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How To Start A Small Online Business

The many online business success stories are a testament to the fact that the online platform holds great profit-making potential for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. If you have been wondering how to start a small online business, you are in the right place.

Starting an online business has never been easier. You can easily start an online business without investing a lot of money.

But not all small online startups make it big. You are doomed to fail if there is no market for your product(s). In this blog post, you will learn how to set up a small online business that generates a steady source of income.

How To Start An Online Business for Dummies

Starting an online business is quite different from setting up a brick-and-mortar business. There are
certain steps that you need to take to ensure the success of your business.

Here are some tips for setting up a small online business and making it a success.

Market Research

Before you start an online business, you should carry out proper market research. Conducting market
research will allow you to learn about the products and services that are in high demand among your
target audience.
You should study the most successful online companies and closely inspect their business models. Find
out how you can do things differently to provide better value to your customers.

Create A Business Plan

The next step is to create a business plan for setting up the online company. The business plan should
list down your containing marketing and business development strategies in detail. You should analyze
your target market, competitors, and business environment.

The purpose of creating a business plan is to draft a blueprint for your online business’s success. You can
follow the strategies based on market research to grow your business over time.

Create and Host a Website

Once you have decided on the products and services to sell online, you should create a website and
purchase a domain name from GoDaddy or Bluehost. The domain name is the address that people must
type in the browser to access your site.

You should also select a hosting service provider to host your website. Again, GoDaddy and Bluehost are
the best resources for hosting your website. You can also select dedicated e-commerce hosting
platforms such as Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, or BigCommerce for selling your products or services
online.

Obtain A Doing Business As (DBA) Certificate

If you want to sell online using a name other than your own, you should apply for a Doing Business As
(DBA) certificate. Getting this certificate is important if you want to open a bank account or use the
fictitious business name in your contracts.
Online Business Ideas for Beginners
Starting an online business is not that hard. You can start an online business easily. No business or
coding experience is required to set up an online business.

Here are some of the best online business
ideas for beginners.

Online Consultant

Do you have experience or skill in a particular field? If yes, then you should consider setting up an online
consultancy business. You can offer coaching classes through Skype or WhatsApp. You can offer
consultancy in the form of monthly or weekly calls.
With an online platform, you can easily market your consultancy services. The consultancy business can
be about anything you consider yourself as an expert — health coach, life coach, online business
advertising, etc.

Flip Virtual Spaces

You have heard of real estate professionals buying and flipping properties. Well, you can do the same in
the cyber world by buying and selling online domain names. Online sites such as Empire Flippers allow
you to make money through this strategy. You can invest a small sum to buy a domain and then make a
profit selling it.

Home Contracting Business

You can start a home repair business online. Create a website where you can offer different home
services to online users. The business is easy to set up and require little investment.

Accountancy Services

If you have experience in accounting, you can offer bookkeeping services to businesses. Consider
becoming an Intuit’s QuickBooks certified provider. Gaining the certification will allow you to gain
recognition and trust among online users.

Online Reseller

A great business idea with the potential for earning lots of money is to become an online reseller. You
can purchase goods in your area and then sell them on sites such as Amazon or eBay.

How to Start an Online Business for Free

A lot of people think that setting up an online business requires investing a couple of thousand dollars.
The reality is that you can start a business and without investing a single penny. Here are some business
ideas that allow you to become an online entrepreneur without investing anything.

Affiliate Networking Sites

You can start an online business for free by joining an affiliate networking site such as CJ Affiliate or
ShareASale. In this business arrangement, you are paid a commission for promoting their products or
services. You can make money by sending the links to friends or publish them on your own website.
Some affiliate sites also provide company approved images. You will receive a commission when users
visit the link and buy items.

Create a Free Online Store

A number of free online resources are available that lets you create a free online store and start selling.
Sites such as Weebly and Wix have online site builder tools that let you create an online store. But the
catch is that you have to share their domain name such as xyz.wix.com. Some sites may also require you
to place ads on the website.
The online store you create using the free website builder should be professional, attractive, and
relevant to your business. You can’t use a template created for bakery items to sell electronic goods.

Sell on Free E-Commerce Platforms

You can sell on existing e-commerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon for free. The free Amazon plan,
for instance, allows you to sell up to 40 products per month.
The main advantage of selling through an e-commerce platform is that you will be able to access a large
customer base. In addition, you have the option to scale your business as the sales growth over time by
switching to a subscription plan.
But, you have to pay a fee of $0.99 per transaction for the free account. This will cut your profit figure so
you should think twice before using this strategy.

