Q: Once the technical aspects of an online coaching/education business are in place, what is a reasonable time frame to expect to be viable?
A: Hi Kay! Unfortunately, the answer is “It depends.” I’m going to assume by viability that you mean making money. What does it depend on? It depends on the following:
1. How persuasive are your landing pages? By this I mean the rate at which they are converting. You’l probably want to do some split testing. Google’s Website Optimizer service (free), found at https://www.google.com/websiteoptimizer, can help you do this. You may want to budget some funds for Google Pay-Per-Click or Facebook Ads to drive some traffic to your landing pages and test your conversions.
2. How is traffic getting to your site? Optimizing your site for search will help (search engine optimization), but using other strategies like article marketing, social media marketing, blogging, and video marketing will drive even more traffic to your site.
3. Are you building a list? Even in today’s social media and mobile marketing world, an email list is still important. Are you taking advantage of the traffic that is already coming to your site by inviting them to get on your list? Have a compelling offer (free ebook, ecourse, audio, or video) that solves a primary problem of your target market will entice them to give you their contact info. In turn, you can market to them.
4. How many strategic alliance and joint venture partners do you have? I’ve heard many stories that begin, “If I had to start over, the first thing I’d look for would be strong JV partners.” If you can provide a valuable offer to someone else who serves your target market and get in front of their list, your business will become viable faster.
5. Do you know where to find your target market? Knowing where your target market hangs out online is key, as it’s much easier to reach them in a group (blogs, portals, associations, discussion forums) where they congregate together. Secondly, understanding what your target market needs is vital. Many business owners create something that they “think” their target market needs without really testing the waters first. Survey your target market to be sure that what you want to offer is of interest to them.
All in all, if you strongly pursue the suggestions noted above, you can expect to begin making money in as little as three months, but 6-9 months is more common. Depending on the nature of your business, just like other offline businesses, it may take it a year or more to become profitable.
And, as a bonus resource, a membership to OnlineBizU.com will help you with specific steps to carry out many of the strategies listed above.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.