Marketing

The Basics of Online Business Checklist: Start Your Business Right

Starting an Online Business might sound as easy as you think and if you’re going to google about what should be your online business checklist, you’ll find results about how to come up for your business name, registering your business, setting up your website, your business capital, hiring a team, creating a marketing plan, etc.

Though those tips are necessary but it won’t determine how you’re business is going to thrive in the Digital Space.

Many people today are trying to be an entrepreneur, still, only a few percentages have only succeeded.

For so many reasons, launching your business website won’t drive sales automatically. It doesn’t matter in which business you’re in.

So, why do most people fail and what should be your online business checklist to make sure that you have a higher probability to thrive in the Digital Space?

As Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.”

What does it mean to begin with the end in mind?

  • A vision for your business (Of course.)
  • An end goal for your business (It’s really good to have end goals and continuously creating goals.)
  • A profit (Well, a profit is really important for every business but if you’re just thinking about the money, you’re more likely to fail.)

 

When you really want to succeed in any business that you like, it’s not just about the “feeling” that it might work because the “idea” is good.

A business should have to focus on “shared value” because it will determine how you’re business is going to succeed.

Here’s Your Online Business Checklist to Start Your Business Right and Thrive in the Digital Space:

  • Find the Problem, Come up with Solution

Most people start with the idea. They’re always looking for a “winning idea” that they think will bring home a million dollars. But that’s not how it works.

Always remember that people buy because:

  1. They need it.
  2. They want it.
  3. The product is in-demand.

So, before you start a business, find the problem first then come up with solutions. Even when there are existing solutions, innovate it. Come up with better solutions.

  • Do Your Market Research

Let’s say, for example, a “Product/Service X” is somewhat relevant to the solutions that you want to provide as a business.

Take a look at how large or small the market in that niche. In that way, you can estimate the potential of your business.

You can also study why people are not satisfied nor what’s lacking in that particular product or services to create a better solution for those people.

  • Create Your Buyer Persona

You just can’t market to anyone. If you think your product/service is for everyone, this will even take so much time, energy and even money to market.

You’re more likely just wasting all your efforts! It’s not worth it, to be honest.

So, having a buyer persona can help you to focus on people who’s going to need your business.

To start with creating a buyer persona, determine their:

  1. Age Range
  2. Gender
  3. Demographics
  4. Interests
  5. Behavior
  6. Their specific problems
  7. At least 5 places he’s already looking for answers (blog site, education site, influencers, etc.)
  • Create Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Why creating your USP is essential to get your prospective customers to buy from you?

Simple.

Creating your USP is what makes you different from your competitors and it’s a reason why your business is better.

  • Setup Your Website

Today, it’s really important to have your own website. It builds credibility and authority. The more information you can provide for your target market, the more they’re likely to trust your business.

There are drag-and-drop websites now and it’s really easy to setup without coding skills needed.

Still, majority prefers self-hosted website like WordPress for flexibility and lots of customization which is very helpful to save not only in money but also time, in most cases.

  • Be Found in Social Media

Billions of people spend almost all of their time on Social Media. Be honest with yourself, how many hours per day do you spend on social media?

And Social Media today is one of the biggest sources for buying almost anything.

I even have friends who are addicted to buy whatever they see in social media.

So, setup your business accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

It will also help you to attract more customers later once you’ve gained followers, reviews and feedback which are great for social proof!

  • Learn the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

Learning Digital Marketing or Online Marketing is essential to grow your business. This is the most important step from your Online Business Checklist. It will help your business to keep going!

You’ll learn how to think creatively and strategically when you understand how to measure your results using the available tools like Google Analytics and built-in analytics in Social Media.

There is also a lot of software today that offers an in-depth analysis of automation, ideageneration, and results from your posts and advertising campaigns.

Therefore, always keep in mind that these should be your Online Business Checklist to have a sense of direction for your dream business!

  1. Find a problem, Create or Innovate an existing solution
  2. Do your market research
  3. Create your buyer persona
  4. Create your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
  5. Setup your website
  6. Be found in Social Media
  7. Learn the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

 

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Business - Marketing

Develop Unique Selling Proposition: Stand Out Among Competitors

People love comparison to choose what’s best for them.

A unique selling proposition gives you an advantage to help your ideal customers to identify about what’s in it for them that they can’t find elsewhere.

It’s your advantage against your competitors. 

Let’s use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn as an example.

All of these platforms have the same functions like sharing anything you want, uploading photos, sharing updates but its still have differences.