Start a Blogging Site

If you love writing, you should consider starting a blogging site. All you need to do is to write an article a
week and gain followers. When you are able to attract a large number of online following, you will be
able to monetize the blog site by running online ads on the site.

Custom Design Printing

Do have a talent for creating artistic stuff? Is so, you should consider using ‘print on demand’ sites such
as Society6 and Zazzle. The sites allow you to upload your creative art to the site and earn online for
free. You will receive royalty payments whenever customers make a purchase from your site.

Online Video Channel

A lot of people are earning thousands of dollars each month by uploading videos to YouTube. The large
user base makes it an attractive platform to promote products and services. If you create regular viral
videos with lots of views, you can earn a lot of money by monetizing the channel.

Interactive Learning

You don’t have to sell products and services to make money online. Selling online courses is one of the
easiest ways to earn income. You can create audio podcasts, video webinars, or an eBook. Your
imagination is the limit when it comes to making learning material. You can make informative content
for just about any topic.
Make sure that the topic is interesting and the content is engaging. You can upload the content on your
free website and start earning passive income.

In-Home Daycare Services

You can also start a daycare business for free. Just create a website offering your services and promote
the business online. You can offer to provide in-house childcare services. In this way, you don’t need to
get a license for starting a daycare business.
Similarly, you can offer in-home elderly care or pet care services. You can offer the services of taking
pets to vet appointments, caring for the elderly, or doing household chores. This is a great way to earn
income without investing anything in your business.

Freelance Work

You can start freelance work by starting at a freelance site. This freelance sites such as Up work allow
you to connect with businesses who may require services such as copywriting, programming, or graphic
designing.

You can also start a freelance editing business if you have experience in crafting and editing blogs and
books. This will allow you to earn passive income by offering editing services through a freelance site.

Here are additional online business ideas for beginners that are proven and effective in generating
income.
 Translator
 Clothing press services
 Home cleaning services
 Professional resume service
 Custom furniture
 Interior decorator
 Swimming pool cleaner
 Online tech support
 Makeup artist
 Hairdresser
 Event Planner

My Thoughts On Starting A Small Online Business

Stories of successful online businesses show that all of them started something that they were passionate about. Another important thing you should note is that most had started generating income only about 24 months after setting up an online business. In other words, passion and patience are the two key ingredients of a successful online business. You need to be passionate about what you are selling and patient enough to see your business to success.

About The Author

Your Millionaire Mentor
Shaqir Hussyin

Shaqir Hussyin is the founder and CEO of Shaqirhussyin.com & Funnels.com Nicknamed the “Backpack Millionaire”, he’s invested $350,000 into his own education and training. Whilst traveling to 100+ countries, Shaqir has built over 10+ million dollar brands and attracted over 500,000+ subscribers.

His signature program is now available at: CreateDigitalCourse.comspecially designed for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to start their online business with their very own high paying product.

Shaqir is also a highly sought-after speaker and direct response “Sales Funnels” global leader you can meet in person. His work has impacted over 100,000 businesses in 65 different countries. Connect with Shaqir on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn & FB Group.

Successful Online Businesses & Ideas

Do you have a business idea that you want to launch online? Many online businesses started with a unique idea that with the right ecommerce platform grew into a successful online behemoth. So if you have an idea and you are thinking about setting up an online business but don’t know what to sell online? Stress no more!

Because if you have nodded your head in agreement to the above questions, you are at the right place. 

The fact is there has never been a better time than today to set up an online business. All the tools are available online that you can use to set up an online business. 

But before you set up an online business, you need to first select the right business idea that will be a hit among the online users. 

In this post, we will share the top ten money making online business ideas that don’t require a lot of investment. 

Top Ten Online Businesses

1. Small Business Consultant

Do you have any experience in running a business? Have you been associated with large businesses at a managerial position? If so, you must leverage from experience to earn online. 

With a small business online consultancy services, you will be able to use your skills to help other budding entrepreneurs set up a business. Consider offering your services to a niche as this will allow you to easily penetrate the target market. 

To win the trust of aspiring business owners, you should contribute regularly to social media sites such as LinkedIn and Quora.com. In addition, you can contribute to Business.com to gain credibility and win the trust of an online audience. 

2. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another great way to earn income online. The affiliate model is simple with potential to earn passive income. The best thing about this business model is that you don’t have to invest in anything other than creating and promoting your site. 

