• Jenna Gleespen

7 proven strategies for growing your business online

Updated: Jan 16

Target your audience

Knowing your audience is half the battle. Targeting to a specific demographic is imperative when it comes to building and growing your business online. When using Facebook ads, Instagram or Google Ads, researching exactly who is most likely to use your products or services will save you money. Targeting the wrong group of people or too broad of a demographic will simply be money wasted. This is because those seeing the ads are less likely click on your site if you don’t offer what interests them specifically. Clicks will covert to sales if you focus on exactly who wants what you have to sell and target them and only them in promotions.

Be original. Don’t just copy what the other guys are doing

Make sure your product or service is distinguishable from others out there. Competition is high these days, especially with the immense growth of social media and sponsored ads. If your product or service is just a copy-cat of another successful business, you are wasting time and money as people will likely go with the one that has been around longer. Be original and find a niche idea or product that is not overly abundant in the worldwide marketplace. Copying someone else’s idea doesn’t just come off as inauthentic, but as lazy as well. You also need to be original in your marketing and advertising by using wording and sales tactics that set you apart from your competition. Connect with your potential customers by being genuine and original. People tend to be drawn to those products via advertising that appears genuine, authentic and original.

Keep your business plan simple

An overwhelming business plan can be just that…overwhelming. It is important to keep you plan simple and concise so that you can easily keep on track when it comes to growing your business online. A good basic business plan should include the following: target audience, market trends, budget, sales funnels, and advertising/marketing strategy. Adding too much to your plan doesn’t help to keep you focused and on track with your most important goal which is to promote and sell your product. So, as the saying goes, “Keep it simple, stupid!”

Do not rely solely on social media

Whilst social media is a great tool for growing your business, relying only ton social media followers and ads to expand your online business is a fatal mistake. Although some companies have succeeded here, social media platforms tend to be overrun with influencers who are all about follower count and making that quick buck. Money and time can be wasted by engaging too much on Instagram, Facebook and the like. Of course you want your brand to have a social media presence to connect with current and potential customers, but there is a fine balance between using social media to your advantage and overdoing it. Don’t risk coming off as inauthentic by pushing cheesy ads, following just to get followers in return or over posting. Think of how you would view a company that puts out countless promotional posts every day. You would likely unfollow, right? Put yourself in the seat of the consumer and use that perspective to create a solid social media strategy that engages genuinely and on a personal level.

Hire a web or UX designer

If you aren’t a mechanic then you likely wouldn’t try to fix something complex on your own car, would you? The same goes for web design. Although there exist an abundance of online tutorials and “do it yourself” site builders like Wix, building your own website from scratch is generally a bad idea if you aren’t skilled in UX (user experience) and web design. While such services don’t come cheap, hiring the right web designer will save you a headache, time and money in the long run. Experienced UX designers and web programmers know exactly how to create a website that stands out to consumers and gives your brand a professional appearance. Market studies show that the first 10 seconds spent on a webpage are when the consumer makes a decision on whether to stay or leave. If your website does not clearly promote your good or service, offer concise help in purchasing your good or service or has an unattractive and bulky layout, the customer is likely to go back to Google and look elsewhere. Let a web designer take the guesswork out of what works when it comes to web design for you and your wallet will thank you in the end.

Hire a copywriter

Just as it is important to hire a skilled web designer to help grow your business, a copywriter is someone that should be on your payroll as well. Most web designers have copywriters which they contract out since most UX and web designers do not write the copy, or written content, that exists in the page themselves. You can of course hire your own copywriter that will research market trends regularly and amend the content on your site as need be. Copywriters typically possess a skill in selling to people without the customer feeling like they are being sold to, so a good copywriter is your secret weapon when it comes to promoting your brand online. Copywriters are also an asset when it comes to blog writing. Especially if you are not a highly skilled writer yourself, a copywriter can write blog posts for you that are on trend and SEO enhanced, meaning they understand how to use keywords and phrases which will get your website ranked higher in search engines like Google. Just as you shouldn’t skip out on a web designer for your brand, don’t skimp on a copywriter either. The amount you put in to hire good help will only come back three fold if your content comes off as approachable, professional and authentic.

Be patient and consistent

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was any truly successful business. Running a successful business and growing it online is a process, one that take planning and strategy. While you are probably excited to get your brand out there and noticed, it is absolutely of the utmost importance to be patient and make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Consumers can tell when a marketing plan or promotional strategy seems rushed and it is a big turn off to potential customers. Come up with a fool proof business plan, execute it strategically, hire the right help to make sure everything is done correctly, and most of all be consistent in your strategy. If you are patient and consistent, you are much more likely to find success with your business online then if you rush just to get your brand out there. Take the time your brand deserves and nurture it so it can grow into your vision and bring you the success you crave.