Online business success is for everyone.
However, succeeding in an online business may be more complicated and involved. There are several elements to it, and you should have a working knowledge of these elements before you invest in just one and overlook the others. Think "synergy," where the outcome becomes more significant than the sum of its parts. Author Stephen Covey said, "Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand!"
What are the elements to succeeding in an online business?
A niche is a specialized market segment for a particular product or service. What is your area of expertise? What will you specialize in? What services or products will you focus on? What kind of content will you produce? What partnerships will you accept? And most importantly, who are the customers you want to target?
Most online businesses pick a broad niche and then concentrate on more specialized. Each niche is characterized by different parameters or variables regarding values, interests, hobbies, geography, income, and quality.
Look at online dating. Niche dating sites offer alternatives to mainstream sites like eHarmony, OkCupid, Tinder, and Zoosk. With almost 8,000 sites operating globally, these niche dating apps are specifically designed for people with matching experiences, interests, or traits to connect. SimilarWeb reports that niche dating sites are becoming more popular while established sites like Match.com are losing their daily traffic.
The key to making the most of a niche market is finding or developing a segment with obtainable customers, room for growth, and no predominant competition. Determining a niche will help your online businesses gain a competitive advantage by enabling you to streamline your business efforts, provide expertise, and establish brand loyalty.
Online business success without content is rare.
So, think about content when you consider growing your online business. High-quality content is a must-have, not a nice-to-have. What platforms will you use (blogs, podcasts, videos, graphics)? How are you going to compete? Better content makes it easier to compete by attracting the attention of your target prospects and establishing your online business as the authoritative source of information in your niche or area.
By investing in creating quality content, you're also making something of value that enhances the probability of your customers becoming your advocates and promoters and sharing your information with others.
Let me share my experience with targeted, high-quality content.
"We're in dire need of female registrations," said the owner of one of the oldest international dating sites I worked for. He indicated technical or on-page SEO as the problem. Knowing the importance of organic search and the role of SEO, it's only rational for him to believe that, right?
I discovered that the site had a blog and social media page that had not been updated since 2012. Most of the content was fluff and not written for women. While the dating site owner was obsessing over SEO, I started creating content targeting women through blog articles and social media posts. It was a long-term strategy, but there was a consequent increase in female registrations onsite.
Will your target audience find your online business?
OK, you have high-quality content. Now make sure that it's searchable.
There are various ways to get traffic to your content, and you need to know these essential traffic sources:
Building, developing, and growing an email list is crucial for online business. You own your contact list, and you can interact with this list regardless of the email provider. You own the content you create and deliver. No social network will change the rules for your email list. No algorithm decides who is going to see your content.
Email is also a profitable marketing strategy because it generates $42 for every $1 spent. With a 4,200% ROI, it's one of the most effective marketing options for online businesses available.
Nurture and follow up with your customers with email. Bring people to your website and convert these visitors into email subscribers.
Again, let me share one of my experiences with email.
The previous emails sent by the dating site I worked for were primarily intermittent discount offers. When I sent a test email newsletter offering information on how to best use the site, the response was immediately positive. What became tri-weekly engagement newsletters lowered the site's attrition rate and increased traffic to our new blog and social media pages. That indeed made my previous boss happy.
Tiered pricing presents customers with several product or service options and corresponding pricing levels.
Your online business can serve more customers with multiple offerings by using tiered pricing and fulfilling their unique needs. You'll meet and satisfy more customers by creating an optimized pricing structure because you offer more value with each successive price tier.
For example, the major dating sites advertise as 100 percent free. You can search by age and location, reverse, and save your searches, but you can't message or chat with someone until you upgrade to a paid subscription. When members want extra features, these sites offer different membership plans and add-ons. Each price tier comes with a few extra bells and whistles.
An online funnel is a series of steps that attract prospects, leads them towards a purchase decision, and works to convert or upsell.
Generate new leads and sales with a funnel. A funnel is a sales framework that works for your niche, product, and target audience. Using a funnel will allow you to focus on growing your business, providing excellent service, or upgrading your products more.
Have you ever been wary of something new? My former boss certainly was. He didn't believe that sales funnels work.