Income source: Is it possible to start a profitable business online in 2020?

Enhanced Transcribe:

Hey folks Dr Ro I just thought I’d squeeze in a quick live end of the day and I know you might be watching some other stuff, so good luck with whatever you’re watching at the moment. I’m about to put my kids to bed, just cooked dinner and came out to the garden as I want to talk about a subject which is really topical at the moment. 

Particularly with covid-19 work and specifically a lot of people looking for alternatives to make money. This is a field I’ve been in for a long time and I started my first, well it depends what age because I remember setting up at school I’m talking about a tuckshop. We set up a mini tuckshop when I was in my teens, where we would buy Twix and Twirls and all chocolates. The school let us do it, buy it and sell it and make some profit. Give some back to the school and keep a bit to ourselves.

If I think about it entrepreneurially I was in that place for many years. I was inspired however, last week on our podcast I do with Harminder Toor, the Growth Tribes podcast. To interview a young man well he is 34 years of age, who started his first business or got involved in doing something from a business perspective at 11 years of age, so maybe a little bit sooner than I did. Mine was probably 13, 14 whatever age I was when we did the tuckshop at school.

Having been in this game for many years the main concern I’m seeing at the moment is, I’m excited by it but I wanted to share with you as I’ve been doing this for a long time. People say what do we do? We’ve got a business that’s face to face etc. You need to go online and all of a sudden people are setting up an online business. There are a myriad of people going online at the moment, promoting and selling, what I think is essentially a get rich quick type model for making money online.

I can tell you now it is not that easy, having been in front of audiences for 30 years and sold stuff online, digital products, audio products, coaching, etcetera I’ve made a lot of money selling stuff online, off-line over the years. It is not my speciality by the way, but I just want to share with you that I’ve had the experience of doing it. One thing I can tell you for sure is that it is not as simple as saying I’m going to record something and flog it online. What a lot of people make the mistake of believing is because they have their friends telling them great ideas, you’ve got really good content, you should do it, I’ll buy it. 

It is a bit like somebody buying your first book. You’ll get an initial flurry it’s like setting up anything online, you’ll get an initial flurry and then it will dip off if you don’t have a system to build up to it. I’ve discovered that myself and if you go back and look on YouTube, I’ve got YouTube videos that go back 12, 14, 15 years. My social media team B Street who are working with me closely they found stuff from me from years ago with 25,000, 30,000 viewings. But I wasn’t consistent. So I went out at that time and did YouTube videos because I was passionate about it, didn’t really think about commercialising or anything like that, and I didn’t keep it up.

Had I kept it up I would have had this huge funnel of followers that have been attracted to what I’ve done online over the years and this whole concept of a business funnel that feeds into ultimately the products that you’re offering. Most people don’t understand it. Or if you understand the concept you don’t know how to implement it. So my challenge is always I’ve been top-heavy meaning I’ve got very strong products at the back end, turning point events, health events, communication events all that stuff. And that would then sell up into something else. We’d have another product, great service that we would offer people face-to-face. But what I didn’t have is the front-end marketing for that I just had a following, a database connection, affiliates, referrals, and that’s how we did it. 

If you’re now thinking we are doing this ourselves at the moment, we are expanding what we’ve already built. If you’re thinking I’ve got a good product, idea, book, e-book, audio program I’d like to put together, that’s one thing by the way. And then I’m going to sell it there needs to be stages to this funnel. If you’re thinking of doing it fantastic, I don’t want to piss all over your parade and say don’t do it, what I want you to be is realistic in the sense that it’s one thing to create a product. I’ve got two products to create next month and those products walk into a funnel.

That’s a funnel created by somebody else. Not my own funnel, these are people who have established a following, they’ve already got marketing behind it, they have a funnel for that product. They just need somebody that can provide value to their clients. If you’re doing it for yourself you’ve got to think about how that’s going to be. I know people talk about Amazon but the reality is it’s not as simple as that because you stick your book on Amazon, there will be an initial flurry of sales as I discovered when I wrote mine years ago and then it dies off. If you’re out in front of audiences and if you’re in public space marketing people get to know who you are. 

Digital online business is a skill, it takes mastery. It takes a lot of analytics and on top of which the market is changing all the time. For example, Facebook has changed their rules just recently. Where six, 12 months ago you could have advertised for wealth, health, money and how to save money and how to learn about the first five steps to becoming a successful property investor, whatever it is. You can’t do that now, they’ll shut you down or stop your marketing strategies. Harminder who has just jumped on you’ll hear him talk about this in a podcast that we just did last week. 

