The 5 Most Important Milestones for New Entrepreneurs

simplicity

A Game Plan for Massive Growth Starting Now

In the latest episode of the podcast, we suggest the most important milestones that you can focus on going into the New Year.

The following guide gives you a game plan for gaining massive progress starting today.

It will help you:

  1. Filter out the #1 distraction that derails more online entrepreneurs than anything else.
  2. Choose the single most important goal for you to focus on starting today.
  3. Take fast action to achieve huge growth over the next 30-90 days.

First, Banish Overwhelm

Before we get started, it’s important to remove distractions.

The primary source of distraction for entrepreneurs is too much information input. Think about how much info that competes for your attention every day.

There are blog posts, e-mails, newsletters, podcasts, tweets and status updates. That’s not to mention the stack of books on your bedside table.

No wonder we get so overwhelmed!

It quickly becomes counterproductive when we spend time on info that we aren’t even ready to take action on.

New and shiny things are fun, but they are dangerous black holes for our time and energy!

The solution is simple…

Starting today, go on an information diet!

Only consume information that:

  1. Relates directly to your current most important goal
  2. You can put into action right away

For more info on information diets, see these two blog posts by Jeremy.

Next, Choose One Goal for the Biggest Results

purpose

To consistently move forward in your business, focus on just one goal that will bring the biggest results. Choose a goal that is best fits where you are right now in your business.

If you are just starting out, there’s no use in pursuing new traffic strategies until you chose a niche and create a site.

I know. It’s tempting to jump ahead. It feels safe to jump around to new ideas. It’s exciting.

But staying focused on the one most important task is critical.

Otherwise you are wasting time and energy and avoiding what will bring immediate results.

Now let’s take a look at the five most important goals that you can focus on as a new online entrepreneur.

Here is how to use this guide.

  1. Find which of the five headings best describes where you are at in your business.
  2. Read the milestone that we suggest you focus on.
  3. Read the tips that go with it.
  4. Set a time frame for when you want to reach the milestone.
  5. Use the Action Plan at the end of this guide to reach the milestone.

Each milestone is a big goal to aim it. You’ll need to break it down into smaller mini-milestones.

Take bold action, but don’t overwhelm yourself.

1. Still Looking for a Business Idea

idea

Next Milestone: Identify a pain that you can solve.

Finding a burning desire or pain that you can solve is the single most important ingredient for a successful business. This is the formula for making money.

Find a pain. Offer a solution. Profit.

First, choose an audience that you want to work with most.

Second, find every chance you can to talk to anyone that fits your target audience. Go to forums, Q&A sites, Twitter and Facebook. Attend meetups. Talk to clients and colleagues. Ask them what their biggest challenges and questions are. Dig deep. Really get to the emotional center of their problem.

Once you achieve this milestone, you can proceed with confidence that you have a viable business idea. It’s time to build your audience.

Here’s some more info on finding a niche if you need additional guidance.

2. Chosen a Niche, But Need Traffic

traffic

Next Milestone: Create and publish your first piece of content.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, the next most important thing you can do is attract loyal followers.

The most effective way to do this online is to create incredibly valuable content that your target audience can’t live without. Your content shows up wherever your target audience is looking for solution.

First, to achieve this milestone, you will need to launch a blog.

Second, decide if you want to use blog posts, audio podcasts or videos to communicate a message.

Third, choose one key question that your target audience needs answered.

Finally, create an amazing piece of content that will really wow your audience. This could be a 1000-word post, 10-20 minute audio or 3-minute video that answers the question you chose. Post the content to your blog.

Just focus on getting that first piece of content up.

Once you have done this you will have started a proven traffic-generation strategy that will build a large and loyal audience.

Keep posting content regularly!

3. Have Traffic but Need to Make Money

cash-flow

Next Milestone: Make your first sale.

We often get asked when the right time is to create a product to sell.

The answer is this: sell a product as soon as you have an audience to sell to!

You already have identified your audience. You have already identified their pains and questions. Even with a following of only ten people it’s time to make money.

Create a solution that will get them from where they are now (in the pain) to the ideal world where they want to be (with the pain solved).

One of the easiest ways to do this is to create an e-book. Think of this as ten blog posts put together in a PDF file. Include a checklist that guides them through the process step-by-step.

Do not get stuck in the perfectionist’s trap. You need a product that is good enough, not perfect. This should take you less than a month to create.

Use Paypal or E-junkie to accept payments.

Once you have done this, you’ll have made money! This is a huge milestone. You have proven that you have a chosen a viable idea and attracted an audience that is ready to buy. You have shown that you have what it takes to make money online!

4. Have Made First Sale, but Need Regular Sales

fans

Milestone: Earn 100 Fans

Fans are people that engage with you regularly online via blog comments, Twitter, Facebook, etc. They share your message with others. They buy your products.

All you need is 100 dedicated fans to make a living online. This is an excellent focus for taking a business from making a little money to a making a lot of money.

Here is how you attract 100 fans.

  1. Choose a channel that you want to use to connect with them. Some of the most effective are Twitter, Facebook, your blog and your e-mail list.
  2. Use this channel to engage with them regularly. Daily is best.
  3. Be insanely helpful. Answer their questions. Ask them questions. Inspire them.

By creating immense value, your brand and influence will grow…and so will your income.

Once you achieve this milestone, you should be earning a consistent, healthy income.

5. Making Consistent Money, but Want to Multiply It

multiply

Next Milestone: Increase Sales with Higher Conversions

A successful business is built in incremental improvements. A one percent boost in conversion could lead to a 50% or more increase in income.

For example, if your sales page converts 2% of your visitors into buyers and you boost the conversion to 3%, you will have increased the number of sales by 50%. If you were making $1000 dollars a month, you would now make $1500.

These incremental improvements are made by split testing.

Here is the process.

  1. Choose what you want to improve through split testing (e.g. sales page, opt-in offer or sales e-mails).
  2. Choose one element to test (e.g. headline, video vs. text, an image change). Only change one thing. That is important. This creates two versions to test against each other.
  3. Set up Google Content Experiments (formerly Google Web Site Optimizer) to measure your test.
  4. If the new version beats the old one, it becomes your standard. Now test against it.
  5. Repeat tests to continue boosting your income.

 The Action Plan

No matter which milestone you have chosen, there is a simple 5-step plan that we recommend for reaching it.

  1. Identify which milestone best fits you.
  2. Set a goal for when you will finish the milestone by.
  3. Start the information diet. Limit your information intake. Focus on info that helps you reach your milestone.
  4. Make a list of at least ten mini-milestones that lead to your main focus. This will help you make consistent steps towards the goal. Do at least one thing every work day to work towards the milestone.
  5. Choose a metric to measure your progress. Track it weekly.

Listen to episode 178 of Internet Business Mastery for examples and more tips.

What do you think?

What milestone are you going to focus on in the next 90 days? Sound off in the comments below.

 

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Comments

  1. Jason, First of all Happy New Year to you and your family. I have been following the two of you for several years. I made a decision that this was the year that I was starting my online business. I was overwhelmed and anxious about uploading my first YouTube video. Once I did it and saw how easy it was. I did another one and then another one. I was so excited and felt empowered that I had followed through.

    After that I found myself getting anxious because the quality was not as professional as I envisioned. I talked myself down from that cliff and realized that I am moving forward my 10th video will be far superior and then my 50th will be even better…small, incremental steps wins the race.

    Thanks Again,

    Matt Sullivan

  2. “small, incremental steps wins the race.”

    That’s totally key. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. I really like the steps just wish you would have talked more about generating an audience. But thanks will use this as a guide.

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