The Digital Entrepreneur is the entrepreneur of the future.
In general, however, what is the definition of an entrepreneur? It is that figure who professionally engages in an organized economic activity, the ultimate purpose of which is producing and exchanging goods and services. Put more simply: it is the natural person who runs a business.
Thanks to the arrival of online businesses, some many new resources and activities increase the economic assets that different realities (states, companies, individuals) may have at their disposal. Therefore, the entrepreneur, realizing the existence of a new economy, has no choice but to try to understand it and become a digital entrepreneur.
We are currently experiencing a period of digital transformation dominated by new technologies, the Internet, and major social and economic changes. Today, only those realities capable of embracing and adapting to these changes can survive, distinguishing themselves from more traditional ones.
Digitizing business models and processes requires leaders with broad visions who can see new horizons for the future of entrepreneurship.
Digital entrepreneurs are precisely those who know how to innovate their companies or start new businesses exclusively in the digital domain, and attending a Digital Strategy Course can help them acquire the digital know-how that their company needs.
In this article, I am going to elaborate the following:
- who the digital entrepreneur is and what he does;
- how to become an online entrepreneur or businessman;
- how much is the salary of a digital entrepreneur;
- the best examples of successful digital entrepreneurs.
Who is a digital entrepreneur, and what does he do?
By definition, the digital entrepreneur is an individual capable of organizing the means and resources to start an online business. To do this, however, he must equip himself with a digital identity and use the many opportunities of the online world in the service of his business.
Unlike the traditional businessman, the Internet entrepreneur is not bound to a physical space, and his products and services are subject to scalability logic. This means they can be sold anywhere, whenever, day or night, and in larger quantities than in the offline shop.
The digital space offers many opportunities for doing business. But what distinguishes a digital entrepreneur from an offline entrepreneur?
The former has taken the “reins” of its situation into its own hands and decided to move forward, updating itself and “riding the wave” of innovation. Thus, it exploits the possibilities made available by the web to integrate, support, and make more productive all the marketing activities that a company has to perform, such as sales and the promotion of products and services, thus entering into digital commerce and gaining high competitive advantages over its pre-digital competitors. Explore the real-life journey of a digital entrepreneur.
How much does a digital entrepreneur earn?
What is the salary of a digital entrepreneur?
There is no single answer to the question of how much a digital entrepreneur earns because there are many variables to take into account. For example:
- sector in which you intend to bring your online entrepreneurial dream to life;
- time to devote, part-time or full-time;
- work independently or with the support of collaborators;
- historical period;
- the country where you decide to set up your digital enterprise.
In particular, the latter will affect the number of taxes you have to pay or the number of benefits, which in certain countries are granted to business starters (this is the case with the Estonian E-residency project).
Another aspect to consider when determining how much a digital entrepreneur earns is their experience, which does not always depend on age but on the professional experience gained and the mix of skills, knowledge, and managerial abilities a web entrepreneur possesses.
After these necessary preliminaries, we can say that the earnings of the digital entrepreneur can be as high as 9,700 USD per month and range between 21,500-108,000 USD per year, with some exceptions that exceed this threshold. Keep on reading as we will reveal some of these in the following paragraphs.
How to become a digital entrepreneur?
So, how does one become a digital entrepreneur?
Today, being an entrepreneur and working online means combining winning characteristics in any offline environment with the digital skills required of new future entrepreneurs on the web.
The entrepreneur has an aptitude and a passion for the sector in which he will enter and on which he will build his business.
But be careful not to misunderstand one vital aspect: the concept of entrepreneurship is often wrongly associated with experience. Nothing could be more wrong!
Experience is something that one can create little by little, even through mistakes and errors, whereas passion for a particular sector is a “sine qua non” requirement of the entrepreneur, which must be there and must serve to motivate him to inform and update himself continuously.
The online entrepreneur, as opposed to offline competitors and large companies with whom they are competing, needs to be familiar with all the tools that will be part of the marketing strategy, the search engines that will host the website or E-commerce, the social networks that will have the function of connecting the company with its customers, and the relevant advertising platforms made available by them.
But why is it important?
We live in the age of the digital enterprise, the generation of inventions and inventors, in a way, because everyone, even the smallest businesses, thanks to digital have a way of understanding how to sell their creations, their services, and products, their work on the internet and why not, even how to become an entrepreneur.
We speak of a real advantage, therefore, for all those companies that are not at all afraid of the much-quoted “Digital Transformation”; on the contrary, they know that the time has come to ”act” and equip themselves so as not to fall behind and update with the new digital services.
We can identify 5 ingredients for being a digital entrepreneur. These elements relate to the approach, which is now often called mindset.
