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manuj’s blog

December 30, 2021

How to Start an Online Business (8 Critical Questions Answered) Part 2

How to Start an Online Business (6 Critical Questions Answered) Part 1

Question: If my product is good – then it should sell itself – the market should take notice without any effort

Answer: I hear this sometimes from people starting their own ventures and I get it. You’re a smart, driven entrepreneur. You’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears into your product. But you don’t want to spend all of your time marketing it — that’s not the kind of business you’re trying to build. You’re confident that if your product is good, people will take notice and make a purchase.

Trouble is, nothing happens. You launch, and then what?

Think about any big company you can think of. Whether it’s Apple or Amazon or Facebook — they all had to work hard to get where they are today. They had to market themselves and their products in order to grow the company. 

No one can say today that they had a bad product, but they still had to show that they existed. And I’m confident to say that, part of what they are and how big they got — was because of marketing. Therefore, there was no magic formula — they worked their butts off and marketed their products in a variety of ways:

  • Advertising
  • Networking
  • Speaking engagements
  • Social media engagement
  • Public relations campaigns

Question: External help will not be able to understand my business or my local market. I’ve bad past interactions with external help. A lot of fees but no results 

Answer: I get this objection a lot, and it’s understandable. Your market or industry is unique. You know the ins and outs that no one else does. You know what works and what doesn’t in your niche. And you know how to solve specific problems that your customers face.

Trying to explain your business problems to someone who works in a different industry can be difficult. They might not understand your terminology or know the right questions to ask – they might even have preconceptions that are completely false and misleading.

But the fact that you’re looking for external help means you probably don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself. Or at least at first, so you want to make sure they are going to be able to help you as effectively as possible. Because you can’t do it all. Especially when you are trying to scale your business. 

You need someone who knows your business and industry inside out, who understands the problems and issues you face and how your market works.

When you’re unsure, find out if this person has experience working with businesses like yours in the past and what their approach is going to be. Make sure that their methods will match up with yours, and that their experience will help them tailor their advice specifically for you. At least this is how we help other businesses scale them.

Question: I don’t know how to tap into the virality and ripple effects of social media and online presence to gain attention towards my company/ product/ service

Answer: Social media and online presence are now as important as a brick-and-mortar business in terms of consumer exposure and recognition. Most businesses are trying to find ways to gain attention from the internet, but few really understand how to do that. What many companies don’t realize is that the key to gaining consumer exposure through the internet is through social media and online presence. Here are some of the best ways to tap into social media power.

1. Use emotions

A good video or image will have people feeling an emotional response that compels them to share it with others. It is best if they feel positive emotions when they look at your campaign and product/service offerings.

2. Create quality content

If your content isn’t something that people will want to share, then you won’t get much out of your efforts. Focus on providing information that is both useful and interesting, and always keep your target audience in mind so you can deliver the content they want to see.

3. Be human

Your social media channels must be personal, not corporate. If you want to take your social media game to the next level, be personal and tell humane stories. Because at the end of the day, we relate to the personal stories that touch us. 

4. Create inspirational content

This is especially true for platforms like LinkedIn. Content that gives people new or fresh perspectives; content that surprises, entertains, and delights. 

5. Take inspiration from other people

Use other people’s content and turn it into something different. You can use quotes from other sources in your posts and create a mix of your own writing combined with others’ quotes, photos, videos, etc.

6. Be authentic and transparent

Share your story and struggles as much as you share success stories. This helps you to connect with your audience instantly. Your followers will know your story and will relate. This will help you get more reach on socials.

Question: I do not understand how millennials think or what they want

Answer: Millennials are the future of business. But, how do you attract millennials and do business with them? 

Millennials, a generation that has surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S., are highly sought after by businesses. This is mainly due to their purchasing power and influence.

The best way to understand any generation is to compare it with different generations and then understand the characteristics. Millennials have been born between 1980 and 1996, so they have grown up in an era characterized by digital evolution. They are tech-savvy, are used to the internet and social media, and therefore consume information differently from previous generations. 

They also have different habits when it comes to shopping: Millennials love experiences and brands that reflect their personality. They love loyalty programs and discounts. They want to share these experiences with their friends on social networks (even on Snapchat). 

They want companies to be transparent about their social responsibility. And of course, they want to be able to choose when and where they buy products – for example on the go (and with mobile payment solutions). These are just some of the characteristics that define this generation’s behaviors when it comes to consumption. 

Here are some tips that will help you attract millennials:

  • Focus on mobile.
  • Take advantage of social media opportunities.
  • Use humor!
  • Think local with global appeal.
  • Make it easy for them to do business with you!
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to use on all devices.
  • Solve problems that millennials face in their lives or jobs, but make sure it’s relevant to what you sell/do!
  • Create an online community where people can share information about products and services as well as interact with friends and other like-minded individuals online. 
  • Offer rewards for sharing information about your brand or products/services on a regular basis (like coupons or discounts).

Question: I do not understand the online platforms and media formats that are popular these days

Answer: I’ve been there. You want to tap into the social media virality and create an online presence but you don’t know where to start. You have no clue what formats work best in your industry and what type of content is going to draw the most attention.

