Globalization, technological advances, the pandemic and some other factors have convinced the still reluctant that selling on the Internet is possible and that it can generate many benefits.
But I’m going to open your eyes.
To sell on the Internet, you do not have to save thousands of euros from investing in setting up an eCommerce, nor is it something as simple as setting up a website and starting billing thousands of euros from day one.
We have to be realists. Selling online requires hard work, but it offers many opportunities.
I explain everything you need to know to set up your own business on the web.
Selling on the Internet has nothing to do with the offline world.
Indeed you have been assaulted by questions, such as:
- How to sell on the Internet, investing little and on insurance?
- What to sell on the Internet to obtain stable and long-term income?
- How can I sell products online quickly and keep customers in the long term?
- How can I create an online sales process that is not 100% dependent on me?
- What are the keys to selling online?
Don’t act too fast, on impulse. The first thing I recommend is to consolidate your bases and then define an action plan.
The essential thing is that you take the step one day.
What to sell online?
There are several types of Internet businesses. The critical question is: how do you choose the suitable model for you?
If you do not come from the advertising world, do not listen to the sirens who tell you that everything on the Internet should be free and you should advertise your content.
Advertising is not a good business model for a freelancer or a micro-SME. He is not the “god” of Internet sales.
Let’s go back to the basics of your business activity: buying and selling physical products online (electronic commerce) or selling professional services, the basis of the most profitable businesses.
If you sell services to companies, there are several business models on the Internet for solo professionals. Choose yours and do not lose sight of the fact that projects tend to consolidate faster if you mix several different models:
- Sell professional services
- Give face-to-face classes
- Sell products online such as an ebook and online courses
- Sell artisan products online through an online store
- Recommend third-party services
On the other hand, if you sell products online, please tell me what advertising will do for you.
You will have to learn how to create an online store, generate visits, etc. It is a difficult job, but it will be easier if you move everything from an offline store.
That’s what it’s all about when selling on the Internet. At least, that’s what I’ll talk about in this section of the blog.
Traditional services have also conquered their space in the online format. Lifelong services, such as design, writing, translation, writing, long, etcetera, can be easily adapted to the Internet sales model.
With them, also those of different types of coaching, from those related to the business aspect to those more linked to well-being and health.
And also, the services related to SaaS applications, Software as a Service, aimed at end customers and which only requires an Internet connection. In many cases, the applications are accessed through the web browser.
The traditional step from the analogue format to online sales in these models has changed working hours for hours.
Although many professionals have already realized that this sales model is not scalable and touches on a ceiling, that of the maximum hours that can be worked per day.
For this reason, the most experienced or savvy online entrepreneurs have already gotten down to business in this regard and sell their services packaged as products. So I will tell you in the third point.
Ecommerce or electronic commerce is among the models that have grown the most in recent years. And it goes without saying that with the arrival of the pandemic, it has exploded exponentially.
This online sales business model is based on physical products, which you have to deliver to an end customer.
The key is to develop the ability to manage, store and deliver products to the end customer, offering a safe and agile service.
Although only specialists in this activity could face the investment and significant development required at the beginning of eCommerce, this has changed.
Nowadays, it is relatively easy to set up an eCommerce, thanks to tools like Shopify, making this task much easier for you.
But there is still more.
There is an online product sales model that no longer requires you to buy and store those products before selling. It’s about dropshipping.
The dropshipping is to create an online store with a third party to manage collections and that the manufacturer sends the product to the customer.
As I said above, selling your services online for an hourly rate creates a ceiling that you will not be able to break, no matter how successful you are.
Moreover, I dare to assure you that this success will cause you anguish. Why? Because you will have more and more clients and that is very good.
But you will not have time to attend to all of them or you will not be able to accept all the proposals. So each time, you will work more hours and become your slave.
And that is not the solution.
Then what is? The answer is the creation and sale of info products.