  • Facebook is centered on connection and communication with friends and family.
  • Twitter has limited characters, mostly for latest news and just tweeting anything you want. Who cares?
  • Instagram is focused on images.
  • LinkedIn is connecting with professionals.

 

These are all social media platforms but these platforms have different intent of use.

You will have a lot of competitors in the same niche if you’re going to launch your dream business.

Your Unique Selling Proposition will determine what sets you apart from your competitions.

So, give them a strong reason to make them buy from you!

So, how do you develop a Unique Selling Proposition? 

  1. Compile a list of your competitors on spreadsheet.
  2. Find their reviews on Google, Yelp, Social Media and reviews sites.
  3. Your competitors’ most unsatisfied customers will give you the insights to create a better product/service.
  4. Fill the gaps left by competitors.

“If you don’t distinguish yourself from the crowd, you’ll just be the crowd.” – Rebecca Mark

Always remember that creating your Unique Selling Proposition is a critical part of your success!

 

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Business

To Develop An Entrepreneur Mindset Is A Skill To Succeed

So, you want to be an entrepreneur. Of course, to develop an entrepreneurial mindset is a skill so you can deal with your overall business.

In business, it’s not just about dealing with how the business works entirely.

To have an awareness that entrepreneurship is more about dealing with people (clients and your team), materials, resources and others that involve a strong mentality to succeed in business.

You’re even preparing yourself to invest emotionally that you could ever imagine for your overall work.

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”

Knowing that most successful people in any Industry failed miserably in their first few attempts can help you to have a deep understanding of how does it really take to become an entrepreneur.

As a matter of fact, the most successful people today experienced the worst before.

One of the famous Author, everyone’s favorite on Twitter, who’s also one of my favorite Author (I’m a little bit biased here), J.K. Rowling was turned down by 12 Publishers before she got her big break.

“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” -J.K. Rowling
The Founder and CEO of GoPro, Nicholas Woodman, failed as well before he founded GoPro.
His first company was selling electronics at $2 markup price which failed. His second attempt was a gaming and marketing website that let people win cash prizes but failed miserably as well.

Because of his failures, he just decided to go back to his passion which is surfing.

He realized that many people couldn’t get a good quality camera footage in water and that’s how he filled the gap in the market. He hustles 18 hours a day to build the prototype.

“I feel like in a world where we all try to figure out our place and purpose here, your passions are one of your most obvious guides.” – Woodman

Even the Top Billionaire, Jeff Bezos, failed miserably in his first business attempt which is an Online Auction Shop. He pursued to become an entrepreneur and continuously re-purposing the business that makes him very successful.

“Entrepreneurship must be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.” -Jeff Bezos

Most people that I know, who tried business in their first few business attempts and failed miserably said that “Entrepreneurship is not just for me.”

….and I highly disagree with that statement!

Anyone can be an entrepreneur regardless of what people think about the things they can’t do.

Yes, it’s not for everybody and that’s why to develop an entrepreneurial mindset is necessary to succeed in your dream business.

See, some people have all the resources, people, and materials that they need but what’s really lacking? Why did they fail?

If you really dream to become an entrepreneur, ask yourself if you are willing to take risks for more failures ahead of you so you can rip the reward of success in the long run.

The bottom line is, any skills are learnable. So, take your time to learn and to develop an entrepreneur mindset.

“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” -George Edward Woodberry

 

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Marketing

3 Steps To Build A Strong Business Foundation

Starting your own business is easy.

However, to stick to your goals and vision is quite challenging, especially if you don’t know how to build a strong business foundation.

If we’re just going to talk about how to setup a business online, it’s really simple and you don’t need a huge capital to start.

There are a lot of free and cheap tools to get started with setting up a website and social media accounts.

Paid promotions won’t cost you a lot either. Though, you will surely need to be patient to gather enough data for the decision making process. 

To build a strong business foundation requires a path.

A path that you can follow so you will know exactly what to do when things get tough.

3 Steps To Build A Strong Business Foundation

STEP 1: Having The Clarity To The Path You Want To Risk

Risk. Yes, to build a business is a risk but so is living paycheck to paycheck.

When I launched my first business, I failed.

I had the vision, mission and I knew exactly what to do but I still failed. 

Impatience makes you quit sooner than planned. 

I eventually stopped, then I created another business venture and the cycle went on.

You know you’re not on the right track when you are continuously creating but never finish anything.

It was depressing!

I had to read books over and over; some which are written by famous and successful entrepreneurs to learn from them.

Educating oneself is really, really rewarding.

