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Episode 025 - Starting an online business, misconceptions, automating it for success and more
In the current climate, at time of recording people are being forced to work from home, there are job losses, reliable industries and household names are struggling to stay afloat and these companies employe 100,000’s of workers.
Which really boils down to one thing, we are all facing change. Now if I narrow this down to focus on change within our career, job, the way we do business going forward – this all impacts one thing. Our income. And the big question in peoples minds is ‘what else can I do and how can I create security, whilst at home and also whilst creating a new source of income’.
And to help answer that question we have a special guest with us on this episode to talk to you about the number one strategy to adopt whilst you make this change.
And that is Kyle Balmer here to talk to us about Online Business. Which for many is a mystical subject, one they really want to learn about but have no idea where to start? And there is a lot of rubbish out there on the internet making promises, exaggerated claims to riches and we wanted to bring someone onto the podcast who we trust and who has a very pragmatic, level and structured approach to this, so let’s introduce our guest.
(In his own words) My biggest triumph: I’ve never really had a job and I’m pretty much unemployable…
Let’s step back a moment! I’ve always been a bit rubbish working in structured environments and being told what to do. Some of you are probably nodding profusely already. Because of this, I’ve always had my own hustles and side businesses – in fact, I almost got arrested for one of these ventures at the tender age of 11.
I’ve had some successes and failures in the world of business. I even have an MBA from a top-10 American business school – a lot of good that’s done me! More recently I’ve moved my businesses online, teaching myself digital marketing and launching my first “proper” online business a few years back. This was a revelation – I could build businesses the way I wanted to, creating the lifestyle I desired all whilst providing massive value to the world. Pretty cool, even if I did pretty much stumble into it by accident!
Armed with this knowledge I set off to help other people set up their own online businesses, hopefully avoiding the mistakes I’ve made over the years! Whether it’s working directly with clients, delivering workshops, writing guides and books or recording video courses I love helping people get to grips with the world of online business and digital marketing.
In this episode Kyle helps us answer the following questions:
- What is an online business?
- What are the common misconceptions that people typically have with an online business?
- Busting myths and talking to people about this subject is something we both do on the BBO.SHOW, but could you expand on the BBO.SHOW, what is it? And why did you start it?
- What are the benefits of an online business?
- If someone is wanting to explore starting an online business what advice can you give them from having started a truckload yourself?
- Bearing in mind the current climate, and as you have explained an online business is a business, so it’s not an overnight cash-generating machine. So do you have any suggestions for people who maybe need to generate some cash quick and really leaving the house is not an option? – See FREE gift below
- Are there any actions you would suggest someone takes who is interested in starting an online business?
We hope this episode demystifies the complex subject of online business in a pragmatic way..
Here is how you can find out more about Kyle Balmer, his online business who (BBO.SHOW) and his FREE gift to all Growth Tribes listeners:
A gift to listeners:
Mega List, 300+ different ways to make money online – The PUBLIC list for quick access: https://bit.ly/2W4AigR
Purchase the guide with our personal notes for each category within the MEGA LIST here: https://bbo.show/book
If you wish to post a question about today’s episode head to @thegrowthtribespodcast on Instagram and DM us your questions! We will answer them on the next Q&A special!
For a full read of the podcast, here is a full transcript of everything Dr Ro and Harms covered in this episode of the Growth Tribes Podcast.
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Harms: Hello, welcome to another episode of the Growth Tribes podcast.
It’s Harms here and normally I would do an introduction but I’ll handover to Ro today for the introduction.
Dr Ro: Hi everybody and thank you for that Harms and you’ll understand why in just a moment.
We’re recording this particular podcast right now in an incredibly upside-down economic climate, health climate, people’s brains, emotions, family seem to be all over the place and there’s a lot of concern.
In this current climate, the time we’re recording this people have been forced to work from home.
We have literally globally had a set of rules put upon us that none of us necessarily wanted, but we understand have to be put in place in order to look after our safety. That’s led to job losses.
Huge reliable industries that are household names that many of us have known for years struggling, airline industries famous people that we look up to in all sorts of entrepreneurial backgrounds going to government and asking for pay outs and wanting to stay afloat.
Companies with hundreds of thousands employees and workers who literally are sat at home, although they’re sat there trying to stay safe and looking after their families.
At the same time thinking what are we going to do next, what’s happening?
This really boils down to one thing and that’s changed many of you know that this is a passionate area for us because the Growth Tribes is very much about the evolution of the human being, the human soul, and through that, comes this need for change.
To narrow this down, and we focus just on change in your career, in your job, in your business.
I’m a professional speaker many of you know, listening to this and I was looking just on my in tray yesterday I saw an email came in from the professional speaks Association and there’s a talk next week by one of the senior speakers whose talking about their business, their career has literally just dropped through the floor as a professional speaker.
Because of course they’re used to going out in front of audiences and as I was reading I was thinking maybe they need to be listening to the podcast that we’re going to record tomorrow because today’s podcast is really very much about giving opportunities whilst you’re in this transitional stage to look at a chance to expand and potentially increase your income and generate revenue for you.
So this impacts everybody, every single person listening to this will have been impacted by the coronavirus and what is done to your career, your business, or the company you’re working. income is a big thing.
It’s a big question in people’s minds right now, the question they’re asking is, what else can I do?
How can I create security?
How can I put something in place right now such that if I can’t get back into my job, I’ve got an additional income or if I’ve got a career already or a business already, how can I monetise that experience and knowledge?
Because the truth is, none of us quite know what the landscapes going to look like in three, six, 12 months’ time.
Change is for us, something that you have to evolve into you have to learn to understand it and then grow into it.
To help us go through the current change that we’re going through at the moment and to tackle the subject of what can I do, how can I create additional income, what can I do whilst at home and maybe after this finishes.
Can I have something else that is going on?
We have a very, very special guest to talk to you today and probably the number one in this strategy. I would say to you that, if you’re looking at online business at the moment, you probably know there’s a myriad of people talking about this.
Today we have Kyle Balmer, now I’m going to pass you back over to Harminder in a moment to introduce a little bit more, but I’ve known Kyle for several years now.
When we bring a guest onto this show, one of the things that we’re really keen to do is bring somebody on who has a real level head, who has a pragmatic approach to things and has a process behind what they do.
This a mystical subject, so bear this in mind that most people have no idea where to start.
They just don’t know what to do when it comes to online business, there’s a lot of rubbish on the Internet about this. People are exaggerating how quickly something can be achieved.
Do this and you’ll suddenly make this in the space of two days, so we needed to bring somebody on that we trusted that could get a message out to you as Growth Tribes listeners and also start to give you some pragmatic tools and maybe a few things you can start to work on, even now whilst you’re listening to this in the heart of this lockdown we are experiencing globally.
Kyle it is a privilege to have you here.
Thank you for joining us.
Kyle: Thank you, thank you both it’s a privilege to be on the show as well.
Harms: Ro you may not be aware of this but we’ve literally this week are in the process of publishing a book to help people make money during coronavirus.
I’ve pulled the bio from that particular book so let me read through that, because I asked Kyle a couple weeks ago to write a bio for that book that we’re publishing so here it is.
Discussing Kyle in a snapshot right here, so Kyle’s biggest triumph is, I’ve never really had a job and I’m pretty much unemployable.
