Owning a business may seem like a dream that is out of reach right now especially when you consider the cost of setting up a business. However, with the growth in popularity of online businesses, it is possible to own a business with minimal initial investment.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to spend money on your website. It just means that you can achieve your dream with an online business and not have to spend as much as you would to set up the traditional brick and mortar business.
A website alone is not enough
Setting up a website and going live is not enough to have a successful online business even if you have an amazing product or service to offer. There are thousands if not millions of websites on the Internet that probably offer the very same thing you do. You have to find a way to be heard above the noise. You need to stand out from the crowd.
Taking your online business from 0 to six figures is not easy. However, the strategies set out in this article should get you on the right track and help you build a 6 figure online business.
1. Invest time and money in developing a killer website
Building a brand is even more important for an online business than it is for the brick and mortar business. Online businesses have to contend with thousands of other similar websites. It is therefore vital to have a strong brand that stands out from the crowd and draws the right kind of attention.
One of the most important aspects of brand building is web design. While many first time online business owners will try to skimp on the cost of web design and go for a cheap website, the fact is that first impressions count for much more online. A study by Missouri University of Science and Technology’s researchers showed that online visitors form opinions about company brands in less than two-tenths of a second. That gives you a very short window in which to make a good first impression.
When determining the design of your website, it is important to take note of the different design elements and how they affect viewer perception. There are various studies that show the effect of web design on the emotions and perceptions of the viewer. Web design goes a long way in influencing the users’ interest, motivation as well as their level of trust or mistrust of the website. Users are likely to mistrust your website if it:
- Lacks color or is too extreme in color and patterns
- Takes a long time to load
- Has pop-up or flamboyant ads
- Has a complex layout
In addition, a simple professionally designed website will go a long way in lowering bounce rates which helps you convert more website visitors into customers.
2. Develop high quality content that is relevant and straight to the point
The same study by the Missouri University of Science and Technology researchers also showed that web visitors will spend less than 3 seconds on your website before losing interest. The study showed that in order to engage a viewer, you need to have them concentrating on your content for not less than 2.6 seconds.
This is a tight timeframe in which to captivate your audience. Ensuring that you have high quality content that makes your message clear is vital. It is important to provide visitors with what they are looking for. With such a tight timeframe in which to truly engage a visitor, it is important to ensure that they can quickly identify the information they need.
If you’re selling products from your website, you may be tempted to concentrate on product pages. However, many visitors will want to know a little bit more about your products. It is therefore great to offer pages with more information. You will increase the time spent by the visitor on your website and are likely to improve your conversion rates as a result.
An important point to consider when developing content is the different personas you hope to attract to your website. If you want to attract more than one persona you should create content based on the different personas.
3. Build your email list
If you haven’t started building an email list yet, then you should start right now. This list may include you family, friends or anyone you know for now, but it is sure to grow in time if you do your marketing right—including producing quality content for your blog.
Contrary to the predictions of many, email is still alive and growing stronger. As of 2012, there were 3.9 billion email accounts and this number is predicted to reach over 4.9 billion by 2017. Email is certainly not dead but is evolving into an important part of our daily lives. People rely on their email accounts today to exchange documents, collaborate on projects and for general communication.
If you want to engage your audience in a more direct way, email is your best bet. Email is private, direct and more personal than a website. You can therefore build trust and deliver your information directly to your target audience.
Take the following steps to build your email list:
- Register with a good email service. It should include tracking and be affordable.
- Create an easy to use sign up form for your website
- Offer incentives for visitors to your website to sign up for your emails
- Provide valuable information in the emails. People are likely to unsubscribe if you don’t offer value.
4. Leverage the power of social media integration
Social media which was once a novelty is now an integral channel of communication for many people. Statistics from a survey in 2013 showed that the average American spends not less than 30 minutes a day on social media. If you want to find your target audience, they’re probably hanging out on social media.
It therefore makes sense to ensure that your website is fully integrated with social media. Ensure that you are linked to relevant platforms including Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. This is the easiest way to reach your target audience and get the word out about your online business.
Share your content on social media and answer questions that your clients and potential customers have. Social media helps you to create a personal connection with your target audience. You can build trust by being consistent and providing valuable information on your company’s social media profiles. People are more likely to trust a company that readily answers their queries and has a good following on social media.
This checklist ought to get you started on your way to a 6 figure online business. Be sure to invest the time, effort and resources you need to make your business a success.