There are so many possibilities on what you can sell or do online, you just have to find your niche and go for it. I’ve seen lots of people start a successful online business by doing some or all of the following steps:
- Find a need and go for it.
- Write compelling content that sells.
- Design and build a user friendly website.
- Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.
- Build and establish a credible reputation for yourself.
- Follow up with your customers and subscribers.
- Use back-end sales and upselling.
1. Find a need and go for it
Lots of people just starting out make a mistake and learn the hard way by failure. Failure is good sometimes because you learn from your mistakes. Lets just skip that failure and get right to the success. Instead of finding your product and then market, start with finding your market and then you’ll be able to determine what product you want to sell. The trick is to find a group of people or community who are searching for solutions to their problems. Here are some easy ways to research:
- Visit online forums to find out what questions people are asking and what problems they’re trying to solve.
- Do keyword research from Google and find what people are searching for.
- Find competitors and check out their website to see what they’re doing to fill the demand. After learning what they’re doing you can use this to create a product for the market that already exists.
2. Write compelling content that sells
I’ve come across some proven sales formulas that take visitors through the selling process from the moment they visit your site to the moment they make the purchase. Here are a few of them:
- 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 and have a strong guarantee.
- Create urgency.
- Ask for the sale.
Throughout your content, you need to focus on how your product or service is going to solve the problem for the user or make their lives better. Always think like the customer.
3. Design and build a user friendly website
Once you have figured out your market and your product or service it’s now time to create and build a user friendly website. Keep your website simple and make sure it flows smoothly on all pages. You have about 3 seconds to capture your audience’s attention so it’s good to keep these things in mind when designing your website:
- 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 user-friendly.
- Always have contact info in your footer on all pages.
4. Use search engines to drive traffic to your site
Google has a great way to advertise on their search engine, it’s called pay-per-click. This is the easiest way to get traffic to brand new website. PPC ads show up on search engines immediately. Also, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, headlines, prices and selling approaches. With these ads you can determine which ads are converting the best and then use those keywords throughout your website.
5. Build and establish a credible reputation for yourself
Everyone uses the internet to find information. Provide information for free to other sites, and you’ll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information.
- 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.
You’ll reach new users. Even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love back links from relevant sites and will help increase your search engine rankings.
6. Follow up with your customers and subscribers
Building a list of customers and subscribers gives you the ability to send new products or new information to. Email marketing is some of the cheapest ways to market right now and if they user gave you their email they gave you permission to send them new updates. Anyone who opts in to your list is a hot lead. Take advantage of this hot lead and let them know of a special offer you have going on or something to help turn them into buyers. Always follow up with former customers as well, never know they might become a customer again. It’s estimated about 35% of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them.
7. Use back-end sales and upselling
One of the most important marketing strategies to use and one of the easiest. Use back-end selling and upselling to get the customer to buy again. Offer products that complement their original purchase. You can do this by sending them similiar products in an email or when they’re checking out have a banner at the bottom of the page saying something like, “Check out these related products.” Also, you can send out loyalty coupons via email that the customers can redeem on their next visit. Finally, always have a thank you page created and direct the customers to that page after the purchase is completed.
The internet changes so fast and what is popular today might not be popular tomorrow. That’s why if you follow this process and make sure to find a market before your product, you should be successful. These are just the basics to get your starting building your online company. If you’ve already have a good online company then please use this as refreshers.
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