004 Which online business idea is actually right for me?
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Hello ladies and welcome to episode number 4! In this episode we are going to nail down your online business idea once and for all!
I’m sure you’ve seen it before too, you’ve seen the dreamy photos on Instagram of other millennials off traveling the world, taking photos in front of waterfalls with ballgowns on and sitting on a beach, laptop open and coconut in hand and they’re somehow magically earning a living through the internet, and you’re sitting there thinking, “how are they doing?!”
How can I find a business idea too so I can ditch this 9-5, get out into the world and get on with living my best life?
If you’re sitting there wondering that right now, then I’m happy to report, I’ve been there and I’ve come through to the other side and I want to tell you that this is possible for you too. But before we get into today’s episode, there’s something I want you to hear!
I remember I was back still in college and an ad came up on my newsfeed, back when I still actually went on Facebook, and the ad was for something called Remote Year.
I clicked on the ad and saw that this was a company who helped people with remote jobs travel all year long. They would figure out your accommodation and a coworking space for you, and you could go to their events to meet other remote workers. So my first thought was “amazing, how do I apply?” only to realize that you actually already needed a remote job, Remote Year didn’t have jobs you did for them.
Remote Year did have a page listing off different job boards where remote jobs would be posted, but it felt like every job needed a degree in IT or experience in app development, both of which I had none.
+ full transcript
There were a couple more lowly paid jobs in customer service that could be done remotely, and I legit applied for a few, but ultimately I chalked up the ability to work remotely to be something which happened for other people, people who knew how to code, but not for me.
I’m happy to report that just a few years later, I call Europe, Germany specifically, my home-base and I travel from here frequently. I run an online business which I’m very grateful to say easily pays my bills and then some, and I work for myself. I’m not hired by a company and I don’t have to play by someone elses rules. I make my own schedule, I decide to work on projects that get me excited and I also decide how much I earn, which is legit pretty amazing.
If you want to know the story of how I went from college student > online business owning digital nomad, you’ll definitely want to check out episode number 1.
Today however we’re not going to be talking about my story, instead today I want to chat with you about how you can also find your perfect online business idea.
I want you to be open to exploring possibilities today, no matter how insane or out there or crazy they seem.
Running an online business is possible for you too, but you have to believe it’s possible in order to get yourself on board with getting started and putting in the work necessary to get it going.
I’ve met so many people running totally out there online businesses. I’ve met people who turned expertise in etiquette into an online business, I know a couple who have turned knowledge about moving to Mexico into an online business, I even once met a girl who was an online relationship manifestation coach.
There are crazier ideas that have been turned into successful online businesses than anything you’re about to think up, so please do not shoot down your ideas before you even get started because they feel too wild and unusual or out there.
Now what we’re going to go through today is basically a condensed version of my Online Business Matchmaker. Inside the matchmaker I give you a lot more examples and a slightly more in-depth version of what we’re going to be working through today in this episode. The Online Business Matchmaker is a completely free video training with an accompanying workbook that will help you nail your perfect online business idea. So if you feel like that would serve you, then definitely head to paigebrunton.com/matchmaker to get access to that totally free training. I have to say, the Online Business Matchmaker is probably my favorite free training I’ve ever created and people who have taken it have said they’d have happily paid for it because it was so useful, but I really want to help you make the first step towards your online business totally for free so nothing holds you back, so again if you feel like it’d prove helpful to you to have your hand held throughout the training, definitely head to paigebrunton.com/matchmaker.
Okay, so let’s get straight into it!
In order to find your perfect online business idea, we have to mix together 3 specific ingredients. Basically, imagine we’re making a cocktail, every online business cocktail contains these 3 ingredients.
Our first ingredient is your unique passions & talents. Our second ingredient is your ideal clients or customers and our third ingredient is business and revenue models.
So let’s start with our first ingredient, your passions & talents.
I know you may be sitting there thinking, I’m legit the most normal, boring human, but I totally disagree. Every single person, yes that means you too, has something that just comes naturally to you. Or some topic that you’re genuinely super interested in. Or a hobby you just love.
I think a lot of the time, people assume their hobbies and passions can’t be turned into online businesses, and to be honest, I totally disagree.
If you’re sitting there like “I’m exceptionally good at putting together outfits for my friends that look amazing and make them feel super confident” or “I’m passionate about drinking wine and going biking in the south of France” or “I’m really great at creating adorable graphics” or “I’m an exceptionally organized person and my calendar and planning system ensures I never miss a deadline for work/school” then amazing! All of those skills, and I mean all of them, can be turned into online businesses.
