Time to Get Online!

There are different reasons you might consider opening or expanding your business online.
  • Online only service or e-commerce business,
  • Creating a web-store for your at-home business,
  • Or migrating part of your brick-and-mortar business into the digital world.
Whatever the reason, there are many things you need to consider.
 
Do you have your domain? Are the images, photography and branding of your business work online as well as offline? Do you know how to capture people’s attention online? What kind of promotions and giveaways will work for you?
 

With so many things to consider, we have focused on 5 key elements to get you started.

 

1 – Buyer Persona: who is your customer?

 
Like all marketing you do, you always have to think about who you want to reach. Who is your core customer? Then create a buyer or customer persona that reflects that core customer. An avatar is a full description and photo representing who your customer is. Digital Marketer has a great process to help you through creating one.
 
Ask yourself questions like these:
  • Who are you marketing too?
  • Who is going to be buying your product?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • Who are they?
  • What business issues do they have?
Take the information that you’ve gathered on your buyer personas, and now apply it to a website.
 
Is your key customer likely to search for you and your products or services from their phone, tablet, or PC?
 
Will they be comfortable buying online or will they need guidance?
 
When you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to make decisions that keep both your customer and your goals front and center.
 
Armed with your core customer avatar, you can move to the next step – your website.
Using social media to drive lead generation

2 – Your Platform: Where Your Online Business Lives

Your website lives on a platform that allows it to be visible on the internet. So the platform and the website are two sides of one coin.

There are a number of different options for websites. If you are selling things on the site, you will need an e-commerce platform or modules.

Platforms like Shopify come with a fulling working store built-in. It has payment options from PayPal to credit card processors.

Are you service based? If you are using the website for information on your service and to capture potential leads, then a platform like WordPress or Drupal would be a better match.

Consider what your end result is before you choose your platform.

3 – A website: your online office. 

You know who you are trying to reach now. The next step is to build a place for them to visit: Your website.

Your website is your online office and often the biggest impression you can make before you have a more personal contact, like a phone call.

You’re going to need a domain name, one that reflects your business and is easy to remember and read. This website will be the online version of your brick-and-mortar shopfront, so you need to maintain it like you would your store.

  • Are the products arranged in a pleasing, eye-catching manner?
  • Are your prices clearly labelled?
  • If you have sales, are they clearly displayed?

Think of websites you visit regularly.

  • What do they look like?
  • What makes them appealing?
  • What makes them so easy to use?

Now think of websites you’ve disliked using and try to use as to avoid using.

  • What do they look like?
  • What part of the user experience do you dislike?

Shape your website to best meet your customer’s needs and make their experience has enjoyable as possible.

Using social media to drive lead generation

4 – Website visitors: how to get traffic

Getting online traffic to your brand new site is always difficult at first. With the internet being as vast as it is, you need to try and find a way to get people to find your site and not get lost on the way.

Organic traffic is a slow build if you do consistent work to get there. If speed matters, online advertising should be part of your plan. You can advertise on search platforms like Google as well as social media platforms.

Don’t forget that good quality photos can pull people’s attention.

Start with Google My Business to bring some attention and more customers to your site. It is free and every business should have one. You can use it to showcase your products & services, testimonials and reviews, and other content to boost your profile online.

5 – Social media: Meet Your Customers Where They Are.

Chances are you already have some form of social media. If you are just starting out with social for your business. Go back to that customer avatar and choose one or two social platforms that your customer would already be taking part in. You can always expand into more later.

Once these are set up and you have some posts, then share these with your personal connections and ask them to share it. Invite your current customers to come to visit and like the page through email and in-store if you have a brick and mortar business.

Post With Purpose!

Keep your followers updated on your website’s progress. Involve them in the launch. Take photos of your products and post them on your social media. Keep your followers’ eyes on you and your products, but stay aware of their timelines. You want their focus to be on your products, but not in a negative way.

Give them posts to laugh with and enjoy. Give them a reason to share.

Time to Get Started

And there you have it. Five things you need to consider when you start up your own online business. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

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