Do you have a Facebook Page? Have you been wondering whether it’s worth it to pay to get more Facebook Page likes? The answer to your question is not a straightforward one. However, I will attempt to answer it in a way that will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to pay Facebook to promote your Facebook Page in exchange for more likes.

Understanding Facebook Pages

It is imperative that you understand Facebook Pages and how they work. Facebook Pages were designed as a public place where your customers and fans can learn more about you and your brand before, during and after an interaction or transaction with you. Over the years, Facebook has reduced the amount of organic reach on Facebook Pages. This is because it wants you to pay before they allow your page to be seen by your prospects and customers alike.

[Read: Do Not Run Your Next Facebook Ads Until You Read This]

Should You Care About Getting More Facebook Page Likes?

Getting more Facebook Page likes is a way of showing your audience that you have some type of validity. The more likes you have, the higher the tendency of prospects to trust you. This, in turn, will make them wanting to do business. The human brain loves “numbers.” If I land on your Facebook Page and I see 10,000 likes, it increases the tendency of me thinking your brand is valid. It shows people are interested in your brand and that you have something to offer.

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for you to care about getting more Facebook Page likes.

Is it Worth it to Pay for Facebook Page Likes?

Now that I’ve established that you should care about getting more Facebook Page likes, it’s time to answer the question, “Is it worth it to pay for Facebook likes?” The answer to that question is, it depends.

A substantial amount of Facebook Page likes does not guarantee that customers will start dipping their hands into their pockets to patronize you. For this reason, it’s not worth it to pay for Facebook likes.

On the other hand, if you are new to the market and you barely have anyone who liked your Facebook Page, it might be worth it to pay for Facebook Page likes.

Ultimately, paying for Facebook Page likes depends on where you are in your journey and the goals you are trying to achieve.

[Read: New to Blogging? Here are 10 Steps to Launching a Successful Blog]

Getting More Likes Without Paying

Yes, you can pay but you can also get more Facebook Page likes without paying. In order to get more likes without paying, the first thing you need to do is to invite your current Facebook friends to like your business page. Once you are done doing that, other things you may do is share the link to your Facebook Page on Facebook Groups, include the link in your email signature, website, blog, business cards etc. Also, you can encourage people to like your Facebook Page after hosting a Facebook live event or each time you attend a networking event.

Thank you for reading. Are you thinking of paying to get more Facebook Page likes? Leave a comment and remember to share this post with a friend.

If you run your business in the 21st century, you already know how hard it is to earn loyalty from your customers let alone turn them into raving fans. However, as a business owner who wants to succeed in business and prosper in life, you must come up with ways to earn your customers’ loyalty and turn them into raving fans.

In order to earn loyalty from your customers, you need to understand the core of who a customer truly is. Every customer is first a human before they bear the title of a “customer” and that’s where I feel a lot of business owners miss it.

If you treat your customer like a robot, you’ll definitely get a robotic relationship.

Robotic relationships in business mean that other than the transaction, there’s nothing more, nothing less. Most corporations have robotic relationships with their customers and although corporations are starting to realize that robotic relationships with customers no longer work in this day and age and are trying hard to build more humane relationships, they are still no match when it comes to how small business owners can build humane relationships with their customers, earn their loyalty and turn them into raving fans.

[Read: How to Reach Your Target Audience on a Shoestring Marketing Budget]

 

Why Should You Care About Turning Customers into Raving Fans?

 Back in the days, many brands didn’t have to do much to earn customer loyalty because there weren’t many options. When I was growing up, there were very few soap brands. In fact, we only had two options. If you didn’t use soap A, you had to be using soap B. The manufacturers didn’t have to worry about working hard to earn the consumer’s loyalty. However, all these changed as the internet became more popular and lowered the barrier of entry of being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs can now with very little capital start their business and provide a world-class service straight from their computers. This has led to fierce competition in the marketplace and flipped the power from the business to the customers.

[Read: How to Retain Customers in 5 Easy Steps]

With this in mind, a diligent business owner should care about turning customers into raving fans. What’s the difference, you may ask?

