The lifestyle that comes from running an online business is priceless. The idea of abandoning the 9-5 race, working from home and enjoying the abundant income the internet has to offer is alluring for many folks who go choose to do business online.
Although alluring, a successful business doesn’t happen accidentally.Just like business in the physical world, there are factors that will influence your success. So before you rush out and pay your website developers, make sure you’re aware of the following:
Sell a great product
Whether you’re selling a physical product/information/service make sure it’s of high quality. There is so much junk sold online, so the last thing you want to do is ruin your reputation by selling a low quality product.
Furthermore, make sure you’re product is not a complete re-hash of something that already exists online.
The more original you’re offering is to the online space, the easier it will be to differentiate yourself and get noticed!
Just like real life, it’s all about getting a unique selling proposition across to the customer. Figure and out and aim to communicate the essence of why you’re business is special.
Then get the word out! Considering there are over 108,810,358 websites online (Netcraft Web Server Survey) you need something to say: "LOOK OVER HERE, MY BUSINESS HAS ARRIVED!".
The essence of online marketing is to let, as many people know about your existence as possible (and have them remember you!). This will build the traffic that you need to do business. A couple of great ways to do this is:
- Have a memorable website name and domain
- Post comments on blogs and forums
- Write articles and submit them to directories
- Build links to your site
- Make your website search engine friendly
- Pay Per Click Advertising
If the content you produce is valuable, then you’re providing even more value by letting more people know about it.
If you learn about a great new web site, do you let other people know about it? Aim to make your business "that site" so that you’re customers spread word for you!
Monetise your traffic!
After you have gotten people through the door, its time to turn them into paying customers!
Does a coffee store with no one behind the front desk sell coffees? Of course not!So a website that converts visitors into buyers is critical!
Define what you want from visitors to your site. Maybe it’s a sale, maybe it’s a lead, whatever it is, make sure that your website gives a clear pathway for the visitor to enable your goal.
Make sure you’re website is simple, clean and functional. Ask yourself, if I were a customer, would I know what to do next?
Happy customers are more likely to buy again right? A good business will stay in touch with their customers with newsletters, blogs and special offers.
Loyalty programs and bonus offers based on points are also ways of encouraging customers to come back.
Communication is the trick and should have all your previous customers coming back for more!
In the next episode
Theory, theory, theory, lets look at some examples! Tune in next time and we can see how these elements have been applied by thriving online businesses.
Nothing like seeing the successful in action!