We’ve all seen them, used them, visited them. I’m talking about websites on the internet. Did you know that these sites represent entrepreneurship? Digital entrepreneurship. The technological world we live in today has opened new avenues for making money, and all from the comfort of your own home or office. Yes, there is money to be made, but how to get started as a digital entrepreneur is the question.
What Is a Digital Entrepreneur?
First, we need to know what this new business model looks like. It seems pretty obvious just from the title: it is someone who uses the internet to generate income, but we need to add the word “exclusively.” There is not a physical, three-dimensional product that is being developed and sold. It is a marketable world of ideas. E-books, how-to videos, educational courses, software programs, and game apps are just a few examples of ideas that sell. Did you know you can even make money with your blog? It’s true. If you can think it up, you can probably sell it.
What Skills Are Needed?
The skills and character qualities that spurred the Industrial Revolution on to new heights of glory are the same ones needed to succeed in the Digital Revolution: creativity and ingenuity, determination and perseverance, initiative and critical thinking skills. Not to mention a good sense of business with the ability to manage, organize, develop, and lead. You may be sitting on the couch in your pajamas, but you need to think and act like a man in a three-piece suit. Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller did not reach the top by lazing about hoping for things to happen. They were proactive and hard-hitting in all that they did, and their success cannot be denied.
What Are the Steps to Take?
You can’t just wake up one day and say, “I’m going to be a digital entrepreneur.” And you definitely don’t want to quit your day job without some serious thought and planning, unless you want to end up hungry and homeless. As with any venture, there are steps to take to help ensure success.
- Learn all you can. Read the blogs, the books, and the interviews of digital entrepreneurs who have earned a reputation of success. Take an online course that teaches you the ins and outs of the digital business model; there are several free ones as well as those associated with institutions of higher learning. And talk to people. You can learn a lot from other people’s successes and failures.
- Research and plan. Look at what is out there on the world wide web. What are people looking for? What are they willing to pay for? What do you have to offer? And how are you going to market it?
- Develop a website. The design of and interaction with a website can make or break a company. Make sure it is attractive. Check on the requirements of search engines like Google or Bing to get your site high on the results list of people looking for your idea; then structure your site around those recommendations.
- Develop your idea. You probably thought that coming up with the idea should come first, but until you have researched and found a niche that is marketable, an idea is a detriment. People often get too attached to their brain child and then are not able to let it go when it proves to be a non-viable option.
- Market your digital business. Social media and other internet advertising schemes are your best friends. You need to get the word out there; the more you do, the more likely you are to succeed.
- Diversify. Just like a financial advisor seeks to diversify a portfolio to maximize his return, you need to diversify your digital offerings as well. Once you have found success in one area of digital entrepreneurship, try branching out in another area. Then you truly will be ready to quit your day job.
Getting started as a digital entrepreneur is harder than most would think, but it is also more rewarding than most would think, not only financially but also personally. And there are so many tools out there to help. So go ahead. Make those dreams of being your own boss a reality.