How to become a successful entrepreneur in 2018

How to become a successful entrepreneur in 2018

Start off 2018 right and act on your plans!

There’s a saying by Meister Eckhart that goes: “And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings”. And it fits New Years like a glove because twelve months are enough to tire any human being and make you wanna give up. Then comes the miracle of new beginnings and renewed hope.

Sayings aside, we believe the end of the year and the coming of a new one spark in people the wish to change. In many cases, it’s the ideal time to put the past 365 days into perspective and set new goals, professional or personal ones.

Whether you want to change careers or become an entrepreneur, planning beforehand is the key to the success of your new journey. With this in mind, we’ve written a post with tips on how to become an entrepreneur in 2018 and succeed in any niche, besides giving you suggestions of markets you can exploit.

Take this opportunity to clear all your questions about the topic!

Is it still worth starting your own business?

First of all, let’s answer the question in everybody’s mind: with the world economy varying a lot, full of uncertainties, is it still worth starting your own business?

Most of the answer can be found o the 4th edition of the Global Entrepreneur Report by BNP Paribas, based on the opinion of 2,700 successful entrepreneurs from 22 countries that concentrate 36 billion dollars. It shows the commitment of Elite Entrepreneurs to generate a positive impact on their business.

80% of them believe that having a business venture is the best way to cause global or local impact, and the most popular agendas are the environment, clean energy, and job creation.

The entrepreneurs who took part in the research anticipate an increase in their use of investment funds (34%), start-up financing (34%), private equity (32%), equity funding (32%) and impact investing (29%).

“Their investments can amplify their ambitions to create a better environment for the next generation while reflecting their values. The ‘millennipreneurs’ hold great wealth potential and will lead the way: impressively, 64% of them are already actively engaged in impact investing, particularly in terms of job creation.”, states Vincent Lecomte, Co-CEO at BNP Paribas Wealth.

Is there any new niche market to exploit?

Entrepreneuring is not a synonym for creating something never before seen in the market. But rather identifying problems and opportunities to implement a solution that adds value to people’s lives.

Take Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services, for example. They make movies and shows available on demand. Before they came into existence, people rented movies, subscribed to cable or downloaded illegal content on the web.

The idea of becoming a video service isn’t new, if you stop to think about it. But when Netflix makes available a list of films to watch whenever you want for a fixed monthly fee, they’ve significantly decreased the trouble consumers would go to watch this content.

If you have this in mind, you’ll agree it’s completely possible to become a success reference even in a saturated niche.

Options of niche market to exploit

20 years ago or so, brick-and-mortar businesses were the only option for entrepreneurs. As the Internet evolved, it brought new possibilities of niche market for people who want to work online and make a living off their talents and skills.

Besides its higher range, the online market has the advantage of being less bureaucratic, which means you can work in it without establishing a legal company, at least at first.  

Producer

A Producer is a professional who turns their knowledge into digital products to sell online. To become one, you need to have great expertise on a topic to be able to explain it well.

Advantages

  • Autonomy to create your content;
  • Easier to distribute;
  • Possibility of scalable profits;
  • Variety of formats;
  • Low investment.

How to become a Producer

The first step to create a product is to list the topics you know well and can really teach.

With this list in hands, search on tools such as Google Trends if there’s an audience interested in such topics. After all, the more people research the topic, the higher the chances of you selling your product when it’s ready.

We also suggest you perform a keyword search on tools such as Google Keyword Planner, in order to identify the ones performing better on search engines. This search will help you get to know your competition better and the pains of people who search for this kind of product.

Learn more about digital products and check the formats you can use to work on the Internet.

Affiliate

An Affiliate is the professional who advertises a third-party product in exchange for a commission per sale made.

Advantages

  • There’s no need to create a product;
  • There’s no need for an initial investment to get started;
  • You’re free to advertise the products you want;
  • There’s no need to build an audience from scratch.

How to become an Affiliate

The first step towards becoming an Affiliate is to register on a product sales platform, such as Hotmart.

After you register, select the products you want to advertise. It’s important that the products add value to people who follow your blog or your social media channels because only then your recommendation will be received with open arms and can be converted into sales.

Understand more how Affiliate programs work in this post.

