For some time now, you’ve been thinking about starting an online business. In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know to speed up the process.
The truth is, starting a business can be daunting, especially if you are a complete beginner. Too much going on and if you lose focus, you might end up regretting down the line.
You don’t want that to happen to you, right?
I don’t either. And that is why I have compiled this guide to act as a road map to starting an online business you’ve always dreamed about.
Here, I will take you from finding that elusive business idea to the point you are ready to make your first sale.
Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Find a need and fill it
As an entrepreneur, your primary call is to solve people’s problems. It is not about the money, well, most of us think it is but it isn’t.
You should think about what problems exist in your environment that can you can adequately solve.
The mistake people like you, who are just starting always make is trying to find the product first and then look for the market second.
Don’t do that.
Do this instead:
Find a group of people looking for a solution to a problem, but not getting enough solutions.
How can you do that?
- Join online forums and look at the type of questions people ask as well as problems they are looking for solutions
- Use keyword research tools to identify popular keywords with less competition
- Spy on the competition, not to copy, but be inspired. Look at what they are doing to fulfill the market need
Go back and use what you’ve learned to create a solution. And remember, you are curating it for the existing market, so make sure it is better than the competition.
Use copywriting to sell
Copywriting is a technique used to move a person from a potential customer to a paying customer. You do that using only words, and that is the coolest thing about copywriting.
Here is how to do that:
- Use a compelling headline to attract their attention
- Describe the problem your product or service tries to solve
- Show them why you are the right person to solve that problem (establish credibility)
- Compile testimonials from your existing customers. If you don’t have any, invite beta-testers.
- Introduce the product and discuss how it works to solve the problem (benefits)
- Give an offer
- Give out irresistible guarantee
- Push them to commit by creating urgency
- Eat that frog (ask for the sale)
That is how you write an effective sales copy. And throughout the copy, make sure you are making it what’s in it for the customer.
No one cares about you until you show you care about them.
So, you have moved from identifying a solution to a problem faced by the existing market, to creating a sales copy to push the solution.
Create a website
Time to get serious with your online business.
It is time to create a beautiful website. But remember, you don’t have much time to waste wondering what to do here. We have a free website builder you can use to create a beautiful website within minutes.
One more thing:
You have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention once they land on your website, otherwise, they are out and you may never see them again.
For this reason, here are some few tips to consider:
- Make the website navigation and design clear and simple. Avoid unnecessary clutter
- Only add audio or videos if they help you sell, other than that, avoid them because they are a distraction
- Add email opt-ins to collect email addresses (offer something for free in exchange for an email address)
- Simplify the checkout process. The shorter, the better
Read this article to learn more about creating your website.
Leverage search engines to drive traffic
There are two ways to dry traffic to your new website and make sales. One, through SEO (search engine optimization). This is a free way to drive targeted traffic by positioning your website to attract specific people. One downside is that it takes time for it to yield results. But that doesn’t mean it is useless.
The second option is PPC (pay per click) advertising. Here, you are paying Google to show your website to people who are searching for a specific solution. This is done by targeting certain keywords.
To do this, think about your target audience, what terms do they use when searching for solutions your product or service solve?
If you are selling weight loss supplements, people searching for weight loss products search for things like weight loss products. Go ahead and target that keyword.
Build a reputation
Next thing is to establish yourself as the go-to person in your niche. You do that by building a solid reputation and positioning yourself as an expert.
- Write free content, courses, training, and articles about your niche
- Join industry forums and start contributing to arising questions you can solve
- Encourage your readers to share the content with their friends.
Take advantage of email marketing
Remember the opt-in you added above?
It will be collecting emails from your potential customers. Your job is to build a solid relationship with them through a series of emails.
Do not sell anything to them unless absolutely relevant. First focus on establishing a mutual relationship, then only mention your products when it makes sense to do so.
- Send emails once or twice per week. Too much and you are annoying, too little and they will forget you
- Offer training through emails
- Use catchy headlines to increase open rates
Email marketing is the cheapest way to grow a business.
Increase profits by offering to recommend more products
Do you know the best time to make more money?
When someone has just bought something from you. That’s right. She is showing you that she trusts you and that is why she bought from you.
You can reciprocate that by offering more products you think can help them even further. And that is how you make more sales.
Do not be pushy.
Final thoughts on starting an online business
If you want to start and grow an online business, these are the steps you need to follow. But if you have an established business, review these steps and see where you need to improve.