That’s a good strong statement to start with, he goes on to say let’s step back a moment. I’ve always been a bit rubbish working in a structured environment and being told what to do.
No doubt that listeners at home are nodding their head to that statement there as well, because ultimately what Kyle says is, I’ve always had my own side hustles, my own businesses and in fact I almost got arrested for one of these ventures at the tender age of 11. I’ve had some successes and failures in the world of business. I even have an MBA from a top 10 American business school and he says as a joke, a lot of good that’s done me considering he hasn’t stepped into employment.
Most recently I moved my business online teaching myself digital marketing and launching my first proper online business a few years back. This was a revelation. I can build businesses the way I wanted to create a lifestyle I desired, all whilst providing massive value to the world, even if I did pretty much stumble into it by accident.
Armed with this knowledge, I set off to help other people set up their own online businesses, hopefully avoiding the mistakes I made over the years whether it’s working directly with clients via this agency, delivering workshops, writing guides and books or recording video courses.
I love helping people to get to grips with, which is a world of online business and digital marketing.
Kyle, fantastic bio thanks for writing that for the book and it is great to read it out for the listeners at home.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, which is not featured in that bio so two things I am curious about is talk to us about getting arrested at the age of 11 and talk to us about how you just fell into the world of online business by accident.
Kyle: I had always had my own businesses.
Even when I was growing up I was the kid who would go to the cash-and-carry by bulk sweeties and then sell them at school.
Age 11, I got into trouble because I might have been pirating video games. I’d learnt how to crack them online and I got a stern letter from some authorities around that time.
I don’t think they realised I was 11 years old, but that scared me straight.
Harms: In addition to that you spoke about finding online business and digital marketing by accident which has essentially allowed you not to work in a typical structured employment, could you expand on that for the listeners.
Kyle: After university I worked in film and TV for a few years and that went well but then I decided I need a proper job and went off and got an MBA in New York with the idea of going straight into a proper job, into a bank or consultancy company.
That got derailed for various reasons, and I moved over to China instead and set up my first online business, mainly because I needed some income and it was hard for me to work over there otherwise.
I learnt the tools of how to set up an online business by just doing it and making a lot of mistakes along the way.
There was a point when I decided, foolishly, potentially although it was very exciting to take the train from Beijing down to Tibet go overland through Tibet, through Nepal and then India to get to a friend’s wedding in Mumbai.
During this time, I just set up an online business so that forced me to automate it so that I could travel across pretty much all of Asia while still running the business without having to attend to it every single day.
I spent two weeks in a meditation and yoga retreat in Nepal and came out of that retreat with more money and more business than when I went in, even though I had no connection to the world and I think for me that was the revelation.
It was the idea that I could create something, put it out into the world and then, literally, in this case retreat from the world and that business, that value would continue to proliferate, to spread and to generate an income, so that was a big moment for me.
Dr Ro: Your circumstances were in front of you and it was either leave it alone or do something to still maintain that revenue.
In the same way people are listening to this thinking how do I create more income, security, although they might not be on a trek across Asia, they are still on a trip through life right now to somehow create some security and this is no different really.
It is about making decisions that change the way your financial situation is in the future and that’s exactly what you did.
Kyle: It’s fascinating hearing you talk about that change and how the regular 9-to-5 jobs have changed that much.
I am literally right now, sitting in Canary Wharf, overlooking the main square in Canary Wharf and it’s empty.
Normally at this time, or a little bit earlier it would just be swarmed with people.
Harms: For context for the listeners at home, Canary Wharf that’s where the high-rise buildings are, some of the biggest banks have their companies located there and there’s a square, which sits in between all the skyscrapers, which has coffee shops, restaurants, bars.
What you’re saying is it’s completely like a ghost town.
Kyle: Yes, so from here, I can see HSBC, JPMorgan, Barclays, the Canary Wharf tower itself, and they are shut down, all empty.
Nobody here compared to the usual swarm of people rushing it’s just such a night and day change.
Dr Ro: Just to give our listeners context as part of the Growth Tribe’s theme is this old voice, young voice, different experience, give us your age so everybody knows where you’re positioned on that scale between myself and Harms.
Kyle: I am 34.
Harms: At what age did you first stumble across that where you said, I was forced to put this into place otherwise I’ve got no income.
Kyle: This was my first proper one to generate revenue and profit.
My first business was helping people learn Chinese. How to read and write in Chinese and I was 28. Speaking of mystical you used the word mystical about digital marketing and as you say it’s very obtuse and obscure, and it almost seems like magic to people looking at it from the outside.
I found a lot of parallels between teaching Chinese characters and teaching digital marketing and online business.
From the outside Chinese characters also look totally inscrutable, totally magical, absolutely alien, but once you start to understand the logic and how the methodology of learning how to read and write in Chinese it is actually a very structured and logical system.
Digital marketing is the same, but it’s funny hearing that word mystical because that was always applied to Chinese characters.
Dr Ro: There’s a bit of a theme for your things in your life.
Kyle: Yes, taking complex subject matters, learning them, mastering them, and then rebuilding the way that they’re taught in order to make them more accessible.
I think that systematic learning and teaching is something I find very appealing; it is how my brain works.
Harms: Ro what was it like in your generation when you were approaching this topic because you would have lived through the emergence of online businesses, the Internet.
Can you put that into context for us, the listeners of our generation who take this subject for granted as well.
Dr Ro: It’s funny because it must be hard for you to imagine not having any of this technology around you.
We grew up in a time when the ZX 81 was the computer to have and then it was the Commodore 64.
I can still remember writing BBC programming language at a young age, if I’d really appreciated where we are today and what people like yourself have done Kyle, I had that aptitude because I had that left brain side of me.
Had I really appreciated it I should have dived in at that stage, but I was drawn towards engineering and the construction side of the industry and at that time, computers were being used with we had these cards that you run through machines.
My mum worked for a company called ICL computers.
Everything was just massive and clunky, and the concept of going online just didn’t exist and then slowly this portal opened up, the Internet opened up the World Wide Web and everyone was like is it really going to work.
As in the vinyl industry with the record industry with vinyl records people hung on and on. History shows people hang onto tradition.
When the idea of online portals came up and people started to communicate via email, I remember the first email was like my god, you don’t have to write a letter?
There was a period when just nobody wanted to use this online business.
Everyone was clinging to the traditional business and there was a fear driven behaviour going on where, if it does take off, what’s that going to do to our business. So for many years people carried on, even though we had the worldwide web as everyone referred to it then, and traditional businesses just hung onto the normal trade.
Some companies started to filter through and in 2000 I went to a seminar where a chap was talking about how you can sell your business online.
You could come up with an idea and then you could record it and in those days it was really clunky machinery like a digital recording device with a tape thing and then you’d put it into the computer and then he said that you can sell online.
Everyone was like, no that’s not going to work because people want to hold something. Although we made a transition to where you could actually sell because I was speaking and we had some digital CD products and we were arguing the case that people want to hold a CD, they want to look at the packaging.
We’d buy this packaging software; we would promote it online and even though by then we could get to the point where you could sell it as an MP3 for example, nobody’s going to want that.
Because the other challenge was there wasn’t hardware to be able to allow people to listen to MP3s the way there is today.
