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Businesses evolve through time. Your ideas of how to run a business, what part of the business you’re passionate about, things that will lead to success and your ideal customers change. And that’s good. True growth requires change. That’s part of the road to success.

Lately, I have been pondering a question that I often get: what you need to start & grow a successful business. Three things have become apparent to me in the last year about online businesses.

1. A landing page.

You don’t necessarily have to have a website. You just need somewhere for your clients to find who you are, what you offer, and how they can buy it. Instead of spending hours or a ton of money getting a website with many pages set up, just worry about two pages. One, an about page that tells your clients who you are and why they should buy from you. Two, a landing page where you tell your customers what kind of products or services you offer.

You can create a landing page on WordPress,, or some other company. I use and could not recommend them more. They have templates available that make it easy for the newbie, or non-tech savvy to use.

2. A way to collect e-mails.

The way to grow your business is to collect e-mails. When people offer you access to their mailbox, that is a huge show of trust! These are the people saying, “Hey, I like your stuff.” These are the people who are your ideal customers. And they came to you. Why would you not want to know how to get a hold of them?

mailchimp screenshotThere are a few e-mail collecting tools out there. You can use Mailchimp, Aweber, Ontraport, and a few other places for your e-mail gathering needs. I use Mailchimp and have had a great experience with them. Check them out and see which one fits your needs.

Once you’ve collected their e-mail, then no matter what happens anywhere else you have a presence (like social media) you can always have access to them. Remember to be worthy of their trust by not spamming them.

3. An Offering.

People will not give you their e-mails for free. You have to offer them something in exchange. An offering is also called an Opt-in, or a freebie. I offer people a guide on 7 Free & Simple Steps to Get More Clients. Your ideal client will be interested in your offering and will download it without a second thought. An opt-in can be an e-book, a video, a discount, a drawing, templates, or a series of things.

Make sure that whatever you offer is connected to whatever service you provide. Also, it should be something that gives about 10% of your paid service. You would not want to offer a guide about how they can do their own marketing when you’re a marketing agency.

If you’re having a hard time finding people who are opting in, then it might mean that what you’re offering is not appealing to your visitors. And that’s ok. Just go back to brainstorming and come up with something new. Don’t spend too much time on it, you don’t want to so much time working on it that you miss the opportunity to capture the e-mail of those who visit your landing page.

I would love to hear from you. What necessary tools have you discovered since starting a business?

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