7 Principles of Building an Online Business.There is a lot to say about these. In fact, they'll fill a book or several if you let them. Each of the principles in turn has - many times over. What we are interested here is in the underlying basic principles - which in our specific case act as a system. Meaning that the individual parts working in syncrony will create a much greater effect than in acting alone. However, no one that I know of has published this system as such - and so you are one of the few who are now able to take advantage of this knowledge.
I talk about marketing here, and little of the nuts/bolts of business (making payroll, supply/demand, inventory control, et al.) But the basics, sheer simplicities, of building an online business are all covered. This essay defines that starting point to building online business success - or a review of perhaps why your success hasn't yet arrived...
Let me give you an overview of these principles - so you can see and utilize their interaction:
1. Purpose:This deals with what "turns you on", what you could talk about forever (as long as you had someone that interested to listen), what you easily get excited about, what consistently makes you smile, what prompts you into action.
When you narrow down to the handful or single action which consistently brings you joy, then you are very close to finding your purpose in this life.
When you have your purpose figured out, then you can turn around and start helping others with that expertise. Yes, you the expert. If you're 10 years old, you are probably expert in the one thing which illustrates your purpose most closely - if they've focused. Because most people make their hobby out of their purpose, and work at this in their spare time, about 20 hours per week. And as Malcolm Gladwell illustrated in his "Outliers", it only takes 10,000 hours of practice to get expert at anything. So 20 hours a week, 52 weeks per year, and you wind up with 9.615 years - becoming an expert at that "hobby".
And so, you are now (or can be shortly) a market leader for that community. Which means the solutions you know can help others, and they'll pay you for this information.
That leads us to...
2. Community LeadingLeaders attract. Followers chase. And that is the complete explanation for online marketing. Some have even called this Attraction Marketing, but my first direct revelation of this was mentioned by Mike Dillard in the first of his "Magnetic Sponsoring" videos. (Even if you don't intend to get into direct or network marketing, this is still completely appropriate.)
When you study around on the Internet, you'll find that the market leaders are simply and regularly proposing solutions to anyone and everyone for their particular niche. And every so often will collect up what they've been working on and offer packages of these solutions in exchange for that commodity called money.
And the reason they do this isn't to get rich, so much as they want you to value and put this knowledge to work for yourself. Sure, they usually seem to "make money hand-over-fist", but actually they are working hard to help everyone they can around them. And know that their own success completely depends on how many of these solutions they can get other people to implement in their own lives.
But return to that initial phrase. The underlying reason for their success is that they are simply putting their solutions out in front of people who are looking for them. And that is simply what marketing it all about. Marketing by definition is finding and supporting a market, an exchange, for goods. Goods are somethign which support or improve the quality of living, of life. (You certainly wouldn't buy something called "bads" would you?)
Markets are developed by communities of like-minded people who want an area where they can find what they need. A market leader simply finds the communities of people who are like him and have had the same problems which that leader has already solved - and will tell them what they need to know, but (better) will exchange their valuable solution for something valuable which that customer has.
Their intention is to turn the prospect into a customer, the customer into a client, and the client into an evangelist for that market leader.
How does a person become a leader? Simply by making the decision to. And after that, the leader-in-training will find all that is needed showing up in front of him. The more a leader hones his skills at communicating and marketing, the more people will seek him out.
The tools the market leader uses are few - and are covered in the next 3 principles:
3. List BuildingThe market leader collects identities and builds supportive relationships with these people. As above, this leader is helping those people go up their own skills ladder - actually inviting them to become leaders on their own.
The "List" in this case is an e-mail list. And there are various ways to invite people to become part of your list. We are covering here the broad strokes, the principles, so we won't particularly delve into mechanics at this point.
Your relationship with that list is what is key. People will follow people most like them, and will continue to follow only as long as there is perceived value offered. So the leader will grow his list to those same 2 degrees: that he is consistently putting his brand where people can find it, and where he/she is consistently providing better-than-average value to the people who have joined his list.
The mechanics of doing this are called list building, but you'll see in the next two principles that there is considerable interaction which help this.
4. Content PublishingHaving and following a purpose enables you to generate an endless supply of content. Content is data, collected facts, observations, comparisons, workable conclusions, etc. It is both knowledge and understandings, published in many different ways and methods.
To market, or to find communities and put your content in front of their search, means utilizing all the various ways and means people are using as part of that search. Google calls their delivery of all these varous formats "Universal Search". So you'll see video's, audio files, images and various sorts of text (html, doc's, and pdf's, etc.) all mixed together when you search for any given phrase or single word. The disclaimer here is that search engine optimization (SEO), while a fairly broad subject, is not a key part of this. (The short hand explanation is that search engines work with words - and SEO is simply attaching the relevant words with and in your content so the search engines can make best sense of them.)
