The success of your online business depends on your ability to effectively promote your products and services. To accomplish this, you'll need two very important online business tools. The first is a procedure or strategy that you can implement and duplicate as needed. The second is a process that can be used to consistently get the word out about your products and services.
Unfortunately, many new business owners don't start out with a plan, and even fewer have a process to run their business. Without a plan or a process to provide a foundation for your business, you can only imagine the results. In this post I'll talk about the online marketing process and how to map out a plan that will make your business more successful in the new year.
What is Online Marketing and How Do I Make It Work for Me?
Online marketing is the process of selling products and services online. Some business owners are great at selling online, and they are earning moderate to life changing income on a consistent basis. Others, not so much. Business owners to are great realize the importance of having the right online business tools. They know that their livelihood depends on effective marketing practices.
Effective marketing is a "process" that involves many moving parts that if done well with work with other areas of your business to form a will oiled machine. Once you identify the parts, and how they work in your business, you can better understand how to get the results you're looking for. Without this knowledge you, will probably continue to struggle.
It took me years of trial and error before I realized how to get the most out of my business. I thought that all I needed to do was place a website online and start selling. So that's what I did for a number of years, and I thought I was going in the right direction. However, it really wasn't until I invested in training, where I learned the importance of creating a marketing "process", that I realized a number of gaps that needed to be addressed.
For example, without targeted traffic, attractive offers, and the ability to generate qualified leads, your business will likely struggle. If you're not getting targeted traffic to your site, you won't have the right people looking at your offers. Without the ability to create attractive offers, you're probably not reaching your sales goals. When visitors are not able to become a lead, it reduces your ability (as a business owner) to build the relationships needed to generate consistent sales.
In this "hit and miss scenario", many business owners start feeling burned out and frustrated. When this happens many online business owners are tempted to throw in the towel.
Pay More Attention to the Beginning of the Process
Many people only give attention to sales, jumping over the beginning of their marketing process, only to receive disappointing results. Avoid the disappointments and the scenario above by paying more attention to the "beginning" of the marketing process.
The entire marketing process is important to the success of your business. Just think... if you are able to generate traffic, create great offers and collect leads, your business will end up with a group or "community" of people you can follow up with to convert more sales. It's really that simple.
Of course there is a lot more detail that goes into each of these steps, and each business has it's own way of doing things. Some of the steps are harder to accomplish, but this basic recipe for success is within reach. Define how this process works in your business, test it and fine tune it until it works well, and you will get results. You can also invest in training from experts who have done the testing and fine tuning for you to learn how to get results. I will discuss more about that below.
Here is a simple online marketing process I created (below) using Powerpoint. If you don't have PowerPoint you can create a handwritten diagram, flowchart or map or use an online tool like Gliffy. You can also perform a Google search for free online diagram tools.
Click on the Diagram
To see how a sample marketing process works. You can use this process and modify it to fit your business,
Creating a marketing process flow diagram is an exercise I recommend to anyone who has an online business. It doesn't matter what business you're in or the products you're selling. Keeping the information in your head or "winging it", is not an effective way to run a successful, thriving business.
To be successful, every business needs a written plan and a process that outlines the marketing process. These are two of the most essential online business tools that will set the tone for your entire business. A plan and process can help you identify and gaps, and improvements that need to be made. They can also assist you in finding the right people to help you fix anything that needs improvement.
Start Writing Out Your Plan
Once you have a process, you can begin writing out your plan or procedures that cover how things will be accomplished. A basic plan can be done in one sitting depending on how many products you're selling and your business model. A good rule of thumb is to write out a very simple outline and add the details over time. Set a deadline and stick to it so that you can move on to address any problem areas.
If you're the primary contributor running your business, you can write down your current process as simply as possible and move on to the next steps.
For example, Here are the basic areas you can outline:
- Web Traffic - Write down how you currently generate traffic for your business.
- Offers - Detail how you create great offers and why they are effective in getting people to buy your products and services.
- Lead Generation and Follow up - Outline how you currently generate and follow up with leads.
- Sales - Outline how you convert website visitors into customers and some of the things that seem to be working to make customers convert.
Your goal is to create a marketing "system" that works together with the rest of your business to increase your sales and bank account! A marketing system that contains a process and a flow diagram will arm your business with two of the best online marketing tools available.
Your plan doesn't have to be complicated, just a paragraph or two for each category, that you can use on a daily basis as a "map" to run your business. As you find new tools and resources, your process can be changed and improved to fit your needs.
How Well Are You Doing?
Once you have a written procedure and diagram that shows how you plan to run your business, the next step would be to determine how well your business performs in each of the the areas outlined in your process. As you were writing some areas of concern may have started to appear. And that's the benefit of going through the exercise that details your marketing plan. It helps you see where you are now, and how you can improve to get to where you need to be.
For example, do you have enough traffic (visitors)? Are your offers attracting the right prospects? Are you capturing leads? Have you capitalized on the term "the fortune is in the follow up"? And how about your ability to convert visitors into customers? Are you getting results on a consistent basis?
Find Areas that Need Improvement? Invest in Training!
If you find that you need help in any area of your marketing process, invest in training or coaching to get your business on the right track. We have the training, tools and resources you need to move ahead.
Take a look at the self paced training courses available on our site. These courses, ebooks and webinars were created by a community of successful online entrepreneurs who have done all the tweaking and testing for you. These entrepreneurs have built successful online businesses of their own, and they have come together to create a business and community aimed at eliminating the confusion that surrounds selling online. Their goal is to help online entrepreneurs get the training needed to start a thriving home based business. The training is self paced and online, which means you can take it on your schedule from any location that has an internet connection.
The greatest thing about this training is that it's affordable and easily accessible. Some of it is even free! Once you have the knowledge, you can use it over and over again. It can be used across product lines, business opportunities and and affiliate offers that you decide to pursue. Use the purple image below to access the training.
Items for Your To-Do List
- Create a map or diagram that outlines your online marketing process.
- Draft a written procedure that details how you will handle the areas outlined in your process map.
- If you find that you need help with any area of your marketing process, review our self paced online training courses to get your business on the right track
Ready to Take Action and Move Ahead?
Invest in Training to Get Results with Your Online Business
To have a thriving, successful online business, you’ll need two very important tools that will give your business a great foundation.