My mission in 2017 has become to learn how to scale an online business. More specifically, how to scale my online business and teach my private coaching clients how to scale theirs.
The good news about scaling an online business is it doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Don’t get me wrong though, you will need to invest. The difference is you can often times invest in software and tools, which is cheaper than having to hire people (though I’ll definitely talk about that too).
Here are some of the ways business owners can scale an online business for bigger profits and more success this year.
Create a sales funnel that runs on autopilot.
One way to quickly scale an online business is to create sales funnels that run on their own. This is something I’ve been working on the last few weeks as I put together the different pieces of my own funnel.
Here’s a quick example of an automated sales funnel you can use for selling courses, consulting or anything you may offer
- Step 1: Drive traffic to an opt-in with Facebook ads.
- Step 2: People opt-in to receive a freebie and on the “Thank You” page you offer an upsell to a lower-priced product.
- Step 3: Leads receive a series of emails encouraging them to watch a sales presentation/webinar.
- Step 4: Leads watch a recording of a webinar you created and are encouraged to buy a product or a book a consultation.
- Step 5: For those that don’t book right away, they’ll receive another series of emails encouraging them to do so.
- Step 6: They either buy a product or a call with you.
- Step 7: If they book a call with you, then you can sell to them depending on whether or not they are a good fit.
Other than the consultation call itself, each part of this sales funnel is created ahead of time and runs on autopilot. All you have to do is drive traffic to get it started. And, if you’ve done your marketing homework, then your emails and presentation will do their job in converting leads into customers.
I’ve personal gotten steps two through seven already prepared for selling a large digital course and consulting packages. Now, the next step is to start driving traffic so the funnel runs on it’s own.
Invest in tools that allow you to automate your business.
If you want to scale an online business, you’re going to have to invest in tools that allow you to do it.
Using different low-cost platforms is great when you’re just starting out, but eventually, things don’t work as well because you have to hack all these different programs together with a third party service like Zapier.
That’s why I decided to invest in an all-in-one system like Infusionsoft a couple of years ago. While the initial investment was a little premature on my part, we were in the middle of a rebrand and I knew where I wanted to take my business, so I bit the bullet and invested.
Fast forward a couple of years and here are all the ways we’ve begun using the system:
- Automatically process payments for my membership site. (This means we get monthly recurring revenue!)
- Automatically onboard new students to my membership site.
- Automatically onboard new coaching and consulting clients.
- We use the system as a CRM to keep track of leads and how they are behaving.
- We integrate it with opt-in pages and lead pages for email marketing and automatic upsells.
- Send emails when affiliates are having offers.
- Automate all of the emails in the sales funnel I described in the last section.
- Automatically send out weekly emails with new blog or podcast content.
As a side note about all-in-one systems, they often end up being cheaper in the long run because you’re not paying a bunch of different companies for different services.
There are also a lot of tools you can invest in to help you automate social media posts and engagement. While they do cost money, they help you save a lot of time in growing your social media following.
Finally, you can automate invoicing and accounting through tools like Due. Accounting is something that can take up a lot of time so it’s in your best interest to use some sort of service that allows you to get paid faster.
Invest in people.
The last step in scaling an online business is to invest in people. As much as I love online tools as a way to scale an online business, sometimes that isn’t enough.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Pinterest is a huge traffic generator for me which allows me to make passive revenue in the form of affiliate sales on my blog. I’ve automated as much as I can using tools like Tailwind and Boardbooster, but Pinterest is a platform that requires more effort in terms of actually creating graphics and sharing other people’s pins.
Because Pinterest is a traffic source and because it helps with affiliate sales, I invested in hiring someone to help me make the images and manage the account. Since bringing her on, our monthly viewers on Pinterest has increased 90 percent. Our next step is to work on click-throughs to the website.
Investing money in people and in tools can be scary when you’re trying to scale an online business. It can also be really scary to invest the time necessary to get all of these things set up and running.
Speaking from personal experience, there is a period of at least a couple of months before you really start to see these things working their magic. That’s why you shouldn’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away.
The key is to remember that scaling an online business, while it takes time and money, pays off in the end if you’re strategically using the tools mentioned. With time, you’ll be able to create a lot more revenue which outweighs the costs. The same goes for hiring people that can help you scale an online business to the next level.