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Online Business – 6 Things To Avoid Doing As A Start-Up

Written by: Deborah Lynch, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you come up with a brilliant idea for an online business and can’t wait to launch it into the big wide world? That’s great, it’s a wonderful feeling to be on the verge of a new and exciting venture.

Perhaps you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of actually building your website. Is all that content for your social media pages coming along nicely? Are you are getting to grips with internet business strategies?

These are all positive, important, and necessary steps. However, I would like to sound a note of caution and ask that you take a pause, step back for a moment and consider the following SIX THINGS TO AVOID when building your start-up. Taking this advice on board now could help you avoid a whole raft of problems in the future.

1: NEVER Copy/paste and republish someone else’s content without the appropriate credit.

A great deal of research goes into the creation of a business. Much reading is done. Copious notes are taken for reference purposes. During the research phase, you will no doubt copy/paste the words of others for your own private reference, much as school children do when revising for those pesky exams. But that is as far as it should go.

To begin with, it would be morally wrong to republish those copied/pasted words on your own social media platforms. Indeed, doing so is tantamount to theft and is, in fact, a contravention of copyright laws. Yet, copying/pasting/republishing content created by someone else is among the most common mistakes made by tyro start-ups. It happens partly because creating original content is so very difficult, and partly because the various copyright laws have too many loopholes.

However, publishing someone else’s content is wrong and the offended party would have every right to sue you for plagiarism. And that is not a good look for your start-up.

The internet providers are well aware of this situation. Google, for example, can identify plagiarism and will punish guilty websites, resulting in a lower ranking on Google search results. And that is not good for generating online leads for your new enterprise.

So, do not copy/paste/republish someone else’s content online. Instead, present your own interpretation of the material under discussion. Explain it in your own words — rather like those school kids have to do on examination day!

2: DON’T waste money on the fancy stuff

If you have an established and mature business, then by all means go ahead and invest in building the most beautiful website in the world, complete with a sales funnel, slick advertisements, a social media manager, etc.

But if your business is a start-up, those fancy things probably don’t directly influence your revenue. Of course, you will need website sales to funnel. You probably need some slick advertisements. And you’ll definitely require some regular followers on social media. But the most important thing in a start-up is to follow the 80/20 rule (80% of your results are generated by 20% of the activities that you do: 20% = high-leverage activities). In other words, identify your 20% and focus on it!

For example, the high-leverage activities in Catherine’s online business are writing blog articles and making YouTube videos — two activities that generate the majority of her revenue. She isn’t yet in a position to run social media ads but focuses instead on high-leverage activities that move the needle forward and minimize the number of resources spent on low-leverage activities.

By the way, the 80/20 rule sometimes becomes the 75/25 rule — which is to say it’s adjustable in either direction, according to any changes in your circumstances.

3: DON’T underestimate the Power of Personal Mentorship

We all know the health-conscious among us can go to the drug store or supermarket to buy vitamins and other health supplements. But nothing works better than seeing a qualified health professional who truly understands your actual needs.

It’s the same in business. You can buy a thousand business books. Online business coaching programs are everywhere. There’s a constant flow of business development articles available online. Yet, none of the above produce better results than personal mentorship — simply because business books, online business coaching programs, and business development articles do not know you and can’t possibly understand your personal circumstances.

Even though it is more expensive than those programs, books, and articles, it has been proven that the Return on Investment (ROI) from hiring a business mentor is significantly higher. The reason is that a mentor will point out your personal blind spots — thus saving you time, energy, and money in the long term. Every successful business owner that I know has at least one mentor.

4: DON’T undervalue your services

Joshua, a dating coach, began by charging his clients $100 per session. When this led to success, his business mentor advised: “Now you have more clients than you can handle, it’s time to increase your price. Nobody will value you more than you value yourself. Go on, Joshua, double your price!

Joshua was concerned. He thought a higher price might put off his clientele. Warily, he took his mentor’s advice and began charging $200 per session. Turns out his clients were still very happy to pay him — his income has doubled and he wishes he’d put up his prices a long time ago.

