How To Become A Good Online Entrepreneur

Have you ever thought that you can use the time you spend online - download unnecessary stuffs, play sports betting, stalk people on social media, occupy yourself with celebrity gossips, browse porn sites,  etc - to your own benefit and make money? Its kind of ironic to see young boys and girls who subscribe their mobile phones monthly just to waste time on the social media and still come out to complain that they are broke! Though, some have gone out of their way to find a cool means they can make good money online. Others are still updating their status daily about how our economy is in deep recession! If you are in the second category, I hate to break it to you but the economy will not smile on you if you sit and do nothing!

In view of this (and also because a good friend will not let me be if I don't post this), I did a little research on some steps you can take to guarantee your success in starting a small business online. First of all, let me give you instances of people (I know) who have started their own online business from their bed and are hitting it big now! Take it as a means of motivating you to do something (You can skip it if you are feeling motivated already). 

- OCTREEDS: Mhen! I met this girl/lady on Instagram during a contest she organized and till today I still get her messages on whatsapp advertising a new hair extension she wants to sell. Though I'm not the weave type, I still try to forward her messages/pictures to people who I know would be interested. I think I've made a post about her on my blog before.
- NgoziAzim: I met her in a whatsapp group advertising beautiful braid wigs and trust me, they are affordable and gorgeous. I'm planning on getting one myself and I also do well to tell people who might be interested.
- All-in-one communications: This dude met me in a cyber cafĂ© and was courageous to come up to me and tell me that he sells data at affordable prices. I got his contact and promised to call if I need. Turns out he owns a data reselling site and sells data, airtime, bulksms units etc to customers. Till today, I would simply place a call or visit his website, get my data or airtime and transfer the cash equivalent to his account. And sometimes I even help my friends buy data from him! 
- DelwinJames: I met this guy in a whatspp group and added him. Through his status updates, i found out that he's a makeup artist and hair stylist! I was actually thrilled because since I relocated to my current place, I've not seen a good hair stylist or someone to make me up on special occasions;  and seeing that he's just a phone call away, I vowed to patronize him one of these days. But that doesn't prevent me from directing my friends to him. Now he has his own website and is really doing well running it. 
- Nemy's Craft: Back in school I was looking for a baker to learn some cake classes from and I stumbled across a post on whatsapp and immediately contacted the person. I did a few classes and even paid her to make my own birthday cake. And I also gave her contact to other interested persons. Today, I can bake my own cakes and even surprise my neighbors during their birthdays. Thanks to a harmless whatsapp post someone shared. 
- Cocktail queen: I met this lady on Facebook where she advertised her cocktail classes. Of course I registered and same thing happened with Nemy's craft. 
I could go on and on mentioning people I know. Notice that I actually met most of these people online ie social media. 
Anyone can move from being a novice to being a seasoned online entrepreneur. The internet evolves so fast that a single year in the internet is equal to five years in the normal/real world. Meanwhile, the methods of starting and growing a successful internet business have not changed in any way. If you're new or just started a small internet business, make sure you stick to these. If you've been into internet business, do a quick company review and see if there's a step gouge neglected or never applied in the first place.

So here are some things you must do in order to be successful with your online business:

1. Find what people need and fill it: The truth is that most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second. To boost your chances of online success, start with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy. Firstly, visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they're trying to solve. Do keywords research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SemRush, LongTail pro, etc to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which not many sites are competing. Check who are your potential competitors, visit their sites and take note of what they're doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you've learned and create a product for a market that already exists and do it better than the other competitors. Secondly, always offer a free product either as incentives or reward for customers who bring other customers. Try to make your products affordable so an average person can buy it too. 
Note that providing services is also a good way to hit it. You mustn't sell products. Simply look for what you can do and take it online to market. Or even offer to teach people that which you know.

2. Create a social media page or design and build a website: Once you have gotten your market and have created a product, the next thing is to get yourself an online outlet for your small business. It could be a website or a page. But a website is strongly recommended. I recommend you use wordpress platform for your website. Don't worry about hiring a programmer or writing the code yourself, to save yourself the time and stress, there are powerful and responsive wordpress themes you can buy at affordable price with a design that can grab someone's attention in five seconds; otherwise they're gone and, never to be seen again. Just make sure you remember and keep in mind the following:

- Choose one or two plain Google fonts on a white background. 
- Make your site navigation clear and simple and the same on every page. (Avoid drop down menus) 
- Use graphics, audio or video which enhance your message for a good user experience. 
- Include a good opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses. 
- If you're running an E-commerce website or your site is accepting online payment, make it easy to buy - no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout. 
- Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly. 
If all these are confusing, get someone to help If all these are confusing, get someone to help you do them (you can contact me). If you are good to go, you can move on to step 3. But if you are not in for all the website creation and all that, but want to stick with a regular social media page (note that you can have a website and also a social media page), then this is what you should know:

- Pick a social media platform (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc), or simply pick all.
- Pick a name for your business.
- Create all the various pages you want and do the necessary additions like profile picture, description and services.
- Get people to start liking/following your page.
- Start writing about your business.
When you have all the above in place, you can skip to step 6.

