There are 3 extremely crucial things to build in your online business.
Whether you are an online business owner, a freelancer or a creative entrepreneur, these things are necessary.
But many times, I see many business owners who are either just starting out or are already running the business focus only on acquiring clients.
They put all their efforts into creating new offerings, baiting prospects with special bonus packages, running promotions that their businesses can’t afford, and doing all sorts all in the bid to acquire one client.
While it sometimes work, the real question you want to ask yourself is, is it sustainable?
Does that mean that anytime you want to book a client, you have to run promotions and create special bonuses ignoring the fact that it may be hurting your business?
Look, when you are building an online business, you should aim to build a sustainable process that gets people into your funnel with very minimal effort.
You want people to come to you through your touchpoints, you want to build those things that really matter.
In this blog post, we are going to be looking at what those things are, I mean the 3 extremely crucial things to build in your online business.
1. Your Portfolio
It is very important that you build a portfolio, whether you have a lot of completed projects under your belt or not.
As a creative entrepreneur, your portfolio is the first thing that prospects will ask to see before they do business with you at all.
Take for instance, someone who is actively looking for a job but has no resume, they don’t even stand a chance of getting called for an interview, talk less of getting a job.
The people who want to hire you will need to first see any of your previous work. In cases where you have nothing to put in your portfolio because you are just starting out, you may need to reach out to people that you would like to work with and offer them free work.
When you do this, you not only have a project to put in your portfolio, you also get a testimonial.
A portfolio is a must for any creative who’s looking to get hired, or any business owner who’s looking to get booked.
The way and manner by which you create your portfolio depends on these 2 things: your industry (or your field) and your target audience (or the recipient).
If you are a graphic designer, the portfolio you create will be different from that of an engineer.
You must create it in such a way that it meets the requirement of what a graphics designer portfolio should look like.
It should be a visual collection of your work, showcasing what you have achieved thus far and what you hope to accomplish in the future.
As a graphic designer, a portfolio is vital to displaying your talents to potential clients.
You can decide to create a website and host your portfolio on there, or use websites like Behance, Bribble, Portfolio, etc.
If you are a video creator, you can create a video portfolio. A video portfolio is a website that provides a way to show off video creations.
It’s commonly used by videographers and contains different trailers, scenes, or short videos that visitors can visualize directly from the website.
Make sure that you use pure visuals and use a good story to communicate to the audience.
How to create a creative portfolio
The following are things you must do to create a very appealing portfolio that’ll help you get booked quickly.
1. Get Inspired
The first thing you want to do is to look for samples of portfolios online so that you can get a direction for what you want to do.
Looking online will provide you with plenty of inspiration and help you generate some initial ideas. So look at portfolios of people in your specific niche.
Start thinking of the vibe you want your portfolio to convey and what experience you aim to create.
2. Choose or create a template
When looking though other people’s portfolios, you want to take note of their colour palettes, their image sequence, hierarchy, site structure and so on.
This will help you determine the template you want to use or the pattern you want yours to follow.
You also want to decide if you want it to be a one page portfolio or have multiple pages so you’ll be guided when choosing templates.
When it comes to templates, you either pick a premade one and edit it or you build a website on your own and start from scratch.
3. Showcase only the best
Sometimes, you are tempted to add all the projects you’ve done in your portfolio, but that’s an error.
You want to only showcase your best projects, the one you believe will be very appealing to your target audience or to that high quality client asking for it.
Expose clients to your creativity and skill by sharing only your best work. This way, you’ll bring their attention to your strengths, and maintain a consistent level of quality throughout your portfolio.
2. Your Strategy
A strategy is simply a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.
It is where you will focus your efforts to achieve your goals, and how you will succeed.
As a business that is predominantly online, you need to have a solid strategy to back up every activity that you are carrying out in the business.
Let’s talk about 3 important strategies your online business must have.
Social Media Strategy
Except you are on social media just to catch fun, you need to create a working social media strategy for your business.
Without a strategy, you are just going to be wasting your time using social media for your business.
A social media strategy is a plan of action that highlights how you will be using social media to accomplish your business goals and objectives.
The easiest and simplest way to create a working social media strategy for your business is to keep it really simple and very specific.
The more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be. You can read more about creating a social media strategy in this blog post.
A content strategy is a plan in which you use content whether that is audio, visual, or written (or a combination of the 3) to achieve your business goals.
A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the funnel and keep them engaged even after a purchase.
If you want to learn much more about creating a content strategy, read this article.
A business strategy is the methods by which your business will create value for it’s customers so that it can gain their loyalty and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Before you start thinking of creating products or services, the business must come up with its strategy to gain the market.
If all of these 3 things are not in place for your online business, all your efforts will go to waste.
3. Your Connections
If you want to remain in business and you want to continue to get booked as often as you can, you need to build connections.
The right connections are vital in the life of any online business owner, so you need to actively build them.
They will do business with you and recommend you to others if they are satisfied.
Some of the clients that my team works with today came as referrals from the people we previously and are still working with.
Building connections is not so much about attending networking events and shoving your business cards into people’s hands, it’s about delivering satisfactory work to the clients you currently have and then piggy back on that.
It takes a lot of hard work and strong business values to get recommendations from high quality clients. If your work is good enough, it’s likely that they will share it with others or even continue to work with you.
Look, the key to landing your first client, and then the second, and then the third, is to give selflessly.
Have you ever heard the statement “Under-promise and overdeliver”? It’s not a cliché, it’s a mantra that is helping many online business owners like you and I get booked back to back.
So target people that you genuinely want to work with because you like them, work with them and deliver exceptional value. In no time, they’ll begin to refer you to their friends and inner circle.
It is an error to offer people your service and not ask for referrals. It is also an error to ask for referrals from people you have not given yourself to selflessly.
You want to make sure that you are building these 3 extremely crucial things in your online business if you want to succeed at it.
Chasing after clients is not the right way to get clients, you need to create a business that will attract people into your funnel with very minimal efforts.