There is an illusion out there that makes some people believe that you can create an automated income stream online and walk away and make money while you lay on a beach somewhere. While some people have done that to a certain extent what you don’t see is the amount of work that goes in to making a business work. Often that work involves selling and even in an online world; people still buy from people.
Let’s pick an example: Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook. He spent years working long hours and networking with the right people to make his ideas into the business he wanted. As far as I know he still works quite hard and he isn’t sunning himself in Fiji every day.
I wanted to make this point because I have been working with some business owners lately who are adamant they want to automate everything and they want as little human contact with potential customers and existing clients as possible (or no contact at all). What they don’t understand is that the internet has made us more connected, not less. Because of that increased connectivity the expectation for contact and quick responses is greater than ever.
I have been banging on for ages about the value of Twitter for marketing, it’s the number one tool out there at the moment for building interested and targeted leads for any business. However they will stay just leads and not convert into sales if you don’t engage with them, keep them interested, answer questions and give them the information they need to make an informed purchase.
Generating sales (and therefore income) for any business is obviously critical for any venture to survive in the long term. There’s also a common belief that any new business is lucky to make a profit in the first year or two and many believe it’s next to impossible. Well it is impossible if you start out with that attitude. In my experience, if you have a good product or service to offer, at the right price and you are willing to adapt early to cater to what the client wants AND you are willing to proactively SELL then there is absolutely no reason why you can’t make money in the first few months.
By proactively selling I mean; personally email or message your contacts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Make contact on a 1 to 1 level, don’t just mass email or post up a link and status on social networking sites. People can easily miss those links or they’re too lazy to click and read or maybe they will misunderstand a short message. But if you take the time to get in touch with them and explain your offering it’s surprising how quickly you can generate sales. Even in the offline world it’s amazing how quickly sales can be generated at networking groups or even just talking to people at coffee shops, bars or even random places like other parents at your kids school.
It’s the difference between opening a restaurant and sitting inside waiting for people to come in or going out on the street with a smile and giving small samples of food and encouraging people to come in. It has an instant impact.
Creating income in business as an entrepreneur still requires effort and that effort is usually best directed towards selling your ideas to investors, selling yourself to new contacts and selling products to new clients.
If you would like some help with marketing your business or just to share your experiences I would really like to hear from you. Get in touch via the form below and I will email you back.