There is SOOO much information out there now. It is incredibly easy to miss the forest for the virtual trees, isn't it? Wouldn't it be refreshing if someone just told you, in plain English, exactly what you needed to successfully build an online business?
I have built several successful 6 and 7-figure businesses online over the last 20+ years. In my early days I made all of the classic mistakes that beginners make. I have had the “next big thing” in my sights more than once and gone all-in on software, tips, tricks and super-secret ninja tactics that I KNEW would make my wildest business and financial dreams come true.
Until they didn't…
What I know, and I believe this with all of my heart, is that there are 5 core basic “Must Haves” to Build A Successful Online Business.
The 5 “Must Haves” To Build A Successful Online Business
Must Have #1 – Website
You need a website. When I say “website” I mean a real website and not just a collection of landing pages where you put all of your offers.
Your website serves as the center of your virtual empire and a home for your brand. It is your digital “first impression” and a cornerstone that tells the world that you are a legitimate online business. One that can be found. One that you can communicate with. One that has a personality.
Now as far as which platform you use, which pages you include, which theme, etc., that is all open for debate.
We use WordPress at my company, Boom! Social, and the Genesis theme in particular.
I have 7 primary pages on my website, one of which is my blog (see “Must Have #2 below!). I also make it incredibly easy to connect with me on social media by placing the widgets at the top of my page (see “Must Have #4!).
Must Have #2 – Blog
THIS is a blog post that you are reading right now…on my website!
See how that works?
I wrote this article (which you hopefully are finding valuable) and used it to politely invite you to my website, the same website where you can also get to know a little bit about me and my company, read other blog posts, contact me and check out my company's products and services.
Content is king and the winners online, at least these days, are the ones that provide exceptional value ahead of any expected return.Buy, buy, buy just flat out does not work anymore in the online marketing world.Click To Tweet
It has instead been replaced with providing value ahead of promotion. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying don't try to sell your products and services, not at all. I am saying to lead first with value and establish confidence and trust. There will be plenty of time to sell your products and services once that trust is established.
Must Have #3 – Branding
What does your “real world” personal brand look like? What kind of clothes do you wear? How is your hair cut? What of words and phrases do you use? Are you fun and playful or serious?
All of that works together to form an “impression” of you, your brand.
It is the same online. Why do people pay so much money for and spend so much time on logos? Because they are THAT important.
The colors and fonts you use as well as the imagery and words you use any and everywhere people look online create their impression of your company. If people come to your website and it doesn't look good, they are gone!You have approximately 5-8 seconds to impress when someone lands on your website. Looking good is half the battle today! Click To Tweet
Must Have #4 – Social Media
The full name of my company is Boom! Social Media Marketing, so, as you can probably imagine, I am a firm believer in the power of social media.
Here is where you would expect me to go on a 2,000 word rant about why using social media is so important and tell you exactly which sites you should be on and why, right?
I am not.
If you haven't figured out that social media is the single most important thing to happen in the online world in the last 10 years, then I am never going to convince you that NOW is the time to go “all in” on developing a sustainable social media presence.
Your customers are on social media. Your competitors are on social media talking to those customers. Either you start talking to them soon or they won't be your customers for long.
Seriously!People buy from people they know, like and trust and social media is the greatest tool I have EVER seen at building that know, like and trust factor both at lightening speed and at scale.Click To Tweet
Must Have #5 – An Email List
Yep, good old fashioned email still has, by far, the greatest ROI of any online marketing tool. Also, your email list is the only real customer-related marketing asset that you truly own. I have over 800,000 entrepreneurs who follow my different social media presences. I have 125,000+ list subscribers. Approximately 90%+ of my total annual revenue comes from my list, not my social media sites.
Social media is where people get to know, like and trust us. E-mail is where they buy from us.Click To Tweet
The Big Caveat
I have one HUGE caveat, and I will close with this.
You must have something to sell and it must be something that people want at a price they are willing to pay!
It sounds crazy right? I cannot tell you the number of online marketers I have seen that have beautiful websites, great blogs, brilliant branding, phenomenal social media sites, a big list…and make no money!
Before you work through the 5 “Must Haves” for Building a Successful Online Business for your company, ask yourself the big question. Do people want what I am selling?
That's it for my 50,000 foot view of the online marketing world. I hope there is something of value you can apply to your business and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.