Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about ways you can build a business using the internet. Technology has made it easier than ever to turn a passion or small business dream into a very real way of making money. Some people do it as a way to supplement other income from a full-time job, but with enough planning and time, you may be able to turn an online business endeavor into your main source of income.
In order to ensure you’re bringing in money on a regular basis, you need to do whatever you can to draw in customers. One way to do this is through promotions that offer deals, services, or products that you don’t usually offer. Below are a few ideas on how you can make this happen.
One of the great things about using the internet to start a business is that you’re generally able to keep your costs lower than you would if you operated your business in a brick and mortar location. Because you’re saving this money, you may want to consider passing that savings on to your customers.
One popular and well-known online promotion is Cyber Monday. An annual event that takes place the Monday after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday has become a massive online shopping event. In fact, just last year, Cyber Monday hit a record $3 billion sales mark.
You don’t have to wait until Cyber Monday to have an online promotion. For instance, you may want to do a one-weekend-only sale, or a sale on the first day of summer or fall. Limiting your sale to a specific day or days creates a feeling in your customers that this is a can’t miss event, which will surely earn you more money than if you have a sale that lasts, say, all month.
Promote your online promotions with your social media platforms and email newsletter. You may even want to create a Facebook Event that people can RSVP to. If you want to create a sense of exclusivity, consider having a promotional code that people can use to get sale prices on the items they buy from you.
Online promotions might not mean cheaper prices for customers. The benefit of your online promotion may be special items that you don’t usually have. For instance, if you’re running a clothing company, consider creating a limited edition item that will excite your customers and offer them something outside of your usual wheelhouse.
Lastly, see if there are influencers or bloggers that can help you with your promotion. For instance, they may be willing to share news of your promotion on their social channels in exchange for you doing the same for them someday.
One of the great things about online promotions are that they are generally easy to track, so use customer data to inform your next promotion, as well as your daily sales methods.
Our latest series is all about the power or using the web to run a business — so what’s the sense in having offline promotions? Well, it turns about that offline promotions can be a great way to connect with customers and offer products or services that you don’t usually offer.
For instance, let’s say you
create custom invitations for special events. You may do most of your business via a website, but you should also consider real-world events where you can have face time for customers and allow them to see a wide selection of your work in real life.
Offline promotions don’t need to be all about your product. You may be able to promote your brand through speaking engagements and networking events where you can meet people in your industry as well as potential customers. If you can come across as a knowledgeable expert in your field, your business will certainly benefit.
Also, don’t forget the power of good old fashioned print advertising. While you may not be able to afford an ad in a national magazine, you may be able to find affordable space in a local newspaper or regional magazine. Remember that while most people live their lives online, there are still people who look to traditional mediums like magazines, TV, and even the radio to learn about new products and services.
Starting a business involves a lot of trial and error, luck, and some frustration, so if you’re starting an online business, don’t let little setbacks get you down. Remember that there is a community of likeminded individuals out there trying to do the same things you’re doing. Use that as inspiration for trying new things and forging ahead even when it’s tough.
Leave your experiences using the web start an online business in comments.