5 Essential Skills To Build an Successful Online business
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
During my previous post, I wrote a post about the reality of building a business online. I did mentioned that there are 5 essential skills that you need to build an successful online business. If you hadn't read it, do read this post here before you read this post.
If you want to run an online business, you do need to master the following 5 skills. However in practice, 2 of them are actually optional but it will definitely make your online business journey a lot easier you if you actually possess these 2 skills (as well as the other 3 mandatory skills).
With that said, let's get down to it!
#1 Technical Competency
This is one of the 2 optional skills. Online business actually involves a lot of technical skills behind the scenes. This is where your technical abilities will be put to the test. Registering domains and buying a hosting plan is easy.
But things can get pretty complicated from there. From custom design a template for your website or install a script or fix a column in your database to as complicated as fixing your entire website due to a hacker attack.
Technical skills are particularly important with E-commerce and SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses, which are typically more involved than lead generation, affiliate and advertising style businesses.
But why I specially mentioned that this area is optional is simply because you can outsource and hire freelancers to fix the technical work for you. But it’s best to know some technical skills on your own, in case you encounter any major issues or emergencies.
Imagine you and your freelancers are living at the opposite timezone (aka opposite end of the world). It will take an approximate 12 hours to get your technical job done – unless you are able to source your own freelancers in your local area.
#2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization. At a basic level of understanding, it is the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google or other search engines.
For most websites, organic search is the number-one source of traffic. However, this is actually an optional skill as majority of the digital marketers nowadays would prefer using paid traffic instead.
Keyword research is really just a starting point. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with Page Authority and Domain Authority, responsive design, back-link building, clean code, load times and much more.
But your main area of focus should be ranking your content in search, since there are many technical aspects in the constantly shifting world of SEO, and keeping up with it all is a full-time job in and of itself. There is simply no way to stay on top of it all when you’re running a business (those who are running google ads will understand this).
Again, hiring freelancers or agencies might be a better way to keep your website optimized in the long run. Nevertheless, the knowledge you gain won’t go to waste, as you’ll also be able to verify the quality of the outsourced work should you choose to pay for SEO services.
#3. Content Creation
I can't emphasize enough how important this is. The ability to create quality and value-added content is the key to run a successful online business in today’s online environment.
Yet unfortunately, many people skipped this step as the feedback that I received was; it was too much of a hassle. They just simply skipped this process and aim directly for the sales!
You see, content helps you attract, engage, and delight prospects and customers, bring new visitors to your site, and ultimately, generate revenue for your business.
For example, you wouldn’t start building a house without a blueprint, a sculpture without a sketch, or a company without a mission statement. In short, you need to have a plan in order to have content creation. Otherwise you will stray away from your main objective.
The key to creating successful content is to make each reader feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
The only way to do this is to get intimate with your visitors, leads, and customers — you need to know them like you know an old friend. You should pinpoint to their obstacles, their pain points, their challenges, and fears. Similarly, you should understand their best possible outcome, their dream solution, and their biggest fantasies.
Better yet, give out free stuffs! It can be as simple as giving out your own eBook for free, or even better – writing free articles and blog post. Such gestures may seems unfavorable, but do remember that content builds credibility and trust to your visitors coming to your website. And consumers are more likely to trust businesses that provide valuable content.
Remember, always give value first before getting money.
#4. Expertise in a Given Niche
Are you knowledgeable or specialized in the specific niche you’re planning on doing business in? If not, you may want to rethink your topic choice.
In order to build trust with your audience, you'll need to be able to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable and experienced in your industry.
Imagine you are running a car servicing and repair workshop, but you only know how to change the tyres and the engine oil. Potential customers will be holding their money tight and run away from you, never to be seen again!
Always remember this – The society is always willing to pay for the top dollar for any skills that is of relevance to their needs.
What this means is that if you are the cream of the crop in your own relevant niche, your value is worth many times more as compared to your average peers.
Expertise in a given niche will help you build authority in your space.
5. Paid Advertising
This is one area that you simply cannot overlook.
I dare say about 98% in modern businesses, every single business are leveraging on paid traffic to reach out to many potential customers; be it brand building or customer acquisition.
Usually, paid ads are normally distinguished apart from normal posts with the word "Sponsored" or "Ads".
So why are so many people leveraging on Paid Traffic as compared to SEO?
You could launch a campaign today, and see if it’s profitable within hours.
Content marketing? It can take years to build a following from blogging or YouTube.
SEO? It can take as long as 6 months or even longer before you see the fruits of your labor.
The golden ticket about Paid Advertising is that some of the platforms even allows you to target specific group of people who are interested in your relevant offer/products (think Facebook Ads).
What SEO can achieve in a matter of months, Paid Traffic can achieve it in just weeks.
If you’re going to run an online business, you'll have to wear a lot of different hats. No matter what business you get into – even if it’s a brick-and-mortar business – multitasking will be unavoidable.
The key is to focus on the high-level tasks that will help you grow your business. You can begin to systematise and delegate tasks as you increase revenue and get to the point where you can hire. Some tasks can also be outsourced to freelancers.
But, this list helps you know what skills you'll need to run an online business, so now you can study and cultivate the knowledge necessary to be successful online.