How would you teach a young person about internet marketing?

by jonb
36 replies
My 23 year old son has expressed an interest in starting an online business. Since I've been doing it for close to three decades, you can imagine how supportive I am of the idea.

He wants me to teach him how to get started but here's the problem -- I know so much and have been doing this for so long that my "beginner's mind" is pretty much a distant memory. I'd like to take it slow with him and not overwhelm him, and I want him to *really* understand concepts like value, messaging and finding your niche. I also want him to learn the mindset basics that lead to success. And I want to do ith without bombarding him with all the info I have in my head.

So, I'd love to hear your opinions about the books, courses, videos, authors, experts, etc. that you'd suggest offering to a total newbie to help them get their feet planted and ready for success. I want to take it one step a time with him, so let's begin at the absolute beginning.

Thoughts?
#internet #marketing #person #teach #young
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    He's 23 - not 13 - so you don't have to go too slow. First I would determine what area of marketing he has interest in. Creating products? Selling products for others? Writing - building sites or blogs - starting his own company providing services...etc etc.



    There are many marketers with quality training/info products - Jeff Walker, Jim Cockrum, Erica Stone, and on and on....but depends on what area your son chooses as a starting point.


    With your experience, why not hire him on as an assistant - give him grunt work (routine work) to do so he can learn the basics....teach him how to find instructions and help he needs through google and using various expert blogs/sites.


    It's a good way to teach him to write content, to place ads, to come up with product ideas, to run a business that takes time and effort daily...
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  • Profile picture of the author fasteasysuccess
    That's fantastic and even though my kids a little younger, 8 and 10, they talked about starting their own business. I showed them some things I was doing then I applied it to their ideas. Started at what interest they had, some services of the business can offer, who would be their target market and ways to start reaching those people.

    Plus, the free or most cost effective way to start. I basically broke down complicated methods and strategies to them in a way they get and understand. Instead of talking about customer acquisition costs and backends, retention and etc, Just grabbed a piece of paper, talked about how much will our advertising be, what other products or services these people may like and what will we do to not only attract these people, but also keep them our customers. Then of course they had to have fun with naming the business and our usp, but think I told them what it was really and said our main selling point and what were trying to tell people about us to make it easy.

    As far as books and courses, although could throw them mine and or legends to read, being 8 and 10, think them or any kid starting a business they like and us teaching them the marketing and direct response sides, is a fantastic way to introduce them to business. Then when older, can give them books, courses and suggest things for them to study.

    If you had experience in industry, then that's wonderful because he'll have the unfair advantage and a quicker way to learning the direct response marketing and sales sides of business which a lot of older business owners still don't get now.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    A parent with a lifetime of experience running the family restaurant can teach their children to run it.

    A plumber can teach a child to be a plumber, or electrician and the list goes on.

    But, you can not teach your child to do what you do??

    Just tell them to buy a bunch of WSO's

    good luck

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    Originally Posted by jonb View Post

    My 23 year old son has expressed an interest in starting an online business.
    As Kay said, there are a ton of different business models. And his vision for a business may or may not coincide with your experiences and expertise.

    To that point, if I were you, I would have him do the same thing I would tell any other want-to-be business owner to do: develop a business plan.

    Until you have a plan, you really only have a dream or an idea. Developing the plan is the first step to building a business and it will open his eyes to many things he likely hasn't even considered - both good and bad.

    Then work with him to improve his plan and bring it to fruition.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaelswengel
    Teach him the basics.

    1. Find your area of interest.
    2. Find what people want.
    3. Create value.
    4. Work to help people be successful.

    I would recommend concepts, not courses at this point.
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  • Profile picture of the author jonb
    Great advice so far. Thanks!

    And to be clear, I'm not looking to outsource his education - I very much intend to take the lead. But I don't want to overwhelm him (he's an artist, and as far from a business major as you will ever get).

    But, he's eager, he's motivated and he has some good ideas. I figure I've got one good shot to get him hooked on entrepreneurship, and I don't want to blow it by dumping too much knowledge on him too soon.

