Hopefully, you have chosen a business model to implement for your online business. If you have not read the post on “Types of online businesses to start“, then you need to go there and do that before moving forward. If you have chosen one of the first six business models, then this will help explain how to build your online business. 

How To Build Your Online Business

A simple analogy is that of building a house. 

We first need to know the type of house we want to build.   Once we know the type of house we are building we can design the structure and what materials will be needed to get the job done. 

The same is true for online businesses. Based on the type of business, there are tools and marketing strategies that will work better for building that type of business.  An example is, if we are building a coaching and training business, it may be best to reach our audience on YouTube and then take them to a sales funnel with a simple landing page that gets them to set an appointment with us.

know your target audience

Step 1 – Know Your Audience

This is a critical step that is so often overlooked.  You need to take the time to learn the needs of your target audience.  Without knowing this, your marketing campaigns can never hope to be as effective as you want.  The first step is to join groups, forums, YouTube channels, or anywhere your audience is active.  Listen and learn what your audience is saying. Do whatever it takes to understand them more.

Step 2 – Have Your Products And Services Ready

For business types 2 thru 6, you will need to first create your product or service.  With affiliate marketing, you simply need to know which products or services you are planning to promote. In the “Buy, Build, Sell, or Rent model”, the website itself is a key element of the product.

  • 1 – Affiliate Marketing you need products to sell
    • You must source products to sell and be approved to sell them.
  • 2 – Create and sell digital products
    • You must first create your products and know how to deliver them.
  • 3 – Set up an Ecom store
    • You must source your products, test them, and have stock available.
  • 4 – Coaching, consulting, and training online
    • You must have training videos and training outlines made, 
  • 5 – Creating a brand or being an influencer
    • You need lots of material to engage and attract your audience.
  • 6 – Creating and selling online services
    • You must create your services or know where you will outsource them.
  • 7 – Buy, Build, Sell, or Rent businesses.
    • Need to have found a website or domain to buy, or are prepared to start building out a website in your target niche.
    • Some steps covered here do not apply to these business types.
    • Instead most of these business rely on knowing how to build out a website to gain more traffic and monetization.

Planning your business

Step 3 – Plan How To Attract People (Traffic) To Your Offers

Once you have your products and services figured out, it is time to strategize and decide on how you are going to get traffic to your offers.  Traffic is simply attracting people on the internet to be directed to our promotions, products or services.

Here is a list of different marketing strategies that can be used to build your business.

  • Blogging
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Paid Advertising

For a more detailed list of marketing strategies, please refer to our post “Explore The Digital Marketing Types”. Here you will find a more complete list of strategies that can be used in building your business.

In general, there are two main categories of marketing that will work to bring people to your website, YouTube channel, Facebook page, your promotions, or other locations on the internet:

  • Organic methods – Trafiic comes to your website and offers naturally, thru marketing efforts such as blogging.
    • Organic traffic costs are high on time and effort.
    • If you outsource some of this work, it can also cost money.
    • Benefit – the traffic is easier to convert into a sale. The reason for this is that these people already know you and are often searching for what you are promoting.
  • Paid Ads – Using paid advertisements to get traffic to your website and offers.
    • Paid ads are used to bring people to your promotions quickly.
    • Paid ads cost money and should be used in conjunction with other marketing strategies.
    • This traffic is called “interuptive traffic”, since your ads have suddenly been placed in front of people who were not looking for what you are promoting, and they do not know you. This traffic is harder and takes longer to convert into a sale.
    • Benefit – they save time and are quick at bringing traffic.

Step 4 – Plan Your Conversion Strategy

Plan for what happens when people click on one of your promotions. Build a strategy to convert those who show an interest in your promotion and have them convert into a sale. This strategy can be as simple as building a blog post that gently persuades people of the benefits of a product or building a complex sales funnel that has six backend offers and also builds your email list for continued marketing campaigns.

When you are first starting out it is best to keep things simple until you can start seeing what is working.

Conversion strategies for creating more sales and building your email list is done by using:

