The advent of the COVID-19 quarantine had a lot of us working at home. But after all of that shook out, many of us were told to get back to the office to work. For those professionals that grew accustomed to working remotely and liked it, you may be kicking around the idea of starting an online business. If you are, this video on how to build an online business is for you.
Pamela Wilson of pamelawilson.com sits down with Shawn Hessinger of Small Biz Trends to discuss building an online business.
For more from Pamela Wilson, visit her site.
How to Build an Online Business
Here’s a recap of the discussion from this episode:
Shawn: How do professionals that are thinking now is the time to open a business and translate what they know into selling a product or service they can sell online?
Pamela explains that she loves this question because online is a great place to be. You can market to customers outside of your geography, and it’s not unheard of to sell your expertise online to people on the other side of the world that need it.
She adds that online businesses that have been online for a while have 100% iteration, which basically means they’ve been around the block for a time and have fully developed their website and business tactics.
Don’t get overwhelmed by that just starting out, though, Pamela says. Instead she tells budding online sellers to think about the services and products they can offer others and approach it all with an iterative approach—iterate your business, your ideas, who you serve…all of that.
And if you don’t like something you do, it’s always easy to go in and change it since you are working in a digital environment.
If you want to know how to grow your business online, the first thing she says is you’ll want to think about the direction you want to go and build around that direction.
Shawn: Let’s say you have multiple experiences. Or you may have developed multiple talents, and they may not be related. What then? What expertise should I focus on?
You can combine a few areas of expertise, Pam says, but recommends that conducting market research, or what she calls “market exploration,” works well when it comes to this.
She suggests spending some time mining the information online to find out the following: What are people looking for? How can you reach them? And other related marketing exploration queries.
Pamela says it can literally be as easy as going to Amazon, looking at a book topic and reading the book reviews. Then, look at what the reviewers learned and what they liked or didn’t like.
That and more can let you know that people want to know more about this topic. Next, you can do something with that information and what you need to pursue once you explore your market, she says.
Shawn: What do you advise for people that aren’t tech savvy? For example, people that may not know the first thing about building a website or the online sphere? It can be so intimidating.
It’s so easy to see your competitors online. You may notice that they are on their 100th iteration online for your topic. Then, you may get ‘comparisonitis,’ where you may feel that you can never measure up, Pamela explains.
Instead of feeling that way, she says that you don’t have to have a super complex website to start having a presence online.
She recommends starting out with a single page, just a homepage that shows who you serve, how you serve them and a little bit about who you are.
Pamela knows all that can feel like a big tech hurdle to get over because there are several things involved. For instance, you must secure a domain name and get the software to put up that homepage—a basic WordPress installation, for example, to put up that single page.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be super-confusing, and there are tons of YouTube videos that can show you how to do this in 10 minutes, she says. You want to make that happen as soon as possible so Google can start associating your domain name with this topic expertise.
Also, if you want to learn how to monetize your expertise and sell products online, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the iterative stages to build an online business.
Lastly, Pamela goes into detail about the four iterative stages you need to build an online business. So be sure to listen to the 15-minute video that helps you get out of the ‘comparisonitis’ mindset and into one where you can sell your knowledge or products from the comfort of your home.
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