    I love the suggestions you all have given so far. Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Odahh
      Originally Posted by jonb View Post

      Great advice so far. Thanks!

      And to be clear, I'm not looking to outsource his education - I very much intend to take the lead. But I don't want to overwhelm him (he's an artist, and as far from a business major as you will ever get).

      But, he's eager, he's motivated and he has some good ideas. I figure I've got one good shot to get him hooked on entrepreneurship, and I don't want to blow it by dumping too much knowledge on him too soon.

      I love the suggestions you all have given so far. Thank you.
      Dumb idea as I am tired from a day of hard work .

      If your son is an artist .with any skill it is quite possible that he can use the internet to sell his work,ceate an audience for his art . And make a living from his art .

      Or just use his artistic ability in creating content to build his business .
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      • Profile picture of the author jonb
        Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

        Dumb idea as I am tired from a day of hard work .

        If your son is an artist .with any skill it is quite possible that he can use the internet to sell his work,ceate an audience for his art . And make a living from his art .

        Or just use his artistic ability in creating content to build his business .
        Actually, his idea is to build a business that serves a specific segment of the artist community. Which I think is an excellent idea, as it would allow him to live within his art and passion while actually making a living. It's rough to get by purely as an artist.
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        • Profile picture of the author Odahh
          Originally Posted by jonb View Post

          Actually, his idea is to build a business that serves a specific segment of the artist community. Which I think is an excellent idea, as it would allow him to live within his art and passion while actually making a living. It's rough to get by purely as an artist.
          Well of course . Leave out the marketing skills and the reasoning level to make stuff people will buy .
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        • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
          Originally Posted by jonb View Post

          Actually, his idea is to build a business that serves a specific segment of the artist community. Which I think is an excellent idea, as it would allow him to live within his art and passion while actually making a living. It's rough to get by purely as an artist.
          Good news. He has a TARGET market. What are they currently spending money on, and where? First step, I imagine, would be to clearly identify what this specific segment is doing.
          What are their wants and needs? Where do they hang out? I wouldn't let a day go by before starting a Facebook Group, aimed at this market, get them to tell your son, what their frustrations are, what they want, what they need, and he can use this to pinpoint problems.

          If supplies are a problem or a costly expense, how can he help them (wholesale deals for his group??). Is marketing or selling their art a struggle? How will he solve this with them?

          Advise him to recognize HIMSELF as the fundamental Avatar of his group, and introspect what his frustrations as an artist are. Spend TIME, researching and getting to know this specific segment and become a problem solving partner with them...and he won't take long to be making some dough, by HELPING THOSE in the same boat he is rowing in.

          Good luck.

          GordonJ
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          • Profile picture of the author jonb
            Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

            Good news. He has a TARGET market. What are they currently spending money on, and where? First step, I imagine, would be to clearly identify what this specific segment is doing.
            What are their wants and needs? Where do they hang out? I wouldn't let a day go by before starting a Facebook Group, aimed at this market, get them to tell your son, what their frustrations are, what they want, what they need, and he can use this to pinpoint problems.

            If supplies are a problem or a costly expense, how can he help them (wholesale deals for his group??). Is marketing or selling their art a struggle? How will he solve this with them?

            Advise him to recognize HIMSELF as the fundamental Avatar of his group, and introspect what his frustrations as an artist are. Spend TIME, researching and getting to know this specific segment and become a problem solving partner with them...and he won't take long to be making some dough, by HELPING THOSE in the same boat he is rowing in.

            Good luck.

            GordonJ
            Excellent stuff - and very close to where we've started in initial conversations (e.g. who are your people? what frustrates them? What motivates them? what do they secretly desire that no one else is giving them? what kind of group do they imagine themselves part of? etc.)

            The FB Group idea is right on the money, and something he can get started easily and have a concrete brick in the path to lay down.

            Thanks!
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            • Profile picture of the author savidge4
              Originally Posted by jonb View Post

              Excellent stuff - and very close to where we've started in initial conversations (e.g. who are your people? what frustrates them? What motivates them? what do they secretly desire that no one else is giving them? what kind of group do they imagine themselves part of? etc.)