So again, don’t believe the lie. Your talents and passions really can become businesses.
Now the first thing we need to do is determine exactly what your talents and skills are.
Maybe you already have a rough idea. In that case, start noting those things down. Anything you’re really genuinely interested in, passionate about or could just loose yourself for hours doing, write that down.
Then also start writing down what you tend to be better at than the average person. Maybe at work, you coworkers are a hot mess and can’t meet a deadline to save their life, but you are always on your projects and on schedule, because you’ve devised a planning system that works like a charm.
Or maybe your friends are always coming to you for help with their blogs because you always have ideas for new content to post on your blog, but they struggle with that.
Or maybe you landed a scholarship to college for field hockey because you were so dedicated to your training plan in the summers.
Whatever it is, note it down.
And if you’re still struggling, here’s a few questions I want you to give serious thought and honest answers to.
What are the things you’re really, naturally good at? List them ALL! What do friends and family come to you asking for help with? What are your personal passions? What do you have knowledge on that the average person doesn’t?
I’ll give you a few answers to these myself to show you some ideas.
I’m naturally good at being efficient and getting things done as quickly and easily as possible. I really hate long, pointless work, so I’m great at finding easier ways to do things or eliminating the things which don’t really matter. Some people call this laziness, I call it being super efficient.
Friends and family come to me asking for help with their blogs and websites. I know a heck of a lot more than the average person about Squarespace and web design and blogging. This wasn’t something I was born with, it happened over time of me building my own travel blog and spending years tweaking my Squarespace sites to perfection.
My fiance is always asking me how to correctly say things in English. He’s an English teacher, and always wants to know if he’s saying things correctly.
People also ask me for help with moving to Germany and figuring out visas in Germany. I’ve lived here for a few years now and again, this wasn’t knowledge or experience I just had, it’s something I learned over time because I had to figure it out. Now I’ve successfully landed different visas to stay her long-term, others are always asking me about it.
Personally, I’m passionate about traveling. People often ask me for recommendations about the different destinations I’ve been to.
I also have a bunch of really random bits of knowledge. I landed a full ride to the University of Mississippi for my Masters degree by getting a Graduate Assistant position. So I know a lot more than the average person about getting accepted to a Masters and getting it paid for.
I know a lot about personal finance and investing because when I was younger I really loved watching the Suze Orman TV show and reading all her books. I taught myself how to invest in the stock market because I’ve never worked a full-time job for a real company, so I had to save for my retirement myself.
I also know a ridiculous amount of summer camp games. I worked as a summer camp counsellor and supervisor for 9 summers, so I can entertain a group of 100 kids for hours no problem.
I also know a lot about painting coolers, because I did a few in college, so I’ve got the process, hacks and tricks down for that. I also know how to make a costume for Halloween out of gift wrapping paper.
Also, being a Millennial, I know the Harry Potter books and movies like the back of my hand and I mixed that with my love of travel so I’ve visited many set locations, the places J.K. Rowling wrote the book, I’ve seen J.K. Rowlings house, I’ve been on the studio tour in London, seen the school which was the inspiration for Hogwarts in Edinburgh, and have been to both of the Harry Potter parks in Florida.
So I know that all sounds pretty random, but I could legit find a way to turn any of those things into an online business.
Your list will obviously be different from mine, which is great! We all have unique talents, skills and knowledge which others would kill to have a shortcut to. So don’t discount yourself, write it all out!
Alright, so now you’ve got your list, remember that businesses help people and solve their problems. So look back at your list and determine, how would this skill/knowledge/passion of mine help someone else? How would it make their life easier? How would it help them save time? Or live more healthfully or beautifully or easily? How could your expertise make someone else’s life better in some way?
Once you’ve thought that all out, I want you to pick a favorite skill/knowledge/passion and related problem you’d like to solve for your potential customers and complete the next ingredient with that in mind.
Okay, so now you’ve got your first ingredient down, let’s move on to ingredient number 2, your ideal client!
An ideal client is absolutely vital for anyyy business. Basically, you need to really know exactly who you want to serve in order to attract any clients and have a marketing message that actually resonates with people and makes them so crazy about your business that they’re dying to work with you and buy from you.
