“Do for a year what others won’t; live, forever the way others can’t.”
~ Connie Ragen Green
What follows here is a stream of consciousness that came through me on a recent Sunday morning. I feel compelled to share my thoughts with you and understand you may not be in agreement with me on some or all of the concepts I am including here. An online marketing success plan in 10 Concepts could be exactly what you have been looking for.
My precept is that anyone can be a successful online entrepreneur, if only they are willing to do the work, learn as much as possible, and take action every single day, even if it’s only in a small way, like a tweet or an email message that will advance your business.
I’ve broken this up into 10 concepts that continue to work well for me, and for hundreds of people I have mentored over the years. Let’s begin with something I want you to think about…
Entrepreneurship is the Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love! Become the Toughest Boss You Ever Had for Optimal Results!
Concept One: Your Daily Power Hour 20-20-20
Every day, begin with 20 minutes of writing, followed by 20 minutes of reading, and concluding with 20 minutes of reaching out and connecting with others. This gives you a foundation to start your day off strong.
Looking back over the years leading up to coming online in 2006, I see that I squandered valuable time each morning and relinquished my best hours (Prime Time) by engaging in activities and conversations that not only didn’t improve and enhance my life but were detrimental to my overall well-being.
If only I had been willing to get up half an hour earlier each morning and protect my time, as much as would have been possible as an employee of the school district my life would have taken a trajectory leading to greater happiness and increased time and financial freedom. But I have no regrets and am thankful for everything that has flowed through my life experience.
Concept Two: Ask “What’s for sale?” Every Day
Before I returned to college at the age of 30 to earn a K-12 Teaching Credential, I had already been working in real estate for almost seven years. I started as a sales agent, after several years became a Broker, and finally, went back to school to learn about real estate appraisal, and earned my designation as a Certified Residential Appraiser.
When it came to teaching, I was an employee and followed the structure that was required as I taught my students each day. In real estate, I had to adhere to the rules and laws set out by the Department of Real Estate. I was an independent contractor initially, but once I became an appraiser I set up my own business.
This meant that I had to find my own work assignments in order to earn income. I was forced to get creative, especially when there was a downturn in the economy or interest rates increased significantly. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was excellent preparation for what I would need to know and understand once I started my online business. You don’t make money until someone, somewhere makes a purchase from you or through an affiliate link. Keep this in mind as part of your online marketing success plan.
Concept Three: Schedules, To-Do Lists, Morning/Evening Routines, and Productivity
“To-Do” lists are supposed to be miles long and never-ending. Your goal is to write down every thought, idea, and appointment you have, and then to choose no more that four items to add to your schedule for the following day.
For example, completing this report was on my schedule for one day, and then sending it out to my mentees was on my schedule for the following day.
My Morning Routine consists of my Daily Power Hour I shared in Concept One. My Evening Routine begins when I’ve completed everything on my schedule for the day, added items to my To-Do list, and created my schedule for the following day.
What does this Evening Routine typically look like? It is comprised of activities I enjoy, people I want to spend time with, and daydreaming about the life I’ve created and the goals I still intend to pursue. Wanting more in our lives gives us the motivation to be more productive, as we think our dreams into the initial stages of reality,
Concept Four: What We Do Online Each Week As Part of Our Online Marketing Success Plan
1) Writing – blog posts, short reports, full-length books, email messages, cards/letters/notes to friends and colleagues, social media updates, and more.
2) Creating – products, courses, surveys, programs, in-person/virtual events, and more.
3) Marketing – Asking people to buy from us and through our affiliate links, in one way or another, throughout each day, and mostly online.
4) Learning/Teaching/Coaching/Mentoring – As a professional student, I have to carefully choose what I will spend my precious and valuable time learning. That said, when I do choose to learn something, I go all in and make sure to enjoy and benefit from the process.