With affiliate marketing, you don’t have to keep inventory or handle shipping. Your only task is to bring customers towards the company and earn a commission. 

To make the most of the business idea, you should consider building multiple niche sites that focus on offering special products. The site should have dozens of different content that point to the site of the affiliate. The more products you promote on your site, the more income you can earn. It’s that simple.  

3. Publish eBooks Online

Selling eBooks online is another profitable online business idea. You can write books on different topics such as cooking, carpeting, car tuning, plumbing, SEO, and much more.

 Writing a Book may take some time. But once finished and published, you can potentially earn thousands of dollars each month without any extra effort. 

Popular places you can sell your books include eBay, Amazon, Albris, WeBuyBooks, and Bookfinder. You can also create your own website selling books online. You can click here to read some tips on how to write books that will become a hit online. 

4. Online Marketing Consultants

If you like browsing through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you can turn your hobby into a business. 

A lot of businesses –both brick-and-mortar and online – will be willing to pay top dollars for promoting their products or services online. If you have experience in digital marketing, you can offer online business consulting services. 

You can provide consultancy services to help companies build a digital marketing blueprint for success. Businesses can consult with you to manage their online presence, optimize content, and promote their brand online. 

5. Translation Website 

If you don’t want to publish blogs or books, and you are fluent in multiple languages, you should consider offering translation services online. This is a great way to polish your foreign language skills and earn money along the way. 

6. Drop Shipping 

Drop shipping is another great online business idea. You basically offer products for sale online and purchase a product from a manufacturer for a lower price when someone places an online order. This is a simple business idea that has the potential to earn lots of money. 

Because of low margins, you should focus on selling a variety of goods. Selling a large number of items online will increase the potential of making a lot of money. 

7. Online Video Review 

A lot of individuals are earning thousands of dollars per month by monetizing their vlogs or video logs. Consider creating useful and engaging short videos, and leverage from YouTube’s extended reach to make a lot of money online. 

You can create videos of different niches. The video can be product reviews or how-to videos regarding a topic of interest. Once you upload a video, you should enable the monetization option from the YouTube settings. Your videos will feature Google ads and you get paid when users view the ads. 

Another way you can monetize through YouTube videos is through paid sponsorships. This is a viable business idea if you have a large online following. Companies will pay you for promoting their products or services on your site. 

8. Sell Creative Art Online

If you have a creative talent, you should consider setting up a business selling arts online. You can make some money by selling your oil painting or digital photographs.  You can sell creative products online or upload the stuff on sites such as CafePress, Lulu, Teespring, and Zazzle. 

9. Home Baked Organic Food

Do you have a knack for cooking? If so, consider setting up an online business selling organic homemade food. With increasing people becoming aware of the health effects of processed food, you can easily win customers by selling what they like – healthy homemade food. 

10. Sell Online Courses

You can make a lot of money online by selling online courses. If you have experience in any area, you should monetize the experience by creating courses or teaching online. 

Successful Online Businesses Examples

The cyber world is full of online business success stories. A lot of entrepreneurs have been able to amass millions just by hitting upon the right business idea. Here are some of the online business success stories that will serve as a role model for you as you start your own online company. 

Affiliate Marketing Done Right

The Wirecutter.com is the perfect example of how much money you can make by setting up an online affiliate business. 

Brian Lam had created the affiliate marketing site in 2011. In just four years, the online site was generating about $150 million in affiliate marketing. He sold the site in 2016 to the New York Times for $30 million. 

The best thing about this online business success story is that Lam didn’t have to go through the usual channels to start a business. He did not have to create a lengthy business plan or pitch his business for venture funding.  Furthermore, he only had to post only a few dozen articles to his site each month. But the payback was huge. 

DEVISE

DEVISE was created by Jeff Tailor, a successful online businessman who makes millions selling websites. What started as a little-known website design and digital marketing agency has turned into a million dollar agency with a successful online business model. The company creates websites, builds traffic, and sells them to large companies. 

In 2016, he had made seven figures selling a fitness website to an unknown buyer. 

Fluent in 3 Months

Fluent in 3 Months was created by Benny Lewis to help people learn languages from around the world. His site has been featured in National Geographic, Forbes, The New York Times, Business Insider, and many other popular sites. 

His success story shows that you don’t need to have a lot of degrees or already an expert to start an online business. When he started out, he couldn’t properly speak even one foreign language. Today his website attracts a large number of online visitors who are eager to learn about the secret to learn a foreign language in just 3 months. 

