The real beauty of making money through the Internet is that anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter where you come from, who your father is, what color your skin is, where you went to school, where you live, and how much money you make. The Internet is, indeed, The Great Equalizer. Practically anyone can make it on the Internet and become an online entrepreneur, as long as he or she is driven enough and willing to work hard. That’s great, isn’t it? But the downside to this is that there are more competitors – from all over the world – and that competition is fiercer. So how do you edge out competitors on the Internet? Here are six simple tips to try.
Online entrepreneur tip #1: Strategize.
Every online entrepreneur wants to be number one in his or her niche, but not every online entrepreneur knows how to get there. The key to online success is strategy. It all begins with planning and scheming. Write down your goals and figure out the best methods to reach them. Map out a business plan and a marketing plan. Identify your target market and figure out how best to reach them. If you’re selling a product or a service, how can you make sure that it stays front-of-mind with your target market? How can you be more visible than your rivals? Think these things through before you begin.
Online entrepreneur tip #2: Find out what your competitor is doing.
A good online entrepreneur is always spying on his closest competitors. Closely observe what your rivals are doing. How are they conducting business, reaching out to their audience, and gaining more attention for their products or services? For example, if you want to beat your rivals at social media marketing, track what platforms they are using, how many followers they have, how many times they post, what they post about, what tone they use in their posts, how they respond to negative feedback and complaints, and what techniques they use to build a bigger following. Learning all these gives you an edge and informs your own social media marketing techniques.
Online entrepreneur tip #3: Produce high quality content.
Any online entrepreneur worth his salt knows that there’s no use clamoring for attention, competing with similar businesses, and strategizing if the product or service he or she is peddling is substandard. Before you draw up business plans and organize marketing campaigns, develop and improve your product. Doing this takes time, commitment, effort, and expertise, but if you don’t work on perfecting your product, the rest of these tips become worthless. If necessary, hire others to help you with this phase.
Online entrepreneur tip #4: Choose the best platforms for competition.
This is like picking the right stage for a battle. When dealing with competitors, there’s no better platform to stage a competition than social media. And when you’re managing the social media marketing aspect of your business, you have to learn how to save time and energy by concentrating on the social media platforms where (a) your target audience is to be found, and (b) where your closest competitors are gaining a head start. Remember that it is better to have a consistent, reliable, and engaging social media presence in one platform (say, Twitter or Instagram) than it is to have unstructured, irregular appearances on various social media platforms. This is particularly important when you don’t have much time to devote to social media marketing. Choose just one or two platforms and focus on those. What’s important is not that you become ubiquitous, but that your audience knows where to find you.
Online entrepreneur tip #5: Know your audience.
This is crucial to any business, both online and in the real world. Gain an edge over your rivals by concentrating your marketing efforts on a particular target market. Remember: marketing a product or a service for the general population is a waste of time and money. Not everyone will like what you have to offer. Eliminate this problem by identifying your target market using particular demographic traits (gender, age, location, etc.) and marketing only to them.
Online entrepreneur tip #6: Be more present than your competitor.
Show up, participate, and gain a competitive edge. You don’t even have to be an online entrepreneur to know that social media presence is what it’s all about today. Almost everyone has a smartphone, is on Twitter, and posts selfies on Instagram. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. In fact, consider hiring someone for expert advice on social media marketing. Outplay your competitor in this arena and you’ve won.