After running multiple businesses over the last few years, primarily in the digital space, I wanted to share with you just a few things that you absolutely NEED to be able to build your online empire. I have been blessed to be able to work for myself full time after walking away from corporate America in September of 2014 and it's mostly because of the businesses that I have created and run online, from home, with lots of momentum. Please be mindful that you will definitely need a lot more than these five things, but these are the basics that you want to have at minimum. Let's jump in..
1) Self-sufficiency/Organization - this is extremely important. You are building your OWN business. You do not have a boss hanging over your shoulder telling you to create a product, or to follow up with a client, or to finish something before a deadline. It's all on you. You have to have enough self-sufficiency to create your own success without having to be told. This also means that you need to be able to do your OWN research, and educate YOURSELF on your craft. You can no longer wait for someone else to do things. Do it for yourself. Now this doesn't mean that you can't ask for help or seek a mentor. Try to do things on your own first, and then go from there. It's a lot more rewarding that way! It's also great to be extremely organized in your business, even if it's online. Have your contracts, forms, strategies, marketing, etc. ready to go so that you can execute things properly when your clients show up. This will help you to run your business smoothly as well as give your client or customer a great experience.
2) A Website and/or Blog - Your website is the central hub for your business and you absolutely need one, whether your business is online or offline. Why? It's a proven fact that most consumers will research a person before doing business with them via google or a website. Some people won't even work with you if you don't have a website because it can be perceived as if you don't take your business seriously. If you are just starting out and you don't have a website yet, or you're not quite ready to shell out the big bucks for a fancy website, do yourself a huge favor and create a simple 1 or 2 page website using Wix.com or Weebly.com. All this simple site needs is a photo of you, your bio, what products and services that you offer and a way to contact you. That's it. Use this until you are ready to expand. As far as blogging..I know a lot of entrepreneurs aren't really into it, or they think it can be too much work. However, I get LOTS of business from my blog posts, and I don't even post as often as most people. Blogging is a great way for online business owners to connect with their audience on a deeper level. It's also a great way to explain things in a more detailed manner and showcase your expertise. It's a way to prove to your potential clients that you indeed know what you are talking about, so that they will book you. If you haven't started blogging yet, I highly suggest that you do! We can create a site for you! Contact us here.
3) An Email List/Lead Capture System - A great way to expand your reach in your online business is having an email list. When someone subscribes to your email list, they are giving you permission to market to them and it shows that they are interested in what you have going on. If you don't have an email list yet, go to MailChimp.com and get a free one! Also, be mindful that in order to build your list, you are going to have to give them something is return. Not many people will just willingly hand over their information for nothing. Market a freebie and let viewers know that they can get the freebie if they subscribe to your list. Be sure to have a good lead capture system in place that will both capture new email subscribers and automatically send out your freebie to those who subscribe. Here are some examples of freebies to offer to new subscribers:
- a how-to guide related to your field
- an e-book (not too long!)
- a training
*Here's a tip though: Keep your freebies valuable, but concise! Do not give out 30 page e-books or hour long trainings. That is too much effort for something that you are just giving away. The goal is to give potential clients a taste of what it would be like to be a part of your audience or how it would be to work with you. A 2-3 page PDF guide or 5-7 page e-book or 10 minute training is just fine.
4) A Solid Social Media Marketing Plan - As an online business owner, social media can be your bread and butter, your gold mine, in business. Having a social media marketing plan means knowing when to post, how to post, how often to post, what to say, and on what platforms. Sit down and really write and plan it out, even create reminders on your phone if you have to. Here's a couple tips:
- Choose 2-4 social media platforms to focus on. For instance if you have a larger audience on Facebook, or you enjoy posting on Instagram, make those your primary outlets. You can post on others, but really utilize those. Using too many social media platforms can become extremely frustrating and overwhelming.
- Use the Hootsuite app to schedule your posts. This will help you a LOT!
5) A GOOD Product or Service (Multiple; Digital and Physical) - So now that you have your website going, your blog, and your online marketing in place, make sure that you have a great product and/or service to offer. I definitely suggest having multiple products and services so that you cater to different types of clients. Be sure to have some digital products that can be downloaded from your website as well as physical products, depending on your business. For digital products such as e-books and audio trainings, try using PayHip.com.