Customers are generally people who buy from you because they need your products. Raving fans are people who not only buy from you but are extremely satisfied with your brand and are willing to go the extra mile to blow the horn of your brand without any coercion. When you have lots of raving fans, the rewards are boundless. Your marketing budget reduces (in most cases), loyal customers will increase and so also will your sales increase. Can you beat that?

 

Earning Loyalty and Turning Customers into Raving Fans

Loyalty simply means allegiance. This does not mean that customers have no other option. It simply means despite having other options, they decide to choose you. That’s a pretty hard spot to land on especially if there are millions of people who offer the same services as you. The good news, however, is no matter how hard it is to land on such spots as a business owner, it is doable.

The first thing to understand when it comes to earning loyalty from customers is to understand that loyalty is earned not bought, coerced or demanded. You cannot demand loyalty from anyone, you’d need to work hard to get it. In order to earn loyalty, you must understand that business is beyond a transaction – it is the relationship. Start earning loyalty from your customers that giving them undivided attention, making them feel special and care about them. Every human in the world responds to attention. If you start treating every customer like the most important person in your world rather than someone from whom you get money, you are on your way to building a loyalty base.

[Read: How to Write an Effective Ad Copy]

The second thing is to be innovative. Innovation fuels excitement and loyalty. No one likes to be with someone who is not committed to constant improvement unless they have no choice. Innovation does not always mean discarding old ways of doing things, it simply means constant improvement over time. Work on your branding, come up with new ways of accepting your orders, invent new ways of delivery and just keep improving. When your customers know that you are constantly researching and coming up with novel ideas, you will earn their loyalty.

[Read: How to Remain Relevant in a Rapidly Changing World]

In addition to being innovative, you should learn how to reward your customers. Rewarding them drives loyalty and it makes them feel special. No one likes to feel used and unappreciated so go ahead and start earning your customers’ loyalty by rewarding and appreciating them.

Once you start earning the loyalty of your customers, it’s time to turn them into raving fans. Turning your loyal customers into raving fans means that you are willing to go the extra mile. Extra mile means that you will start doing things other businesses don’t do. For example, you can go the extra mile providing exclusive access to your loyal customers for troubleshooting, knowing their birthdays and even that of their family members, providing resources beyond the basic to help them advance their personal gains etc.

Going the extra mile come rain or shine will win over even a heart of stone and in doing so, you can turn customers into raving fans.

 

Thank you for reading. Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous. Leave a feedback and share with a friend.

 

Question: How do you earn customer loyalty and turn them into raving fans? Leave a comment below.

 

You do not need to be a copy writer before you can write an effective ad copy and a copy does not have to be very long before it’s effective. In the past, ad copies used to be at least one page of gibberish and unappealing write up. In the world of today, most marketers are finding out that short, but effect ad copies is what consumers really want. Why the shift? Researchers have found that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds. With this in mind and for your ad copy to be effective, it must be short, simple and to the point.

[Read: Yet to Register Your Business? Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should]

The 4 Critical Elements of an Effective Ad Copy

There are four critical elements of an effective ad copy. These elements though independent work hand-in-hand before you can expect results. An effect ad copy must:

1. Address the pain point of your prospect: Your ad copy should address the pain point of your prospects and customers alike. Usually, I recommend asking a question. A great example for Onpoint Success brand would be “Are you ready to build a profitable brand?” Onpoint Success’s target audience are entrepreneurs who desire to build a profitable brand but are currently getting little-to-no results. The question, “are you ready to build a profitable brand?” is addressing the pain point.

[Read: The Baggage of Social Media and the 3 Things to Avoid Like a Plague]

2. Contain the marketing language of your target audience: This is a very important aspect that is usually overlooked by most business owners when writing an ad copy.

The one key to writing an effective ad copy is to write from the perspective of your ideal customers.

Many business owners do not understand that a business is about what the customer likes and not what the business owner likes. When considering the marketing language, ask yourself, “are there any local languages that will resonate better with your target audience?” If your answer is yes, you may want to consider using that language in your copy.

[Read: 5 Attributes of an Exceptional Mentor]

3. Include a solution: Another crucial part of an effective ad copy is to state your solution. How can your business ease the pain your customer is currently experiencing? What are you doing differently than your competitors? How will the customers problem be solved by choosing your brand.