These are some of the challenges that we’re now facing. The way even you get your message out there is being restricted, strangled. The industry in the social media industry so people are changing jumping ship to different ways to market themselves. We put on the podcast last week, a gentleman’s been doing this for many years. Go to When he did the interview the purpose of the interview was to get him to talk to us through a templated model, something that anyone brand-new can actually listen to and identify where there gaps are. 

There are five stages to this model and what I loved about it is as you listen to the way he described it and by the way, he started doing this, many, many years ago when he got an MBA in business. He travelled to Nepal various places around the world and created an online product to do with Chinese English online tutorials. In order to keep the revenue going, he decided he wanted to travel across Asia but still have the revenue going and be off the grid, and that’s how he developed this system. Which he now works closely with Harminder in their business.

I want you to listen to this because the nice thing about the podcast is it’s just a black and white set of questions that I’m asking. Although I know a lot of it from having had them work with me and having social media specialists like Harminder and his team come and work with me personally. I wanted to ask the question on behalf of somebody that is brand-new and excited to do it, maybe you’re an osteopath, maybe you’re a physiotherapist, maybe you’re a property investor. Maybe you’re a stock-market trader. Maybe you are a teacher, maybe you’ve got a skill set, maybe you’re a coach or mentor, and you want to get this knowledge into the online world. 

There are some major frigging businesses I’m not going to go into the names of them, but there are companies I have worked with for a few years who if they jumped onto this, two, three, four years ago when we were discussing even back then, when the changes happen that have just happened it would have been a natural transition. Look at how many of the big property wealth, education, companies trading companies now who have traditionally, even  personal development people like Tony Robbins and myself included, have had face-to-face businesses for many years. And yes, some of us have migrated online at different levels, but everyone’s been forced to take that online now and it’s really down to that system that you used to funnel into your business.

If you think of it like this. If you’re selling face-to-face coaching or mentoring directly to somebody, that’s your premium product. You can’t just go and sell that because that could be £1,000, £2,000, £3,000, £4,000, £5,000, depending how you market the product. You might get a couple people that know you that say yeah I’m going to buy this fantastic product. I’ve known you for a decade. You think fantastic and you go out there and suddenly the business dries up. There’s nothing that feeds that.

I reviewed a five-page document today where the team has done an assessment on the products I have and what we’re clear on now is there are two gaps in this model that we talk about on the podcast. That’s fantastic, as I can look at those gaps and say I can fill those relatively quickly. I have a lot of one part of the model but I am having gaps in the other part of the model. If you’ve got a premium product you want to sell how are you going to get enough people to buy your product?

The challenge you’ve got is if you’ve got 1,000 people in front of you and they don’t know you and then you go right I’m going to sell you a coaching programme, mentoring program or 20 week, or six-month education program that’s going to get you to trade the market, buy property, start a business, sell widgets, whatever. The challenge with this is they don’t know you. Yes they do, they saw me on their Facebook page. It doesn’t matter, they don’t know you, meaning they don’t really know the depth of your knowledge. So when you go here’s my product it’s £500, £1,000. Which will not sell online easily by the way unless you’ve got good credibility.

So you’re standing there thinking what have I done wrong? It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong it’s the process that you’ve set up to get them to that stage. In other words you haven’t whet their appetite. It’s like walking past an Indian restaurant you walk past it once and it smells good and then three nights later you’re walking by with your girlfriend and you say, it smells good but not tonight. Then you walk past again and see a bunch of people going on there, you look at the menu and you take the takeaway menu with you. Another time you’re driving by and you happen to pop off to a shop next door and as you look in the window it’s packed and you think this restaurant looks good.

That’s five or six times before you decide to go to the restaurant. People need that to buy your product from you. That comes from another part of the funnel, the funnel is like this huge at the top where loads of people are looking at you, smelling the restaurant curry smell from your business. And then right at the bottom of the funnel is tiny which is where your premium product is. You’ve got to find a way to bring them down through the funnel to a point when they go I want to buy your product. I want to keep coming to buy your product. 

