In yesterday's post I mentioned a great event, and a great guide. Both of which I highly recommend. But you may be in a place where you can't afford to invest money into your biz.
And I'm not talking about just feeling unsure (or waffling) about spending the money, like I was when I bought my very first ebook (which still cracks me up, lol).
I'm talking about being honestly broke and having to decide between groceries and a $27 download. Hey - I've been there. When I started over after my divorce, I didn't just start from zero. I started below zero, with an overdraft account -lol.
I didn't have tons of money to pour into my business. In fact, I didn't have any in the beginning. But I still made it, and now run a very successful online business.
So I'm going to share one of my secrets with you that works - that will really help you get your internet business off the ground - and that won't cost you a dime...
"I Can't Afford The Help I Need, So I Can't Succeed Online."
You may have looked into coaching programs, hiring a mentor, training systems, products, membership sites etc and felt deflated because you couldn't afford them.
Maybe it left you feeling hopeless, and thinking you may never be able to succeed online because you couldn't get the proper start with these products/services.
I'll tell you from experience that is not true. It's just your perception. Because I made it without ever tapping into a single paid resource. It wasn't until well after I had my business established, and a regular online income, that I began investing money back into my business.
That's not to say *some* of those things aren't incredibly helpful when you're just starting out. But thinking it's a "make it or break it" thing is just plain wrong.
Analyze Successful Marketers In Your Niche
You'd love to hire a coach or mentor, take a detailed training program, or join a private brainstorming group - but you truly can't afford it right now.
No big deal. I'm going to show you another way to "learn from the best" - without even hiring them or buying their products. And this is a GREAT way to learn what you need to know, and kick start your online business idea...
Simply watch what they do, in great detail, which will often teach you more than any product or one-on-one time with them ever would.
This is how I started out, and it's called being "self-taught".
You can learn A LOT by observing the Market Leaders in your niche, and even by observing successful online marketers across a variety of niches. Here's how...
1. Choose Your Mentors & Market Leaders Wisely
This is the most important point. Don't just choose from the "Internet Marketing" pool. Choose market leaders that are actually successful at what they teach, outside of the IM space. (Note, it's a much smaller pool - lol)
More importantly, look at the market leaders in YOUR niche. Who are they, why are they popular, and what are they doing? THAT is who you really want to study.
2. Set Up An Easy Way To Study Them
You want to do two things when you start this process. You want to set aside a specific amount of time for learning (vs working on your business) - say, an hour a day. And you want to set up a way to monitor their activity that doesn't flood your inbox or clutter your virtual work space.
I like to set up a separate Gmail account just for monitoring market leaders, but you can also create a folder to filter their emails into. If you set up a separate Gmail account, you'll also have a separate Google Reader account to browse their current blog posts. But you can also filter that as well if you prefer.
On Twitter & Facebook, you can put them into Lists so you can easily watch their updates as well. Just figure out a system that works best for YOU, set aside a specific time each day to study them, and make notes on things you observe or learn that you can apply to your own business model or niche.
3. Monitor Them Closely (What To Look For)
So what are you looking for exactly? How often they post content, what they post, what gets a response, where all they are active online, how they frame their "call to action", what they're promoting, what they offer in the way of products/services of their own, the flow of their funnel, headlines & copy that compel you, plugins & programs they're using.
Basically just get a feel for what they're doing and why, and what seems to be obviously working well for them.
4. Subscribe To & Monitor Their Mailing List
Take note of how often they mail their list, subject lines that intrigue you, their content, length of email messages, number of promos, format, etc.
You'll find that each marketer may be totally different from the next in many of those elements. Make note of what you like, what you don't like, and what appeals to you most on this side of the marketing message.
5. Observe Their Social Media Channels
How active are they on Twitter and Facebook? What other social media channels do they use, and HOW do they use them? What do they share, how often, and what types of updates get the most engagement?
6. Study Their Low-Cost Intro Products & Free Downloads
Most marketers have a lower cost introductory product to get you into their funnel and/or free downloads. Analyze their funnel, how it's set up, what they offer on the back end, how they follow up - the entire process.
Also study their product, the layout & format, the quality of content, delivery method, etc. This is just as good as purchasing a guide that teaches you how to create & deliver an incentive or product.
7. Interact With The Market Leaders In YOUR Niche
While you're studying the successful marketers in YOUR niche, interact with them. You'll want to do this from social media accounts you have set up for you niche/business - not from a personal account. See How To Use Social Media
Share their best content, like their best posts, retweet their best tips, comment on their blogs, etc. This is a great way to "get on the map" in your niche, simply by leveraging the current market leaders (and their following).
Free Resources To Help You Get Started
In addition to studying what the successful marketers are already doing, you can tap into free resources and get the help you need while you're just starting out.
In fact, there are three easy ways to ask ME a question anytime you feel stumped or need technical help. You can tweet me a question to @LynnTerry, you can post a question on my Facebook wall, and you can brainstorm in the Main Internet Marketing Forum section of my discussion forum - which is free.
And don't hesitate to post in ANY of those places - I love questions!
There are also tons of free tutorials here on ClickNewz such as how to set up your blog and how to write a blog post and how to write a product review - and plenty more, such as my Organic Marketing Strategy.
If you have a question and can't find the resource or tutorial here, just tweet me with what you need and I'll send you the link!