Do you have an online business and are wondering how to excel as an online marketer? Not sure where to start? With 2024 just around the corner, you may feel the slight tinge of excitement in your heart.
It’s the promise of a new year. A new beginning. You already feel like this is going to be your year and you’re going to make a killing in your new online business.
If you feel this way, rest assured, it’s the norm. Everyone feels excited at the start.
It’s only later when motivation must give way to self-discipline… that’s when the brutal reality hits us.
Then we start realizing, “Maybe this is not as easy as I thought it was” or “This is taking too long!”
Once these thoughts start creeping into one’s head, more often than not, quitting seems inevitable. It’s the rare few who persist through struggle and see success on the other side.
In this article, you’ll be given 9 tips to follow – and if you adhere to them, you’ll most likely see success and avoid quitting from dejection. Instead of running around clueless, you’ll be more focused and driven, which are key traits you’ll need to succeed in business online.
- Unearthing your innate talents
We use the word ‘unearthing’ because so many people aren’t even aware of where their real talents lie. The formal education system is designed to force everyone into the same mold… and usually, people forget what they were naturally good at or what their passions were.
The first step will be to think back all the way to your childhood.
What were you naturally good at?
Usually, these would be skills and activities that you could do better than your peers with less effort than them.
Maybe you could write better. Or you were better at sports. For some, they may have been better at art… or math. Whatever the case may be, your natural talents are crucial to helping you succeed online.
Let’s assume Bob is naturally good at math, but he’s forcing himself to write daily for his blog in an attempt to profit from his niche site. He hates writing and the process is torturous for him.
Despite his best efforts, his progress is slow when compared to his competitor, Amanda, who was born to write and blogs like a maniac. She’s in the same niche as him, but for every one post he writes, she writes three – and her content is far superior to his.
In this case, despite his best efforts, Bob is out of his depth. He’s not focusing on his innate talents.
Since Bob is good at math, he may excel at paid advertising. Analyzing statistics such as ROAS, conversion rates, etc. are a breeze to him. He may even enjoy immersing himself in the analytics and discovering which variables need to be tweaked to improve the return on ad spend.
Amanda, however, avoids paid advertising like the plague… and any attempt to learn paid ads puts her in an almost catatonic state. The numbers intimidate her and it all seems like Greek to her. This is not her forte, and never will be.
In this situation, Bob would do well to start an agency where he offers his marketing services to other business owners… while Amanda sticks to blogging, which is her area of expertise.
- Choose a business model that aligns with you
There are countless online business models to choose from, but as mentioned above, choosing one which aligns with your natural abilities will give you an edge in business.
No one business model is better than the other.
Amanda could make 6 to 7 figures a year with her writing abilities. She could profit with niche sites, Kindle publishing, freelance writing, and more.
Bob could create a marketing agency and scale it up to 7 or 8 figures doing what he’s good at. Or since he’s great with paid ads, he’ll be able to profit from business models such as drop shipping or affiliate marketing (with ClickBank, etc.)
The rules are not set in stone. The problem that often arises is that beginner marketers focus on business models that seem profitable because others are achieving massive success with them.
Nary a thought is given to whether the business models suit their own natural talents.
Even if you were great at sports in school, you still can make money online. Just look at fitness influencers such as AthleanX, Kinobody, etc. All they do is create content on fitness and sell trainings, supplements, etc.
Someone who’s artistically-inclined could be a highly sought after graphic designer. Or they could sell pre-made templates on Etsy.
The possibilities are endless.
Your talents can be monetized, if you know what they are. Which brings us to the next point…
- Study those who have succeeded
Business fundamentals apply regardless of where your talents may lie.
For example, if Amanda is to succeed with blogging, she’ll need to know how to set up her blog (the tech stuff), how to monetize her content, how to build her email list, SEO and so on.
These are the fundamental skills required to succeed in her business.
Similarly, Bob will need to familiarize himself with paid ads and the platforms that he can use. He’ll need to go through the learning curve until he has consistent positive results that he can show clients. He may also need to do cold outreach or hire someone to do it for him.
The business model dictates the work and skills required.
The best way to win at your chosen business model will be to make a list of who’s winning in your arena. Study them closely.
What are they doing?
What are they posting?
Who are their connections?
And so on.
A lot of times online, people say one thing and do another. Clueless beginners often fall for the hype and motivational talk – and do the wrong things… and see no results.
Success comes from watching what they DO.
The marketer who creates 7 different courses on 7 different traffic generation models is NOT a traffic expert. He’s a course creator. He makes his money selling courses.
You MUST be astute enough to see through this and deduce where they’re making the money.
However, if you see a TikTokker with 50k followers making thousands of dollars a week promoting different products in the TikTok marketplace, now that’s a traffic generation expert on TikTok.
So if you wish to do affiliate marketing with TikTok, you’ll want to study the influencer – NOT go buy a course from the ‘traffic expert.’
Follow people who walk the talk… not the people who talk about walking.
- Reverse engineer where possible
Once you make a shortlist of movers and shakers in your business model, you must be religious about studying them assiduously. It’ll take time, but you’ll slowly realize that many of them follow the same ‘patterns.’
They’re doing similar activities, and getting similar results. They’re testing what works, and doing more of these activities. By watching them like a hawk, you’ll be reducing your learning curve and avoiding a lot of mistakes.
You’ll also be familiarizing yourself with the processes.
For example, if you wish to publish non-fiction books in the Kindle marketplace, you may notice that several authors publish books that are in a series – and the covers of these books tend to have a similar format (font, colors, etc.)
This is priceless information. It tells you that creating a book series will help you sell more books to the same customers – and your books need to have a certain ‘consistency’ in appearance to sell well.