To be honest, I disliked social media and I’m a converted introvert. And I started posting only after 2019. But now, I’ve established an online presence for my company and have a solid personal brand for myself which earns me 7 figures monthly and sometimes more for my clients. 

So I can see why it could be daunting to find out the platforms which are popular these days to grow your business. Well, here are some tips from what I’ve learned.

Know your audience

Think about who your target market is and where they spend their time online. Don’t just think about demographics like age or gender — social media users often have different behaviors based on their age category (for example, younger users are more likely to use Snapchat). Also think about your customers’ interests, since they may be drawn to different platforms depending on their hobbies. Where do they hang out online? Take some time to really think about who they are and what they do? Therefore, you’ll need to use only those platforms where your target audience hangs out.

Define your business goals and objectives

Do you want to connect with customers or drive sales? Are you looking for feedback, leads, or insight? Before you start posting on social media, create a plan that outlines the purpose of your social efforts, how you’ll measure success, who will be responsible for developing content, and the resources required to execute the plan.

Question: I do not know how to effectively represent the core values of my company and be the face of my product/ service

Answer: “Being the face of your product/service” does not mean promoting yourself as an individual. It means you represent the values and culture of your company in a way that will be trusted by the customer. When you take on this responsibility, you are also representing your brand, so you need to feel passionate about both.

A strong brand is something that is easily recognizable and can be related to people in a variety of ways. The best brands are ones where the person using them has a personal relationship with them.

While branding can be very difficult to do, especially for new companies trying to break into the market, there are some things you can do to help establish your brand and yourself as part of that brand.

1. Start with yourself.

Know who you are and what you stand for. What do you value most? Successful entrepreneurs are aligned with their core values before anything else.

2. The second step is to know your target audience

Then always ask yourself: “What would resonate with my customers?” Your job is to connect with them. Use their words in your copy, write about their pains and desires and share their stories of success.

3. Time to translate it into a story

Next, it’s time to translate these things into a story that will resonate with your audience. When we hear something from someone we like, trust or care about – it’s much more interesting than any advertisement or cold call.

4. Share a spotlight moment

Share a spotlight moment (or moments) when things went right for you, even if they were small steps towards your goal or dream. It helps people relate to you, see how you overcame obstacles and how you felt when you did it!

5. Keep your audience involved

Remember that it’s not always about the product – tell them how you feel about what you’re doing. Keep them updated on your journey and the problems that keep coming. 

Question: I can not scale my business – because I do not have the time or capacity to oversee the business expansion

Answer: Many businesses are not able to scale and grow as much as they want, because of the lack of capacity and limited time. As a business owner, you can’t do everything on your own. You need to build a capable team that can handle your business and can support the growth of the company. Here are some tips on how I go about building a team to expand my business. 

1. Find the right talent

Look for people with passion, drive, curiosity, and tenacity that can thrive in this dynamic environment. Be prepared for great people to come from unexpected places, including unexpected industries. We have people working with us from different parts of the world. 

2. Create an inclusive culture

Hire for values and character over skillsets. Be sure to define company values and make them clear to potential employees from day one. Once hired, empower employees so they feel their contribution matters, which will build their loyalty and desire to do more for the company.

3. Build a plan

With limited time in your hand, it’s important to stay focused on a plan that includes milestones, deliverables, and performance targets. Hence you can constantly evaluate progress towards achieving your goals as well as set expectations for the growth of your company. 

4. Train them but leave them alone

Now, the idea here is to train your team so that they can help you meet the expectations. However, once they start showing progress, you should simply let your team take the lead. From here, you can simply start involving less and start doing more of what really needs your attention only.

Question: I would love to get some certainty in this highly unpredictable economic climate

Answer: There is no doubt that being an entrepreneur is one of the toughest jobs in this world. You are responsible for every single aspect of your business and you have to keep your business running day by day in this unpredictable economic cycle. The market is competitive and there are hundreds of thousands of other businesses competing with yours. Therefore, you’re not alone if you feel this way, it’s natural for business owners and entrepreneurs. 

Consequently, I get many clients who have the same questions and doubts. I help them reduce the stress through the personalized fulfillment coaching jet. Here are some methods that will help you clear negative thoughts so that you and your business don’t suffer. 

1. Taking step-by-step process

Make Sure You Have a Plan. It doesn’t matter if you have been successful in running your business in the past. If you don’t have a plan on which you can work step-by-step, you are going to be uncertain about the future. 

2. Take more actions

Don’t let fear paralyze you. Many people say that they are afraid to take risky actions because they don’t want to make a mistake. Therefore, they never move forward. If you find yourself thinking this way, stop it! You need to move forward no matter what. As a business owner, taking action will help you move from the rut. 

3. Know your ‘why’

Somewhere between all the hard work and overwhelming business challenges can burn you out. You might not even remember why you started in the first place. Therefore, take a step back and ask yourself why you started, what you wanted, and where you want to go. This will help you get your sense of purpose back. You’ll be more focused on your goals. And as you wake up every day knowing what to achieve — you’ll be more certain and just confident. 

Continue Reading Part 3

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