We are all teachers, and teaching others how to do something will always strengthen our skills. My mentoring is an extension of the teaching I do, and this is where I can work closely with people to help them succeed in an area where I have become something of an expert over time. I encourage my mentees to:
- Start and maintain a WordPress blog, with the goal of building a list and posting twice each week.
- Create short reports, information products, and eCourses on a regular basis
- Become an affiliate for the people and products they purchase and benefit from
Concept Five: What Part of Your Business Do You Look Forward to Each Day?
I look forward to emailing my list first thing in the morning to share a story and recommend people and products they could benefit from for their business. After I’ve pressed the “send” button, I look forward to working at my computer, without interruption for about two hours. During this time, I work on returning/writing emails, writing/reviewing blog posts, updating social media, and starting or returning to a project that might be the beginning of a new product, course, or program.
Concept Six: What Part of Your Business Do You Dread?
I continue to dread anything technical, so I first obtain the information I will need, think about the specific goal I wish to achieve, and then outsource the project to others who can complete this for me quickly and simply, and also at a fair price. While we must many times do things we do not like or are uncomfortable with at a job, this simply isn’t the case when you’re an entrepreneur. I love outsourcing tasks that others will do much better than I would, and paying them to work on my behalf benefits everyone involved.
Concept Seven: Time Management and Productivity
Time is the fairest aspect of life; we all have the same twenty-four hours each day. How we spend those hours, however, makes the difference between those who feel like they will never have enough time in their day and those who enjoy having extra time for things they enjoy. Time is not created equal, and you must protect your time by planning and scheduling activities in advance.
Prime-Time: These are the hours each day when you are most alert and your mind is open to being creative and productive. For me, these hours are between 5 and 9 each morning. I focused on creating a second prime-time window, and now that’s between the hours of 6 and 8 in the evening.
Scheduled Time: Also referred to as “protected time”, these are appointments you make for your personal life and business that cannot be easily changed.
Found Time: When something is canceled that was scheduled, I quickly fill that time with something fun, interesting, and/or productive.
TV Time: This is anything you do that is not moving your life or business forward. Also known as downtime, it’s time for you to step back from your life and relax with something that requires little or no thinking on your part.
Concept Eight: Leading by Doing as Part of Your Online Marketing Success Plan
Until I started my online business, I had never thought of myself as a leader. Sure, if there was a situation in which I needed to step up and take charge I could do that, but those occasions were few and far between. I think of Hurricane Andrew, a serious car accident, the Northridge Earthquake, and the early days of the Pandemic as ones where I was able to quickly make decisions on behalf of myself and others.
But having my own business changed everything for me. People were looking to me to be a trusted advisor for them, and I needed to be prepared and to practice in the areas where I would lead.
This is how and why I attended my first Rotary Club – they are an international service organization involved in a variety of projects both in the local communities and in countries that desperately need help. Our two most known projects are helping to eradicate polio, with the help of Warren Buffet and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and bringing clean water to villages throughout the world and primarily in Africa and Central and South America.
“Money Making Topics”
Affiliate Marketing – Printables – Online Courses
1) Brainstorm. Draw up a three-circle Venn diagram and name the circles “value,” “knowledge,” and “interest.”
Then, fill out the diagram with topics corresponding to these categories and their intersections.
Example: Creating Online Courses is a topic that made sense to me. I’m highly interested in it, came online with years of experience as a classroom teacher and helping my family with homeschooling, and believe I can provide a ton of value to my audience.
2) Collect data. Pick three topics at the golden intersection of your diagram.
Then, write at least one story about each topic, publish it, and look at the data.
Don’t just focus on views and money from each topic, but also how the process made you feel.
If you don’t love it, it’s not going to make you money in the long term.
3) Repeat. Do this exercise again – maybe weekly, maybe monthly. And you know what you’ll find?
Your Venn diagram will change, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
How do these ideas fit into your overall plan for success and more specifically, your online marketing success plan?
