Starting and growing an online business may sound like a superhero’s journey. Well, it can be; especially if you are new in the world of digital marketing strategy and business development.
Just like any conventional business venture, the path to grow a business online can be paved with challenges, unconceivable delays and self-doubt.
But fear not!
With the proper perspective and some useful tips, any entrepreneur can carve out their piece of the modern business pie.
Here’s what you need to know to forge down the road of online business success.
1. Online Businesses Grow When They Solve A Problem Or Invent A Better Way To Output An Existing Solution.
Now don’t be discouraged by this stat, but less than a quarter of online businesses reach success. So how do you become part of the minority? And what is it about that minority that makes them successful?
There is no secret. Entrepreneurial superheroes do things with passion and excellence, or not at all. Profit comes second.
If you’re not going to have fun doing business online, forget it. Corporate superheroes who run or work with smaller startups (such as Buffer and Evernote) and big companies (the likes of IDEO and Zappos) give us more than a hint.
They show up everyday for the fun of solving a problem or making something better. That’s the key.
Every business that succeeds online solves a problem with technology or invents a better way to output an existing solution. What problem does your business solve?
Make those solutions the center point and focus of your efforts. If your business exists for the sole purpose of solving a problem, which in turn helps other people, you have a great chance of making the “one quarter cut”.
2. Once You Solve A Problem, People Have To Understand Why They Need Your Solution. This Is The Foundation Of Digital Marketing Strategy.
In more common langue, this digital marketing foundation is called messaging, and it is the most important arrow in your strategy quiver.
You do not need to be a marketing guru to create a stellar message for your online business. Great messaging is formed by completing a simple 3 step process.
First: Identify the different personality characteristics of your ideal customers. These are called buyer personas.
Personas tell you how to communicate effectively with your market.
They also give you insights about how your ideal customers will react to your different digital marketing strategies (ie. If your persona is a 65 year old male, twitter may not be very effective. If your persona is a 12 year old Justin Bieber fan…probably wanna start tweeting).
Second: Because each persona is different, they usually have slightly different problems. The second step is figuring out their most common problems and questions.
Third: Now that you know about your ideal customer’s personalities, problems and questions, its time to create your Unique Value Propositions (UVPs).
UVPs are simple, clear statements that prove your business solutions uniquely solve the problems or answer the questions of each of your buyer personas, therefore offering them value.
Your UVPs are the backbone of you digital marketing strategy. They are the core of all messaging and communication.
iPhone Example Of How This Process Works
The iPhone has a huge number of buyer personas – business people, families, college students, teens, tech nerds, music lovers, gamers, etc. – who all need a unique message to convince them to buy iPhone versus Android.
Each one of those different personas will be sold on different values of the iPhone.
As you probably notice, Apple’s messaging isn’t: “Buy an iPhone, it does everything and makes everyone’s life better.” Even though they probably could.
They make Il gioco del Blackjack nacque in Europa nel corso del XVII secolo. targeted campaigns around different iPhone features that solve problems and provide unique value to each of their target personas.
Lets take the family persona. How does Apple apply an iPhone UVP to their marketing message? With the ability to connect face to face.
Apple knows their ideal family customers want to be connected, so instead of focusing on the great camera, app store or connection speed, they focus on Facetime.
Now take the music lover persona. Totally different persona, totally different UVP.
Though Apple markets to different personas with different UVPs, the core message does not change, “more people use an iPhone to do things they love than any other phone.”
Apple layers this message into the iPhone UVPs for each of their buyer personas to create an emotional connection. This is why Apple has sold almost 100 million iPhones…not bad.
Apple, unlike most businesses, has an 8 figure marketing budget; and the amount of stuff they do wrong far outweighs the things they do right.
They learn from their mistakes in order to produce marketing people love. And you need to learn from the mistakes you make when creating your digital marketing strategy to create a valuable message people love to hear. Which brings us to our final tip.
3. Obstacles In Growing A Business Online Are Your Guides To Perfection
Successful entrepreneurs with humble beginnings won’t tell you how many times they failed in the past. They simply can’t tell you, because they all failed a lot.
But what is it that turns ordinary entrepreneurs into online business superheroes? It’s their ability to manage failure and convert it into measurable ways to improve.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, advises those with entrepreneurial spirit not to view failure as a character flaw, but take it as part of the process of growth.
Treating obstacles as part of a process means turning them into challenges that must be overcome. Obstacles are highly effective teachers to first-time and experienced entrepreneurs alike.
Your obstacles, big or small, are masked opportunities. Internet entrepreneurs and digital marketing strategists are trailblazers, creating new ways to do business in the modern world. Because of this, the nature of online business is wrought with obstacles.
Those who succeed are the ones who perceive these obstacles as guides to perfection. They stop at nothing to create things that make people’s lives better. And that passion contagiously seeps through everything they do, especially their message, brand and marketing.
You can be one of those people. Though this article talks about three areas of digital marketing and online business development, there is really only one thing you need to know to make the “one quarter cut”:
Your perspective determines your success.
If you live to solve problems for others and work to make their lives better, your business has more than a fighting chance to build a message people support and love. Once that happens, there is no limit to what your company can achieve.