Starting an Online Business? Break These Rules 😉

Should you copy someone else’s business model just because it works, even if you don’t feel good about it? Today, you’re going to find out why this probably isn’t a good idea. I’m going to tell you about three online business rules I broke when starting an online business, mainly because they just didn’t feel good. There are so many strange things that go on in the world of online business, and I think that one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a new entrepreneur is implementing something just because it’s the “done way”, even if it doesn’t sit quite right with you. 

I have generated over £500,000 from Instagram with my students inside of my signature program, the Content Accelerator. Students who have implemented tactics that don’t feel right to them are something I see again and again from those who come to work with me. They tell me that, because of this, they experience resistance every time they have to promote their business – and this is exactly what we’re going to discuss today. 

So let’s get to it – here are the 3 rules I broke when starting an online business. 

Rule #1: Launching multiple programs and offers

The first rule that I broke when starting an online business is launching multiple programs or offers. Very early on into my journey, I decided that I wanted my business to abide by two values:

Freedom and simplicity.

Having one offer, which you scale, does exactly that. When you have one offer, you can focus on optimising it i.e. Really perfecting the program content, and the student/client experience. I feel that when you have several programs or offers, you’re not really spending enough time to perfect your product, and so you don’t really stand out in a competitive market. My goal is to create the best program possible for what I do, and to be known for that one thing. Not only that, but having one offer is more scalable. When you are ready to increase your revenue, you don’t have to think about adding more complexity to your business by launching a million different products and services. All you have to focus on is getting more people into your ecosystem to buy your one offer. 

Why you shouldn’t launch offers just because you “feel” like it

When you’re starting an online business, it’s super easy to get distracted by absolutely everything that you can do. You might get tempted to launch an ebook, you might want to have a low ticket offer, you might want to create a mastermind. Soon enough, you have a load of different offers that cause you quite a lot of stress and headache, and don’t always work as well as they can for your clients. It’s super understandable why you might be doing this though! You might be just super excited by all the things you can create, which is pretty normal if you are someone who is entrepreneurial. 

However, it’s really something you should rein in. I’ve found that it’s going to hold you back more than it’s going to propel you forward if you’re serious about starting an online business. You really need to focus on the thing that will have the biggest impact on your business and that will propel you forward to the next level. A lot of the time, if you are designing and creating a lot of different things at once, you don’t have the time to focus on actually improving your existing experiences. 

Another reason why you might be tempted to create multiple things (and I see this a lot in the online space) is because you’re not making sales. What a lot of new coaches and consultants will do is they’ll find that they’re not selling the original offer or program that they created, so they think that the solution is to launch something new. But really, that’s not going to solve the core problem of why you’re not making sales. 

When you focus on your existing offer, it means that you’re going to get infinitely better at selling it. And it means you are aiming to attract only one very specific type of person into your business. This is going to inform everything that you do online; all of your social media content, and all of the topics that you put out and speak about. On the other hand, when you have multiple ideal clients that you could be working with, you start to have to create content for all those different people. Again, that just adds more complexity for you. I’m not saying that you should never have multiple offers. All I’m saying is this is how I’ve chosen to do it in my business.

Also from my experience, launching multiple products, when you’re a beginner, typically is a fear-based decision. So if you’re at that stage where you are considering launching something new, ask yourself:

  • Is this something I am thinking about launching based on my current circumstances? 
  • Or is this a decision based on my highest potential?

That question should help you decide what’s right for you. If you are starting an online business and struggling to sell your offer as a new coach or consultant, then I have created sales frameworks for you to use on your Instagram Stories. These are step by step scripts that tell you exactly what to say on your Instagram stories in order to make sales of your offer!

Rule #2: Live launching constantly 

The second rule that I break in my online business is doing live launches. So I’m going to explain to you what live launching is, how it works, and why I choose not to do it. 

Launching is pretty much the done thing in the coaching and consulting industry because IT WORKS. Launching is basically when your program is only open for enrollment for a specific time period. So there’s a specific open date and closed date and people can only sign up during that time. The reason that this is the done thing in the online coaching and consulting space is because it creates urgency. So your clients can only sign up for your program in that specific time period. That actually compels them to buy, and using some form of urgency to motivate people to buy is a pretty standard thing. 