Liberty Jane Clothing 

A great example of making money by serving a niche segment is Liberty Jane Clothing online store. Founded by couple Jason and Cinnamon, the online business generates $600,000 a year. 

The business idea is simple: sell PDF files of mini doll clothing patterns. But the impact of the business idea is huge allowing them to rake in thousands from their online store. 

Raw Generation

Jessica Geier was able to make $96,000 per month selling unpasteurized juice blends. At first, she had difficulty coming up with the right taste. But her persistence allowed her to come up with a product that is today selling like hot cakes.  The success story if you stick to your business idea and keep trying, and success will surely knock at your door. 

Bearbrand

Eric Bandholz success story also shows how you can earn a lot of money by serving the unmet needs of the niche market. He had founded an online store selling beard maintenance products. 

His shop Bearbrand started generating $120,000 per month after just first year. The success of the online store shows two things. Firstly, you should not hesitate from serving a small target market. Secondly, keeping long facial hair is surprisingly popular among the men in the US!

Running Successful Online Businesses On The Internet And The Opportunities

The online marketplace is like a 21st Century goldmine. Anyone with the right business idea can make a large sum by setting a business online. 

The online marketplace has set an even playing field. You don’t need to invest millions or have the right contacts to make it big in the cyber world. The online platform holds a limitless potential to make huge amounts of money. 

The business ideas and successful online business examples will serve as an inspiration to create your own million-dollar online business. 

About The Author

Your Millionaire Mentor
Shaqir Hussyin

Shaqir Hussyin is the founder and CEO of Shaqirhussyin.com & Funnels.com Nicknamed the “Backpack Millionaire”, he’s invested $350,000 into his own education and training. Whilst traveling to 100+ countries, Shaqir has built over 10+ million dollar brands and attracted over 500,000+ subscribers.

His signature program is now available at: CreateDigitalCourse.comspecially designed for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to start their online business with their very own high paying product.

Shaqir is also a highly sought-after speaker and direct response “Sales Funnels” global leader you can meet in person. His work has impacted over 100,000 businesses in 65 different countries. Connect with Shaqir on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn & FB Group.

Starting An Online Business Guide

Thinking of starting an online business? Stop letting the skills, creativity and passion that define you go to waste. Starting an online business in these days with the right guide isn’t that difficult. So stop squandering your efforts on an employer and a boss who never appreciate or acknowledge all that you do for them.

Stop assuming that if you work hard enough for long enough, you’ll get to where you want to be. Stop letting your dream to start an online business become a distant memory. Stop missing out on the future you deserve. Because, let’s be honest here…

How long has it been?

How many opportunities for promotion or even lateral progression have passed you by?

It’s time for you to stop waiting for crumbs to fall from  the corporate table and start making your own opportunities. It’s time to take those ideas you scrawled on that notepad in your desk and transform them into a workable business plan. It’s time to stop making excuses and take a leap of faith in yourself and start an online business. 

There was a time when aspiring entrepreneurs could only start out with the aid of a wealthy patron or a cripplingly huge bank loan. But those were the days when businesses needed offices and physical presences. Living in the digital era provides opportunities for bright and ambitious people to start their own businesses online with a fraction of the risks and overheads. The internet is the great leveler.

It allows you to compete for market space with huge multinational titans. If you’ve spotted a gap in the market that you’re ready to fill with your very own online business, there’s never been a better time to pursue online entrepreneurship.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that every online business is destined to make a 7-figure turnover. If starting an online business was a surefire path to fame and fortune, everybody would be doing it.  That’s why we’ve compiled this Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Business.

Here we’ll outline 7 easy steps to help you to make the strongest start on your business journey and lay a solid foundation for sustainable success. 

Are you ready to take your first steps towards success in online business? We can’t wait to help you down this often challenging but always exciting path…

Step 1: Learn Timeless Principles From Successful Online Businesses

Online business may be a relatively new phenomenon, but it still hews closely to the timeless principles of business that go back centuries. As long as people have been trading with one another there have been good business principles which simply never age no matter what technological and social changes may be wrought in the business landscape itself.

Get in touch with business mentors and experts in your chosen field. Very few successful business people want to kick the ladder out from under them. The majority are more than happy to share their knowledge with aspiring entrepreneurs who are trying to make it behind them. Look for people whose success and business practices you want to emulate… But choose your heroes wisely.