Concept Nine: Storytelling… Rewriting YOUR Story
When you think about your story, what often comes to mind is the series of events that make up your past; the things that have happened to you. It’s a powerful moment when you understand that your story is, in fact, not just a series of events that happened to you.
Your story is what shaped your life, your beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. Among these, limiting beliefs are more influential than many others. These beliefs are the assumptions and convictions you hold, not about the world around you, but about yourself. It’s what you believe that sets constraints for you in some way.
Recognizing and Understanding What Your Limiting Beliefs Are is the First Step in Rewriting Your Story
Limiting beliefs are often created from your past experiences, the norms created by your culture/society, and the influence of those around you the most. You can identify them with thoughts like “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t change my future,” or “I don’t deserve success.” While they seem like fleeting thoughts, they can be insidious. Thoughts like this creep into your decision-making processes and will impact your life without you realizing it.
But here’s the truth: You have the power to rewrite your story. To accomplish this, you first have to identify and challenge your limiting beliefs. This process isn’t as simple as positive thinking; it’s about fundamentally altering the story you tell yourself about who you are and what you’re capable of achieving.
You might consider your story to be a simple narrative of the events that happened in your life so far, but that’s overly simple. Your story isn’t a simple recounting; it’s a deep narrative that includes your beliefs, experiences, and your perceptions of events. At the heart of your story is a powerful force—your beliefs. Your beliefs play a pivotal role in shaping your story and also your personal identity and your actions.
Having identified and challenged your limiting beliefs, it’s time to construct a more empowering and positive story. You need to reframe your beliefs and perspectives to support your goals, dreams, and true potential. A new story can change how you perceive yourself and the world. This opens up possibilities and opportunities that were previously obscured by your negative mindset.
The Before, After, AFTER Strategy for Storytelling to Create Your Online Marketing Success Plan
I first learned this strategy while a student of copywriting during my first few years online. When creating products and courses to sell to others, it helps to show an example of the results someone has achieved by implementing what you’re teaching.
For example, when I took a blogging course early on in my entrepreneurial journey, I was a non-writer, meaning that I would seldom write anything that could be used to help my business grow. After completing the course on how to blog to build a list, sell your own and affiliate products, and give your prospects a way to learn from and connect with you I did see a growth shift in these areas. I’d also created a plan on how I would create content every week exclusively for my business. These were my before and after stories and I used them regularly to promote and recommend this course to others.
But it was my AFTER story that was most impressive and helped me to become better known to my niche market. After I resigned from the school district on June 30th in 2006, gave away my real estate clients, moved to a new city, and started an online business all during a one-year period, I achieved some initial success. Within 18 months I had replaced my previous income of 125-150 thousand a year. And my writing was improving each day.
In 2010 I published my first book, Huge Profits with a Tiny List: 50 Ways to Use Relationship Marketing to Increase Your Bottom Line, based on 50 blog posts I had published on my first blog. I had also become a public speaker, attending live marketing and business events all over the States and finally in Europe and beyond. I created a new product, short report, or course approximately every six weeks, and all of this grew my business exponentially. By the time I published my second book, I had grown to a consistent seven figures a year and didn’t look back.
Learning to Create a New Narrative for Yourself
Creating a new narrative for yourself is a choice. It’s intentional. You have to work at constructing a new set of beliefs and perspectives that will guide your thoughts, emotions, and actions. It’s about taking control back of your story and making it better so you will be able to pursue and perfect your personalized online marketing success plan. But there is a process.
Define Your Desired Narrative: You need to start by clearly defining what you want in life. Consider the aspects of your life where you’d like to see the most change. Ask yourself questions like “What would I like to believe about myself?” and “How do I want to feel and act in these areas?”.
Be specific when making this plan and be positive. When designating your goals, instead of saying something like “I don’t want to be scared of failure,” say, “I want to view failures as opportunities to learn and grow.”