Digital Influencer

The job of an Influencer is similar to that of the Affiliate, what sets them apart is that the first sells its own image to promote a product instead of being paid commissions for sales made. This can be an option for people who are already popular on the Internet and wish to make money over their personality/lifestyle.

Advantages

  • Working with your own image;
  • There’s no need to repay commissions, unless working with an agency of influencers;
  • Making money in different ways: sponsored posts, attending events, partnering up with brands, etc.

How to become an influencer

First of all, you’ll need to have a big, engaged audience to only then start thinking about monetizing your content.

To build your audience, it’s essential to create attractive content that adds value to those who follow you.

You’ll also need to have consistent and frequent posts and build a close relationship with your followers.

Here, in the blog, we have a complete post showing how to become a digital influencer. Take advantage to check all our tips there too.

YouTuber

A YouTuber is also a kind of digital influencer but one who necessarily produces content in video.

To monetize their channels, these professionals can subscribe to Google AdSense to run ads or negotiate prices with brands that want to be mentioned in their videos.

Advantages

  • Freedom to create your own content;
  • Working from wherever you want;
  • Being able to make money in different ways: sponsored posts, attending events, partnering up with brands, Google AdSense, etc.

How to become a YouTuber

The first step to becoming a YouTuber is to have your own channel on the platform.

Freelancer

A freelancer is a professional who works by themselves, charging for a specific ability such as writing, website creation, design, photography, etc.

Nowadays, there are many different platforms that connect freelancers and clients, where they can negotiate prices.

Advantages

  • Flexibility of schedule;
  • Freedom to work wherever you want;
  • Freedom to choose the clients you want to work with.

How to become a freelancer

To become a freelance professional, you need an updated portfolio with your work, whether you work with texts, photos, etc. You can create an Internet page to do so.

This website or blog is essential to show possible employers the kind of job you perform, in short, to “sell yourself”.

After you create a portfolio, you can choose to negotiate with clients one-on-one or register at a freelance platform, such as Freelancer and UpWork, so that companies can get in touch with you.

Avoid talking to possible employers on social media because that comes out as unprofessional and, if you’d rather, create an email account only for these demands or organize your inbox with flags, so you don’t miss out on a proposal.

Planning your business

If you already have a business going on, there are several contents on the blog that can help you manage your venture.

If your company is still starting out, get ready to research, after all, you still need to know your market, the audience that needs your service and how you can provide the best customer experience.

Choosing the market niche

The market niche is kinda like a cut out of a bigger market. ‘Kids shoes’ is a niche in the shoe segment, which is a part of the fashion industry and so on.

The choice of niche needs to be aligned with your talents and skills, something that comes easy for you to teach and do.

It should also be more specific, with more possibilities to explore. But, at the same time, you need to be careful not to be too segmented because it’s important that people look for the product you’re trying to sell.

To be more assertive in choosing your niche, try to ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What do your friends always ask you to teach them?
  • What would you do if you could work only for pleasure?
  • What skills do you have that can bring a positive change in other people’s lives?

Market research

The first step for any business venture is to understand the market you’re acting on. Who is your competition, what do they offer and most of all, what are the neglected needs in this market? This is exactly where you should act on, if you want to set a competitive edge for your brand.

To make this research, there are many tools you can use, such as:

  • Google Alerts, where you set alerts whenever your competitor is mentioned on other websites;
  • SemRush and Moz, to assess the strength of your competition’s domain and the level of competition per keyword;
  • Social Mention and similar, to track the health of different brands on social media;
  • Rip Off Report, to monitor the relationship consumers have with the competition, etc.

It’s a long list, but the simplest, easiest tool to use is still Google. If you keep an eye on SERP, which are the results that come up when we search for a given topic, you’ll have a basic idea of who your competitors are.

It’s worth mentioning that this analysis doesn’t have the purpose to copy what others are doing but to find the strengths and weaknesses of your market so you can adopt a more strategic position.

Business Plan

The business plan is a strategic document that will guide all the actions of your company from that point on, so you can reach the expected results.

The idea is that the plan anticipates all possible scenarios for your company, and what you need to do for your business to grow in a sustainable manner.

