A friend of ours is wondering if she’s just dreaming, or if building online business traffic is a reality in her niche.
She’s been searching for another income stream to fill in the gap left when her 401K became a 201K. She has two e-books written and ready to go. She’s got a unique selling point (USP) and knows what she needs to do in order to launch a website and get it in gear.
But she’s hesitating. Why? She worries that so many other people have beat her to it. How can she possibly make a significant income online when big, established companies already supply what she has to offer?
She could have been me six years ago. I never believed that our e-books would sell at all, let alone pay the rent (or expand into a flourishing full-time business). I told her I’d had the same worries.
She wasn’t convinced.
“But that was six years ago,” she said. “Think how many businesses have popped up online since.”
This is so not a problem. If you’re worried, like our friend, about making money online, listen to why this is still a great time to create an online business.
First of all, half the people in the US don’t even have broadband. Many who do have access don’t use it. Yet. They will have it and they will be using it because it’s fast and efficient.
It’s tempting to judge the entire world’s behavior on what your friends are doing. However, when you’re cooking up an online business idea it’s important to step back and see the bigger picture. Keep in mind, it is the World Wide Web.
As more of our daily interactions go online, things such as banking, shopping, education, access to personal health care records, the Web will continue to grow. In other words, the train has not yet left the station. There’s still plenty of available seating and time to climb onboard.Building online business traffic is our buddy’s main concern. So I reminded her that due to an Internet principle called net neutrality, she does indeed have a fair shot at bringing traffic to her website. She knows that:
Traffic = people = business = success
And the same goes for you of course. No matter who you’re up against.
4 ways to build online business traffic:
1. Be the one they turn to.
Distinguish yourself and your company by responding to questions and emails quickly. Offer intelligent, personal replies and try to solve your customers’ problems. It’s easy to beat the competition, as many bigger companies don’t bother.
Recently, I had a problem with our Internet service company (Charter). I chatted online with a customer service agent. She answered questions that I wasn’t asking, and didn’t answer the ones that I was. I was passed to another agent when finally the first one admitted she lacked the authority to make the changes I wanted to my account. The conversation was frustrating and took over an hour. You can do way better than that.
2. Offer your secrets for free.
Transparency sells. When you give away your top secret info, a funny thing happens. Instead of losing customers, you build trust. Okay, you might lose a few. A small percent will take the free thing and never come back.
However, A large percent will appreciate what you have given them, Remember, this market is world wide. The idea is to give it away, give it away, (I’ve got a Red Hot Chili Pepper tune stuck in my head now), using parameters you’re comfortable with, such as a product sample, a limited-time membership, or a service they want and need.
These people will like you. A lot. They’ll even spread the word by sending tweet e-mail and chatting about the cool thing you do. All of which builds traffic to your online business. And definitely establishes you as occupying a notch higher and better (and nicer!) than the competition.
Building online business traffic means allowing your customers to get a taste of what you’ve got. So if you want people to buy your e-books or become a member of your website, pull back the curtain and invite them to check out what they’ll get.
3. Be easy to remember.
Your website, your online business, has a distinct persona made up of its title, its aesthetic appearance, and its USP. You choose these aspects for many reasons, perhaps not all of them even very consciously.
How do you think other people perceive your business’s online persona?
Consider what makes you remember someone you meet. Their style, their positive energy. What is that special thing that makes them stand apart from the rest of the herd? Offer something a little different than the competition.
Just as a good novelist or columnist does, know who your people are, your audience, and then write (or design) for them. Don’t attempt to appeal to everyone, because you can’t pull that off (unless maybe you’re offering free money with no strings! If you are — call me.);)
4. Offer the 3 Cs — Courtesy, Consistency, and Credibility.
Be courteous. Make it a core part of your mission to be nice to people. Not just people you think will become your customers, but everybody. Even the cranky, bitchy ones. Chances are, you won’t remember them but they will remember you. You wouldn’t want to get the type of mention I felt compelled to give Charter, would you?
