How do you build a business online? There are (in my experience) four main pillars of building your business online. There are lots and lots of tools, software, methods but really it all boils down to this:
1. Create your content
This can be in many forms – you can create videos with your phone, write blogposts, create graphics, record podcasts – the main thing is that you create it consistently. Aim for creating your content once a week to build up a bank of it. Don’t have time? Outsource it. But believe me, if you want to build your business up, you should make the time.
2. Use social media
Choose your social media platforms depending on who you are trying to reach. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat… you can’t be on all of them and run your business well – so choose two.
Show up regularly.
Create your accounts, signpost to your website, fill in your profile information. Make it easy for people to find you online.
Use your social media posts to engage, entertain and, when the time is right, sell your products or services.
3. Email Marketing
In order to get in front of your audience more regularly, you want to start building an email list. Use an email marketing service such as Mailchimp, Aweber or (my favourite) Convertkit. Never ever add someone to your email list without their permission. With GDPR coming into the EU in May 2018, you will no longer be allowed to add someone – however, this has always been a poor practice. You want to email out your newsletter to someone who wants to read it!
As with the first two pillars, be consistent with your email marketing. Pick a day of the week to send out a regular email. Share your content with your audience. Engage with them. Ask them for feedback!
How do you get someone to join your email list? There are many ways to do this, but the best one is to offer them something in return for their email address. Maybe some free training, maybe a free guide to something you are knowledgeable about.
4. Creating a journey for your reader to become your customer
The whole point of the first three pillars is to attract your ideal client to your business. So you need to think about what you are selling,and how areyou going to get someone from reading your blog to becoming a customer.
This can be called a funnel or customer journey. They say it takes 8 touch points for someone to decide whether or not they want to buy from you. So you want to create those touch points – whether it’s through connecting with you inside a Facebook group, listening to your podcast, reading your emails… have a goal in mind when you are creating all of this. WHere do you want your audience to end up.
What this means in reality – if you are selling a healthy weight loss programme, then your customer journey may look like this:
- social media posts about healthy lifestyle
- freebie optin of How to Choose Healthy Snacks
- email series with free education about losing weight healthily, the benefits etc
- offer of your programme
- follow up offer to talk if they don’t buy
You can relate this journey to any business. You just need to think of where you want your audience to go. Start with the end in mind.
There are a lot of moving parts in this online business world. Personally, I have used webinars, live and recorded, freebie optin downloads, 5 and 30-day challenges, email sequences, Facebook lives, podcasting, YouTube videos – all with the end goal of someone asking me to help them with their online marketing.
The biggest benefit I have, and something I offer my own clients, is accountability and support.
Being part of a group of other entrepreneurs who are going through the same questions, need the same tools as you, is hugely beneficial. That’s why I am joining my first mastermind this year. That’s why I created a membership in favour of online courses – the community part is, for me, the biggest bonus.
To help you start building your business online, I have created a workbook just for you. You can download it here when you sign up – just check your inbox in a moment