Search Engines are used by people to deal with all this knowledge available on the Internet. But practically, search engines will only give you new prospects for your online business. And your marketing utilizes SEO on all your content so that it most accurately shows up where people are looking.
People have a limit to how many trusted sources they include in their lives. And so do not use search engines for everything. However, people have a wide variety of interests, and are always looking for more solutions and answers as they go through life. While your own set of solutions (services and/or products) that you're offering will be key for many, they are also peripheral to many more or most. The continuing trick is to keep putting your content out to as many potential markets as you can find.
So you create once, and publish in as many formats as possible. You leverage anything and everything you create and produce. Again, the ideal is to mirror your distribution around the various formats which your followers prefer to use. Enabling the search engines to facilitate that distribution, meanwhile.
5. Social SyndicatingAnd that content publishing also goes through the myriad of possible communities out there through syndication. Add to "create once, publish many ways - and on as many lines as possible." The Internet is a method of sharing information. Humankind has, throughout its long history, preferred to be entertained and enlightened as well as educated. They form groups along these lines, social clubs and what-not, which are mutually supportive and provide a peer-review function. This is also known as "word of mouth".
While it's impossible to join every group out there all over the globe, you can get on the communication lines which are used internally and in between these groups. You've heard of many of these: of course, there's email, but also Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. And there are various platforms called social media, which include blogs, forums, chat-rooms, etc. There are also specialized platforms for shopping, auctions, and many more. Most of these platforms have their own search function. Amazon, Twitter and YouTube are currently getting enough searches to nearly match or even surpass Google.
These platforms rise and fall depending on how they match or exceed the value people are expecting. MySpace is now an also-ran, with Facebook arguably having reached its own zenith and passed it. While you can't effectively be a vital participating member of all these various communities, you can and should enable your content to show up on the lines they are using and searching through.
So you take all these various ways of publishing content and set out your own syndication lines to enable others to find that format through the platforms which support those groups. Regular fresh content is rewarded on these platforms, as most will "feature" new material, so that the various groups and networkers can find and "like", "plus1", "re-tweet", "star", or otherwise review it.
As they do, you need to be prepared to deliver the value they are expecting - beyond that interesting article, essay, image, or video they find initially.
6. ReleasingAs you create content and group it in useful collections, you then release it to the various communities which find it valuable. Also known as product "launching", this area has it's own various pitchmen, who specialize in this one skill.
The broad strokes is that you continually are collecting content that your viewers find valuable. You know it's valuable as you tweek it, based on the feedback (surveys) you recieve. And then you set up packages of material which can be purchased (exchanged for).
The regularness of your releases, as well as your quality, help add to the value of your products or services. Stephen King or any "famous" author are cases in point. Consistent and regular production of valuable content delivered in formats which are requested. Style doesn't have as big a part as timely distribution. Consider Louis La'Mour and Shakespeare. A comparative study of their two different (in both time and space) methods of publishing will give you these same marketing principles being described here today.
7. DeliveringRegular product releasing will result in a "product line" or a "brand". This is also known as a "sales funnel" and a "funded proposal". All it actually means is that you've created a bunch of content and set it up on offer in various packages so that people can discover it on their own and continue to buy or invest in the different parts of it.
Your brand or product line, etc. will be as valuable as it has quality and can be easily assimilated and incorporated into a person's living and lifestyle. The bottom line is that what you create has to improve people's lives when the use it.
This goes for manufactured, grown, published, or demonstrated products or services. Whether they are "consumable" or durable, used only once or used indefinitely. Peole will share their understanding of your product or service with their peer group. And the inherent value of your goods will then jump from one group to another, as people all belong to multiple groups. Low value products or services will dead-end quickly - and will require more substantial marketing than one which mirrors the various groups' needs and wants more closely.
An overview needs to point out many facets of the above. You can see that while this seems to be based on a linear progression - and has been presented in a numbered sequence, a little review will show that each of these 7 parts can be improved and so improve all the other 6 parts as well. It does work as a system.
I'm not saying that this is the only possible system, or a final system - I only point out here that there is a system at work, and you can use this if you want.
The other key takeaway is that you'll see these are all action steps. There is no "-ing" form of Purpose, but you can study it as a subject and see that even that word is an ongoing flow, not a static point which you achieve once and then all is done. Goals are finite, yes. Purposes - they go on forever. They are "rivers of interest" as Earl Nightingale mentioned.
Everything is designed to facilitate your own living and quality of life. Marketing is just a way to more effectively let people know the solutions you have found, large or small. And reward you for your work.
There are myriad details to these 7 principles. (And the subject of at least one more book from me.) As I said, each of them individually have had tons of material created about them over the years. All the Internet has done is to speed up their sharing.
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