Why you should consider taking your business online…
If one thing has become clear in the last couple of months, it’s that we need to be able to adapt to succeed. 2020 has thrown up unprecedented challenges for most of us, but what if we were to emerge from this with a strong, robust, adaptable and scalable business, geared up to weather whatever storms may come in the future.
Look around, think about your own buying habits and your own needs at this time. Which businesses are thriving, or at the very least, surviving. It’s those that either already had an online presence, or have been able to convert their businesses to online.
Take it from me, after 14 years in Marketing Consultancy, 13 of them face to face, my business has been exclusively online and growing nicely for over 12 months now. So, in this blog I’d like to share the wisdom of my experience with you and give you some top tips for taking your business online.
Top tips for taking your business online
All change starts with reflection right? So the first thing to do is to really look at your business and what you offer, then productize it. Think of it in tangible terms. If someone could pick something up from you and buy it, what would it be?
Next, think about your target customer and make sure you really know them. What are their goals and values, what challenges do they face, where do they get their information and what objections might they have that would stop them from buying? I’ve got a host of resources to help you with this step. Check out this blog post, and download my FREE Customer Avator Tool here.
When you think of a project like ‘Take My Business Online’, it can feel overwhelming. So break it down. Take one product or one service, and start with that. What one piece of face to face work that you do can you swap for an online version? Once you’ve trialled one product or service, you can gradually broaden your online offer to include more products. But start with one. And start with your existing customers. They know and love your product already and you know them.
Never ever underestimate the importance of strong branding. Everything needs to fit together if you want to avoid looking unprofessional or confusing your customers. The look and feel of your business, the name, the content, all needs to reflect what you offer and most of all, it needs to be consistent.
Make your messaging clear. Have your list of products and services in one place which is easy for your customers to see, and easy for them to understand. I can’t tell you how much clarity this will bring to your business (and your head).
Thinking of offering an online course?
There are so many businesses who could do this. Perhaps you’ve never even considered it before, but think about it now. If you’ve got a skill, you can teach it online. This is a great way of making your business scalable. There’s lots to think about, and work to put in, but the rewards can be exponential. If you’re thinking of offering a course, it’s important to get the planning right. I can help you with this. If you’d like to talk it over, why not book a free call?
Some of the things you’ll want to think about are:
- Cohorts and launches – how will this work. Will you have groups who will move through the course together? Or will your course be ‘Evergreen’, anyone can start at any time.
- Will you support people outside of the course? How? Will you set up dedicated groups?
- Will your course be set out in modules? Will they all be released at once?
- How will you price your course and what payment options will you offer?
- How are you going to get the all important B.O.S – bums on seats? How will you drive people to your course. Will you offer a free challenge?
- You’ll need to have a clear and consistent content plan which includes learning points at each stage.
- Who will be your Beta testers? They will need to take the course and give you honest and constructive feedback. So, not your mum.
So yes, there’s a lot to think about, but it’s such a valuable weapon to have in your business arsenal! Just think about how many people are taking online courses now – you’ve probably taken at least one yourself.
If you’re worried that you’re not ‘techy’ enough to operate online, upskill. There’s loads of support out there and, yes, online courses. Once you’re confident with the tech, including online payment systems, there’s nothing stopping you.
Some of the tools I use, which you might want to learn about if you don’t already use them yourself are:
- Zoom – if you hadn’t heard of it before coronavirus, you probably have now! It’s on online meeting tool and people all over the world are using it to communicate with each other face to face.
- Stripe – this is my go to tool for taking payments. It’s got a great dashboard and app and it’s fees are low.
- Active Campaign – for all your email automations, helping you to manage your customers experience and keep them engaged – by the way, don’t forget to add yourself to these!
- Lead Pages – landing page and website development tool.
You will definitely want to create a lead magnet. What’s one of those? Well my webinar and worksheet here can teach you everything you need to know! Simply put, it’s a freebie which is valuable to your customer, helping to get them engaged and interested in what else you can offer. For example, I offer free 15 minute 1-2-1 calls, and of course, the free Facebook group – if you’re not in it, why not? You can find it here. Yes you know it’s part of my funnel, but it’s packed with great advice from like minded business owners, and me of course.
You could also create some ‘TripWire Products’. Low cost products which show off your brand, demonstrate your expertise and ‘trip’ your customer into your automated sales funnel. You’re probably familiar with some of my TripWire products, like my £5.99 Sales Training Tips video, or my ‘What Would Kate Do’ exclusive members Facebook group. Customers like to dip their toes in the water before committing to spending more money, these products are a great, low cost way for them to do that, and for you to start building a relationship with them.
Be prepared for challenges or ‘learning opportunities’
When we make changes to the way we work, there will inevitably be challenges along the way. Be realistic and don’t let setbacks and hiccups scupper your chances of success. There may well be some parts of your business which you simply can’t offer online. Decide on the things you can, and keep it simple. Remember, begin with one.
When you’re marketing your online offer, it all comes down to knowing your ideal target customer again. Find out where they hang out online, and make sure you’re there too. Don’t ‘sell sell sell’ on your social media platforms. Remember that 80% of your content should be engaging, valuable and personality driven, leaving you with 20% to talk about your offer.
It’s over to you now. Make a plan, and make it happen! I’d love to hear from you so if you’re not already in my free Facebook group, come and join me there.