These ten steps below are what I live every day to make $10,000/month and much more. As of January 15, I have made over $500,000 online since Sept 2012 when I started tracking my income. You can get much more in my Udemy course showing hands on with these steps in HD video at https://www.udemy.com/entrepreneurship-online/?couponCode=JBO1114.
- Begin with a vision of what you want to work for that is bigger than you. Making $10,000 per month online is hard to get started with and hard to keep doing right. You will need your vision of what you work for to carry you through the rest of the steps when they get challenging. You can work for God, a better world, your spouse, or your next new car. Your vision is what keeps you going when the next nine steps are difficult. The less your vision depends on you and the more your participation is part of working for a collective cause, the better chance you will have to succeed and grow quickly. I work for God as I understand Him first. I work for sharing love, hope, and faith second. I work for my wife third and then to give more people opportunities after that!
- Create or update your social media accounts. You will use your social media accounts to show people who you are online. Facebook is the largest social network worldwide which is why I recommend starting there. If your country uses another social network such as QQ in China, start there instead. After Facebook, choose two other accounts that will match what you want to do in functionality. If you want to make videos, use YouTube. If you want to have a blog, use WordPress and Twitter. If you want shopping and DIY, use Pinterest. If you want to be found in search results, use Google+. If you want to share pictures, try Instagram. You can see I have done this with all of the accounts linked at the top of the page. Your social media accounts are a good way for people to be able to see who you are and trust you online. When people find your personal Facebook page, they can put a face to who you are and are more likely to pay you for services.
- Buy a custom domain name and use it to setup your website. Your website should be the central place you share everything you do. You need to have it on your own URL if you expect people to trust and pay you. Your URL should be your name as you want people to see you online or your company name. You can see I use my name for my URL after finding it works much better than my company name. You can get a domain from GoDaddy for under $10/year and map it to any free or paid hosting platform. If you want the lowest cost and simple functionality, just buy the domain and map it to a free WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or other blogging website. The biggest mistake I see people making is using free website hosting platforms without a custom domain name. A custom domain name shows that you at least can afford $10/year for a domain. Using any free subdomain URL makes getting people to pay you very difficult because people assume you cannot afford your own domain name. I started my first profitable website using Google Sites through Google Apps which was great for having a website that loaded fast anywhere in the world. After a year of success with getting new clients but struggling with the nightmarish functionality, I switched to a Hostgator shared plan for around $10/month hosting. I used WordPress to make a more professional website after consistently receiving feedback that I should. When I passed 100 visitors per day and saw I was losing a lot of traffic to a slow page load time, I switched to a HostGator dedicated server that now just hosts my website. My loading time dropped by 50% and I am still using this today. When I want to update in the future, I will consider Amazon Web Services.
- Setup the basics for your business system. You should have at least one simple method for accepting payments online such as PayPal and at least one product or service you can offer that is related to what you do. The easiest way to get started with getting people to pay you is offering to help with what you already know. Since you already built your own website and setup your social media profiles, you can at a minimum offer to do this for other people along with anything else you know how to do well enough to do it for someone else. People consistently are open to paying for a service because they know you will do something for them. The trick is figuring out exactly how to word the service you offer in a way that communicates what you know how to do and what the person paying you will get out of it. At this point, taking any business you can get your hands on is a good idea simply to speed up your learning and help what may be a hobby for you now grow into something you can do full time. The more people you can get to pay you to do something for them, the better you can get at both knowing what you like to do and offering value to people that need help. oDesk, Elance, and Fiverr are a few websites that can make finding work and figuring out what skills to learn easier. While they are all good tools, your odds of making $10,000/month are still pretty low at this point in the process. When I got to this step, I was really happy to make $1,000/month. The following steps continue to increase in difficulty but also in reward!
- Start and join conversations about what you offer to help with. Talking with people has been my single largest learning resource on my way to averaging more than $10,000/month in income. Most of my conversations began on Facebook and then lead to phone calls and emails. I started by talking to people instead of doing research and learning online because the information online I could find was either too old, not exactly relevant, or hidden within other people’s business systems for thousands of dollars. When you focus on both listening to what people need and sharing your ideas with them, the feedback you get is fantastically helpful. By the time you have got your first sale, you have discovered the tip of the iceberg for what you need to know. Conversations with people are just what you need to complete the next five steps. The hardest part is figuring out where people are talking because you can talk anywhere. While Facebook and LinkedIn worked great for me in getting started, forums now have proven a much better ongoing solution. I never had posted in any internet marketing forums until several people on LinkedIn recommended I visit the warrior forum. Just a few months after posting, I found I was converting clients like crazy from the Warrior Forum. Now I try to consistently post their every few days. The hidden power of forums is the organic search results from people that never register in the forums. While I recommend skipping straight to the most relevant forums, engaging in direct conversation is much better for building relationships. When I was getting started, I never understood how critical relationships were to success. Relationships start with conversations and you will likely need a lot of positive ongoing relationships if you want to average over $10,000/month.
