The 10 Labors Of Online Entrepreneurs

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As an online entrepreneur, there are tasks we will eventually be subject to because of the territory you’ve chosen. Some are more inevitable than others, So I’ve compiled a list of the top 10. These are the 10 labors of online entrepreneurs. If any of these you have not had to experience yet, just keep working.

So, what is a labor? A labor is a necessary task or acquired knowledge that we will have to address because of the lifestyle domain we’ve chose—that domain being the internet. In most cases we won’t want to do them because of a learning curve, because we’re uncomfortable doing it, or don’t want to be let down knowing we have to build it ourselves. The best response I have to say to that is “too bad”. There’s a lot of things we don’t want to do, but they must be done.

As an entrepreneur, there are “givens” is business like time management, budgeting, a strong “why”, a story, delegation skills, marketing, emotional intelligence and fitness, constantly learning, leadership skills, acceptance of discomfort, patience, and product development skills, just to name a few. If you don’t have a handle on these, you’re going to have a tough time.

I’m going to list what has to be done, and finding an easy way to avoid them is very very difficult. Like I said in a previous video post, we’re going to be tired, we’re not going to know what we’re doing, we’re not going to know how long it takes, or even how much it costs. But despite it all, these things can be figured out so long as you’re willing to put in the time and pay the price of success. Here is how you pay up: The 10 Labors of Online Entrepreneurs.

A quick note: If you’re new to this, don’t let this scare you. Embrace it! Once you do, there’s no excuse to not master the game of online hustle.

1. Web Development Knowledge

All online entrepreneurs, especially successful ones, have an online presence. 9 times out of 10, this is with a website. The first labor we must accept is understanding how the internet works, and how it’s developed. It’s very easy to just get someone else to make one, but this is something you’ll have to get comfortable with because you’ll want control of your website’s appeal. Design alone can have a very influential impact on your visitors, so getting comfortable with the familiar yet foreign language of HTML, CSS, PHP, and Javascript is a must. If you already have a strong understanding of how this works, you’re ahead of the game. This means any technical issue can be handled, any function can be added, and any content can be put on your website at will. You don’t have to be a full blown expert web developer, as long as you understand the essentials so you can guide the development of the website, you’re good to go.

2. Functional Photoshop Skills

The internet is filled with eye catching images, but where did they come from? Someone somewhere created those images. The second labor we online entrepreneurs accept is functional photoshop skills. Now I’m not talking about being a pro with programs like adobe Photoshop, or Corel Paintshop Proif you are, great! I’m talking about at least having an understanding of how the basics of the basic work.

For an online entrepreneur’s needs, knowing how to handle simple photoshop techniques such as cropping an image, resizing an image, removing the background of a subject, changing the color of an object, or even adding custom shapes and texts is enough. It’s especially a plus if you want to create your own logo, custom banners, custom buttons, or put yourself on the front of an ebook. You’ll see as time goes on you’ll want to make these fancy graphics yourself. Getting a greater understanding of simple photoshop skills will give you the advantage.

A recommendation that’s easy to use and learn is using a program called Paint.net. I have been using Paint.net since I was little. Everything I listed above can be accomplished with it. It’s simple to use and doesn’t take long to learn. I plan on making a tutorial on how to use it. With it you’ll go from beginner to master user in 2019. Look out for that video. Another online option that’s pretty popular is Canva. It’s free to use. All you need is an account and you can start designing today. There are a plethora of tutorials out there to learn it. Just google it and you’ll see what I mean.

3. Video Editing Skills

As an online entrepreneur, there’s no questioning the power of video. This is the third labor of online entrepreneurs; video editing skills. Video is by far the most effective way to influence online. One of the largest websites on earth is YouTube, and it’s obvious why now. Every online entrepreneur course I’ve tried urged using video. It draws more attention, interaction, and visitors. Search engines love videos.

When I started out, my videos were mediocre because they were so plain. Strong videos out there have introductions, texts, cut scenes for error reduction, and color correction, I could not compete. My message could not effectively be conveyed in a video. So I resorted to learning how to edit videos, put in the time to learn, and haven’t looked back since. Knowing how to direct, cut, edit, add effects, and produce a video put me in a strong place online, and it will do the same for you.

I will warn you however. It is very time consuming to do, so if you at least have a standard for making videos, or a strong command for how your videos should look, you can get someone else to do from fiverr or upwork and spend your time doing something else. Personally, I edit my own videos, as I can add whatever I want and have the videos up as soon as I want. That’s just me and how I presently do things. The program I use a program that’s easy to use and is beginner friendly called PowerDirector by Cyberlink.

4. Semi-pro to Pro Camera Skills

Almost every celebrity we see, front of every magazine, and every website header out there has an eye catching professional picture. They may even have a cinematic and professional video ready. This is the fourth labor of an online entrepreneurship. You will eventually have to learn how to use a camera semi-professionally or professionally.