For example, everyone knows about sales that happen in retail. This is the exact same principle, but launching applies those to coaching and consulting. It involves creating a buzz and creating demand for your program and involves you showing up and promoting your offer for anywhere from 10 days – 2 months before your launch date. So you’re going to have to show up for your audience wherever they hang out. Typically on social media, you’re likely going to have to create a bunch of content to prime your audience leading up to your launch. Depending on how complex your launches are, you’re likely going to have to write a lot of marketing emails, which are then scheduled to go out at certain times. 

Basically, the whole thing has to be meticulously planned and things have to go out on time. If they don’t, then the launch isn’t really going to work. So what you find a lot of the time is that you are constantly on because you have to solve problems as soon as they appear. If something isn’t working, then you literally have to be there to fix it straight away. Otherwise, everything else will break. All of this happens while you’re also showing up every day on social media and creating a ton of content. To top it all off, when you finish your launch, you’ve made a lot of revenue, but then you don’t get any revenue coming in until you do the whole launch process all over again. 

When I launched the Content Accelerator for the first time, it was a massive success by all standards. I welcomed lots of new students and I made over £11,000 in a week. But I started having some weird health problems. I was already very stressed from doing the launch; I started to get anxiety, but I think that’s pretty standard when you’re doing something new for the first time. I also started coming up with a weird rash and I went to see a bunch of specialists for this. I went to see nutritionists, I went to see my GP, and I didn’t really get a diagnosis for what it was. It wasn’t until a couple of months later that I realised that it was a stress rash! I had come up in a stress rash because of my launch.  

So not only had this live launch impacted my mental health, but also it had caused some physical symptoms. And it was then that I decided that I don’t want to get into a cycle of launching. Because obviously I didn’t realise how much pressure I was putting myself under. So they’re the personal reasons why I don’t implement live launching in my business. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work; It’s just what I’ve decided to do. Do let me know in the comments below what your experiences are with launching your program, and what you would do differently for your next launch. 

Rule #3: You have to grow your audience quickly

When you’re starting an online business, one of the things you’ll hear a lot is that you have to bring new people into your audience constantly to make money. Now I’m not saying that having an audience isn’t important. Actually, I think it’s one of the most important parts of starting an online business. But I’ve chosen not to prioritise growing as quickly as I probably could. I’ll tell you why. Now, you know how annoying and frustrating it is when you invest in a program or a course and, once you get inside, it’s super disappointing? 

I think that happens when the entrepreneur or the program creator prioritises the marketing of the program and building an audience over the actual product or service that they’re offering. I think this is the exact reason that online coaching and consulting has such a bad reputation; Because the entrepreneurs that are creating these programs are more focused on building their personal brand and their audience than the core service they’re offering!  That just doesn’t align with my values and it’s just not something that I want to do. If you are a new online coach or consultant, remember that social media, email marketing, whatever marketing you do – that is just your marketing, it’s not your core business. 

Your core business is your service or offering; it’s the experience that your students and clients have working with you. If that isn’t good, it doesn’t matter how big you build your audience, you’re going to get a bad reputation. And you’re not going to have a business at all. It is for this reason that I haven’t built my audience as quickly as I could have; I was so focused on getting my first clients results, and giving my students an amazing experience. Because to me, that’s more important than building a massive audience and just selling them like a substandard program. 

The way I see it, there’s so much shady stuff that goes on in the online coaching and consulting space. If you actually create something amazing, you create a movement and you actually get your clients transformations, then that’s going to make you stand out from the competition. I really see all of the shadiness as an opportunity for you to shine. If you’re actually creating something amazing, what you’ll find is that there are a million different ways to make money online. That’s why it’s so amazing. But it’s all about you  picking a business model that actually works for you, and that feels good for you. And not just blindly copying someone else because you know it works. So if something feels icky when you’re starting an online business, or just doesn’t sit right with you, don’t do it! You’re allowed to throw the rulebook out the window, it does not mean that you won’t be successful. 

Love, Ina 

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