Starting things 'the right way' can be confusing. Let's talk beginnings.
Oh, where to begin? I'm actually pretty good with beginnings, but that doesn't ensure that I know what starting place is most effective at getting to the end.
Freelancing and internet business has many possible beginnings. Do you start with your passions, the product, the customers, a niche, or any of the other considerations involved? What if you start in the 'wrong' place? Any endeavor will take a lot of effort to pursue, so knowing the best starting place is integral for using that time and effort efficiently. It easily could mean the difference between success and failure.
The 'Experts' Out There
Some say start with a product that has a proven track record, which is basically either affiliate marketing or sales. Other say start with a profitable niche and find a product or service that fills a need. With so many self-proclaimed gurus online, it's no wonder why beginning this venture is so damn confusing.
Let's look at the giants in business. Forbes' suggestion to Freelancers is to start with the skills you've got and expand them while networking your butt off. Entrepreneur advises to online business startups to "find a need and fill it" as the first step. While those seem like great suggestions, they create a lot more questions than answers.
Who, What, When, Where, Why, And HOW?
Maybe you've only got one skill, but for most people there's a looming question of what skills to use? What need do you fill out of the infinite problems of the world? Stephen Covey talks about "begin with the end in mind." So what's at the end of a random skill or product search without clear direction? The experts aren't really addressing the human element and individuality in their advice at all.
If the goal is just money, there's no difference between freelancing (or starting a business of any kind) and working a normal job. So I've got to agree with Ryan Robinson (who I've never even heard of before), and think about the end goals as the first step. What's the reason you're doing this at all? If all you want is money, why put in all the effort to start at the bottom instead of being an employee? What will make all that effort worth it at the end?
For The Love Of Freedom
Certainly the main draw is "freedom," yet that idea seems overly romanticized. Being an independent contractor (freelancing), or starting a business requires a sea of paperwork, record collecting, implementing processes and research that a 9-5 simply doesn't require on average. Not to mention, you have to be the driving force of it all. At a company, they tell you what to do, how they want it and when they want it by. The only real freedom striking out on your own affords you is defining for yourself the rules you'll be adhering to; and your success or failure is completely on your shoulders.
If freedom is the goal, then it's imperative that you define your gifts. Knowing what is easiest for you allows you the opportunity to excel in that area, and provides a lot more direction for finding the skills or product/service that best aligns with your individuality. Discovering your message empowers you with the passion you'll inevitably need to power through the lull (and let's face it, the slow build to results). Without those, you won't find the 'freedom' you were expecting.
But before we move on to that skill or product/service selection, Russell Brunson urges you to first describe your ideal customer. They're the ones you want to help, so knowing who they are is crucial to defining their needs.
Target Market, Audience, And Ideal Customers
Assuming you've done the exercises to find your message and gifts (links above if not), it's time to find your ideal customers. This week's focus is exactly that. However, there's a lot of info about target markets that seems to make things more difficult than it really needs to be. Taking the time to really understand the subtle differences between target market, audience and customers can clear the confusion once and for all.
Let me know your thoughts, and I'll see you back here at 9a tomorrow!
As I begin this anew, I know only one thing: that I know nothing. Learn with me, and together we will figure this out.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.