So even the process of having hardware match the online technology the two weren’t synchronised, so you might be able to create an MP3 and do something to promote your business.
You might be at a retail store selling clothes and you might do videos but there weren’t enough people with tools in their hands to be able to press the button now and say look at this.
You couldn’t do that.
So from a traditional perspective it is viewed as the old school way people need to see, feel it, touch it, they haven’t got the equipment to watch it so what’s the point in investing in online type business because not enough people are actually able to access it.
Harms: We’ve moved ahead and those kinds of discussions, thoughts are just completely alien in the sense that why would you ever doubt that something like the Internet would exist?
Why would you ever doubt an online business would exist?
It’s interesting because you mentioned the sense that there was a fear that people clinging onto the old style of business and I think we’re going to observe that even though people know how powerful it is, there’s the likes of Amazon out there.
The likes of eBay, but even people know how powerful the online world is. I think they’re still going to be this clinging on to the old way of doing business as we transition through this period.
I still think it is not going to evolve completely but those that do say actually this is real and do take that step to evolve.
I think they will start to see this additional income coming into their life.
They will start to see income providing security like no other and that is all possible.
Dr Ro: Consistency is one of the biggest challenges, it’s the shiny penny syndrome.
People love the idea of it, love the concept but it’s being consistent enough to make that transition over.
I know that because for all the listeners listening I’ve worked quite closely now for a few years with Kyle and with Harms one of things they commented on to me was that, had I carried on doing what I did 10, 12, 15 years, where I started doing YouTube videos.
I started doing videos back then. I just wasn’t consistent enough.
The technology wasn’t really there to do it easily so I stopped and the comment that both Kyle and Harms said is, had you carried on doing that you’d have hundreds of thousands if not more followers now in the area that you were talking about then and I didn’t because I wasn’t consistent.
That was a massive learning for me as well.
Harms: That leads us onto the idea of online business, what we’re really here now to almost extract from Kyle which is interesting because back then there wasn’t really an understanding of online business because nobody had seen the start, middle and end.
Let’s take YouTube and somebody who is starting as users or as potential people wanting to create a business on YouTube, we had not seen the start, the middle and the end.
What did it mean for the end user?
How much money did they make?
What kind of business could they generate from YouTube?
I think that’s what stopped people from being consistent but I think that’s completely changed now.
Kyle, what is an online business?
Kyle: It’s a very boring answer, but it’s basically a business.
The online that we place in front of the word business doesn’t mean that much anymore. It previously did.
Ro was just talking about the development of the Internet and so I’m a little bit older than you Harms. I remember the dial up Internet when I couldn’t use the Internet if my mum were on the phone.
There were the innovators, early adopters, the lifespan of a new technology tends to follow a very similar pattern.
Where you have people jumping on it really early on, get very excited. Everybody is pooh-poohing it and saying it will never take-off.
The problem with the Internet in particular is in the early 2000’s we did have a massive crash due to people getting overly excited about the Internet.
Many businesses were selling the idea of the Internet and that’s what their stock prices, their funding and their fundraising was based on. It’s just the Internet and anything we do on this is going to work and that bubble quickly collapsed and we had the crash in 2000, 2001, around then.
The problem there was that people were focusing on online business.
They were focusing on Internet business.
It has the word Internet slapped on the front therefore it must be good. It is new and there’s no way this can fail, but they weren’t sound businesses underlying, we were ignoring actual business elements and just focusing on the online or the Internet.
I think we need to step back and whenever somebody comes to me and they want to start an online business I say okay, well, what’s the business?
That can stop people in the tracks because often they’ll talk to me about platforms like I want to use YouTube to do this and sell products on Amazon and again my question is, what’s the business?
What is the value you’re creating?
What additional value and worth are you putting onto the world that you’re going to be monetising, that you’re going to be turning into a product or service?
There is the shiny Penny syndrome as we tend to chase the newest platform.
The newest channel. The newest tool. Whether it’s tick-tock or Snapchat.
These are channels.
These are not businesses in and of themselves.
So in answer to the question, what’s an online business.
It is fundamentally a business first; we just happen to use online channels in order to promote in order to reach out to people.
Dr Ro: You’ve done a fantastic summary, there as I lived through the big.com bubble and then the bust and a lot of that was driven out of the USA as well.
The language that came from there was this huge surge of hype around it and I think that is also one of the things that created this cautionary approach to it after that happened.
People jumped on it and then jumped away from it and then, as with most things when there’s been a bit of a shock, people then stand on the side-lines and watch.
That’s very much what happened and I think what you’re saying here is spot on. It has to be still based on sound, logical business structure, approach and planning.
Off the back of that it is taken online.
What are some of the common misconceptions that people typically have when it comes to online business?
Because I hear them a lot when I’m out speaking on real estate.
What are some of the typical misconceptions?
Kyle: I think there’s roughly two types of misconceptions.
There are people who haven’t really started an online business or haven’t delved in and they will tend to get pulled in by misconceptions about getting rich quickly.
The fact that you can sit on the beach with a margarita and not ever have to work again, so ideas of passive income.
This is one category of misconceptions and then the other category is people who have tried online playing around, spent some money and it did not work for them so they come from the other end of saying online never works.
There are different sets of assumptions and misconceptions assigned to both of those parties.
Dr Ro: We hear about people selling on Amazon and other people trying to get a massive number of followers and there’s just so much information out there.
Kyle: Selling on Amazon, so fulfilled by Amazon to use a very specific example, FBA it’s.
FBA is a technique. It is a tool; it is not in and of itself a business.
So for those who aren’t in the know fulfilled by Amazon is basically I will find certain product categories I want to sell. I will either buy them from a manufacturer and then ship them to Amazon and then Amazon’s going to sell them on.
Or I might not even do that. I might just be setting up a general sourcing list, so I’m not buying any inventory, but I’m just reserving items which when they are purchased are sent to Amazon and sent out people, so I act as middlemen there.
People rely too much on the tool and the technology there without thinking about what the actual business is, what products am I going to source?
How am I going to brand them?
How am I going to build up an audience following the people interested in this product?
They think they can just set up the Amazon system and that’s it, they’ll be able to retire onto a beach and that’s not the case.
Dr Ro: Terms like search engine optimisation, Facebook ads that type of thing people tend to throw into a conversation without realising these are all separate elements of the process of building the business correct?
Kyle: Correct, just like in business there’s a lot of jargon, a lot terminology.
There are a lot of tools you can use, a lot of different techniques. That’s exactly the same with online business; it’s just a more specialised subset.
Whether it’s SEO that is search engine optimisation, also known as getting to the top of Google, whether it’s running Facebook ads.
Whether it’s display ads. Whether it’s building a following on YouTube again, these are all tools and techniques but by themselves they don’t mean anything.
They don’t do anything without again and sorry to be boring here, but without that framework of having a coherent business plan first.
Harms: In the world that we’ve also helped educate people in real estate or property investing.
What we find is if somebody comes to us and they’ve done a bad property deal in the past, then property as a subject and the vehicle in terms of property as a wealth creating vehicle no longer works for anybody.
Harms: For the listeners at home here’s a revealing of the secret that myself and Kyle are also business partners on this topic, which is online business.
We’ve got an agency and we also have lots of mechanisms of teaching this subject as you’ve heard from Kyle as well; he is extremely passionate and also can dissect this complicated subject and share with people.
