There is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you're starting a small business online. I've seen thousands of people start and grow successful businesses by doing the following:
Find a need and fill it.
Write copy that sells.
Design and build an easy-to-use website.
Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.
Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
Follow up with your customers and subscribers with email.
Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.
Anyone, from newbie to seasoned online entrepreneur, can benefit from this process in learning how to start a business online.
Step 1: Start a business that fills a need.
The majority of newcomers make the error of searching for a product first and a market second.
Start with a market to increase your likelihood of success. Finding a group of people who are trying to solve a problem but are having trouble doing so is the key. This type of market research is simple because to the internet:
Check out internet discussion boards to see what issues individuals are trying to solve and what questions they are asking.
Find terms using keyword research that are popular yet don't face a lot of competition from other websites.
Examine possible rivals by visiting their websites and noting what they are doing to meet the demand. Then you may apply what you've learnt to develop a product for an existing market, outperforming the competition.
Step 2: Write copy that sells.
There's a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:
Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
Describe the problem your product solves.
Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
Make an offer.
Make a strong guarantee.
Ask for the sale.
Throughout your copy, you need to focus on how your product or service is uniquely able to solve people's problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask, "What's in it for me?"
Step 3: Design and build your website.
You're ready to start your small-business web design once you've determined your target market, your product, and your selling strategy. Always keep things straightforward. You just have a few seconds to capture someone's interest before they disappear, never to be seen again. Here are some key pointers to bear in mind:
Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
Only use graphics, audio, or video if they enhance your message.
Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
Make it easy to buy -- no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer friendly.
Step 4: Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site.
The simplest technique to get visitors to a new website is through pay-per-click marketing. Compared to waiting for organic traffic to find you, it has two benefits. PPC ads allow you to test various keywords, headlines, prices, and selling strategies. They also immediately appear on search results pages. You may find your best, highest-converting keywords by using PPC ads in addition to getting quick traffic. Then, you may sprinkle the keywords liberally throughout your website's language and code to improve your rankings in natural search results.
Step 5: Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
The internet is used by people to find information. You'll experience increased traffic and higher search engine results if you provide that information away for free to other websites. Always include a link to your website with each piece of information is the trick.
Give away free, expert content. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites.
Include "send to a friend" links on valuable content on your website.
Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.
Step 6: Use the power of email marketing to turn visitors into buyers.
When you build an opt-in list, you're creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them an email. That means:
You're giving them something they've asked for.
You're developing lifetime relationships with them.
The response is 100 percent measurable.
Email marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it's highly targeted.
Anyone who visits your site and opts into your list is a very hot lead. And there's no better tool than email for following up with those leads.
Step 7: Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.
One of the main web advertising methodologies is to foster each client's lifetime esteem. Somewhere around 36% of individuals who have bought from you once will purchase from you in the future if you circle back to them. Bringing that first deal to a close is by a long shot the most troublesome aspect - - also the costliest. So, use back end selling and upselling to inspire them to purchase once more:
Offer products that complement their original purchase.
Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit.
Offer related products on your "Thank You" page after they purchase.
Reward your customers for their loyalty and they'll become even more loyal.