It seems that there’s no shortage of great online business ideas. But the biggest challenge for most people is NOT knowing where to start, and what steps to follow. If you Google “online business ideas,” you’ll find no shortage of articles claiming to have the “top 100 Online Business ideas That’ll make you rich.”

As crucial as it is to know what idea to pursue, it’s actually even more crucial to follow the right steps to succeed. You might be onto something really great, but if you don’t know how to take your idea and turn it into a profitable business, then it really doesn’t matter how great your idea is.

If you think your idea, passion, knowledge or unique skills are worth investing in, and turning it into a profitable online business, then this article is going to help you.

These are the exact steps I followed to get my first paid clients, and turn my online business idea into a profitable coaching business.

As a business and product launch mentor, I believe that in order to have a successful profitable business, you must start with a clear plan and focus on the important things that deliver results.

That’s why I’m so pleased to share these 10 steps I took to go from idea to paid clients.

1.    Get clear on your “Why”

First, spend some time getting deep to understand the real reason you want to start a new business.

  • Have you experienced something you don’t want others to experience?
  • Is something pissing you off or breaking your heart, and you know the answer to fixing it?
  • Do you instinctively know how to reach a desired outcome in a specific area, and want to share with others?

    Summary: Focus on your skills, experience and passion.


2.    Understand the exact problem you solve

For a product or service to gain traction, it has to address specific customer pain points.

To understand problems faced by prospects you’ve identified as part of your target audience, you need to look for issues that they find urgent, disturbing, or frustrating. An in-depth understanding of these problems allows you to develop solutions that take away the pain. As a result, you’ll be able to predict products and services that customers need before they even exist.


3.    Get to know your ideal customer

Knowing who your ideal customer is changes everything – your product and service offering, your marketing strategy, your value proposition, your pricing, your tone of voice and more.

It’s true that defining your ideal customer can feel like you are excluding other audiences who might buy from you. However, focusing on the right people brings clarity to your marketing efforts which ultimately leads to a more profitable business.

Here are some questions to ask in the process of defining your ideal customer:

  • Where do your ideal customers hang out?
  • Where do your customers get their information?
  • What are your customers goals and priorities right now?
  • What brands do your customers like?
  • What is your customers preferred form of communication?
  • What phrases and exact language do your customers use?
  • What does a day in your ideal customer’s life look like?
  • What makes your perfect customers happy?

Check out this resource for more ways to find your ideal customers.


4.    Develop your offer

Your product should solve a specific problem or provide a specific outcome for your ideal customers.

Figure out what your solution is to get rid of their specific problem or get them that transformation.

Then write down all the steps you’d need to take them through to get them from where they are to where they want to be. Package those steps into your final offering.


5.    Build your Authority

Create a well-planned content strategy to attract and engage your ideal prospects. Avoid spray and pray approach—that’s creating bunch of random content and hoping it would get your prospects to recognize you as a thought leader.

your content strategy should be focused on that pain or struggle your prospects are experiencing or the outcome they are dreaming about. Your content should be educational, actionable and lead them to a specific desired outcome.

Here’s a great step by step article that helps you plan your entire content marketing strategy.


6.    Get Visible

Now it’s time to plan your outreach efforts. Become knowledgeable about and use social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and blogging among many alternatives.

Building your influence by guest posting, podcasting, doing interviews. working one-on-one with a known influencer in your industry.

Remember to stray focused on your customer’s specific pain points and desired outcome.  Every piece of content you create should point to that big pain point or outcome.


7.    Generate Leads

If you intend to sell products or services of any kind, then you definitely need an email list.
You can accomplish that by creating a freebie that resolves part of your prospects main pain point or gets them one step closer to that desired outcome. Offer that freebie in your social posts, blogs, during your outreach efforts to entice your ideal buyers and get them on your list.

When you’re ready to start building your list, watch this step-by-step tutorial, where I walk you through the entire process. You’ll learn everything you need from creating an opt-in landing page to setting up your freebie.


8.    Learn to nurture your leads

Nurture, nurture, nurture. Your prospects joined your list to learn more from you. Be sure to create an engaging series of emails to build a relationship with them and gain their trust.

Otherwise your leads will go cold and when it’s time to launch your product, all you’ll hear is crickets.

The very first email and the most important email in the nurture sequence is the welcome email.

This is the email you send as soon as someone opts-in to get your freebie. The goal behind this email is to help your prospects get to know you better.

Here’s a great guide to help you create these emails as well as a welcome email template.


9.    Develop the strategy to convert

Whether you want to do a big product launch or sell your product as subscribers join your list, you need to have a strategy that would take your subscribers from freebie (downloading your lead magnet) to buying your product.

This guide will walk you through the process of how to successfully launch your product online.


10.   Learn to write good copy

Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing. Masterful copywriting plays a big part in the difference between a product that converts like crazy and one that simply falls flat, failing to engage potential customers.

To write effective copy, it’s necessary to understand the principles of copywriting as a discipline. Here’s a great resource that will give you a strong foundation for writing great copy.

Do you want to find out whether your idea has the potential of turning into a profitable online business? Then book a complimentary call with me today. I’ll help you explore all the possibilities and outline a plan of action to get you from idea to a profitable online business.