Given that we have exhaustively spent the previous blog posts trying to establish the overwhelming benefits of taking your business online especially at a time like this, the onus now lies on us to also provide you with roadmap and practicable tips on how you can successfully navigate the tortuous waters of closing your first sale online.
To that end, take a sit with a cup of coffee by your side and enjoy the ride with us as we unravel 10 tips to selling online as an entrepreneur.
#1. Develop a marketing objective
This is perhaps the first step to take in tips to selling online. Entrepreneur must be able to clearly define his marketing objective right from the onset. In digital marketing, there are basically three objectives to look out for. They include:
1. Awareness objective
2. Evaluation/consideration objective
3. Conversion objective
Here, the objective is to create targeted awareness or reach for your business. This is the best objective to settle for when an entrepreneur is only interested in creating local awareness or reach for his business or brand.
The simple objective here is to move prospects from the awareness stage to a higher stage where they will give consideration to the product or service being offered. At this stage, the goal is to instill the product or service into the mind of the prospect and help place the product on their buying list.
The objective here is to take it from where the consideration objective stops and move the prospect from the thinking stage (consideration stage) to actually buying the product or service as the case may be. The simple goal here is to ensure the prospect gladly part way with his money.
Thus, when developing a digital marketing objective, these three objectives must be put into consideration. Not only that, the objectives must also be SMART – Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound.
#2. Have a Workable Marketing Strategy
After developing a SMART marketing objective, the next line of action is to develop a workable marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is the “hows” of how you intend to achieve your set marketing objectives.
For example, if your objective is to sell 100 copies of ebook online, your strategy might be to use paid social media advertising to reach more people and then sell. Or to use a lead magnet to collect customer contact details, use that to build an email list, offer value, develop close relationship with customer and then sell ebook.
#3. Understand and Implement Customer Value Journey
Understanding how customer value journey works could perhaps be the game-changer in your business and your overall online marketing plan. Customer value journey is basically saying there are predetermined stages every customer is expected to pass through starting from being a prospect to becoming a high ticket promoting customer. And the secret to selling online is in understanding these stages and implementing them.
There are eight (8) stages in the customer value journey. They include: awareness stage, engagement stage, subscribe stage, convert stage, excitement stage, ascend stage, advocate stage, and promoter stage.
Note this: you don’t necessarily have to follow through on all the stages. Some stages can be combined depending on your marketing objective. Also, the real work in customer value journey is in how to move prospects through the stages. Your best bet here is to build marketing campaigns that INTENTIONALLY move people from one stage to another. Note the word “intentionally”. That’s where the real power lie – the ability to intentionally move prospects through the value journey. That’s what makes selling online predictable.
#4. Create the Right Content for the Right Audience
Most digital marketer spends a great deal of time creating the wrong content for the wrong audience or the wrong content for the right audience or the right content for the wrong audience. When sales are not coming in, it’s most likely one of the above situations is at play. It’s more or less like a case of trying to sell catapult in an urbanized city like Lagos. That’s a recipe for failure by all standards. Who goes about hunting in a city?
In digital marketing, there are three types of audience. The cold audience, the warm audience, and the hot audience. The cold audience is located at the top of the funnel. They have no idea that your business exist or what you do. This type of audience wants to be solution aware and problem aware at the same time. They need contents like blog posts, social media updates, and the likes that educate them on what your business is about and how your products or services can solve their problem.
The warm audience is located at the middle of the funnel. They are aware that your business exist, what you do, and the solution you proffer. But they are still at the consideration stage, evaluating your products or services. They want to be convinced. This set of audience need content like lead magnet, ebook guide, webinar, live events, customer reviews, recently completed project or service, etc.
Hot audience on the other hand is located at the bottom of the funnel. This type of audience have passed the consideration stage, they are fully convinced of the products or services you offer, what they need is a little push or what is called “entry-point offer” that will convert them into high ticket, reoccurring customers. Contents like free trials, special offers, product/service specifications will do the conversion job.
#5. Choose a Suitable Marketing Channel
When it comes to tips to selling online, it is important to use the right marketing channel for your business. Marketing channel is the means or platform through which content is shared online. It answers the question, where will your content be published? Marketing channels include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Email, blog, etc. depending on your choice.
Regardless of how great your content is, you will be putting a lot of money on the table if you are not using the right marketing channel. For instance, if your content is more of long text, you don’t need anyone to tell you that Facebook, Email marketing, blog are suitable marketing channels for you. Twitter is good for short texts.
If however your content is more of images and videos, Instagram will do the magic. This is not saying you shouldn’t combine other marketing channels, but that you should focus more on Instagram as it is configured to be suitable for video and image contents.
The best option is always to stick to few marketing channels suitable for your kind of content. Also, it is important to say that you cannot be active on all marketing channels. That will be counterproductive. Your best bet is to stick to channels suitable for you and work your ass off to make them work.
When it comes to selling online, website occupies a central place in the scheme of things. Thus, click this link to get started with creating your own business website.
NB: This is the part one of this series. There is also the part two which is the concluding part. Hang around to receive update.