Whatever sort of business you’re running, you’ll be familiar with the idea that it’s more than a full-time job. Going in to work is one thing, but taking care of your very own business baby is quite another. When it comes to running an online or offline business, there’s no time difference in how long it takes to make yourself a success, but there are different strategies that you need to employ to get there. We’ve rounded up some of the best tips that are specific to online businesses and which will help you get those few steps closer to success, wherever your starting point is.
Advertise Every Success
Everybody knows the importance of marketing, but surprisingly few people have a concise marketing plan. With so many experts in the field, it can sometimes seem a little daunting to put together a marketing plan all by yourself, but it really needn’t be. Think about the kinds of things that make you purchase something or employ a service. All of us are influenced by television advertising, slips of paper in the local magazine and glossy magazine adverts, but the adverts that make the most difference to us come from people that we trust. If you’re buying a secondhand car, you might choose to buy off a neighbour who’s upgrading. If you’re buying a new washing machine you might head to a website like Which? to read through reviews written by people who really know what they’re talking about. If you’re buying almost anything then you’ll look at the online reviews first, so make sure yours stand out. Encourage your happy customers to leave 5-star reviews. If you’ve got some particularly happy customers then make a testimonials page. It’s up to you to shout about your successes because nobody else is going to do it for you!
Make The Most Of Your Situation
One of the stumbling blocks for many online businesses is marketing in spite of an online presence rather than in tandem with it. There are lots of bonuses to having an online presence over a high street presence. You need to work out what those are within your sector and let your customers know about it. Taking the iGaming market as an example, PokerStars worked out the benefits of playing poker online rather than offline and spelt it out for their customers. One potential benefit is that, at a real poker table, it’s possible for people to notice your tells and therefore find out when you’re bluffing. In other sectors, such as the fashion industry, online stores are able to sell clothes at great discounts as they don’t have to factor in such a large outlay for their high-street presence. Although they don’t always explain the reasoning to customers in such a plain manner, they make a big deal of the discounts that they can afford to give. For your online business, find what makes it make sense in a way that a high-street business wouldn’t. Once you’ve done that, tell your customers all about it.
Don’t Neglect SEO
Of course, the main difference in online marketing vs high-street marketing is search engine optimization or SEO. Although not everybody will be able to get to the very first search result on Google, most of us can make it to the first handful if we select our niche carefully enough. If you run a personal training service then getting to that hallowed first page is going to be difficult if you make all of your tags and text about personal training alone. Instead, find your niche, which is likely to be the geographical area that you operate in, unless you’re an enormous business. Build that area into your tags. Next think about any services that you offer that differentiate you from other personal trainers. Perhaps you offer sports massages, or fully vegan nutritional plans; maybe you work particularly with overweight people or the elderly. Whatever makes your service stand out from the rest, be sure to fully incorporate that into all aspects of your SEO.