In your zeal to make good money and lay the foundations of your business empire be wary of anyone offering to share secret “hacks” that will allow you to command 6 figure incomes with minimal work. Anyone offering quick fixes is not offering a sustainable business model. By all means learn from ambitious and driven people, but make sure that the people you learn from don’t neglect their ethics for the sake of profit. More and more consumers are motivated by ethics as much as value for money. After all, would you want to do business with a “take the money and run” type?

Another timeless principle of business is to focus your attention on getting paid work. This principle is sadly obfuscated in the digital age where there are so many vanity metrics which can be mistaken for success. You’ll likely get many offers of unpaid work in return for followers on social media or the ever-nebulous “exposure”. But the last time we checked, those little heart emojis on your phone screen didn’t pay the bills or put food on the table.

Focus your attention on the quality of the goods or services that you provide. Again, it’s easy to overlook this important principle in an era characterized by flashy marketing. But when all’s said and done, now matter how clever, inventive and dazzling your marketing efforts, if the quality isn;t there, consumers will have no reason to keep coming back to you. 

As the quality of your products, services and operations improve your reputation will grow. This will allow you to slowly move up the value chain. Don’t be afraid to charge your customers or clients more as you generate more value for them. It’s very common for nascent entrepreneurs to feel a degree of “impostor syndrome”. This can make them shy about hiking up their prices. While you may assume that undercutting your competitors from price is a good way to stand out amongst fierce competition, this will only ever restrict your cash flow and make it harder to turn a profit. 

As long as you can demonstrate that you’re worth it and bring value to your transactions, your customers will be happy to pay proportionately.

Step 2: Find A Million Dollar Niche And A Need That You Can Fulfill

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to assume that if you build it, they will come. While your skills, experience and engaging personality may give you a leading edge over your competitors, you hobble your potential for growth if you don’t choose the right niche. The better you know your niche, the better you can cater to the needs of your target market and build a brand that resonates with them as consumers. 

Don’t fall into the trap of mistaking a niche for a trend. In your eagerness to make your mark on the business landscape you may feel the urge to hitch your wagon to a fast-growing trend and ride it to wealth and success. The trouble, however, is that trends are (by their very nature) not sustainable. They come and go. Just ask anyone who invested a fortune in fidget spinners or slime. They can become intoxicatingly ubiquitous for a while… But when the trend dies down, your profits inevitably nosedive. 

One of the durest ways to find sustainable success in business is to find a profitable niche and fulfill a need within that niche is not presently being met by your prospective competitors. So, which are the most profitable niches to which you may want to hitch your wagon? Here are some suggestions where many an aspiring entrepreneur has found success Take a look and ask yourself what they have in common? What is it that keeps these niches evergreen?

Pets- We homosapiens love our pets. In fact, the US alone spends over $70 billion on pet products. Our furry, feathered (and even scaly) friends are always there for us and we just love to show them how much we appreciate it. In the US right now, there are an estimated 180 million dogs and cats to say nothing of rodents, fish, lizards and other pets. That figure doesn’t seem set to dive any time soon.

Dating- We all yearn for companionship. But in an era where we’re working harder and for longer hours than ever, it can be really difficult to make a connection to someone special. Fortunately, an entire industry has arisen around the problem of how to begin and sustain a relationships. From dating apps to books on relationships, the dating industry is estimated to be worth over $3BN by 2020

Health, fitness and weight loss- In an era where we’re all battling against long working hours and a sedentary lifestyle, more and more of us are desperate to get leaner, fitter and healthier. Unless something radical comes along to change our desk, car and sofa bound lifestyles the health, fitness and weight loss industries will always be big business. From healthy eating guides to fitness apps and dietary supplements there are many ways in which enterprising minds can make good money within this niche. 

Beauty- Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s also an enormous industry with a net value that will exceed $800BN by 2023. From developing new beauty products and formulas to becoming a beauty influencer on social media, there are no shortage of ways in which those with wits and ambitions can find opportunity here.

Self Improvement- Our health, fitness and appearance are not the only areas in which people often want to improve themselves. They may want to be better rewarded in their careers, more satisfied in their interpersonal relationships or simply learn to take greater joy in the little things that make up life. Just ask the likes of Tony Robbins or Jack Canfield just how much there is to be made in the self improvement industry. 