Write standard responses that you can copy and paste and send out quickly. That way, when you’re having a difficult day, or you’re just too busy making money online to respond to your customers immediately, they won’t get the brunt of it.
Be consistent. Write a post a week, or three or five or whatever you’ve determined is a good rhythm for your web business.
Consistently deliver excellent service, a superb product, or valuable, reliable information. Show your appreciation for loyal customers who have paid for your service or product. Ask them how else you can help.
If you are working with a partner (as I am), be sure you check each other’s work occasionally, if not more often, to be certain you are portraying consistency with your customers. It’s perfectly fine to express your different styles, just make sure you don’t confuse your customers.
Be credible. Your reputation online is the backbone of your business. Make customers question your credibility, and risk destroying your hard work. The good news is, this is easy enough to do. Simply know yourself, know what your mission is, and use the other two Cs above to deliver it.
Building online business traffic is the biggest key to Internet entrepreneurial success. Without it, you have a nice website that nobody ever sees. Make the effort to bring traffic to see what you’re up to, and you’re in business.
A friend of ours is wondering if she’s just dreaming, or if building online business traffic is a reality in her niche.
Did you know that the word entrepreneur comes from a French word “entreprendre” which means “to undertake? If you want to get more analytical and you speak French, you might think it comes from combining two verbs “entre” and “prendre.” “Entrer” means “to enter” and “prendre” means “to take” so combined they would mean “to enter to take.” That works too because a person following a business startup idea who enters markets to take advantage of opportunities for profits by assuming the risks is by definition an entrepreneur.
Let’s look at some interesting facts about entrepreneurs:
People who become entrepreneurs either seek out an entrepreneurial life or they fall into it. Not everyone who becomes an entrepreneur grew up thinking that it was their dream to become a business owner.
Entrepreneurs fall into different entrepreneurial personality types–the professional, expert or pragmatist, and the inventor. Maybe as a small business owner, you have not given much thought as to the type of entrepreneur you are. You were too busy focusing on getting your business operating and profitable and not so much on what kind of entrepreneur you are.
Those entrepreneurs that are referred to as professional entrepreneurs start one business, and another, and another. They are very good at establishing a business and making it very successful in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes if luck would have it, the first business does well and they sell it. Soon they start another business because now being an entrepreneur is in their blood and they can’t go to work for someone else so they start another business.
Did you think that every person who becomes an entrepreneur set out to be one? Sometimes an entrepreneur comes looking for someone who is an expert in a particular field that is needed for their business such as accounting, finance, marketing, or sales. It can also be that they need an expert in a particular industry such as software, pharmaceuticals, or cosmetics. Then they go looking for someone who has that knowledge and ask them to join their venture by making them a partner. Voila! they are now an entrepreneur.
The expert entrepreneurs are often well-educated and become experienced in their trade by working in a corporate setting for a number of years. There they hone their skills creating the expertise that makes them so valuable as an entrepreneur.
The third type is the inventor. Bill Gates is an inventor type entrepreneur that has made this type very well known. This type of entrepreneur may have the classic inventor personality. You know the “absent minded professor” who gets so caught up in his technology and invention that they do not function well in a fully functioning business setting. As a result, they cannot function as a leader of a company because they have much too narrow a focus.
Instead, to become a success as an entrepreneur, they compensate for their shortcomings by surrounding themselves with experts that can provide the business expertise that they lack. In fact, they may hire the “professional” entrepreneur as a partner to focus on the growth aspects of the company so that they can continue in the inventor capacity which they do best.
There are blends of these three entrepreneurial types. It is possible to find a professional-inventor type who is fortunate enough to have both skills at their disposal. They can become super-creative geniuses who can invent and start businesses that do extremely well and become very profitable taking full advantage of their creative and business potential. They can become billionaires!
