Maggie Aland is a staff writer for Fit Small Business and editor of the Marketing and Reviews sections. She writes on a variety of marketing topics, ranging from newspaper ads to how to market your business on Facebook. Before joining Fit Small Business, Maggie worked as a marketing associate at a niche publishing company. There she was responsible for determining the marketing plan and keeping up with the budget of 10+ B2B products. Her experience includes email, direct mail, social media, events, and more. When not editing or writing, you can find Maggie looking for the best brunch spots in NYC.
Tracey Wallace is the Editor-in-Chief at BigCommerce, where she covers all things ecommerce: marketing, design, development, strategy, plus emerging trends, including omnichannel and cloud replatforming.She is often featured in publications, such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Mashable, and ELLE, along with leading BigCommerce partners like HubSpot and Square. She launched her career in ecommerce with Y-Combinator backed Shoptiques.
You need to make it easy for your visitors to contact you. Provide an online form, your e-mail address, phone number, fax number, physical mailing address and any other relevant information (like the best times to call you). And make sure this information is highly visible and easily accessible from every page of your site. Why not invite a few honest friends to check out your site and time them to see how long it takes for them to find your contact information? What’s obvious to you may not be obvious to the rest of the world.
We personally use Infusionsoft at Foundr, because we have a subscriber list of over 300,000 people. For someone just starting out, however, there are several tools out there that you can use to get your email marketing into shape and even create automated email campaigns.
CoverWallet’s platform lets you see average pricing, notifies you when you need to renew a policy or certificate, and lets you see all key policy info online – meaning no delays when you’re trying to close a new job.
I’m really interested in the wave of productized consulting that seems to be swelling up recently. To put it in layman’s terms, an individual (usually a freelancer or consultant) who has a very specific skillset packages their services up in a way that makes it appear like a product. Some people are hesitant to work with individual freelancers, but if you look and sound like a company, they are much more at ease.
Boatsetter boats can be rented with a captain or without (so no experience is required), and the fleet ranges from yachts to sailboats to pontoon boats. Boat owners and boat captains are able to earn income through the online platform.
Next, you’ll want to pick a WordPress theme from somewhere like ThemeForest, Elegant Themes or OptimizePress. This is the barebones design of your site, which you can then customize with your own branding, copy, and images. That being said, you don’t want to cheap out. It costs less than $100 to buy a theme that will make your website look professional (and you can upgrade to a completely custom design once you get the business going).
Once you’ve launched your blog (or niche website), the next step is figuring out which products and companies you can partner with as an affiliate to help facilitate sales of a related, helpful product for your audience of future readers.
Best of all, it’s free and easy to register with these services. And if you don’t yet have a website, Yahoo! is even offering businesses a free five-page website that you can customize with your own logo, text, and links to other sites.
Or if you want to get more specific and help clients plan out their meals and nutrition, you can offer a meal planning service where you consult with clients online and then send them a plan based on your consultation.
If you can consistently provide companies with successful social media campaigns and improve their profiles, they will pay. Clorox Bleach had some huge success with one of their recent social media campaigns.
After about a year of testing materials and prototypes and materials, we developed Chicken Armor. Since its inception, we’ve sold many tens of thousands of saddles to all 50 states and to countries in 4 continents.
Ask yourself, “Is the product in a growth market?” If your market has already passed its peak (i.e. the VCR market) and is on the down slope, you probably don’t want to get involved. Instead, you want to get into an industry that’s on the upswing – that’s where you’ll have the most profit and growth potential.
Ever see a Google result and say “How the heck did that get there?” While Google and other search engines use powerful algorithms to determine what pages to show for search results, there are real people making money online by making sure the machines are doing their job correctly.
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
The benefit here is that you don’t have to risk buying up stock in a product and losing money if it doesn’t sell. The entry barrier is lower and you don’t have to invest nearly as much to get started.