One of my favorite techniques when writing an effective ad copy is to use the power of “three.”

In presenting your solution, highlight three reasons or solutions you are proffering. The idea behind the power of three is that people can easily remember. Anything longer than “three” is a stretch. Your solution can also be a “one-liner” where you highlight why the customer should choose your business over that of your competitors. One thing to note when using a one-liner is the use of descriptive words. Descriptive words paint a picture that makes your customers drawn to your brand without hesitation

[Read: Been Dragging Your Feet on Email Marketing? “Relike” App Lets You Turn Your Facebook Posts into Newsletters]

4. Include a call-to-action: A call to action is the action you want your customer to take after coming in contact with your ad and are convinced that your business is the solution to their pain point. Do you want to be reached by phone? By text? By email? By WhatsApp? Whatever method you think will work for your target audience should be included in your copy and make it easy for your customers to reach you. Your customer should not have to stress before they can reach you. Always think and act from the perspective of your customers not from your own perspective.

[Read: Dreaming of a Website? With This Tool You Can Build One in 5 Minutes or Less]

If you follow these critical elements, you’ll become a pro in writing effective ad copies in no time.

Thank you for reading. Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Be generous. Leave a feedback and share this post with a friend.

As a business owner who wants to build a profitable brand online, reaching your target audience and getting them to know and patronize your business is always a priority for you. However, high advertising costs might prevent you from reaching your marketing goals. How then do you reach your target audience when you do not have much money to budget for marketing?

In this post, I will share some strategies you can use in reaching your target audience with a shoestring marketing budget.

The first step in reaching your target audience is to find out where they spend your time. Knowing where your target audience will largely depend on the type of products you sell and where your target audience spend their time. The answer will be different for different businesses. For example, if you are a photographer that caters to young couples, your target audience might spend more of their time on Instagram or Twitter whereas if you are a photographer that caters to the parents of the couple, your target audience might be more likely to spend their time on Facebook. Whatever your type of business is, you must first identify where your target audience are and then come up with a strategy of positioning and making your business visible.

[Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]

There are many strategies for making your business visible but the strategies I am about to share are centered on strategies that can be used when you are operating on a shoestring marketing budget.

First, invest in content marketing. Content marketing is great when you do it  the right way. Many business owners think content marketing is hard or that it is out of reach for them. It is not. Content marketing helps people to connect with your brand on an emotional level. It attracts your audience and takes them on a journey. Another thing that’s great about content marketing is that it increases your organic reach on social media.

What’s organic reach?

Organic reach is the amount of people that will see your posts in their timeline without you having to sponsor the post. Sponsoring a post means that you are paying a certain amount of money for your posts to be seen by your target audience. When you pay to sponsor your post, it becomes inorganic reach.

Organic reach converts prospects to customers higher than inorganic reach and that’s mostly because organic reach builds a relationship over time whereas inorganic reach mostly seems impersonal.

Your audience can usually tell the difference from a distance and because most people don’t like to be sold to, they tune your business out when they see your sponsored posts on their timeline.

[Read: 10 Things You Can do to Drive Traffic to Your Website]

Once you are doing great on content marketing, the next thing you should focus your attention on is on email marketing. Email marketing is when you build an email subscriber list and use this list to generate qualified leads for your business who will eventually become your customers and then raving fans. An email subscriber list has been described by many experts as cash cows that can help you reach your business’s revenue goals faster than you would if you had a big budget for advertising.

An email subscriber list and email marketing campaigns help you attract the right audience that can help you grow your business profitably over time.

With email marketing, you can track the number of people who received your message, those who opened and those who acted. Also, email marketing is not affected by organic or inorganic reach. If you send a message to 100 people, 100 people will receive the message in their inbox, unlike a Facebook Page where you can have 5000 followers and only two percent of that, if not less, will see your posts. Some email marketing platforms include Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, Mailer Lite etc. Most of the email marketing platforms offer some type of freemium model that lets you test the waters before you commit.

[Read: 5 Proven Ways to Boost End of the Year Sales and Finish Strong in 2018]

Once your content marketing and email marketing game is on point, another brilliant step you can take is to set up your chat bot.

