Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site.
Do you have a side gig that you want to take to the next level? Going from freelancing, selling products on social media, or a marketplace to running an entire online business can be hard.
It helps to have a guideline on the best way to do this. In this post, I’ll share how you can transform your side-gig into an online business that you have complete control over.
Here we go!
One mistake that many new entrepreneurs make is not defining their brand early on. Your brand image influences how people perceive your company.
It consists of your logo, fonts, colors, and other elements that you’ll consistently use on your website, in ads, and in your social media.
Another key part of a brand palette is defining your tone of voice in your communication. For example, look at the humorous tone that Old Spice uses in their communication. Nike focuses on inspiring and positive content. Setting a tone of voice in your brand will help you become recognizable and also stay consistent no matter who is writing your content for you.
Doing this kind of early work starts you off on the right foot. It takes time to build a brand and once it’s established, making significant changes can impact customers negatively.
Put in some thought early on and you'll avoid facing difficulties relating to your brand image later.
Example of a brand kit for media purposes by MonsterInsights
Usually, the advice is to create a website as one of the most important steps to grow your business. But thinking in this way won’t lead to a well-functioning business.
You need to think in terms of building a funnel. A sales funnel is an entire process starting from when customers become aware of your brand to their taking action to buy from you.
When you start expanding your side-hustle by putting it into a sales funnel format, you’ll cover multiple steps that make sense together and help you create sales right from the start.
The steps of a sales funnel include:
When you convert the stages of a sales funnel into practical steps, you’ll build a cohesive and dynamic setup for your business. Let’s look at some key steps you need to take to make your sales funnel come alive.
A landing page is where visitors arrive once they:
If you lack coding knowledge, then consider building a robust website using WordPress. Working with good landing page tools will also help you follow best practices and set up high-converting landing pages.
A compelling landing page template
You can only start converting your audience to paying customers if you make them aware that your business exists. To do this, you need to carry out multiple marketing activities including:
As you can imagine, marketing your business is a time-intensive activity that you need to do over and over again to find customers.
To help you manage your content marketing efforts, use a social media management tool to schedule and publish your content automatically.
There are also plugins for WordPress that let you schedule your posts so that they get published on your site at a specified time and date.
By preparing your content in advance and using a content management tool, you can make it easier for yourself to market your business.
At the decision stage, customers will start doing their research on your product and compare it with your competitors’.
They’ll also look at pricing to help them decide if they should buy from you.
It’s critical that you provide information to help your customers know everything they need to. Do this by making tutorials on YouTube and social media, creating ‘how-to’ blog posts, and also offering special discounts and deals especially for first-time customers.
OptinMonster has a 'University' learning platform to help customers get conversions
Another aspect that customers explore is risk and safety. You can overcome a customer’s fear of losing money or regretting their purchase by making certain guarantees. Give a free trial or offer a no-questions-asked refund.
By helping your audience learn as much about your product as they need to, you’ll build a positive case for your business.
Once a customer has reached the buying stage, an important step you can add is to upsell another product or service as an addon.
You can also create a special discount for customers to upgrade to a higher product tier.
MailChimp upsells its offerings by comparing products
It’s small additional purchases like these that increase your sales value and substantially improve profits.
Transforming your side-gig to a full-time business can be financially and personally rewarding. However, it is a difficult transition to make when you’re doing it for the first time.
I’ve shared some important tips that should help you figure out the steps you need to take in your business growth. Apply these ideas and customize them for your work and you won’t look back.
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