Most people who start an online business begin with the impression that it should be relatively easy to get people to buy their stuff, but they soon get a rude shock when they realise how competitive it is out there.
With this in mind it is important for any internet marketer to be aware of the main reasons why people fail online, and how they can prevent becoming one of them.
Personally, I much prefer to do business online compared to offline simply because of the amazing leverage that digital products provide. Work once to create the product (or pay someone to create it), and then reap the rewards on autopilot. Or you can just promote digital products that other people have created, for a percentage of the cut.
But although this side of online business does sound attractive to most of us, you still have to motivate people to actually buy your stuff. And that takes effort, strategy and careful planning. If people don’t like, trust and respect you then most likely you will struggle to sell anything to anybody.
Here is are a list of common reasons why people fail online, and what you can do to avoid these failures:
1. They Don’t Have A Detailed Plan For Getting Started
Just like any business (online or offline) unless you plan out the foundations of your business, you are doomed to fail. The old saying of “failing to plan is planning to fail” is absolutely true.
Everyone would love to step into a business and start making sales and lots of money straight away, but unfortunately you are just living in dreamland if you think that this is realistic.
Here is a checklist of things that you most probably should consider at the beginning of any type of online business
- Are you familiar with the products that you are promoting?
- Write out your email auto responder follow up messages
- Set up your lead capture forms and sales pages and make sure they work
- Set up a bank account that is used for the business only (no personal transactions)
- Schedule time for reading or listening to personal development material every day
- Decide on which website building software you are going to use (or to outsource it)
- Decide on one or two marketing methods that you are going to start with (no more than two)
- Schedule time to start learning how to master these chosen marketing methods
- Schedule what hours each week I am going to work on my business Obviously there are probably many others to suit your particular situation, but the point here is to be organized and to know exactly what you should be doing each day.
A good idea is to create a mind map of your business so that you have a clear picture of all of the components that make up your business. You can download a free program called “FreeMind” to create your own mind maps.
2. They Don’t Make Money Quick Enough (And Just Give Up)
From my experience a lot of internet marketing newbies seem to think that making money online should happen quickly, and that if it doesn’t happen within a few weeks or months, they give up and decide that it does not work.
Some people have to wait for years to make a profit in a traditional brick and mortar business, and although it is a lot easier to make a fast profit online it can take a long time for some people.
I have seen examples of people who have made over $10K in their second month, but this is very rare and is certainly not typical.
The business model that you choose for your online business will also have a lot to do with how long you have to wait before you turn a profit.
For example if you choose to promote a MLM company online you could be waiting for a couple of years before you start making any substantial money.
But if you are promoting affiliate products or selling your own products, then there is a possibility that you can start making money within a couple of months if you are a good marketer.
Internet marketing is a learned skill, and just like a doctor you need to spend time educating yourself. If you are not prepared to learn how to become a master marketer, then you may as well forget about it all online.
It is a good idea to only study one or two marketing methods at a time, and to stick with these until you had completely mastered them. Once you have mastered a skill, then you can start to look at learning the next marketing strategy.
Don’t get sucked into the idea that it is not realistic to make a full time living online, because nothing is further from the truth. You need to realise that you must your earn your freedom, and you do that by serving other people and changing their lives.
Remember if you provide quality products to a hungry market, then anything is possible. The elements of supply and demand mixed with professional marketing will get you results, no doubt about that.
3. They Wait Until Everything Is “Absolutely Perfect” Before They Get Started
An analogy to describe this would be someone who is taking swimming lessons. Do you think the person is going to wait until they are convinced that they know everything about swimming, before they start swimming.
Most people that are learning how to swim get into the water and start practising. After a while they get used to it and start to become very good at it.
Internet marketing is no different to swimming in this regard. You have to just bite the bullet and find out what works and what doesn’t work.
By starting off with a small sensible budget, and experimenting with split testing you get better and better at it. Split testing is simply the practice of testing out two slightly different versions of the same landing page to see which one converts better – A compared to B.
Most new marketers are paranoid about having everything perfect before they start advertising their products or company.
Things such as websites, videos and auto responders do not have to be perfect before you start marketing your business.
As time goes by you can refine these things and improve on them, but obsess too much about perfection. Allow your business to evolve in its own natural process.
Just get started as soon as possible and stop worrying about what might happen.
4. They Get Stuck In Learning Mode, And Never Take Action
The old saying that knowledge is power is only partly true. Knowledge is only power if it becomes applied knowledge.
