There are so many incredible aspects of having an online business. Low overheads, the ability to start with very little funds, the ability to work from anywhere and you can impact the lives of people all around the world. It’s not hard to see why it’s such an appealing venture.
With creating an online business, there are many elements that need to be considered and there are some common mistakes that I often see entrepreneurs making when moving online with their business.
I turned my local business into an online business and thanks to that, I reduced rental space fees and expanded my market to help people from all over the world. I get to see my clients wherever I am in the world and make money in my sleep from automated online courses.
I have seen countless entrepreneurs try to expand online and the reality is, anyone can do it. You can start with a tiny budget and create a million-dollar empire. I have seen it happen. But I have also seen entrepreneurs try and find they struggle too much, so they give up. There are certain elements and steps that you need to be following in order to boom into the online world.
1. Find a gap in the market and fill it
It’s important to be very specific online and identify an area where you can find space to expand into.
Who’s your audience? Who’s your ideal client? What problem are you solving for them?
Get clear on why you are different to the thousands of other people doing the same thing as you. Online, there are millions of pages, groups and forums that house your ideal client and audience and they want to know why you, as opposed to someone else, is the best for them. In my business, I describe myself as a business coach for spiritual practitioners and coaches. What this means is, for example, if a health coach who also meditates and practises yoga sees me and another business coach online, they are more likely to work with someone who has the same values as them. So, get specific on who you’re addressing, who’s your ideal client and how you can help them. Once you have done that you can create marketing and branding to appeal to that particular audience.
2. Be visible and show up. Every. Damn. Day
Visibility is everything. If your ideal client can’t find you, they can’t buy from you.
People won’t be able to contact you or interact with you if they don’t even know you exist. When I first went online and got visible, it changed the function of my local business too. All of a sudden, I had local individuals I had never worked with before message me, telling me they saw me online, or saw my live training and wanted to work with me.
A great tool to work with is association. What are you known for and what do you want to be remembered by? So, for example when I pop up on groups, pages and on lives I introduce myself as; ‘I’m Athina Bailey, a business coach for spiritual entrepreneurs.’ Every. Damn. Time. This gets the association of who I am into everyone who interacts with me. And even if someone doesn’t want my service at that time, chances are if they hear business coach + spiritual they’ll think of me.
3. Have a digital hub
A huge mistake I see online entrepreneurs make is not having website. Many online practitioners and coaches simply don’t make a website and while yes, it’s true you can still make money whilst not having a website, it certainly makes it a lot easier. Your online audience are looking for you to have ‘credibility.’ They want proof as to who you are, that what you’re doing is what you’re good at. Now you can have photos of you speaking, testimonials, a large following and that can be enough but if you don’t have those things, it’s really important to have a website. If you’re going to offer something online you need to have a website that you can direct traffic to, so they can read more about you and your offerings. When I started my local business, I put SO much effort into my website. And that’s how I booked all my first clients, via my website. It’s the backbone of my business.
4. Give value. A LOT of value
Online, there are so many service providers to choose from and invest in that your audience wants to know that you’re worth investing in before they purchase from you. Many entrepreneurs have their own unique strategy of showing up and giving a lot of value. I have seen this through webinars, free live trainings, blog posts, videos, etc. It reinforces credibility and creates trust. This is especially important if you’re selling a service online, as it’s often not tangible and your clients will need a preview of the service before they purchase from you.
5. Social media
Get on it. Seriously. If you’re not on it and you’re creating a business, it’s so much harder. For people to work with you and get to know you, you have to be online. And the best way is through social media. Most of the clients I get are through social media. I know coaches and practitioners who built million dollar businesses off Facebook. And if it’s possible for them it’s possible for you.
Social media allows you to:
– Gain a following
– Promote your services and products for free
– Build credibility
– Interact with your ideal audience
And so much more.
Is an online business hard work? Yes.
Is it worth it? Hell yes!
An online business gives you total freedom and that’s a huge driving force for so many entrepreneurs. Be sure to follow these steps and create a model that works for you!