The Making Of An Online Business – Promotion

This is the last article from the series The Making Of An Online Business. So far, we talked about starting your own business, your projects, your teams, money management and partnerships. Today, we’ll focus on the last crucial topic in making an online business, and that is about promotion.

If you came here directly I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the articles, and the summary by following the links below:

What Is Promotion?

Promotion is basically spreading the word about what you do. It’s not advertising. It’s not lobbying. It’s not SEO, or direct email. Promotion is the simple fact of letting the world knowing that you started to operate your own online business. It’s so simple that in 99% of situation gets overlooked. Just tell people that you started it.

Why it’s so important about that? The real stake here is not to grow your client base, although you will have to do that sooner or later, but the shift towards your new identity. You will be a different person that the person that didn’t had that business. You need to be in that persons shoes and you need to do that faster.

It’s also important to tell that to as many people as you can in order to reinforce your choice. In other words, to use the outside world as a reflection of your choice. There will be times of trouble and you will tend to go back. It’s human and it’s a sort of a necessary strength test at some point. But if you’ve already told the Universe that you are a new person, going back to the old one will be harder. Might sounds funny now, but it works, believe me.

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The Making Of An Online Business – The Projects

This is the second article in the series about managing an online business. It will focus on what you actually do in an online business, how can you measure it, the various stages of each project and how you can monetize your work. If you came here directly you can go back to the summary of the whole series or you can start with the first article which deals with starting your own business.

Please keep in mind that this post is rather long, more than 3000 words, so¬† make sure you are away from interruptions when start reading it. If you can’t read it now, you can bookmark it and come back later.

Online Processes

More than in any other business, in the online universe, a product (i.e. a website) is more like a process and not like an object.

If you are in the furniture business, you’re selling objects. A chair, a table, a couch. Every once in a while you change a little the design, but you are largely selling objects.

In the online field, you sell things which are continuously shaping. An online service is by definition dynamic. Your websites need continuous upgrade, otherwise they will fade as importance and eventually lose their audience.

The online has a high availability, which means your potential audience is huge. But the online has also a high volatility degree, which means that the potential huge audience is very easy to be moved toward your competitors.

Online Projects Metrics

You need a way to quantify the behavior of your websites in order to measure their success. Otherwise you’ll be lost in the jungle of millions of other websites, portals, forums, blogs or online shops. I worked with only three main online project metrics:

– traffic, the total number of users that accessed that website in a given time interval
– money, the total amount of money that website produced in a given time interval
– resource consumption, how many resources (people, money, assets) that website consumed in a given interval.

Although it seems pretty straightforward, the way in which those three metrics can combine is infinite. You can have projects with minimal traffic but with good money flow in. You can have websites with little or no money in, but with huge traffic (I guess the most famous example is YouTube in this area). Or you can have websites with zero resource consumption (auto-pilot websites) with no money in and just a decent traffic. but still consider them as successes. Each combination of those factors can play a role in the bigger picture and you must not overlook any possible outcome.

Now, let’s take each metric and see how you can interpret it.

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Why Going To New Zealand

Once my business completely sold and after all the other assets will be transformed into money, we will move to a new country, New Zealand. This announce made quite a bit of shock among my current circle of friends, business partners and relatives. For those of you who don’t know, New Zealand is almost exactly under Romania, the Eastern European country in which I was born and lived up to my 37th year. Basically, if you put a long enough sting into an Earth scholar globe, and start from Bucharest, it will go out exactly from the Auckland, New Zealand, the other side of the planet. I guess it’s more than 180 degrees of change, if you know what I mean… So the surprise and shock were understandable to some point.

Most of the people were puzzled by the size of all the involved changes and, most of the time unconsciously, made the assumption that the decision was a sort of escape, a “take the money and run” attitude, in which we try to move from a difficult country as far as possible. Living in Romania is hard these days, it’s an evolving country, and its evolution is accelerated. There is an incredible diversity of attitudes and people, from the consumerism and deception, to spirituality and compassion. The proportion of these ingredients varies drastically though, and this mix makes up for some pretty interesting rollercoaster. I was living here all my life, and for the last 10 years as an entrepreneur. It’s not easy, and I know a lot of people who got really sick and tired of all the moral problems like corruption, deceptive politics, economical instability, and ran as far as possible from them.

Well, is not my case. I know it’s difficult to live in Romania, but I’m not going away because of that. From some very practical approach, living in a new country, whatever country that might be, is far more difficult than living in a country you do know for more than 30 years. The main point is that I’m doing it out of intention, not out of reaction. This is a very important difference and I will try to make it as clear as I can below.

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