It is a common mistake for people to read lot of books, watch lots of videos, listen to lots of podcasts about a certain topic but never actually implement any of this knowledge – or only implement a small percentage of it.
Whilst I agree that educating yourself about marketing is important, in my opinion the best way to learn is to actually start doing it.
Some people use learning as an excuse to not actually do anything. They feel good about themselves because they think they are actually doing something useful. The only way to make money in this industry (or any industry for that matter) is to make sure that you are doing revenue producing activities on a regular basis.
Training is not a revenue producing activity, end of story. Watching a video about your topic is not going to magically make you any money.
Placing advertisements is what actually makes you money online, and this must become a part of your daily activities. This is absolutely crucial to your success.
5. They Get Frustrated And Overwhelmed By The Learning Curve
Some people that first get involved with internet marketing find that it is just too much to learn and is just too hard, and give up.
It is true that there is a lot to learn to be successful at internet marketing , and that is very competitive, but when you compare the alternatives I believe the struggle is well worth it.
If you are willing to go through the learning curve and stick it out, you will more than likely succeed.
It took me about 2 years to even make a dollar online, but I never considered giving up. I never doubted that I would succeed eventually.
The worst thing you can do when you first start is to believe that it will be easy, and you will be able to quit your job in 6 months. It is way too competitive to just slap up a website and press a few buttons and watch your bank account grow.
Be realistic about your expectations and you will not be disappointed. You may not make a single dollar in profit in your first year online (it took me two years). But having said that, if you find a good mentor you should be able to make a profit in your first few months.
But however long it takes, let me tell you tell you this:
It is entirely possible to make a lot of money online, if you are prepared to study your field, take consistent focused action and be persistent. Don’t give up too easily and throw the towel in.
6. They Don’t Treat Their Business Like A Business
I was once told that if you treat your business like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby. And you know that almost all hobbies cost money – they don’t pay you.
You should never start a business with attitude of “I will give this a try for a few months”. It is this type of mindset that almost always ends up in failure.
If you not taking your business seriously, then it is highly unlikely that you will become successful.
The best way to ensure that you do take it seriously is to write down some goals for your business and to use dates as deadlines. A goal without a date is simply a wish!
You may have both short term and long term goals, but the main thing is to aim high and choose goals that are both realistic and extremely exciting. The goals that you choose must make you feel extremely excited every time that you think about them.
There needs to be something that keeps you going even when you don’t feel motivated to take action. And everyone feels like this at some stage, it is normal to feel lazy some days and not feel like working on your business.
But if you have goals that get you excited each time you think about them, it should not difficult to motivate yourself. Remember that any successful person has put in a lot of work to get to where they are, and that nothing gets achieved by sitting on the couch watching TV.
It is also a great idea to break down your goals into smaller chunks, and to work backwards from your goals so that you have daily, weekly and monthly targets that contribute towards your desired end result.
An example of this would be to work out how many leads you need to get each day to make a certain amount of profit for the month. This way you have a daily target that keeps you on your toes, and gives you a way to measure your results.
7. They Don’t Study Personal Development
I have included this last, but in actual fact it should probably be first because a lack of personal development is an extremely common reason why internet marketers fail. Most people skip the personal development and head straight to the strategies that are going to make them money.
It is very true that success begins with the right thinking.
97% of the entire earths population say things like “ If I HAVE certain things, then I will be able to DO what successful people do, and then I would be able to BE who ever I wanted.
But these people have got it backwards because successful people “BE the person that they need to be and DO what successful people do, and the result of this is that they can HAVE whatever they want.
So in short the formula for success is BE – DO – HAVE.
The other important thing to realise is that your dominating thoughts determine what happens to you in your life.
So if your dominating thoughts are based on how unhappy you are, or how bad your life is then you will continue to attract bad things to happen to you.
On the other hand if your dominating thoughts are happy, positive and excited about the future, then you are likely to attract the things that you want in life.
To be a successful online entrepreneur it is absolutely vital to be in control of your thoughts and to be only focused on the things that you want, not on the things that you don’t want.
Many people underestimate the value of personal development, and say that they already know all of that stuff – and that it is basically a waste of time.
I really can not stress enough how important it is to have your mind functioning in a way that that attracts success to you. Most people are not born with these traits, and need to do a lot of work on themselves to improve their attitude towards life.
Here are some things that you can do to start thinking like a successful entrepreneur:
- Write out your dreams and goals (and don’t hold back)
- Read books (and listen to audio books) such as Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Each day write out 3 new things that you are grateful for
- Daily visualisation on your goals
- Associating with like minded people that are already getting results