WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IN STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS?
In my journey as an entrepreneur, what comes to my mind has always been “how to create a successful online business “ which took me time to figure out how. This in turn has been the same fate facing many aspiring entrepreneurs all over the world. Whether you are a newbie just starting out in the online space or have had experience but still don’t know how to go about building an online business, the fundamental question you should have at the back of your mind is your “WHY”
Why do you really want to start an online business? I had my big why because I was tired of the 9-5 rat race living pay check to pay check, and be able to travel the world and spend quality time with my family. Same thing applies to many people out there. Your WHY should be a motivational factor that will empower you and steer you to launch into the online community and attain great success. You see, the internet has a plethora of information which is been searched by over 4 billion people daily seeking information on services and products they can get. Are you a lawyer, electrician, business consultant, plumber or an affiliate marketer? Truth of the matter is, your years of experience in your specific field is enough to get you started by providing expert knowledge through content and as affiliate marketer, you can as well sell company’s products that have affiliate programs.
It is important to note that anybody can start and build a successful online business, what you need is start with writing down your goals and have a plan of action. Procrastination will never help you and you will have to lay emphasis on equipping yourself researching and continuously educating yourself.
STEPS TO CREATING A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS
There is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when Creating a successful online business, which has helped a lot of people succeed and make money online. Here are the following:
1. Have a Niche Market
Your first priority is to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Clearly identifying your niche market is like creating the right persona as that will give you a clearer perspective on how to go about your online business. Your experience as an ex soccer player or an accountant should arm you in providing digital information on how upcoming soccer players can sign better soccer deals and financial services respectively. These are just examples. Everything you do online revolves around your target audience and this is where your expertise as an authority comes into play.
The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results.
The internet makes this kind of market research easy:
- Visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they’re trying to solve.
- Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but don’t have a ton of competition with other sites.
- Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they’re doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you’ve learned and create a product for a market that already exists — and do it better than the competition.
2. Get A Website
I cannot emphasize on this any further. This is highly important when starting out your business. Whether your plan is to sell products or provide services, a website gives you the much-needed exposure to have a successful online business. This is an asset you own because it increases in value. Next thing you wan to do is monetize your website to attract more visitors’ and more visitors’ means more money you can make.
Some business owners are of the belief that their business do not require a website or just be because they don’t have the skills to build one, it’s still not needed. Wrong. If you don’t have a website, you’re sending a message that your business is stuck in the Dark Ages, or that you’re not interested in finding new customers—and neither of these are messages that you probably want to be sending.
Lots of business owners assume that having a social media profile for their business is enough. Maybe you already have a Facebook page and some pretty good reviews on social media, that’s great.
But there are some problems with this strategy. First, you’ll always be dependent on the social media platform you choose. Algorithms change, rules change, and what’s working one day might not work a few weeks from now (as many businesses who depended on Facebook have recently learned). If you have a website, it belongs to you, and you control the content and the message and potential customers will keep coming to your website.
While the thought of having a website is imperative, you will need to identify a good web hosting company that will ensure your website is at top speed to perform at optimum level. Find out more on why you need a website here. So make it imperative to have a website if you want to succeed online.
3. Provide Information through quality content.
Over 4 billion people navigate the internet every day, this means they go online to get information about a need. You cannot Create a successful online business if you don’t provide content. This is about the most important factor when growing your brand online as it will help make you stand out. Your target will gravitate towards you as a result of the quality information you are putting out. To gain momentum, you will need to share this content for free and through paid ads.
4. Endeavor to have an email list by providing free content
Once you are consistently creating content, it’s time for the next step: building your email list.
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.
Ultimately, a successful online business includes building rapport and trust and then monetizing with useful, helpful products and content.
5. Hire Freelancers
One of the best ways you can run an online business is to designate some of the responsibilities to freelancers with professional skills. This can aid in helping you focus on more important matters that concerns your business workflow. It could be having a virtual assistant, content writer, graphic designer to videographer. There are bunch of them out there to offer their services at a very reasonable fee. Some of the best freelance companies i recommend are upwork and fiverr.
I strongly believe you can find success in the online space despite the competition, only if you narrow your niche market and follow these simple steps. The onus lies on you to go extra mile in developing your skills and provide quality content for your audience. Just like any business, it takes time but with determination and your big WHY, you can attain success. For those wanting to learn how to start an online business, please leave me a comment below in the comment section.
Wilfred E. Obi Jr