So you want to build an automated business online? What if I told you that I’m not going to sell you anything in this post, and I’m going to tell you how to do everything step by step? If that sounds interesting, or if you want to see if I’m full of sh*t continue reading.
Growing up I always had a passion to create. But I never knew where to start. In fact, the majority of the time it was due to the fact that I knew nothing about marketing, psychology, or how the internet actually worked. You’ll see a lot of gurus online telling you how to make passive income online through their push-button profit system(s) and whatever voodoo magic they somehow pull out of their a**. From personal experience, these programs almost never work.
In fact, these programs, and what the media tells you about entrepreneurship, is completely a** backward. No seriously, a lot of it is junk and mental masturbation that gets you to become excited about the concept. The gurus never reveal their own process on how they properly build out their brand, run advertising effectively, and create their automated business online.
An “Automated Business Online” is Not Passive
First and foremost, I want to tell you that nothing, in my opinion, is passive. SHOCKER. Unless you invest in some early-stage startup that goes public, almost anything in business isn’t passive. Now before you click off this post, or start emailing me that I’m wrong, let me explain. When you invest in something like real estate, sure you get a check that comes in every month, but you still need to keep up with maintenance and management. If your tenant decides to throw a fat rager and destroy the ceiling fan by swinging on it, it’s your job to now find someone to go fix it. See what I mean? You still need to be present for things to run smoothly. Same thing with building an automated business online through a “passive” business model. Although you can create a blog and start throwing affiliate links on it, you still need to take the time to do proper SEO research, create content, build trust with your audience, and keep up with the constant evolution of how social media platforms change.
The good news is I’ve failed a lot in the past to understand what I’ve done wrong. Most people like to think of business, and life in general, as trying to find the right answer to everything. When we go out to build a business, we try to learn everything we possibly can before we start. But the thing is, you will never have enough information. You will never know what to do in a lot of situations. That goes for your personal life as well. But the beautiful thing is when you fall on your face a few dozen times, you begin to understand what not to do.
Knowing what not to do is far more important than knowing what to do. It’s what will give you the edge to keep going when things don’t go as planned because now you have an experience under your belt (that others don’t have).
When I was a naive 18-year old I started a clothing line with a high school friend. We began to educate ourselves on how to use photoshop to create designs, how to build out a website on Shopify to sell our clothes, and how to source our clothing from a local screen printer. After months of preparations, we launched our brand. No sales. Not even friends or family wanted to purchase our clothes. And there I was, $400 down the drain with my thumb up my a** not knowing what went wrong.
After a few months of reflecting, I began to ask myself what went wrong. And ultimately I came up with the idea that our brand message was missing. More importantly, I knew nothing about marketing (at the time) and the reason for our “failure” was that we didn’t market it well enough to the point where people actually cared. This made me realize what not to do the next time I decided to build another business. I learned that I should not focus on the shiny aspects of my business before I had even come up with a brand message and a plan of attack (in terms of marketing).
A year later I taught myself Instagram marketing and began growing accounts to over 15k followers. That may or may not seem like a lot, but it was enough. I launched a new clothing line, this time by myself, and on day one it began to profit. BAM! I was on to something…
In fact, here’s a video of me taking my first 4 orders to the post office as a giddy 19-year-old:
Since that day, I began launching e-commerce store after e-commerce store. Some profiting on day one, some being a total disaster. After two years of chasing whatever I believed to be success at the time, I burned out. Burned out mainly because I realized I was chasing the wrong thing, money. Yes yes I know, money is damn right important. But NOT when you begin building out your business.
Let me explain.
The Shiny Object Syndrome
Like many of us, I started creating my own e-commerce stores online because I saw a bunch of ads from gurus saying it was the next big thing. I would see kids that were driving Lamborghini’s on Instagram and flashing their “icy” Rolex’s all over social media. I would think to myself, damn why is it that I’m “stuck” in college studying something I hate, while all these other kids my age are “living the dream.”
I constantly chased money, not realizing the point of entrepreneurship is to help people solve a problem. Even when I started making several thousand dollars with e-commerce, and running Instagram/Facebook ads, I would lose a lot of the money due to poor financial decisions. Part of it was also due to the fact that I was conditioned from a young age to believe that entrepreneurship wasn’t the right path to success.
Truth be told, I wasn’t ready for success.
If that sounds like BS to you, I totally understand why, but I had to experience it first hand to realize that money will not bring you happiness. Money will make life easier, but it will never fill that emptiness you may feel inside.
In fact, money amplifies your life. So, if you feel empty or depressed inside to begin with, it will just amplify that feeling later.
Don’t buy into what gurus tell you when they flash their lifestyle in front of you. Most of those people are miserable when they shut off the camera for their video ad trying to sell you something. That is NOT what you want.
The Big Realization
A couple of years ago things started to change. And when I say change, I mean financially and spiritually. I stopped focusing on me and instead focused on how I could be a positive impact on someone's life. I started to ask myself a series of very crucial questions that I hope you will ask yourself every day when you’re building out your business. Those questions were:
“If I were to continue creating my business, would the marketplace care if I stopped today? As in, am I just creating a copycat business like selling products on Amazon or dropshipping sh*t products from China? If my business did or did not exist, would the marketplace stay the same? Am I actually disrupting the marketplace by creating some sort of sustainable value demand, or am I doing exactly what my competitors are doing?”
