Selling stuff via the Internet (commonly known as Internet marketing) is a great business to be in! Billions of dollars are spent online each year by consumers and that number is growing bigger every year.
Maybe you’re eager to get into the IM scene and start an Internet business for yourself, but before you jump in, there are a few things you need know about.
And these are four most important online business fundamentals you need to know, in my opinion.
– How a business works
– How to sell (receive money) and deliver a product online
– How to get web visitors to see your offer
– How to grow your business
I’m going to try to answer these 4 big questions for you to give you an outline of what an online internet marketing business is made of.
1. How A Simple Online Business Works
In my short internet marketing career since starting in 2006, I have learned a lot about what makes an online business profitable and what makes a business un-profitable.
These are the 4 main things that make up the guts of a good solid online business:
1) You need a product or service you sell
2) You need a killer sales message (USP-Unique Selling Proposition)
3) You need a way to get paid
4) You need a way to deliver the product or service to the customer
That’s basically it – a simple online business structure described in a nutshell. Pretty simple right?
Other basic principles (or ethics) to make a successful business to take note of are: The customer is always right. Customer service with a smile goes a very long way & under-promising and over-delivering on your offer goes even further.
2. How To Sell, Collect Money & Deliver Your Stuff
The engines that runs all the selling and product delivery for your business is typically a website. Unfortunately, for a lot of newcomers to the internet, setting up a website is where most get lost and give up.
Websites can be as complex as the Starship Enterprise or as basic as a bicycle in terms of functionality.
As long as it does the few basic functions of displaying your sales pitch and then collecting the money you ask for your product or service, that’s all you really need.
A sales message doesn’t have to be any amazing masterpieces to work either. A good sales letter can be nothing more than a short description of your offer with instructions on how your customer can get it.
Which brings them to the next part – an online merchant account to take orders via credit card, debit card etc. It’s not everyone’s favorite, but I recommend www.Paypal.com to manage online payments. It still is a popular choice for many online business owners.
After your customer goes through the order process, they then need to be able to download or sign up for access to your product. For this, you need is a separate “thankyou page” where your customers are forwarded to after payment.
On this thankyou page, you can have your download link if you sell downloadable products, or a form to collect their name, email, shipping address etc. if you’re selling a physical product. Services like Paypal can redirect your customer to any page you specify for you.
Luckily, there are website systems you can set up to manage this type of e-commerce website. I have been using the RAP script for quite some time with great results. It offers all the functionality I need and more to sell my digital products online with security and automation.
3. Getting Customers
Once you have your online “store front” ready to take orders, you now need people coming to your site. This flow of visitors is called TRAFFIC!
The best advice I can give for traffic generation is this: USE THE RIGHT BAIT IN THE RIGHT LAKE!
In other words, you need seek out where those people who want your product are hanging out and don’t waste your time anywhere else.
If people are searching on ebay looking for what you sell, advertise it on ebay.
If people are searching Google for what you are selling, get your website ranking high in Google with SEO (search engine optimization) and so on.
The wrong way to go about traffic generation is to buy a bunch of cold, un-targeted leads just because you think 10,000,000 random email addresses for $100 is a bargain.
Go where the right crowd for your offer is. Seek out where your TARGET market spends time online and go after them with your advertising!
4. Plan For Long Term Success
For real success, we need to be in this business for the long shot. We need to have a long term vision and plan it.
The truth is, it takes time to build a real business. If you are too worried about making money now, you might give up before you get anywhere.
Everyone starts at the beginning and works their way up. It can take more time for some – and less time for others. It’s a combination of learning and doing and being patient while doing both.
But the most important thing to do is to actually start doing what you learn. That’s why I created the Newbie Start Up Guide, so as to help beginners take the short cuts to getting up and running online with a simple internet business.
Internet marketing is a constant learning experience. For me, my long term plan is to grow my business bigger and better while learning as much as I can. I try to be constantly thinking of and creating new products and offers to fit my customers needs to help them achieve success with their online ventures too.
To achieve this, it means thinking ahead, setting goals and working towards them with the big picture in mind. That with a positive attitude and determination, it’s almost impossible to fail with your online business.