3 Steps to Take When You Start an Online Business

Published: | By Stephanie Strong

Communication is key to any relationship, and that includes customer relationships.

Yet communication is one of the hardest skills to master because it requires you to think beyond yourself and begin to understand another person's perspective.

Communication starts with the customer’s first encounter with your brand and it might be your business name or even a logo.

It’s essential to make an accurate impression from the start with a business name that would represent your brand.

But firstly, it’s important to define what your target audience is, and how you will be solving their main problems. Read on for the top 3 steps and mores small business tips.

These three foundational keys to communicating effectively will help your small business grow online, collect more contacts, and increase your conversions.

3 Steps to Take When Starting an Online Business

1. Identify your customer persona

Would you ask your mother to go have a beer with you and watch the football game?

Maybe, but really it all depends on whether or not your mother would enjoy that sort of thing.

And if not your mother, I bet you’d know who in your life you could ask.

The same theory applies on your website marketing especially when you are starting an online business.

By speaking to someone in particular you can cater to their wants and needs.

But to first understand what those are, put yourself in their shoes.

There are many free customer persona templates to get started like this customer persona builder from Hubspot.

You will answer questions like how old they are and what their level of education is, what industry they work in, if they work, and their job title and seniority.

You will make assumptions about their challenges, personal and professional goals, and what their day to day experience is like. From there you can ascertain what motivates them to buy.

You can use this tool to measure up if the copy and images on your site speak to the buyer persona who is ready to purchase your product.

And yes, this still applies if you are a B2B (Business to Business) company. It’s one of the most important first steps when you start a business online.

Customer Persona Online Business

2. Create content that asks qualifying questions

After you’ve started your online business, you will no doubt need to filter through the potential new customers that come to your website.

Whether creating questions in the copy of your website marketing or via direct contact with a potential new customer, be sure to ask qualifying questions.

These are questions intended to surface specific information in order to decide if you should work for or sell to this potential new customer.

Think about the goals and challenges of the customer persona you have built and ask questions based on those.

You could even post quotes or images that represent the challenges your customer persona might face.

Anyone who aligns with the same challenge would relate to your post, and further relate to your company and product or service.

For example, here you see the prominent photo for a book company selling an experience to their target market.

You can tell they are speaking to people who are interested in adventures and experiences just by looking at the image.  

online business showing products that sell

Using this method across your site and answering those qualifying questions attracts and builds trust with your potential new customers. 

Also, as you talk with potential new customers, be sure to tweak your assumptions in the customer persona you’ve already created.

Each conversation with a potential new customer will bring you close to communicating your value to every visitor that lands on your site.

Be sure to represent your brand, outlined in these 7 steps to turning visitors into customers, and you will build an engaged and loyal audience.

3. Show examples where you solved their problem

Once you’ve nailed down the challenges and goals of your potential new customers, and showed how your product or service can help, you will want to give real life examples of their problem being solved after you’ve started your online business.

The easiest way to do this is to show reviews prominently.

Use a slider to make it visual and engaging on your eCommerce website.

You can also work to get user-generated content on your site with a comments app.

This allows customers to leave reviews and ratings but also opens up the ability for a potential new customer to ask you or another questions while they are in the research phase of their buying cycle.

There is a lot of buzz around the term user-generated content in the website marketing industry and it is certainly the most trusted content you can get once you start an online business.

user generated content

Don’t forget to ask your customers how using your product or service has transformed their experience, so you can show and tell a story that potential new customers will relate to both in their frustrations and what it would be like to have overcome their challenges.

Recommended Reading: What Are The Five Stages of Small Business Growth?

Wrap Up

Following these three foundations of communication will help you speak more clearly to potential new customers, collect more contacts who might be interested and increase conversions on your site.

Be sure to check out all of our resources online to help your business grow.

You can read more on our blog, or get started in creating some awesome apps, like popups or image galleries, on your site for free with POWR.

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