Gadgets and tech- We live in a time of technological wonder. The “Better living through technology” ethos of the 1950s has snowballed into a consumer tech market that will be worth almost $1,800BN (yes, you read that right) by 2024. As long as people seek a more comfortable and convenient life through technology, this industry will never stop growing. 

Personal finance- Many of us struggle with our personal finances and need the right advice and tools to help right the ship. We could all use a little help knowing how much to put into our savings or how to budget more effectively. And there are numerous ways in which your business can help them from personal finance blogging to app development. 

Wealth building and money making- Although many of us are working longer hours than ever, we all seem to need a little extra cash. Perhaps it’s inevitable in an era where so many people work for corporations which repress their wages to insulate their profits. Nonetheless, there’s money to be made in helping others to make money. From developing apps that facilitate trading stocks or forex to courses and ebooks on making money online, if you know how to make money and generate wealth, sharing that knowledge could be highly profitable.

So, what do these niches have in common?

They’re all attuned to our human wants, needs and desires. They’re all predicated on things that people will never stop wanting; confidence, happiness, love, security and fulfillment. Find a niche that appeals to these and you’re on to a winner.

Step 3: Start Your Business From Scratch With A Product That’s Already Selling 

When all’s said and done, your business is only ever as good as it’s products. But that doesn’t mean that your business should be stalled by “perfect product paralysis”. Many a business has fallen at the first hurdle because it has tried to formulate the perfect product. SPOILER ALERT- There’s really no such thing. All products have challenges that must be overcome as well as its own share of opportunities.

If you’ve formulated an idea for a business but aren’t sure what first steps to take, start with one profitable product. Once this one product has gained traction with your target market you can release a second and more and more as you develop both a reputation and an understanding of your chosen market’s needs. Of course, finding that one profitable product is easier said than done. 

This is where market research comes in. Ideally, your should launch your business off the back of a product that’s already selling. If you can add your own USP or a twist that makes your product stand out from the herd, so much the better. However, there are caveats here. You need to find a sweet spot between establishing quantifiable interest in a product and finding a product that’s market has already matured.

Amazon reviews of similar products can be a useful metric for establishing this. Look for products that have a relatively low amount of Amazon user reviews. There’s a sweet spot to be found here. Under 25 reviews could mean that the market is too small for you to build a successful business on the back of the product. By the same token, over 200 reviews can indicate that the market has matured and your product’s place in it may be redundant. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you should be afraid of competition. Competition establishes consumer interest and provides you with an opportunity to provide better value for consumers.  

You should also keep certain logistical considerations in mind when selling any product online. Carrying out extensive market research will help you to ascertain the profitability of the product and how much of a margin you’ll have between product revenue and inherent overheads. You’ll need to consider;

  • Average price per unit. A product with a value of less than $15 is unlikely to cover your overheads while products valued over $50 will cost you a fortune to build a robust inventory.
  • Size and weight per unit- The more you spend on shipping, the longer it’ll take for the profit to be profitable.
  • Duty rates, taxes and fees- Are there any other, less obvious costs that the product might incur? Fail to take these into account and you could find that your cash flow is impeded and it’s difficult to turn a profit. 

Step 4: Duplicate & Customize Successful Online Businesses Funnel As A Beginner

Choosing a right product that’s predisposed to sell within your chosen niche is one thing. But it’s another thing altogether to establish a profitable sales funnel. You don’t just want products that drive clicks. While a nice vanity metrics, clicks on your product pages don’t pay the bills. You want products that will convert into sales. So to understand this process lets look at what you need in order to start making sales and later on discuss how to hack the process.

Now your sales funnel should have 3 simple goals;

  • Get traffic.
  • Generate leads.
  • Sell products.

If it’s doing the first one or two of these but not the third, it could be a long time before your business becomes profitable. You want to bolt out of the gate, not trot along for months or even years gathering your momentum. 

First, let’s look at the top of the funnel – getting traffic. This is where SEO is of paramount importance. The better positioned you are ahead of your competitors in SERPS, the more likely it is that busy and fickle consumers will click on your product page and not your competitors’. Content marketing and paid social media marketing are both effective solutions for getting traffic and we’ll look at those in greater detail later on in this guide.

The important thing to remember is that this stage is about brand awareness, exposure, influence and engagement, not the hard sell. It’s in the way you interact with people on social media. It’s in the content you post on your website (or other people’s websites). It’s in your daily interactions with new prospects. Keep in mind that brand awareness is about more than just letting people know that you exist. It’s about letting them know that you can be of value to them

Now, let’s take a look at the middle of the funnel. This is where we start to capitalize on the brand awareness, we’re building. At this point we’re converting curious consumers into leads. Again, this isn’t about the hard sell. It’s about piquing consumer interest and trying to get them to engage with you.

