Operating your own online business is exciting, but you have to go about doing it the right way. There are some steps involved that will increase your chances of doing very well with it. Take your item and don’t try to cut corners. There are many pitfalls you can fall into if you don’t have the right information. With a solid game plan, you can move forward and have a successful business you are proud to be involved with!
The following steps need to be part of your plan and execution for your online business:
- Find a consumer need or want and fill it with a product or service
- Create copy that evokes positive responses from your niche market
- Create a website that is easy on the eyes and simple to navigate
- Drive traffic to your website using search engine marketing and social media marketing
- Strive to develop a branding and a positive business reputation
- Use autoresponders to email your subscribers and customers who have previously purchased
- Upsells and back end sales can help you to increase your income per customer
Find a Consumer Need or Want and Fill it with a Product or Service
A common mistake is deciding on a product or service and just running with it. Then they have to hope luck is on their side they will find a niche market for it. The best option is to find a want or a need that is out there and then fill it. You will already have a niche market so it isn’t going to be hard to sell your products or services.
Spend a few hours online conducting research and you will come up with many ideas. While it should be something there is a need or want for, you should also be passionate about it. You need to be excited about what you sell, not just interested in making money from the process. As you search the internet, make a list of questions people have or feedback they give about unmet needs and wants. Make sure you check out forums on various topics.
Keyword research in the various search engines can help you to find what people are commonly searching for. It can also help you to see where there is an unmet need or want that you may be able to fill. It is a good idea to find out who your potential competitors would be. This allows you to see where they are falling short. Use that information to determine how you can offer a better product or service to the same niche market. Often, you can gain valuable insight by reading customer feedback including complaints on a given topic.
Create Copy that Evokes Positive Responses from your Niche Market
You only have a few seconds to grab and capture the attention of someone reading your information. In order to do so effectively, your copy needs to get them to be excited and to continue to read. You can write the copy yourself or outsource it to an expert. There are several elements to this process that must be in place, if any of them are missing, the puzzle is incomplete. They include:
- Powerful headline
- Describe the problem and how your product or service is going to resolve it
- Share your credibility and what makes you an expert on this topic
- Supply testimonials from happy customers using that product or service
- Share the benefits of the product or service so the customer knows what is in it for them
- Make them an offer too good to pass up
- Offer a generous warranty or guarantee on the product or service
- Create urgency so they will be motivated to make the purchase at that point in time
While you can gather some ideas for copy from other materials, you need to be careful not to just copy them. Instead, you need to focus on what makes your product or service unique and how it is going to make life easier for those who purchase it. Remember to get into the mindset of thinking from a customer’s point of view.
Create a Website that is Easy on the Eyes and Simple to Navigate
Your website needs to offer a delightful place for people to visit. This is where they will gather information on your products or services. It will also be where they go to place an order. The website needs to be professional and it needs to be easy for someone to navigate. Avoid elaborate concepts and just keep it simple and flowing. You have only a few seconds for someone to decide if they are going to stick around or not.
Here are some good rules of thumb to keep in mind for your website design:
- A plain white background is the easiest for reading
- Stick with one or two common fonts for text
- Audio, video, and graphics should only be used if they offer overall value to the message you wish to send to your niche market
- An opt in offer giving them something for free gives you a chance to collect names and emails to build your list
- The purchase process should take just a few clicks and they should always get a confirmation of their order when they checkout
Drive Traffic using Search Engines and Social Medial Marketing Techniques
You can’t just wait and hope for the best when it comes to your materials being indexed by search engines and seen by your niche market. You have to aggressively use legal means to get that information out there so they buy from you and not a competitor. Driving traffic using search engines is very important. Pay per Click (PPC) marketing is an excellent resource as you only pay when someone clicks the ad to see what you offer.
This type of search engine boost will happen very quickly, and that can help you to get to the top pages within the search engines. Most consumers don’t look further than the first page when they seek information. Instead, they change the search criteria to continue looking further. You can test out a variety of keywords to see which of them give you the most traffic.
Make sure those same keywords are distributed throughout your marketing materials and your website. Social media marketing is a wonderful and low cost way to get information out there. It allows you to reach your niche market through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and much more. An online presence for your business isn’t complete if you don’t have social media marketing in motion. Make sure it is completely separate from your own personal social media accounts.
Strive to Develop a Positive Reputation for your Business and to Brand it
What credentials do you bring to the offer that help people to believe you? Establishing your reputation is very important. So is creating a brand that people know, recognize, and feel good about. Even though your goal is to get consumers to buy your products or services, you need to offer them information. This will help them to be informed so they can make a good buying decision. A blog is a good way to share information with them and so is YouTube videos.
Using links in your website pages, you can connect them to those sources of information. They will simply click on the link and be taken to that informational resource. Here are some other ways to help you establish yourself as an expert and to promote the branding for your online business:
- Free content – Give away content that is valuable because it will help you to connect with your niche market. Plus, they will assume if the free stuff is excellent, so is what you sell.
- Sharing – Make it possible for them to easily share links or information with their own contacts.
- Social networking – Share your insight with others for free through social media. This can include a blog, answer questions on a forum, and sharing videos of how to use your products or services.
Use Autoresponders to Connect with your Opt in List and Previous Buyers
When it comes to any online business, your list of contacts is golden. You need to build that list on your own, never pay for one that is already created. The list will have names and emails of those that are interested in what you offer. Using autoresponders, you can send out periodic emails to them that share a particular message or offer. You should have different messages for potential customers than you do for those who have previously made a purchase.
You should only email those who have given you permission to do so. This will ensure you are doing the following:
- Providing them with information they welcome
- Forging a long term relationship with them
- You can find out the success rate of your emails based on click through rates
- Email marketing is fast, inexpensive, professional, and effective
Generate more Income with Upsells and Backend Sales
You already have the customer ready to buy, don’t let the additional income you can gain in the process slip through your fingers. You can generate substantially more income per order when you offer upsells and backend offers. You can also benefit from those who will return for an additional purchase from you at some point just because you followed up with them about additional offers.
That first time you sell to someone is the most difficult, and you spend the most money on that process. However, it can work in your favor and help you to build a loyal customer base. Not only will they make additional purchases, they will also recommend you to friends and family. They are also the ones leaving positive reviews online, further encouraging others to make that initial purchase from your online business.
Here is a great way for you to get the most return from your upsells and back end sales:
- Offer products or services that go hand in hand with the original purchase and compliments it
- Send out coupons, discount codes, and time sensitive offers to create a sense of urgency
- When someone makes a purchase, the thank you page should offer them one or two additional offers they can take advantage of at that time only
Take your time to make sure all of these steps are in place as you embark on your online business adventure. If you are missing any steps along the way, it can cause your business to struggle or even fail. This is a proven formula that can help you to generate money, to grow your business, and to see your niche market getting their needs and wants met!