  • Squeeze page
    • A simple landing page where visitors are focused on taking the single action of giving you their email. This is done by using psychological strategies such as scarcity, and persuasion.
  • Opt-in page
    • A simple landing page where visitors are focused on taking the single action of giving you their email address in exchange for something, thus the Opt-in. This normally sits at the top of your sales funnel as it the very first action we would like our visitors to take.  The Opt-in page has better results then the squeeze page as it is easier to persuade people to give their email
  • Landing page
    • A simple page where visitors are brought to focus on taking a simple action.  This makes it as easy as possible for the visitor to take the intended action, whether it be to make a purchase, book an appointment or to get their email.
  • Pre-sell page
    • This is a type of landing page where visitors are focused on taking the single action of purchasing a product. It is used to help sell the product as well as capture the email of the visitor.
  • Bridge Page
    • Used to warm up the traffic, to get them persuaded about who you are and what you are promoting. It will look similar to a normal web page rather than the simple, singular focus page. It literally acts as a bridge for the people coming from another platform, commonly used when running paid ads.
  • Sales funnels
    • Sales funnels are a combination of visitor touches that lead them to make a decision and, ultimately, to make a purchase.  A sales funnel can be built with a series of simple web pages combined with an email series that engages potential clients into making a decision. A sales funnel takes time, planning, and constant testing to build properly.
  • Lead magnets
    • These are valuable but simple items that solve a problem for your target audience.  They are offered for free in exchange for the visitors’ email addresses or for taking a specific action such as sharing something on their social media account.  Thus, you get the email address of your visitor so that you may send them emails in the hopes of converting them into a customer. 
  • Tripwire offer
    • These are irresistible low cost offers that are used to move an interested visitor to become a customer. This helps to build trust and authority with the visitor/customer and makes it much easier to make future sales. The idea is that this low priced item is so valuable that they will want anything you offer them next.

Use these strategies to help design and build your online attraction and sales funnel.

Sales Funnel with Upsell

STEP 5 – Plan The Backend Of The Sales Funnel

You have now designed and are building the “front end” of your sales funnel. Now you need to decide what is going to happen after you have either a lead or had that initial sale. Will you take them to another offer right away? Are you going to have them become a member of a Facebook group that you run? Are you going to send them to a thank you page and wait a few days before contacting them again?

Here is a list of just some of the strategies you can use when building the backend of the sales funnel.

  • Upsell Offer
    • Another offer is given that is at a higher price point that enhances the low price product or service that has just been purchased.  The psychology behind this is that once a person has made that first purchase, it is much easier to make the next sale since they are in the buying frame of mind.
  • Downsell Offer
    • This normally used when a high price offer has been rejectede by the customer.  The psychology is that they did make that initial sale, so perhaps the upsell product was too expensive, so why not try selling a lower price product that enhances the original product.
  • Bump Offer
    • Right on the checkout page, an attempt is made to add another product that will be related to the original product or service.
  • Email campaigns
    • On leaving the sales funnel, a series of emails are designed and written to continue the promotion and sales cycle with the lead or customer.  By continuing the conversation, with good content and advice, it is hoped that more promotions will be considered in the future.
  • membership offer
    • By making the lead or customer a part of a membership or group, it will be easier to build trust and authority. This will make it easier to build that relationship where they trust you and believe in what you promote. 
  • Limited time offers
    • Putting a limited time on an offer builds an immediate incentive into the person to buy because the special deal will be disappear in the near future.

Take action building in your business

Step 6 – Take Action And Build Your Online Business

Once you have designed your conversion strategy and sales funnel, you have a lot to process.  Begin by building your home base, or the area where you will be doing most of your attraction marketing.  If you are using YouTube as the main part of building a following, then start building your YouTube channel.  If you are using a blog to get traffic, then begin by posting new content on your blog consistently. If you are planning on using paid ads, you need to design those ads and understand how to properly use the platform where you are running those ads.

  1. Start by building your attraction strategy – the method on getting traffic first.
  2. Build your presence on at least one social media platform
  3. Build the front end of your sales funnel first.
  4. Build the back end of your funnel after you have the front end of the sales funnel working.
  5. Get your sales page and payment processor in place and working.
  6. Always test as you build to make sure things are working.
  7. When you have the sales funnel completed, start bringing the traffic into your funnel.
    • Run your ads
    • Send out those emails.
    • Start bringing your social media traffic into your sales funnel.
    • Market, promote, and track your traffic and sales.

There are many tools available for creating each and every part of your marketing strategy and online business. To check out some of the tools I use in my business, have a look on the resources page.

STEP 7 – Know Your Numbers For Your Business

Before your business begins to get traffic, and there are leads and sales being made, it is important to have things in place to track your visitors, your leads, and your sales.  It is essential for you to know what is happening in your business and what is working and what is not. It will be the only way that you will be able to know where and how to improve your sales funnel. 

  • Set up Google Analytics on your website or blog or landing pages.
  • Segment your email lists.
  • Create customer tags.
  • Use tracking pixels.
  • Each social media platform has their own tracking methods,
  • Run A/B tests on one part of your funnel at a time.

It is important to keep track of your visitor numbers, conversions, costs for your advertising, and finally your profit.  This is especially important when running paid ads, as you may be losing money without even realizing it is happening.  When running paid ads, these platforms will give you data on how your ad campaigns are performing.

Keep things simple and take action each and every day.

Try not to get overwhelmed and continue working on your online business.

There is just too much to cover here in one post.  If you are interested in more details, I will continue discussing each part of building an online business in more detail.


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