So, what’s the difference between a prospect and a lead. A lead has given you something important to demonstrate their interest and sow the seeds of engagement with your brand… their email address. This isn’t a guaranteed sale, by any means, but it does indicate that they want to get to know your brand better. The following are all great ways to capture an email address;

  • Free ebooks / white papers
  • Free trials
  • Quizzes and questionnaires
  • Free quotes / appraisals

All of the above are what we call lead magnets.  They need to capture an email but they also need to be of value to the consumer. These can also give you the information you need to give the consumer targeted content, offers and promotions which brings us to the final stage of the funnel.

So, let’s talk about selling. At this point the consumer may be willing to place their trust in you. But it’s up to you to earn it. Consumers are in the “research” phase at this point, and it’s essential to position yourself as the solution to their problems.

Remember that even a qualified lead may take days or even weeks before committing to buy. A combination of targeted email ads, motivating special offers, reminders and retargeting ads can be especially useful in gently nudging the lead towards a purchase. 

With all of this in mind, here are some workable ways to help your funnel flow smoothly;

  • Create attention-grabbing landing pages.
  • Keep a steady flow of traffic coming to them using paid social media marketing, content marketing and social links.
  • Generate lead magnets that are of value to the consumer.
  • Make it quick, easy and worthwhile for them to give you their data.
  • Keep in touch with them through targeted emails which gently encourage leads who are dragging their feet.

Now let’s talk about duplicating & customizing the process (hacking the process). A very easy and very smart way to reach all those 3 goals we previously discussed it to find what’s already having success in your niche market.

Once you’ve found what’s selling like gang busters, you can simply follow the whole funnel sequence of pages and screen capture every single page the sequence sends you through. Note: this entails that you may have to spend money on a product or a service to uncover the following pages that sells a higher value offer.

Screen capturing the pages  and lining them up as the sequence sends you through, will allow you to create a diagram “birds eye view” of the whole funnel process that your competition uses to generate leads and close sales.

Duplicating the same process as your competition while customizing the offer with a better twist of value added bonuses etc can set you up for major success on your first product launch.

Step 5: Start Generating Income Through Paid Social Media Marketing

Returning to the first stage in your funnel, the more traffic you can drive to your online presence, the more opportunities you have to move consumers through your funnel. Remember that traffic is only as profitable as the steps you take to convert all those prospects. Otherwise it’s just a vanity metric. 

You’ll likely have heard that it’s always preferable to get a flow of traffic to your website or online store through organic means. And while this is absolutely true, it can take months or even years to organically grow a following. Paid social media marketing like Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising can help to generate a surge of interest which you can then capitalize upon. Thus, they may first come to you through PPC, but they’ll come back to you organically.

So, how do you create a paid social media marketing campaign that sparks genuine interest and drives profitability?

First you have to consider just how crowded most users’ social feeds are and just how many items are vying for their attention. Your ad needs to draw their attention and deliver your message quickly and efficiently. A colorful image is the best way to do this and should take up at least 50% of your total ad space. You also need an attention grabbing headline and a description appealing enough to get users to click on your Call To Action (CTA). 

Think about how your ad uses images. Do they look professional and high quality? Anything less can cast aspersions on your emerging brand. What sort of colors does the ad use? Do some research on color psychology to see how your use of color can not only grab your attention but compel them to click through. 

Make it easy for satisfied users to like, share and comment upon your ad. Don’t expect it to go viral, necessarily, but if it can generate interest from other users in your prospect’s peer group, that’s definitely a win. 

Finally, and this is the hardest part, make sure that your ad is original. Don’t forget that the average consumer is deluged with marketing messages all day, every day. If your ad is clever, witty and promises genuine value to the user, this is a recipe or PPC success. 

Step 6: Share Your Knowledge And Teach Your Skills To Like Minded People

Your reputation is your most valuable commodity in today’s competitive landscape. So, how do you want to be seen both inside and outside of the business community? 

Do you want to be known as someone who shares their knowledge and teaches their skills to a network of other, like minded people? Or do you want to be the sort of person who takes the money then kicks the ladder out from underneath them? 

