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Useful Tips to Start Your Online Business Successfully

Useful Tips to Start Your Online Business Successfully

There are many steps to take before starting your online business.

A business in general has its own characteristics which all need to be conveyed to the audience in an effective and clear manner. Displaying these to the correct audience in the digital landscape can be extremely difficult, with countless others all competing for the same spaces. Below are a handful of tips to guide the creation of your online business:

1. Leadership

Before going out to realize an idea on the Internet, you should ask yourself if you really are willing to take on new challenges and to devote time, resources, and much of your patience to achieve it.

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You should be aware that online business rules are not the same as those for traditional brick-and-mortars. You need to keep up to date with the latest news in the digital landscape in order to steer your business to online success. Things change so quickly, so you need to be adaptable as a leader and a company so that you adapt to change, rather than crumble. The online entrepreneur will need to be innovative, creative, and light on their feet so as to stay ahead of the market and move forward towards success.

2. A Good Domain Name

Your domain name is the avenue through which you will identify your business on the Internet. A good domain name should be short and memorable, that clearly identifies what you are selling and most importantly, easy to type. Ideally, a user should be able to just hear it and know how to write it or spell it with ease. In fact, any word difficult to spell should be abolished. Finally, the extension “.com” is typically better than “.net“, because browsers are set to default “.com” (be aware that your domain affects the search rankings). Prestige also goes hand-in-hand with any domain that is registered as .com, so short, recognizable and punchy works best.

3. Business Research

Remember that the product or service that you’re going to be offering is likely to be purchased by users like you, so ask yourself with no agenda, would you or other consumers buy this type of product or service online and is it already available? If you can answer ‘yes’ to both of these, then you already have a foundation of demand to tap into. However, you will want to be sure to check and see how many competitiors are out there. If you ask yourself “Are all the needs of customers already fulfilled by others performing this service or creating this product?” If the answer to this is also ‘yes,’ you’ll need to come up with something very unique that will set your business apart, or may want to consider a new idea. There are a number of tools out there these days that allow you to analyze your marketplace to assess the competitiveness and how your competitors compare against you and one another. This allows you to segment your market fully to see where you can try to position yourself.

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4. Content Management Software and E-commerce Software

These are two essentials that raise your businesses offering significantly. Selecting a good content management software and e-commerce is a difficult choice due to the variety of companies out there, but it is important to pick those which are most appropriate to your business needs, rather than something overly complicated that you might not need. It would be a good idea to future-proof if you can, but don’t stray too far from your current goals either. Over 20 years ago, Bill Gates proclaimed that “Content is King” and this is still recognized as a foundation of best practice for building your own site. And hand in hand with this, you want to maintain a complete focus on relevance, so anything that can boost this is recommended. Standard e-commerce and content management systems are pretty versatile, however, you might want something more niche and specific to your business, like a church website builder. The beauty of the plurality of software companies is that there numerous offerings out there that you can tailor to your needs, regardless of how specialized your business is.

5. SEO: Search Engine Optimization

This is a mysterious art that is broken down into many different areas. Because there are so many areas which need to be monitored and tweaked constantly, the world of SEO can seem mind-boggling and intimidating to business owners. You can either invest time learning this yourself or consult with specialists who are geared up to tailor techniques to every kind of business- the choice is yours. The most important thing is to implement a strategy one way or another as, without one, you won’t stand a chance of securing enough traffic to your site to be recognized by search engines or your potential customers.

6. Avoid These Common Mistakes

– Offering the same products or services of your competitors: Remember that customers have different needs, tastes, and likes, so there should be a niche out there for you.

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– Not being original or creative: You need deep subject knowledge, fresh creativity, and a unique selling proposition. Many businesses do not stand out enough to get traction in their chosen area.

– Starting a business you aren’t passionate about: Do not only think about making money, you also need to love what you do, sell or offer (regardless if it’s a product or service).

– Ignoring or dismissing feedback and reviews: Do not dismiss these two aspects because they are a valuable tool to understand what your audience or customers need, think, or do. Consider having a customer service team as well.

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– Not thinking about a targeted audience or ideal customers: Doing good research is the way you get to know your clients better and then build a product according to their needs or choices. Consider that, the more you can target, the better, since it will be easier to identify with your customer’s needs.

If you have all you need and heed this advice, take a chance and start your own online business!

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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