Not enough market research
As entrepreneurs it’s easy to fall in love with an idea about how well your products are going to sell. Just build a better mousetrap and they will come. Well, in the online world that’s like waiting up all night to catch the tooth fairy. It’s just not going to happen.
Most entrepreneurs start an online business with the belief that their idea is going to be worth millions right out of the gate. But if you do the market research and look at the facts, you might discover that your idea is not going to work. In this case it may be better to ditch the idea in the planning phase than to waste time and money trying to make it work.
When you are doing market research make sure your find multiple people selling something similar to your product. That’s proof that other people have made it work and you can to.
Next, you need to visit their site to sign up for their email list and buy their product. Take note of the different products they offer for sale in their funnel.
Once you have this research together you will better understand the market dynamics and what you’ll need to have in place to compete successfully with them.
Not focusing on 1 thing until it’s done
Now that you have your market research done and have proof of concept that there is a healthy demand for your product, you need to focus on creating the product until it’s done. That means 100% done, not 99% done. As online entrepreneurs it’s easy to get side-tracked by bright shiny objects that are designed to make you part with your hard earned money. You can’t sell anything until you get it done. Don’t try to do multiple projects at once because it will just slow you down. Plus, you only need to have one front-end product completed to build your business.
Not using your own domain
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge an online business by its domain name. A lot of entrepreneurs will be pound wise and penny foolish by using a free hosting account or a shared domain name. That’s a sure sign of an ameteur. Your domain is your storefront. Make sure you have a self-hosted domain that reflects your business. Plus, the right domain name will inspire confidence in your buyers.
Not building your email list from day 1
The life blood of your business will be your email list. Think of them as your own tribe and you are their fearless leader. It’s up to you to lead them to whatever results you or your products deliver. Never be afraid to email your list because you know you are providing value.
Make email list building your first priority as soon as your site is live. I would suggest you use Aweber for your email marketing. They have a crazy deal where you can get 30 days free. Even if you don’t have your products ready for sale, still get an email form to capture emails on your blog.
Not building out your funnel
Now that you have your email capture up and running it’s time to review your market research to see what and how your competitors are selling their products. You need to really look at how they are positioning their products to the market. Are they the Cadillacs of the niche or do they have the Walmart mentality. You have to figure out your positioning before you create a product.
You also need to look at what types of funnels your competitors are using. Are they losing money on the front-end to acquire a customer only to promote high ticket items to them next week? Do do they make enough money from the front-end sales that they don’t have a back-end funnel. These are important details you need to consider.
Not focusing on recurring income
Even if you’re only selling 1 item, look at how you can take that one time sale and turn it into repeat sales. Or better yet offer some kind of continuity program to create recurring income. Often this is done with a product of the month, membership sites, newsletters, or product refills. This will be the source of the bulk of your long-term income. Plus, if you consider selling the business the recurring income and the email list will be the assets that buyers want the most.
Not wanting to spend money on advertising
This is where most entrepreneurs trip themselves up. You have be willing to spend money to get your offer in front of your target audience. It is just like in real estate– location, location, location. You can’t make sales if buyers never see your site. Paid traffic should be a line item on your cost of doing business. The entire internet is based on the model of using paid traffic.
Trying to do the techie stuff yourself
I’m a victim of this myself. I can’t count the times I should have spent my time growing the business instead of tweaking some code on the site or in the shopping cart. Don’t spend your time doing techie things. Technology is hard to learn, and often you will only use it once or twice. But technology is easy and cheap to outsource.
I think today’s subject line sounds like the start of a slow-moving country song.
Close your eyes and clear your mind and you can almost hear the words pouring out of some dusty jukebox speakers.
This is what it would sound like.
I’m an online marketer working as hard as I can.
Trying to break even with my FaceBook ads.
Yet nothing I do seems to work.
No matter what I can’t seem to make it work.
I bought every online course trying to make it work, but the bills are piling up.
I’m more of a talk radio guy myself, and I really don’t listen to the radio often so this is about what I imagine it would sound like.
But there is a lot of truth in that song. The
problem is about 70% of your money is wasted with every new campaign.
For example, I have a new campaign where the 45-54 age group is costing me $21.01 per lead while the 35-44 age group is $3.98 per lead.
Most people would freak out and kill the campaign and start over, which is the wrong thing to do.
You need to dig down into the campaign and see why leads cost so much.
Could it be males convert better than females or was it my page didn’t display correctly on mobile devices?
Those are the keys to taking a losing campaign and creating a winner.
Watch the replay to see how little things like that can make or break your FaceBook campaigns.
Most people don’t realize it, but I have dyslexia and ADD on top of that.
It means that while most people read left to right I read right to left while being hyperactive at the same time. It certainly made for some “fun” times as a kid growing up in the public school system of the 70’s and 80’s. As a teen my parents bought me the Hooked On Phonics program and a speed reading program to help.
While it helped somewhat, it didn’t cure anything.
Lucky for me by the time the school system got around to being able to label me, I didn’t see it as a disability or problem but a gift. I’m able to consume massive amounts of information in a very short amount of time if it’s visual. So I can watch somebody do something and I can repeat it without any problem. But I still have trouble reading FB ad reports.
I’m visual in the way I learn, so having rows of numbers leaves me with a headache. I can’t use spreadsheets to save my life.
How many times have you seen me open a spreadsheet to teach you anything?
So how am I able to manage and grow my business?
Less than 5 feet away from my desk is somebody who breaks down all the numbers and helps me figure out what’s working. I need visual reports saying if something’s working or not.
That’s why I freaked out when I started testing AdEspresso with my FaceBook ads because their reporting is visual–graphic with bright colors.
For the first time ever I can make my own decisions and now I can tell what’s working at a glance. I feel like Christmas came early. Because I’m a stark raving fan of AdEspresso, I got the founder on a call to do a podcast with me.