If you’re handy with a computer and can use the internet to find information, you have a valuable asset at your fingertips and a potentially booming business in the making.
Virtually every business has a marketing department, and if you’re precise, determined and can do a little detective work on the web to find out information for them, they’ll pay you top dollar to do so.
This is a B2B business, meaning you’ll be a business serving other businesses. Whether it’s to find keywords to help a company boost their search engine ranking or it’s doing recon on competitors in retail, there’s a virtually limitless market here.
Step 1: Learn What Customers Might Need
There’s a wide variety within the field of internet research. Different clients will want you to research different things, and you’ll have to be able to service them all if you want to gain and maintain a great reputation. You might be researching:
Search Engine Keywords –
What words and phrases do your clients need to mention on their website to maximize their ranking on search engines?
Competitor Analysis –
What do competitors sell and at what prices? What’s their market share? Who shops with them? You’ll need to be able to build an entire profile on a competitor if your client requests. Most of the information you need can be found online.
Headhunting Details –
Companies are always looking for new talent and how to get in touch with decision makers within companies to bolster their direct marketing efforts. If you can help them track down and find those people and their contact details, you’re positioning yourself as a vital lynchpin within their business.
Other Research –
There are other pieces of information and databases clients may ask you to build. From product pricing to current trends to compiling market statistics, if you can research and record data, you are going to have as much business as you can handle.
Finding the right information is all about knowing where to look and having the patience and discipline to keep digging and following leads until you find it.
Step 2: Learn How to Quickly Find Anything Online
Master Google Search Tricks
Step 3: Market Your Services
You can market your services in a number of ways. You could do the traditional things like harnessing word of mouth, promoting yourself on social media, and building a website, but ultimately you need to go where the clients already are to get started.
Large freelancing platforms like Upwork and Freelancer are great places to begin. You’ll find clients searching for everything and anything from a list of competitor websites and their ranking to the phone numbers of fifty executives in a specific market.
The higher paying work will come when you run your own firm, but these are great places to find your first clients and get into the swing of things.
Step 4: Ask for Referrals & Build a Client Base
When you do a job successfully, ask for referrals. Most businesspeople know other businesspeople, and they’ll be happy to pass on the word that you’re a great researcher and can find a needle in a haystack.
Also, record clients details and ask them for future projects. Let them know you aren’t a fly-by-night company and are looking to forge long-term client partnerships. They’ll likely keep your information on file for future projects. Contact them regularly to see if they require your services and keep them up-to-date with promotions.
Step 5: Build a Team
There’s only so much you can do yourself.
Eventually, if you want your business to grow and you want to complete projects quickly, you need to put together a team.
You can have a remote team or an office based team, but either way, you need to have talented people working around the clock. Hire detail oriented, methodical people who double check everything and as your business grows, keep adding team members to your workforce.
Eventually, you’ll be a sizeable internet research firm and will have a solid reputation for delivering results.
Summary: How to Start Your Online Research Business
Internet research is big time business. Every company in the world is moving online, and most business owners have neither the time nor the inclination to learn about things like keywords, search engine ranking, and how to build databases of potential customers or talented staff.
That’s where you come in. If you’re analytical, precise and efficient, this could be the business for you.