The BBO Show is essentially busting myths and talking to people on the subject of online business digital marketing, it’s something we both do on a show which is similar to the Growth Tribes podcast, but slightly different.
Question number one is, why did we start the show and what is the show?
Kyle: We are already starting to throw around acronyms and jargon you’ve heard FBA, SEO we’ve been talking about and it’s hard not to discuss them in the context of online business and digital marketing.
The problem is digital marketing and online business can become mistimed, it becomes very obscure and very magic almost from the outside.
We decided to set up the BBO show, which is the building businesses online show in order to start to cut through some of the nonsense out there to shine a light on some of the darker and more obscure issues.
To give a pathway into online business and digital marketing by dealing with one topic at a time, we’re not trying to give you every single option for every single thing you could possibly do because it’s a massive subject online business is again business, you need to know about business and then you need to know the online tools as well.
So that’s a lot to learn, so each week Harms and I will sit down with a topic and we will go into a deep dive and we are doing daily shows every single day at midday.
We will sit down and initially we planned to do 20-minute podcasts that did not happen. It turned into at least an hour each and every day.
We shoot live videos on YouTube and then that will go on to Facebook and to a blog and various different other platforms.
For example, this week we’ve been talking about if you are an expert or you have expertise or knowledge or skills in a certain subject area and I know there’s a lot of experts right now who are either furloughed or they are not working as much as they used to.
This is a great time to jump in on this, we’re teaching experts how they can package up their knowledge, skills and expertise into products and services which can be sold online.
Again, this is just our way of demystifying certain topics, giving people a clear pathway and helping them to set up their first of many online businesses.
Dr Ro: I love what you’re doing and I know you only started not so long back helping out, giving people support.
If you are listening I think that’s a great addition to what we’re doing here.
This is almost opening the door on that, I’m not involved in it, but I’m saying jump on and take the time to have a listen.
I get the privilege of having private conversations with these two on a regular basis and they’ve got huge amounts of knowledge on the subject and are slowly unpackaging that online, which is great.
Kyle: We did actually start it because of Corona.
We realised there’s a lot of people sitting at home who, yes, might still be working, but they’re not at their full potential and not working as much as they normally do.
So that’s a bit of time to create, to think and build something to build a business online.
Yes to give people some to work on, but also after this crisis after these jobs are going through now, if you can come out of this having built something, having created a product or service or an online business.
I think you’re going to be in an extremely strong position, moving forward.
Harms: What are the benefits that maybe you’ve experienced?
There are going to be some general benefits of course, for online business.
But what have you personally experienced when your online business started to generate revenue for you?
Kyle: I think for me personally, based on my values it is freedom.
The ability to create value into the world and for that to generate income over time without me having to oversee it every single day.
I did briefly talk about the trip through Asia.
That’s when I first realised the freedom that an online business can provide, so for me freedom is number one value.
Harms: That’s going to be different for different people.
How does that actually work online, what is the benefit of an online business talking around that specific point.
Kyle: A very concrete example. I looked at my phone in the morning and I made £98 overnight while I was sleeping.
Because most of my customers are in the US for one of my particular businesses and I get little notifications each morning saying, you’ve sold this amount of product and you made this much money.
I literally make money whilst sleeping, which for somebody who is in the paradigm of exchanging our time for money.
This is quite an exciting idea that you can generate income, generate cash even when you’re sleeping or lying on a beach.
The way this happens with online business is you create a unit of value whether that is an e-book, a course, resources, membership site. You create a unit of value and that lives online and because it’s living online, because the Internet is open 24 seven people can purchase it at any time, without you having to be physically there to transact with them in any way.
It is very different to running a physical business where you have to answer the phone or you need to be in your shop in order to make a sale, it’s very liberating in that sense.
Harms: Do you think some listening at home the average salary in the UK at this time is anywhere between 25 depending on where you live in the country, anywhere between £25,000 per annum to about £29-£30,000 per annum.
That’s typically the average salary in the UK. Do you believe it’s possible for listeners at home so they’re aware of the income potential online and many people will already know Jeff Besos’s and the other online entrepreneurs of this world are making incredible amounts of money.
But for the everyday person is it possible to surpass the average salary in the UK or supplement it?
It requires you to, and again I’m going to hark back to this.
It requires you to create something of value, though, and to have the structures of the business in order to do that. But yes, absolutely.
You can use the tools of online business to generate that amount of money.
Dr Ro:Kyle I am listening to this as a 54-year-old.
Our Growth Tribes listeners range dramatically from early teens right through to people in their 50s and 60s, for someone listening to this who’s older.
Maybe they’ve been in business for a long time, very traditional and have a lot of experience and knowledge in certain areas, may have had ideas possibly wanted to write a book or digitise something.
There are still massive benefits, it might be that they’re nervous about making the transition but they can’t and shouldn’t make the assumption that this is only for the younger generation to take on.
Can you just talk into that space as I do hear that a lot, and it’s almost like, you don’t understand I’ve missed the opportunity to go online with my business or my ideas, my product.
Which I think is bullshit personally, but could you talk from your perspective as a logical approach to this.
Kyle: If we are coming at online business from the point of view of it being a set of tools and techniques or shiny pennies as you referred to earlier.
Then, it is about speed, excitement. It seems like a young man’s game, or young woman’s game, however, that is the wrong way to come at online business, it’s about value.
It’s about having something of value that you can sell to a market so somebody who has years and years and years of experience, naturally, has more value that they can package up.
Whether that’s into a book, or some kind of online learning course, online coaching, membership site.
People who have that level of experience, they naturally have an even more valuable product or service to offer the market, people will want to access that value that they have.
Harms: This is an assumption young people may grasp the tools quicker because maybe they’re using the technology more frequently.
But what we lack in the experience the elder generation has built over time, so they’ve essentially got something very powerful to share, which is wisdom and knowledge.
Maybe they’ve seen so many different market cycles that they can identify an amazing product, identify an amazing service which they feel has been missing from the marketplace.
I think there’s massive pros because what Kyle I believe says is, the tools and techniques can be learnt, but it’s very hard to learn, experience some of the expertise which is within the humans on this planet.
Kyle: The tools and techniques are always changing as well, so even once you’ve learnt one there’s going to be a new one next year, so it is the fundamentals and that experience and the value you can bring to the market that is always going to win.
Dr Ro: If someone is wanting to explore at this stage starting an online business what advice can you give them, bearing in mind how many you set up over the years. As we listen through this next part of the podcast hopefully, you’ll get some nuggets that you can start to implement.
Kyle: The first form of online business we often recommend people to start up is something based on their own expertise, based on their own professional abilities and skills.
Basically unlocking all of that knowledge they have in them and turning that into some kind of information product. We could start straight away with e-commerce, so that is selling generally, physical items.
I would argue that’s more of an intermediate, advanced type of online business, whereas just unlocking the value that you already have, especially if you are an older listener and you have all of that value in you.
That’s going to be an easier route to market.
There’s a couple of technical reasons why basically selling information and selling digital products means that you have zero overheads and therefore the profit margins are extremely high.
We tend to see 80 to 90% profit margins on information-based digital products, whereas if you are selling physical products it’s going to be a much lower profit margin.
Which means there’s less margin for error as well and it’s easier to go bust.
