I talk to a lot of people who aspire to start their own $100,000/year business.
Nearly all of them get stuck at the exact same place:
They have no real clue how to practically make this work.
Because when you’re first starting out, a $100K a year business seems like a lot.
I mean , the average American income is only about $63,214.
And you’re supposed to make almost double that… on your own?
But in all honesty… it’s not that hard.
You just need to understand the numbers behind how a $100,000/year business works, and the simplest actions you need to take to get there.
Here are 5 steps to follow, including the math for making it work:
🟣 Step 1: Pick a problem, any problem
Alright, let's start with the elephant in the room: money.
Most people tend to get all worked up about it, and think it's some kind of elusive, hard-to-get thing. It’s not.
When you think of it, money is nothing but an exchange of value. Any value.
Just like how you get paid in a job to deliver value to the company you work for?
Your job as an online business owners is to create that same kind of value… for customers.
There are five main types of value people pay for:
- Help someone solve a problem
- Help someone save time or money
- Help someone make something more easy or convenient
- Help someone to increase their perceived status
- Help someone pass the time while keeping them entertained
Out of all of them, helping someone solve a problem is the easiest to sell.
Best if it’s a problem you've faced and solved yourself, for yourself, in the past.
- Did you manage to lose weight after trying a gazillion diets?
- Did you learn how to play the guitar without breaking the bank on lessons?
- Did you master the art of doing your own makeup or hair, turning heads wherever you go?
☝️ Need a few more ideas?
Check out the graphic below.
All of these are real, best-selling digital products, sold every single day.
Your product doesn’t need to save the world.
Just help someone overcome something they’re stuck with.
🟣 Step 2: Design your solution
Once you picked a problem to solve,
it’s time to plan the solution you’ll offer.
That solution will become the product you’ll sell.
The easiest way to go about this is to write some notes in a fresh doc.
Once you’re done.. we’ll move on to actually packaging this into a product.
Here’s what you do:
- Open a fresh doc (I like to work with Notion)
- Think back to the 5-10 steps you took to solve that problem for yourself: What did you do? first, second, third?
Think about what worked for you, what didn't, and how you can help others avoid the same pitfalls.
- List your solution steps in bullet form. Your list should be simple to follow, and very doable. It will look something like this:
- Step 1
- Step 2
- Step 3
All done? Great job.
- An intro paragraph - congratulating people on their decision to solve the problem and how your product is going to help them. Describe how their life can look like with this problem behind them, and how your product will help make that happen.
- A story paragraph - sharing your personal experience solving this problem and how you discovered the solution you’ll be sharing with them in this product.
- A concluding paragraph - thanking people for their time and motivating them to continue taking action.
Your end result should look something like this:
- An intro paragraph
- A story paragraph
- Your list of solution steps
- A concluding paragraph
🟣 Step 3: Create your digital product
Alright, you've got a killer solution in mind.
You’ve documented it in a doc.
Now it's time to decide what kind of digital product you want to create and sell.
Options, options, right?
Let's break it down.
You can create:
- E-book - a treasure trove of wisdom in written form, because who doesn’t love a good read?
- Email course - bite-sized lessons delivered right to their inbox
- Audio course - learning on-the-go for busy bees and multitaskers
- Video course - face time, minus the awkward silences
- Coaching program - hold their hand, figuratively speaking
Keep in mind that the price of your product will generally increase as the media format becomes more engaging:
- Text is the cheapest (not everyone is a high roller)
- Audio is more expensive (but who doesn't love a soothing voice?)
- Video is even more expensive (keep the camera on your good side)
- Coaching is the most expensive (channel your inner guru)
For starters, I recommend turning your plan into a short, 2-hour-long digital course.
It's like the Goldilocks of digital products – not too short, not too long, and can make you a nice profit.
Aim to sell it for $49 - $149, depending on the length and the result you’re providing people.
For example, a product aiming to help people with their finance can be priced higher than a product showing people how to make a green smoothie.
Makes sense, right?
To create your course:
- Use Canva to turn the content in your solution doc into an engaging slide deck
- Use Loom to record yourself walking through the slides
- Host your new, shiny product in a beginner-friendly platform, like Gumroad.
Remember, your digital product should be useful, not perfect.
Aim to get it done in a weekend, so you can get through the awkward “first product phase”, and get to with actually selling it.
You’ll be creating many more products throughout your journey as a business owners, so don’t worry if it’s not exactly what you through it would be.
🟣 Step 4: It’s not math. It’s money-math.
I know. Nobody likes math.
But stick with me here, because this isn't just any old math.
And you’ll love this one. I promise.
Let's break down how you can make $100,000 a year with your digital product:
- $100,000 a year is $8,333 a month, which is $278 a day
- For a product that costs $50, you'll need 6 sales a day
- For a product that costs $149, you'll need just 3 sales a day
To make these sales happen, you need a way to explain what your product is to potential buyers, and then give them a way to pay you for it.
At this point, forget about complex sales or marketing funnels.
Keep it simple.
All you need are these three pages:
- Sales page - This is where you explain the problem your product solves and how it can help your customers.
- Checkout page - This is where customers can pay and make their purchase official.
- Thank you page - This is where your new customers land after payment. Give them a warm welcome and show your gratitude.
Next, let's talk goals.
To make $100,000 a year, your sales page should convert at about 1.5%-3%.
This means for every 100 visitors you’ll get to your page, about 1.5 to 3 of them will actually buy your product and not just click out.
So, let's do some quick math to see where you need to put your focus and attention:
- If your product costs $50 and you need 6 sales a day — you'll need 200-400 daily visitors (depending on your conversion rate)
- If your product costs $149 and you need 3 sales a day — you'll need 100-200 daily visitors
See? Math isn't so bad.
And now that you've got your daily traffic goal in mind, you’re ready for the final step in your journey to a $100,000/year online business.
🟣 Step 5: Building your highway
Now that you've got your sales goals in mind, and know exactly how much much traffic (daily visitors) you need to send to your sales page each day… the game becomes all about that.
The more traffic you can generate, the more sales you’ll have.
You have 3 choices when it comes to driving traffic to your product:
Create content on one or more platforms: This is all about building an audience organically through engaging and valuable content.
Initiate collaborations with people who already have a following: Leverage other people's traffic through collaborations, like podcast interviews, summits, and more.
Use paid Ads: Pay to play – invest money in ads to drive traffic to your sales page.
For beginners, I recommend starting with content first.
And finally, paid ads.
But how do you choose the right platform for your content?
Don’t overcomplicate this.
Just pick a platform you already like using, and feel the most comfortable publishing in.
Consider your strengths and where you shine most.
- If you love writing - platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium could be your new best friends.
- If you're comfortable making videos - Instagram Reels and TikTok might just be your jam.
Be smart about this:
- Do your research on other people who are successful in the platform you chose,
- reverse-engineer what they are doing,
- and make a plan that will be doable for your personality and schedule
In case you’re wondering…. yes.
You will mostly suck at creating content at first.
But that’s part of the game.
Don't’ hold yourself and your future success back because you’re worried about what that girl you went to college with will think of your video.
(Hint: She doesn’t care.)
That’s it for today.
I hope this breakdown helped you see how attainable a $100,000 really is today.
See you next week,