Below I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips you’ll want to consider when thinking about building your own online business. The list is by no means exhaustive. Each one is in practice for my own online business and there are many leaders in the industry that are also using the same techniques to succeed in their own businesses.
1) Find a niche market
When starting an online business from scratch you first need to think about what it is you are going to sell or provide to your customers. Selling everything and anything to anyone is not going to cut it today especially in the online world. Customers will always try to get the best service offered. If you are the best in your field then people will come to you. Pick a niche that has a high demand. No demand = no sales.
2) Target the right customers
Once you have chosen a niche market you will need to target to a specific customer. There’s no point in trying to sell cycling gear to someone who doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Find out who’s interested in your product. Where do they shop (online)? How much do they spend on their interest a month? Are you aiming your product at a specific age group? How can you meet their needs?
3) Choose a platform to market your business
Choosing somewhere to market your product is the next step. This could be in the form of an authority website where you can market your brand. Depending on what your product is there are different ways to do this, for example if you are offering online services such as a course or expertise in a specific field then this is a great way to market yourself. You could start a blog to build yourself up and get your name out there as an expert. You could write articles and place them on article marketing websites. If you have a physical product to sell then you can create an eCommerce website.
4) Build a list
Building a list is probably one of the most important things you can do when starting an online business. If you don’t have a list then you don’t have customers. Once that customer subscribes to your list you have them for life and you can continue to market your products to them increasing the value that you have to offer. It’s easier to sell to existing customers than it is to new ones as they already have that trust, which brings me to my next point.
5) Build trust with your customers
Without trust between yourself and your customer you will not be able to sell to them. Take some time to tell your customers about yourself and your business. Why can they trust you over another supplier? What’s special about your business? Relate to the customer, share with them relatable experiences. This is what blogs and authority sites are great for. This is a place where they can learn about you and your product before you send them to your business page.
6) Become an expert in your field
Learn the ins and outs of your field. If you are selling expertise in nutrition but don’t know the first thing about eating healthily then you’re setting yourself up for failure. When people go to a specific site to find information on a subject then that’s exactly what they should get. If you’re advertising a new health regime but can’t answer questions when your customers come to you then you don’t have a business to stand on. Know what you are selling. Educate yourself before you can teach others.
7) Add incredible value
There is no better tip to success than adding value to someone’s life. If you can solve somebody’s problems they will pay good money to have them solved. But make sure you do have the answer for them. You don’t want your business branded as a scam. If you are knowledgeable in a subject it’s likely someone else needs that information, so teach what you know.
Obviously your success will be the result of you making sales and you can’t make sales without marketing your business. Advertising doesn’t always have to be expensive, in fact there are some pretty good ways to advertise your business for free such as forum marketing, blogging, article marketing. Just know that if you are advertising this way it will take a lot longer for your business to make a profit than if you were using paid advertising methods. Paid methods include PPC (pay per click) social media, banner ads etc.
9) Follow up with customers
Once you start making sales it is important to follow up with your existing customers. As well as ensuring they received the service they were hoping for, you can direct them to your authority site where you have news and upcoming promotions on your next products or perhaps a newsletter they might be interested in. Always keep your current customers happy and interested, they will come back for more.
10) Optimize and repeat
So you’ve made your first sale and you’re pretty chuffed with it, well the best part is you can do it all over again. Optimize your methods. Find out what worked best for you, what were the best marketing methods. Was there a particular ad that did better than others? Get rid of the stuff that’s not working for you. It can take some time to work out the best methods for your marketing campaigns and it changes all the time but this is what sets the best businesses apart from the rest, how well you can optimize your methods and repeat the process with even more success.