What is a chat bot? The best way I love describing a chatbot is that it serves the same purpose as email marketing and not only that, it does so much more.

Chat bot enables you to talk to customers in real time in their messenger inbox, helping you close more deals and making more sales.If you are yet to set up your chatbot, you are simply leaving money on the table. 

As of today, chatbots are recording open rates of as much as 90 percent to 100 percent and the conversion rate is off the roof. If you want to see how a chat bot works, take a look at Onpoint Success’s chat bot hereTo set up your chat bot, go to ManyChat or ChatFuel

 

Thank you for reading. Enjoying Onpoint Success’s posts? Leave a feedback and share this post with a friend.

 

Last weekend, I was at the mall and it was interesting for me to watch the tactics used by different stores to boost the end of the year sales and finish strong in 2018. As I walked through the mall, I saw some stores that had lots of people inside it and some stores that barely had anyone inside it. This got me curious as to what the stores that had lots of people inside it were doing differently than the stores that barely had people shopping. One of the answers that readily came to my mind was the difference in sales strategy. Let me quickly admit that I recognize that the reason why a store may lack customers might be much more than not having a sales strategy but not having a way to boost sales definitely ranks high on the list of causes.

[Read: How to Use a Holistic Marketing Strategy to Scale Your Business]

The greatest mistake entrepreneurs make is to assume that once you set the business up, sales will be boosted all by itself. And when customers tell me about how their quality products are constantly being rejected in the marketplace, I ask them “where is your sales and marketing strategy?” Most will usually say they have none while few would say “social media.” Social media is not a sales strategy, it can be part of a sales strategy. I’m not going to dwell much on that today but since it’s festive season, I wanted to quickly share some ideas that you can use to boost sales in your business. These ideas will work whether your business is online or offline.

1. Use scarcity: As I walked through the mall this weekend, scarcity was a recurrent theme among all the retailers. Almost every shop had deadlines in which buyers could make a purchase or they risk losing out on the offer. This sales strategy works every time and can help you boost your sales this festive season. I remember years ago, I wanted a handbag and because the store stated in its advert that sale prices will be on for two days only, I made sure I woke up as early as possible to go and buy the purse. After my purchase, I traveled out of town and didn’t have any reason to go back to the mall until two months after. I decided to stop by at the store only for me to find out that the purse I so much stressed myself to buy two months earlier was drastically cheaper than what I paid for it. So, yes, scarcity works every time as it forces consumers to spend immediately.

[Read: 3 Steps to Getting Customers Who Will Pay You]

2. Embrace cross-marketing: I’ve seen some stores engage in cross-marketing and I love the idea. Cross-marketing is when two or more stores come together to promote their businesses. For example, if a consumer makes a purchase at store A, at the end of the transaction, store A issues a receipt to the consumer which has a shopping coupon for store B. Who doesn’t love to save money? This works well for most stores because even if the consumer had no intention of stopping by the other store, the temptation of “saving money” using a discount coupon is almost impossible to resist. As an entrepreneur, you can also partner with other businesses and use cross-marketing as a strategy to boost sales during this period.

3. Upselling: This is one of my all-time ways of boosting sales. It works any time of the year and it could mean a big difference at the end of the day. Upselling is when you suggest an additional complimentary item(s) to a customer at the end of their purchase. Upselling works especially when the customer feels like they are saving money and there are different tactics you can use in implementing this. One way is when customers make a purchase and you offer them an additional item(s) in which the individual prices are higher than combined prices. This makes a customer say yes more than they say no. Simply put, irresistible!

[Read: Upselling Techniques: That Really Works!]

4. Give something for free: It’s amazing what people do when they hear the word “FREE.” What you are giving away for free should not eat deep into your profit and it shouldn’t necessarily be something the consumer can use directly, but it should be free. Yes, you read that right, make it free and people will buy. Let’s say you selling children’s clothing, you can give away affirmative wristbands for free and this offer would be strong enough to boost sales in your business

5. Offer coupons that can be used at a later date: This strategy works so well and one retail store where I sometimes buy my children’s clothing uses this strategy and I fall for it every time. The strategy works in this manner. Make a minimum purchase of $50 and get a $25 off $50 coupon that you can use at a later date in the store. There’s no limit to the amount of $25 coupons you can get for a limited time only. The initial purchase is set for a limited time so also is the latter use of the savings coupon. This drives a lot of traffic to the store and people will go out of their way to buy items they don’t need just to get the coupons to be used some other time. 90 out of 100 times, people forget about the coupons and never come back to use them and even when they remember to use them, there’s usually nothing to buy as the stores would have jacked up the prices of most items.

