7 steps to starting your online business
No matter if you are dreaming of working on a tropical beach in Maldives or in a cottage in Ireland, you would love to be able to work from wherever you want. Imagine working from your home and earning a regular income for yourself and your family.
Twenty years ago, this idea would have seemed completely crazy, but today it is possible! With more than 2.4 billion people on the internet, digital is the ideal market to make your dream come true.
Of course, you’re not going to leave your office tonight and never set foot there again. But, you can still start your online business today, and grow it slowly, step by step. And even if you tell yourself that you can’t code, create a website, or do graphic design, it is still possible.
Many entrepreneurs have been able to develop businesses online without being tech-savvy. And you can do the same by following the steps in this article!
1. Choose the suitable CMS
It all starts with your website.
It is scarce today to create a website from scratch. It would be very long and much complicated too for a person whose job is not it! But there are many Content Management Systems ( CMS ). These CMS make it easy to update your website, publish articles, create a landing page, events, and contact forms.
2. Make a website that reflects your personality
The theme of your website is a template that provides a predefined layout and standardizes the style of your entire site.
But following three points should be checked before starting your quest for the ideal theme:
- Do you want to sell a product or a service? Is it an e-commerce site?
- Do you want a blog for your website?
- Do you want to publish content only for some of your users?
Your website is your business card. It’s the first impression you leave, and that first impression is crucial to your online business. So weigh the pros and cons of each theme, whether paid or free and take the time to choose the theme that will suit you best, so you don’t have to change it.
If you need a helping hand with the creation and installation of your website, contact my team at ufound now!
3. Work on the four pillars of your online business
Now you have the basis of your online business; you have chosen your CMS and your theme for your site. Now you need to create the four pillars, the four sections required to start your online business.
You will need :
- A home page
- One landing page or several landing pages
- A blog
- A “customers” page
Thanks to your home page, you must make it clear what you are offering in just a few seconds. This is called your selling proposition.
Your landing page or landing pages, if you have several are the perfect tools to collect email addresses and other information about your prospects and customers.
Your blog allows you to regularly publish relevant content to improve your search engine rankings and position yourself with your target as an expert.
Finally, your customer’s page is no longer a page that talks about you directly, but it is a page that talks about your customers and your partners, those who support you or who have purchased a product or service from you. Testimonials, reviews, positive comments by the customers allow you to gain the trust of your prospects and future new customers.
4. Find the right plugins
Now that you have all the main pages for your website, you will need to focus on making it as self-sufficient and efficient as possible to sell online.
How do your sales work? Are you an e-commerce store? Do you sell a subscription to services? Think about which operation would work best for your business.
Here are the best plugins for each type of sale:
- A plugin for the sale of digital products: Easy Digital
- Two plugins for your e-commerce: WooCommerce and WP e-Commerce
- Two plugins for your membership websites: Paid Memberships Pro and MemberPress
5. Set up an email and newsletter list
Your site is now self-sufficient for the sale of your product or services, and online payment works as you want it. But, first, you need to attract your prospects to your site.
SEO, or publishing quality content that is optimized for search engines, is a great way to be found by your prospects and future customers. But this is only the first step. For your online business to run smoothly, you need to build an email and newsletter mailing list.
To retrieve your users’ email addresses, create a call to action that allows them to subscribe to your newsletter. Creating landing pages can also allow you to convey more precise information to a given target.
You can also set up free content, such as an ebook, to retrieve your prospects’ email addresses.
Infographics, white papers, tips and tricks are the most common types of content that you can give as “freebies” to your readers in exchange for their email addresses. This content must be relevant and not create disappointment when uploaded.
6. Be present on social networks
On social networks, competition is fierce, and it is not enough to publish content regularly to be effective and boost your online business. Social networks allow you to deliver your content to a broader audience. As a result, you increase the number of people who follow you and are loyal to you.
If you’re starting, you’re probably responsible for everything, including social media. But taking care of your social networks can quickly become a time-consuming activity. Try to optimize your content publication, and discover our tools to automate social networks.
For example, here are two powerful tools that can assist you in this task.
Buffer allows you to schedule your social media posts. You can thus optimize your time! As soon as you publish a new article on your blog, you can plan to share it on social networks, for example.
If you want to know more about your followers’ active hours, check out our infographic on the best times to post on social media.
Delivering your content and tracking your interactions on social media can be a real headache. Another essential component of social networks is the day before. You need to monitor relevant conversations related to your business or the topics your company should participate in.
For this, you can use tools like Hootsuite.
With a separate column system, you can quickly and visually keep track of your mentions, responses, saved searches for specific keywords relevant to your business as well as hashtags you follow.
7. Create unique visuals
You have the text! But now you need a picture. The two sets are more powerful and efficient.
Our brains love visual content and process images faster and easier than text. So to make your post better understood and shared, add pictures to your blog posts and social media shares. Consider illustrating your figures by creating an infographic, for example.
Do not panic; even if you are not a designer, simple tools can accompany you in your approach.
Examples? Here are some image creation tools!
With a massive library of free resources, like fonts, icons, layouts, symbols, and photos, you’ll love Canva.
Just choose one or more items from their library, and you’ll be able to create a unique visual in minutes by dragging and dropping content.
With Placeit, you upload your image or screenshot to one of the many mockups available and then upload your creation.
Finding fantastic royalty-free photos to use at no cost seems like an impossible task, but not at all! Many other sites offer high-resolution images every day.
Starting and growing your online business is no easier than starting a business in real life!
The main difference is that it is much more convenient. It is also much more affordable since you will not need an office for a while; the investments are very moderate initially. Most of the tools you use are free (or low cost), and many of them offer free trials so you can assess whether they may be a good investment for you or not.
So if you have something to sell, a product or a service, go ahead and start your own business, now is the time to start. Everything you need to prepare for your future entrepreneurial journey is in your hands. Follow the leader!
And don’t forget, if needed, me and my team at ufound can help you launch your online business!