Starting an online business is easy.
But building a successful and sustainable business online is where the work is.
People jump into different online businesses with the mindset that making money online is easier compared to a brick-and-mortar business.
This might be true to an extent but there are still some important steps you must observe if you want to make significant and consistent sales online.
This blog post covers 7 important tips that would make your online business a success.
1] Clearly Define Who Your Target Audience Is
The number one reason marketing fails is a lack of understanding of the audience or not having a target audience defined in the first place.
To successfully run an online business, you must first of all know who your target audience is and how to market your product as the solution to their problems.
You want to answer questions like:
°Who exactly is this product/service for?
°How is it different from other products/services in the market right now?
°What exactly motivates my customers to buy?
As a good marketer, you want to get into your customers’ shoes every day and ask yourself, what would they want to hear and how you can give them this.
Another strategy to your market research would be to look out for your competitors and their offering and how to come up with something unique, different, or superior.
2] Give your website your best shot
As a physical store is to a brick-and-mortar business, so is your website to your online business. So you shouldn’t cut corners with your website.
But first off, what exactly makes a good business website?
- Easy to use.
- Mobile-friendly and fast loading.
- Simple and intuitive design.
You don’t want to over-design a business website. You want to keep it simple and easy to use for your customers.
Your website copy should be clear and concise. Avoid Industry jargon and keep your copy as simple as possible.
Your website should also serve as your online salesman. You want to show to your website visitors that you have what it takes to solve their problems by displaying several forms of social proof, testimonials and customer reviews.
3] Leverage Social Media Profitably
I found that the problem most brands face with social media isn’t whether or not to take advantage of it, but how to take advantage of it.
A wrong approach a lot of brands take is trying to leverage several social media platforms all at once.
It is advisable to start with one social media platform and build something sustainable before going on to take on another platform.
To attract and keep your customers glued to your social media page, you want to be very customer-centric about all that you post. It should be something valuable to them and would keep them coming back for more.
Social media also loves authenticity. People want to see what goes on behind the scenes in your business. Social media is a great way to create an emotional connection between your brand and your customers.
Be intentional about creating emotional content that intrigues people, sharing your brand story, testimonials, customer feedback and infusing personality into all of your content.
4] Sales funnels are the backbone of every online business success
People hardly buy from a business the first time they learn about their product/service and that is why online businesses need to leverage on sales funnels.
Businesses spend a lot of me to build brand awareness for their offering via social, paid ads and content marketing but no viable strategy to nurture these contacts till the point where they actually buy.
A sales funnel is simply all the steps involved to ensure a prospect who first learns about your product/service eventually buys from you.
I like to think that any online business that doesn’t have a working sales funnel is not serious about making significant sales.
Here is a possible example of what a customer journey through a sales funnel might look like:
Facebook ad —> Lead Magnet —> Email Follow up —> Conversion
You want to build a healthy relationship with that prospect until the point where they eventually make that purchase.
The biggest advantage in all these is that sales funnels can be completely automated and all of the necessary customer interactions can be made to run on autopilot.
5] Outsource What You Can’t Handle.
Running a successful online business requires various pipelines working in sync and it is almost impossible to single-handedly bear the responsibility of keeping everything working as they should.
Sometimes, you might not even have the technical know-how to handle your website design or build an effective sales funnel.
Knowing fully well that these are business assets that would drive sales for your business, you should outsource or call for help when needed.
Just like a traditional business, an online business is an investment and these investments are necessary if you must scale and grow.
6] Build And Maintain A Positive Brand Reputation
In today’s digital age, all it takes is one silly mistake to go viral and all your hard work will be for nought.
Likewise, building a good reputation for your brand online is also easier if you put in the effort.
One effective way to build and maintain a positive reputation for your brand is by providing outstanding customer experiences for those who buy from you by improving your customer support and access channels.
Good customer experience signals to your customers that the brand genuinely cares about them and is a good way to promote referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.
7] Be persistent and consistent
Businesses are rarely successful overnight. Persistence is key when running a business online and in your persistence, you have to be consistent.
Just like in a traditional business, you have to show up daily and consistently be in your customers’ faces.
Consistency helps your customers and clients to know you are reliable and can be counted on.
Remember, whether online or offline, it is still a business and must be treated as one.