How to Get Out of Obscurity as an Online Mom & Pop Style Business

I get asked this question a lot and at times even worded differently. By differently I may get asked “How do I make money online?” and I always answer that question with a question “That is very general. Do you have a passion or idea that you could put some time and effort into branding it and ultimately making money from it?”.

Usually I am looked at kind of dumb founded because they aren’t expecting that comment back. They are looking for the more cookie cutter answer everyone tries to give that they can do this or that, ultimately so that they can make money off that person by recommending those things. The reason why I always answer that question that way is; one I want to see if the person has the passion to want to make money online and two so that they can learn what others won’t share with them — is that no matter what I would tell you to do to make money online with, I can’t make you a success.

The same thing is with those that ask about if there is a way to get out of obscurity as an online mom and pop type of business. I first ask them how they interpret the mom and pop style. Why do I ask this? It is simple, times change and so do the concepts of business. What a mom and pop business use to be 60 years ago isn’t what it is 40 years ago or even two years ago. Why? because to be a success you must mold your business style/concept to that of what will drive you business and engagement with your audience.

So What is Classified a Mom & Pop Online Business?

Just like with anything interpretation will vary. I can say this to you that a mom and pop online business has a vast avenue of options. It could be an ecommerce store to a coaching program, to even a blog.

You see the one thing that has never changed with this concept and has been consistent is the purpose behind the mom and pop style. That style of being there for the audience, customers, people who find them to be a big benefit before any high end dollar. The mom and pop concept never got beat out by the bigger companies, they just got more creative to sticking around and doing business in some way. The issue I have found though is that everyone is out there to gear their attention towards those desperate to pay a bill so they need to make money online to your single and or stay at home parent. The key is to seeing the bigger picture. The desperation for money with both these parties isn’t a problem, seriously it isn’t the problem. What it is, is an obstacle. Once You are past that obstacle, now what do you do or what do you need to do?

That person who is desperate to pay that bill could benefit from you showing them how to make the quick cash to do so, but they would benefit more if you showed them how to turn it into a profitable business. That stay at home parent that is looking to make money blogging, you could do more for them by showing them how to turn that into a business along with creating their own products from it. These are just two examples of the type of people that represent the mom and pop style of business now, especially online. It is also showing how the bigger picture could be looked at to help them over the mis-perceived problem that is actually an obstacle, to showing them what to do next after they get over the road block in their life.

So How Does a Mom & Pop Online Business Get Out of Obscurity?

I am so glad you asked and are wondering. There are five things they can do. Sure there are more, but if you do anyone of them these are the five that I highly recommend. Why do I highly recommend them? It is because I do them myself and I don’t recommend anything I don’t do or haven’t tried personally.

#1 Forget about the competition.

I don’t care if you have five people that are your competition or 20 or thousands. The competition doesn’t matter, it doesn’t define you, and it doesn’t determine your success.

But if there is competition then that means I will have a harder time finding success and making money. WRONG! I hate that people push this myth towards new comers and those that are passionate about making a commitment to doing business online.

If there is only one thing you remember about competition, remember this: “Competition is the free tool there for you to utilize as a motivational tool to make you better. It has no power over your success, your potential profits, nor your audience from engaging with you. Beyond that it is nothing of importance to you and don’t let others pressure you into feeling and or thinking other wise.”

#2 Your Brand is Your Business Name

I truly wish people would stop thinking that their business name, logo, and all that other stuff is their brand. Those that think this way are limiting themselves from their true success. It isn’t that “competition” doing it, it’s You.

All that stuff is just filler. Your brand is You. It doesn’t matter if you want to stay in the shadows or run a business creating crochet items or how to car videos, the brand is still you. People want to engage with the person behind the scenes before they even think about engaging with the product, service, or video.

Think about it reviews on kindle books or eBay products aren’t truly reviews strictly on the product. If you look at that feedback sometime it is always talking about the author or the seller. Now do you see where the book title or the eBay store name is just filler? It always comes back to the physical person behind the business.

So when you go to implement branding and marketing, stop and take the time to seriously think about how much more productive it would be to just brand you right out of the gate and utilize the business name and logo as a marketing visual tool for the brand you.

#3 Create Your Social Media Accounts After Your Branding & Business Ideas are done

I can’t believe people are still following this old taught concept. Why waste all that valuable time waiting, when you could have spent it building up your audience and getting one step closer to being out of obscurity.

There are four social media accounts I recommend, five total if you plan on doing videos in any form.

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Pinterest (Even if you don’t think your business could benefit from it. Everyone can benefit from an infograph or inspirational image don’t short change yourself with the audience on this platform.)
  4. Instagram
  5. Youtube (This is for those who plan on doing videos in any form).

All other options like; snapchat, periscope, blab, etc. are ones that you want to use while they have the traffic to them that will benefit you. You need to make sure that if popularity dies down that you can drop the social media tool without issues. If you feel that you wouldn’t be able too, then don’t even use it.

#4 Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out to Others

So many people feel like they have no grounds reaching out to someone popular in their niche. You are wrong. Most of these people will point you towards some useful information or even give you some first hand tips personally to you.

Don’t take this little tool of reaching out to others in your niche or others online that inspire you for granted. This can be one of your greatest assets to learning and growing towards building a strong success path for yourself.

#5 I Have An Audience Now, I’m Out of Obscurity

I’ve heard a few people say this and they’ve been so far from the truth on the matter. Still though they end up changing up their marketing and engagement approach.

Keep your marketing and engagement to a 90/10 approach. I know most tell you 80/20, this is what you drop to though when you are truly out of obscurity. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For those that don’t know this is the percentage of value to self promotion.

So you want to give 90% value to your audience and only do 10% self promotion. For example if you post five times a day on Twitter, four of those posts would be value and one of them would be a self promotion. Your value can also be made up of engagement anything from: retweeting, to sharing, to liking, etc.

So when am I out of obscurity?

You are never out of obscurity until people are coming to you on their own and not from something that you posted or wrote about. These are people that heard about you through the grapevine or randomly came across something of yours. These types of people that help you to gauge how well you are doing while trying to expand out of obscurity when they approach you on their own.

I truly believe that you are never out of obscurity. The moment that you have tons of people coming to you on their own and feel that you have finally made it, will backfire on you. It is this same moment that you come to a stand still in your journey and allowing others that are building themselves out of obscurity to walk past you. Now again competition isn’t the issue, you are the issue. If you allow yourself to stop fighting to get out of obscurity even when you may no longer be in it, you have also said okay I am fine with this level of success and I don’t need to keep improving or growing anymore. Instead you should always be fighting to get out of obscurity even when you don’t need to, by doing this you are setting your future up for growth and improvement so that you can continue to generate that success that you desire.

Want to learn more about how to get out of obscurity as an online mom & pop business (yes even you internet marketers fall within this area if you stride to help others before padding your bottom line)?

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To Your Success,

JK Wardell 
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