Let us see together what they are:
- speed: your ability to be resilient to changes in your environment. Traditional entrepreneurial activities change slowly, while opportunities to work as a digital entrepreneur constantly shift and change. Success is a measure of your ability to be proactive.
- culture of innovation: it is the know-how of skills and knowledge of new digital tools and channels to grow your business online.
- digital sales: traditional sales systems are no longer effective and require considerable psycho-physical energy. Digital sales can segment the target group by creating ad hoc paths, so-called marketing funnels, aimed at conversion.
- results culture: a true digital entrepreneur relies on KPIs to evaluate the performance of his employees, especially in the era of smart working. With the advent of online entrepreneurship, we have many insights, data, and statistics that can be analyzed, whereas offline businesses have an inherent difficulty in generating and interpreting data objectively.
- empathy: this is a very rare and indispensable skill for digital entrepreneurs. It consists of the ability to understand the needs of one’s audience, despite one-to-many communication. For video content creators, being empathetic is essential to engage users.
Digital skills for doing business
I am sure all of this has significantly increased your curiosity. And that is the goal: to leave your fears aside and realize that in the coming years, you will have to talk only and exclusively about digital entrepreneurs, completely forgetting the existence of other traditional entrepreneurial figures.
Do you find it is overstated? No, I will explain why. The digital entrepreneur can combine management, marketing, administrative, and control skills that a traditional entrepreneur possesses with multiple digital technologies and knowledge. The ultimate goal is and always will be to achieve turnover and sales; you will learn how to do it only by exploiting digital technologies. Explore the specific skills needed for AI entrepreneurship within the digital domain.
Let’s see what these digital CV skills are that need to be integrated:
- Knowing how to create a Sales Funnel, i.e., a virtual “funnel” that allows the digital entrepreneur to create a “guided path” for potential customers.
- Know the tools of Inbound Marketing, i.e., all the tools aimed at obtaining leads, i.e., data from our potential customers: name, surname, address, telephone number, etc.
- Know how to manage a CRM and integrate it with email marketing platforms.
- Skills in creating and managing websites using a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress.
- Knowledge, even basic, of User Experience. What is this all about? In short, it means being able to balance the usefulness and usability of a site. It is useless to have a site that is graphically beautiful but difficult to consult, just as it is useless to have a site that is too minimal but easy to use because it will not generate attraction for customers.
- Getting to know the tools of the Google Suite such as Adwords, Drive, Analytics, Data Studio, etc.
- Skills in using platforms for SEO analysis, heat maps, and insights.
- Social media presence: a digital entrepreneur needs to understand which social media are congenial for his or her business.
What to study to become a digital entrepreneur?
Now, you may ask yourself, “Is there an entrepreneur’s manual to do all this?” No, unfortunately; sorry to disappoint you. To make a career as a digital entrepreneur, you have to find time to train, update, and integrate the missing skills we have seen above.
I can imagine what you are thinking. I know it is not easy for a business owner to find time to devote to himself, let alone figure out what to study to establish yourself as a digital entrepreneur. That’s why there are courses for traditional entrepreneurs who want and need a turn to digital, explicitly designed for those with little time and who want to get everything done as quickly as possible.
So, what school does it take to become a digital entrepreneur? You don’t need to go to university; you just need to choose a school that specializes in the digital and offers comprehensive and targeted training in this field. Below are some training paths that you might be able to follow, despite your busy and unforeseen schedule:
- E-Commerce Business Course: essential to understand how to digitize business processes, train yourself and your employees, and devise a winning strategy for your online business.
- Digital Marketing Course: a complete course that will help you acquire all the digital skills an online entrepreneur needs.
- One-on-one training and Digital Coaching services are specifically designed for businesses, where lessons are available in direct online mode either in the evening or during the day, or “on demand” (always available online) and can be attended by several people.
In addition, one-on-one coaching hours will be made available, where experts in Digital Marketing (SEO, SEM, Facebook, Social Media, E-commerce, etc.) will be at the entrepreneur’s disposal for advice, suggestions on improvements to be made, and any clarifications.
In any choice, the entrepreneur is helped to grow digitally and educate himself. He is educated through innovative online didactics, which seek to adapt to future web entrepreneurs’ needs fully, and always provides coaching, which is necessary to develop the ”digital craftsman” career.
Besides that, you could also compare yourself with other entrepreneurs on the web. Engaging in some of the Digital Entrepreneur Communities can give you a deeper understanding of what the work of a digital entrepreneur consists of and offer you some valuable tips.
