1. Do what you enjoy.
The whole reason why people are moving in droves to quit the cubicle and become their own boss is that many have started to realize their own happiness is important. When setting out to build your own business it is vital that you love what you do, not only will it make it much easier for you to stay focused but it also means that when you sell you can be genuine. In the new digital economy this ability to love your business and your product really makes you stand out from the crowd.
2. Take what you do seriously.
Just because you can run your new business from your living room while still wearing your pajamas doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously. One of the greatest pitfalls for those who have the courage to make the change is forgetting that above all to be successful you have to want it and you have to work hard for it. This is especially hard in the first few months, after the ball starts rolling things do start to get easier but never let yourself get complacent.
3. Manage your money.
We’ve said it before but this is a point that needs to be repeated. When working from home you need to be aware of where your cash is going and where it is coming from. You can build a business with no money but the results are going to be slow and spotty. Knowing whereand when to use your advertising budget can really make or break your business. Also pay attention to spending some of your money on education, after all the more you know the more you can do.
4. Education makes the difference.
Like it or not if you are going tobe successful online you are going to need to go back to school. Learning and education online comes in many forms and can be very flexible but no matter the style learning new tricks is the real key to longevity for your business. The best option is to find a community of professionals and get help from those in the know. This may seem expensive but the question you need to be asking is how much is my time worth?
5. Ask for the sale.
Many people find the hardest thing about marketing online is that even if you have complete faith in your product it can be hard to make the sale. Being pushy is bad but most people spend their time online in a kind of daze and need to be reminded that if you like what you see maybe you should buy it. Often times people also fail to sell simply because they haven’t told their would-be client what to do and how to buy. The moral be honest, be firm and tell people exactly what you want them to do.
6. Remember the customer.
Nowadays the old maxim that it is all about the customer is more accurate than ever. With the growth of social media word of mouth and person to person endorsements have become the best way to build a client base. Make sure you spend time designing products or services that really offer value to your clients and make it clear that you care. Don’t treat customers as numbers just because you don’t have to look them in the eyes.
Always remember there is a lot of competition out there and it is only going to get harder. When you are buried under a thousand other websites and blogs selling products similar to yours make sure you keep telling people why you are the best. Be careful not to attack or belittle your competition and try not to be arrogant or obnoxious, just take what you know to be true and get your message out there at every opportunity.
8. Always be positive.
If you don’t believe how can you ask anyone else to? People want to be able to trust you the best way to build trust is to make sure you are not only honest but that you are upbeat and that when clients ask you questions you have a clear and concise answer. Procrastination and beating around the bush is the best way to scare of potential customers.
9. Know your customers.
It is often said in digital marketing that your perfect customer is someone just like you, but this isn’t always true. No matter what you want to promote understand who is going to be paying for it and why. For example just because you think your product is for single men it doesn’t mean the people who buy it most might are those same single men. Many people buy things online for others, either as gifts or because the person who is going to end up using the product or service isn’t sure how to do it.
10. Discover your options.
It can be easy to say you just want to put yourself and your product in front of as many people as possible but most of the time that simply doesn’t make for good ROI. Find out where and howyou can advertise, find out where your clients are looking and try to match the two together. Even if Facebook seems like a great way to get in front of people you may find just as much success (with a smaller budget) using other advertising platforms. Again this comes down to making sure you are educated.
11. Don’t go it alone.
When you first start out you will probably be flying solo, it is important during this stage to do everything yourself to get a good feel for how it works. Obviously there are going to be things you find you dread but the idea is that once you understand the process you can start outsourcing some of this to others (sites like Fiverr.com are great for this). More important than finding someone to do the work you dislike is to find mentors and peers to keep you motivated and point you in the right direction if you get stuck. Going it alone can make life hard and growth slow.
12. Ask an expert.
Already we have talked a lot about getting help and getting an education but we are going to say it again just to make sure. When looking to try something new it is easy to spend vast amounts of time and money trying to get the system to work. A far better use of that time and money is finding someone who knows exactly how it works (often by learning the hard way) to help you out. There are several good communities where experts offer their time to help you out just like this and we will be recommending one of our favourites later on.
13. Never Stop investing in yourself.
The world moves quickly and the digital world moves even quicker. It is really important that you keep up to date on new techniques, new platforms and new information. Again this all comes down to staying educated. We all know that most big companies and top business people spend millions each year bringing in experts to coach them and help their business stay on top, so how do you think you will get to their level if you don’t learn something new every day?
It can seem like a hassle answering every email and dealing with every query and once you have it under control it is one of the first things most people delegate away. Don’t underestimate the importance of good communication though. Answering a question today might not get you a sale today but a reputation for great support will definitely get you more sales in the long run. Remember treat every email or question like your business depends on it, after all it just might.
15. Design your workspace.
Working from home is a joy. It means more time with your family, your pets or on the beach but it is important to remember that by working from home you are also making your home your office. Try to plan when you are going to be working on your business so you can avoid distractions. Setting goals keeps you on task even if it is something as simple as “I must finish this article before I go and make another cup of tea”. Another important tip is keeping your chosen workspace clean and tidy a cluttered desk really does lead to a cluttered mind.
16. Take a break.
It can be very tempting to turn into a workaholic when you don’t have an 8 hour work day set out for you but it is a temptation you must learn to resist. You do need to be putting in sufficient time an effort in to get the outcome you want but there comes a point where you hit the law of diminishing returns. Aside from the risk of burning yourself out or treading water there is also the fact that presumably you made the choice to work from home because you wanted to have more freedom to enjoy your life. So don’t forget to take time out and stop to smell the proverbial roses.
So you’ve made a sale and the money is sitting nicely in your bank account. Job over right? Far from it, one of the biggest money spinners in the online game is repeat or ongoing custom. Once someone has bought from you they are far, far more likely to do so again so it is vital that you follow up. Send them an email asking if there is anything else you can do for them, keep in touch about new products and offers and provide ongoing help and assistance if it is required. Any good marketer will tell you that hooking a new customer is far more expensive and time consuming than marketing to an already happy client.
So we've discussed some of the things that great home based entrepreneurs do and one of the biggest takeaways is education and community. While there are many good communities on the internet that help you learn how to become a great digital marketer our favourite by far is the Six Figure Mentors. We've worked with these guys for 3 years now and they have given us the best training and the best advice we've ever had about online marketing so head on over and watch the videos and see why we chose them to be our Product of Choice for this article.