Hey, what’s going on guys? Alex here. I want to talk about five hard truths that no one tells you when you’re looking to start and grow an online business.
Let’s start with why I want to talk about this and really dive into these hard truths. It’s because no one’s talking about it. When you’re online and learning about how to start an online business, it’s so fluffy. People make big promises, they hype you up, they get you excited. They don’t tell you the hard truths though. They don’t dive into some of the things that you’re going to experience and that’s what I want to do here. And I’m doing this for you so that you can see that even at the hardest points, it’s not all that bad.
Number one, it is an emotional roller coaster ride. Man, when you are starting your online business, you’re going to get some real big highs and you’re going to get some lows. The key is to understand that the online business is a cycle. It goes through days where you’re just crushing it and it goes through days where it’s really slow. You have to let that not really affect your emotional wellbeing. Because when you know it’s going to happen then you’re okay.
It’s kind of like for those athletes, I grew up doing sports and my big sport that I was in was swimming. And you know what? Some days, even with all the practice and everything that I thought I was doing right, some days I just wasn’t that good. I had an off day. And Sundays, man, I was locked in, I was in the zone. It was amazing. I would win every race. Just felt like I was, Michael Phelps wasn’t big back then. Mark Spitz was the guy that we looked up to. I felt like Mark Spitz out there just winning all the races, crushing it, just really feeling like I wasn’t even going through the water. I was like flying on top of the water. It was awesome.
But I also knew, when you had those bad days, it was just like all right. That meet didn’t go very well. It’s all right. Just kind of brush it off, go on to the next one.
Same thing with growing your business online, getting it started. You’re going to have days where you’re like, man, that was just was not good. Either your launch didn’t go well, the ad campaign failed. The course didn’t go as you wanted to. Maybe you tried to launch a mastermind. Just brush it off, go onto the next thing. You can’t stay focused on the failure. The longer you wait to do the next thing after you have a failure, the longer you’re just going to sit in the stench of loss and lack. So get up and get back onto it.
All right, number two, recording video takes forever. We all know video marketing is huge. But recording video takes a while. People don’t talk to you about that very much. Everyone knows you got to do video. They don’t tell you until you get good at it, video sucks. It’s hard to do when it comes to the scripting and making sure that you’ve got the right lighting in the video and that you don’t stumble while you’re doing it. It’s like, ah, it’s so frustrating. It was one of the most frustrating parts of my online marketing journey, was getting good at videos.
So for me, what I do when I’m recording video is I’ll get all set up, I’ll have the script in front of me, and then I’ll record the video. Then before I even look at how it was, I’ll do the exact same segment or chunk that I’m doing for that video and I’ll do it again. And then if I feel like I got a better cut in me or a better scene or whatever, a better take, that’s the word I’m looking for, then I’ll do it again. So I may do the same thing three times and then just pick which one I want to use. Sometimes I pick the first one one, but it’s all about I know that if I do it a couple times, I’m going to have one good take in there.
The frustrating part for me when I was doing video recording was that I’d get all set up, I’d do it. I’d watch that first take that I did and I wouldn’t be thrilled with how it turned out. I’d be like ugh, big sigh. I’m frustrated with myself. And then I have to do it again. Well, to get over that I just did the exact same take two or three times and I’d have one good one in there and I’d feel good about it. Then I’d be able to move on.
Number three, another hard truth that people don’t talk to you about when you’re looking to grow your online business, everything you’re doing is really about copy. Design is great, but if you don’t have good copy, then you can’t sell people on pretty. Photos don’t sell courses. Cool stock photos, cool videos, it’s not about the effects, it’s not about how things bounce off the page or the color combinations. It’s about copy. It’s about persuasive, well written sales letters that get people to understand that you’re about to solve a problem they have and walking them through exactly how we’re going to do that.
So copy is hard. If you are not naturally gifted at writing, if you have not done writing in the past, if you have not sold in the past, writing persuasive sales copy is hard. But there are shortcuts. They’re called swipe files and I love them. When it’s time for you to write your next thing, whether that’s an email, direct mail, landing page, et cetera, look for swipe files of people that have written similar stuff. Go to your competitors and see what it is that they’re doing.
Now, for me personally, I’ll tell you what I did. So I started by reading Ray Edwards’ book called How to Write Copy. It’s a really good book by Ray Edwards. I was blessed to be in a mastermind that he led last year. So just a really good dude, brilliant copywriter. Then I kept going down the path of copywriting.
The latest and greatest thing that I have, which I am in love with, is Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Information Course. And in that course, one of the things that you get when you buy it is what they call the Magnetic Marketing Vault, which is amazing. It’s got this huge, probably I don’t know, 300 pages of sales copy.
I found some of the best ideas from sales copy that’s written for some guy selling a gutter. You know what I mean? It’s all about good copy, regardless of what you’re selling, it’s about good copies.
So anyway, I could go on and on and on about copy because I love it and I’m passionate about it. I’m devoting a lot of my time to it. But writing copy is hard. There are shortcuts to it, but that is really where your online business is either going to succeed or fail. It’s on how well you were able to verbalize what you are going to do for your customer.
Number four: Your competition will make you rethink everything that you’re doing and overanalyze the different campaigns and promotions and offerings that you have. So it’s very important that you simply don’t focus on your competition, focus on your customer.
I want to share a story with you. When we were first getting started with really going after the insurance agent niche, one of the things that kept distracting me was seeing what other people were doing when they were marketing to insurance agents. However, after talking to the insurance agents that we were serving, we were hearing feedback that they were not interested in the types of trainings that I was looking at emulating based on what my competition was doing. My competition was doing a lot of in-depth webinars and other trainings, and the people that I was talking to said, “I’m so glad that you didn’t make me sit through a webinar so that I could get to the meat and figure out what your marketing system is.” If I had followed my competition, I would have tried to be a junior version of them instead of a better version of me. So your competition can give you some ideas, but it’ll make you rethink all of the intuition and the educated decisions that you’re making.
Last but not least, number five. The fifth hard truth that no one tells you about when you’re launching an online business, the hard work does not stop once you start to see success. One of the things that I hear is that I can’t wait until I hit X so that I don’t have to work as hard or so that I can coast, and that’s just not the way that it works, you know? I was thinking the other day and talking with my wife and we were talking about some of the different challenges that we’re facing with the Branning Group, and I kind of stopped when I was talking to her and I was like, wow, I can’t believe that these are the problems that I have right now. I just feel so blessed that I no longer have the issues that I had two years ago when we first moved up to Northern California.
We have these brand new issues that are all growth related. It’s all figuring out how to maximize what we’re doing. It’s not the same struggles that we had two years ago where we were working to make sure that the business stayed in the black month after month. I just felt so relieved. It really put a smile on my face. Even though we were talking about problems, it was nice to look back and see that.
But the problems don’t stop, they just change. The battle is different. The hard work doesn’t end once your online business hits a certain point, it’s just the problems are different. But the good news is, is that there is so much money available to be made online, there are so many people that want your service, it’s just a matter of reaching them, and it has never been cheaper than right now to go and get those leads.
I hope this encouraged you. I’d love to hear your feedback. Can you reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook and let me know? Thank you guys so much for your time. Have a great day. Keep on pushing.
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