It’s not enough to have a vision and mission. It’s not enough hitting your goals. You know why?

These are never enough because eventually, you will get tired of doing the same $h!t every day.

This might cause you to feel empty and feel nothing when you lose touch of what really makes you happy.

It’s only a matter of time to realize when your work does not give you happiness anymore and you’ll quit before you even succeed.

Having the clarity to the path you want to risk is very important.

It requires full dedication.

It costs your entire life.

“Follow your passion because when you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll persevere to succeed even when you fail a thousand times before you achieve your dreams.”

STEP 2: Learn Management Techniques And Live With It

Management techniques should be learned because it’s very beneficial to live a balanced life if you want to build your own business.

Ever heard of the 80/20 Rule? What about Prioritization, Time Scheduling, Goal Setting?

There are a lot of management techniques that you can apply.

If your business ventures do not require a team, you can start learning about:

  • time management
  • project management
  • solving complex business problems
  • decision making approach
  • stress management
  • communication skills

Then, expand your management skills to leadership, team management, strategy tools and so on; as your business grows.

STEP 3: Marketing 101 is Essential To Build a Strong Business Foundation 

The cause of my past business failures was thinking that “if I could create a good offer, I’d be successful” mentality.

If I’d be persuasive enough, people would buy. I was wrong about that.

Marketing 101 is not just necessary to build a strong business foundation, it’s vital to your success. 

When you understand the functions of Marketing, you are in harmony to think creatively and strategically.

There’s no need to second guess when you know what the business is lacking.

Research is the first thing you will do to know exactly if your business has any potential in the market.

You will think how you’re going to thrive within your budget.

You just never run out of ideas to solve any problems when you know which part of the business needs improvement.

Consider exploring management tips and learning the fundamentals of marketing to get a wide perspective on entrepreneurship. 

 

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blog - Business

How to Make Money with TuneCore?

For musicians, breaking into the music industry sits on a pedestal. It’s the ultimate dream people from around the world reach for. However, the ability to connect with an agent, reach out to prominent recording studios and showcasing in front of industry heads is beyond challenging. It’s why so few musicians, regardless of talent, breakthrough. Thankfully for a musician, their music is their business card, so putting out quality music can stand on its own, yet routine performance at local bars and clubs offers only limited exposure. It’s why musicians need to turn to additional outreach methods to promote their craft, and even make money on the side. All of this is possible with the help of TuneCore.

 

What is TuneCore?

TuneCore is designed for musicians looking to expand their footprint and showcase their music around the world. Most everyone knows of iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora. These services bring access but attempting to set up these different accounts takes time and persistence. Beyond this though, there are many other music sharing and streaming outlets musicians simply never take advantage of, which reduces both their exposure and monetization of their work. With TuneCore, that’s no longer a problem.

The TuneCore Music Distribution service helps connect a musician across a barrage of varying streaming outlets. It costs an upfront fee but from there, the musician receives 100% of the sales and streaming royalties. The company doesn’t just work with up-and-coming musicians. TuneCore Music Distribution works with a large number of current performers, such as Jay-Z, Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, Drake, Sonic Youth, MGM Studios and others.

How to Get Money from TuneCore?

TuneCore helps set up the musician accounts for a range of different industry standard music services. These services often pay either per play or per download. Each service pays out a different amount, but a musician receives money based on their content playing in some capacity.

There are a number of different download and streaming services TuneCore works with. YouTube is one of the most used. It connects a music fan with the over billion users on YouTube (which behind Google, is the most used search engine online). A musician will receive money for every track streamed.

iTunes remains one of the most popular services for obtaining music files, both for Apple product users and for those who use the iTunes media service. Here it’s possible to make money off iTunes through both cloud storage and downloads.

Amazon Music works in a similar way to iTunes. Music fans are able to download a music file, stream it or save it to their cloud. This offers three different revenue opportunities.

Spotify is a music streaming service that is now available in over 20 countries and it looks like it will continue to expand. It’s also one of the most used streaming in the world. Musicians earn income from every file streamed.

Google Play is to PC and Android devices as iTunes is to Apple. It allows for revenue off of both streaming and download. However, there is other several major perks with having content listed on Google Play. The files have another access point on YouTube, can be sourced from the Google Search Engine, and it is available on all Android devices, which is the most used mobile operating system.

Deezer is the most widely available streaming service in the world (more than Spotify). For individuals looking to cash in on other markets around the world, Deezer helps make this happen through both streaming and download methods.

