You have an idea in your mind for a great Online Business, or you want to turn your bricks and mortar business into an Online Business, where do you start?
Make sure there is a market for your product or service
If you build it, they will come.
No, not necessarily. They have to “need to come”. You need to offer a product or service that your market wants. You need to provide the solution to their problem.
So, how do you know if the market is there?
Simple, if you’re bricks and mortar business – ask your clients! “Will you buy my products or services online?”
If you’re starting start some keyword research, look for competitors and try to gauge from their website and Social Media how popular their product or service is. Visit online forums in your niche to see if your product or service solves the problems of the participants.
Nail your selling process
This is something you need to work on early. You need to determine how you’re going to sell your product. To do this focus on these critical areas:
- Generating interest
- Describing the problem, you’re solving
- Establishing credibility
- Stating the benefits of the products
- Making an offer
- Creating urgency
- Closing the deal.
Design and build an easy to use website
Make sure your website is clean and easy to use. Stick to one or two simple fonts and an easy on the eye colour scheme. Ensure your navigation is easy to use and that any images or video enhance your message.
Create an opt-in for email sign up.
Ensure your purchase process is easy to use with ideally no more than two clicks from start to finish.
And finally, ensure your site is customer friendly.
Remember your website is your shop front – treat it as such.
SEO and SEM
Ensure your site is Search Engine Optimised(SEO) and consider running paid ads through Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
For both, you will need to research keywords and ensure these words feature heavily on your website and in your advertising.
Establish an Expert Reputation
Consider starting a blog on your website to establish credibility. Write about problems your products or services will fix and give the visitor something for nothing.
Ensure your blog is promoted through Social Media and ensure you participate in Online Forums in your niche to grow your reputation.
Create an Email List
Email marketing is a must for an online business. Ensure you have opt-in methods on your website and incentives for clients to sign up. Establish credibility and gain the client’s trust through a series of “Welcome” emails before trying to sell through the list and always leave the client feeling like they’re getting value from your emails.
Once a sale is made offer products that compliment the original purchase. This can be done best through your email marketing list but can also be done by offering products or discounts on the sale “thank you ” page or at the checkout.
Join Social Media
Social Media is a valuable tool to generate interest in your product or service. It’s challenging to sell anything via Social Media, but you can give your followers something for nothing by promoting your blog posts and special offers or discount codes. The key is to gain their trust and to be at the forefront so when the client is ready to buy; it’s you they remember.
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