Many would-be entrepreneurs think that having an online business is the ultimate accomplishment. It can mean an entirely new lifestyle of freedom and choice.
We see these big marketers boasting 7-figure sales, retiring, hiring their spouses and working out of Airbnb’s in exotic locations. Who wouldn’t want all that? These outcomes are worth the learning curve. Yet, the question becomes — what is the learning curve?
The answer? Well, it depends on whether you run a local business or you’re location independent. These are two totally different situations. For example, a business that has local clients and sells predominantly in person needs to launch an online offering.
Attract leads and land clients online
When I began my coaching business nearly 8 years ago, I had some phone appointments, but I coached most of my clients in-person and all of them were geographically close to me. Years into my business (after lots of dabbling in online products and courses), I experienced a shift — a majority of my clients were online and none of them were local!
Because I love the small, sporty town-living and traveling to the tropics as often as possible, being truly “online” felt amazing.
The challenge was keeping it up.
To-date, my most successful clients grew their businesses through referrals. They didn’t have to do much marketing, if at all. Many of them are booked solid and don’t even have a website. They typically serve clients in person.
While that seems like a perfect, low-maintenance scenario, there are restrictions. For example, they:
are unable to plan their revenue
must take work when it comes in
have a hard time selling leveraged products that require a broader market
have zero time to for marketing to build a larger audience
can’t command higher prices associated with better positioning and value-based models
get bored of their work; so busy delivering that they can’t innovate
Growing your online presence is about reaching new people. It’s not a simple task. It requires a lot of curiosity and experimentation. Yet, there is method to the madness.
Here’s a rundown of my process; how I gain clarity to achieve my online marketing goals:
1. Define your core value
Get clear on the unique value you offer based on your expertise, experiences, and your big message the world needs to hear. This is absolutely the number one step you must take before you can get noticed by the right people.
2. Identify customer desires
If you aim to create a powerful online presence, figure out exactly who you want to work with and what they care about. Knowing the emotions and thoughts of your ideal clients makes your messaging that much more relevant to them, which is the secret to getting people to take action.
3. Use this winning strategy
When you combine your core value with the most significant outcomes your customers want into messaging that resonates with your ideal clients, you have a winning strategy. You’ll know you have a compelling brand when prospects respond to your call to action (CTA).
4. Focus on select offers
Focusing on just a few offers that you feel confident with makes a bigger impact and is less confusing to your audience.
5. Draft an online marketing plan
Your online marketing plan includes the various strategies and tactics you will use to grow awareness and influence, attract prospects and lead to specific conversion goals.
6. Create conversion goals
Your conversion goals should be directly related to revenue goals and the investment you are willing to make to reach your overall business objectives. Conversion goals can include: completed purchase, submitted form, button or link click, reaching a particular page, etc. It depends on your business model.
Curious to see this up on a visual? Checkout my business strategy roadmap and gain confidence and assurance that you are doing the right things in the right order.
This article has been edited.
Lisa Princic, author of Soul Strategy, helps impact-driven entrepreneurs develop practical strategies to create profitable businesses that bring more good into the world. She is a trained business strategist and coach who eases business owners from successful chaos to strategic flow; to create more success and fulfillment. She is a results-oriented, deep thinker who has a knack for seeing the value of each business and turning that into a pipeline of new offers and ideal clients. Connect with @lisaprincic on Twitter.