How to Start an Online Business in 6 Steps

September 22, 2019

How to Start an Online Business in 6 Steps

CONTRIBUTOR:

Michelle C.
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If you're researching how to start an online business then CONGRATULATIONS! You've taken the first step towards your future success. Trust me, I know that starting a business online could be challenging and even a little scary, but if you do it right, the amount of growth and benefits you'll receive is imaginable. There's many successful online businesses who were prepared, trained, and knowledgable during their journey. Some of the benefits of online businesses is the financial cost, you don’t have to deal with massive overhead costs and the investment is relatively low. Another benefit is the opportunity to be your own boss and here you'll learn how to start an online business from home. Online businesses have great potential if you play your cards right and that’s why it is important to take the right approach. So in this blog post, we'll be teaching you how to start an online business in 5 steps:

  1. Find your Niche Audience and Fill the Need
  2. Defining Your Brand Voice and Brand Image
  3. Designing a Logo
  4. Creating a Website
  5. Writing Sales-Driven Copy
  6. Establish a Social Media Presence

1. Find Your Niche Audience And Fill The Need

Have you ever thought to yourself "Ugh I wish this was faster or easier"? When brainstorming business ideas, think of what people are searching for a solution to a problem. Most people often make the mistake of developing a product first then thinking of the market. Think of your product first and how it could solve a person's problem. A business will only succeed if there’s a demand for what you’re selling. It is important to find your niche target audience and a product/service that you can fulfill to gain success. For example, a majority of us hate vacuuming either because it takes too long, it's too much work, or you just hate dirt. So the solution to the vacuuming problem was a little robot that would vacuum your house on its own. Simple as that.

You can easily find the product/service by:

  • Searching Online Forums to see what problems customers need solved
  • Look up keywords that people are searching for that don't have much competition
  • See low traffic competitor's products and see how you could do them better
HOW TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS

2. Defining Your Brand Voice & Brand Image

If you're just learning how to start an online business then you may not be aware of what a brand voice is and how vital it is to your business' success. Your brand voice is the attitude, values, or personality your business conveys to an audience. Some key things that we'll go more into depth later on and could help define your brand image are:

  • Your Branding Colors
  • Your Logo
  • Your Website
  • Your Copy

For example, if I were to tell you about a company's branding that includes bright red and bright yellow colors, a clown, and golden arches, you would immediately think of McDonald's iconic playful branding. Don't be scared, it's takes a lot of experience and skill to be able to develop a successful brand voice. Branding is an important aspect of running a business in the modern world. The last thing you want is to get lost in the crowd and become forgettable. Your branding should be unique, memorable and represent the company well. When your audience sees your branding, they should be able to connect your company with the branding.

"Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room" - Jeff Bezos

HOW TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS

3. Designing a Logo

Designing a logo for your business is a crucial step in the aspect of branding. If anyone tells you that you don't need a logo for your business, THEY'RE LYING TO YOU. Your logo is the image associated with the company and can help your audience identify you. You should by now have your brand colors picked out so you can implement them into your logo. When designing a logo, think about your story, purpose, and brand voice. This could help you determine what type of logo to get. Here are some questions to think about during the creative process:

  • Is my logo playful and inviting or bold and high-end?
  • Is there a hidden meaning behind my logo?
  • Can I use my logo in multiple ways? (Printing, Website, etc.)

For example, some iconic logos you could recognize would be Nike's checkmark, Apple's bitten apple, or Disney's cursive D. You could use platforms like Canva to design your own logo. If you don't know where to start or how to design a logo, we recommend trying out Fiverr where you can find graphic design freelancers at an affordable cost. Click here to view services: Fiverr.com.

HOW TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS

4. Creating a Website

Have you ever been to a company's website to get more information from them or establish their credibility? How disappointing was it when you find out the company doesn't have a well-designed website or any website at all! There’s no way to establish an online business without a good website. It will be your primary platform and give your business credibility it needs to attract your audience and convert sales. It is your company's source for your audience to find information, products, or content they are searching for. Hire a website developer or DIY your website by downloading templates.

If you're just learning on how to start an online business from home, make sure your website has your logo, branding, copy that sells, and what your company is about. It's easy to sell somebody a product when they are educated and attracted to your brand. It's also very important that your website is compatible on desktop and mobile platforms. Over 40% of user traffic is from a mobile device, it's essential for your business to be easy to use on mobile devices.

If you're running an eCommerce store or selling personal services, we recommend using Shopify for your website. It has an easy and friendly system that will make any beginner look like a pro. You can build your website from multiple easy to build templates and get your website up quick.

HOW TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS

5. Writing Sales-Driven Copy

Besides your graphics having to look great, your online business must have great copy to be able to sell to your audience. If you don't know what copy is, it's basically the text or writing that you use for ads, your website, or your product descriptions. Having good copy is vital to your business' success because it's basically what sells you or your product. Now some people think having copy that sells involves you shoving your product or services down someone's throat or begging for them to buy from you. NO. Please don't do do that. The last thing people want is to be told what to do. Am I right? When writing your copy, try telling your story and what your company's values are, people are being targeted with ads every minute so it's nice to see some human-ness to businesses. You can think of multiple ways to create sales-driven copy like:

  • Being funny or genuine
  • State facts most people don't know
  • Focusing on a niche
  • Make it personal
  • Let them feel or experience something
  • Compare yourself to your competition

For example, Microsoft's Surface recently ran ads using copy that said "Surface Book comes with Pen, touch and nearly 2 million more pixels than a MacBook Pro 13." They compared themselves to an audience favorite and their competitor's Apple MacBook and explained how they were better.

how to start an online business

6. Establish a Social Media Presence

Social Media is everything in this digital world nowadays. If you want to know how to start an online business, a good social media presence is something every business needs no matter the industry. Having a social media presence allows you to connect with a large audience either through organic and paid content. You can post regular articles and pictures to create a following. Always think of what type of posts can generate the most engagement and can relate to your audience. You may have heard that posting everyday is a crucial step in social media. Although that is true, it is more important to be posting great quality content instead of posting random crap here and there. If you can't post on your feed everyday, try to post on your story daily so you can keep up your audience engagement. Write to your followers, comment on their pictures, or connect with influencers to show a human side to your company.

how to start an online business

Now that I've broken down how to start an online business in 6 steps, I wish you the best of luck on your business journey. You may feel at times like you're going to fail or this entrepreneurship lifestyle wasn't meant for you. Don't be scared or feel guilty, there's always going to be people silently cheering for you whether you notice it or not. If you're looking for an entrepreneurship network that can help you with your online business or answer any questions you may have pertaining to it, you can check out Hustle Inspires Hustle's Mastermind Group. Want some more free value? You can tune into "How to Start a Business Online", our podcast episode featuring Jeff Cole, founder of Ikonick.

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How to Start an Online Business in 6 Steps

CONTRIBUTOR:

Michelle C.