It’s like giving them a taste of the curry, so they get a sense of what the business is about. I  know good people that have owned restaurants in the past and that’s what they’ve done. There are these five stages to this funnel and you’ve got to be prepared and this is the challenge, you’ve got to know what your ultimate product is over here and then if the whole of the product is this. If you’re coming to the table with a massive plate of food, then you’ve got to work backwards like this and then you’re going to give them this much to start with and it’s lots of little bits. It’s like me coming to the restaurant and walking in with my friend who is getting his meal and then while they’re serving you say how about you try this? And you go very nice and you go away and take some home to your wife or husband. The full plate is what you’re offering them at the end but for them to want to buy the full five course meal, they need to at least know what you’re offering upfront as a taster. In between that you’ve got to find out a way for the taster for them to be enough to go let me try a bit more of this. How many times have you done this in a restaurant? Where you tried something or a takeaway and it is not very good. 

Now you’ve got a premium here and then you’ve got free over here and in between this, it’s knowing how to price these stages and what content to give people. We have an AV specialist who is arguably one of the best in the country here, so if he wants to get a message out there, somehow he has got to produce something or show people what he does. Some tips to start with on how to set up an event to get the best sound quality. We did this when he came to a live event.

You create something simple and free for people and they go. I like this guy, maybe he has got some other material he can share with me. Then it could be something else, like, okay, how to set up sound, how to get your lighting right, how to choose your Av person. All of this is like a two-hour product or whatever it is and fairly low cost. Now he’s got something in the middle and finally there’s possibly one stage and then the offering of coming and working with him.

That’s the biggest challenge, it’s always been my challenge because for me I want to give as much value as I can. And the problem is if I give them the full meal up front here, then I’ve got nothing to give over here. If I don’t give them enough over here I won’t get them interested. The problem with giving them the full meal too early is that it might be too much of an overwhelm and this is a challenge I found over the past is, in the early days I would give so much upfront over here that people go, oh my gosh, I need to process this. If I’ve got a pigeon over there and I’ve got a loaf of bread here. What I don’t want to do is throw the loaf of bread at the pigeon. I know the pigeon wants the loaf of bread, but if I throw it, it’s going to fly away. 

That’s like giving your premium product upfront, whereas if I take the bread and I break it up into crumbs and then I sprinkle some of those breadcrumbs over here, then bigger chunks until finally maybe that whole loaf is over there. That’s the principle and we spent nearly two hours doing this interview and it was great. There was some really good content. 

Hopefully that’s helpful to you, I think the main message at this stage I want to share with you is don’t have an exact and I have a marketing strategy meeting tomorrow and that meeting will be making sure what I’m about to produce is not too much content for that particular stage of the funnel. That’s the biggest challenge. What a lot of creators do and that’s my nature is we jump in and we try to create the product and then afterwards try and work out what marketing needs to be done for that product to be sold. That’s the nature of anybody that is either a speaker, creator or business ideas person whatever.

There is nothing wrong with that because we get into our flow as creators but the problem you’ve got then is, if you got to a marketing team they are going to go. I wish you’d come to us first. We would have said simplify that product, take some of that content, put it over here and then that becomes a part of your next product. So don’t think about creating a product first think marketing first and work backwards in the reverse funnel. Decide what you want to offer at one end, i.e. the premium end and then work backwards from that to know what you need to create to get into that funnel.

I’m giving you a very broad stroke here in this quick live, but I do encourage you to come and have a listen to this because it’s a free podcast. I’ve got a funny feeling that part of that podcast includes brand-new research that has not been published yet in the media or anywhere with 250 different ways to make money from home or online in the current marketplace. This is brand new research that they’d been doing over the last three weeks. 

Even I’m looking to have a look at that as I think that is fantastic. But they are giving away this list at the moment free, so look out for that in a couple weeks.

The intention is not to put you off or piss you off. In fact, if anything it’s to say to every single one of you, my dear friend as well Brendan who is watching at the moment, every one of you has amazing content inside you. Every one of you has the ability to write a book, create audio to give something of value. 

I promise you that part of my mission in this world is to show you how to communicate that across and I’m not here to promote the CWI event, the point of this live is to say to you, you have it inside you. If we go creating it, understand the process to get it out to the marketplace and imagine in a couple years’ time if you’ve got products that are selling. while you’re asleep they’re bringing you in 20, 30,40, 50, 60, 80 quid whatever, it is a fantastic feeling. I honestly believe you have the ability to do that. 

At least start that journey by coming and listening to us on the podcast. In the meantime, I better go put my kids to bed because I’ve got some stuff to do myself.

Dr Ro signing out, have an amazing evening. 

Disclaimer: This video or written publication does not offer investment or financial advice and nothing in them should be construed as investment or financial advice. Our publications provide information and education only. The information contained in our publications is not, and should not be seen as a recommendation to use any particular investment strategy. Always seek financial advice from an independent financial adviser around your own personal financial situation.

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