If anything, 2020 has proven that the overall shift in any and all business is headed online. Whether you’re service based, like photography, in the salon industry, or a digital marketer, or if you’re retail based, such as a boutique, you really need to start taking your online presence seriously. It’s time to start thinking like an online business owner.
So, let’s talk about HOW to start an online business, even if you’re a service based business owner. And even if you think you aren’t good at the tech stuff.
How to Start an Online Business
The process to starting an online business is the same as starting any type of business. First, you have to get legal. Then, create a brand that attracts clients with which you love to work. After those two things are finished and nailed down, create a high converting website and email list, and streamline your strategies.
The process of getting legal for an online business is the same as any type of business. Each state is different, so do your research. I highly recommend finding a CPA in your area to help you. He/she can refer you to an attorney who specializes in business law to make sure everything is in order.
Create a brand that attracts your dream clients.
It’s important to build a brand that attracts clients you love. If you don’t do this from the get go, you’ll eventually resent your business and the clients you’re attracting.
Here’s a tip on what not to do. Try to be the business for any type of client. If you speak to everyone, you’re speaking to no one, as they say. This form of marketing doesn’t attract clients because you’re basically confusing your audience. They don’t know what or who you actually serve. And it’s too hard for them to try to figure it out.
Most people have very short attention spans and prefer not to do any extra work. Really they shouldn’t have to if you’re trying to get their business. Make it easy for them.
To level up your business, you need to research your clients and get to know them on a personal level so you can speak directly to them, using language they actually use daily.
Build a brand that draws their attention. This doesn’t include just their logo, but your overall business. I’m talking things like your website, social medias, even what you wear personally. Be a walking advertisement for your brand.
A High Converting Website
A website is extremely important for an online business and it needs to be set up to easily attract your client.
Have you heard of the 15 second rule? You have about 15 seconds to catch the attention of your audience before they click off your site. You need to give them a reason to stick around as soon as they land on your site.
A high converting website has:
- An eye catching headline and header photo to pass the 15 second rule.
- Messaging and images that speak to one specific person.
- An Email Opt-in that’s an easy yes.
- Answers to all the questions potential clients ask throughout the copy. This prevents a barrage of email asking the same questions.
- A way to book either a consult or your services online.
- A blog to show your authority(and help your SEO).
Check off all of these boxes on your website and you’ll notice your bookings increase and the time you spend trying to book clients decrease.
I mentioned email list above. You do need to have an email opt-in that’s an easy yes. Having your email list and doing nothing with it won’t help your online business grow.
According to SalesForce, email marketing earns an ROI of about $38 for every dollar spent, or 3800%. I think we can easily say email marketing is the best ROI in your marketing strategy.
In my boudoir photography business, I’ve spent time building and nurturing my email list. Because of that, when I run my semi-annual sales, I’m able to book all of my sessions available without paid advertising or anything other than my organic funnel.
So, obviously email lists are worth the effort.
I know what you’re thinking… “How am I going to find time for blogging and for email lists… and what about social media?” That’s a beast itself, especially for those of us who don’t love social media.
I highly recommend that you block off one day each month to plan out your blogs, email newsletters, and social media. Then, you won’t have to worry about it the rest of the month. Batching out your tasks make it so much easier to finish. And it leaves the rest of the month for you to be able to actually do the things that allow you to produce income for your business.
Now’s the time to establish your online business.
This day and age we are, in general, becoming more dependent on the internet for everything from grocery runs to entertainment, and so much more, so it makes sense that business would move online as well.
Right now is the best time to make the jump to an online business. It’s time to get ahead of the competition and establish your authority.
Are you worried you won’t be able to create a website that’s high converting yourself? Worried about the actual writing side? Check out Boudoir Studio Accelerator where I walk you step by step through the actual process.