If you are a business and you are not fully utilizing the internet, then you are losing money. It is that simple.
Anything in the real world, that is standard brick and mortar, takes either a lot of time, money or both. Renting out a place for a shop or hiring permanent employees, this all requires a lot of paperwork, capital and creates a lot of risks.
That’s where the online world is different. Once you have a website up and running, that’s it, there it is. Aside from the hosting fee, it has no surprise costs and can be easily maintained.
Building Your Online Presence Has Low Starting Costs And The Potential For Massive Returns.
It’s the same with social media, and with an email list. At the very least, online tools are an affordable way that a business can boost its real-life customer base.
Effectively using the internet also exposes your business to millions of potential customers. What was once a niche idea that would have died in a local business climate, is now opened to the world, and allowed to thrive. Now, thanks to the internet, if you can dream it up, there is a market for your product or service.
Smart businesses recognize the importance of having a strong online presence, but sadly, there is a lot of misinformation out there that can lead a lot of people onto the wrong track.
Marketing Gurus and Social Media Stars teach “ninja” tricks and tactics, that may be useful when used in the right context but fail absolutely when used randomly or sporadically.
That’s why this guide exists.
This is simply the straight and narrow path to building a strong online presence for your business. With this guide, you will have all the tools that you need to see steady growth, increase revenue and profit, and build a whole new avenue for your business.
If You Don’t Understand This Following Point, You Are Doomed To Fail…
To really make an impact online, you have to understand the difference between tactics and principles.
A tactic is, in essence, a strategy to achieve a goal. Using Facebook ads to boost traffic to your website is an example of a tactic.
There is nothing wrong with tactics, but the problems begin to arise when people confuse tactics with principles. The concept of tactics vs principles has been made popular again by world-renowned Email Marketer Ben Settle.
Think of a hammer. A hammer is a useful tool. If used correctly, with intention and understanding, you can build something with a hammer.
If you tried to use a hammer like a ruler or decided to use it as a screwdriver, you would run into a lot of issues.
With a tactic, working in the right context, understanding the purpose and principle behind it, you are unlikely to fail.
Tactics Are Like Leaves, They Will Die Without Their Tree, The Principle.
A principle is something that never changes and will always remain true. A basic principle of business is that a business needs to remain profitable to survive.
Simple. Uninteresting. Even a little dull, but a principle like that should be repeated like a mantra.
It’s actually something that many “social media stars” and “location independent bloggers” forget when they try and run their gig. They get so distracted by likes, engagement, etc that they forget that they need to be making money.
Three Principles For Building Your Online Presence: The Difference Between Spinning Your Wheels And Counting Your Cash.
If you’ve read this far, then you understand that while a tactic can be useful, it means nothing if you do not understand the principle behind it. With that in mind, it is time to look at the principles of creating a strong online presence for your business.
- You Have To Be Making Money.
The first principle is something we have already discussed. You are running a business, and so, you be earning money.
Earning a profit is what feeds you. If you neglect your cash flow in favor of meaningless stats or social media approval, then you are forgetting about what keeps businesses alive.
Sometimes with blogging or other forms of business building, it may take a long time to actually build any revenue from that specific venture. This is okay if there is an understanding that once the work as reached fruition, then it will become profitable.
Something like this isn’t okay if you aren’t already earning an income through other areas of your business.
- You Must Serve Your Market – Add Massive Value
Our Second principle is one derived from famous radio host Earl Nightingale. It is simply, “Your rewards are equal to your service.”
This is what lies behind all the talk about giving free value, about connecting with your customers, brand building etc.
If you want to reap great rewards of having a strong online presence, then you need to be serving your market. The customer is your boss. If you want a pay rise, that’s the person you have to please.
- You Must Build Trust By Being Authentic
When you are interacting with potential customers, it’s important that you build trust. People don’t want to buy from, or even spend time around, somebody that they do not trust.
You build trust by being authentic. When you begin to look at social media and blogging as a way of reaching your market, you must come across as real. You don’t have to spill personal details about your life, and can still be highly confidential and professional, but people want to feel like there is a real person behind the business.
When we have trust in a business, we soon find we don’t want to spend our money on anyone else.
These are the basic principles.