It is about translating your knowledge and experience into a product, which can take shape in different ways, such as courses, ebooks, pieces of training…
And sell that product online: the same product to different people. The same effort is dedicated to the entire market.
Products will be on sale for everyone, every day and at all hours.
You have to worry about offering a quality product first, and second, to set up an online sales system that works in an agile and secure way.
And it will become a way to get recurring income automatically.
How to sell online
Once you have analyzed what you can sell online, you may have already decided on a model. So let’s go a little further and see how you can achieve that dream of selling online and making an income.
- IDENTIFY A REAL MARKET
To sell on the Internet, you must identify a group with a specific painful problem—people who have a particular need and essential and annoying issues they want to solve.
And, for this, they are ready to act in the coming days.
Therefore, it is about choosing a market niche with many people inside to sell something to them and maintain a stable income volume.
Once you are clear about it, you should learn everything you can about their needs. It does not matter what you sell online, but what you know about what you sell.
It is the basis of everything, and it seems obvious, right?
Well, it is not.
If you knew the large number of entrepreneurs who have ventured to start their business in love with their product without having verified that there is a market for it. 99% fail and spend a lot of money.
Please do not do it because you are not going to sell anything.
If you are not selling on the Internet today, it is probably because you are not focused on offering the solution to a natural and proven problem. What’s more, if you have no competitors, chances are there will be no market.
A small business or a solo entrepreneur cannot create a market. Be practical. Enter where it has been shown that there is a market and try to do so with a differentiating and novel angle.
Selling on the Internet presupposes selling in the real world. This does not change.
Before proceeding further, you must understand the critical success factors for online sales and implement the funnel model in your business project.
Remember, it doesn’t matter what you sell on the Internet, but who you sell to. Find a need first and then create the product or service and not the other way around.
It offers a solution to a real and concrete problem.
- DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST WITH YOUR POTENTIAL CLIENTS
You already know what you are going to focus on and what you will sell. Well, the next step is to decide and set up your operations centre, the space from which to sell.
On the Internet, your website is your headquarters. It is your digital space, the place from where you will get visibility, you will position yourself in your market, and, finally, you will sell.
It isn’t straightforward to position yourself and start selling the Internet without a website.
It does not matter if you want to position yourself in the niche of online stores, in copywriting or in the sale of coffee makers. But, yes, you will have to work on your brand and position yourself in your niche with a different voice.
And how is this achieved? With content that adds value, show that you know what you are talking about and awaken trust among your audience.
You will need a website, a blog with a good number of articles and a thousand other things to make your future clients trust you.
The secret is to transmit your know-how and passion for connecting with people. Then, get into your marketing mix to differentiate your proposal from the competition and achieve a competitive advantage.
As you can see, this is not the time to sell yet. Instead, it is about attracting qualified traffic to your blog, adding value.
It is the process before selling over the Internet. Many people rush.
- SHOW YOUR AUTHORITY IN YOUR NICHE
The next step also doesn’t directly affect your ability to sell online. Now you will try to separate the chaff from the wheat and attract the most interested readers of your blog on a mailing list.
You must create a system for capturing leads and contacts in your niche through your blog. Possible clients that you are already showing with your content that you can help them.
At this new point, it is time to put it into practice and develop direct actions to position yourself as an authority among these people.
I recommend giving a free 5 to 7-day course through an autoresponder system to demonstrate your skills and professionalism. Don’t advertise: show.
Every day, in your course, your goal is to show your students how much you know about their problems and give guidelines to solve them themselves.
By doing this, you are preparing the ground for your sales since every day passes, and you raise possible objections from potential new customers. As you can see, selling on the Internet follows a reasonably slow pace.
Selling does not understand in a hurry. What’s more, if you seem needy, your prospects will turn their backs on you. They want the best for their business, and the best never need to close deals.
- PRESENT YOUR OFFER OR THE OFFER OF A THIRD PARTY
The time has come: you can present your offer. Because you have something to sell, right? So now it does matter what to sell on the Internet and not just how to do it.
