Starting an online business today can be overwhelming, frustrating and a bit lonely because you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s no secret formula or manual for how to start each and every business because each one is unique, but if I were to start over today, these are the six essential steps I would take to start any new online business idea whether you know what you want to talk about or not.
Step number one is to set up a website.
This is your online profile and your resume to the world. What should your website include? People come to your website to find out who you are, what you do and how you can benefit them, also, how they can have a relationship with you. Tell them your passions.
What are you about?
Tell them where you’ve been, what you’ve done and you can put anything on this. This is your website. It’s just where people can come and connect with you offline in a place that you own.
Step number two is to set up an e-mail list.
By setting up an e-mail list, you’re creating an active community of potential customers. Okay, so let’s break this down. You want an e-mail list because if social media were to go away or any other platform were to go away, your e-mails are what you own. It’s the contact information. I mean, think about it. If you were going to call somebody or try to reach them, how would you get in contact? You’d probably call them, text them, e-mail them. E-mails, phone numbers, things like this are things that people do not change. If you can stay in contact with them in something that they probably read every day, it’s going to be a great way for you to foster a relationship with something you own and that no one can take away from you. I include everyone on my e-mail list and I’m talking family, friends, co-workers, your doctor, your dentist. The key is just to make sure that you have separate e-mail lists or groups that you group them into.
Step three is to set up your social media accounts.
You want to get social so others can find you. You have to remember that different platforms are for different people and different online businesses or brands. You’re going to find the one that works best for your business or brand and start with it. Perfect it. Get really good at it. Get your system down and then you can move on to another one, so if you start on Instagram or Twitter, then you might want to wait to start on Facebook. To me, Facebook takes a lot more of your time in building versus Twitter, you can set up in probably five minutes. The same thing with Instagram. No matter which social platform you’re on, make sure that you completely fill out your profile with your bio, change your picture, also your header. This is your biggest advertisement for your brand.
This is your biggest advertisement for your brand. You tell people what you do here. It’s a billboard for you, so if you’re not filling it out, you’re losing potential interest in your Internet business and band because people don’t know what you do. Now, while you’re starting to set up your website and your social media, make sure to curate your content so you can establish the same look and feel across all your platforms. Just want to make sure and keep your font your colors logos all the same across all your platforms.
Now, while you’re starting to set up your website and your social media, you want to make sure that you’re keeping the same look and feel across all your platforms. Just want to make sure and keep your font your colors logos all the same across all your platforms.
Step number four is to start posting consistent content.
You need to decide how you’re going to communicate and how you communicate may not be how I communicate. You can use videos or maybe you’re into writing a blog. I usually take my videos and turn them into blogs or a podcast. Maybe you just like to talk and start recording on your phone. Just hit record and use that audio file to create a podcast. It’s all about finding your format. Then, you have to figure out what you’re going to talk about.
There are three categories that really stand out. I would either aim to educate, inspire, or entertain my audience. Education is going to grow the fastest because people are searching for the information that you’re putting out there like how to build a brand online. At a minimum, I would put out at least one new piece of content every week.
You want to create consistent content, so your potential customers know that they can expect you to come and show up for them.
Step number five, get your content in front of the right audience.
You’re going to start promoting and marketing yourself and your content, so when a lot of people are starting out, they aren’t sure what they want to talk about.
When I was starting out, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to talk about or what I was going to start sharing, so I wanted to just grow an audience.
Now, what is that exactly?
If you want to start getting noticed for the content that you share, what better way to get noticed than sharing someone else’s content? I would share their content on social media, tag them, use their social media handles, whatever I can do to drum up business for them and say, “Hey, you should really read this article,” or, “Hey, this was a really great podcast,” and I would share it with my network and let them know I was sharing their content by tagging them. Usually, they would share the same content again. It would expose me to their audience and I started to grow a following on social media really fast.
While you’re trying to grow this following, the best way to figure out what your audience needs from you or how you can pitch your product or service is to actually start asking them questions like, “What are your pain points?” If you’ll listen to your audience, they’ll actually tell you what they need or want or don’t want from you.
Now, during this process, you’re essentially trying to get them off of these other platforms and onto your platform from where you’re marketing, so you’re marketing to them trying to get them off of, say, social media and onto your website or your conversion page and make sure that they sign up for your e-mail list.
Even if you don’t have anything to sell them yet, at some point in the future, you will so if you’ll stay in contact with them and just communicating with them, stay in front of them on social media, it’s going to bring awareness to your brand and let them know who you are and that you’re there all the time. If you’ll listen, they’ll tell you exactly what they need.
Step number six, review the numbers for revenue.
Analyze. This is the most important step that I feel like most people never do. They never re-analyze their platforms that they’re using. This is your social media, your e-mail list, your website.
Some people use Google Analytics. There are tons of ways to track what’s going on and see where traffic is actually coming from and if you never go back and review what actually happened or if what you’re doing is working, if people are looking at your content, not looking at your content, you’re not going to know.
This is an ongoing process that is never complete. You’re always going to be constantly improving, looking at your content, seeing why it is or not improving and remember, there’s competition out there, so your competition is going to be improving.
You have to see what they’re doing and make sure that you’re also fulfilling all of the answers that your customers want because you can also use your competition and look at what they’re doing, see what their customers are asking. If they’re asking questions, then those are the same things that you can be answering on your website or in your content as well. Just an idea!
- Step one is to set up a website.
- Step number two, start an e-mail list.
- Step number three, create a social media account.
- Step number four, post something either audio, video or written.
- Step number five, promote your content and last but not least, step number six, analyze those results.
Now, you know how to start building your brand online but starting an online business can be super stressful when you’re not sure what to do next.
Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.