Steps You Can Take In Starting A Business Online
There is a proven sequence of steps you can take to ensure your success in starting a small business online. I’ve seen thousands of people create and grow successful businesses by doing the following:
- Find and fill in a need.
- Write a copy that sells.
- Design and build a user-friendly website.
- Make use of the search engines to drive traffic to your website.
- Build a reputation for being an expert.
- Follow your customers and email subscribers.
- Grow your income through back-end sales and upselling.
Everyone from the novice to the seasoned online entrepreneur can benefit from this process to learn how to start an online business.
Step 1: Start A Business That Fill In A Need
Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of researching a product first, then a market.
To increase your chances of success, start with a market. The scheme is to look out for a group of people for a solution to a problem but not find any results. Social media makes this type of market research easier:
- Visit online forums to see what questions people are asking and what problems they are trying to solve.
- Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are looking for but that don’t compete with other websites.
- Find out about your potential competitors by visiting their websites and making notes of what they are doing to meet the demand. Then you can apply what you have learned and create a product for an existing market – better than the competition.
Step 2: Make A Copy That Sells
There is a proven copy-for-sale formula that guides visitors through the sales process from arrival to purchase:
- Generate interest with a compelling headline.
- Describe the problem your product solves.
- Establish your credibility as a problem solver.
- You have to add testimonials from people who have used your product.
- Talk about the product and its benefits for the user.
- Make an offer.
- Make a strong guarantee.
- Create urgency.
- Ask about the sale.
Throughout your text, you need to focus on how your product or service is capable of solving people’s problems or improving their lives. Then you think like a customer and ask “What’s in this for me?”
Step 3: Design And Build Your Website
Once you have your market and product and define your sales process, you are now ready to start designing your small business website. Remember to keep it simple. You have less than five seconds to grab someone’s attention – otherwise, they’re gone and never to be seen again. See some important tips to keep in mind below:
- Choose one or two solid fonts on a white background.
- You have to make your navigation clear and simple and the same on every page.
- Only use graphics, audio, or video if they improve your message.
- Add an opt-in offer so you can collect email addresses.
- Make it easy for yourself to buy – no more than two clicks between prospect and checkout.
- Your website is your online storefront so make it user-friendly.
Step 4: Make Use Of The Search Engines To Target Buyers For Your Website
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to drive traffic to a whole new website. This has two advantages over waiting for traffic to come to you organically.
First, PPC ads appear instantly on search pages, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords as well as titles, prices, and sales approaches. Not only do you get instant traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to find your keywords with the best conversions. Then you can spread the keywords in your text and code all over your website which will help your ranking in organic search results.
Step 5: Build Yourself A Reputation As An Expert
People use the internet to find information. Make this information available to other websites for free and you will see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always add a link to your website with every piece of information.
- Offer free and expert content. Create articles, videos, or other content that people find useful. Distribute this content through online article directories or social media sites.
- Add links to send to a friend valuable content on your website.
- Become an active expert on industry forums and social networking sites where your target market is located.
You reach new readers. Better yet, every website that publishes your content points to yours. Search engines love links from relevant pages and reward you in the rankings.
Step 6: Use The Power Of Email Marketing To Turn Visitors Into Buyers
When you create a registration list, you are creating one of your company’s most valuable assets online. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them an email. That means:
- You give them something they asked for.
- You develop lifelong relationships with them.
- The answer is 100 percent measurable.
- Email marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV, or radio because it is very targeted.
Anyone who visits your website and signs up for your list is a very interesting lead. And there’s no better tool than email to follow up on those leads.
Step 7: Grow Your Income Through Back-End Sales And Upselling
One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop each customer’s lifetime value. At least 36% of people who bought from you once will buy from you again if you follow them up.
Completing that first sale is by far the hardest part – let alone the most expensive. So use back-end sales and upselling to get them to buy again:
- Offer products that complement your initial purchase.
- Send electronic loyalty coupons to use on your next visit.
- After purchase, suggest related products on your “Thank you” page.
Reward your customers for their loyalty and they will become even more loyal.
The internet is changing so fast that one year online is roughly five years in the real world. But the principles for starting and growing a successful online business haven’t changed at all. If you’ve just started a small online business, stick to this order. If you’ve been online for a while, do a quick double-check to see if you missed a step or didn’t get it right at all. You can’t go wrong with the basics.
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