This depends on how you structure your business. As structure, in effect, is your strategy for success, looking at it from the outside as an observer enables you to see where weaknesses and strengths are. You have elements that need to be in place as in any other business. You have to have:
the raw materials and anything else to create the products you sell
operations set up so you can change those into the final products
marketing and sales so you can persuade people to buy the products
and give them the means to do so
processes to provide excellent service for upgrading or maintaining
the products so they can be used to best effect
If you focus the business on your unique or original advantage through these elements of structure then you have the best chance for an impact.
What actions should you take to make them work effectively, to bring sales and make a profit?
Your knowledge and expertise
You’re selling information in and about your chosen niche. That information is the raw materials of your products. So, you actually do have to have relevant, valuable and usable information that your customers can benefit from. After all, they’re not really interested in you or your business, at least to start with. What they’re asking is: What’s in it for me? If they don’t see an advantage to themselves in the niche, they’ll go elsewhere. Which is OK as long as they can get the help they need from someone else. Of course, if you have genuinely unique information or a relevant positioning of already known information, they’ll stick with you.
Therefore, if you’re thinking of entering a market and you have some knowledge of it but not a lot, then you need to get more raw material you can convert into products before setting up business. A fair assessment might be if you could write at least 100 articles or short videos or short audios on it. If you’re struggling after creating a few of these, then you probably need to do more research.
Your product creation processes
That is, how will you create the products from the information or expertise you have? What actions will you take and in what order? This needs thinking about and planning. For example, if you intend to create a sales funnel of products which get more expensive as customers go through it, you have to plan that funnel. Decide what its main topic will be that all the products are about, what types of products you’ll make, where they’ll be in the funnel, and, most of all, are they what customers want?
Let’s say you’re in the gardening niche. You decide to focus your first funnel on potatoes, as you know a lot about it. Generate all the information you know about the topic in lists or mind maps. Decide on your sub-topics for each product, such as choosing seed potatoes, how to plant them, how to feed them, how to deal with pests, when to lift them, and maybe how to cook or sell them.
You can arrange you products in one of three ways: have each product on a separate sub-topic, such your first one is only about seed potatoes, your second only about planting them, and so on. Or each product, or some products, cover an aspect of each sub-topic. So you first product includes all the sub-topics to some extent, your second product also does but in more detail, and so on. Or do a combination of these, with some products being only about one sub-topic and other products have a combination of sub-topics.
You also have to decide what will be the best format for these products, in your market and relative to your knowledge and ability. If you’re demonstrating something, like planting potatoes, it’s obviously better, though not always, to use video, or maybe images. If you’re explaining something, almost any format will do. If you’re emphasizing a particular point of view, you can be very exact in text, while appearing on video gives it more immediacy of ideas and personality. However, it all depends as well on what you’re comfortable with in your experience or lack of it with any specific format. In creating a product, too, work out the best order for you to do the necessary actions in, so eventually you have a set of actions for yourself that eases you through a process.
Marketing and sales
Once you’ve created a product, or sales funnel, you must make it easy for customers to get access to it. The easiest way is to have a download system or send them by email attachments. There are plenty of examples of software you can buy, or buy into, for safe downloading. With email, you set it up in your autoresponder, so that when somebody makes a purchase of the product they are sent the email automatically with the product attached in zip format.
Build your content in various places on the web, especially those places directly related to your niche. Have a central place such as a blog or FaceBook page where prospects and others will know your content can be accessed. You can have a squeeze page there too or use separate hosts. Send people to it from various content sources you’ve set up, in order to build your list of subscribers to your emails. Also, have sign up forms on your blog or other central place. The wider content network you develop gives your marketing a context, as well as doing marketing for you itself.
You could also have sales pages for your products on your website or on a separate host. But don’t send visitors directly there. Once they’re on your list, have a process of emails as an email campaign that they go through to build trust, credibility and relationships, and to make offers. Send them to the sales pages from emails.
Your customer service
Business owners tend to think of service as being a tacked-on element after the sale is made, and even the product delivered. However, if you think of service to potential customers and actual customers as an element in every part of your business, then it doesn’t become isolated from it almost as an afterthought. In effect, your business is in fact customer service: you’re providing customers, and even before they become customers, with help through valuable information which you make into products that they want, and as part of your marketing strategy on your website and other suitable places on the web.
Also, you’ve provided good service by delivering the product cleanly after persuading them of the genuine benefits they’ll get from the product and that they’ve been looking for. After the sale, you might be offering free updates as part of the original sale, and/or upsells of additions to the product they’ll find useful. You, or your service support, are available to answer questions in a timely manner and to give appropriate advice about the product.
You might use different ways, in addition to the above, to help customers. For example, you might give a webinar answering questions either before or after the sale, or offer small group coaching around the product or one to one coaching to those who are looking to take the product’s topic further. The point is that service is built into each aspect of your business system and its processes.
In some way or other you’ll need these four elements in your business, each one providing value to your customers in its way, and each increasing your impact in your internet marketing.