9 Lessons From an Accidental Entrepreneur

Andrea Kihlstedt reveals what she learned launching her online business Asking Matters — and how to make money on the Internet

by Elizabeth Isele • Next Avenue
mature woman smiling image
Photograph: Andrea Kihlstedt

5. A social media pro can help connect your business with its natural constituency. "My first thought was that all we had to do to be successful was post a wealth of information on the site and people would beat a path to our door. But we hadn’t figured out how to make money online. So we hired a social media consultant who taught us about the value of blogging, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We started social networking aggressively and gradually built an email list of thousands of people who buy our products."

6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. "I’ve learned how to shoot and edit video interviews of experts and they’re now some of our most popular pages. I’ve actually gotten quite good at it, but along the way I've made some embarrassing mistakes. Fortunately, everyone's been good humored about them and we’ve been able to correct the footage. Today, anyone can make and share a great little video with an inexpensive camera or iPhone. All you have to do is be willing to make a fool of yourself for a while as you learn — and even that can be fun."

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