3 ideas for becoming a digital entrepreneur
Thanks to cyberspace, some past jobs have been transformed into real future jobs. As one can easily guess, going digital has enabled the establishment of new activities and professions, such as:
- Affiliate Marketing,
- Network Marketing,
- the online sale of products and services,
- the SEO Specialist,
- the Content Creator,
- Digital PR and much more.
The above examples allow you to turn your skills into real sources of income. Working online has also allowed you as an entrepreneur to become independent, freelance, learn how to sell yourself, and leverage your skills and talents, perhaps as a digital online consultant.
White-collar franchises can be a great option for digital entrepreneurs who want to build a successful business without having to start from scratch. These offer a proven business model, training and support, and a brand name that is already recognized by consumers. You can learn more, by visiting this page White collar Franchise process.
In the end, much of the business that makes money today comes from the economic sector of online sales of products or services, which were previously unthinkable to find via the Internet.
Download the free Guide and discover the best ideas to become a digital entrepreneur
1. Becoming a startupper
The digital world has also initiated what, in many cases, has become an authentic trend: the start-up.
The definition of a start-up is very simple: it is a new enterprise set up around a goal and initially takes on a temporary organization, often consisting of a young entrepreneur who, together with a team of experts with different skills, wants to make their business successful.
The ”demise rate” of start-ups is, unfortunately, very high because the effort required of the Internet entrepreneur who decides to launch such a project is heightened, and the preparation must be exceptional, if not above average.
Too many mistakes are not allowed in such a company, as there is no solid base to lean on when difficulties arise.
2. Implementation of new business models
Among the ideas for earning money as an online entrepreneur, one must take advantage of the opportunity to initiate new business strategies.
This is the real magic of digital because unlike those who, out of obtuseness, decide to remain in the offline world, those who enter the online world turn into digital excellence, whether they are digital natives or ”digital scholars”, know very well that the Internet and all its tools and channels always require integration, both with each other and with traditional marketing.
Nothing will work if no strategy ties all the individual components together and makes them communicate with each other and the web.
Digital has enabled the creation of methods such as the Digital Strategy Framework, which stands precisely as a starting pillar for entrepreneurs who want to take alternative paths and achieve the ultimate goal of selling their products and services.
3. Selling online
Recalling what was said at the end of point 1, let us return to highlight a striking but, at the same time, genuine fact: most entrepreneurs decide to make the move to the web because they are driven by the desire and even curiosity of selling online.
The common thought is that online sales increase a company’s overall turnover, as the propensity to buy on E-commerce platforms is definitely on the rise, given that during the day, every moment is good to take a trip on the Internet, in online shops, on Facebook, Instagram to buy something.
Examples of famous digital entrepreneurs
Establishing yourself as a successful digital entrepreneur requires aiming high. Anyone can aspire to become one with the right motivation, solid know-how, and a well-thought-out strategy (perhaps with the support of someone who has been working in digital entrepreneurship for a while).
Below you will find a list of some digital entrepreneurs who are owners of large companies, who have managed to integrate the offline world with the online world, or have even been born out of the digital wave:
American businessman Josh Abramson is co-founder of CollegeHumor, a well-known humor website, but that’s not all: he is also the founder of Connected Ventures, a multinational company that owns Vimeo and BustedTees. Finally, he is the CEO and owner of the T-shirt crowdsourcing design company TeePublic. In short, at only 37 years old, he has managed to build around himself small and highly successful empires, bringing together winning elements of the digital world, such as web comedy and the use of online videos.
Brian Acton is the co-founder, together with Jan Koum, of WhatsApp. He can be considered the perfect example of a digital entrepreneur; he is a programmer and an Internet entrepreneur by profession. After the Facebook company bought WhatsApp, he decided in 2018 to create a foundation with Moxie Marlinspike, the Signal Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing open-source privacy technology that protects freedom of expression and enables secure global communications.
Trip Adler John R. ”Trip” Adler III is the CEO and co-founder of Scribd, a document-sharing platform that today boasts more than 80 million users. His path could be taken as a model for many offline entrepreneurs; in fact, Trip Adler earned a biophysics degree from Harvard but decided to go off course and start his career in the online world.
His most famous projects before the virtual library were: a travel-sharing service, a site for universities, a call center, and a social media site.
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I direct Digital Coach®, the professional training school, leader in training all professionals who work in the Digital Marketing & Sales field.
As a trainer, I have trained over 35,000 business professionals from over 300 large multinational companies and over 5,000 Italian SMEs.
I devised the “Digital Strategy Framework®” method, thanks to which since 2014 I have been helping companies to define and improve over time a digital strategy that maximizes the generation of turnover and online sales.