In the past year I’ve been following a lot of online entrepreneurs. It’s not very hard to find them these days. Just click on one advertisement in your Facebook timeline or in Google and the algorithms will show you all the others on related topics. Be careful though, not to develop a tunnel vision driven by an algorithm.
Is there a system behind the -how to become successful- systems of all the online guru’s? I asked myself that question. It took me a while to figure that one out. Until I accidentally stumbled upon an old Japanese concept called: Ikigai. And suddenly the lights went on, I got a deeper insight. I use it these days to help my clients grow in their working lives.
I don’t pretend to have found the one golden rule that applies to any online business.
However there are four principles that do seem to act as a fundament for entrepreneurs who make a living on the web by selling their knowledge.
These days we tend to look at people who have large audiences. As our benchmark to imitate or emulate if one wants to become successful online. However one can and in my opinion must ask ourselves if a copy/paste of an admired leader is a sensible thing to do. I think it depends on who you are and where you are in life and business. If there’s one common characteristic to be found it’s that everyone is doing what he or she loves to do. And this is most certainly not only for businesslike audiences. It all starts with a passion. Passion for what you love to do. That’s the genesis. The core.
That brings me to the point of content, digital or social marketing. The borders are blurred. The experts are countless and try to claim their position in the market. Driven by the endless opportunities for anyone to start publishing content on the web. Although I’ve learned a lot from all these experts I do want to stress the point that modern online marketing starts with value. If you share your value in a constructive way your audience will grow and respond to it. As you will touch a value you share with them. No matter in what form or in what online channel you share your value. Experts can help you on the technical side of it, the do’s and don’ts. but there needs to be a valuable story to share in a consistent way.
If you want to design an online business it has to be connected to your own values. That’s where authenticity comes in when you ask me. Just be you. The ones who become good at packaging their values into valuable products, are the ones who do financially well. But when there is no real value that resonates with human values in the packages, nothing happens. The next challenge is to build that audience. The one’s who resonate on your values. Build your tribe.
One can have the passion, design the value packages but without an audience one can not be successful in financial terms. You need to bring our potential clients in your tribe based on your passion and shared values. But how do you know what the right value package is? What does your tribe need? The best strategy I’ve seen is the one I learned from Jeff Walker. Seed-launch your products before you release your product.
Any service can be packaged in a beta version. The minimum viable product as you might call it. It can be a challenge, especially for perfectionists. It is mostly a mindset and requires personal growth to become good at this. Not a matter of knowledge or expertise of your craftsmanship, but paradigma shift from the old transactional way of thinking and doing business to a relational kind of business based on shared values. That’s the challenge and in my opinion also a critical success factor.
And when you decide to walk the path of peers and leaders you will need to be consistent. Very consistent. I am human, not a robot, so for me I can only be consistent when I am doing what I am good at and develop myself to improve 1% continuously. It is very hard to become good at something when you are simply have no talent or commitment to it. At least I can’t. Over time the energy and creativity needs to keep on flowing to stay consistent.
To give you an example, I was lucky to have a career in innovation. I’ve a curious mind and want to explore. Innovational environments always resonated with my personal values. It comes naturally to me. The products, tribes and the actual skills varied during my working life. And I guess that’s okay. It all starts with what comes naturally to you and what you really love to do. Still nothing beats the feeling of abundance when strangers (as most of our followers are online…) give you a heads up or tells you one on one you have made a difference by sharing your value. Online entrepreneurship way much more then just money. It’s about a deeper purpose as the Japanese Ikigai concept describes it as a reason for being.
For more inspiration listen to this podcast with Mitchell Weijerman on the four Master Moves
What do you think?