My Chinese business helping people learn to read and write in Chinese it started as me selling these large format posters. They were zero the paper, which is a very big size.
They were rolled up. I had a few thousand of them printed in a factory in China and put into tubes and sent around the world.
Potentially the worst possible physical product to send as it’s very long. It could easily bend. It was quite fragile and it was very heavy because of the size of the paper and so I would sell one of these for $30 and $20-$25 would immediately disappear in shipping if it was damaged or returned.
It was a dreadful business from a business point of view.
All I did was pivot and change the physical posters into a digital version so I would sell the PDF files so you could go and print them at a local print shop and I would give instructions about how to do that.
That’s an example of going from a physical product to a digital product and the profit margins went from 10% or even negative profit to 80 or 90% overnight.
I always recommend people start with something digital, so text, audio, video which can be delivered online, rather than a physical book or as you mentioned earlier physical CDs.
The traditional urge or how people scratch that itch will be to write a book but writing a book is a big task.
I believe most people have a book in them but actually sitting down and getting that on paper is tough. While writing an e-books fantastic. It’s a great way to start generating revenue online.
It’s also too much of an ask to just tell someone to write a book, because that’s a lot of work. That is the traditional route, it’s not something I particularly recommend, my favourite format for creating, for putting knowledge and information out into the world is video.
Simply because it is fast. It’s considered high value, so people will actually pay more for a video than they will for an e-book, even though it takes you less time and less money and less effort to create.
It has a higher perceived value than the written word nowadays and it’s also just the most engaging format online.
It’s much easier to keep somebody’s attention using video than it is with a text-based e-book.
Harms: Another final point which is worth mentioning regarding video, that kind of media has the greatest density.
If you look at a video compared to a book what you have within a video is a video file, audio file and a text file. If you compare that to just a book at this stage anyway you just have a text file.
The density and the power in which you can use that single piece of media multiple times changes drastically.
Myself and Kyle are always for video first.
Kyle: To clarify on the information density when Harms says the video file has video, audio, and text.
The reason for that is that we can re-purpose the content, if we start off a video file with me talking and delivering information, delivering expertise, then we have a video file that has an image on it.
That’s one asset, then we can strip away the video and then we are left with the audio file, that audio file can become a podcast, it can become an audiobook, an audio product of some kind, just without the image attached to it.
Then we can also take the audio file and we can have it transcribed.
This can be done by computers or by human beings and we can have it transcribed into text, so we’ve gone all the way from video me talking to a camera to audio only, so removing the camera portion and then taking the audio file and removing the text content from it by transcribing.
Video is just a lot more information dense than any other format.
Dr Ro: For anybody listening the team have worked avidly in the background and the term re-purposes, giving it under another purpose, so we see it in blogs.
Now this content emerging has written documents, articles, audios to everything that you are describing is what you’ve been doing with my particular brand.
Harms: One of the challenges that somebody may face at this point in time is how do I make money from this?
What we teach is a system called BATON.
Can you explain to the listeners what that is and how that helps somebody build an online business, whether it’s an expert business, whether they’ve got a product or an idea.
Because creating this system for an expert is great and I recommend they start doing that.
BATON is a framework that we created.
Kyle: We use it with our own businesses, client businesses and we also teach it on the BBO show and soon a series of e-books.
In order that stands for business, audience, tribe, offer and network you’ll notice that it starts with business and online business is just business.
We need to start with that business foundation before we worry about what tools and techniques were going to be using.
We need to work out what our value add is, what product and services we’re going to be creating and who the market is. We need product market fit before we start worrying about any of the technical issues that has to be done first.
We teach a variety of ways to make sure there is a market there are ways to verify this.
Thankfully, there’s a lot of information online so we can get this information very easily.
That’s business, making sure there is a market for the product that we are going to create. The next stage in the framework is the audience, that is when we start to tell the world about what it is that we have and what our value is.
We put it out into the world at this point entirely for free.
The reason for this is the Internet is an extremely busy place, and if you just try to sell to somebody immediately it doesn’t work.
There’s tens of thousands of new websites appearing every single day and the number of Twitter messages and Facebook messages is in the hundreds of millions.
It’s just a very noisy environment, and the only way we can start to cut through that is by providing value for free using social media using blogs using podcasts various different outlets in order to start getting our message heard.
Harms: This area audience we have to spend a lot of time with clients on because the urge is to go directly and start to sell. Say you’ve got a new idea.
The first interaction typically is to sell it to the marketplace immediately.
Now what we’re saying is look, don’t sell it to the marketplace immediately first create an audience, attract an audience’s attention around your idea, your topic and the technique Kyle is mentioning is to start to produce free valuable information and content in order to attract audience attention in order to cut through the noise out there.
Dr Ro: I struggled with this if you remember at the beginning because coming from a traditional background, the older generation.
I’m just used to here’s product go sell it.
So it’s straight to the customer, put it in their hands, let them feel it, touch it and get an experience of it. Knowing there’s massive value in it we got an exchange of services money for value.
But when I was being naïve and for anyone listening, I had to step back and understand this process because a lot of the sales that I was making up until then are with customers that I’d built relationships with over years.
It was only by reflecting on what Kyle and Harms were telling me, looking into new markets and expanding that means new customers and these customers don’t know you.
The whole concept that they’re describing here is you’re building this funnel to bring customers in and you’re looking for a lifetime value of a customer, not just an initial sale.
It was about building up the trust, points of contact with them, how many points of value are they getting before they’re ready to buy and don’t go selling them a big product first, sell something slightly cheap or even free to start with, so they start to realise that you’re not going anywhere.
You’re staying in the game, you got lots of value and that means you’re going to have to allow this incubation period to occur and for me once I got over that I was fine.
But if anyone is listening to this and you’re ready to get going it’s not going to happen like that.
This is where the get rich quick scheme thing kicks in where people go okay, I’m going to find someone that can get me value and sales straight away.
You might get a few sales but you won’t get longevity of customers.
You certainly won’t build up a big customer base.
That’s my understanding of being around this now for a few years.
Kyle: You can jump straight to sales, it’s just going to cost a lot per sale right.
If you are Nike or Coca-Cola you have the cash to push forward on that front.
It would be millions to get out to the people and that works, but we’re talking about starting from scratch and people don’t know who we are.
We’re putting new value into the world, reaching new audience members as you just mentioned.
For anybody thinking this sounds like a lot of work.
The flipside here is that you can take this global depending on your product. Depending on your market, but it can be a lot wider and a lot larger than any traditional market you were working with before.
If previously you were running a shop and you were serving your local area.
Suddenly if you go online and you manage to build up this goodwill and this awareness of what you do, then you can be selling nationwide or potentially even globally, there are more customers online.
But because of the sheer volume of information online, we need to provide this free value or this low-cost value upfront in order to build this trust, in order to build up goodwill before we get to the sale.
Harms: Let’s assume that somebody has now attracted an audience’s attention, they put some great value out there, they started to cut through some of the noise and also differentiated themselves from people just selling.
What’s the next stage of the BATON system?
Kyle: We’ve business and the audience we are moving on to tribe.
Now we are borrowing the concept of tribe from a guy called Seth Godin, who is a master marketer. The basic idea of the tribe is a group of people who surround you as the expert, you as the knowledgeable person around a particular idea.