So, to properly build a strong online presence, you must a) Make Money, b) Serve Your Market, and c) Build Trust. With that in mind, let’s get down the practical information that will help you build a strong online presence for your business.
Your Homebase - The Bread And Butter Of Building Your Online Presence.
It isn’t worthwhile exploring the realms of social media or live streaming if you do not already have a website for your business.
Having a website is the first step in building a strong online presence for your business. Without it, it is unlikely that you will be able to make an impact.
By having your own website, you have your own cut of the internet that you have virtually complete control over.
Think of your website as your foundation for your online presence. Everything you build has to be built with this at the root.
For your website to be a useful part of your business, you need to have a clear purpose in mind for it.
If you are selling information products, it may be a smart idea to make a large part of your website a blog, where you give out free information to build trust with your readers. If you are selling supplements, then having all the products that you have on sale is an obvious requirement for your website.
There’s no one “right” way to build your website. It all depends on your business, on what you are selling, and who your target market is.
What is universal though, is the principles behind a good business website.
A Quick Comparison Between The Amateur And The Professional When It Comes To Your Business Website.
An amateur uses the latest flashy widget or plugin, even if it doesn’t help with their specific industry. They spend thousands of dollars on web design before they have even gotten over fifty visitors to their site. It’s packed with email opt-ins, social media share buttons, and attention-seeking titles and posts. This all screams weakness.
The professional uses plugins and widgets that achieve a specific purpose. The website is tailored for the market, and instantly appeals to the target market as soon as they click onto the website. It is clear for all traffic who find the site how to buy from the business and how to sign up for more information.
While the amateur uses tactics with no real purpose, the professional knows why everything is how it is on their website.
It must be obvious what you want from traffic when they arrive at your website. It shouldn’t be hard to sign up to your email list or find your blog or your products. The harder you make it for users, the less likely you are going to profit from your website.
The classic, simplest way that you can run a business online is have a website tailored to your target market then drive traffic to your website, get email opt-ins, and then market to your target market via email on your list.
SEO – Will It Make Or Break Your Website?
SEO, or search engine optimization is a vital part of building your website, and every part of your online presence. Often though, it’s importance can be overstated.
SEO is how well your content ranks in the search engines. A post with good SEO will come up on the first page of google.
SEO is something important you need to consider if you want to be found, but don’t lose your mind over it. Having engaging content, a service or product people want to buy, and an authentic character are all needed to be successful online, so having good SEO alone isn’t enough.
But, people need to find you first before they can decide if your business is the right one for them.
To be successful with SEO, you need to use keywords that your market uses, do some basic research on these keywords, and use a plugin like YoastSEO to make sure your posts are helping you.
It’s easier to get more advanced than that, but by having a grip of the basics, you’ll ensure you don’t do any unneeded damage to your website by neglecting SEO entirely.
Your Website And The Three Principles Of A Strong Online Presence.
For your website to achieve its business purpose, it has to help build your income, help serve your target market, and help build trust.
If you manage to build a website that does all three, then you have created something that is truly successful. Businesses survive by earning income, and their profit is often equal to how much they serve their target audience, and how well they are trusted.
Now you understand that to build a strong online presence, you need to create a stable foundation, and that foundation is your website. You understand the difference between an amateur and a professional is their purpose when it comes to creating a business website. If you lack purpose, then you will be an amateur when it comes to your website.
From here, things get easier in many ways. Once you have a website it is really up to you how you use the vast array of tools made available to entrepreneurs. We’ll cover them in some detail so you can decide how you best want to approach your own online business presence.
Building An Email List – The Classical Way Of Making Money Online.
People have been building email lists since there have been emails, willing buyers, and the technology to make it all happen.
If you want to build a strong online presence, it is highly recommended that you build an email list. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, where you can rack up a massive number of useless followers, your email list is more intimate.
When you send out an email, you are sending it directly to someone’s inbox. Unlike social media, where it is easy to scroll over content and ignore someone’s post, if your email winds up in someone’s primary inbox, it is much harder to ignore, especially if they are in your target audience.
If you sell via email, you can bring in large amounts of income fairly easily, if you have a list of buyers who are interested in the product or service that you are selling.
You can build your email list by creating what is commonly known as a landing page, where traffic is sent and met with an opt-in, that promises a free gift or report that is related to your business, in exchange for their email address.