A higher price is often an organic filter. In Joshua’s case, clients are usually high-quality individuals who cause minimal problems and are willing to pay more to get better results.

5: NEVER IGNORE your Ideal Customer Avatar

In order to run a successful online business, it is wise to create an Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA). In other words, a template for a typical consumer of your products or services.

You need to know your ICA’s age, gender, location, income, profession, education, interests, hopes and dreams, fears, and frustrations… To fully understand your ICA you need to know the answers to the following questions:

  • When your ICA’s partner turns off the light at night, what keeps them awake?

  • What are your ICA’s political views?

  • What does your ICA eat for lunch Monday to Friday?

To precisely define your ICA, it helps to write two essays:

a. “My Ideal Customer Avatar” — In this essay, describe your ICA in detail.

b. “A Day in My ICA’s Life” – Describe what he/she does from the moment they wake up in the morning to the moment they go to bed at night.

Knowing your ICA inside-out helps to simplify your overall customer messaging, by aiming it at a specific individual who represents your entire audience.

6: DON’T be inconsistent with Your Marketing

Set on 1960s Madison Avenue, the popular TV show Mad Men, told stories about advertising in a time when ads were consumed via newspapers, TV, and radio — with few other distractions. Things have changed a lot since then. Or, as Seth Godin famously put it: “Content marketing is the only marketing left.”

Indeed, who doesn’t skip every ad when watching YouTube videos? Who doesn’t look at their smartphone whenever an ad pops up on TV? In 2022 content marketing is the only way to grab a consumer’s attention.

These days, most online business owners know what content marketing is — but those who succeed are the ones who do it consistently.

If your audience knows that you publish one YouTube video every Wednesday, they look forward to watching your new video on Wednesday. If your audience knows that you write one article every Friday, they look forward to reading your new blog on Friday. That is to say, you are on their mind regularly…all the time…consistently!

When content marketing and consistency combine successfully, a profitable online business result — by getting the audience’s attention and keeping it.

In your business plan, ‘must-do’ list include prompts like:

  • Produce Facebook and Instagram content every day

  • Make a video for YouTube every Wednesday

  • Write a blog article every Friday

The underlined words are key because content marketing only works when done consistently. Your audience’s attention is the oxygen of your online business.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, and visit my website for more info!


Deborah Lynch, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Deborah Lynch is THE global expert on embodying your personal presence (both online and offline) to achieve your dreams, influence hundreds of thousands of people, and achieve self-actualization.

Her mission is to help you build a thriving personal Presence that helps you succeed in business, in relationships, and in every area of your life easily – almost effortlessly!

She has built a successful speaking business, a successful coaching company, a successful Youtube channel, and a successful eCommerce store, and specializes in helping entrepreneurs succeed in today’s presence-driven online landscape.

Deborah’s Story

Deborah’s story is one of overcoming poverty to achieving triumph – and it is still evolving to this day! If she can do it, anyone can – including you!

At one point in her life, Deborah even found herself homeless, with nothing but a can of carrots to eat. At that point, she found a mentor who trained her on a specific set of skills and began her journey to success.

Deborah learned how to become a success both as an entrepreneur and in the corporate world, and eventually discovered the great power of Presence, which she used to become a professional speaker and present for over 150,000 people in 70 countries for 48 different luxury brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, and Gucci.

Upon reaching the height of her career, she realized she wanted something more. She wanted to use her Presence as a way to help others in every area of their lives – from personal to professional, and beyond.

That’s when Instant Wings was born, and along with it her Youtube channel Instant Wings1, where she now has over 51,000 views and over 5,000 hours of playtime (and counting!)


Now, Deborah has turned her attention to helping you discover your presence. Because people with a powerful, magnetic Presence – and a message that turns their adversities into a superpower – can experience nearly overnight success in almost endeavour.

Your powerful personal presence can be used to transform your business, your relationships, your results, your health, and your happiness. Because all of these things depend on how you show up. And that’s exactly what Deborah is here to teach you.

Ready to master your Presence?



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