We have all seen or heard this question a thousand times: How do you start a business online? Experts may have different advice but they mostly agree on one thing: Do not procrastinate. Get started even if you think you are not ready. To help with the first step and star your momentum following these seven steps to help you get closer to your own online business. These steps can be helpful, whether you are a veteran or a newbie.
1.) Find a gap and fill it
Think of a group of people with a need and provide them with a product or a service, otherwise known as market research. It helps if you are knowledgeable or passionate about the subject you want to promote, but not essential. We know this first hand.
Use Google as a start. Visit different forums, Face Book groups, ask your friend, co-workers, network, etc. You can take it a step further by including keyword research into the process. And as always, it’s a wise choice to see what your competition is doing.
If you cannot think of a unique product or services find one that may already exist and that is in high demand. This way you can market for others and get paid a commission (otherwise known as affiliate marketing – read more on this in our other blogs). Even better, marketing a product or service that is in a unique niche, with a premium price, can mean less competition, yet likely fewer sales. However, make sure your affiliate offer has a generous commission. This way you can sell less quantity within a niche but for a higher profit per sale.
2.) Your Copywriting should sell, but not sell HARD.
The online world revolves around an excellent copy. Think of the reason why you clicked an article and decided to continue reading. Think about that process for a moment. It may look a little like the following…..
- Incite interest with a catchy headline
- Explain the problem solved by your service or product.
- Ascertain your authority as a solver of the issue.
- Include reviews and testimonials by yourself or other users.
- Talk of your products and the benefits of using it
- Produce an offer
- Provide a reliable guarantee
- Build urgency
- Ask for the sale
……and it had better be all the above to keep readers attention. But if you come across as only a sales pitch, constantly, it will turn off viewers for every. Give your followers good and useful information, original ideas help but is not always necessary. At some point you should subtly introduce something for sale but an free offer to, at minimum, get their email is just as good. Someone voluntarily giving an email is sometimes better because it helps build trust and an email list which is gold in the on-line marketing business.
If you don’t consider yourself a good or fast writer, you can outsource it, for very little costs. In fact you can outsource most of your on-line marketing efforts mentioned here and more. You would be surprised what is available on the internet…..or would you?
3.) Design your enticing website
Now that you have selected a market and zeroed in on a great product or service its time to build a platform to sell it. For this, you are going to need a website and the points you learned in step 2. Remember you don’t need to move mountains; all you need is a simple, effective website that will capture the attention of your visitor with short attention spans. Do not use all the colors in the rainbow. Use catchy fonts but don’t overdo it. Provide your visitors with a meaningful menu that helps easy navigation. And make sure it loads well on mobile as well.
Regardless of how or when your prospective customer is ready to buy in your on-line marketing process you will need to drive them into a web page that “closes the sale” automatically. This particular web page is commonly referred to as the “sales funnel”. Unless you are experienced with creating web sites we, strongly recommend that you look into outsourcing – at least – the sales funnel creation. Click here to read more about one of our favorite and easy to use sales funnel tools.
4.) Use different marketing tools to drive traffic to your website.
Now that your website is ready to accept orders, it’s time to bring in interested parties. To do this, you don’t need to invest some money in advertising. Just by using your own social media platforms you can drive visitors to your website with strategically place blog posts or answering other subscribers related questions on the many website, blogs and forums on the internet.
However, with a modest budget you can pay someone or learn how to use search engine optimization (SEO) or Social Media advertising. By creating various Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, you can work out which keywords and strategies work best for your business.
Once again, software and outsourcing is available on the Web for this, as well.
5) Increase your reputation in solving specific problems will help brand awareness.
By generating information about yourself, you can infuse your personality into your online business. This can be achieved by creating blog posts, articles or videos – something many people already do regularly on social media without realizing it can be used as content to eventually persuade others to buy something or build an email list for future sales potential.
It is easier than you think to transition your social media presence into a business, engaging your audience through creating advice, reviews, giveaways, and live sessions to explain your expertise or passions on various fields. If you are unwilling or unable to use your own name, it is perfectly common and legal to use a pseudonym or “pen name’.
6). Use creative ways to capture email addresses to ensure future loyalty and sales
As touched upon above, once you’ve built an audience or regular visitors, it’s a great idea to create methods to capture email addresses; this process is known as email marketing. Creating subscribers can measurably increase your sales, as you will be providing them interesting and useful content. If they want more from you or your sources they will voluntarily provide you with their email- otherwise known as an “opt-in” process. This is a highly targeted, almost free method of marketing which provide much more quality leads, potential sales and loyalty. Utilizing certain, affordable and user-friendly email messaging software you can automatically follow up with ideas, marketing, sales offers, discount codes and much more, thus, establishing your brand and credibility over time.
7.) Increase profits with back-end sales and up-selling.
Web-based marketing and E-commerce are a “the great equalizer” for any newbie to marketing and sales. The hurdle of making your first sale is the liberating. We know. And once you have done so and gained the trust of your customer, there is a high chance that they will purchase from you again and send you many referrals. This is a great opportunity for you to capitalize by, for example, offering new or complimentary products (or services), a lower price, sell refill’s or a replacement part for the first product you sold. This relationship you build is where you will make most of your money as this typically is your lowest cost to marketing or advertising.
As mentioned in step 3, a properly designed sales funnel is key to turning viewers into buyer. The “up-sell” page is usually a vital part of ensuring your business is not just making “ends meet”, but is actually making a good profit for long time.
So what are you waiting for?
Now that you have the seven initial steps for creating a successful business online it’s time to put these to the test and get your hands dirty. As you practice these basic steps over and over again, you will gain more experience and confidence to change the rules to fit your schedule. Do not make excuses! Do not wait to become an expert or be perfect! You will make mistakes along the way. We know. But that is how you get better. If you are worried about what others will think of you then stay at your low paying, boring, and frustrating 9-5 job. So go forth and be bold!