Which of these strategies have you tried in the past and which ones will you try? Join the conversation in the comment box and remember to share this post with a friend.

 

 

A lot of business owner understand that there is the need for marketing in order to scale their businesses but only very few understand that scaling a business is not just about marketing, it’s about adopting a holistic marketing strategy.

In a recent conversation with some entrepreneurs, I asked them about what the term “marketing” means and many of them defined marketing as the activity that increases awareness about one’s business. Here is my own definition from a holistic marketing point of view.

Marketing is a web of activities that a business must engage in, to consistently place (position) the brand in proximity to the target audience in order to generate sales and ultimately make a profit.

The most important word in the definition that I believe a lot of people miss out is WEB. Marketing is never a linear activity and if you truly want to scale your business, you must strategically adopt a web of activities that will help place your brand in front of your target audience.

Having business social media platforms, emails, websites and the likes are not marketing. The real question is how do you get your target audience to visit your platforms? How do you get them to sign up for your email list? And how do you get them to your website or office? These questions and the answers you provide are what will form the bedrock of your holistic marketing strategy.

[Read: 4 Steps to Becoming a Brand in Demand]

Creating a business social media platform, developing a website or even opening a store does not guarantee that customers will come knocking. For example, waking up and posting on social media daily is not a marketing strategy. Building a world-class website that no one knows about is not marketing. Having a storefront in the choicest part of town does not guarantee that people will know about it. What then do you need to do? The answer is adopting a holistic marketing strategy approach.

This approach identifies the platforms you need (which are the vehicles), the web of activities that will help you position your brand in front of your target audience (these activities equate to gasoline) and the end result of the web of activities (which in this case is revenue you generate as a result of purchase made by customers).

Let’s start with the platform. This is where most entrepreneurs start and end up with little to no result. Of course, the right thing to do is to identify the platforms but identify the platforms and then defaulting to hope is not a strategy. As an entrepreneur, identify where your target audience spend their time and meet them there. The answer to this will be different for different businesses. The most important thing is that you sit down and take your time to answer this question. Once you identify the platform(s), you don’t stop there. You move to the next step.

The next step is the web of activities.

The web of activities should be designed in such a way that your target audience comes first. For example, if you decide to run Facebook ads, don’t just run the Facebook ads, run the ads such that it is highly optimized. Highly optimized ads are ads that are designed to target your audience. Be sure that your ads are reaching the right people at the right time. Once the ads are targeted toward your audience, you don’t stop there. Think about what your audience are required to do. Are they making a purchase on your website? Are you trying to get them on your email list? What will happen if a someone who fits your brand persona visits your website but just not ready to buy? What plan do you have in place to retarget people?

                                                                  

Also, the fact that you invested in Facebook ads is also not enough to help you scale your business. You might also want to look into other platforms like Google, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. depending on your type of business. Traditional marketing methods like creating flyers, postcards and even billboards should not be ignored. Other methods include cold calling, email marketing and networking. This web of activities should be interwoven in meaningful proportions before you can expect extraordinary results.

Lastly, a holistic marketing strategy requires that you put systems in place to help you not only attract customers but also it ensures that you are able to retain those customers

[Read: How to Retain Customers in 5 Easy Steps]

Marketing requires patience. If you are looking to make it overnight, you should look into playing the lottery or attending miracle events but if you truly want to scale your business and build a profitable brand, you must adopt a holistic marketing approach and give it time to yield meaningful results.

Thank you for reading. Do you use a holistic marketing strategy in your business? Join the conversation in the comment box and remember to share this post with a friend.

