Here are some very typical misconception statements that we see time and time again:
- People will buy my products because they are unique and high quality.
- All I need to do is build a website and then people will buy from me.
- I just need to get more people to my website so i can make sales.
- I don't make any sales because I haven't invested in 'SEO'.
- My website design is really bad and that is why people don't buy from me, I need a new website.
All of these statements might at times be true, but the underlying fact is that 99 times out of 100 when business owners come to us with these statements the honest truth is that they have no idea why 'real customers' are not purchasing from them.
In my following blog post I explain the methodology that we recommend to anyone starting online, I will also provide you with some expectations of what you will have in store when going through this process.
The methodology we would advise to use:
STEP ONE: Idea Phase (See Acacia Academy Idea Boot Camp). Understand the idea/business you are starting before you begin to start spending any money.
STEP TWO: Go from Zero to Hero (See Acacia Academy Zero to Hero Program). Spend as little as possible before you sink yourself into starting the business. Investigate, Verify, Engage and then Launch!
Once you have done these steps you will now be ready to go to market with your product (You will already be in the market/online). For the following steps follow this diagram:
STEP THREE: "Just Get Online"; You may of already done this in step two, but you need a vehicle to begin to test and verify your business this can come in many forms but we are going to use the example of an ecommerce website. If you are only starting your business build a website that covers all the mandatory requirements and nothing more.
We offer ecommerce packages in for the following budgets (We are often flexible with price depending on the client).
- $900USD / $1200AUD for a basic professionally design site ready to sell.
- $2500USD / $3200AUD for a set up which will cover most new businesses.
- $5000USD / $6500AUD for an all inclusive package.
- $5k plus for custom project
STEP FOUR: "Get Some Feedback"; now you have your site up and running exhaust all the options that are free to get it out into the world, including sharing it with friends and family, your blog community, your social media community or any other channel you have have access to. Be very thorough with the feedback you receive and try and learn as much you can about your site. Take these learnings and iterate on the assets that you have set up to get it to version 1.2.
STEP FIVE: "Gather and Understand the Numbers"; a questions that comes up often when people ask me or the team is 'what should we be doing about marketing, Facebook, Instagram, google or email??'. The answer to this is 'I don't know but I do know how we can find out', if you hear anything otherwise from a 'digital marketing expert or online guru' you can confidently tell them they are full of shit. We can always have a good idea for what will work for a particular business but we will never know for sure until we test and learn from the gathered results of each test.
Building a sales funnel and integrating all the required analytics mechanisms needed to produce a return on investment figure for your campaigns is what will give you the method to learning what is effective for your business. Getting this set up can take a lot of work, depending on how granular you wish to go. I advise starting small to learn how a sales funnel works, build your ROI tables and then replicate this throughout your site.
STEP SIX: "Feed the funnel with a marketing campaign"; as you can see above the top of our funnel is the marketing exercises we are operating. Whether this is Facebook ads, google search ads, SEO content or anything thing else that distributes our funnel we need to pick one and then construct a return on investment from these channels. We make a educated assumption of what will work best to start with then we test it, if there is positive feedback we continue using it optimising over a longer period of time.
STEP SEVEN: "Optimise, Optimise, Learn, Learn, Optimise!"; As we touched on above when you have the mechanics in place to learn from the operations you have in place you now simply need to look at the objectively and optimise according to the feedback you are getting on each step of the way. You should have a method of recording and keeping track of the changes you are making to each segment of the funnel.