              The FB Group idea is right on the money, and something he can get started easily and have a concrete brick in the path to lay down.

              Thanks!
              I would suggest slowing this down a bit... remember he is on the inside looking inside... he doesn't know what frustrates "Them" only him. He doesn't know what Motivates "Them" only him. He has no clue what they secretly desire, but he knows what HE desires. He has no clue what group "They" would want to be a part of, but he knows what group HE wants to be a part of.

              As much as the FB group is a great idea he needs to build some amount of "Voice" or "Authority" within the existing community before this happens.

              I said earlier this will be a learning experience for both you and him, and THIS is just the tip of the iceberg. The difference between your actions as a marketer and what your son will be doing is hinged on "Perspective" he is on the inside looking in, and I will bet more often than not YOU are on the outside looking in.

              He needs to become active within the online culture of his art... maybe so far as hosting a meet-up or the like. Notice I used the term "Culture". The art world be it painting music dance what have you is a world unto themselves... there is a social culture that is separate from the rest of the world.

              Your son needs to develop a brand built apon the story that put him where he is today.. the passion.. the escape.. the feeling, the pain whatever it is.. he needs to wear it on the sleeve of his shirt, and then take the shirt off... This is who I am , and what I stand for, and my work represents me in this way. This is the claim for his authority within the target niche. The rest of the community will be able to resonate with the story... People that may be looking to buy whatever it is your son sells will resonate. Artist are but people, and its the Story that makes them bigger than life, and approachable, and gives that piece meaning.. and THAT is what you need to tap into - what your son needs to tap into.

              just remember INSIDE LOOKIN IN
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              • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

                I would suggest slowing this down a bit... remember he is on the inside looking inside... he doesn't know what frustrates "Them" only him. He doesn't know what Motivates "Them" only him. He has no clue what they secretly desire, but he knows what HE desires. He has no clue what group "They" would want to be a part of, but he knows what group HE wants to be a part of.

                As much as the FB group is a great idea he needs to build some amount of "Voice" or "Authority" within the existing community before this happens.

                I said earlier this will be a learning experience for both you and him, and THIS is just the tip of the iceberg. The difference between your actions as a marketer and what your son will be doing is hinged on "Perspective" he is on the inside looking in, and I will bet more often than not YOU are on the outside looking in.

                He needs to become active within the online culture of his art... maybe so far as hosting a meet-up or the like. Notice I used the term "Culture". The art world be it painting music dance what have you is a world unto themselves... there is a social culture that is separate from the rest of the world.

                Your son needs to develop a brand built apon the story that put him where he is today.. the passion.. the escape.. the feeling, the pain whatever it is.. he needs to wear it on the sleeve of his shirt, and then take the shirt off... This is who I am , and what I stand for, and my work represents me in this way. This is the claim for his authority within the target niche. The rest of the community will be able to resonate with the story... People that may be looking to buy whatever it is your son sells will resonate. Artist are but people, and its the Story that makes them bigger than life, and approachable, and gives that piece meaning.. and THAT is what you need to tap into - what your son needs to tap into.

                just remember INSIDE LOOKIN IN
                I doubt you will get better advice for your son than this. First: HIS ART.

                Then, the BIZ. As he is doing the above. A part time gig (as one way to look at it, the 10% of the 90/10 rule) would be to learn BUSINESS.

                ALL business involves a TRANSACTION. An exchange of value. Value is agreed upon and the method or means of exchange takes many forms, money being the main one.

                Both of you should take a deep breath, as savidge4 suggests (or as I inferred).

                Sonny is or should be into and immersed in his ART. That is the source of understanding, no sense repeating what was written, follow the above advice on that.

                And then, starting with the TRANSACTION, of a single exchange teach your son about the business side of business, which many lack these days. Accounting, taxes, MARKETING (sales)...which becomes important as he takes himself to the niche he is targeting.

