As an online influencer for ten years, I have seen a LOT of changes and the thing I love most is that the internet can turn an underdog into a hero. When I was an investment banker, you had to have big bucks to play in my ballpark. The playing field is leveling out. But let’s talk about what that really means. Is it even possible to start an online business with no money? If your funds are tight and you don’t want to miss the massive opportunities to earn online, then you can undoubtedly start an online business with no money. In fact, if you do nothing you will miss out on the most lucrative opportunities on the planet! You can’t lose if you follow simple steps to earn potential income that you might receive from some of the free tools available to all. I know, because much of my income online is generated organically. In other words, I am using those powerful tools out there to share products and services I know will bring value to the public. You can start today and here is how.

Success Online Requires THIS

It doesn’t matter if you are using free tools or paid, there is one major key to success online and in any business. Never chase the money. Most online entrepreneurs focus only on how they can make quick cash with something that is popular. This a major mistake. First of all, if you are only selling what is popular and you don’t have a budget, the big guys who spend big money on ads will always win. The biggest mistake, however, is that there is nothing authentic in that kind of business. Consumers care more and more about what they purchase and who they purchase it from. They know when someone is passionate about their product or service or pushing something to make a quick buck. Don’t fall into that trap because you won’t survive long and you will quickly become disillusioned and depressed. I have seen it all too often.

Start with something that has meaning to you. It could be someone else’s product or service or your own. Either way, you need to love it because when you do, you can use social media in exciting ways. Social media, starting with YouTube, is the most effective way to reach audiences for free. No one wants to hear you talk about something you don’t care about. But what if you have frizzy hair and you are showing how an amazing product turned your long locks into shiny and smooth ones? Now THAT is worth watching. In fact, I just purchased three fairly expensive products because of powerful videos I saw. Living in Florida brings great challenges to hair and I have a lot of hair! I didn’t care how much it cost because the powerful demonstrations on YouTube sold me! Three products are on their way now and I can’t wait and it all came down to those powerful videos. THAT is what you must do when you don’t have a budget. Visuals and demonstrations are everything and if you aren’t using the product, don’t even bother. I never promote anything I don’t use and love. People trust me because I’ve earned that trust. I would never promote something I don’t strongly believe in, and I can tell my potential buyers WHY I love those products. You don’t need a big audience to succeed. You need a loyal one. Earn it.

The Most Powerful Free Tool

YouTube by far is the most effective free tool. It is the second biggest search engine and it’s where people go to get information about stuff they want to buy. Yes, they love cat videos but when they need to know the best way to clean scum off shower doors without using toxins, you can be there to offer guidance. I have earned organic traffic with my consistent efforts to deliver value on my YouTube channel. As an influencer, I have earned an Amazon Influencer store and when people go to my site, they know I have tried the toxin free, animal and planet friendly products I recommend. The public wants someone they trust. Let that be you! And there is no better place than on YouTube. It’s free and it reaches the entire planet. So, if you are afraid to get in front of a camera, get over yourself. People want your information. They don’t care if you have spinach between your teeth. In fact, you will get more views if you do!

My second favorite platform is Instagram. It’s quick and fun. People generally don’t go there to find a product, however. I use it to build my brand awareness and message. If you have a product and want to capture buyers quickly, Pinterest would be your place. That is where I saw my hair product that I wasn’t looking for, but that darned AI sure knows what I like! They will know your audience too. So post wisely.

What You Must Invest in at Some Point and it Isn’t Just Money

So now you have products you love and you are all over social media. The next thing is to have that place to collect those leads. Yes, you can sell with links and get paid, but you aren’t building anything. You need to have an email list and a website with a landing page where people can find you and ‘your stuff.’ So my question to you is “Just how far do you want to take your internet earnings?” Those of us who are successful at it will tell you that when you invest wisely in yourself, the return can be outstanding. Websites are pretty cheap and you can get pre-loaded ones that are gorgeous. You need a place where people can sign up for your advice or offers because they love your YouTube channel or other social media presence. An email platform, like a website, doesn’t cost much. It gives you a voice and it’s a place where you build that relationship I talked about. We all want to buy from people we trust. If you are out in space with random links, that isn’t going to happen. Invest in relationship building. You don’t need a lot of buyers to be a success!

The other thing you must have (MUST, in my opinion) is knowledge and skills about the online industry. You don’t have to be an expert at online marketing, but the truth is that you won’t make the kind of money that can give you freedom if you don’t get the guidance. I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to do all of this on my own.  A support system and mentors are everything. If you want to make real money online, you may want to buckle down and get real training. I did and the return was over seven figures. It’s worth allocating a portion of your budget to get the kind of training that can accelerate your growth. Can you do it for free? Sure, but you will never meet an influencer or anyone making decent income who hasn’t invested in themselves and got the training. Once you do, you can certainly use the free tools, but you’ll know HOW to use them. It takes knowledge and guidance and it’s so worth it.

So don’t miss out on the amazing opportunities, but know that if you commit to the lifestyle an online business offers, go all in! There is no limit to what you can do. Take it seriously and commit!

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Landria Onkka is an online influencer, successful digital marketer and online business coach and expert. She is a former investment banker and now owns several online businesses that include her own brands that guide others to success both personally and professionally.