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What It Really Takes To Build an Online Business

Feb 27, 2017
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Building and growing an online business doesn’t just happen. While there are a number of things you can do to boost your reach and grow your following, it’s the intangibles that set the winners apart from the losers. In this week's video, I take a break from answering users' questions and share my heart on what it really takes to build a business online.

"Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together." — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney

Video Transcript: 

So over the last couple months we talked a lot about different tactics and tools and strategies that you can implement right now to start growing your business and really just growing your readership online and start to engage with people, but what separates the winners from the losers online is really the intangibles, and that's what we'll be talking about today. It has nothing to do with tools and tactics but has to do with who you are and how you execute. So let's get into it.

The first intangible is dedication. You really gotta want it, and you gotta want it so bad that you're willing to put in the extra hours. Now when you hustle you know, this is a term you hear all the time. We gotta hustle, we gotta hustle, we gotta grind. It's true, you gotta do that but you gotta do that with balance because you can work yourself to death and really burn out.

We don't want you to burn out because if you burn out you're no good to your business. You're no good to anybody, but you really need to make sure that you prioritize what you're trying to do and be dedicated to your end goal. So if you want to grow your business you've got to have that end goal in mind. You gotta know what you want to build and then you gotta make time for it.

People ask me all the time. "Man how do you handle these clients and how do you handle growing your agency and seeing the growth that you have and still have time to put together content?" Well, I'm dedicated to my vision of being a marketing agency that's really personal, and that the owner continues to build content and interact with people, because I want to continue to have that influence and continue to grow, so I make sure that I have time to do my content.

I wake up early and I write. I spend some time on the weekends when my kids are napping and I do videos like this. You know, I put things in my schedule and I block time out to make sure that I do the things that are necessary in order to get me to my end goal.

The second thing you need to do is be flexible. One thing is certain is that nothing is certain, right? When you're doing things online, you're going to run into walls. You're going to run into just uncertainty, and then we live in this time where technology is just moving so fast. I'm a firm believer that we haven't even seen the peak of what the internet can do yet. I mean we're just moving into some amazing new technologies as personalized marketing is getting bigger and bigger and AI technology is growing.

We're really being able to put the internet into almost any type of device, so businesses and entrepreneurs and people who really want to make something for themselves, this is a great time to be alive because we have so many venues and so many avenues and channels to reach new audiences and engage with people. So we've got to be flexible. You've got to be flexible to try new things and be okay with failing, and not letting failure get us down. Yeah, you're gonna screw up and you may miss some things, but now you know what not to do and you can get back on the horse and really start to put your energy towards your end goal again, so flexibility is a huge thing, especially when it comes to being an online business and an online entrepreneur.

Okay, so the last thing I want to talk about is being proactive. This is so important to growing your business and really making sure that your dreams become a reality. See, if we just sit back and kind of wait for traffic to come, it may never come or you may not convert at the rate you want to convert at, so things are going to be really, really slow and can be very frustrating.

Trust me, I know this from personal experience, but when you start to be proactive you start to reach out on your own. Even doing some old school methods, maybe you're doing a little bit of cold calling, a little bit of cold email and starting to get yourself in front of the right people. That's gonna help you build some momentum, and maybe they don't say yes the first time, but you can really learn a lot by just opening up the conversation.

The telephone is a very, very powerful tool, even for online businesses. If you can pick up the phone and call somebody, think about how many phone calls you get today that actually mean something and they're from somebody that's really interesting and really piques your interest and is really intriguing. You can use that today to really get yourself in front of the right people at the right time and build some momentum for your business.

It's easy to sit back. It's easy to try to just do these inbound tactics which are really good and we use all the time, but if we just sit and wait for the leads they may never come. So it's being proactive, getting yourself out there and making sure that you get yourself those clients or at least get yourself in front of the people you want to do business with.

So when it comes to growing your business online, SEO, online marketing, social media marketing, inbound marketing ... those are all really, really great tools and strategies to use to help you grow your message, but there are the intangibles you've got to have as well. You gotta be dedicated to seeing your dream come true. You've got to have the flexibility to kind of go with the flow and really adapt to the ever-changing internet, and then you've really got to be proactive.

Get yourself in front of your prospects, in front of those people you want to do business with and connect with. If you do those things, you're gonna have a much higher chance of seeing success in everything else that you're doing online. I hope you found this episode helpful, and until next time, happy marketing.

 Going For Gold ; Inbound Marketing

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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