The blend pragmatist-professional entrepreneur is one that takes a combination expert who also understands the operation of a business. They use their expertise to develop an idea for a business that will lead to a very profitable business idea and set about hiring all the talent they need in every area to make it extremely successful. For example, someone who knows the pharmaceutical business very well comes up with an idea for marketing and managing pharmaceuticals in a new and more efficient way. His expertise as a professional entrepreneur allowed him to dig in and help with the startup process of the business while supervising the development of the pharmaceutical end of it.
Another interesting fact is that certain entrepreneurial types go better with specific types of businesses. You increase your chances of success if you choose a business that matches your entrepreneurial type. Often when you are thinking of starting a business, you do not give any thought to what kind of entrepreneur you are. Success often depends on your knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and your ability to find people that complement you.
The reason why most people start a home business is to earn some extra money so that they can live and easier life and, eventually, quit their regular jobs.
This is a dream-like scenario for a number of people because having the ability to work from home will give you more time to spend with family and, in theory, more control over your finances. With that being said, this will take a great deal of work and commitment, so make sure that you are fully committed to this proposition before getting started, or else your business will have a lot of trouble getting off the ground.
The first thing that you must have when you start a home business is an idea in mind that you believe people will respond to. This must be either a product or a service that you believe people will pay you money for, as this is how a home business makes an income for the owner.
If you do not have an idea yet, but know that you want to work from home, you can begin researching online about the various businesses that others are running from their homes. Coming up with a good idea is really the most difficult part, as the reason why many of these businesses fail is that they did not have a viable idea in the first place.
Secondly, you must come up with a marketing strategy, so that people will be aware that your business exists. You could have the most wonderful business idea known you man but if you are unable to market the business, the business is certain to fail. The good news is that the internet has made marketing your business much easier than ever before, as you can advertise to people all over the world from the comfort of your own home. It might be wise to lookup some online help in the marketing department because there are people out there who will show you the basics. The more you learn about marketing, the easier time you will have when you start a home business, making it well worth your time to figure this aspect out.
As long as you have the commitment and a little bit of marketing knowledge, you should be able to start a home business that is successful in the end. Do not let anyone get in the way of your dreams because if you are truly serious about this home business, it will definitely change your life. You will be able to set your own hours and take days off whenever you want, which is a great life to live if you are able to pull it off. The extra money will begin coming in as soon as you begin marketing things correctly, so get out there and get yourself started as soon as possible if you truly want to succeed.
If you are looking for Internet home business ideas, why not start with your favorite hobbies and pastimes? Few things can compare to being able to make money being able to do something you actually love to do. And that is probably the biggest advantage of turning your passion for making handmade crafts into an online business.
And what’s even better is that starting an online business is fast, easy, and inexpensive.
Here are a few Internet home business ideas.
Sell Your Crafts Online
There was a time when selling handmade crafts could be a challenge. Unless they were lucky enough to have a craft show pass through your town, most crafters were limited to selling to their family, friends, and neighbors. But, thanks to the Internet, you can reach thousands of potential new buyers in a matter of minutes. And it’s both quick and easy.
eBay is the world’s largest online market place. Thousands of people visit the site every minute looking for something to buy. And you can list your handmade crafts at EBay in less than an hour.
If the sheer size of eBay leaves you feeling a little overwhelmed, you could try instead. Etsy is a site that specializes in handmade crafts, just like the ones you make.
Specialize In Special Occasions
People spend billions of dollars a year on special occasions. As any retail employee will tell you, they make more money around holidays and special occasions than at any other time of the year. And, at other times, they sell plenty of birthday balloons or anniversary cards. So consider building your handmade crafts business around special occasions.
For example, if you make handmade candles, why not create gifts baskets featuring a collection of your candles, and some related items. Or you can make candles shaped like snowmen, four leaf clovers, or even diplomas. (For those looking for graduation gifts.)
These are just a few of the internet home business ideas that could help you make money with your homemade crafts. When you start exploring the possibilities, you will become more and more convinced that it is possible to do something you love and make money at the same time.