Why? Because when you’re online, you want to stand out for your business. You want to either look just like or better than your competitors giving you the influential edge. Have it be for product photography, tutorial videos, website headers, youtube thumbnails, or just professional headshots, you will soon one day need to understand how to properly use a camera and understand it’s dynamics. Dynamics include the three pillars of photography: Shutter Speed, ISO, and Aperture. Understand these and how to control them and you’ll be a master of photography in no time.

In the modern day, it is perfectly acceptable to use a simple smartphone because smartphone cameras are actually good now in 2019. But smartphone quality is noticeable. If you want pictures and videos that are eye catching, extraordinary, and compete with the professional quality of hegemon websites like C-net, Apple, and The Verge, you’ll need to know how to shoot them, or at least hire someone who knows how to for you.

It’s also important to note with this territory also comes the need for good equipment. This means you’ll have to become familiar with tools like tripods, softboxes, backdrops, sliders, gimbals, and lenses. If you are a DSLR user, you’ll need to understand the dynamics of camera lenses. Depending on how you want your shot to look, you’ll have to choose the correct lens. I won’t go into detail here, but I will be posting a video about lens selection and what each lens does. Lenses are expensive, so it’s important you know how you want your video to look. This is a subjective labor as you can always get away with your smartphone for proper pics and vids. It’s highly recommended that you or someone you know who’s good handles your photos and videos.

5. Possess A Powerful Computer

As an online entrepreneur, your gateway to the internet is your computer. Therefore, the power of your machine is a high priority. This is the fifth labor of online entrepreneurs, to possess a powerful computer. For most out there, the computer they already possess is sufficient. That’s good. We all start from somewhere. Slowly as time goes on, one will notice their machine cannot output the power necessary to handle all their operations.

I, for example, used to have an outdated laptop back in college. It handled all my tasks up until I started photoshopping and video editing. I noticed I needed something stronger, especially in engineering school. So I got into computers, their components, and how they work, eventually leading me to build a custom gaming machine which doubled as a workstation. As an online entrepreneur, building a computer is absolute overkill because you can simply buy something powerful off the shelf. It’s just how I did things.

Now, my network connectivity, my processor, my graphics card, my ram, my storage, and my operating system are all up to date with enough power and capacity to handle any task I throw at it. I can now video edit, photoshop, code, and create content with ease. As you carry on, you will eventually come across such technical needs. Get comfortable with computer technology so you can stay up to date with your computing needs. To see the machine I use, you can view the specs here along with a video introducing it here.

6. Social Media Prowess

You had to know this was coming. If you’re an online entrepreneur and you’re not using social media, you’re at a strong disadvantage. Social Media Prowess is the sixth labor of online entrepreneurs because of it’s influential power. Have it be to post, to share, to comment, to interact, to create, and to get exposed to ANYTHING new, this is the single best way to get attention for your business. This means YOU NEED TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA! Period! Knowing how to use it and how to use it well is an absolute must.

We’ve all seen an ad on social media from an online business guru, some Amazon listings, or some start up company making some cool new thing. There’s a reason you see those on social media. Social media is the single best free traffic source on the internet. There are even paid options in case there’s a specific audience you’re looking for. Furthermore, there are even groups on Facebook that allow free link placement–thus more clicks. The more clicks, the higher the chances of converting visitors to customers.

So if you haven’t, make it a point to create a facebook page, open an instagram account, download the snapchat app, start posting to twitter, start interacting with others on social media. Most importantly, learn to ethically paste your link and learn the rules of running ads. I won’t go into to details about social media marketing here, but there are many tutorials on YouTube showing you how. I’d recommend a paid course so you can get an in-depth and quick head start.

7. Expertise/Authority In Your Niche

As any business goes, you’ll have to have some authority in your chosen niche. This is the seventh labor of online entrepreneurship. Being an expert offline and online are two different things. When people are offline, they seek one person who is the best and don’t bother with anyone else. Online, people can search and go on a YouTube binge researching something being taught by MANY experts. For you to stand out as THE expert, you must provide authority by having a very global understanding and command in your niche. This will make people trust you and receive value from you.

What do you know about that niche? What experience do you have in it? Are there any hard lessons you’ve learned from your mistakes? How well do you know how to apply it? What do you know about other options, methods, or the competition? What action can I execute today to see a difference in my life? Any advice for beginners? The ability to answer these unasked questions will set you apart from the others in any niche.

8. Landing Page Design

When you see an ad, where is the first place you go when you click the link? When you search on google, what page shows up when you click on a search result? When you open an interesting email, what does that email look like? Notice any similarities? That’s because they are well designed landing pages. The eighth labor you’ll have to get very comfortable with is designing landing pages, or at least understanding how they work. Online, landing pages are everything! Where you send your visitors first based off where they came from MATTERS!

Think of your favorite store at the mall to shop at. When you’re looking at the store from the outside, what do you see? A nice mannequin with a nice outfit? A cool pair of shoes? A poster that shows exactly what you want for 50% off? You walk in the store, and there it is! Ready to test out, try on, and even purchase. A landing page is no different! As soon as a potential visitor comes across your ad or email, they’ll want to click and whatever they see next is very important. A convenient place where they can see all the features & benefits, prices, tech specs, reviews, and photos so they can just look at it can make or break your online business.

