The second you launch an online business, you already have a ton of competition. There are so many online businesses these days, that no matter what niche you are in, there are likely already established businesses competing for your customers. That’s why, when you launch your online business, you need to get off to the strongest start possible. With that in mind, here are 5 hacks you can use that will help you launch your online business and catch up to your competition.
Don’t Start from Scratch
If you really want to get off to a quick start, consider not starting your business from scratch. By this, we mean buying an existing business and improving it, rather than building a new one. There are many places where you can find an online business for sale, purchase it, and make it your own. Doing so can come with several benefits, like having existing brand awareness, a completed website, and product listings. Of course, you will have to research any business you buy before completing the transaction, to ensure there is nothing significantly wrong with it.
Build Up Buzz on Social Media
Whether you decide to start from scratch or improve an existing business, one thing you’ll want to focus on is using social media to generate buzz. You don’t have to wait for your product to launch before you can start engaging on social media. It’s better to get out there as early as possible so that you can begin getting the word out to as many people as possible.
A great way to do this is by working with social media influencers. Influencers are people who have large followings on social media platforms who you can hire to promote your product. For example, if you were launching a business that sold beauty products, you could hire a few influencers to try out your products for free then talk about them on their platforms.
When promoting yourself on social media, remember that it is a visual medium. Take high-quality pictures of your products or use great stock photos in all your social media messages. According to these social media statistics, your social posts being visual increases the probability to get them shared on social media 40 times more.
As a new business, it’s going to take some time before you can build up a large social media following. An investment in working with the right influencers can give a real jumpstart to your social media marketing efforts.
Don’t Let Everyone in at Once
The common wisdom when launching a new online business is to get as many customers as you can as quickly as you can. The thinking is that your goal is to make sales, so why not try to get as many as you can right from the start. However, there is another method you can try.
Instead, add a level of exclusivity to your new online business. For example, let the world know that you are only making your product available to the first 100 people who sign up. People want what they can’t have, so by making your product more exclusive, you generate a stronger desire for it. Limiting the number of sales you make now could lead to an explosion in sales later when you open up to more customers.
Focus on Content from the Start
Inbound marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies you can use if you do it right. With inbound marketing, you create helpful content that your customers might like. The goal is to have your customers find you, rather than you going out of your way and finding them. Most successful online businesses are using some form of inbound marketing these days, so you’ll want to do the same.
However, a thorough inbound marketing strategy takes time to develop. Too many businesses leave this until their business is firmly established and then they need to play catch-up. A better strategy is to focus on creating content for your audience from the very beginning.
For example, let’s say your business sells a new customer relationship management (CRM) tool. On your website, you could have a comprehensive guide for how businesses can generate leads, along with guides for improving customer relationships.
With this content, someone may visit your website looking for that information, but then become a customer when they learn about your CRM tool. The more helpful content you generate, the more avenues you create for someone to find your business. Focusing on developing content creates a snowball effect, which is why you’ll want to get started on this even before you launch your business.
Find Someone to Guide You
Finally, you should consider getting a mentor. Launching a successful online business is very difficult, especially if you don’t have much experience. There are people out there who are willing to teach you what they know, so you don’t have the face the steep learning curve on your own. If you don’t know someone in your personal life that you can ask to guide you, there are business coaching services that exist for every niche and industry so you’ll definitely be able to find someone who can assist you.
For example, a business coach may be able to offer some advice as to how you can find new customers, plan out a budget, or create a compelling website. Business coaches are typically people who have launched their own business in the past and are now looking to pass on their knowledge. Talk to your personal and professional circle to see if you can find someone with the experience you’re looking for. Barring that, hire someone to teach you, so that you don’t waste time making beginner mistakes.
Hack Your Way to Success
There are many ways you can give yourself a boost when starting an online business. You don’t necessarily need to start from the very bottom, then scratch and claw your way upwards. Use the hacks above and hopefully, you’ll find that you’re able to launch your new online business with a running start.