The beginning stages of growing your business online can be tough.
Budget may be tight and knowing where to pour your time and energy can be daunting, especially as a solo entrepreneur.
Being online is not even an option anymore, it’s a must. People will instinctively look for the services or products you provide most likely online rather than in the physical methods of the past.
With hand held devices and the answers to our queries within seconds thanks to Google, how do you grow as a small business without getting lost in the noise of the world wide web?
Here are some ways you can effectively and strategically map out your business activities to grow your small business in the online space…
1. Quality Website
Having a great looking website is not enough.
Think relevant content, good site performance and user experience.
Your brand needs to be conducive across all web pages, with good quality images and useful information for your target audience.
Content marketing starts and ends on your website. Having a content strategy gives you a solid pathway to deliver exactly what your audience want and provide just that.
Google is after all the worlds biggest search engine, so website visitors will have been actively seeking you. Should you do your research and deliver what they seek, then you are already standing out from your competitors.
Take local businesses for example, if someone is looking for what you supply, be that a product or a service, they may type a local area specific query into a search engine.
Is your site presented to them, you need it to impress. And I am not talking fancy bells and whistles.
Simply great quality branding and easy to use navigation alongside relevant content.
Use Google Analytics so over time you can monitor the data and have a solid understanding of where your visitors are finding you and what they are doing once on your website.
2. Email Marketing
Nurture your email list.
If your marketing strategy does not include email marketing, then you are missing the ideal space to ‘talk’ to your community on a one to one basis.
Many think email is about selling and bombarding your people with all your latest offers and services, and of course you have a duty to keep people informed about all the wonderful products and services you provide, however do not fail to neglect the art of conversation.
Keep in mind: Conversational copy in your email marketing strategy allows people to really get to know you intimately, in their own time, without the often fast paced and noisy social media arena.
Respect and treat your email list like the gem it is. Anyone trusting your message and mission enough to submit their email address already qualifies someone as interested in what you do or have to say.
Do not disappoint them.
Email is your place to make a lasting impression. Plus you can easily be saved for future reference or services within a potential client’s inbox.
Particularly if you are a small business, prioritise growing your email list so you have a secure and personalised way of reaching your audience.
3. Social Media
Being active and consistent on social media can be exhausting. Getting strategic really helps you to avoid wasting time scrolling, wondering what to post and losing momentum.
If you really don’t have time to be engaging often with people, schedule set times to respond and reply to comments as best you can or outsource this task.
The key to using social media to SELL is to use social media to SERVE.
Engagement is everything, not just from your followers or community members, but from you.
I have sold numerous times without a fancy launch plan or an elaborate funnel.
Just a simple offer that will fill a need and a social media post, followed up with a conversation and a simple payment structure.
There is no need to overcomplicate social media strategies, give great value, serve and listen to your audience.
Conversation is key, regardless of your preferred social platforms.
4. Utilise Video
Video really helps people see who you are.
A YouTube channel is also a great option to get seen and heard so think about how you can easily and personably deliver your message via video.
This may be for your advertising strategy, delivering a video series on a core subject you specialise in or simply introducing your business, but there is nothing quite like video to really allow your target market a sneak peek into your world.
Utilise video to grow your small business online.
5. Build a Community
Your people are everything.
No community, no customers or clients.
I love to stay in touch almost daily with my existing customers, plus potential customers can be a part of a true freedom business family and really get a feel for my brand values inside the Freedom Business Network I have created.
We laugh, we brainstorm, and I support all members when it comes to mastering the art of sales and finding strategies that work, and feel good, for each individual member.
Think about where and how you can build a community, it could be for potential clients or existing ones, whatever works to welcome and support the needs and interests of those you serve.
Come join my Facebook Community – we’re a friendly bunch!
6. Increase Your Sales Performance
My favourite topic saved till last. After you have check listed all the above points on how to grow your small business, selling is the true factor that will determine your business growth.
Just think, the more profit, the more you can reinvest back into your business to scale. Not everyone wants a large business and that’s ok, but having a successful small business allows you to outsource, buy more time for self-care and spend more time with your loved ones.
Running your business efficiently rather than drowning in it, like many failing small businesses experience, is something I want to support all entrepreneurs to do.
Embracing your ability to make sales has an exponential effect on all areas of your business.
Your confidence will improve, you will become more creative and competent because you realise the results a good business and sales strategy can have. And you will continue to increase your sales performance over the long term.
If sales are an area you need to focus on here are some useful resources to get you started:
And most importantly, don’t forget to make time to look after yourself, online business is not easy… If it was everyone would be doing it.
Come join the conversation over in the Freedom Business Network.