We’re starting to draw in the people who really care about what it is we do. In the audience section, we might be talking to a million people.
We might be talking to 50 million people; the vast majority of those people are not going to care about what it is we do or not going to care enough for us to worry about escalating them and bringing them towards a sale and that’s fine.
Because the Internet is an extremely large place and we can talk to millions or hundreds of millions of people, relatively simply.
The tribe is the smaller group of 1,000, 2,000, 10,000, 50,000 however many people who have opted in and said to us in some way okay, I am interested in what you do. I want to hear more. Tell me more. Give me more, so we start to escalate people.
We start to build more and more trust and goodwill as we start to go towards the sale.
What we do in the tribe stage is a little bit different to the audience stage, it becomes more personalised.
It becomes a higher touch, higher access to you as the expert in you and your brand and then from the tribe are going to be moving into the next stage, which is offer.
Harms: I just want to shift the question over to Ro here, which is one of the challenges I know myself and Kyle faced when we teach this concept to people is the online world has what I can describe as rejection on steroids.
Because what Kyle has said there is when we are sifting, when we are sorting people who don’t care about us to people who do care about us.
There’s a lot of people online who just don’t care about you. They may rudely comment and that’s the reality of online.
Do you have any advice for people who maybe want to start this and one of the challenges they will have is dealing with the fact that, and one of the things we teach is go for an audience size of 10,000 first.
Let’s get that audience size down to even as small as a thousand, we get a thousand people who really care about us, then we are in a winning successful place.
But that means there will be the rest who don’t like you, don’t care about you.
Kyle: They don’t actively dislike you.
It’s just that most people don’t care.
You’re not showing up on the radar.
Or they’re going to see you but they have other things they are doing and there’s going to be a small minority who do react negatively, but the vast majority is going to be just not interested.
Harms: From a psychological point say I am excited.
I’m putting out my free content and have been doing this for months and nobody cares, it’s just dealing with that.
Because Ro you mentioned the word consistency and one thing that you have to battle through is this.
Dr Ro: I’m reading a book on trading at the moment and the book is focused on psychology and it talks about it doesn’t matter how many technical tools you have, how many strategies, indicators.
People try to expand their knowledge to have so many tools and can fail, but the market does what the market wants to do.
The main challenge people have is their fear of failure, the fear of loss.
The fear of rejection in business, but in the stock market it’s being rejected by the stock market. You can translate that across every business.
My experience has been as a professional speaker, but also now going online for several years is that you do get comments we get on Facebook, we get people making snide comments. You get these Internet trolls that will troll around and look for stuff and make a comment on what you’re saying.
If you talk to a thousand people there is statistically going to be a percentage of people that are indifferent, there will be another percentage of people sitting there on their phones because you’re in front of them as an audience, but they’re trying to pick up on something that is happening at home.
Translate that to the world out there where people are on their phones in the cars on a train station waiting for a train, sat at home, in the lounge at work and you’re popping up there with your content, be it free for example, to start with.
They might watch it for a couple of minutes and duck out. They might watch it for 10 minutes and they’re going to comment if they like it, great. If they don’t, great.
One thing I learned years ago from Dr Wayne Dyer is if you’re standing in front of an audience if there are people in the audience that really dislike you, great that’s their problem.
If there are people in the audience that really like you, great that’s their problem.
You just have to accept that we are in the business of sharing and not everybody relates to your subject, to your tonality to your personality ,to your nature, to your look, to the feel of you as a person and that’s why business is what it is around the world.
Some businesses thrive because of one individual.
Other businesses thrive because although the individual running the business isn’t particularly likeable the product is amazing.
I guess your skill is to develop an approach to first of all be resilient to the rejection, accept it is a part of doing business and allow yourself to just get the message out there.
As you said, already Harms works on the basis of statistics. I’ve asked the question before in the team who looks after my social media accounts. I can see it growing, I can see the number of followers growing.
Occasionally I notice it has flattened off a bit and then it suddenly goes up again and they’ll say it is just the nature of how it is.
Don’t get worried about it road Ro, just keep doing what you’re doing and if enough people start to share it there is a trigger effect.
There’s this tipping point where more and more people are sharing your product or service your value out there.
The main thing I would say is just get over yourself.
Harms: Ultimately we’re trying to get rid of the people who don’t care and we want the people we narrow down those people who do care about what we’re talking about.
We’re going from that million people in the audience section to 1,000 people, we’re asking people to opt in or to self-select in some way.
The point is that they are coming to the smaller, safer space where you are able to communicate with them more freely to offer more value whether that’s product, services and to escalate them to sale.
If you were just to take that sale to a million people one it’s going to cost a lot of money to do as you’d have to advertise and two you’re going to get even more angry rejection.
So we’re just filtering out the people who don’t care, and the people who are negative towards us and focusing on the people who do care and are interested in what we do and it makes selling extremely easy at this point.
We are moving into sales when we move into offer.
One of the most powerful tools in online business and off-line business arguably is the sales funnel.
It’s the ability to escalate people from a low-cost product to medium cost to a core product to a premium offer and this is much easier to do online because we have so much information about what people have purchased.
We can see purchase histories for example, and we can use that to tailor our marketing to almost on an individual basis to escalate people up this value chain.
It’s important to start with low-cost offers, because again online is very busy and we need to win that trust.
We’ve been winning the trust using free content both in the audience section and in tribe, but now when we are asking people to open their wallet for the first time for a £5 checklist or resource pack.
This is where we really need to over deliver and get people on board with paying for goods.
In terms of what we’re offering there are so many different things we talked about e-books previously.
This is the kind of thing we cover in the BBO show because really there are countless types of different products it could be physical, it could be service based, it could be digital products.
We personally prefer to work with digital products because as I said, the profit margins are huge, delivery logistics is extremely simple.
There is no warehousing, no inventory, no shipping, no fulfilment, nothing like that it is just people decide to purchase and they receive that good.
We tend to suggest you start here with offers, but you could start to integrate in Amazon sales or physical goods, or your consultancy work for example depending on what your business model is.
But this is where we start to make the sale in offer after we’ve built up all of this goodwill and trust in ourselves and our brand.
Dr Ro: One of the challenges in my mind was what am I offering because I had such a broad offering of tools and a lot of my stuff ranges from audio products through to e-book/video content, and it’s knowing what to position first.
Are there any guidelines there because I’m sure if anyone is listening whose in the younger generation you might be thinking, well, what could I offer whereas you might be listening to this 40, 45, 50.
You’ve been in your professional business for a while you’re thinking I’ve got loads of stuff where do I start?
Are there any pointers on that to simplify narrow down so that we’re not too much of a jack of all trades right up front.
Kyle: We actually set this up in the business section of BATON early on.
Where we’re deciding what is the value we’re going to be providing so generally and this is a bit of a blanket statement, but generally with the business we are trying to solve somebody’s problem.
Maybe they want to lose weight. Maybe they want to earn more money, they will have a problem and as a business we can help them to solve that problem. If it is an expert business for example, we use our expertise to guide people through their particular problem through e-books, courses through consulting sessions, et cetera.
If we are selling them products and the product will also solve that problem.
In the business section in BATON we really drill down and define what that problem is and how it is we’re going to solve that problem for this group of people, for this market.