Gone are the days when after building a website the next thing you do is fold your arms and expect people to visit. Not anymore! If you want to drive traffic to your website, you must get up and do something about it. A website is like an exhibition center, you need to find a way to bring people inside so they can see your beautiful creations and ultimately patronize you or at least be one of your admirers. People, in this case, is synonymous to traffic.

Your website is of no use there’s no traffic coming into it. Traffic in this context means the number of people visiting your website. For your website to become effective, you must constantly devise the means to drive traffic to it. When I first started my website, I relied on my personal Facebook Account for traffic. At that time, the organic reach was great but over the years, Facebook has drastically reduced the organic reach and that’s why it became expedient for business owners to look for other ways to creatively drive traffic to their website.

1. Guest Blogging: The first on my list is guest blogging. Guest blogging allows you to leverage on an existing and hopefully established platform. When done right, it helps to drive traffic to your website. When guest blogging, think about platforms that have audiences like your target audience. Your target audience are people who match the description of your ideal customers. In addition to choosing a platform that has your target audience, be sure to write a compelling article that makes readers thirst for more. Include backlinks to your website and watch how traffic will be driven to your website. The good thing about these is that the traffic can span several days and months if not years.

Great Read10 Reasons Why No One is Reading Your Posts on Social

2. LinkedIn: It’s amazing how LinkedIn has transformed over the years. It has gone from the place where you place your professional resume to a platform that supports your voice, makes you an authority and helps you find the perfect professional communities. Being an authority on LinkedIn will help drive traffic to your website. Be sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and be active in sharing your thoughts with links to your website. If you share your thoughts and position yourself as an expert on LinkedIn, you’ll sure bring people in.

3. Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing has been around for some time but in recent years, it has gained more relevance especially because corporate brands now devote huge chunks of their advertising and marketing budgets to

4. Inorganic Marketing: Inorganic marketing especially when it’s targeted is one of the best ways to drive large amounts of traffic to your website. Perhaps you are wondering what inorganic marketing is, it simply means paid marketing. This includes but not limited to paid Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram.

Great Read: How to Get More Referrals for Your Business

5. Branded items: This is one of the most potent ways of driving traffic to your website. Printing your website on your branded items and giving those items out to people is a great way of driving traffic to your website. For example, I notice that each time I step out in my branded t-shirt, I get traffic from my website showing the location(s) I visited. It’s amazing how this works!

6. Host an event: This is one of my favorite ways of driving traffic to your website and the good thing is people who visit your website after hosting an event already know about you so it doesn’t have a cold calling effect that comes with Inorganic marketing. You can host events once a year, biannually, quarterly or even monthly depending on how big your network and reach is.

7. Attend events: You are not built for hosting events? Why not attend more events? Attending events and networking with others is a great way of driving traffic to your website. Be sure to attend events regularly (many people attend networking events at least once a week but you can check your schedule and attend as many events as your schedule permits.

Great Read: Step-by-Steps Details of Starting a Blog

8. Chatbots: If you are not using messenger bots, you are simply not ready for business. Why? The ROI (Return on Investment) for chatbots are reported to be up to 400% according to Forbes. Once you get people on your chatbots, you have an infinite opportunity to drive traffic to your website and the possibilities from there are endless.

Great Read: 10 Surprising Ways You Might Be Killing Your Small Business

9. Facebook Groups: Are you a member of a Facebook Group where intelligent conversations are ongoing and you are in mute mode? Think again because you are sitting on gold. I always share with whoever cares to listen that your voice is important and bench warming should never be an option in a community or group where intelligent conversations are ongoing. A well-thought-out comment, response or contribution to a conversation on a Facebook group or even on personal Facebook Accounts of your friends are perfect recipes for driving traffic to your website or even your social media accounts for business. When people read

10. Email marketing: I saved the best for the last. I love email marketing and it’s one of my favorite ways of driving traffic to a website. People that give you their email want to hear from you especially when you give them what will benefit them. If your email marketing campaign is all about what you sell and how much money you can squeeze out of every subscriber then you risk alienating your clients and prospects alike. I love email marketing especially because I can measure my results. For example, not only do I know how many people opened my email, I also have information about how many people clicked the link and how many times the link was opened. It also gives me the reassurance that each time I post something new on my website, there are people on my email list that will see it and visit.

