My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
High-ticket consulting or coaching: You could sell your own high-ticket consulting or coaching products from your website. You'll still need a website, merchant account, sales funnel, lead magnet and many other items. But you can easily earn a substantial amount of money from each individual customer, making it well worth the arduous setup required.
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Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.
Marketing consistency. Automated marketing eliminates the risk of human error, as there is only software to control the wheel, and such cannot be influenced by opinions and feelings, or interrupted as an employee could. Therefore, the entire marketing strategy is smoother and more consistent, and you have a variety of tools to promote your business even when you’re not directing it.
I never really knew how Google Adwords was working for me until I began tracking conversions with LeadDyno. While I always used the conversion tracking pixel that Google provides, I always found it to be imperfect. That’s because I want to measure specific $$$ amounts and sales… while Google is only able to tell me if someone made it to a certain page. Like a sign up, or “thank you” page. That’s a good start – but I need more! Specifically, I need to know what somebody bought and/or signed up for… how much they purchased… and how long they stayed with us afterwards. This is easy to do with LeadDyno. All you need to do is create a new marketing campaign tracking link – as use this link as the Target URL within Adwords. Or, if you’re advertising on Facebook, just make sure the link that you provide Facebook with is a campaign tracking link from LeadDyno. Don’t just give Facebook the link to your homepage – give them this link instead. It’s pretty much the same thing as using an affiliate link to track the effectiveness of a specific marketing campaign. Because LeadDyno is already plugged into your website – and most importantly, your E-Commerce provider – you’ll have visibility into the entire sales funnel that was generated as a result of each specific advertising campaign you are tracking. I’ve been doing online marketing for the past decade, and I can tell you this is huge. It allows me to test campaigns quickly and easily. I’m able to let our winners run, and cut our losers short.
17. Amazon – Have you heard of FBA? It stands for “Fulfilled by Amazon” and it’s getting pretty popular. Basically, you buy products (in bulk is best) and ship them to Amazon for them to store. When your products sell, Amazon packs them up, ships them out and sends you the money (after taking their cut). There are people making a full-time living from FBA, while others just do it for some extra money.
If you have anything you want to sell, then EBay is the place you need to seriously consider doing it first. Personally I’m not a fan of the site because of the work it takes to build up a reputation. If you’re willing to grind through that process, you’ll be rewarded with many privileges – people have gotten rich selling books about how they got rich selling everything on EBay: Click here for a few tips from the pros.
Lead Management – The software should enable you to attract buyers and nurture them with personalized campaigns. You can then pass them on to sales to close deals. You should be able to identify promising leads to be able to close faster. Improve your marketing efforts by tracking effective campaigns. Use automated, personalized campaigns to engage potential buyers at all stages of their lifecycle.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how much people love t-shirts. And with the right niche, marketing, and tools, you can create an online t-shirt business that makes you extra money online while you sleep. (Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who've done just that.) Services like TeeSpring make it easier than ever to create a t-shirt drop-shipping business where they handle the sales, printing, and shipping, and you’re only responsible for design and marketing. Or you can even buy into well-established franchise businesses like Rhea Lana that sell fashionable, affordable kids clothing and get the backing of a proven organization to fuel your online sales. For more tips, check out this simple guide to launching and marketing an online clothing store by my friends over at Selz.
While Etsy is fantastic for handmade goods that you’ve already created, if you’ve got killer designs that would look good on phone cases, t-shirts, or even wall hangings, pillows, and duvets, you can sell them on Society6 without paying anything to start. Society6 lets artists upload their designs and create their own shops where they choose what products their designs can be used on. That means one design can be used to make a whole range of awesome products that are printed and shipped on demand whenever someone buys from you. With top creators making thousands every month just from selling their designs.
Not only can you manage your content with Adobe Experience Manager, which helps you build and manage website and mobile apps, but it also allows you to integrate content from online communities. Add to that Adobe Campaign, and you're able to personalize and deliver different campaigns across all your channels, from web and mobile to email. Then there's Adobe Target, which allows you to personalize your content so you can get it to the right audience on the right channel.
21. Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.
The more online clout you have as a business, the more money you’ll make. If you’re known for making lasting connections (as is the case with GetVoiP above), then you’ll have no issues building your online brand. You’ll be recognized in your community and begin to build a buzz in your industry. Tracking your numbers (how many people view your site, click each ad, and make a purchase from that click) gives you the leverage to expand this part of your business, enabling you to continue building your online rep.
How Much of this Guide Should You Read? This guide is designed for you to read cover-to-cover. Each new guide builds upon the previous one. A core idea that we want to reinforce is that marketing should be evaluated holistically. What you need to do is this in terms of growth frameworks and systems as opposed to campaigns. Reading this guide from start to finish will help you connect the many moving parts of marketing to your big-picture goal, which is ROI.