One of the many wonderful things about doing business in the digital age is that entrepreneurs have virtually unlimited access to an incredible resource… Each other. In order to be successful in online business you should never be standing still. You should always be gaining and imparting knowledge. 

As soon as you’ve learned a new skill that can contribute to your success in business, share it with others. No entrepreneur can afford to rest on their laurels, and the most successful are always trying to expand and improve upon their skill set. They say that it takes 10,000 hours or 5 years to become an expert at anything.

However, while that may be true for pro athletes, research demonstrates that it’s actually the first 20 hours of practice that is integral to the learning and mastery of a new skill. This can be broken into chunks of just 45 minutes a day. Even the busiest entrepreneurs can commit to that. When learning new skills you should follow this process;

  1. Decide what you want to master
  2. Break it down into a series of component skills
  3. Identify the most important of these skills
  4. Learn enough (through reading and research) to apply the theory in practice
  5. Remove any time or attention barriers to practice
  6. Commit to 20 hours of practice
  7. Get it done. No excuses.

Do this and you’ll always learn new skills that can better your business and build value in your brand. But what’s the best way to share knowledge and skills with others? That’s where content marketing comes in…

Step 7: Write Copy That Sells Your Business As The Solution

Even novices in the world of digital marketing understand the importance of content marketing. Generating regular content in the form of blog posts, white papers, guides and tutorials or even videos is an invaluable way of establishing your business presence. First of all, it affords you the opportunity to create a sense of identity and personality for your business.

People don’t want to do business with anonymous, profit-driven drones. Just because you’re doing business in the online realm doesn’t mean that consumers don’t want that human touch. Through your content, users will get to know the ethos and personality of your business and get a feel for you as its CEO. Establish your personality, knowledge, expertise and experience as the USP of your business. After all, these are the things that none of your competitors can imitate.   

What’s more, taking the time to invest in regular, high quality content can also give your SEO a nice little organic nudge and position you ahead of your competitors in Search Engine Results Pages (especially if your content gets quality engagement, is read all the way through and is shared regularly).

All that said, new entrepreneurs cannot fall into the trap of just writing the first thing that comes into their heads. Yes, it’s important to write from a position of knowledge, passion and excitement, but every post needs to start with a simple question in mind…

“What is the reader going to get out of this?”

If your posts aren’t written and planned with the reader’s needs in mind, your copy will simply come across as self-indulgent or self-congratulatory. It needs to provide real value for them. It needs to help them to solve a problem that they encounter regularly, overcome a common frustration or suggest ways to make their day-to-day lives easier or richer. This is the kind of copy that resonates with readers and gains virality through social sharing. 

Of course, this is easier said than done. And when you’re busy running your business the last thing you can afford is to spend hours staring at a blank screen hobbled by writer’s block. Here are some simple ingredients for a compelling blog post;

Start with what you know- Your copy is much more compelling if it comes from a position of knowledge and authority. What’s more, writing about what you know is much easier and more enjoyable. 

Build upon research- Once you have an outline for your content, ensure that you have the research, sources, stats and figures to back it up. Fail to do your research and not only will you be far more likely to encounter writer’s block, your copy will lack authority… And you may get called out on any false assertions you make.

Start with an outline then add flesh to the bones- It’s much harder to produce great copy when you’re freestyling. Get your key points down in the form of subheadings and then flesh these out later.

Edit and polish- Go away from your desk, grab a coffee then reread what you’ve written. Put yourself in the position of your typical customer. Is it engaging, enjoyable and valuable to them? If not, you may need to polish your post a little.

Follow these 7 steps and you’ll have a strong foundation upon which to build your online business.

So what do you think about starting your online business?

Are you up for the challenge?

What step(s) do you think would be the toughest for you to master?

Let me know in the comment box below!

I’ll be happy to hear your thoughts and connect with you to discuss it more 😉

About The Author

Your Millionaire Mentor
Shaqir Hussyin

Shaqir Hussyin is the founder and CEO of Shaqirhussyin.com & Funnels.com Nicknamed the “Backpack Millionaire”, he’s invested $350,000 into his own education and training. Whilst traveling to 100+ countries, Shaqir has built over 10+ million dollar brands and attracted over 500,000+ subscribers.

His signature program is now available at: CreateDigitalCourse.com specially designed for aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to start their online business with their very own high paying product.

Shaqir is also a highly sought-after speaker and direct response “Sales Funnels” global leader you can meet in person. His work has impacted over 100,000 businesses in 65 different countries. Connect with Shaqir on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn & FB Group.