                How and what to exchange for value? How to plan to avoid feast or famine days. Short, medium, longer term goals. SYSTEMS and methods of automation so his business time doesn't creep into his ART time.

                He, and you are in a great position and working together to build and create a bright future by design, and doing so in the "Artist's Way" seems fantastical.

                Thanks for posting and creating a worthy read thread here at WF, they are few and far between.

                GordonJ

                PS. Also include LEGAL and look at Licensing too, as part of his biz education.
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    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by jonb View Post

      Great advice so far. Thanks!

      And to be clear, I'm not looking to outsource his education - I very much intend to take the lead. But I don't want to overwhelm him (he's an artist, and as far from a business major as you will ever get).

      But, he's eager, he's motivated and he has some good ideas. I figure I've got one good shot to get him hooked on entrepreneurship, and I don't want to blow it by dumping too much knowledge on him too soon.

      I love the suggestions you all have given so far. Thank you.
      Um, maybe be stupid but I will put this forward, you do not want overwhelm him ? well why are you forcing the direction, instead step back and let your son guide you on what he wants to do, then slowly help him through his thoughts and goals based n what he wants, just answer his questions slowly at his speed, let him learn and understand as he goes.

      Take one of his ideas and show him how you analyse the idea and maybe start to test that idea out and move from there, you should not be setting the speed energy and or direction but guiding and teaching.

      "I have on good shot at to get him hooked" < that has to be the worst thinking I have read, due to the fact that you can not get him hooked, your son is responsible for his own outcome, you can only guide and nurture his progress in moving forward, secondly "one shot" I do not know of anybody who has become successful in one shot per say, so learning to make mistakes and overcoming obstacles is going to part of the course.

      this is if takes 1 shot or 100 shots just like Edison to build a light globe, resilience and learning to overcome, reset, adjust and having the right mental attitude will play a bigger role than a one shot mentality as nothing is going to run smooth out of the gate.

      You should feel really proud that you son wants to learn from you, but here it may that both of you will follow a learning path, your son as the student and you as the teacher. wishing you both well.
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      • Profile picture of the author jonb
        Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

        Um, maybe be stupid but I will put this forward, you do not want overwhelm him ? well why are you forcing the direction, instead step back and let your son guide you on what he wants to do, then slowly help him through his thoughts and goals based n what he wants, just answer his questions slowly at his speed, let him learn and understand as he goes.

        Take one of his ideas and show him how you analyse the idea and maybe start to test that idea out and move from there, you should not be setting the speed energy and or direction but guiding and teaching.

        "I have on good shot at to get him hooked" < that has to be the worst thinking I have read, due to the fact that you can not get him hooked, your son is responsible for his own outcome, you can only guide and nurture his progress in moving forward, secondly "one shot" I do not know of anybody who has become successful in one shot per say, so learning to make mistakes and overcoming obstacles is going to part of the course.

        this is if takes 1 shot or 100 shots just like Edison to build a light globe, resilience and learning to overcome, reset, adjust and having the right mental attitude will play a bigger role than a one shot mentality as nothing is going to run smooth out of the gate.

        You should feel really proud that you son wants to learn from you, but here it may that both of you will follow a learning path, your son as the student and you as the teacher. wishing you both well.
        Appreciate the thought here, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my wording.

        First, he came to me to ask him to teach him how to start his own business. I haven't forced him at all. In fact, this came straight out of the blue. I've never pushed it on him or really ever thought that was interested. He's struggled in school, and really wants me to make things as clear as can be, as there's really no way he'll go to business school or invest in massive courses (even if he had the money).

        As for getting him "hooked", I meant that this is probably the one time when his attention, focus and desire are all aligned to do this - and I think this would be great for him. He doesn't want - and I don't want - for him to be working minimum wage jobs the rest of his life. So I want to help him the right way, by catering to his unique needs, personality and temperament. It would be a lost opportunity if I buried him with complexity or advanced ideas and allowed him to convince himself it would all be too hard.