Thanks for reading! Which of these 10 ways do you currently use or intend to use to drive traffic to your website? Leave a comment below and remember to share this post with a friend!

If anyone predicted to me 10 years ago that I would own an online brand today, I would have told the person to go back to sleep. That is how hard it would have been for me to have believed that it was possible to own a profitable brand online. But today, my story is different and so is my perspective and that’s why I’m committed to sharing the gospel of possibilities with as many as are open to hearing them.

Building an online business is easy once you set aside every limiting belief and are ready to do what’s required of you to set the ball rolling.

As we are rounding up 2018, I know many new businesses will be springing up and I’ve decided to share based on my own personal experience and the experiences of many that I’ve worked with as well. As you read, I want you to know that I wrote this based on the premise that you already have an idea of the business you want to do online. If you are still struggling with which idea to pick from multiple ideas, then you should read this prior to proceeding.

If you already know the business you want to start online and are interested in knowing how to start, this is for you.

The first thing you should do before you float an online business is to determine the group of people in the marketplace that you want to sell to. This is the starting point and you should not gloss over it. I have worked with hundreds of women who do not like going through this process simply because they think it’s “stress” and they end up coming back to do it. It is better to get things right by laying the right foundation than to realize several years down the road that you are building on a faulty foundation. I have written several articles about how to decide on who and who not to sell to. You can check this out if you still need clarity on this aspect.

Once you decide who you want to sell to, you must determine if they really need what you plan on offering and also find out if they are willing to pay for it. You do this by conducting a market research. Your research can be informal or formal. Doing a market research before you hit the market with your offering can be a gamechanger and a life-saver.

Having been an entrepreneur for a long time, I can tell you that what we mostly think customers need doesn’t always turn out to be what customers need. The results of your research can help you greatly by providing you with valuable insights that will help you serve your audience better. In terms of being a life-saver, this can happen when the results of the research show that what you intend to offer is not exactly what the customer wants. That alone can save you from wasting money.

Let’s assume that you are certain the marketplace is ready for your idea, what’s the next thing you should do?

The next thing is to identify which social media platforms you want to join. The three most popular platforms are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Depending on your type of business, you may also consider creating accounts on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ etc accounts. That being said, be careful so you don’t stretch yourself too thin.

I normally suggest to my clients to pick three platforms and select one of the three as a dominant platform. This selection should be based on where your target audience spends most of their time. Once you select your top three platforms, you should set up your accounts using the same username across all platforms. In picking a name, pick something most people will easily remember. Avoid underscore or a name that does not speak to the essence of the business you intend to do. The content of your platform should be straight to the point. Avoid ambiguous words that will make people confused about what it is exactly you are doing. I have seen some descriptions that required me to pick up a dictionary to look up the meaning. Do not let this happen to you.

Once you are done with setting up your account. The next thing is branding. Don’t let the name branding scare you and do not think it’s too early for branding especially when you are low on budget. There are tons of free resources you can use that will help you look like you mean real business. Branding is very essential and it starts with your logo, colors, designs, pictures, etc.

If you are low on budget, just head on to Canva and get your logo done for free. Go to Pixabay, Unsplash or Pexels to get nice pictures and bingo, you are ready. You can use Canva to create beautiful cover photos that you can use on all your social media platforms.

If you want to take things to the next level, start a blog as well. A blog is not as techy as it sounds and it’s something you should consider if you want to gain credibility and build authority as an expert. If you want to set up your blog or website, here’s a perfect tutorial I created just for you.

Lastly, craft your launch day message and create awareness among family and friends about your new business. Ask them to follow you, like your page and share the good news with their own family and friends as well. This will help you spread your message farther and help you expand your sphere of influence.

Are you a business owner? What steps did you take when you were about to start your business? If you are yet to start your business, what specific questions do you have about starting an online brand? Please leave a comment and share this post with a friend!

 

I once read a book (pardon me, I forgot the title) in which the author opined that “money is under your foot, you just have to know how to find it.”

