobby, listening to music, watching movies, seeing friends. Your brain has to relax and get positive emotions to be more efficient in the long run.
No matter if you want to work and study from home, these principles can be applied to any activity. To manage it all, just follow these basic rules, and you’ll see how your productivity boosts.
Good luck with all your endeavors!
5 Ideas on Starting a Business in College
Getting your own business is a very responsible yet liberating undertaking. By starting a business while still in college, you can be sure to have an income when you graduate or to at least get some life-saving skills and experience that will help you land whatever job you like later on.
Although starting a business can be quite intimidating, there are lots of resources online that will help you go through the process easier. In the meantime, here are some valuable ideas that will help you make sure your business turns out to be a success.
Develop a Business Proposal
Before starting a business, you need a working idea, something that you can sell to your potential customer. Having an idea is, unfortunately, not enough for success here. It is important to make sure that there is an audience, a group of people that actually needs the product you want to create, and will be interested in buying it. You can even define a “Buyer Persona,” which is basically a description of your target customer, what they are like, what triggers them, what their interests and needs are.
Business proposals can be different, depending on how big a business you want to start. In case you are thinking about looking for some investors, your business proposal should be a solid description of your business idea, convincing enough for people to understand that they will get their money back and gain some profit when your product goes live. In case you don’t need investors, your business proposal can be more of a business plan outlining the main facets of your business idea and the things you need to do to make it work.
Get Some Help
As a person new to the business world, you might need some helpers and advisors to keep everything under control. When it comes to your studies, there might come the point where you need to choose between your business and your degree. To manage the problem, you can reach out to a professional academic writer from essayservice and ask them to take care of your assignments while you focus on developing your business.
Additionally, you might need to reach out or hire some business or tax advisors, or at least request a consultation with them. Starting a legal business will require you to be good at paperwork, which means some preparation is in place. With a business advisor by your side, you can be sure not to miss any important steps when developing and marketing your business. If you define your company as a start-up, it is possible that some business advisors will be willing to help you out for free, given that they get interested in your business idea and want to get profit out of it too.
Create a Website
Whatever business you choose, whether you deliver services or products, you need to have a website. Luckily, you can make do with little investments here: you don’t need to hire an IT guy or a Web Designer as there are lots of tools where you can create a great website from scratch. You might just have to pay for your domain if you want it to be unique. One of such sources is Wix; it is a free website builder.
Why do you need a website, you might wonder? Well, the days when people learn about businesses from newspapers and leaflets are long gone. Now everyone will go online, look your business up, and expect to see some clear definition of what it is you do and what value you can bring. In case you want to open a shop, your website will function as an online shop. In case it is a service you are offering, your website will give your potential customer enough information about your service and will hopefully convince them to reach out to you and order the service.
Work on Social Media Channels
Having social media channels is as essential as having a website in 2020. While a website is a place where people can order and buy your products or services, social media is a sort of a platform that will lead them up to your website.
With the help of social media channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you can find the right people, give them a brief description of your business, and get them to visit your website and learn more about what they can get there.
Social media is what can also help you develop a strong online presence and customer loyalty. Online presence means that your business gets regular online exposure. People see posts and notifications about it daily and thus remember and highlight it. When it comes to customer loyalty, social media can help you engage your potential customers, get their interest, and devotion to the product and the very idea of your product. They basically need to feel “at home” with your business, like it is something very close and personal to them.
Try Again Until You Make It
The reason why many businesses fail lies in the fact that people tend to give up if they fail, simple as that. However, the truth is that failure is part of the process. It is a sort of a learning curve you need to go through before you make your business into what it should actually be like. That’s why you should never expect to succeed on your first try or get disappointed if you fail several times in a row. Maybe it is just the universe testing how serious you are about achieving your goal.
Every company has this “success story,” where they tell everything about their ups and downs, their insights, and takeouts. It is good to read those stories to get some inspiration and do a reality check on what building a business actually looks like. If your determination and motivation are strong enough, your business will definitely succeed, no matter how many tries it takes to get there.
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