Think that a online career is just for wonky career IT professionals? Think again. Some of the best online entrepreneurs have sprung from skilled trades such as accounting, roofing, carpentry and even boxing. In fact if your trade’s niche is large enough, say in the home improvement realm, there’s plenty of products that you could affiliate with provided you have a big enough following.
I’ve been lucky enough to mentor many trades professionals, but they always get hung up about the difficulty in making the switch to an online platform. I try to remind them that they’ve already done the hard part by become experts, or “gurus” in their field, all they need to do is figure out how to transfer this knowledge to a new medium. For those that are willing to learning new things the upside is tremendous.
One of my first clients I was able to successfully mentor through such a transition was a business owner of a North Carolina Durham Roofing Company named George. At first he was skeptical that anyone would even be interested in what he had to say, which was in the home-improvement niche. I had to remind him of a little place called “Home Depot” that seemed to be on every other street corner in our city. Next hangup was making a website, which is usually the show stopper for most aspiring online entrepreneurs.
Today we’ll talk about what it takes to make that transition and the simple, consistent steps I recommend you take.
Take the Plunge
The very first step in establishing your online presence is to, well, get online. 15 years ago making a website was a real pain. If you didn’t know HTML or PHP, you were pretty much out of luck. The best option we had was something called “Dreamweaver” which was clunky at best. Today’s users have so many more options for building a website effectively and efficiently, there’s no excuse not to start.
Online sites like Weebly and Wix use ready-to-use template and drag-and-drop elements that can make your task really simple. Additionally integrated services from host-providers like GoDaddy, HostGator, and 1AND1 also provide a broader all-in-one option where you can get your domain, host the site, and build it all within an integrated in-house solution so you never have to leave their site to get your site up and running.
Promoting your web property is the next step that you need to take right away. You need to encourage Google and other “search engines” to crawl your website. So you need to submit your link to Bing and other major search engines as soon as you can. The key to driving traffic to your site is to make it as appealing as you can to these search engines. Called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you’ll need to leverage other online “Gurus” in the web development space in order to properly optimize your website. Online services like MOZ or the Keyword tool through Google Adwords (FREE!) are an incredible services that will allow you to get the right keywords for your website. Keywords are just phrases and words that your target market will use to find your product or service online. Your website should be based on 4 or 5 keywords, and you should focus your attention on those keywords right away. You also need to research your competition for a particular search phrase.
MOZ or Market Samurai will allow you to assess the level of competition for a particular keyword quickly and easily. You also need to write high-quality content. This content should be based on the keyword that you have chosen. Remember that original content is king, and this content must be useful and engaging as well. You need to place the keyword in the title of the post, especially at the beginning of the title. This is the most important SEO tip that you can read out there. You must also use your keyword in the alt tag of your images.
You should also harness the power of social media to make money as a tradesman. You need to use social media so you can engage your audience in a whole new level. You will use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks so you can build a trust relationship with your target audience as soon as possible. Customer advocacy should be your goal, and this will increase your ROI right away. Your social media marketing must involve all kinds of social sites, not just one or two. This will be a powerful strategy as you will be using multiple channels to address the needs and wants of your audience.
You need to focus your attention on delivering engaging, useful content to your target audience via social media sites. This will allow you to sell them almost anything. Why? Because you will gain their trust over time, which will allow you to open their wallets in the future. You need to connect with your audience at a deep level so you can have the power to achieve your goals. Remember that your audience will give you tons of feedback, so you’ll need to participate actively on these sites.
As you can see, becoming a guru will allow you to make good money with your business. You need to heed the advice that we provided here so you can take your business to a whole new level. Remember that social media sites can help you a lot to connect with your audience at a deep lever right away, and that’s not an exaggeration at all.
Thanks and good luck!