By this he meant, the money you desire to earn in your business is within reach and all you need is to know how to get it. This concept is not hard especially when you understand the underlying principle of success in business and ultimately in life. So you may be asking, how do I find the money? Or better still, what steps do I need to take to find customers who will pay me? There are several steps to take, but today I will share three steps you need to take in order to get customers to pay you over and over again.

[Related: How to Retain Customers in 5 Easy Steps]

First, spend time where your prospects can be found. This means you need to define those who are most likely to buy from you ( and by that I mean your target audience) and then research where and how they spend their time and go and meet them there. This is very important especially when you are new in the market. The mistake I see a lot of people make is believing once they set up a business, all there is to do is to fold arms and the customers will come. It does not work that way.

In business and life, proximity is power. The more time you spend with your prospects, the higher the chances of them trusting and liking you to the point of wanting to give you their money in exchange for the value you offer.

Second, once you meet your customers where they are, you need to make your voice heard and engage them in a conversation. I’m always taken aback when I see people lurking in groups instead of engaging or attending a networking event and staying in one corner. Keeping mute doesn’t help you to get your voice heard.

Marketing is about visibility. If you lurk around or keep mute, no one would remember you no matter how great your products are.

Third, showcase your expertise. We are in the information age and everybody knows something about everything. However, if you want customers to give you their money, you need to know everything about something. By that I mean, stop being a generalist, be a specialist.

Customers want a specialist, not a generalist. They want someone who can get the job done like none other.

Once you pick your area of specialization, showcase your expertise,  be available when needed and serve others as best as you can.

Thanks for reading! Do you have an area of specialization? Please leave a comment and share this post with a friend. 

Hardly will I come across a family member or an acquaintance today and the person won’t be aware that I specialize in helping power women entrepreneurs build profitable brands online. This was not always the case when I started my business. I expected people to know what I do especially when we are friends on social media and was usually taken aback when they still ask me “what do you do?”. Back then, I assumed that maybe they were feigning it until the same thing happened to me when an acquaintance asked me about her own business which I was completely unaware of.

I didn’t understand why people who should know about what I do were completely unaware despite the proximity until I attended a masterclass on effective marketing strategy. During the session, my mouth was wide open by the many mistakes I was making without even realizing it at that time. Since then, I have not only developed effective marketing strategies that have helped me build a profitable brand, I have also helped other power women develop effective marketing strategies to help them build profitable brands online as well.

I’m not sure which stage you are in your business but whichever stage you might be, in order to build a profitable brand online, you need effective strategies that will help you achieve that. One of such strategies is an effective marketing strategy tailored to your business.

Before I share the top 3 reasons why you need an effective marketing strategy, I will like to define in clear terms what an effective marketing strategy is.

An effective marketing strategy is a plan that details how you intend to place your brand in front of those who need your products the most. Note the word “details”. When I ask “power women” what their marketing strategy is, most respond by saying “social media”. I then go ahead and say “social media is not a marketing strategy”. Are you surprised to hear that? Don’t be!

Social media is a means to an end, not the end itself and if you don’t have a strategy to effectively use the “means” to get to an “end”, you will continually work like an elephant but eat like an ant. In order to prevent efforts that yield no fruits, you need an effective marketing strategy in place.

Now, let me share my top 3 reasons why you need an effective marketing strategy for your small business

First, without an effective marketing strategy, people will not know about your business. You can spend 24 hours on social media and still unable to reach those who need your products. An effective marketing strategy helps you to create top of the mind awareness among those who need your products the most.

Secondly, an effective marketing strategy help to reduce frustrations of running a business if not totally eliminate them. Frustrations can arise from any aspect of your business but if you know that your marketing efforts will lead to sales, then it’s one less thing to worry about.

Thirdly, marketing precedes sales. If you create top of the mind awareness among those who need your products, chances are high that you’ll increase your sales. On the other hand, if your strategy is just “social media” without a clear sense of direction and intentionality, your frustration will continually increase.

In other to make your efforts count, you must apply it exactly where it’s needed. If you can put in efforts to post on social media, you might as well take your time in developing an effective marketing strategy that will help you attract the customers you’ve always dreamed of.

Thank you for reading. Do you have an effective marketing strategy? Join the conversation, leave a comment below and share this post with a friend.