Napster helped create the online music file industry, although it went from an illegal, pirated service to a streaming service called Rhapsody, back to Napster. It also provides download and streaming revenue options.

Simply Africa is a unique opportunity for musicians looking to break into Africa. It is the largest streaming music service available on the African continent and offers streaming revenue opportunities. There are a number of other regional based services TuneCore works with to increase a musician’s exposure around the world, including services like Anghami, Spinlet, Boomplay Music, Kuack, Reach, Zvooq, Claro Musica, TargetMusic, Yandex Music, Saavn, KKBOX and Juke MyMusic.

iHeartRadio has grown into an important staple in the music industry. It’s also a way to introduce a musician to music lovers through the streaming revenue service. Similar streaming services include Slacker Radio, Tracks and Pandora (although with Pandora, as the stations are personally selected, it doesn’t mean all audio files are instantly accepted).

One of the most powerful tools for musicians who do not have a sizeable following is with the application Shazam. This is an excellent service designed to help identify songs and to provide access to new music. It is a discovery-based application that points a music user to streaming and download options.

How Much Does TuneCore Pay Per Stream

The question a musician should ask isn’t how much does TuneCore pay per stream, but instead what does the music service pay per stream or download. As TuneCore doesn’t take a cent of what the streaming services payout, it comes down specifically to the individual services. So it’s necessary to skip over the how much does TuneCore pay per song and instead look at each individual service. With nearly 50 different services, there are different payments for each. However, looking at the most common and most popular for musicians can provide a general answer to how to make money off TuneCore.

YouTube doesn’t provide specifics with regards to what someone will make off of the service. An artist is paid a proportion share from the YouTube Art Tracks subscriptions and advertisement revenue. Anyone who has used YouTube or Google AdSense knows this will fluctuate and is based on a number of variables, so offering an exact  “pay per stream” is impossible. However, the more popular a song becomes, the more it is searched and the more it is streamed, the chances of the song bringing in a higher revenue.

iTunes provides specific information. For every song downloaded, a musician receives $0.70. For every album sold, a musician makes $7.00. Google Play pays out the exact same amount as iTunes.

In terms of the TuneCore Spotify payment, a musician will make somewhere around $0.0038 per stream (so less than half a cent). In reality, the Napster service offers some of the best pay per stream prices, at $0.01672 (over a penny and a half). Napster owns a small portion of the market share, but in terms of streaming revenue, it will pay out substantially more than the other services.

Many of the other platforms also offer varying amounts per stream that rests on several variables. However, Napster is one of the few that pays over a cent per stream.

What is the TuneCore Payout Schedule

When a track is downloaded, streamed or uploading to a cloud account, TuneCore automatically indicates this in the artist portion of a user’s account. This allows Tunecore artists to monitor their revenue as it starts to build up. The TuneCore Spotify payment will appear in the account as soon as someone streams the song. This way, a person can see how often their songs are streamed, which songs are steamed and when. However, the Tunecore payout schedule remains universal.

TuneCore pays four times a year, once per each quarter. Following the completion of a quarter (every three months), TuneCore will send payment 45 days after. The long wait time for payments is based on how long it takes some streaming and music services to offer up payments, so this quarterly plus 45 days is due to the payouts of other companies. This means a TuneCore payout schedule will be paid on May 15th for the first quarter, August 14th for the second quarter, November 14th for the third quarter, and February 14th for the previous year’s fourth quarter.

There are three different payment options available, depending on what an artist is interested in. If they would like to be paid through a TuneCore check, there is a $3.00 processing fee for all checks, and it will take around 10 additional business days to receive payment inside of the United States, and up to six weeks internationally (depending on location).

The second option is to be paid through PayPal. There is no fee attributed to a PayPal digital payment by TuneCore. However, PayPal does charge an international processing fee. The third option is an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). This comes with a $2.75 transfer-processing fee. The transfer will take between seven and 10 business days, although this particular method is not available with regards to international banks.

TuneCore does indicate it can take some time before audio file tracks are accepted and processed by other streaming services and can take up to six months for U.S. based musicians to see the track appear on varying streaming services (like Spotify). As musicians begin to see an increase in their streaming numbers it reduces the wait time as the services will process the content faster.

In Conclusion

For musical artists looking to increase both revenue opportunities while increasing exposure, it’s important to find as many different streaming and download services available. Attempting to connect with the dozens of streaming services around the world is both difficult and time-consuming. However, TuneCore does all of those, without taking a cut of the royalties (but instead charges annually). It’s a viable option for any musician and one that needs to be considered and looked into by musicians both in the United States and around the world.

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