To come up with the business plan, before anything else you need to have a clear idea of your short, mid and long-term goals, considering a period of 12 months. Whichever is the goal of your business, one year is more than enough to give you an idea if you’re on the right track and to identify actions that are bringing the best results.

In general, a good business plan is the one which answers to the maximum questions possible about a company, providing financial, operational and marketing guidelines. Remember to always review it according to your company’s performance, minimizing possible flaws.

Learn how to create your business plan at: How do I write a business plan to sell a digital product?

A prototype of your idea (Minimum Viable Product)

To know if your idea is as good in practice as it seems in theory, you’ll need to create a minimum viable product, which is basically a prototype of your idea but produced with fewer resources and focused on a smaller audience.

The MVP aims to check if your product answers to the demand it was created, besides identifying possible flaws before launching it into the market. These tests are important to ensure you’ll be able to offer a good experience for your users.

Tips to start off 2018 on the right foot

The only way to learn if a business will actually work is by doing it. But some tips can help you turn 2018 into a promising year for your business. These are tips you’ll want to write even on a post-it not to forget!

Make profitable professional connexions

It isn’t because you work by yourself that you don’t need to network. It’s the exact opposite, because you’re on your own that you need to surround yourself with people that can add value to your business.

You may have heard many times that attending events you meet people who can change your business, whether it is a partner to creating content, a renowned professional in website development, an investor, or even a potential consumer can give you honest feedback about what you need to improve.

Do whatever you can to attend events in your market and be active on social media such as LinkedIn because these media allow you to know more people.

Another interesting way to make new partnerships is to access websites and blogs about products related to yours and contacting them by email proposing to exchange guest posts. This strategy helps you increase the number of links directing to your content and it is useful to strengthen both your domains.

If you work as a YouTuber or Influencer, you can collab with channels that are similar to yours. Then, you have the possibility of getting known by an audience that’s interested in the topic you approach and increase the visibility of your channel on search engines.

To sum up, make your best to cultivate good professional connexions and be open to help other people grow their business too, after all, this trade needs to be interesting for everyone involved in the partnership.

Set bold goals

The saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you plan too much and never take the first step, you won’t know if your business might have worked out.  

It’s worth mentioning that bold goals are different from impossible ones. These only exist to make you frustrated and demotivated.

For a goal to be useful it needs to be:

  • Specific: it makes it clear what you want to achieve;
  • Measurable: easy to identify if it was reached or not;
  • Attainable: possible to accomplish with the resources you have at the moment;
  • Realistic: it must contribute to the growth of your business;
  • Timely: it must have a deadline to be accomplished.

Let’s say your goal is to double your lead base in the next six months. An example of goal that brings together all the factors above is to add more capture forms on your website.

This goal is specific because you’re aiming to grow your base.

Measurable because you can track the number of registers using capture forms.

Attainable once you have the resources to do it.

Realistic because having more leads to work can boost your sales.

Timely because you only have six months to assess the results of your strategy.  

An important tip here is that the simple fact of setting a goal in the beginning of the year doesn’t mean you can revise it throughout the process and even set new goals that come from the first one.

Listen to your audience

The consumer is the greatest thermometer to learn if you’re on the right track. If they’re having a good experience, they’ll repay you buying more times or recommending your service to someone.

The opposite also happens. An unhappy consumer or one that feels she was somehow wronged will become the biggest belittler of your company.

And why, exactly, do you want people to talk you and your product up?

According to some marketing studies, the opinion of other consumers has a huge influence on our purchase decision, which is what we call social proof.

So, always listen to what your consumer has to say. Don’t minimize a problem they might be facing and be ready to offer a humanized post-sale.

No one likes feeling like they’re talking to a robot. Therefore, avoid programming automatic answers to all kinds of interaction because that can annoy your consumer.

Lastly, be sure to talk to your consumers even if they haven’t made a request. Using email marketing to nourish your relationship with your base is a good and cheap strategy that can charm your customers and turn them into evangelists of your brand.

Take advantage to promote opinion surveys and try to find out what you can improve to offer a complete experience.

Start now!

Why wait for 2018 if you can start now? Keep on reading our blog to learn more about what to do to create an online course from scratch.

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