Million of Americans dream of working for themselves, starting their own business and increasing their income by doing something that they love. The allure of working your own hours, following your passion, and finally loving what you do for a living is a big draw, and a large part of why small businesses are booming right now. The internet has made it easier than ever for small businesses to be successful.
One popular way to develop a business is to create and offer an online service. For some people, this is web design; for others, it's consulting, tutoring, writing, or affiliate marketing. There's also becoming a virtual assistant, the digital version of a personal assistant. There's any number of online service-based business opportunities for interested entrepreneurs.
The secret to creating a successful service-based business is to create a service that people need, and then offer it in a way that stands out from your competition. Give people a reason to want your service over what everyone else is offering.To do that successfully, you need to have an online marketing plan that includes, at the minimum, a website and a strong social web presence.
The social web presence, your use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, is the key to letting people know about your business. Find followers, and then keep involved. Interact on a daily basis. Encourage conversation, follow people back, and show interest in what they're posting. Share relevant posts and links with the rest of your followers. Build a relationship with your followers to spread awareness and build interest in your business.
As important as a social presence is, you also need a website. This is going to be the virtual version of an actual storefront or office space, so you need to make sure that it's making a great first impression. Let people know what your business offers that no one else does. What makes your business stand out? Whatever it is, make sure people know about it when they land on your website. Have a portfolio or client testimonials ready to back up your assertion that your service is a step above what your competitors are offering.
Part of your website should include a blog. Blogging shows people how much you really know about your industry, and when you're creating an online service-based business, that's essential. Informative, insightful posts prove to potential clients that you know what you're talking about. It also shows that you're committed to your business. Those are two very important signals to be sending, especially when you're just starting out.
With a strong social media presence to drive interest in your service and a quality website to give potential clients the information they need to complete the sale, you can create a small online business that lets you eventually leave behind the trappings of office work and embark on your career as a full-time small business owner.
What advice would you offer new entrepreneurs just starting out in an online service industry?