        At any rate, rather than this become specifically about me and my son, I'd rather we use this time to help not just me, but any parent, friend or loved one to help someone they care about get on the road to success. I'd like this thread to be of use for anyone who gets the opportunity to mentor a young budding entrepreneur and to do it the right way.

        Thanks for your thoughts!
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by jonb View Post

      Great advice so far. Thanks!

      And to be clear, I'm not looking to outsource his education - I very much intend to take the lead. But I don't want to overwhelm him (he's an artist, and as far from a business major as you will ever get).

      But, he's eager, he's motivated and he has some good ideas. I figure I've got one good shot to get him hooked on entrepreneurship, and I don't want to blow it by dumping too much knowledge on him too soon.

      I love the suggestions you all have given so far. Thank you.
      You have one good shot? LOL Dad.. you have a lot to learn in this as well. He is an "Artist" he is already hooked, just neither of you know it yet.

      Start with Brand... YOUR SON the ARTIST. Instagram...( Im assuming he is a visual type artist? ) YouTube if he is into that idea.... Small website sharing his work. A page on the instruments of art HE USES be it colored pens, pencils, paints, Guitar, piano, dance shoes what ever it is.. pointed at Amazon affiliate products. and you have a base, that he should be interested in, motivational, and can turn a penny or 2.

      Best of luck man... I have been working with my 10 yr old son with an eBay store for the last 10 months and it has been nothing but a blast!
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Get him to read motivational books first because success starts in the mind FIRST.
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    • Profile picture of the author jonb
      Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

      Get him to read motivational books first because success starts in the mind FIRST.
      Agreed. What's your favorite?
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by jonb View Post

        Agreed. What's your favorite?
        https://university.impacttheory.com/

        if you want some of the best training to set your mind straight have a look at the link above, this person does a free application / scholarship for people who are starting out to join his university.

        Start with the free stuff and if he / even you like it he / you can sign up etc for the ongoing courses, maybe sit down and do it together and use it as bonding time / discuss the training and how to apply it. etc < please note, this is not an affiliate link of sorts as there is no aff program attached to this site / person. but for any one who wants to take their mindset to a new level, this points you in a new direction, not claiming it is for everyone so each to their own. enjoy
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        • Profile picture of the author gunhol
          Where do you find the free stuff?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Personally, I would send him to business college and show him a little of how you make money online. There are basic business fundamentals that are best taught by colleges, so he can compete, and there are life experiences best taught by Dad. Lead him to water and let hm decide if he wants to drink.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      Personally, I would send him to business college and show him a little of how you make money online. There are basic business fundamentals that are best taught by colleges, so he can compete, and there are life experiences best taught by Dad. Lead him to water and let hm decide if he wants to drink.
      .

      "IM" is about entrepreneurship

      With respect, college will teach someone how to be a five-star employee with a ceiling on status/performance based earnings, it won't teach them how to be an entrepreneur with unlimited earning potential through helping/mentoring others.

      How many entrepreneurs have business degrees? Very few of them


      Just my 2c
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
        Originally Posted by Ian Jackson View Post

        .

        "IM" is about entrepreneurship

        With respect, college will teach someone how to be a five-star employee with a ceiling on status/performance based earnings, it won't teach them how to be an entrepreneur with unlimited earning potential through helping/mentoring others.

        How many entrepreneurs have business degrees? Very few of them


        Just my 2c

        This thread is about IM entrepreneurship? Where did the OP ask about teaching his son about IM entrepreneurship?


        Fair enough. Your right. A 23 year old with no IM or business background does not need an education.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Trujillo
    I would say to anybody that was in my shoes back when I first started is to find a mentor. Find someone who has more experience than you that way you don't have to figure it all out like I once had to. The worse thing you can probably do is just jump from one program to the next without committing to one. Try not to overcomplicate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author webcontent
    First of all, congratulations on enjoying your parenthood and great to know your concern for your son. Further, as you said you are highly experienced in the field of marketing ( if you are doing an online business, you know online marketing well), then you know very well marketing is not about hard work, rather smart work.

