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Top Tips for Starting an Online Business

It’s been a tough few months for the world, with the Coronavirus pandemic leading to many staff furloughed and leaving many companies no choice but to close their doors forever.

But for many, Coronavirus and the period of lockdown has been a catalyst for business creativity and innovation. With more free time than usual, individuals everywhere have been able to work on their “side-hustles” and turn passions into profit. This period of uncertainty has given rise to a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, with the sale of baked goods, arts and crafts, and home-made hand sanitizers, just a few examples of lockdown businesses that have bloomed in their multitude.

The pandemic has also been a real eye-opener for owners of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. The realization of having to adapt their digital and online strategies has been key for survival. For such business owners, the lockdown has been a time of working on new websites, boosting their social media presence and digging deep into researching their online audiences in order to find out how best to reach them.

And so, one thing we know for certain coming out of lockdown, is that a strong online presence is essential for any business.

If you, too, are armed with a business idea and feeling like you’re ready to dive into the sea of entrepreneurism, take a look at these simple yet winning tips to get you off to a flying start.

Get to know your audience

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Really knowing your audience is an essential stage in targeting your efforts. If you want to make sales, you have to figure out who your primary target audience is, what they want, what they care about, and what they don’t care about. This will be vital information to drive your marketing.

A good first step is to ask yourself, “who should I be marketing to, and how will I reach them?”. This will involve identifying the age, gender, location, socioeconomic status, and other demographic and psychographic traits of the consumer who would be most interested in purchasing your product or service.

Deep research around these points will enable you to optimize your marketing efforts to engage and convert your target audience. For example, knowing what kind of content your audience likes should influence the design and creation of your own website content.

Create compelling content

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An important ingredient in both attracting and keeping your target audience engaged is the creation of regular, high-quality content.

If you’re selling products online, you need to ensure you’re using professional photography and clear descriptions so potential customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

You should plan and create content with your target audience always in mind. You can write engaging blogs that provide valuable information to your audience and answers any questions they may have and create eye-catching social media graphics on free tools such as canva.com. With 85 percent of people watching video content daily, you may wish to capitalize on this trend by producing a promotional video of your products or services.

Create a strong social media presence

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Social media is an essential tool in growing a strong online presence – so much so that some entrepreneurs have even built an entire business on social media platforms.

It’s a great place to promote your products and services and build up a community of followers both organically and through targeted, paid advertising.

There are so many social media channels available today, from the more established platforms such as Facebook to newer but booming platforms such as TikTok. You’ll need to identify which platforms your audience prefers and create a strong strategy to ensure you’re truly engaging them. Take a look at these six tips for boosting your social media presence in 2020.

Create a user-friendly website

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In today’s market, you can’t really have a strong online presence without a business website.

Fortunately, it’s never been easier to create powerful and well-designed websites thanks to the wide variety of business website builders available at your fingertips. Be sure to read reviews and do your research in order to decide which one will best fit your needs.

You need to ensure your website is designed with your target audience in mind, from the colors, style, and placing of imagery, to the keywords used throughout your website copy. These are all necessary steps in order to optimize your site for Google and to convert website visitors to paying customers.

On top of this, it’s important to ensure your website has a strong and reliable eCommerce Payment Gateway in place (for more information, visit www.utpgroup.co.uk). This is necessary in order to take payments from customers around the world, enabling you to increase the reach of your business and geographic spread of your customer base.

Devise a digital marketing strategy

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A digital marketing strategy is a plan of action that underpins all of the above points. It’s a holistic approach, using digital channels such as social media, email marketing, and more, to drive more traffic and convert more sales.

No matter your industry or company size, it’s one of the best ways to grow your business. Simply put, a strong digital marketing strategy consists of defining your goals and then strategizing how digital media tactics can help you achieve them.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis, many businesses are thriving. If you have an online business idea and time on your side to work on it, now really is the time.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com