Next it’s time to note down your ideal client avatar. This is basically a description of a fictional person that you’ve love to serve with your business. If this person comes out sounding a heck of a lot like you, that’s totally fine, in fact, that’s quite normal.
So first we need to get into the personal details. Is your ideal client a man or woman? How old are they? Where do they live? What’s their home situation like? Are they living with roommates? Alone? Their new spouse? Do they have kids? Educational background? How much schooling have they done? How did they pay their way through school? How are they doing financially? How much do they make in a year? Where do they work? What’s their position? Do they like their job? Are they fulfilled by it? Does their work take over their life and their boss calls them 24/7 or is it just a 9-5 they clock in and out of? What are their hobbies? What do they do in their free time? Who do they spend their free time with? What are their hopes and dreams for the future? What does their ideal life look like? And most importantly, what does their life look like after they’ve had the help of your business?
Now let’s get more into their life and how it related to your business. What’s the situation they’re currently in related to the topic of your potential business? Let’s say the talent you identified in ingredient 1 was that you’re great at creating and managing a personal budget. So, to answer this question, what’s the situation your ideal client is in related to your business, the answer would probably be they’re spending more than they earn, they’ve maxed out their credit cards and they’re really stressed about their finances and their financial future.
Along the same lines, what are their fears and worries related to your business topic? What stresses them out daily? What are they thinking and feeling every day related to your business topic? Maybe they’re stressed because they have a girls weekend coming up and they’re afraid their card is going to get declined at the hotel. Or that they’re going to really struggle to pay for wedding gifts for the 4 weddings they have this summer.
Alright, once you have that all nailed down, it’s time to move on to the last ingredient of our online business cocktail and that’s a revenue model!
A business is just an expensive hobby until it starts generating revenue, so this aspect is vital to the success of any online business.
Now, I’m going to share with you a few ideas of common revenue models, and I want you to pick the one which feels best for you.
I’m going to break these revenue models into a few main categories.
First is products, so when it comes to products, you could create an eBook, or an online course, or a digital download (for example, stock photo downloads, or cheat sheet downloads, or printable downloads) or spreadsheets or online calculators, or access to a membership community, or more traditional physical products such as clothing or jewelry.
Second is services. If you’d like to offer a service you could offer some of the more typical online business services like social media management, or logo design, or bookkeeping or virtual assistance or online business management or web design, or Facebook ads management.
Alternatively, you could take a service which isn’t typically offered online, and do it virtually, like virtual interior design and decor scouting services, which yes is totally a thing these days, or online life coaching, or assistance with hiring and training team members, or legal services, or health coaching or natural medicine.
And then let’s also talk about influencer businesses. This is a newer revenue model and it’s basically online advertising. Your options under this umbrella would be to say offer Instagram posts or stories mentioning a product/destination/service, or writing sponsored blog content, putting ads on your website, becoming an ambassador for a brand or business, putting ads on your YouTube videos or podcast or generating income through affiliate links in your online content.
Okay so once you’ve picked the revenue stream which feels like the best fit to both genuinely help your customers and for you to offer, it’s time to piece together the 3 ingredients together for your perfect online business.
For example, I’ll take my budgeting example from before. Maybe you’re a baller at personal budgeting and you decide that your ideal client is a recent grad who wants to get her spending under control and pay off her student debt. And the way you decide to offer that is via a digital personal budgeting kit that includes an PDF workbook + guide, a video lesson and a budgeting spreadsheet.
I want you to mix together those 3 ingredients to also determine what your perfect online business idea will be, and honestly, I have to say, I’m always so genuinely curious as to what people come up with from this exercise, so I’d love, love, love for you to share your 3 ingredients with me!
Please do come find me on Instagram @paigebrunton and comment on one of my latest posts or shoot me a DM with the 3 ingredients for your online business, I’d truly love to hear from you!
Now, I hope this episode has really helped you, though if you feel like you need a bit more guidance and examples of other passions and talents that turned into successful revenue-generating online businesses, then remember me free Online Business Matchmaker is there for you if you need it. It’s a 30 minute video lesson with an accompanying workbook and you can get in for FREE on that at paigebrunton.com/matchmaker.
And also, just before I let you go, know that I’m over here cheering you on! I really want nothing more than to see you turn your online business dreams into your reality as I have, and I’m stoked to get to be your virtual cheerleader.
This is absolutely possible for you if you want it, so just put one foot in front of the other and get started!
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