3. Use the power of e-mail marketing to turn visitors into buyers: Don't forget that while you build an opt-in list, you're creating one of the most valuable assets for your online business. This means that all your customers and web subscribers have given you permission to send them e-mail which means you're developing lifetime relationships with them; you're giving them something they've asked for; the response is usually 100 percent measurable. E-mail marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because its highly targeted. Anyone who visits your site and opts in to your list is a very hot lead. And the best tool to do this is e-mail opt-in so as to follow up with those leads.

4. Establish an expert reputation for yourself: People use the internet on daily basis, looking for different type of information to suit their need. As an online entrepreneur, you should be able to know what type of information you can best provide for your readers. Provide that information for free to users and even other sites (always include a link to your site for each information) and you'll see more visitors coming to your site and you'll get better search engine rankings. Give away free, expert posts.

Create courses, articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites. Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites which is where you find your target market. Visit forums related to your business and get active. With all these, you'll reach new visitors. And you know what this means? More CUSTOMERS!

5. Use search engines to drive targeted customers to your site: There are two ways which you can use search engine to drive targeted traffic to your website, first is traffic from organic search result and second is paid traffic. Most times those who have products to sell always go for paid traffic while those who don't have any product always go for organic search result. Organic costs you no money while paid advertisement is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand new site instead of waiting for the traffic to come through organic search result. First, paid ads show up on the search pages immediately, and secondly, they allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches thereby helping you to know what is working best, and the highest-converting keyword for your online business. Once you discover your best and high converting keyword, you can then write a quality blog post using that keyword, distribute the keywords throughout your post, which will help you get good rankings in the organic search results and be sure to have a product to sell so you don't end up spending your money in generating huge traffic without making a dime from your website.

6. Write good posts that will help you sell: whether you are using a website or a regular social media page, there are proven and perfect sales formula when it comes to internet business that turns your visitors from being a mere visitor to a loyal buyer. Some internet businesses tend to make their visitors automatic buyers the moment they arrive their site/page. Here is a proven formula that you must try:
- Capture your readers with a compelling and catchy headline.
- Describe and tell them how your product will solve their problem(s).
- Build an authority and trust as a solver of this problem.
- Add testimonials (If any) from people who have used your product (Also include their profiles if any).
- Make sure you give a review about your product and how it will benefit the users. - Make a free offer. Give them a guarantee of their money back if they are not satisfied with the product after some days, or maybe weeks or months depending on the product.
- Create call to action buttons eg buy now, recommend, review etc.

To avoid bad review and customer complaints, you must focus on creating a product that is solving the problem of your buyers not just something you must sell off even to the wrong group. Think like a customer, criticize your product and put yourself in a buyer’s condition to actually know if its worth paying for or not. Its only if you have done this that you can be able to sell a product that will attract good review thereby making more sales.

7. Increase your income through back-end sales and up-selling:  Developing every customers lifetime value is one of the most important internet marketing strategies you must apply. Good number of people who have purchased your product will buy again if they like the first product and you followed them up. Getting a customer for the first time is always the most difficult part of it and on this, use back-end selling and up-selling to get your existing buyers to make them buy again.
Do send a Thank You message after a customer purchases. And do mention a related product too. To get your customer to become more loyal, reward them for their loyalty. Dont forget to encourage them to refer other customers and give them gifts as rewards from time to time.

8. Go sharing: Write a little post you can use as an advert. Post on your social media pages and share to all your contacts on whatsapp and also encourage them to share. Spend your time sharing your posts instead of hate speeches!  This can go a long way. Remember I learnt about Nemy's Craft and DelwinJames through a shared whatsapp post. Start sharing as far as you can and ask friends to help spread it.

Go around to shops or any outlet that hold prospective customers (remember where I met the All-in-one Data guy) and talk to people about your products and how they can reach you if they need. If you want to go further, get fliers and post it in strategic places. You can also get yourself a little business card.

So, I guess thats the best I can come up with at the moment! This should give you at least an idea on how to start something yourself instead of just chatting on social media all day long!
Questions? Suggestions? Use comment box below.


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