This should be the core, the spine of the content we are putting out in the audience section. The content we’re putting out in the tribe section and then the offer is going to be a logical extension of that, the products we sell are going to be a logical extension of okay, how do you solve this problem.
As long as you have that question answered in the business section of our framework its’ relatively simple to work out what the products are.
Harms: Let’s use a live example and an experience that the listeners are going through right now, so let’s put this into the context of BATON.
The business model here is we’re providing a home of personal development, information, we’re solving problems around topics that people face whether its health, wealth, relationships, happiness, purpose.
All of these elements that people are facing out in the world and the approach we’re taking is we’re taking somebody younger and somebody from an older generation.
So two different generations of voices talk into that space, because we have two different viewpoints, and by doing that we can talk to two different audiences that both understand us.
Ro has some incredible experiences that I don’t, but I’ve got a different viewpoint of the world that he may have grown up in.
So that’s the business model that we are operating in now, what’s one of our mechanisms in order to attract an audience’s attention?
Actually the podcast you’re listening to is that. It’s highly valuable. It’s actionable. It is easily digestible and has very low overheads once it’s produced.
Yes, it takes us time to research and talk about the preparation and actually host a podcast, but once it’s out into the world it does not cost us money every time somebody listens to the podcast. It’s very powerful.
Now the next stage from this would be our first offering, so this is when a listener may say, we trust you, we like you. I want to delve deeper into that episode that you spoke about on time management or I want to delve deep on the episode he spoke about purpose.
To help solve that problem and to serve you as a customer, we have the next level on our online business value ladder as such, which is a digital course which is maybe a six-part, five-part, seven part video series which Dr Ro has put together to help guide you through that program.
Now that’s the first element you can purchase one individual program.
The next level form that is purchasing all of the programs as part of a subscription service, that subscription service is £27 a month and you will have access to the Growth Tribes vault and this vault is everything from purpose, time management, values, making money, real estate.
Understanding how to communicate impacts everything.
Everything you need in your own life to just become a better person and to solve some of the challenges you may face right now. That’s the space to be and what comes alongside that is a private Facebook group with like-minded people, so hopefully that makes sense to the listener.
If you’re thinking I’ve got some products and information I would like to share, think about you could even use a very similar model that we are using within the Growth Tribes ecosystem to help structure and develop your own product in that realm.
Kyle: That’s a purely digital ladder as well which we like.
I do want to jump in and talk about the fact that some people might be listening to this thinking why haven’t they talked about setting up a website or doing SEO.
The answer here is that there are so many technical aspects we could have talked about and we don’t want to talk about these on purpose.
We want to give you this framework that we’re working through now, the business, audience, tribe, offer, network so that you can start to think about what value and what business you can bring online.
Your structure may look like that or it may not. It’s going to depend entirely on what value you’re creating and which market you are serving.
So yes Harms that’s a classic online business structure just displayed, but that’s not necessarily going to be what’s going to work for everybody else.
Harms: One of the final advantages as part of the concept of having a digital product and leveraging the online world and creating a product online is something which is almost glaring us in the face with coronavirus, is that we can now move away and we can still make sales without an overreliance of face-to-face interaction.
If you can learn these tools that Kyle is talking about today you can then pivot into a direction where your business is hedged against anything like this again and it may not be the last time, we don’t know how long this is going to go on for.
There may be peaks and maybe times where we can the house or times we have to remain at home on an almost monthly basis.
We generally don’t know until it’s announced, so learning this early on will remove the overreliance of face-to-face.
What’s your opinion on that Ro because a lot of the revenue you generated a lot of the business you’ve done in terms of interventional coaching, speaking to audiences of 300, 1,000 people audiences and that’s all done face-to-face.
What’s your thoughts on that?
Dr Ro: I think it’s something that particularly the older generation are going to have to accept that we are old school and meeting somebody and being able to particularly in the world I am in is being close up and seeing them whilst I’m coaching, working with them, mentoring them, reading their face.
Getting a sense of what they do, but equally as Kyle experienced recently when he came on to the Growth Tribes with a coaching session.
The Internet gives us the ability now.
The biggest challenge is that people have this hang up, they’ll do a selfie on the phone, but they won’t go on the phone and allow themselves to be filmed or in front of a camera and do something for the Internet, for an online product they seem to struggle with that.
I think what this has done with Covid it has forced people into the realm of okay let me get in front of the camera.
I’m watching live presentations where people are either on zoom or Facebook presenting and it’s interesting as these people are sitting on the couch, chilled out, their faces have overgrown with hair.
The whole idea of it has to look perfect.
You have to look perfect and be perfect in this space. I think that’s changed as a result of this situation with Covid. I’m seeing some major celebrities that we’re used to seeing out there polished and doing some cracking stuff online now.
What I mean is that the barrier that was there before the psychological barrier about getting on doing something digitally, recording something or videoing something is slowly being stripped away.
I think it will open up people to the opportunity, but also to be receptive to saying I can create something, I can sit down with this microphone in front of me and talk in a certain way and this is where communicating with impact comes in.
Learning the structure of how to present how to get your message across clearly as Kyle has done today and at the same time knowing what amount of value to give, so that product is the appropriate product for that part of the funnel.
My challenge at the beginning Kyle was giving was too much value too soon, it was producing too much at an early stage and then we had to step back and say, hold on a minute some of this content is value content that should be sold at a higher price.
You’ve got to get over yourself and say, business is changing.
I can do stuff online, I can coach. I can talk to clients. I can interact. I can produce something and it might be that product I’m producing gives a certain value to a certain point, but you have to accept that, whereas my block was I need to make sure they can do this.
I need to make sure they can do this.
Kyle and Harms were saying to me, that’s correct, but you’ve got to look at what stage, if this is real business, they might have come into the shop five times to look at the garment before buying them.
They might have tried it on two times, they might have taken a picture, you might have helped them fit the garment and then they’ve gone away and on the sixth or seventh time decided to buy.
That is no different to this business, we’re giving them lots of free content, building up the value to a point when they’re ready to buy.
Kyle: That is exactly right.
I talked much earlier in the episode about how people tend to rush off and write a book or e-book.
People tend to want to over deliver or create something of massive value right up front, value is incredibly important. You should.
But that value needs to be consumable by the people who are tuning in for the first time.
We want the first touch points with audience members and even tribe members and even into our sales, we need them to be smaller goods or smaller content pieces which can be consumed and they are immediately actionable. If you deliver a full 300-page book to somebody as a freebie in exchange for their email what’s going to happen to that book?
It’s going to sit on the telephone or sit on their computer and it’s not going to get read.
We need something which allows people to access the value to consume that value and to then be drawn along to these more in-depth versions that you’ve been delivering.
Harms: The final element of the BATON system after we’ve offered what would that be Kyle?
Kyle: Once we’ve worked out a profitable not just revenue generating, but profitable structure based on business, audience, tribe and offer once we know we get people into that funnel, get people into the framework and generate a profit from it.
Then and only then will we start to scale up and that’s what N is, it stands for network. We talk about different ways you can scale whether that’s bringing more people into the funnel, more new people or selling more goods and more services to the same people within the funnel. They’re the two basic ways to scale up.
It’s really about the core question of who you’re helping and what you’re helping them to do. I find a really useful mental exercise to imagine you are meeting recent graduates and they want to become what you do.