There are quite a number of resources you can use today to design landing pages. Clickfunnels, WP Bakery Page Builder, Elementor, Theme Architect, and many more. My personal recommendation to you is Clickfunnels because of its small learning curve and support online. I will warn however, it’s expensive, starting out at about $97 a month. There is a free trial period, so you can try before you buy. Try it out today.

9. Public Speaking Skills

You knew this was coming. The biggest fear in human nature? Yep. Uncomfortable yet? Good! “Entrepreneur” and “comfort” don’t go in the same sentence. So as an entrepreneur, this is your ninth labor. Strong public speaking skills will set you apart from your competition. Being good on stage means you are good on video–which is basically public speaking.

Online you’ll be reaching the masses, hence an audience, that is constantly searching for what you have to say on Google, Bing, YouTube, etc.–that’s how the internet works. They are yearning to learn from you or to find your product or service. Find them, and effectively speak to their desires, and you will see a big difference in traffic, thus your business online as a whole. Have a mentoring spirit. Become a good story teller. Provide value where you can. Make your points engaging and concise. I don’t want to get into public speaking principles here, but I do have a post coming about how to be effective at public speaking. How to take a message from idea to online to influence is coming soon.

10. Strong Selling Skills

The tenth and final labor of online entrepreneurs is to have strong selling skills. I saved the hardest for last. No one wants to hear this. But sales as an online entrepreneur is very important. Sales in some individuals minds is frowned upon, but those who understand the importance of sales are those who smile upon it. Understanding the importance of sales and what makes sales effective isn’t hard to learn. What’s more important is your belief that sales works. No one likes to be sold, but everyone loves to buy. People would rather get recommended by people they trust than get sold by a salesman. People don’t buy a product, they buy the emotion or the experience that comes with the product. People love buying things other people have already bought. If people need it enough, they’ll buy anything you offer, especially if what you offer fills that need. With those five sentences, I just taught you five principles of sales. Let’s list them:

  • The best way to be salesman is to not be a salesman. Be an educator.
  • People listen to people they trust rather than a salesman. Be trustworthy.
  • People don’t buy a product, they buy an emotion. Find out how what selling points can lower your customers anxiety about making a bad purchase.
  • Has someone already bought your product? Get them to review it or talk about it, even if it’s bad.
  • Sell your irresistible offer to a starving (perfectly targeted audience).

But the most important sale in the world is YOU. If you believe in your product so much, you feel bad for people who didn’t buy, then you already have 80% of the knowledge about sales. I won’t get into too many sales principles here, but the single best book out there on sales is a book written by Grant Cardone called Sell or Be Sold. It teaches those principles and more. Check it out.

Wrap-up

This wraps up the 10 labors of online entrepreneurs, but before I end, I’d like to mention some bonus actions to take. I’m listing these because they will keep you going, make things easier, and speed up your online process. You’ll need all the help you can get online as you’re mostly by yourself in this. So to help out, here are some bonuses for you.

BONUS 1: Constant Fuel Source Of Motivation

Personally, I need this because I need to be reminded every day why I’m doing this. I don’t know about you, but it’s important to have a consistent source of motivation as you are going to be spending a lot of time by yourself. You are a rarity in a world full of commoners. That being said, who will be there to motivate, inspire, and energize you when you have none? A friend? A family member? A business partner? How about a facebook page or instagram feed with motivational pictures?

For the time being, I am not surrounded by people like myself, but I rely on a handful of like minded friends, books, and social media to keep me going. Safe to say. social media actually helps. Audit your company and your content intake. See if it is poisonous or life-giving to your dream. If not, you have a decision to make.

BONUS 2: Have A Quiet Space To Work (Like An Office)

This is VERY important. Having a quiet place to work where no one can disturb you is critical. Have it be your bedroom, an office, a hotel room, or a study room at your local library, we all need one. I know a number of authors who would lock themselves in a room with no contact to the outside world just so they could get their manuscript written. Bill Gates did it, Matt Lloyd did it, and I do it, too. As I write this, I am at the library with my headphones in and my phone off. That’s a level of dedication you will achieve once productivity becomes a priority. As an entrepreneur, productivity is key. So lock the door, turn off your phone, and go get some work done.

BONUS 3: Become A Master Automator

Automation is the wave of the 21st century as we know it. Automating your processes online will make life much easier and streamlined. I have witnessed working business concepts that can be completely automated! Such is having a dropshipping store on shopify that dropships items from ali-express using Oberlo… on autopilot. A service as a software (SAAS) company that people can go download, use, and if they have a problem, they can solve the problem themselves by using a support group, or the software itself. Also, if you’ve been in the online game for long enough, you’ve probably heard of Zapier–no need to discuss the power of that online tool. If you haven’t heard of Zapier, it’s time you did.

And that ladies has been the 10 labors of online entrepreneurs. Have any questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to me below. I’d love to chat with you. Have any more aspects or even “labors” you think are missing? Why not comment those, too? The video version of this is coming soon if it’s not already slapped up at the top. Otherwise, we’ll talk soon. Thanks for reading!

-Will

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