The online world is a great place to grow your business income and profits. I get about 50% of my web design business clients online.
To take advantage of this opportunity with your business, you need to follow 3 steps. Sadly, I have seen too many small businesses take step 1 without following through with steps 2 & 3.
But if you do this, you are pouring money and time down the drain. If you want your business to make money online, all three steps are essential.
There are many options when it comes to the details within each step. But the same 3 steps are vital.
#1 Give your business a website
You can’t make money online if your business doesn’t exist online. The most common (and in my opinion the best) online presence is a website.
But you can also create an online presence in other ways including a Facebook Page and Google Business Profile listing. Personally, I have all 3, but my main online presence is my website.
If you have a Facebook page (or similar), you can still move on to steps 2 & 3 and make money online. A website is better, especially if it has these 8 key things.
Yet, what is crucial is realising that on its own, step 1 will not make you any money.
#2 Get people to visit your website
Step 2 involves getting people to visit your website (or FB Page etc.). And there are a lot of different ways to do this. The best way for you will depend on what you are selling and the nature of your customers.
For me, I started by using Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising because it works instantly. But I didn’t want to be paying for advertising forever, so I invested (time) into Search Engine Optimisation.
Now, I show up in the Google Map Pack at the top of Google whenever someone searches for website design Mackay or similar.
But that not be right for you.
One of my clients is a member of a very large and very active Facebook. And the group members are her ideal clients. So, for her, getting people to visit her website was as simple as occasionally adding a free post within the group.
There are a lot of options and far more than I have mentioned. But your website is useless unless you invest (time, money or both) in getting people to visit it.
#3 Convert website visitors into customers
The final step involves converting as many website visitors as possible into customers or clients. Again, there are many ways to do this, but I will explain 3 of my favourites.
- Understanding your ideal customer
- Changing the words you use on your website in light of this
- Email marketing
At a bare minimum, you need to understand your customers’ pain points (e.g. I don’t have time or interest in managing my books).
But it is even more effective if you also know why they would choose business X over business Y. In my own search for a bookkeeper, I wanted someone I could trust, and that includes trusting both their competence and their character.
You then use the two insights about pain points and reasons why they would buy from business X, to change what you put on the sales page of your website. By doing this, you will convert more website visitors into customers.
How do you learn this why? One simple yet potent strategy is to analyse online reviews. If you have 20+ Google Reviews, look at what your happy customers say about you for themes.
You can also look at your competitors’ reviews to try and identify underlying things that make customers happy.
But what if they don’t convert? That’s where email marketing can help.
Offer them useful tips and advice that address their pain points in exchange for their email address (e.g., an eBook).
Then offer them free, ongoing tips and advice via email. You are building a trusting relationship.
Send an occasional (and only occasional) email reminding them of your paid offerings. As you have nurtured a higher degree of trust, you will convert some of them into customers.