Taking a successful business model from someone else and building on it is no crime. In fact, it is how most leaders build businesses. It doesn’t always take a “stroke of genius” to get to the top. But when those once-in-a-lifetime ideas strike, your window to act may be small. I don’t accept the idea that all of the good ideas have been taken. These five unique businesses are proof that you can find prosperity, even in a market that may not have even existed when you first had your idea.
You know those top-down cooking or craft videos you just can’t seem to get away from these days? There are people out there making a living from them. 78% of B2C companies depend on user-generated content, like those videos, for their marketing campaigns. You can sign up as a creator on a site like Darby Smart and potentially work with brands like Nordstrom, Mattel, and BarkBox. Or, use them to build your YouTube following and monetize through ads and views.
There’s bound to be at least a dozen different events going on in your city no matter where you live, and participating in these events not only gives you the opportunity to develop your network and relationships. But every event brings you one step closer to learning directly from an expert.
Santa Mail has been around since 2003, and as far as I can tell, it was the first company of its kind. Since then, at least four sites offering the same service have popped up. Even though someone may come along and offer something better, for now, Santa Mail is at the top of its niche.
Your platform should give you the flexibility you need to stand out, the data orchestration you need for operational efficiency and the low total cost of ownership that lets’ you reallocate dollars to marketing spend, not technology debt.
The ease and convenience of having a prepaid shipping bag sent to your home which you can stuff and send back to be sold online is a trend I see catching fire in the next couple years; I would not be surprised to see a number of other players in this space emerge. It’s a novel alternative to donating a $200 shirt for instance when someone might be willing to give you $50 online for it.
Strategy #1: Establish your credibility. When you sell a service, you’re typically selling a relationship with yourself. And this requires spending more time and effort establishing your credibility and developing a rapport with your visitors than is typically required on a site selling a physical product.
Every day, couples in love get engaged. And every day, couples who have fallen out of love separate or break an engagement. When the latter happened to Josh Opperman, his fiancee was kind enough to return the engagement ring, and he didn’t know what to do with it. Since the wholesale markup on engagement rings is insanely high, he would have taken a huge loss in returning it. So instead, he started his business, I Do Now I Don’t, an online marketplace for unwanted engagement rings. Customers can buy rings at prices far cheaper than you’d find at a traditional store, and you can sell at rates that are better than you’d get if you tried to return the ring. Business started booming, and now you can buy and sell other jewelry items there too.
Trustwerty on the other hand is where you can find the best of the best in online shopping. Use Fakespot to find fake reviews and if you want to research the best facial masks, baby products, or electronics, use Trustwerty. Their search engine displays and ranks products based on their review quality where the authenticity is judged by Trustwerty’s algorithm.
Many college consultants—some people say education consultants—are also CPAs. You could offer college consulting, and, you guessed it, tax preparation (number 16), and you’ll be hiring on staff in no time.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out namingforce.com and squadhelp.com. If you dream of coming up with witty copy, try coming up with company slogans on Slogan Slingers and Get a Slogan.
Now the cost of this one might vary depending on the library near you, but in my experience, a membership to your local library is always one of the best investments you can make. And most of the time, they are free.
There are freelance sites, such as the popular oDesk, that often have jobs for virtual assistants. Just as with physical assistant positions, you will get paid for helping executives with a wide variety of tasks.
There’s nothing more off-putting than a poorly designed website, and often, it kills credibility. If you know HTML and have a good eye for design, you can launch a service to create attractive, easy-to-use websites for small businesses. Put your skills to good use for business owners who want to take their online presence to the next level. Build a comprehensive portfolio, and then create your own website to show it off and attract a steady stream of clients.
Being an online coach or consultant is a great way to make money online, as instead of giving your client ongoing deliverables (like when you’re a freelancer), you’re teaching them to be better, faster, stronger than the competition. Your expertise becomes the product you’re selling.
So you must walk a fine line, making sure that you keep confidential client information confidential, while (1) proving that you’ve satisfied the needs of other clients like them with great results and (2) demonstrating your ability to customize your service to meet their personal, unique needs.
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