online entrepreneurBecoming an online entrepreneur can be a daunting prospect, it isn’t like you can physically stop and chat to your customers, or overhear them talking about how beautiful your shopfront is and how it draws them in. It is all about staying as engaged with your target audience as possible and putting a face to that online presence you will build. Here is our 5 step guide to becoming an online entrepreneur.

Step 1: Research

Research what you can do. Look carefully at what other entrepreneurs are doing online and think of where your idea would fit in. If you want to start an online shop, look at successful online shops. What are they doing that you could use? How do they engage with their customers and what are they offering that makes them stand out from the crowd. Make sure you look at other businesses that aren’t doing so well, these can help you just as much. What are they doing that isn’t working, what could they do better?

Step 2: Form a Plan of Action

Now you know what you want, compile a list and a template of how you will achieve it. Put aside a realistic budget and learn the skills you will need. Write your own mission statement and business plan. Take a course on search engine optimization and study your market. Be prepared for some long hours ahead figuring out how best to market your business and plan your brand around your target market.

Step 3: Design a Logo and Form Your Brand

Now you know who you want to sell to and how you will do it. It is important you take some time to really hone your brand identity. Use a free logo maker like GraphicSprings to make a logo that stands out. Think about style, shape and colour. Use this logo on everything you produce, from your website banners to email signatures. Post this branding across your social media channels and on all the content that you produce, be it a video blog or a customer satisfaction survey. This way potential customers will know who you are and expect a professional, trustworthy service.

Step 4: Get Creative

The content you produce for your business and your advertising will be a major part of what you do. Being an online entrepreneur is all about getting to know your customers, and standing out from all the other businesses online. Let people get to know the real you by posting on your social media pages about your life. Start a blog or vlog detailing how you are building your business and post about it. Produce interactive and optimized content and be reliable about when you post it. You can use sites like Fiver and UpWork to hire help writing your content if you find it too much to take on. It can be difficult to keep up at first, so a great tip is to have a folder full of content on your laptop. Pre-make it way before you post it and then just send it out like clockwork on specific days and times.

Step 5: Analyze Everything

Use analytics on social media, on your website and via apps to check who is looking at your business, who is interacting with it and when. You can go all out and get analytics software like NetBase Quid that will look at everything for you. How people see your business is super important. You will start to see trends in your analytics, both positive and negative. Take note of these and be sure you make changes when you see them. Be your own best friend in business and remember that just because you like the way you are doing something, it doesn’t mean that is the most effective way of doing business. Be adaptable to change and also be sure to stick with it when you have to.

These have been our five easy steps towards you becoming an online entrepreneur. Keeping up to date on trends and always doing your research can help you keep ahead of the game. Stay in touch with your customers and target audience and plan your marketing carefully so as to not waste your budget!

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