It’s time for you to enter the digital world and make your presence felt. Your product may be unique, but it will connect with people if you can portray yourself in the best light. That’s where the magic happens in online marketing. You have a voice in a web browser. Your message is broadcasted to the world and might just reach someone, somewhere. Suddenly, you become the salesman, the publicist, the blogger, and the content creator all in one. The role will not be easy. Take your time familiarizing yourself with the role and don’t be afraid to experiment. You can always revert back to your old ways if the role doesn’t feel right to you or you’re not seeing the results you want. You have enough on your plate. Why add an extra layer of tasks?
Quora is one of the most popular review websites in the world. Essentially, you get to ask questions to people who are willing to answer. You aren’t looking for product reviews or answers to generic questions. Instead, you get to ask niche questions and get specific answers. For example, if you’re curious about launching a photography business, you can ask questions about working with clients, taking classes, or buying equipment. You get to chose which of the questions you want to ask. Each question you ask earns you 1 point. Once you reach 20 points, you can ‘claim’ your account. You can use the points to redeem gift cards from various businesses.
If you have a question you want to ask and don’t have the nerve to post on social media, you can always turn to Yahoo Answers. Essentially, you can pose your question and get answers from people all over the world. You don’t need to have a Yahoo account to use the website. Just type your question into the search bar and the homepage will take you to a pool of answers. You can browse through the answers and pick the one that answers your question best. Of course, you can always ask for clarifications or add more details to make your question more specific. When you’re finished answering questions, you can click the ‘Show More’ button to see other people’s answers. You can upvote answers you found helpful and add your own answer if you have additional information to add or if someone’s answer wasn’t what you were looking for. This is a great place to find general information or as a starting point for your own research.
If you have a creative side, you can launch a craft store or work from home bakery on Etsy. Etsy is the giant online marketplace where you can buy and sell anything you might imagine. You don’t have to prepare anything in advanced. Just browse through the available items and place an order when you’re ready. Delivery typically takes three to five days and there’s a 40-day return policy. If you want to keep your purchases secret, you can pay with cash or an Etsy gift card. You don’t become an Etsy seller by default. You have to seek out customers yourself and earn their business by providing good service.
If you’re looking for a way to learn more about starting a business, you can find free business courses at Red Ventures. Some of the courses are more focused on marketing, sales, and delivery while others are more holistic in nature and teach you both business and digital marketing. You don’t necessarily need to sign up for a course to access the content. Just visit the website and scroll down to the course synopsis. You may find the course description there and can follow the instructions to get the most out of the content.
Dedicated servers are essential for any business that wants to do more than just dabble in the online world. A dedicated server is a physical server that you lease from a hosting company. You don’t need to worry about scaling your service or handling server maintenance. Simply sign up with a dedicated server hosting provider and launch your website on the allocated server. You can purchase additional servers as needed to handle traffic spikes. Dedicated servers come with a complimentary domain and can be configured to work with your existing technology (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, etc.).
If you’re looking for eCommerce software, you can’t go wrong with Shopify. Not only do they have a free version, but they also provide a robust set of features for businesses of all sizes. You don’t need a team of experts to use Shopify. In fact, their onboarding process is simply to click ‘Next’ a few times to get going. You can use their point-and-click interface to set up your products, flavors, and inventory. As an added bonus, you can integrate your existing systems with Shopify (e.g., CRM, ERP, etc.) to make your life less complicated. You can’t beat that.
Wix is arguably the most popular web-building contractor. As a user, all you need to do to set up your business page is enter your domain name, select a theme, and add content to the website (e.g., products, services, etc.). As far as marketing, you decide what platforms you want to use. You can integrate your social media accounts, create email marketing campaigns, and track the performance of your website with detailed analytics. You can upgrade to a premium plan for as little as $4.95 per month to get rid of all the tools that come bundled in the free version.
One of the most popular content platforms is Medium. Essentially, you can post any sort of content you want (e.g., articles, webinars, videos, etc.) and interact with your audience via the comments section. You don’t need a large following to get started. All you need is a passion for writing and a desire to educate or entertain your target audience. This is one of the best platforms for content marketing because people are looking for content and don’t necessarily want to buy a product just to get the information. That’s why you should use Medium to get your content out there.
HubSpot is all the rage when it comes to business-oriented social media platforms. In a nutshell, HubSpot provides you with all the necessary tools to create amazing content, engage with your audience, and eventually sell your products online. You don’t need a large social media following to get started. Just sign up with HubSpot, set up your account, and you’ll immediately have access to all their platforms (i.e., blogs, forums, social media, etc.). If you have a website and are looking for a way to drive traffic and sell your products online, HubSpot is a must-try. Not only do they provide a robust set of features to get the most out of your content, but the platform itself is incredibly easy to use.
With so much information online, entrepreneurs are spoiling for a fight. Armed with an MBA and a desire to start their own business, they’re taking the digital world by storm.