When people hear what I do, they often look at me in either a)complete confusion or b)interested eagerness. The fact that I live in a small town compounds this. Most people, outside of the online community can’t really picture how an online business works.
Here are the top 5 questions I get asked as an online business owner:
1) What do you actually do? This is a tricky one to answer. Using the words ‘online marketing’ or pretty much anything with the word online usually brings thoughts of not a real job, not a real business to people’s minds. For others they simply cannot believe that I make more at an online business than most solopreneurs make at a traditional business. Sometimes I’ll say things like I’m a virtual assistant or online business manager. Blank stares. Sometimes I avoid the question all together so I don’t have to get into a 20 minute long spiel about how the world of online business works. The quick answer I’ve devised when I just don’t have the time, I own a marketing company. Simple and easy and no more blank stares.
2) Why would someone pay you for that? This one used to actually make me angry. I mean why wouldn’t I be paid for this? I’m providing a valuable service and helping other businesses to grow, thrive and reach their target market. Now I just say something like you would be surprised what business owners consider a valuable service and leave it at that. I know my value and am fully confident in it, if you cannot see that it’s really none of my business.
3) How do you know how to do these things? This is one that I will get from people who are stuck in the mentality that the only way to go about life is to go to school, get good grades, go to university, get a job, get married, start a family. There is nothing wrong with that, but it’s an awful tiny box – how will you ever stretch out? My answer is usually short and simple: I’m self-taught. If they need validation in the form of a degree or certificate they won’t get it here. My self teachings have been thorough and detailed to exactly what I need to know. A huge pile of books and lovely collection of online courses (including Marie Forleo’s B School) have taught me that the landscape of business is ever-changing and the best thing I can do for myself is to be flexible in my learning and be open to anything that calls to me. It has served me quite well.
4) How can I start a business online? Go now and start! Grab a book, talk to people like me who can’t shut up about the subject. Start reading blog posts and learn the basics of business online. Try your hand at following tutorials and setting up a WordPress website. Take your passion into consideration and figure how you can turn that into a product or service. The key is to take small baby steps and trust that the next step will be shown when you get there. I got extremely far on just baby steps! Of course you could always check out my eBook for a head start 🙂
5) How do you get paid? With dollaz! But seriously, this is the easiest of the questions I get asked. PayPal is an easy and magical thing.
How about you, do you ever get questions about running an online business or have questions for me about starting one? I’d love to hear about it, so tweet me!