Creating an online business can be a very exciting and rewarding thing to do.
More and more people are starting their own online business but there’s a lot to navigate and take onboard, in order to do it right.
One of the biggest and most important aspects is how to attract enough online leads if you have no audience.
The reality is that, even if you have the best offer in the world, you won’t get very far if you cannot get the marketing aspect right.
This is what I’m going to address in this post.
Get in front of an audience
It starts by getting in front of the ideal audience so that they can be aware of you and get to know you. And, by the right audience, I’m talking about a group of people that are looking to find solutions that your product or service offers.
If you are unsure of who your ideal customer is, you need to go back to the drawing board and figure this out.
And NO, the answer to the question is not “everyone”. The best approach is to hone in on a specific type of person and create an ideal customer profile (or avatar).
This is what you will need to reference going forward with marketing and other decisions in your business. Knowing your target makes everything much clearer in your mind.
How do I get an audience?
In order to reach an audience you need to do whatever it takes to attract them to what you have online. This requires investment of time and money in order to see results.
If you are starting from zero i.e. you have no email list (or a good one) or no social media following, you need to figure out how you’ll accomplish this.
There are several things you can do to build an audience. What you choose to do is going to depend on A) what you are capable of doing, and B) what’s a good fit for you or your business
Figure out the best traffic source
The first step is to find the best traffic source that is feasible. To do this you simply pick an option that you like, plan your strategy and implement it.
Try not to go in blindly. The smart thing to do is to implement what you know is already working for other successful people.
Here are the options for traffic:
- Content Marketing – you create regular online content such as videos, blog posts, and podcast episodes to provide free value. This can be on your own website or you can post on other people’s website and get in front of their audience. You then use these to grow your email list and introduce your product or service.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy and you must be committed and be consistent before you start seeing positive movement. It will be slow at first but when you stick with it, it will compound on itself and continue to work for a very long time.
- Social media – if social media is your thing, pick a platform that you know will work for you and put a consistent posting strategy in place. Go where you know your people are hanging out and make sure you are actively engaging with them.
You can grow your audience on the platform and make your offers there, but it is wise to drive people back to an email list as you own that. With social media you are operating on someone else’s platform and you can be restricted or locked out at any time.
- Paid ads – maybe you have a budget and don’t want to go with organic traffic sources. Paid ads can open up your reach on social media and other platforms.
You will need to have a good budget for this as you will likely have to try a lot of different ads before you find something that works well in terms of ROI.
There are many platforms out there including Google, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Each platform works differently. You’ll want to work with a specialist on the chosen platform or commit time yourself to learn it.
So what if you can’t or don’t want to do any of the above?
Well, your next best option is to find a way to work with someone else who already has the audience you are targeting and partner with them in some way.
Here are a some ideas:
- You can create an affiliate program where you can have them promote your product and they earn a commission from each sale that they send to you.
- You can have them directly sell your product on their platform and take a percentage
- You can merge and become business partners where they handle the marketing and sales, and you simply provide the product
Take the smart approach
It can be easy to get caught up in your own head with how to market your product online, and end up trying a bunch of different “tactics” and “hacks”, only to find that they didn’t work.
The reality is that it takes commitment, investment and a lot of work. The smart thing to do is to implement a strategy that is proven to work for others and go for it 100%.
Leave your own subjective thinking aside and do what it takes. Until you completely follow through and do this, you don’t know what’s going to work for you.
The best thing is to therefore make an intelligent decision based on other people’s sucess and follow that proven path.
Pick one option and go for it. If it doesn’t work after you do everything you need to, now you have some data on it that you can use to make your next move.
If it works, great!
Now do more of it.
See how you can double down on that and increase the results.
Need extra help?
Check out the resources I have on futurestepscreative.com including online training and ongoing support, to help you build and grow your website and audience with content marketing.