1Make a good first impression no matter which type of online endeavor you attempt. As with any business, your brand (web site, store, virtual portfolio etc.) must grab the prospects attention, enticing and encouraging him/her to learn more. A strong brand should include intelligently and insightfully written copy, a description of your offering, product overview, news and information and numerous opportunities to respond (call to action).
- Differentiate your product/service from the competition. Consider what makes your business unique by focusing on the brand, the specific suite of services and how the product or service will solve the customer’s problem. Punctuate these differentiating factors in order to set your brand apart from the rest.
- Maintain a friendly, approachable tone. You want to invite your customer to interact with you so be sure that while the copy on your site or portfolio should be informative, it should also communicate a friendly tone that will motivate communication and interaction with your customers.
- Have a solid contract with your partner company. Enlist the assistance of an attorney or have a lawyer review your partner company’s contract so you know how you will be paid and the basis for payment (for example if it based on produced work, solid sales, sign ups, conversions, referrals, etc.).
- Follow up with clients after an initial interaction. Because you haven’t had the benefit of face-to-face meeting, you will need to be proactive (but not a stalker) online. After an initial meeting with a client, send a thank you email a few days later to remind the client about your meeting. Open the floor to additional questions and let your prospective client know you are excited about the possibility of serving him/her.
2Optimize your skills and knowledge in order to create a strong online presence. Although you may be a talented salesperson or graphic designer, you may not know how those talents will translate online.
- Take an search engine optimization course. Either online or possibly offered at your local community college, learning about search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component to a successful online career. SEO training will teach you how to position your brand or store higher on Google search engine rankings so your business is hit first when potential clients are performing a search.
- Write a business plan. Even if the business plan will never leave your computer, creating a plan will give you specific direction and goals, which will help you stay on track and focused.
- Consult with experts. If you have a friend or colleague who has had success making money online, tap into his/her knowledge and experience. Find out what has worked well or what he/she has tried that bombed. Extract as much knowledge and insight to help guide you in how you will create your online business.
3Make sure you have the dedication and focus to work independently. If you plan to make your online money making endeavor a success, you must have what it takes to manage your time and be dedicated to your craft.
- Examine your financial needs. Do you need to make a large income or are you interested in making money online just to have some mad money? The level of required income will most likely dictate the amount of time and effort you’ll need to spend making your online business a success.
- Evaluate the amount of time you can dedicate to your online business. Are you a stay-at-home mom with two small children and a demanding school and housekeeping schedule or are you single with no strings attached (or somewhere in between)? Identify the hours during the day you can commit to your business and compare those hours to the amount of money you need to make. Typically, especially with some businesses, the earlier months and years are considerably more time consuming, especially if you are building a client list.
- Be honest about your work habits. Are you a self starter, motivated enough to stay on task and work without having a boss check on you, or are you easily distracted by the phone, kids or other environmental disturbances? Working online takes a tremendous amount of motivation and focus in order to reach your cash generating goals.