There is a proven series of steps you can follow to assure your success when you’re starting a small or large online business. I’ve seen a lot of people start and grow successful businesses by doing the following:
- Find Problems and Solve them.
- Write intriguing sales copy.
- Design and build an easy-to-use and effective website.
- Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.
- Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
- Follow up with your customers and subscribers with email.
- Don’t neglect any promotional strategy
- Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.
Anyone, from newbie to seasoned online entrepreneur, can benefit from this process in learning how to start a business online. I will be elaborating how you can easily put the above sequence into practice and why its necessary to use them.
1. Find Problems and Solve them
Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.
To boost your chances of success, start with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy:
- Visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they’re trying to solve.
- Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which not many sites are competing.
- Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they’re doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you’ve learned and create a product for a market that already exists–and do it better than the competition.
2. Write intriguing sales copy.
There’s a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase. Below is the latest sales copy that sell:
- Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
- Describe the problem your product solves.
- Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
- Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
- Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
- Make an offer.
- Make a strong guarantee.
- Create urgency.
- Ask for the sale.
Throughout your copy, you need to focus on how your product or service is uniquely able to solve people’s problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask “What’s in it for me?”
3. Design and build your website.
Once you’ve got your market and product, and you’ve nailed down your selling process, now you’re ready for your small-business web design. Remember to keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone’s attention–otherwise they’re gone, never to be seen again. Some important tips to keep in mind:
- Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
- Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
- Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
- Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
- Make it easy to buy–no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
- Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.
4. Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site.
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically.
First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.
5. Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
People use the internet to find information. Provide that information for free to other sites, and you’ll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information. Here are the following tips you can use:
- Give away free, expert content. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites.
- Include “send to a friend” links on valuable content on your website.
- Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.
You’ll reach new readers. But even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love links from relevant sites and will reward you in the rankings.
6. Use the power of email marketing to turn visitors into buyers.
When you build an opt-in list, you’re creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them email. That means:
- You’re giving them something they’ve asked for.
- You’re developing lifetime relationships with them.
- The response is 100 percent measurable.
- Email marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it’s highly targeted.
Anyone who visits your site and opts in to your list is a very hot lead. And there’s no better tool than email for following up with those leads.
7. Don’t Neglect other promoting strategies
Always maximize your different social media platforms. Post about your product reviews, comments from users on your timeline as more people may get to know it. Always tell your friends through face-face conversation. But mind you, it’s not everyone you will tell that you own the product, because some people are stingy and may not want to use it as soon as they know that you own they product or service.
You can always say “I used this product and I was delighted”.
8. Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.
One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop every customer’s lifetime value. At least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them. Closing that first sale is by far the most difficult part–not to mention the most expensive. So use back-end selling and upselling to get them to buy again. By doing the below:
- Offer products that complement their original purchase.
- Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit.
- Offer related products on your “Thank You” page after they purchase.
- Reward your customers for their loyalty and they’ll become even more loyal.
The internet revolutes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven’t changed at all. If you’re just starting a small business online, stick to this series. If you’ve been online a while, do a quick review and see if there’s a step you’re neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can’t go wrong with the basics.
On my next article, I will be revealing some simple but effective Online businesses you can start and most of them are just free, so stay up-to-date with us.
Hope this is helpful, do you benefit from this post or do you have more tips? Use the comment section below.