These are all the things you need to keep in mind when running an online business:
Get Obsessed About Your Customer
Build what they want. Read The Bootstrappers Bible.
Are you customer-centric?
What is your niche?
Who is your customer? What is your customer seeing, thinking, hearing, saying/doing?
What are their demographics? Age, gender, location, relationship status, kids, ethnicity, level of education?
What are their psychographics? What conferences do they attend? What blogs, books, movies and music do they consume? Who do they follow?
What is their income? What is their job title, company size, income, debt, transportation, disposable income, housing?
What is their pain and gain? What is their version of heaven and hell?
Who isn’t your customer?
Why does your customer buy? Why do your prospects not buy?
What is your point of differentiation?
What is your offer?
Do the people that you work with use your product or service?
What stage of awareness are you targeting? Are they totally unaware, problem aware, solution aware, niche aware, or offer aware?
A person moves from awareness to consideration to decision. At each stage of the buyer journey consider: Where is your prospect at mentally? What information do they need to continue moving forward? What content could we create to deliver that information.?What types of content could you test to deliver that info? What key terms will stand out to them at each stage.
The first step is to invent a thing worth making, a story worth telling, a contribution worth talking about.
The second step is to design and build it in a way that people will actually benefit from and care about.
The third one is the one everyone gets all excited about. This is the step where you tell the story to the right people in the right way.
The last step is so often overlooked: The part where you show up, regularly, consistently and generously, for years and years, to organize and lead and build confidence in the change you seek to make.
– Source: Seth Godin – “Marketing in Four Steps”.
For more, pick up a copy of This Is Marketing
Message matching is a critical factor in ultimately creating an enticing and emphatic message that leads to sales conversions. The message between a source ad and the accompanying landing page must be consistent in design, tone, and content to breed a sense of familiarity and reliability from a consumer’s perspective
Do you have a style guide and do all materials keep “scent” (message matching)
Are you keeping up with industry trends? If you aren’t, you can download all the marketing websites I follow by clicking here.
Make Decisions Based on Data
Change, measure, change again
What Analytics tools are you using?
Have you audited your numbers to make sure they are accurate?
Are you tracking your links?
What is your North Star metric?
Define what the goals of your site are (sign-ups, purchases)
Do you have an entire end-to-end map of what your business looks like?
Do you audit your site regularly?
What does your website look like through different personas and what does it look like across platforms?
Traffic, Conversion Rate & Average Order Value
You can either get more traffic;
You can either improve your conversion rate; or
You can increase your average order value
Are we making the most of what we are doing or are we trying to do too much?
Essential soft skills: The number one skill to success is to be able to adapt new platforms and technologies quickly without a lot of training. Next would be: Curiosity, Tenacity, Willingness to Listen & Learn, Adaptability, Ability to Multitask, Empathy, Getting Along with Others, Strong Work Ethic, Honesty, Being Able to Say ‘I Don’t Know’, Troubleshooter, Takes Notes, Handle pressure, Practices their craft, Disclosure issues immediately
Essential hard skills: How to Search Well, Using Excel, Conducting Research & Gathering Data, Using at Least One Major SEO Tool, Analyzing the Effectiveness of Your Efforts, Communication, Figuring out What’s Going on & What’s Gone Wrong, Using a Crawler, Coding or Understanding Code
8 skills every great SEO professional needs to succeed: Critical Thinking, Speaking & Writing Ability, Technical & Programming Skills, Social & Drinking Skills, Analytics Skills, Excel Skills, Drive, Motivation & Adaptability, A Sense of Humor
Essential skills for someone handling social media: They Must Have Solid Communication Skills, They Must Be Social, They Must Have Personality & Creativity, They Must Have Personality & Creativity, They Must Be Project Managers, They Must Write & Edit Well, They Must Have Visual Skills, They Must Be Flexible & Adaptable, They Must Be Great Marketers, They Must Have Excellent Customer Service Skills
Do you run your team how Jeff Bezos runs amazon? (two-pizza teams, 6-page memos, no powerpoint presentations)
Do you use a tasks management tool like Asana?
Follow others that have to build remote teams like the founder of WordPress.
Designing For Innovation
Do you have data-driven corporate culture?
Are you running design sprints? In five days you will work to: Understand. Map out the problem and pick an important area to focus on. Ideate. Sketch out competing solutions on paper. Decide. Make decisions and turn your ideas into a testable hypothesis. Prototype. Hack together a realistic prototype. Test. Get feedback from real live users.
Are you using the scientific method?
Read “Don’t Make Me Think”
Are you design behaviors around solving customer aspirations?
Is the entire team involved?
Is your organization following the HIPPO (highest paid person opinion)?
Do you run “brainwriting sessions?”
Do you use the Eisenhower matrix to decide what you will do first (important and urgent), do later (important and not urgent), delegate (urgent but not important), or eliminate (not important and not urgent)?
Are you developing a development roadmap?
Do you want to be an early adopter of new platforms and technology?
Where are all your files?
Is it clear how data is to be shared?
What security protocols do you need to put in place?
Are your data and apps secure?
Is everyone using a password manager and 2 step authentication?
Are you legally in compliance?
Are you paying taxes correctly?