What’s inside this article: Are you ready to take your business online? There are so many advantages of being a digital business owner, but it’s not easy knowing where to start. Here are 5 things to consider if you’re planning on going digital.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that the storefront business model isn’t a sustainable one anymore. In April 2020, local and physical businesses not only lost their financial support overnight, but the pandemic led to mass layoffs, huge government bailouts and ultimately, a self-induced recession.
Who could have expected this?
As a business owner, there are often unforeseeable situations that we learn to adapt to. You take a risk with your business on a daily basis and many factors need to be calculated in your risk assessment when you’re building a business plan. But this, you can’t map out a global pandemic in a business plan.
However, if you look at consumer reports and digital trends for online shopping habits, the numbers are clear: people are moving online to purchase products and they are 100% being influenced by social media channels. So, if you haven’t considered taking your business online yet, now is the perfect time.
Because the one thing we know for sure about the online world is that it changes, and it changes FAST!
The Benefits of an Online Business Model
The online business is a more sustainable model, you can create multiple streams of revenue, you have greater exposure and all of this can result in a really amazing ROI.
And the cool thing about taking your business online is that no matter WHAT industry you’re in, there’s a way to create a stronger brand using a digital platform.
TAKE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE: HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO BUILD A BETTER SUCCESS MODEL FOR YOUR BUSINESS
1. Focus on your Brand / Branding
Your brand is your base! It’s your name, your tone, your message, your values and the way your company is presented online. A strong brand knows how to emotionally connect to its audience by solving their problems. It’s the answer to questions and the reason WHY someone would choose over your competition.
A strong brand presence will build strong connections and it’s your starting point for expanding online! Here’s what you need to focus on when building a brand that truly connects:
- Your logo
- Your style guide & colour palette
Your voice & tone?:
- How your brand is presented
- The verbiage that’s used
- The vibe or essence it gives off
Your product?s features and benefits
- What you offer
- How your offering benefits your audience
- Who they are
- What they want
If you’re looking to get clear on your brand, I highly recommend seeking out a branding expert like Krista Goncalves Co., who can bring some cohesiveness and understanding to who you are and what you sell.
2. Get to Know Your Audience Inside & Out
A brand without a narrowed down audience (or target demographic) is a brand that will struggle to connect. You must know your audience inside and out.
You need to know who your audience is, their income level, where they live, where they shop, what movies they watch, if they have kids, if they want kids, how hard do they work, and so on.
But you also need to know what they struggle with the most (their problems) and how YOU are going to solve their problems with what you offer.
If you haven’t narrowed in on your audience and their struggles, it’s time for a branding and audience exercise and some target demographic research. Here are a few of my favourite methods for finding out how to connect with your audience:
– Use Facebook groups that your audience is in by joining them and reviewing the conversations that are taking place?
– Ask them directly either in an email, Facebook poll, use your Instagram stickers or DM
– Research your competitors to see what they are doing and how they serve their audience members
3. Be a Problem Solver
Okay, so you know your audience like the back of your hand. You know where they’re hanging out, what they like to eat, you know what their favourite clothing stores are and their behaviour patterns because you’ve studied them, and you’ve got to know them.
So, you should also know the problems they have that are specific to your niche. Here are some questions you should be able to answer at this point:
WHAT is their biggest problem (as it relates to your niche/ product/ service)?
WHO are they right now?
WHAT do they struggle with the most?
HOW can your niche/ product or service help them?
WHO are they after they’ve interacted with your niche/ product or service?
WHY are you here?
WHAT can you do for them?
Remember, you don’t actually sell what you are selling?
You sell the magic, the experience, the solution and the emotions. So, find creative ways to paint a bigger picture of how what you offer will change their life! This is how you build the audience of your dreams.
4. Consider Building a Strategic Website
Strategic being the key word because it doesn’t take a genius to build a regular old website, but regular old websites often struggle to convert. If you want to start an online business, you 100% need a website, and you 100% need it to be optimized for conversions.
Is building a website easy? Hell no. So, how do you optimize a website for conversion you ask?
You need to think about these key elements:
- A keyword strategy
- A home page built off of keywords and that hits audiences pain points
- A home page that connects on a deeper level and is organized in a way that gives your audience members enough information that they want to stick around
- An about page that tells a story that instantly connects
- A services page that sells what you have to offer in a non-salesy way
- Or product purchase pages that are clean, easy on the eye and contains large actionable CTA buttons
- A page that leads to a lead magnet or email sign up
- An email platform that’s connected to your website to generate leads and gather user data
- Website copy that connects
- The little elements like social buttons and icons, plugins that optimize functionalities on the website, contact forms etc.
As we say, there is so much that goes into building a website and if you are looking to take your business online and can budget it, we recommend outsourcing. Lumo Design is great for all of your website needs!
5. Increase Your Marketing Spend
It doesn’t matter if you’re a start-up with a small budget or a larger company that’s accustomed to marketing, there will always be hesitation when it comes to spending money to promote yourself.
Digital promotions used to be cost-effective, but that was ages ago. The average CPM (cost per thousand) is around $5.35 USD, and yes, you have to pay to be seen if you want to grow. It’s not to say that you can’t make an impact in your local community and avoid ad spend if you are a small business, however, if you want to set yourself up with a successful business model, digital marketing is crucial.
Finding virtual success can seem like a scary notion since there are so many things to consider. So, as a starting point here are the top 5 things you can start researching and learning about right now (if you want to handle your own marketing):
- Content marketing, blogging & SEO
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing & Facebook ads
- Trends, analytics & social listening
And as always, we are here to help. If you’re looking for digital marketing or social media strategies or even digital marketing coaching, you can contact us for a free discovery call.
In the meantime, check out this video of content ideas that help you adjust your marketing message to the times: