The idea of being your own boss and having the freedom to follow your passion is enticing.
With the explosion of digital entrepreneurship, it is easier to live the dream than ever before.
You need to know what you are passionate about, how you want to interact with society to create a career, how to build a digital space for those interactions, and how to make sure people can find you.
Find Your Passion
The first step in creating the career of your dreams is figuring out the type of work you love. That's where you start building your career, based on your rules. It is possible to make a living doing something you're passionate about. Successful businesses thrive in virtually every niche market imaginable, and there's no reason you can't turn your passion into a money-making venture.
If you have a product or service that can be sold through a personal E-commerce site, there are plenty of options. Storefronts like Etsy are popular and able to accommodate a wide range of entrepreneurs who are killing it every month. People even launch careers on Instagram. Pick an online venue that reaches the right audience, and you can get started right away.
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B2B or B2C?
Before you start researching how you want to launch your new career, you need to decide what kind of market to pursue. The traditional business model has focused on the B2B (Business-to-Business, model. This means dealing with other businesses who will then sell your product or service to the consumer.
Most online ventures are B2C (Business-to-Consumer). Even if you want to sell the exact same service or product, there are serious differences between B2B and B2C business planning.
It is worth taking the time to fully explore both business models before deciding what works best for you. The truth is, it’s a personal preference. It’s possible to market virtually any product or service with either plan. Even personal services such as life coaching sessions can be marketed to businesses for their executives. It's all in how you position your business.
Once you've decided on a business model, it’s time to focus on design. Even if your dream is a brick-and-mortar business, a web presence is essential for marketing and sales.
Over the past ten years, E-commerce sales have been steadily increasing. In part because about two billion more people have access to the internet now than ten years ago. Yes, two billion. When you consider the population of the United States is only about 320 million, it’s easy to see how being online is beneficial to any business.
While it is great to have a larger consumer pool to swim in, you still need to make sure you are able to keep their attention once they find you. The importance of design in ecommerce can’t be overstated, and you will need to make sure you follow the latest best practices.
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To get you started I’m going to share three things you can do to make your job easier and any website more user-friendly.
- Responsive design: make sure your site is responsive. In simple terms, responsive design means your website changes to fit any size screen. Mobile ordering is on the rise, and many new users access the internet entirely from a hand-held device such as a phone or tablet. If your site isn't responsive, Google won't even list it in mobile search results.
- Easy navigation: while visitors are browsing, they should be able to easily find what they are looking for. Include an easy to navigate menu, prominent search bar, and images and ads that don’t interfere with navigation.
- Use the right tools: most people use WordPress as the backbone of their web design for two very important reasons; it makes adding new content easier, and plugins. E-commerce plugins make it easier than ever to set up a site that is ready to make sales and deliver products intuitive for even the least technical savvy entrepreneur.
The other key ingredient in the success of an ecommerce site is in the marketing. You can have the best widget in the history of widgetdom, being displayed on the prettiest most responsive site in the history of the interwebs, but if people aren’t finding you it won’t matter. This is where marketing comes in.
Content marketing is one of the most effective methods for reaching out to your potential consumer base. You may be wondering how you could possibly create content that would be engaging and useful about your widget. The truthful answer is, you probably can’t make your widget engaging and interesting to everyone, you shouldn’t even try.
Widgets are your passion, and not everyone is going to be as passionate about them as you. Focus on content that answers questions people searching for widgets ask.
When you have the purpose, clarity, and passion for what you are doing, knowing how to present it becomes second nature. Even if you aren’t a gifted writer, you will be able to direct the writers who work for you in the right direction.
Interestingly, successful inbound marketing is also wrapped up in the ability to deliver quality content that people want to read and not trash upon receipt. It relies on a consumer-centric approach through multiple channels to attract, engage, and convert the customer from wherever they may be in their decision-making process.
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Inbound marketing goes far beyond lead generation to providing a quality experience for the consumer one that leads to personalization opportunities and greater brand loyalty. And it all begins with creating quality information, products, services, and content for your online consumer base.
What are you passionate about? What do you need to do to make you happy and bring your personal joy into the world in a way that allows you to make money doing what you love?
That is where the whole journey begins. Figure that out and the rest of the steps become an enjoyable journey rather than another item on a to-do list of drudgery.