This is a guest post by Ivan Spasojevic – an online marketer and SEO specialist at ucraft.com. He is interested in digital and social marketing and always on the lookout for new ways to improve his skills.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or do something groundbreaking in order to start your own online business. Sometimes it may seem that people who run successful online companies are some kind of geniuses and that you aren’t good enough to survive in that battlefield, but that is very far from truth. Although some business owners really are above the average smart, there aren’t any major obstacles that you can’t overcome if you are ambitious and persistent enough.
Obviously, wishful thinking won’t grow your business, you still need to invest considerable effort in your idea in order to succeed. It’s best to start with what you can learn by yourself. You should gather all the information you can and map out your strategy.
Check out this infographic with the 6 steps to starting an online business:
After you figure out what will be the basic premise of your business, begin with researching your niche. Find out what your competition is doing and figure out how you can improve upon that. Think about what will separate you from the herd, what value you will bring to the customers.
Remember to always start from the users’ point of view. Research your target audience, figure out what their habits, interests and expectations are. From there you should be able to reach them and hopefully find the way to their hearths.
To be able to attract your customers, first thing you need is a killer website.
Whether you choose to hire a developer or to use an online website builder, your design must be consistent. Your website needs to convey your message and to reflect your brand’s identity. Try out new trends, but always put functionality first. Don’t overcrowd your web page, users must find their way around it without any hassle.
When you’re done with setting up your website, then the real work begins. How to attract the customers? That is the number one question for every business. The solution is never easy, but when you’re running an online business there are a lot of options that you can exploit.
Snoop around the web and learn a thing or two about SEO, social media marketing and content creation. Mastering those skills will give you great advantage. You will be able to position your business and reach potential clients for free or for a few bucks.
It is always best to start with on-page SEO and content for your website.
Begin with keyword research. Find keywords related to your business for which you want your website to rank, this will give you the idea where to start when it comes to content for your website. You should optimize every piece of content for your website the way that your keywords appear in headlines and in the body, but in a natural, not spammy way. Use headings (H1) and sub headings (H2) to emphasize what is important and to visually break apart your content.
Consider running a blog on your website. It is good for SEO, and you can also share your posts across social media and gain traction there. You can write tips and how-to posts from your area of expertise, or you can write about something regarding your experience. People tend to have a positive reaction to useful content and personal stories.
Don’t invest all your efforts in customer acquisition. Keep in mind that it is easier and cheaper to invest in customer retention than in chasing down new potential leads. Focus and nurture your existing client base.
There are many things that you can do, but maybe the easiest one is to send out a newsletter. Take the time to plan and craft a newsletter, don’t just send out sales offers. Fill your newsletter with educational or entertaining content so people don’t feel like you’re only interested in selling them your product.
In this competitive world that we live in, sometimes companies go overboard with advertising just to find new customers, but when they actually acquire them they don’t do nearly as promised. So this is your chance to shine. In other words, always try to over-deliver. This doesn’t mean you should go broke trying to impress your clients. It simply means you should be thoughtful and put in some extra work to keep your clients happy. It can be something like a free sample or specially decorated packaging, something that conveys the message that you care.
Of course, this isn’t a conclusive list of things that you should consider before starting your business. There is a great deal of knowledge and information you need to research and learn before embarking on your business journey. But don’t worry, ucraft.me prepared a complete rundown of steps you should take when starting an online business.