Starting an online business doesn’t have to take forever. In fact, you can be up and running in less than a week!
In my latest episode of Shop Talk, “7 Simple Steps to Launch Your Online Coaching or Consulting Business Without Spending a Dime (in the next 7 days),” I share with you how I quickly started a business from scratch and how you can do it too!
In this episode, you will learn how to determine what you have to offer that can be leveraged into a business, the practical steps you need to take to get up and running, and what you need to do to grow and thrive. With this plan, you can start or streamline your online business today!
Snapshot of this episode:
- 2:15 – Finding Your Motivation To Move Forward
- 13:55 – Shake Your Money Maker
- 15:40 – Ask Yourself, “Who Can I Help?”
- 16:52 – Come Up With An Irresistible Offer
- 18:12 – Make Sure You Have A Way To Collect Payments
- 18:43 – Setup Your Online Presence
- 20:04 – Implement a Marketing Strategy
- 23:40 – Outline Your Sales Process
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Starting an online business to make money has become more accessible than ever before. With the internet at our fingertips, reaching your audience and turning your passion into a profitable business is easy. Whether you’re looking to generate some extra income or build a full-time career, an online business can be a viable option.
Most entrepreneurs fall into one of two categories: they want to start a new business (and want to do it quickly), or they already have a business and need clarity on what to focus on to take it to the next level. Today, I’ll explore the key steps you need to take to start and sustain an online business successfully. I’ll guide you through the process of launching your own online business and reaching your audience so that you can increase your sales potential. So if you’re ready to turn your dreams into reality, let’s get started!
Finding Your Motivation To Move Forward
I think there’s a misconception that only “certain people” can be entrepreneurs. We don’t possess a unique gene that the rest of the world is missing out on. Honestly, the truth is that ANYONE can start an online business to make money if they are committed, determined, and willing to do whatever it takes.
When talking to most entrepreneurs, you will find this common thread throughout their stories: they allow setbacks to inspire them to turn what could be perceived as a failure into an opportunity to create something new.
I remember back in 2012, my family had hit a financial rock bottom. Even though I’ve always been an entrepreneur, I knew I would do whatever it took to make sure my family was cared for. So, I decided to interview for a seasonal job at Target. Since taking a job as an employee was not in my plan, I decided to trust God in his calling for my life.
I fought back tears when the hiring manager told me the job “wasn’t a good fit.” As I drove home, I cried desperately, feeling hopeless and unsure of what my family’s future would look like. I was confused and couldn’t understand why God would ask me to move my family to Arizona just to end up at such a low point in our lives.
When I walked in the door, I saw my daughter opening a box with a brand new camera inside that she was planning to use for a college class. I looked at the camera, then looked at her and said, “We’re starting a photography business – today!” Never mind the fact that neither of us knew how to use the camera!
After making arrangements with my landlord to get permission to use our apartment complex’s lobby as a family portrait studio, I used a $20 Staples coupon to print business cards and created a website using a 30-day free trial of WIX. By doing this, we generated $13,000 in gross revenue in less than 60 days in business!
There are two reasons I am sharing this with you today:
- Taking the leap into entrepreneurship doesn’t have to take a long time.
- It’s ok to “fail forward.” Those are the experiences that lead you to the next phase of your journey.
I didn’t know it at the time, but starting the photography business with my daughter gave me the background and experience I would need to create Your Marketing Coach a year later.
Shake Your Money Maker
Sounds crazy, right? But all this involves is identifying your expertise. This is one of the first steps to starting an online business. Consider the skills, knowledge, and experience you have that can help others. Think about what you’re passionate about and what you enjoy doing. (For the photography business, my expertise came from the fact that I loved taking pictures of my kids, and I had a camera.) By leveraging what you know and your passion, you can create a business you’ll be excited to work on every day.
To identify your expertise, start by brainstorming the skills and knowledge you have. It could be anything from programming and web design to cooking and gardening. Next, think about how you can use this to help others. Are there people struggling with a problem that you can solve? If so, that could be an excellent opportunity to build a business around.
