Online Business

4 Essential Tips to Building Your Online Business – Part 01

Peter James Coleman Branding, Marketing Leave a Comment

COVID-19 is forcing us to work from home. Don't fret. Now is the time to either build your business online or ramp up your current online brand.

In this 2 part series I'm going to share with you some very good actionable steps you can take RIGHT NOW to get the ball rolling.

Let's face it, this global crisis is going to change the way we do business forever. It's a total game changer so if you've not yet pushed to get your business online. Now is the time to do so.

We are about to experience a digital gold rush - e-commerce is exploding and you need to act now to adapt to the new world that is rising up from this.

So without further ado - let's review the tools required to get your digital show on the road.

I'm breaking this down into small bite size chunks so you can focus on the essentials first.

Before rushing head on into setting up your digital platform (websites, social media etc) it's vital you read this first and take the following steps in phases.

In this 2 part series we are going to explore the following:

  1. Value Ladders
  2. Sales Funnels
  3. Brand Identity
  4. Digital Tools

For part one lets start with ladders and funnels!

Step 1: Build a Value Ladder

Building a value ladder means reviewing your current products/services and identifying which product or service you sell the most of.

This offering sits in the middle of your value ladder. You don't market/promote this at this stage - you need something that you can attract the right customer with.

Value ladders are based on you offering a steady stream of value to your ideal customer. You don't want to scare them off with the big sell! So how do you do that? You give away something of genuine value for FREE!

This helps you plan your strategy ahead and gives a good chance of obtaining a strong Lifetime Customer Value aka continued spend.

For this example I've chosen to create one for a personal trainer.

Let's say your value ladder has 5 steps to it.

First Step

You could offer a 3x FREE group training sessions live on Facebook to draw interest.

You would create a post on Facebook to promote your event to people in your area and get potential clients to sign up for FREE.

All they need to do for the FREE sessions x3 is provide you with an email address. (list building and demonstrating your expertise to begin building your online brand - I'll cover this at a later date)

Second Step

At the end of your third FREE session you promote a percentage off for first time sign ups for the next session - with limited spaces. Give them a 24 hour window to sign up for the next 3 classes at a reduced rate to create urgency and build on the momentum.

You promote this at the end of the third video then follow up via email, thanking them for taking part and they are now eligible for the next offer.

Those that followed you to the second step are primed ready for the third step.

Third Step

The third step could be signing up to a no-risk cancel anytime monthly payment plan for 3 live training sessions a week.

These customers have the potential to become brand ambassadors for your business - liking, sharing and commenting on your posts and telling everyone about you, giving your even more traction as you build your online brand.

Fourth Step

The fourth step would be creating a range of merchandise for your business that customers will buy into - if it's edgy and cool and attached to a great online platform, you will get buy in.

Fifth Step

So maybe your highest price service is a class for company employees that can be done over an app called Zoom!

This will allow you to promote your online training classes to large corporate business whose workers are furloughed - your pitch is it's vital to keep staff morale high and give them a sense of connection and keep the team spirit alive.

Time to get creative

You can tweak these steps to suit your own particular offering. Value ladders are fantastic tools to structure any business offering for any given situation. Remember, give value, value, value!

Ok so now it's time to get to creative. Draw out a ladder, it can have as many steps as you want BUT I'd recommend a minimum of 5 to give you scope.

Remember, each step of your value ladder will inform you of exactly what you need to be saying with your marketing.

Step 2: Build a Sales Funnel

You can have several value ladders built around a variety of your services/products, but now, let's move onto sales funnels.

There is some debate suggesting that a value ladder is just another version of a sales funnel. It's not!

Think of it like this. Your value ladder (the variety of offerings you have) sits inside your sales funnel.

Your sales funnel is your overall marketing strategy you use to draw prospects in - your sales funnel might promote a wide range of services/products.

Some of those prospects will land on different steps on your value ladder.

Some will want a FREE taster, others will have heard how great you are (after a while) and sign up right away. Some will even jump right in and order the higher priced products/services.

Your funnel can contain a variety of different value ladders which you can change and flex about to suit your business needs whilst still delivering great value for your clients.

Final Thoughts

When creating both your ladder and your funnel answer these questions:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • Where are they hanging out online?
  • What Facebook/LinkedIn groups are they part of?
  • Why does what you do matter to them?
  • What problem are you solving?

Action Plan

  1. Create a value ladder ultra specific to a service or product.
  2. Create a sales funnel specific to your overall business.

Let me know how you get on in the comments below and keep a lookout for part 2 where I'll be covering brand identity and digital tools.

Keep the faith, work smart and keep going.

Pete