Building a successful, lucrative online business can be compared to the process of baking a cake.
Even if you do not know the first thing about baking a cake, you can still do a very decent job if you follow a proven recipe. So how do you bake a cake?
First of all, you have to decide what kind of cake you want to bake. Is it going to be a simple carrot cake or an elaborate gateau?
Is it going to be the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate-lava or the Teutonic Black Forest? Once you have made your choice, you have to gather the CORRECT ingredients for the recipe. You have to make sure that you are using very HIGH QUALITY ingredients. Also, remember that the quantity of ingredients is not as important as their proportion.
Your cake should have the correct BALANCE of flavours for it to taste good. Just adding a ton of sugar is not enough to make it delicious! The ingredients should be combined together in the proper sequence for the cake to remain moist and soft.
Once you have done this, you need to add your own SPECIAL TOUCH to the recipe. This is very important if you want your cake to stand out against the competition. Otherwise, you will end up with a generic product that has nothing different on offer. People do not like generic goods – they want something unique and extraordinary.
Now it is time to bake your cake. You need to find a nice shaped baking dish and set the oven to the right temperature. Soon your cake will be ready! Make sure to add a few finishing touches to it – a bit of finesse goes a long way! Just as you think that you have accomplished your goal, comes the most important part – SELLING the cake. Even if you can make the yummiest, most tempting cake in the world – it is pretty much useless if people do not know about it.
Hence, promotion is an indispensable aspect of every business.
You probably were not expecting a lesson on how to bake cakes – you came here to know about internet marketing.
However, be assured that the two are very analogous. Even if you miss one single step of the recipe, your cake will turn out to be mediocre. Similarly, your online business will not flourish even if you get one step wrong!
You may be doing many things right – however, you will not get full value for your efforts even if you miss out on a couple of seemingly trivial points.
Follow these steps to create a thriving online business.
1) Come up with a PHENOMENAL IDEA for a business – something that has the potential to go viral. Think about it from the customers’ point of view. People use the internet to seek out solutions to their problems and for entertainment.
Your business angle should be aimed at providing what it is that people seek. Once you do this – you will begin to make money without even trying too much. This is known as pre-selling. Here is an example to make you understand:
Popular TV channels are filthy rich and their earnings shoot through the roof during important sporting events such as football. These channels make money by broadcasting ads; however, this is only a small part of what they do.
They are predominantly focussed on giving people what they want, which is an exciting game of football! All the rest pretty much falls into place. Always place yourself in the mindset of the consumer. This will help you to deliver better value.
2) Now that you have zeroed in on a business concept. It is time to build your website. This is easier than you think. You do not need to be a computer whizz to set up an attractive website. With so many tools available, setting up a website is almost as easy as creating a facebook profile. Obviously, just a website is not enough to build a formidable online presence.
You need to expand to social media too – this includes Facebook, Twitter, Youttube etc. Depending upon the nature of your business, you might even want to introduce Whatsapp into the picture.
3) Add GREAT content to your website and social media accounts. Your content is the driving force behind your business. It the bond between you and your potential customers. The better the content, the stronger the bond.
If you not good at creating mind-blowing content or if you simply do not have the time, do not hesitate to outsource to competent, experienced professionals. Prime content is worth paying for and the small investment you make upfront will pay for itself many times over.
4) Promote like hell!
Your website is of no use to anybody if it does not receive traffic. Hence, if you ever hope to make even a single dime from your online venture, you have to promote your site with the zeal of an evangelist! Promotion is all about gathering momentum – initially, things will be very difficult and you will feel like your efforts are not bearing any fruit.
However, you have to remain relentless and fight through the frustration. Be feverishly active on social media, guest post on other blogs and websites that are related to your niche, participate in relevant discussions on forums, answer questions on quora, yahoo etc.
Do some networking – both on and offline and advertise on google and other platforms. Find ways to repurpose content so that it appeals to a larger number of people. Your endeavours will create a snowball effect and soon, the traffic will begin to flow in!
5) Test your website and optimize it for better results. Weed out technical flaws if any and focus on creating a pleasant and seamless user experience. Make friends with the search engines!
6) Listen to your customers and constantly focus on improving your business. This will help you to stay ahead of the competition and be a leader in your niche.
If you feel that your business is not performing as it should, analyse it against the six steps mentioned above.
Is there a particular department that you are lacking in? Maybe your content is good but your site needs better promotion? Assess everything closely – Sometimes, your cake will burn or come out harder and denser than expected.
Do not be afraid to tweak and adjust the recipe. Maybe the cake you have chosen to bake is not a public favourite – say a carrot cake. So how about trying your hand at cupcakes? Everybody loves cupcakes! Yes, you will face stiffer competition if you decide to sell cupcakes. The risks are high but so is the reward.
Analysing everything methodically helps you to think clearly and this removes your ego from the equation. Often, your ego is your greatest asset since it motivates you to push harder.
However, sometimes a huge ego can also be your greatest liability – you will become too proud and refuse to acknowledge your mistakes and wrongdoings. Your ego should never be a hindrance to your personal and professional growth.
The process of creating a high-income online business might seem too overwhelming. However, it is very doable if you focus on just one step at a time.
Do one thing right and move on to the next. Remember that a journey of thousands of miles begins with just one step!