Here are some examples of potential areas of expertise:
- Fitness and nutrition: If you’re passionate about health and wellness, you could offer online coaching services to help people achieve their fitness and nutrition goals.
- Writing and editing: If you have strong writing and editing skills, you could offer content creation services for businesses or individuals.
- Business consulting: If you have experience in a particular industry or with running a business, you could offer to consult other companies to improve their operations.
Once you’ve identified your expertise, the next step is to determine how to use it to help others. This will involve understanding your target audience and their needs.
Ask Yourself, “Who Can I Help?”
Asking this question will help you identify your perfect ideal customer (PIC). This involves understanding who you want to help and what their needs and pain points are. When I started the photography business, I knew people loved having family portraits but couldn’t take quality photos of themselves. By understanding your PIC, you can create a product or service that stands out from the competition.
To define your target audience, start by conducting research. Look for groups of people with a problem your expertise can solve. You can use online forums, social media groups, and industry publications to do this. Once you’ve identified them, start learning about them as much as possible. What are their goals and challenges? What are their pain points? What are they searching for online? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to develop a clearer picture of who your PIC is and what they need.
Here are some examples of potential target audiences:
- Stay-at-home moms who want to start a home-based business
- Small business owners looking to improve their marketing strategy
- People who want to learn a new skill, such as a foreign language or playing a musical instrument
Once you’ve defined your PIC, you can develop a product or service that meets their needs. Next, you must create an irresistible offer to attract your audience and set you apart from the competition.
Come Up With An Irresistible Offer
Now that you know how you want to help your perfect ideal customer, the next step is to develop an irresistible offer. This is the product or service that will solve their specific needs or pain points. Your offer should be so compelling that your customer will be eager to buy it. What was my irresistible offer for the photography business? A free 8×10 Christmas photo and packages starting at $60.
To develop an irresistible offer, start by thinking about what your target audience wants and needs. What are their most significant pain points? How can you provide a solution in a unique and valuable way? Once you’ve identified those pain points, brainstorm ideas for products or services to help solve them. Your offer should be something that your target audience can’t resist.
Here are some tips for creating an irresistible offer:
- Focus on the benefits: Instead of simply listing the features of your product or service, focus on the benefits that your target audience will receive. How will your offer help them achieve their goals or solve their problems?
- Make it unique: Your offer should stand out from the competition. Consider what makes your product or service different and highlight those special qualities.
- Offer a guarantee: To give your target audience more confidence in your offer, consider extending a satisfaction guarantee. This shows that you’re confident in your product or service’s value and stand behind it.
- Provide social proof: Testimonials, case studies, and reviews from satisfied customers can help build trust with your target audience and make your offer more appealing.
- Price it right: Your offer should be priced competitively, but it’s also necessary to consider the value that you’re providing. If you’re offering a high-quality product or service that solves a significant pain point, your target audience may be willing to pay more.
By developing an irresistible offer, you’ll be able to attract your target audience and stand out from your competitors. After nailing down your offer, it will be time to set up your payment system and order forms so your target audience can efficiently conduct business with you.
Make Sure You Have A Way To Collect Payments
Now that you’ve developed an irresistible offer, it’s time to set up payment processing so your target audience can easily purchase your product or service. The easiest way to do this is by using a payment processor such as Stripe or PayPal. These platforms allow you to securely accept payment through email or credit card payments online and handle all the backend processes of payment processing.
To set up payment processing with Stripe or PayPal, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:
- Create an account: Visit the Stripe or PayPal website and create an account.
- Verify your account: Verify your account by providing the necessary information, such as your name, address, and bank account information.
- Connect to your website or online store: If you have a website or online store, you can integrate Stripe or PayPal into your checkout process. This allows your customers to easily pay for your product or service online.
- Set up your payment form: Set up your payment form with your product or service details, price, and any other necessary information. This will allow your customers to enter their payment information and complete the purchase.
By setting up payment processing, you can accept online payments from your target audience and make it easy for them to purchase your product or service. After setting up your payment processing system, you’ll want to create an online presence through social media or a website to reach your target audience.
Setup Your Online Presence
Now comes the fun part – establishing your online presence so your target audience can find you. There are two main ways to do this: through social media and a website.
- Social Media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok can be powerful tools for reaching your target audience. To establish your online presence on social media, follow these steps:
- Choose the right platforms: Determine which social media platforms your target audience is most active on and focus on those platforms.
- Set up your profile: Create a profile for your business that includes your logo, a short bio, and a link to your website.
- Create valuable content: Create and share valuable content that your target audience will find interesting and helpful. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and more.
- Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and messages from your audience and engage with them regularly.
- Website: Having a website is another important way to establish your online presence and build credibility with your target audience. You can use platforms like Wix, which offers a free trial to create a website. Here’s how to get started:
- Choose your domain name: Your domain name should be easy to remember and reflect your business name or the product/service you offer.
- Choose your hosting provider: A hosting provider stores your website’s files and makes them accessible online.
- Design your website: Use a website builder to create your website. Keep your target audience in mind when designing your website.
- Add content: Your content should reflect your brand and the products/services you offer. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and provides a clear call to action.
By establishing your online presence through social media or a website, you can reach your target audience and build your brand. Once you have an online presence, you’ll also need to market your business to reach more people.
Implement a Marketing Strategy
Marketing is a crucial part of any successful online business, and there are many ways to go about it. Here are some steps you can take to implement a marketing strategy:
- Identify the fastest path to getting in front of your target audience: This will depend on your target audience and where they spend their time online. You can use social media, email marketing, paid advertising, or other methods to reach your audience.
- Use email marketing: Email marketing is a great way to engage with your audience. Use a platform like Mailchimp to create email campaigns and newsletters that provide valuable content and updates about your business.
- Post 1-minute videos on social media: Short videos are a great way to capture your audience’s attention and provide valuable content. You can create videos that showcase your products or services, provide tips and advice, or share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business.
- Outline your sales process: Once people start showing interest in your business, you need to have a clear sales process in place. This includes promptly responding to emails and messages, providing detailed information about your products or services, and following up with potential customers.
- Private message people who respond to your social posts: When people engage with your social media posts, reach out to them via private message to offer additional information and answer any questions they may have.
By implementing a marketing strategy, you can promote your business and reach more people in your target audience. Remember to keep your messaging and branding consistent across all platforms and to constantly evaluate and adjust your strategy based on what works best for your business.
Outline Your Sales Process
Once you start getting interest in your online business, you need to have a clear sales process in place. This involves responding to inquiries promptly and efficiently, providing detailed information about your products or services, and following up with potential customers. Here are some steps you can take to outline your sales process:
- Respond to emails and messages promptly: Respond as quickly as possible when someone reaches out to you with a question or inquiry. This shows that you value their interest and are committed to providing excellent customer service.
- Provide detailed information about your products or services: Make sure to provide detailed information about your products or services, including pricing, features, and benefits. This helps potential customers make informed decisions about whether your business is right for them.
- Follow up with potential customers: Don’t be afraid to follow up with potential customers who have expressed interest in your business. You can send a follow-up email or message or even give them a call to answer any additional questions they may have.
- Offer discounts or promotions: Offering discounts or promotions is a great way to incentivize potential customers to make a purchase. You can offer a limited-time discount or a special promotion for first-time customers.
- Provide excellent customer service: Once a customer makes a purchase, provide excellent customer service to ensure their satisfaction. This can include timely delivery, responsive communication, and addressing any issues or concerns they may have.
By outlining your sales process, you’ll provide potential customers a seamless and positive experience. Remember to always prioritize excellent customer service and adjust your sales process as needed.
Turning Your Passion into a Thriving Online Business
Starting an online business to make money can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Building an online business takes time and effort, so be patient, persistent, and willing to make adjustments along the way. With the right mindset, strategy, and execution, you can turn your passion into a thriving online business. So take action, follow your dreams, and create the life and career you’ve always wanted. Good luck!