Mon, 2 March 2015
Today’s post reminds me why I love doing this podcast so much. Not only is the material great, but it comes from two of my favorite people—a power couple in the online marketing world.
Their names are Joshua and Jill Stanton and together, they run a business called Screw The Nine To Five where they teach people who are dissatisfied with their day-to-day jobs how to take their skills and transform them into a self-run online business.
Whether you’re well on your way in creating your online business, just getting started, or even simply circling the waters trying to decide whether to get your feet wet, this post is tailor-made for you. It’s all about mining the raw material from which online businesses are built, and crafting it into the cornerstone of your success.
Entrepreneurs are an idea-happy bunch. You probably have tons of ideas swimming in your head right now. Maybe you’ve even grown used to hearing people say “That’s crazy” or “Wow—that’s going to take you a long time.”
It’s never a good idea to pay much attention to the naysayers. The fact is that nearly every idea is a good one, if you can figure out how to make it profitable.
That’s where Jill and Josh come in. They are showcasing some of their concrete strategies for determining any idea’s profitability.
Actually, we’ve condensed their strategies into a series of four step-by-step tests that you can run any idea through.
Spoiler alert—those tests are today’s free download. Click here to get it now.
Get the Free Step-by-Step Guide: "The 4 Profit Validation Tests"
Josh and Jill have been making money online for quite a while, but their spunkily named website came about after they were asked repeatedly how they did it. They decided to start a program specifically for training others to do the same thing they did--a place where they could just send everyone asking their advice.
Ever since, they've been helping people see how they can translate their day job skills into an online job that generates way more income in way less time. In other words, you don't have to learn a brand new skill set in order to start an online business. You simply take what you know and strategically build a business around it.
The "strategic" part is where we can all use Josh and Jill's expertise. Because of course you need to see whether your idea for how to translate your skills to your own business has wings...or not. Odds are it does, but it's not going to be a get-rich-quick situation. However, if you put the passion and hustle and hard work into it, you'll be amazed what you can do online.
I can speak to this personally. Back when I was working my own 9-to-5, I was dreaming of starting my own online business but resigned to the fact that none of my knowledge would translate into the outside world.
All it took was a good friend who reminded me that I worked in marketing...something every online business needs to know how to do well. I was sitting on a gold mine.
You might be, too. Here are the four tests that will help you find out.
Test #1: Udemy.com
This is best suited to people who might want to sell digital products or programs. Udemy is an online learning marketplace. They have five million customers and they have digital products and programs ranging from everything from crocheting to IT. In other words, there's a lot of opportunity here.
I have to say, it's pretty great that there is a resource like Udemy, where you can simply go and see if somebody else is currently making money with your course idea. It’s that simple.
Test #2: Amazon.com
This, again, is best suited to digital products and programs. But you can also use it if you want to start a service-based business. It’s not limited to information products. As you may know, people can skew their Amazon ratings by canvassing their audience to buy books or post reviews at certain key periods of time. But ratings and reviews aren't what you're after. The sales results are what you really want to know about, and those are updated hourly by Amazon.
The way to make sure you are getting an honest reading of sales results is to look for a few different books in that category that are in that lower ranking. You can open up a whole bunch of different listings and see how well that topic, in general, is performing.
Get all of Josh and Jill's insights on these four profit validation tests. Click here to listen to Podcast Episode #49 in full.
Test #3: Google Keyword Tool
It's really important to discover if there is an audience for you to market your great idea. One tool for this is Google’s free keyword planner tool. (You can find it by simply Googling “keyword planner.") It allows you to run a search for any keyword or phrase and find out how many people per month are searching for that phrase. It’s a really great way of gauging how big an audience is searching just Google alone.
For example, enter the keyword phrase “how to become a real estate agent” and you'll see that that search gets 14,800 searches per month. In other words, almost 15,000 people every single month on Google are trying to find information on how to become a real estate agent. So if you already are a real estate agent, there's an opportunity for you to offer a course that guides people down the path to becoming certified.
Test #4: Facebook Ads
This final test is where you go when a Google search doesn't turn up any results. What that usually means is that the people in that market aren’t seeking their answers on Google.
Instead, they're probably on Facebook.
To find out what kind of audience is waiting for you on Facebook, you want to find blogs within your industry...blogs that nearly always have Facebook Pages associated with them.
Alltop.com is a service that lists every single blog, all of the top blogs, in any category. Search on Alltop, and you're likely to find the industry that you work in right now under one of those categories. When you select that category, it will bring up a list of all the top blogs in that industry. You can go through those sites and see if they have a link that goes through to a Facebook Page. Once you discover their Facebook Page, you will then use Audience Insights to see what size of audience they have and what demographic it lies in...what age range, what interest group, what gender, etc. (Audience Insights is a tool that is located inside your Facebook Ads Manager.)
Essentially what you are doing is targeting your already existing competitors to see what kind of audience they've already built up. Later on, you can use that information to run ads to those same people to sell your own products and services.
If you put your idea through these four tests and find its profitability is validated on all four...well, then, it might just be time start creating a program or product. Even if your idea is validated on just one or two of the tests, I agree with Josh and Jill that it is definitely worth pursuing. You just have to make sure you are actually willing to commit the time and energy to really giving this a good go.
As I said earlier, creating an online business not an overnight thing, by any means. It’s going to take some time. But these tests will also give you insight on where you want to be spending that time, as well as where you want to price your product.
If you want to see these ideas in action, you can join Josh and Jill in an upcoming webinar called the Money Test Webinar. In this free online class, Josh and Jill will walk you through each of the four validation tests, step by step.
You can get the sign-up link by downloading our free guide...which will be very helpful to use in the webinar, I might add.
Get the Free Step-by-Step Guide: "The 4 Profit Validation Tests"