They look up to you and they want to do what you do one day.
If you sat down with them for coffee for an hour and you outline step-by-step how they would do that, depending on what your expertise is depending on what your knowledge or skills are.
This is going to be a different discussion.
But how would you turn that one-hour coffee chat with a young bright-eyed graduate, how would you turn that into some form of product and service based on your expertise?
That is a really useful question for starting an initial online business. You can sell products etcetera off the back of that but first we need to work out what that value is you’re creating and this is a useful exercise for doing so.
Dr Ro: What I like about this whole BATON approach is that if you’re listening to this at the moment and you’ve already got a business idea in your head you should be able to start to drop some of those thoughts into these different components.
There are going to be gaps where you go. I’m not sure how to do that. I suspect Kyle for the average person listening to this, they’re probably fairly clear in their heads of what may be the front end of it.
The B but the rest of it is where the mystery comes in on knowing how to start integrating everything into that, would that be correct?
Is it the front-end people are more equipped to handle answers on that?
Kyle: I think a lot of people might believe they’ve nailed down the front end but under scrutiny or inspection often there are holes, ultimately that’s the part that needs to be nailed down.
The rest of it, getting your message out, getting people to care about your message and making sales.
That’s important and that’s yes where we do the mystical online stuff.
But if you haven’t nailed down the business part, your market, and your product it doesn’t matter how fancy your tools are, you won’t be able to build a business.
You really don’t know if a business idea is going to work until it makes contact with the customer for the first time.
Dr Ro: For anyone listening to this, you’ve got to be patient and as Kyle said already this is a process building a business.
If you’re starting any business, you still have to go through this process of planning.
Be mindful of this concept of jumping onto a get rich type model and applying a component of it or that tool, as we heard earlier on in the podcast where we talked about using Facebook marketing to attract more listeners, et cetera that is a tool in this whole process.
It is not the process, and I think that’s the distinction a lot of people might mistake.
They see something online and think great I’m going to get my business going and just apply that one tool, what you’ve got is a business model system here, of which one of those tools will fit into this system.
I think that’s very clear to me from listening to you today.
Kyle: If you think about it in the real world, the idea of a fiscal business.
If somebody came to you and wanted to set up a physical business, a traditional business and somebody came to you selling their services as let’s say, for example, a bookkeeper and I said okay, this is all you need your business is going to be a great success.
You’d think that is crazy. It’s just a bookkeeper, what’s my business.
I know no other components of what it is I’m going to be producing or selling or who I am going to be selling it to.
A bookkeeper is a tool, an extremely useful tool, but just a tool. It’s not the whole business.
We tend to mix up the process and tools in online business whereas we don’t do that in traditional business, we know the demarcation a lot more.
Harms: That actually bridges nicely to the second from last question, which we’ve spoken about creating a business and that’s going to take time, but once it’s created you’ve heard the potential that it can generate revenue again and again.
It can be generating revenue whilst you sleep from anywhere in the world, that’s an extremely powerful concept.
So Bearing in mind the current climate because people are being forced into change for safety reasons very quickly and one side is creating a business, it’s going to produce cash like a business, but we’ve a gift for people.
Right now people are working from home or they may have lost their job and they are at home, they’ve got access to Wi-Fi, a computer, and a laptop.
What are some ways that people can actually leverage online to generate cash?
Just to give you a warning listening home this is not a get rich quick scheme.
This is a legitimate way to generate cash online which won’t make you two, three, four, five, £6000 a month.
What they will do is bring you cash in when you need it the most. Kyle could you expand on this gift that we have got for people.
Kyle: I started to research all of the different ways you can make money online and they come under various names like work from home or remote work and I’ve pulled together this mega list of I believe now around 250 different options to make money online.
I filtered out a lot of the rubbish. There are many get rich quick schemes online.
There are a few different ways which will make money but are found to be ethically dubious, so I also removed them especially things like gambling.
Things that could be potentially dangerous if you have a tendency to fall into a gambling habit.
I removed them and what I was left with was around 250 different options categorised by having no particular skills, so anybody can do them.
Having the skill of the English language.
So that’s things like teaching English, transcription, or freelance writing, having professional skills and I’ve found ways for you to monetise various different professional skills online and finally having creative skills.
Again, different ways to monetise creative skills whether it’s music, drawing, design, graphics, there are different ways to make cash online using that.
Harms: These won’t be creating online businesses.
But what these will do is allow you to leverage the power of the online world and generate cash through businesses that already exist online and through various mechanisms. Some require your time.
Some require very little time and actually some can work passively.
Dr Ro: Are there any specific actions that you suggest that someone could take now who is interested in starting an online business and also do you have the final messages that you like to share with our listeners?
Kyle: I know this is a tricky time for people, but I’m hoping now that some of us have some extra time to create.
I’m hoping that we can come out of this with a different perspective on life.
Hopefully, more caring one towards one another, but also there are increasing arguments for not going back to the daily 9-5.
Whether that’s starting your own business or working from home and still retaining a job or starting an online business. There are different things you can be exploring during this time, which means when we do return to the everyday there can be adjustments that can be made.
I am optimistically hopeful about what can happen after this lockdown.
An online business I am biased it’s one pathway that you could explore, but I’m hoping even if this is of no interest to you that you are looking at different things, different methods and different ways to structure your life moving forward which allow you to spend more time at home with your kids doing what you like following passions.
I think that will be a really positive outcome of this whole really horrible situation.
Dr Ro: In terms of people’s wanting to start the business what things could they be doing now as actions?
Kyle: I think the first thing is working out what value it is you can offer to the world and what is it that you can create which can help people.
Rather than me giving you a list of technical things you should be looking into or skills you should be learning, the core is going to be that deep dive of what value can I create, what I can put out there that’s going to make the world better?
Which yes I will be turning into a product but it has to start from a place of value first.
Dr Ro: That’s great and I think that’s something that has come out a lot from the whole of this interview with you is if someone can understand what they’ve got inside them and start to think how that can be packaged up.
If you’ve been in business for five, 10, 20 years, you will know the typical questions, the typical challenges, and the things you had to solve.
So, reverse engineer that idea about what you would need to offer in terms of value to help people solve those problems.
Kyle: It’s going to be the same questions again and again and again, you’ve answered them dozens or hundreds of times, so creating a more permanent version of that answer, whether it’s a book, course it’s a very simple way to produce a product.
Dr Ro: Thank you so much on a personal level I am really glad we got you on today because it is definitely a subject people need to hear.
I think you’ve given us a nice level approach to this. You’ve given us an indication of what is achievable, but you haven’t over sold it.
You’ve made people realise that it is a practical approach that they can do in a logical way.
As long as they’re prepared to stay in the game and start creating value and thank you for your free offerings as well.
Kyle, much appreciated.
Harms: Thank you, thank you for having me.
Today you’ve heard from Kyle, someone in his 20s, who travelled from China to Nepal in the craziest way possible, whilst making more money from his online business.
So that’s one extreme of what is possible with an online business and Kyle has shared with us what an online business is, he’s busted some myths about it.
He shared with us a system called the BATON, a framework in which you can apply any online business which is amazing.
Also shared with us the research that he has done, which is a big list of 250 different ways to generate income online.
From myself and Ro thank you massively Kyle and to the listeners at home we will see you on the next episode.
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