- Consistently build positive relationships without assuming you know which is most valuable. When you start conversations, your goal should be learning first and then building mutually beneficial relationships. The trick to doing this right is realizing you do not know which relationship will be the most valuable. This is very hard online because most people will try to get you to work for them for free or will try to get your work at the deepest discount. On top of that, you cannot tell if you are speaking with an entrepreneur working out of their garage with a small budget or a giant company CEO in another country. Building positive ongoing relationships has been my single largest struggle online because I did not have enough confidence in myself and consistently prioritized money now objectives over building successful long term relationships. In dating terms, I started by looking for a lot of one night stands rather than trying to date. This led to a lot of one time orders and a ton of missed opportunities. If you want to do better than I did and get to $10,000/month within a year instead of within two years, you might want to prioritize relationships from the beginning. The risk is that you build relationships with people that are not good for you or that are not profitable. The logical way to fight against this is to try to predict who will be valuable. I remember how excited I would get when I thought someone might be a big client. The irony is that my biggest client now took me totally by surprise and the only thing I can see I did right to grow our relationship is always being honest. I started the conversation with my now largest client through a Facebook message to one of his client’s Facebook pages. He was responsible for getting likes on that page and ordered one of my guaranteed Facebook like pages in 2012 when I had only made a few thousand online by selling Facebook like packages delivered through Fiverr back when it was brand new. He was not happy with the service I offered because he said the likes appeared to be from bots. I was honest with him and told him that he was correct and that I was just figuring out how to deliver the same service using Facebook ads instead of Fiverr. This was the single most important step I took in building our relationship because I was honest with him and committed to doing better work. A few months after the original order, he placed a slightly larger order to try my new service. This time he was very happy with the results and asked what else I could do. In the last year and a half, he has become the largest supporter of my work online and the only person I have done work for that I can call a friend now. Working on his projects has been the largest single factor in me being able to consistently earn $10,000/month. I share this story with you because I failed miserably at understanding the value of relationships and through my faith in God was lucky to build this relationship with this one client. I made many bad decisions that ruined most of my relationships with hundreds clients in more than thirty countries in just two years time by being ruthless about making money online. For the first two years I worked online, I was so busy trying to get new clients that I did a poor job prioritizing relationships with existing clients. I would always be chasing the next $1,000 order instead of serving one of the ten existing $1,000 orders I had pending delivery. When you build relationships where you deliver great value for a client and they pay you what you are worth, you are ready to build a business system that will keep you above $10,000/month even in hard times.
- Make a business system focused on steady, consistent growth. If you want to grow, you need a little bit of growth all the time rather than instantly scalable systems. This means you need a system that always works and continues to work a little bit better rather than a system you think you can immediately take from $1,000/month to $100,000/month. Just between you and me, 99.99% of the business systems out there do not scale well and many of the ones that do only did because of luck, faith, and trust. All of the large companies grew from humble roots and had a lot of people invest money into them as they grew. Getting investors is extremely difficult and knowing this a good thing because you can plan to build a business system that grows without them. What you want to do is consistently grow a little bit each month. This means go from $1,000 per month to $1,200 per month to $1,500/month to $2,000 per month. When you take one step at a time, managing your growth is much easier. My business in 2013 got incredible growth when I launched my Facebook ad campaign setup service for just $99. I went from struggling to make a few thousand per month at the end of 2012 to making over $10,000/month by April 2013. In my hurry to make my business more scalable, I started making more mistakes. The biggest mistake was neglecting individual client relationships. By July 2013, my business got out of control. While I was making crazy amounts of money, I had more than I could handle. My entire business system came tumbling down as I had so much work and so many contractors to manage that nearly every client was unhappy with the results they got. By December 2013, I could see I needed to start fresh and rebuild a more enduring system that could consistently growth instead of rapidly scale. It hurts to see so many others make this same mistake because their success ends up fading so fast they barely got to enjoy it. You can make your system for steady growth my starting the the mindset that you want to grow a little bit all the time and by having patience with your growth. Hopefully just reading this will help you slow down more than I did.