    Introducing the concept to him is indeed good and if he has an interest, don't worry about his stress; he is rather going to enjoy it. As a personal advice, don't go for any course, rather give him success stories to read. Tell him about business values, ethics, principles and value of customer appreciation.

    That all is going to help him. So, don't wait as every single day gone is a waste. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author tommen
    In my opinion, he should first know exactly what he would like to do online and develop a business plan. There is a lot of solid information on Warrior Forum for instance.

    Here are a few ideas that might work for him:

    Blogging (Setting up his own blog and writing useful content about what he already knows and monetizing using Adsense / Amazon/ Affiliate program).

    YouTube (Start a YouTube channel about what he already knows well. He could do "how to" videos. The money would come from a closely related affiliate program, or he could create his own information product that he could sell through Clickbank, JVZoo, ShareASale...

    Hope this helps,
    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author spartan14
    Well i think you should say him to have a lot of patience ,i think you know how many failures you get until you succed .Also you should speak with him what model business in online marketing he needs ,maybe if you are in affiliate marketing he dont like this ,maybe he want to make ecommerce
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesandersonicb
    If he is interested in internet marketing youtube is the best plate form to learn any thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Cracknell
    give him rich dad poor dad from Robert kiyosaki to read that helped a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    I believe at 23, the mind is fully developed. Besides, you have been doing it for decades and I believe he has had many chances of seeing what you do. Go a head and show him shortcuts the rest of the things will fall in place automatically.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    #1 - Copywriting.

    It doesn't matter if it's a FB group or IG post or anything else. Knowing how to write (or speak) copy that sells is what it takes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tedel
    Copywriting is too advanced to start. I would start small instead, with concepts. People who don't work online often ignore the difference between the Internet and the Web, for example; or between a web page, a website and landing page.


    Once you have the concepts part covered, the next step is to teach him how to make a website. Some basic HTML and CSS at the bare minimum. Else, his dependence on others will not let him grow.


    My 0.02.
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    • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
      Originally Posted by Tedel View Post

      Copywriting is too advanced to start. I would start small instead, with concepts. People who don't work online often ignore the difference between the Internet and the Web, for example; or between a web page, a website and landing page.


      Once you have the concepts part covered, the next step is to teach him how to make a website. Some basic HTML and CSS at the bare minimum. Else, his dependence on others will not let him grow.


      My 0.02.
      What good is anything you build if you don't know how to promote it, or yourself? If you master the art of writing copy that sells, you can sell anything.

      Building websites is easy.
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  • Just ask him to do a website project on his own and ask him wherever he faces problem he can ask you. He will learn slowly and as the puzzle get solved he would be able to understand your language easily.
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    • Profile picture of the author Medon
      Originally Posted by seoexpertinindia View Post

      Just ask him to do a website project on his own and ask him wherever he faces problem he can ask you. He will learn slowly and as the puzzle get solved he would be able to understand your language easily.
      We used to call this learner centred or discovery approach. The teacher plays a passive role in the teaching process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
    Originally Posted by jonb View Post

    My 23 year old son has expressed an interest in starting an online business. Since I've been doing it for close to three decades, you can imagine how supportive I am of the idea.

    He wants me to teach him how to get started but here's the problem -- I know so much and have been doing this for so long that my "beginner's mind" is pretty much a distant memory. I'd like to take it slow with him and not overwhelm him, and I want him to *really* understand concepts like value, messaging and finding your niche. I also want him to learn the mindset basics that lead to success. And I want to do ith without bombarding him with all the info I have in my head.

    So, I'd love to hear your opinions about the books, courses, videos, authors, experts, etc. that you'd suggest offering to a total newbie to help them get their feet planted and ready for success. I want to take it one step a time with him, so let's begin at the absolute beginning.

    Thoughts?
    Your question asked "how"

    I would them in the same way as anyone else

    "What" I would teach them is probably what you're asking .

    I'd begin by getting them to agree to a mutual plan of realistic objectives, which would obviously vary depending on the individual


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