This was a COMPLETE game changer for me. Specifically, because I started to think about things from a value perspective. I know the term “value” is overused, but let me explain. Even if you decide to sell sh*t products from overseas, are you selling them at the same price others are? Are you possibly decreasing your price (more value), shortening shipping times (more value), or offering free upsells/perks to bring customers back (more value)?
I started to think of business not as a money game, but as a value game. As cheesy as that may sound. Trust me, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Someone sees an ad online on some dope business model that they can replicate, they spend money on a program, to then only give up because nobody gave a sh*t about their business. It’s happened to me, and it’s happened to thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs. It might have even happened to you.
As soon as I started thinking differently about business, more doors started to open up. I found an (almost) automated business model online called affiliate marketing. Oh man, does that sentence sound salesy. But essentially, affiliate marketing is selling someone else's product or service for a commission. No customer support and no need to handle product shipments and delivery. You are simply the middleman, and collect payments.
This meant that I could create a business revolving around something I was passionate about and actually help people. While simultaneously monetizing my content through the affiliate marketing business model.
But here’s the thing, there is so much misleading information about affiliate marketing out there. Again, gurus will teach it as a “me too” type of business where they don’t address the series of questions I talked about above. They show you how to focus on the money, which ultimately makes it harder to attain because everyone does the same thing with no originality. Think of it like dating. Most often than not if you chased a girl/guy you had a crush on, they saw you as needy and rejected you. But if you position yourself as being an attractive individual, they come running to you. THAT is what you want. Treat your business like your dating life. Sell yourself, of course, but do it in a way that attracts people to you. This is why businesses like Apple, Tesla, and LaCroix barley spend money on advertising, yet sell millions of products a year. They focus on the customer, which results in word of mouth, which results in more customers at zero cost, which then results in recurring customers to keep their businesses sustainable and predictable.
So, as an Entrepreneur, instead of thinking “how can I make money from this?” Ask “how can I make people fall in love with me?”
And making people fall in love with you will require that you solve their problem better than anyone else. If you have a blog about techniques on how to wipe your a**, make sure you have some of the best techniques out there so people will want to throw money at you when they see you selling a product.
This is how businesses succeed over their competitors. They focus on making their customers happy, instead of constantly focuses on filling their own pockets. This allows businesses to create amazing products which inevitable will bring large amounts of cashflow in the future... *cough cough* Amazon.
When it came to affiliate marketing, I studied a lot on what my competitors were doing. I encourage you to do the same. I would see how they would try to promote products through scammy landing pages that brought no value to the end customer. All the affiliate focused on was trying to milk as much money as they could from people. Using tactics like, selling the dream, or instilling fear in people.
Let me tell you this from experience, if you actually help someone with a problem effectively, they WILL have trust in you and buy whatever it is you’re trying to sell. This is why we want to focus on bringing value to our audience, so they trust us and become attracted to us. Heck, some might say even I’m doing this right now through this post you’re reading. But I’m not afraid to admit that. Sure I want you to use the affiliate links I may promote because it’s the only way I can sustain myself to create awesome content for free, but I will never sell you a dream or mislead you.
This is how I want you to think from now on.
Affiliate Marketing Business From A Different Perspective
If we go back to the affiliate thing, I got my break by running ads on native advertising networks. Selling the same products as my successful competitors were selling. But my edge was creating landing pages that genuinely helped people, not scaring them into making a purchase.
If you're curious how I do this, I made a video already explaining it. You can view it here.
I took this same ideology to YouTube and I started making more money than I ever had (making some people’s yearly salary in a month). This time around I focused on solving other people's problems, not my financial problem of wanting to make more money for myself. In the end, it was a win-win for everyone.
So that’s where I am now, trying to spread this message because it’s what changed my business, and ultimately my “why” in the things I do. If you don’t find a better reason for building a business other than just money, you will hit a breaking point. I know I did. So moving forward, I want to invite you into learning all the technical stuff of how to actually build out your brand online. No, I’m not going to sell you my course, and no this isn’t some upsell to something else. Call me crazy for giving this information out for free, I know some of my followers on YouTube do. But at the end of the day, I’m not money-driven, I’m value-driven, and that’s what has brought me success in business.
In the next series of steps, I’m going to show you examples of this model in action. Then I’m going to show you an exact A-Z process on how to do things properly. And when I say properly, I mean being as efficient as possible and understanding all the technical and back-end processes of running everything smoothly. Oh, and I’ll explain all the cutting-edge marketing tactics and how to implement them as well. But remember, none of this will be beneficial unless you actually CARE about your end customer.
There’s just no way I can fit everything into one article, it would be too damn long. So, to get started, just click here to view a video course for free.
Join The Marketer Milk Secret Group
This is an exclusive Facebook group where we discuss various digital marketing tactics.