- Use Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and online ads to invest in your future. Once you have established that you have a solid business system you can rely on for consistent growth, then you are ready to spend some of your money each month to invest in your future using paid ads. My thousands of hours of experience building Facebook and Google ad campaigns has taught me that most people try to jump on paid ads too early or when it was too late. I would get clients that had not even completed step 2 asking for me to build Facebook ads for their new page before it had any content and without a website. Most of them never made another order because they got nothing out of those ads because the rest of their business system was not setup. I also got a lot of clients that had businesses close to death. They came to me with their last few dollars hoping that some paid ads could drive the traffic they needed to survive after investing thousands in websites, conversion experts, coaches, and business systems all to discover that none of these expenses helped them actually make money. One person paid me to build a campaign for them and their business went under before their campaign was live. They never responded to my setup instructions, follow up emails, or phone calls. They deleted their page, took down their website, and gave up before I could even hope to help. In the three years I have started, the majority of startups I have worked with failed either in getting launched or in trying to scale too aggressively. Online advertising is dangerous because of the trust factor. People trust companies like Google and Facebook to get them good results. The problem is that Google and Facebook are also the places you are likely to waste giant amounts of money. Online advertising can be really effective but only if you use it at the right time. When you have paid ads running that are helping you consistently run a business system online that makes $10,000/month, then you are ready for the real pain.
- Accept the repeated failures you will suffer and aim for even bigger successes. The biggest they are, the harder they fall! When you have more money, you are going to make bigger financial mistakes. When you have more clients, you are going to piss more of them off. When your website gets visited by more people, you are going to have more people not like it. When you get a post or video viral on Facebook, you may get hit with the spam filter. If you want to make $10,000/month or more, a lot of responsibility comes with that and a lot of loneliness can come too. When you have the house, spouse, and life you want, finding anyone to share your struggles can be difficult. Some of your friends will grow jealous of your success and your problems will start sounding stupid to the new people you meet. At the same time, your failures will start to be so big you will simply not believe them. Being short a few hundred dollars on your bills can be embarrassing. Being short $10,000 can be a real bitch. Being fired from a job sucks. Firing fifty people that work for you might make you feel like a bad person. I am going to write a post soon covering all my failures in the last three years because I feel like it will be both entertaining and provide a good understanding of what it takes to get where you want to go. You might fail less than me but no matter who you are or what you do, the more money you want to make online and the more success you want to have, the bigger and more challenging your problems get. Every time I get hit with another challenge, I tell myself this is important for preparing me to handle the bigger challenges to come. I recently found a nearly $10,000 mistake I had made on a project that came directly out of my bank account at a time when I was already hurting and taking credit card cash advances. The IRS keeps wanting bigger checks from me every three months. On oDesk, I have hired over 90 people to work for me with only a few of them still active. Getting rid of fifty of them at once last year made me feel like a real jerk. I have had nearly every kind of account I sign up for get suspended at some point, a Facebook page with over 500,000 likes stolen, hundreds of business journals write nasty articles about my company after I helped a client get first in a national social media competition, hundreds of people share hurtful messages with me, and so many more things like this I cannot even remember them all despite having a really good memory. Every one of them hurt and I remember them whenever I do something new. My first MailChimp account got suspended on the very first email probably because I used an Amazon affiliate link in it. I did no email marketing for a year after that in protest and when I finally did start again this year, it was hard for me to setup another MailChimp account and not feel the dread that I would see another message like last time. Even though my emails when out successfully and people responded quite kindly to them, I still feel the pain of seeing that message that I was suspended. The more you want to have, the more you will suffer to get it. This is why the next step is so critical to success.
- Love what you do and continue to make plans to grow! Your love of what you do will overpower all of the bad things that happen on the way to your journey in making $10,000/month and living the lifestyle you want. Your love is powered by your vision for why you are working which is for God as you understand Him or for any other reason you choose. The difference in what I have written and what I usually see online are the first and last step in these ten steps. Working for God as I understand him gives me the faith that every mistake and difficulty I suffer is for a purpose that is much bigger than me which is to share in the love, hope, and faith we can all experience in this life. Working for God gives me the chance to not take all of my failures personally and to accept all of my success as a part of God’s plan rather than something I use to build my ego. Loving what I do encourages me to look forward to doing it every single day. I worked more than ten jobs for other people including cashiering at a grocery store, interning at an Army base, resident advising in college, policing in state law enforcement, and finally assisting as a graduate student. My last job paid $350/week for 20 hours of work per week which worked out to $17.50/hour not including my two hours spent commuting three days per week. Loving what I do has given me the chance to spend time working on what I love and making more money each year than I made in the entire rest of my life before that. I want you to have this same opportunity because now is a time of abundance. There are enough resources to go around for everyone and you have the chance now to do amazing work that will carry you through the rest of your life. Get started or keep going today while you still have time. No one gets out alive and time flies when you are having fun. The most we can hope to accomplish in our lives is to love the people that love us, love the work we do, and return to the place we were before you with gratitude for the time we were here. What can you do to get started with this today?
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These ten steps are the foundation for participation in my mastermind group and are explored in greater depth in HD screen capture video in my Udemy course $0 to $10,000/Month Online Entrepreneurship – My 10 Steps. Save over $100 using this coupon link: https://www.udemy.com/entrepreneurship-online/?couponCode=JBO1114