Three ways for the entrepreneur to increase income
The day-to-day life for an entrepreneur can sometimes consist of running from one place to another, “putting out fires”, and there’s not always time left over for the really important things, such as thinking up new and better ways to earn more income. If this sounds familiar and you already have a web site for your business, think about these three things that could give a steady rise to income over time:
1. How could I increase the traffic to my website?
If your webpages are built with your target market and their needs in mind, more visitors means more customers in the end. There are many ways to increase traffic, but quality content that gives value to the intended target group is one of the best ways.
We all have a limited amount of time, so it is useless to expect that your potential clients will use their time to browse your webpages if you have nothing valuable to offer them. What could that be? Start by offering them something that will help them solve a problem that you know is common for your target group. If you are a landscape architect, publish tips on garden planning and maintenance, if you sell sewage pipes, make choosing the right pipe easy with an application that asks questions and narrows down the choice.
In addition to quality content, it is important that the pages are optimized with the right keywords, and that keyword research has been done properly. If you want to know more you could read the article Search engine optimization (SEO) made easy guide! over at djavupixel.com.
If you have a local business, for example a gym, please make sure your Google places page is optimized, so that your business shows up, for example when somebody searches for “gym +your city name”. Read this quite complete article over at interactivemarketing for great tips on how to optimize your Google places page.
Online pay-per-click advertising is also worth considering, but to get the most out of it, and now waste your money, it is a good idea to learn the basics, or turn to a professional for help. Learn the minimum basics before you start, so that you at least speak the same language with whomever you work with.
Remember to utilize social media. If the term seems ambiguous, you could watch the excellent slide show Social Media For Business over at slideshare.
A book that I absolutely recommend for every entrepreneur is David Meerman Scott’s: The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly. It is an excellent introduction to marketing and PR today, and how companies can use both effectively.
2. How could I convert more website visitors to customers?
Many visitors to your website are not automatically going to produce more sales. The webpages need to be optimized to convert as many visitors as possible to paying customers. This does not mean that they need to buy from your web shop at the first visit, although that too is possible.
Visitors to your website are in different stages of the buying cycle; some of them are just checking out what’s available, some of them are researching which product might be right for them, and some may be comparing prices. It is a good idea to offer something for visitors in each of the stages in the buying cycle.
Example: a visitor that wants to compare features will benefit from a comparison table that compares your product or service to that of the competition. A visitor that wants to know if she should buy a lcd- or a plasma television would benefit from an article, explaining the difference and helping in the buying decision. A visitor, who is ready to buy, will benefit from a clear and easy online buying process. Return policy, affordable shipping, guarantee, service, payment options etc. are important at this stage.
There are factors that influence how effectively webpages convert visitors to customers, and you can read about them in my article Are you loosing business because of a poor landing page? It is important to measure and test how different factors influence conversion by measuring results for example with Google Analytics.
3. How can I sell more to my current customers?
Before you start chasing after new customers, think about how you could sell more to your current ones. It is much less costly and much easier to sell to your current customers, because they already know, like and trust you (if you have done things right). A CRM (customer relationship management)-system of some sort will help you immensely to market and sell to your current customers.
A great way to sell to your current customers is email marketing. Newsletters with great quality content, aimed at your target group and maybe a promotion just for your newsletter subscribers can work wonders. Just make sure you soft-sell. A company Facebook-page could also do the trick, but it depends on the target audience.
When you attract new visitors, convert more of them to customers, and the sell those customers more, please remember to measure the results. A five percent increase here, and another there could mean a substantial increase below the line at the end of the year.