So you dream of building a successful online business but don’t know where to start or what the first steps are. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Building a business always comes with its headaches, but here are some ideas to help you get moving in the right direction and build a profitable online business.
1. Your Online Business Should Cater to a Target Market/Niche
Before anything else, you should know your target audience, and you should know it well. You’ll have to spend time researching and honing in on specific characteristics: what is the average age of someone in this market? Are they mostly male or female, or both? Do they have children, or are they single? Make sure you know your market inside and out. This will help you to put yourself in their shoes and think from their perspective. Once you have brainstormed and familiarized yourself with your market, it’s time to get those creative gears turning.
2. Sell an In-Demand Product in a New Way
As you develop your product or service, it should be specifically for your target market: something they already have a need for and are willing to spend money on. Make sure you stick with what you know and what you’re good at. This will only make your life easier and ultimately, your online business more successful. Remember: cater to the people who are already willing to buy and choose a niche that makes sense for you.
Once you have decided on your product or service, ask yourself: What about this product is going to set my online business apart from the competition? Tap into your creativity and figure out what makes your offering different. You’ve got to have an edge if you want to stand out and be successful. A unique selling position encourages your customers to come back to you time and time again, rather than going to one of your competitors because you all blend together. Maybe you offer better guarantees, customer services, free shipping, or competitive prices. Figure out how you will stand out and make sure you emphasize this to your customers.
3. Develop a User-Friendly Website
When it comes to a domain name, make sure you capture the essence of your company, what makes it different, and your unique selling position. It should be concise, to the point and include all the essential details of your business. Always take the time to proofread or hire an editor to ensure your copy is error-free and as effective as it can possibly be. Otherwise, your business will appear unprofessional and untrustworthy.
You’ll have to consider whether you want to design your site yourself with a design program or bring a professional on board to handle all the technical stuff. At this stage, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Your site should be easy to navigate, the copy should be clear and easily understandable, and you should position the essential information on the homepage. This way your potential customers will see the benefits of doing business with you immediately.
4. The Power of Freebies and Opt-In Lists
You want to engage your potential customers and give them a reason to purchase from you. Offering free samples is always a great way to draw in potential customers and increase traffic and future sales. You could offer free product samples or guides. Think about your market and what type of giveaway people would genuinely be interested in or find useful. Give them a little taste of what your online business is all about so they’ll want to come back for more. This helps build initial trust in your brand.
It’s also a good idea to encourage users to sign up for your email list and send out daily or weekly updates or a periodic newsletter. Focus on securing loyal email subscribers by consistently sending out updates or special offers. This is a great way for them to get to know you, and they’ll be more likely to check out your site a second time and make a purchase.
These are just a few ideas to focus on as you navigate the e-commerce world. Don’t be afraid to be creative, think outside the box and always have your target market in mind.
Have you utilized any of the above strategies for your online business? What else has worked for you? Let us know in the comments below. Get in touch with 2SEO, a division of ECA Technologies, Inc. to maximize your SEO efforts.
Lindsay is the kind of person who always catches errors as she's reading books, articles, and copy on the internet. She can't help but think to herself, if only she could've gotten her hands on it first! She is an extremely nit-picky and detail-oriented editor with a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts, where she graduated with a 3.7 GPA.
As an undergraduate she focused on fiction and poetry and began her first novel under the close direction of professor and New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III. Her favorite projects to tackle include copy editing, proofreading, and writing copy for business websites.