I’ve identified the three major stages every digital entrepreneur must pass through. And you’re in either one of these stages.
Working for yourself, trying to build something out of what you’re good at is not an easy task.
There will be hiccups, times of self-doubt and feelings of utter disappointment when things don’t work as planned, or when we start to compare ourselves with others.
There’s always that feeling of, “I’m not moving fast enough.” Or “I ought to be passed this stage by now.”
It looks like a slow train, and we feel like helpless passengers who can only look out the window, hoping we’ll reach our desired destinations.
This is how I feel sometimes.
This is how beginners feel.
And trust me, even the successful ones aren’t left out.
It’s inevitable. It’s like that bitter pill you have to take every once in a while to remind you that you’re a human bound by time.
But here’s one thing I’ve learned…
Being able to identify where you’re at now, will not only ease you of some of the mental stress.
It’ll give you encouragement for tomorrow.
Identify the stage you’re at on your digital journey
Are you looking to build a digital business from your talents and skills? It’s important to be able to identify where you are, and also know where you’re headed.
Do you already have customers, are you looking to multiply your income streams, or are you just getting started?
I took a step back to examine myself, and with some extra research, I’ve identified the three major stages every digital entrepreneur must pass through. And you’re in either one of these stages.
The truth is, these are the same stages everyone who wants to do something important in life must pass through.
So let’s get started.
1. The Discovery stage: Identify your value
Everyone starts here. You can’t skip this stage.
How do you know you’re at this stage? Let’s look at a story…
Linda is a talented artist. She’s a crazy art lover and loves anything that has to do with lines, colour and imagination.
Although she’s a graduate of Law, she’s looking to build a practice out of what she loves and knows how to do.
Everyone thinks she’s crazy. She also thinks she’s crazy too. But this is what she wants to do.
For a while, she loved the idea of working from home, but still isn’t quite sure how that works.
She knows she has to sell something online so she can earn a living, but she’s still trying to figure that out as well.
And she has a ton of questions going through her mind:
- “Should I sell freelance design services so I can work with clients?”
- “How about if I create my own custom designs and sell them?”
- “I know a lot about Adobe Photoshop, but I’m not quite good with programming, so perhaps I should just stick with graphic design?”
- “On second thought, I could teach other people how to design!”
These are some of the many questions going through her head.
Linda is clearly at the Discovery stage. While she knows what she’s good at, she’s trying to determine what kind of value she can give online. Because the truth is, you won’t make any money if you don’t offer something of value in exchange.
You’ll realize that there’s a lot of “figuring out” here. So are you like Linda right now, still trying to figure out how to get started? Then this is the stage you’re at.
2. The Takeoff stage: Launch your digital business
Everyone eventually gets to the point where they want to get started but can’t quite put together the tools and strategies they need.
Let’s go back to Linda’s journey…
After a lot of brainstorming and research, Linda finally decides to sell logo design services to Tech startups.
“Okay, I think I’ll start with logo design services. Alongside, with some research, I’ll figure out what kind of trainings I can sell too (long term). But let me build my online authority with logo design first.”
With some further research, Linda realizes she needs a website that showcases her expertise, a blog which would help her tell prospects about the good work she does, as well as share her worldview. She’d also need a lot of promotion because she understands that a business can’t survive without marketing.
And marketing is simply doing good work and telling the right people about it.
But yet again, she has a swarm of unanswered questions:
- “What should be my domain name?
- Should I use WordPress?
- Where can I get a designer who will build my site knowing my goal in mind? The website has to reflect my skill well.
- How do I know where to look for my prospects?
- How can I create content with my work because I’m not really a good writer?
- I’m already a little active on social media, what can I do to make it work for me?
Linda has been able to figure out the “What”. Her question is now “How?” She’s ready to takeoff into the digital space, but she also wants to do it right so she doesn’t crash.
Does this sound like you?
3. The Growth stage: Sell digital products for maximum profit
At this stage, you’ve already taken off and are well into the game. You just need to branch out and multiply your income.
Now Linda has been able to build a good website that showcases her skills, has good SEO, and helps get her message across.
With every new post, she also learns new ways to promote. And the good thing is she’s now getting clients too…after a lot of work though.
She’s not making all the money she wants to make, but she’s enthusiastic about the future. And her goal is to create products so she doesn’t have to exchange time for money anymore.
As a talented artist, and skilled logo designer, she now has an audience of small business owners who learn about the impact of good branding on their businesses. She also has a small set of designers who also learn from her.
With the questions and comments she receives, Linda feels she’s ready to create her first training product.
Asides knowing the right technology to use, Linda knows she has to deliver her courses in a way that benefits her students. But she doesn’t know exactly what to do to ensure everything goes smoothly.
It’s like she’s at the Takeoff stage again, only this time, she’s looking to expand.
With her services and the new training courses she’s building, she wants to leverage her audience so she makes profit.
The only thing on her mind is how to ensure those who buy her digital products have a good experience.
With the e-learning industry growing in leaps and bounds, digital entrepreneurs are now taking advantage of this to create digital products their audience can benefit from.
We’re all on a journey
Whether you’re still yet to discover the value you can give online, or you’re getting started with the tools, tactics and strategies needed to launch…
Or perhaps you’re well experienced in your field and you want to sell digital products, such as online courses, for maximum profit, remember this:
You’re on a journey. And clarity comes with every new step.
So identify where you’re at, and take the next step today. Select your stage below: