This post is for your eyes only if you are currently trying to start an online business (a profitable one) from scratch . . . and you want to do it in three months or less . . . oh, and you only want to spend about $50.
Whereas this post (originally published in April of 2015) used to link to a podcast episode on this topic, I decided to completely revamp the post. Why? I think the first chapter of my newest book (which you can find out more about at the bottom of this post) might inspire you and help you to create an amazing online business this year. Ready?
Let’s only assume 3 things as you start your business:
- You have access to a computer and the Internet a few times per week.
- You have access to a smart phone (yours or a friend’s) that can take pictures and connect with social media.
- You either have your closest friends’ and family’s email addresses, or you’re connected with them on Facebook, or through some other electronic means. As in: You can get in contact with your people—whether that be 10 people or 1000, for me, it was more like 10 when I first started. Or, if you’re not connected with friends and family, you’re okay with building a presence online and engaging with strangers (who will totally become your friends, don’t worry).
Now, let’s get into the first chapter.
Chapter 1 of Build Your Freedom Business for $50 in 3 Months or Less: How to Start Coaching, Freelancing, or Selling Information Products Online
“What have I gotten myself into?” you may be asking. A lot of things. But the main one is discovering a new system for starting a business you love. Really, a way of thinking and moving through the very involved, and intricate, and amazing world of creating a profitable online brand or empire.
After years of creating various businesses, years of creating websites for clients and personal projects, and most recently, years of creating and running online businesses full time, I can without doubt tell you I’ve failed a lot.
Yes. I’ve failed miserably, I’ve failed publicly, and I’ve failed my way to success. Let me explain. Because I believe the lessons learned can help you create your own business online with less stress, fewer headaches, fewer sleepless nights, fewer mistakes, and less time. It will still be a lot of work, but man will it be worth it.
The Internet created a whole new world of possibility and completely changed the way we (1) get information, (2) make purchasing decisions, and (3) operate businesses . . . among other things.
The online space as it is today makes it possible for people like my friend Erika, a mother of three adorable kids, to make a living online training people how to provide better customer service. The Internet allows my friend Mike to provide coaching for mind, body, and emotional health. It allowed my friend Kelsey to create and sell planning templates to busy women for a full-time income until she decided to also show people how to design their own (which gave her another full-time income). My friend Ivan sells design and brand strategy work online. My friend Aislinn markets and sells her freelance writing skills online for a living. And I could go on . . .
I have friends doing everything from teaching yoga, and selling interior design or architecture services, to creating fabric patterns and selling cookbooks online. I myself write and publish books on business and marketing, plus create courses on starting and running a business, getting better at conversations as an introvert, and using yoga and movement to increase your flexibility, durability, and range of motion as an athlete or gym rat.
How is it possible to make and sell the types of products and services all of these people are creating? How can you really create significant extra income each month or perhaps even work for yourself full time online?
There is more than just one way to accomplish this goal, and in this book, you and I are going to explore the “system” I’ve used to create a full-time income online in the following ways: through freelancing, through online coaching, through self-published books, and through online courses.
Please be mentally prepared that this process is not easy and will require consistency from you, and that the “system” I’m showing you is a solid framework that you can modify and mold to fit you.
Here’s an overview of the system that we will dive into deeply within this book:
Step 1: Start with PASSION.
As cliché as it sounds, I think that the passion you feel for a hobby, a cause, a people group, a certain subject, or a specific skill will be a key driver of creating something meaningful and awesome.
In this book, we will get into a questionnaire to help you discover some of your true passions plus a list of 1001+ niche topics to help you pinpoint what interests you, what you want to talk about and create content on, and what you love.
As an example, for the purposes of this overview, let’s take a woman named Frankie who is a yoga + fitness instructor, a woman named Ingrid who is passionate about the uniqueness and strength of introverts, and a man named Paul who has transformed his health and body by becoming vegan and eating an amazing plant-based diet.
Frankie identifies her passion as helping people get fit.
Ingrid identifies her passion as helping introverts embrace + use their personality traits and succeed in life.
Paul identifies his passion as the power of veganism to transform your internal health and your body.
Step 2: After identifying your passion, identify your PEOPLE.
Part one. When you have a specific topic/niche in mind, it’s time to start imagining the basic details and habits of the type of person who will be interested in your topic or who needs help with what you provide content on.
Paul might assume that women (and a few men), between the ages of 24 and 50, who have had digestion issues or who are having a hard time losing weight or staying energetic throughout their day might be in need of his information.
Frankie might start to realize she really wants to work with martial artists and other athletes in need of strength and agility. She might then assume most of her clients or audience will be between the ages of 20 – 40, and she might also assume that many of her clients will be men.
Ingrid might realize that most of the people she’s ever talked to about extreme introversion are women, between the ages of 25 – 50 who are tired of being made to feel like their personalities are weird or bad.
Part two. Once you have the basic details of your people in mind, you can head to the Internet (and to in-person events, hangouts, or organizations) to actually find these people and engage with them. In fact, you may already be involved in groups either online or in real life that hold your ideal audience members.
Ingrid might find a Facebook group or another type of online community for introverts and join it. She might also start reading the comments on top blogs about being an introvert.
Paul might find a Facebook group for people trying to lose weight or struggling with digestion issues (there are groups online for all types of needs, people, and interests).
Frankie might connect with people in her gym or people who regularly comment on a popular MMA Instagram account or a men’s health magazine’s Instagram account.
Part three. After you’ve engaged with your people a bit, it’s time to learn more specifically how to help them. This may include working with them pro bono, providing free content to them, or even creating some low-priced services or products to test the waters.
Paul might offer to coach one of the women in an “Overcome IBS” group online through a plant-based diet for 30 days. He might also create some free meal plans and share them with his friends on Facebook.
Frankie may decide to offer a few free sessions to a martial artist at her gym who she has seen lifting in such a way that will slow his progress towards becoming more quick and agile. She might also decide to do a “10 Days of Basics” series, where she covers some foundational lifts, exercises, and principles for people who want more speed and agility—then she might share her videos or pictures with an online group she is a part of and invite people to ask any questions they may have.
Ingrid may start asking questions in the “Introvert Power” Facebook group she found about what people’s biggest struggles are or where they feel most misunderstood. She might then create and share several new blog posts that address the topics the other women have brought up.
read the rest