Craft Affirmations that Align with this New Narrative: If you recall, we suggested using affirmations to help challenge your limiting beliefs. Now, create affirmations that reflect this new story you’re writing. Your affirmations should be positive and present tense statements that reinforce what you desire to change. For example, “I am capable and confident in my abilities to succeed.” Repeat these affirmations daily, not only when you’re struggling.
Visualize Your New Narrative: Visualization can be a powerful tool when working on accepting and internalizing your new story. Spend time visualizing yourself living out your new story. Imagine how you would feel, act, and respond in situations as the person who embodies these new beliefs.
Take Action Consistent with Your New Story: Your beliefs are reinforced by your actions. Start taking small steps that reinforce your new story. If your new belief is about being a good communicator, practice speaking up in meetings or starting a conversation with a stranger. Small actions reinforce your beliefs as much as large ones. Don’t try and change too much at once and overwhelm yourself.
Record and Reflect on Successes: This is a big change to your world and can get overwhelming, fast. Keep a journal or record of instances where you live out your new story. Reflecting on these successes, no matter how small, can reinforce your belief in the new story. It will help encourage you to keep going as you refine your online marketing success plan.
Surround Yourself with Supportive Influences: Your environment and the people around you can significantly change your story, for better or worse. Work on surrounding yourself with people who support this journey and who believe in your new story. Look for books, listen to podcasts and other resources that reinforce the beliefs and attitudes you want to adopt.
Learn from Setbacks: You’re going to experience setbacks. These are potentially big changes you’re trying to make. Changing your entire mindset doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of viewing setbacks as failures, use them to learn. Analyze what happened and why. Work on adjusting your approach in the future.
Be Patient and Persistent: You’re talking about changing deeply ingrained beliefs. This takes time and consistent effort. Be patient with yourself and persistent in your efforts. Remember you are rewriting a story that has been written over years and even decades. You are the author of your story, and every day is an opportunity to write a new page.
Concept Ten: Marketing YOURSELF to the World
I had friends during my childhood who had moved to California from West Virginia. Cassie and Andy were inseparable siblings and fit quickly into my small group of friends. When they first met someone, Cassie would smile while Andy asked a question: What’s the hardest thing in the world to do?
There would be an awkward pause as the others thought about that, and then Cassie would jump in and answer… “Wheeling, West Virginia!”
Then, we would get a lesson on how Wheeling, Virginia was loyal to the Federal Government during the Civil War and the State of West Virginia was born there. The first convention of the delegates from the loyal counties of northwestern Virginia met in Wheeling on May 13, 1861, and inaugurated the movement which finally resulted in the admission of West Virginia into the Union as a state on June 20, 1863.
Looking back, this was how Cassie and Andy marketed themselves to the people they came in contact with in various situations. By the time they were in high school, Cassie was Student Body President and Andy led the school’s debate team. If anyone had laughed at how they shared their knowledge of their home state in such a fun way years earlier, they weren’t laughing now.
Think about the perceptions may have of you at this moment in time. Are they favorable? If you could step in and change how others see and think of you, what would that look like? You can do this, and it begins with the people in your community. I call this “becoming a local celebrity” and I’ve written about this extensively, modeled it at my live events and retreats, and even created a course about it.
During my first year online, I attended a local event for marketers. When I arrived, people had already formed small groups to get to know each other. As I moved closer to them, I heard people talking about someone who had previously been a classroom teacher and was now doing well online. She’d also had cancer and was now cancer-free. As I leaned in to find out who this was so I could make sure to meet her, I realized they were talking about me! My story was making the rounds because it was the story I was sharing everywhere I went, online and in person.
I hope this online marketing success plan has been helpful to you, and that you will revisit the concepts I’m sharing with you here. I encourage you to question anything you do not understand or feel may not be relevant to your situation and to communicate these concerns to your mentor for further discussion.
The online world is an awesome place to be, and I am thankful and forever grateful for each day I am actively engaged in my business. Let’s connect on Twitter/X and LinkedIn to discover how we may connect and create something amazing together in the future.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.