Similarly, finding patterns in your business model will tell you what’s working and what’s not.
- Do as you learn
One fatal mistake so many newbies fall prey to is ‘excessive learning without doing.’
You can buy 20 courses on the same topic and still not make a cent if you do not execute on what you learn. Quite frankly, all the information you need to make any business model work is already on Google and/or YouTube.
The reason people buy courses is to speed up the learning process. But very often, most courses/trainings are repetitive and just not in-depth enough to help you.
You’ll ONLY succeed by getting in the trenches and doing. You can’t learn carpentry by sitting on a chair… or learn swimming by sitting next to the pool.
You must get hands-on, and whenever you encounter hiccups in your business, that’s when you start looking for answers.
Action is the foundational key to success… and you don’t need to see the entire staircase to take the first step.
Even if you buy a training course, you don’t need to watch it in its entirety before you take the first action. In fact, it’s crucial that after you complete one module, you put into practice what you learned.
If you purchased a course on drop shipping and the first module is about sourcing products, the moment you complete that module, start looking for products you can sell.
Trying to complete the entire course will lead to information overload.
By the time you get to the module on paid ads, you’d have forgotten how to find products that sell. Or at the very least, the nuances and tips mentioned in that module would be neglected because you don’t remember them.
So do as you learn… and while you’re DOING, you’ll really be learning about works in the real world.
Very often, there’s a gap between theory and practice. Action will help you traverse that gap.
- Choose one and go deep
Avoid trying too many business models, traffic strategies, training, etc. at one go.
A common mistake many beginners make is to spread out their efforts. The adage of not putting all your eggs in one basket does NOT apply here.
Instead, you want to focus all your effort with laser-like intensity on just one thing at a time. When you choose your business model, make sure that others are successfully making money with it.
If they are, you have your confirmation that it works. Now pour your heart and soul into making this one business model (that you’ve chosen) yield profit.
It doesn’t matter what other marketers are achieving success with. If you’re doing drop shipping, don’t jump ship and try domain flipping just because some marketer is making 7 figures with it.
Focus on your paper… and work on your business. You’ll be back at square one if you try something new. Your chances of success are far higher if you keep doing what you’re currently doing. Success is a result of intelligent effort.
The same applies to driving traffic and so on. One method, intense effort and scale up. Once you’ve mastered one model and profiting consistently from it, now and only now are you ready to try the next new thing.
Succeed… then diversify.
- Journal your actions
Building a successful online business will require you to take many steps, make multiple decisions and encounter wins and losses. It’s easy to lose track of what you did early in the journey.
For example, if you’ve built a successful Shopify store that sells branded survival gear, you’d have gone through the process of testing many products.
Sooner or later, you may forget what products you already tested. Or what metrics you kept in mind before testing a product.
It’s easy to get caught up in the myriad of different responsibilities in a business and be so focused on getting one thing to work that you forget what you already knew before. It happens more often than we realize.
By keeping a journal, you’ll always have notes that you can refer to. The trial-and-error process is priceless and noting down the good with the bad will allow you to refresh your memory and see what worked and what didn’t.
Don’t rely on your memory.
- Consistency is key
This is straightforward. Spend some time on your online business daily. It’s understandable if you have a day job and all you can dedicate is 1 hour a day to your business.
Do the best you can in that 1 hour.
While your progress may be slow, with time, your efforts will compound until your business is generating enough revenue for you to quit your day job.
Now you can go all in and devote all your time to your business.
Similarly, even if your business is already successful, you’ll want to stay consistent and avoid complacency.
Success is rented, not owned – and you need to pay the rent daily. This applies to any endeavor in life.
Whether it’s maintaining a healthy body, a happy marriage, or a successful online business – the moment you stop paying the rent for an extended period, cracks will start to appear and the state of things will decline and spiral downwards.
It’s easier to maintain rather than rebuild.
If you’re persistent, you’ll get it. If you’re consistent, you’ll keep it.
- Less is more
This last tip will bring about relief for many beginner marketers. Success online is simple. It’s not easy, but it’s relatively simple.
However, marketers like to make it harder than it is. There’s always talk about reading self-help books, following weird morning routines, trying the latest trends, mastering irrelevant skills, and voicing opinions on the never-ending changes in this scene and so on.
The truth of the matter is that 95% of this chatter is irrelevant to your success online. If you keep things simple and do what needs to be done in your business, you will succeed.
Your mental energy every single day is finite. If you clutter your mind with irrelevant ideas, thoughts, and activities, you’ll be drained faster.
If you’re trying to be a fiction author, focusing on writing, and marketing your books are the crucial activities that will move the needle in your business.
You don’t need to worry if email marketing is dead or if some new video is breaking the internet. These are distractions.
Keep your blinders and ear plugs on. You’re building a business, and you have no time for chatter.
Move all your half-started projects, half-completed trainings, half-read books, etc. to an external hard drive. Whatever was not started or is pending should be moved.
Keep a clean desk and a clean desktop. When you eliminate the unnecessary and only focus on the few things that matter, you’ll be less confused and find it easier to work.
You don’t need to read all the self-help books to succeed. You just need to do what matters, when it matters – for and in your business.
That’s the real key to succeeding online. To keep the main thing the main thing and not let the distractions distract you.
This should lift a huge weight off your shoulder. Clear almost everything you have until only what’s relevant to your business remains. Now you’re ready to work and win!
Apply the 9 pointers in this article and you’ll find that succeeding in your online business becomes easier and more achievable than you ever thought possible.
You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything you want. Approach your business wisely and do the needful. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.