These days, many people have decided that the traditional world of work is simply not going to work for them.
Whether the issue is a lack of personal freedom, unimpressive pay, or a horrible boss, many people (especially us millennials) have developed an entrepreneurial attitude, and want to start our own businesses.
If you’re one of these people, you might be thinking about starting an online business or turning your hobby into one – if you haven’t already done so.
To build your online business, it’s important to know which strategies to use so that your efforts can be as successful as possible.
Here are some great ways that you can start building your online business:
Develop A Professional Looking Website
Developing a professional looking website is a great way to ensure you and your business are being taken seriously.
If you’re not technically savvy, there are drag and drop website builders like Weebly available.
You can also hire a professional or a digital marketing company to design and even maintain your website for you, depending on what you need. (And what your budget is.)
This doesn’t have to cost you a lot.
I have spent about $1,100 to run my website for over 6 years, which is only about $185 per year. Check out the resources that I’ve used, as well as my recommendations to find out how I’ve kept my costs low.
Connect With Clients Via Social Media
In addition to developing a strong website, there is value to connecting with your clients – and potential clients – via social media.
This strategy is effective because it enables you to build strong relationships with prospective buyers and clients, while also promoting your products or services.
You can share links to your website through Twitter. Ask for customer reviews on Facebook. Show off your products on Instagram. Pin related ideas on Pinterest.
If someone is following you on social media, it means they are interested in you or your brand. It shouldn’t be too hard to turn them into a customer or a client.
Consider Offline Advertising
As you build your online business, it’s important to remember that at least some of your target market likely spends little to no time on the Internet. So you should consider the value of offline advertising, as well.
If your business is new, it might also be easier for you to find clients offline first.
They could be people that already know you and your work. Professional referrals from people that you’ve worked with in other capacities. Smaller businesses in your community that prefer to work with someone face to face.
The first designer I used for my website was actually a co-worker of mine from our marketing department. Since it was all new to me, being able to sit down with him to discuss what I was looking for was so much easier to do in person than it was trying to hire and work with someone online.
Working for yourself can be a very liberating experience. You can set your own schedule and complete tasks when it is convenient for you.
However, it’s important to know that the freedom of independent work can sometimes create an attitude of disorganization, laziness, and procrastination. (Thank you, Netflix and your binge-worthy shows!)
To prevent slipping into bad habits, get yourself organized.
Specifically, set daily goals, establish a workspace, and check things off your to-do list as you get them done. This will help optimize productivity and keep your online business moving forward.
Go For It!
A definite advantage to creating an online business is that it usually doesn’t require a lot of money to start. It’s also easier to scale your business up or down, depending on how successful it is, and how much time you have to devote to it.
So if you’re ready to make your new online business a success, these strategies can help make it happen.
YOUR TURN: Do you run a business (or profitable hobby) online? What other tips would you suggest?
Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.