Do you have an idea for a side hustle that you would like to start?
If you’re like me you probably have tons of ideas for starting an online business on the side but the problem is going from an idea to getting that business off the ground and making you money is a totally different ballgame.
However, there is a way to do it much faster than all the make-money online gurus won’t tell you and that is to get started on an existing platform to sell your product or service.
Now before you get all wishy-washy with me hear me out.
I do this for several reasons which I’m going explain in this article today. So if you are looking at starting your own website to sell a product or service because all the guru’s say so, you may want to rethink that option after you read this article.
Also make sure you read the entire article from beginning to end, their is some really important stuff at the end and if you just skim the article you may miss a few of the vital points I have in this article.
So which is better, starting a website or using an existing platform to market and sell your own product?
Read on to see what I prefer.
#1 Allows You To Test The Market Faster
Over the last several years I’ve been in multiple make money online courses that show you how to start an online business. Of those courses each and everyone of them started in almost the same exact way.
They tell you to build a website first, create content also known as blog post, and build a loyal audience. Now I’m not discrediting that this doesn’t work because it does but rather what I’m say is that going that route takes so long to do.
In fact the internet is littered with hundreds if not thousands of websites that have failed to get off the ground. I know because I own several of these myself.
However by going to an existing platform that already sells what you want to sell it allows you to test the market before you create a website and see if what you want to do actually works.
#2 Don’t Have To Deal With All The Technical Stuff
Next when you go with an existing platform up front it allows to bypass a lot of the technical stuff. Now I’m not going to lie to you and say their won’t be any technical stuff because their will be some.
Setting things up like email autoresponders, sales funnels, sales pages, and even a website can be a huge challenge if you’ve never done this sort of thing before.
I remember when I set up my first site way back in 2008 and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to upload plugins, set up themes, in fact I could barely write and publish an article.
Thankfully I had a brother who could help me out with those things but for those of you who don’t have a brother or friend to help you out it can get a little overwhelming and this is yet another reason why I do not suggest you start out building a website to sell your product, at least at first.
#3 Allows You To Make Money Faster
What I also like about going to an existing platform is that it allows me to make money a lot faster. Now I’m not advocating that this is get rich quick or something like that because it’s not.
The whole goal of starting a side hustle to find something that works and do more that. With most of the make money online courses out there they want you to spend 3 to 6 month creating this beautiful website before you create one product and I just don’t agree with this line of thinking.
What’s great though is their are enough platforms literally anybody can start their side hustle and be earning income in the next 30 to 60 days.
Now one of the arguments against this is that when you are using someone else’s platform you will only get a portion of the sales which is true.
However I would rather give up a little bit of the profits to prove that idea works so I don’t have to spend 6 months creating a website and a product that does not work.
#4 You Don’t Have To Buy A Whole Bunch Of Fancy Tools
By going with an existing platform you also do not have to buy a whole bunch of fancy tools to get up and running either. To start you won’t have to buy a hosting account or domain name which will save you money in the beginning.
However you’ll also be able to side step buying other more expensive tools such as an email provider, course-ware if you are running an online course, or other higher expensive tools such as Lead Pages.
Side Note: If you don’t know what any of these tools are don’t worry about it. At this point if you are just starting out these things are not that important.
Now this doesn’t mean you won’t need any tools, you’ll still need things like a computer and an internet connection to get started.
In fact I’m creating a my first course for Udemy a site that allows you to sell your course online and all I’m using is a computer, internet connection, Google Slides, S Recorder (a free screen recorder) and Windows Movie Maker which is also free.
Now, could I use better tools than this? Sure but at this point I want to show that you can get up and running without all the big tools.
#5 It Solves The Traffic Problem
Next, when you use an existing web platform it also solves the traffic problem in the beginning. When you start a brand new website you’re more than likely not going to be getting any traffic to that site.
In fact building traffic up to a new website can be a pain staking process. I know because I’ve done this several times.
When you go to an existing platform such as Udemy, Kindle, or Fiverr, you can side step the whole traffic problem because existing platforms already have people coming to them ready to buy.
One platform that does this really well is Amazon. In it’s basic form Amazon is a search engine for products except with one major difference. Everyone coming to Amazon is looking for something they want to buy with their credit card in hand.
That’s also why so many businesses partner with Amazons FBA program so they can sell their products in the Amazon market place. Now they can sell their product on there own website but it’s more than likely that they don’t get near the traffic Amazon does.
#6 People Will Trust You More
What’s also great about going to an existing platform is that it can be a lot easier to build trust with people. In order to get on a platform like Udemy, or Kindle your work has to be reviewed and approved.
On top of that their is a perceived brand association by putting your product or service on a third party website.
For example, if you write and ebook and sell it on Amazon you are perceived as an authority because your book is on the Kindle platform.
You may not have huge amounts of experience or be some big guru but by being on a platform like this that authority is passed along to you.
#7 It Helps Build Confidence
Finally, by getting your product or service out there quickly on a existing platform it helps you build confidence a lot faster. When it comes to selling a product or offering a service it always seems like it takes a while to get up and running.
That’s just the way it is, but when you go with an existing platform it allows you to speed up the process and get sales rolling in faster, and I will tell you their is no better confidence builder than making a few sales in your business.
I remember when I made some of the first sales and it seemed like once I made that initial sale a lot of my fears and self doubts went away very quickly.
What’s better is that I’ve found that a hand full of sales can motivate you over that next hurdle a lot faster and it seems as your sales grow things begin to move a lot faster.
That’s what builds momentum, and momentum is a great thing to have.
A Word Of Caution
As you can tell I strongly suggest using existing platforms when you’re first starting out, and creating a product or offering a service. However as much as I suggest using them in the beginning I don’t think they should be your long term strategy.
You see the tough part about starting a side hustle or an online business is figuring out what actually works and what doesn’t work. The goal of using an existing platform like Udemy or Fiverr is to find out what works and then move it over to your own platform.
For example, if you create a course on Udemy to help people find their dream job and it’s bringing in a lot of people think about moving it over to your own site and selling it there.
The benefit of this that you now have something that works and that you know will sell. Now you can build your website, set up a mailing list, and all the other technical stuff without wasting months of your time like you would have if you built your website first.
Finally, you may be wondering what kind of platform you should start marketing your business on. In my next article I’m going to list out several different platforms you can get started on. So be on the look out for that next week.
Thoughts? Share them in the comments below.