To sell, you have to have something to sell. Another no-brainer, but 99% of bloggers have nothing to sell on their blogs.
If you do not have your products or sell professional services, you can promote third-party products using affiliate marketing techniques.
In any case, at this point, you will have to focus on improving your blog’s conversions.
You no longer need more visits or get a better position on Google. Instead, it would help if you started increasing the number of visits that buy your product or service.
You have shown that you can help that niche, and now you will offer specific products aligned with your activity and your audience.
And if there is something that usually costs in this step, it is usually to put a price on that info product or service that you sell. I recommend you read my post on the ABC of pricing to do this.
- AUTOMATE YOUR SALES PROCESSES
To get recurring income, you must automate the process of attracting and selling.
The ultimate expression of Internet sales is not based on you being on the other side of the screen, selling your products one by one. Not.
It is about setting up a continuous, automated sales wheel that does not stop at any time.
So the last step to make money with an online platform is to work on the following aspects:
- Nurture your funnel of newly qualified visits: get new sources of qualified traffic through guest posts, advertising on Facebook Ads or with a hyper-specific editorial calendar.
- Systematize registrations to your mailing list: use Mailchimp or any suitable email marketing software for the autoresponder to do the “dirty work.”
- It would help if you were not fighting for these highs; the actions mentioned in the previous point must be achieved naturally.
- Improve your sales page: the conversion rate must be your obsession to get sales online. Remember: you don’t need more visits; you need more clients, which increases this rate.
- Add advanced services to bill more to your existing customer base: keep your sales funnel generating more value. If you created a paid ebook that leads to a paid course, create something more advanced (consulting, training program, …) to continue increasing your income.
- Set up your affiliate network: this is the best step to grow with zero risk and almost no investment. Suppose you manage to leverage the sale of your products with an affiliate network. In that case, you will have taken a giant step to go from a self-employment scheme to an automated system worthy of a sizeable small internet business.
These five points are the key that can take you from selling something small on the Internet to having an advanced business system.
You will no longer have to be aware of everything, others will sell for you, and your system will not depend 100% on you.
Tips for selling online
And to finish with this complete article based on how to sell on the Internet, I leave you a series of tips.
- Sell from day 1: if you set up a blog, sell from day one! Don’t be afraid to put a “hire me” button, a sale page for a product with the same price, or different things in your series of articles to generate sales.
- But don’t be in a hurry: if you don’t sell anything in the first month … don’t worry! Slowly. As you have more articles, comments, people saying, “thank you for what you give me!” You will see how those sales will come.
- Do not try to create the best website or store in the world: you have to go out on the market with something that you are ashamed of, of course, and it does not matter if it is a store or a blog. If you try to have the best-designed web, lots of graphic nonsense and little details … you will never take it out, and you will not be able to buy and sell online in your life.
- Trust is everything: the secret to knowing how to sell online is none other than earning the trust of your customers. new If they trust you, they will buy from you today, tomorrow and three years from now. Take care of your customers, and remember that it is always easier to sell to someone who has already bought something from you.
- Be prepared for negative comments: if you sell something, there will always be someone who says a lot of nonsense and things that criticize you. Take it easy, and this is so. As long as they are not 50% of the people who buy from you, it would help if you did not care what one or the other says about your course or product.
- Don’t have a scarcity mentality – it’s going to limit you very quickly. Having started your business with no money, I understand that you want to leverage your time. But suppose you do not invest money in your industry. In that case, everything will be slower and frustrating, and somehow you do not secure your commitment to transform yourself into a digital entrepreneur with the portfolio. Invest everything you can in training for your growth, and do not forget that online advertising is a powerful accelerator
What do you say to me now? If you are willing to sell online directly, I leave you two last notes:
- the different options that allow you to earn money online in 2021
- the list of the most common mistakes made when selling online