If you want to build a strong online presence for your business, then you must seriously consider having an email list.
The Big S – Social Media And How To Use It Properly.
Now this is probably what you think of when you imagine building a strong online presence. There is a reason that we have left talking about social media for so long.
While social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc can be excellent ways to build your online presence, they are not worth pursuing if you have not built a strong foundation for yourself.
A strong foundation includes a website that operates with a clear purpose in mind, and something to sell potential customers. If you have these and a grip on the principles, then you are ready to use social media effectively.
Using Facebook To Increase Your Business Growth.
Facebook is the giant when it comes to social media. There are many ways to use it effectively to enhance your business and reach large numbers of potential new customers.
Like your website, you have to build your Facebook page with a purpose. Does your content and posts appeal to your target market? Do you know how to use headlines, images and writing to grab people’s attentions and keep them reading?
With Facebook, you also need to be consistent with your posting. If you don’t post regularly, then it is very easy for people to forget all about your page, and for Facebook to penalize you so that your reach is limited.
With Facebook, the wisest strategy is to use it to drive traffic to wherever you make your income. Make people aware of the products and/or services you offer, by first giving them great value, and then making it clear where they can pay for even more.
How Twitter Is Different From Facebook.
Twitter is also another social media platform that you can use to your advantage to build your online presence. While you will be using similar principles on Twitter as on Facebook, there are some key differences to note.
First off, it is easier to get into a “scene” on Twitter. A scene is a group of like-minded people hang out and have the same opinions about that certain topic. The fitness “scene” is big on Marcos and supplements, while the new age “scene” is interested in the law of attraction and emotional well-being.
A scene is really just a target market, and if you can figure out what scene you are selling to, then it makes it a lot easier to get into contact with your potential customers.
Strong Online Presence Example – Alexander Cortes And His Fitness Empire.
Alexander Cortes is a man who deserves to be mentioned here, as he used what we are talking about in this article to build a business for himself with only his drive and online presence.
Alexander Cortes had been a personal trainer for years. He had the knowledge and a passion to help people. Also, at the time of building his business, he needed to eat, and therefore needed to make an income for himself.
By focusing on making a profitable business, serving his target market, and building trust with them, he has now built a business that supports his freedom and earns him a decent amount of income.
He did this, simply by using Twitter, his website, and email marketing. By getting into the fitness/men’s scene on Twitter, he could distinguish himself quickly as an expert. He posted consistently, and added massive value to people reading him, as he knew his stuff.
He then advertised his email list often, and encouraged people to get on it, where he then began an intensive program of emailing three times a day, everyday. Using his Twitter and email momentum, he soon had built a large list of his target audience, which he was able to market to. He could sell them his programs, affiliate products and offers etc, and they would buy, because a) He had provided them with free value already, and b) They trusted him.
He used Twitter as a way to acquire new email subscribers, which he then emailed more value to, as well as marketing his own products that built his business and supported him.
That’s just one clear example of how you can pick and choose social media tools to build your own business, but let’s move on.
How To Be Successful With Any Social Media Platform.
If you want to gain a lot of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc all you need to do is appeal to your target audience by adding value, getting their attention, and being consistent with your posting.
If you look at any successful Youtuber, you will find that in the early days they may not have been getting many views, but you can see that they posted consistently, until the views caught up to their dedication.
If you already have a strong business foundation with your online presence, then all you really need to do with social media is post consistently, appeal to your target market, and be entertaining.
Let’s lightly touch on being entertaining here. People these days are becoming more and more drawn to infotainment, so that they are informed as well as being entertained. This is the reason behind many successful podcasts and Youtube channels.
This is where being authentic comes in. If people trust you, even if it is just your business brand, then they will want to come back. If you entertain them as well, then they have even more reason to come back to your Twitter page, your website, and then in the end, purchase from your shopping cart.
By applying principles to any online tool that you decide to use, you can become a top 10% user easily, and if you are talented or have extra drive, then you can become a top 1% user without too much hassle.
Is This Where It Ends?
You may have come into his guide expecting a detailed layout of how to use every social media platform, its do’s and don’ts, and lists of examples of people doing well with the platform.
The specifics and the details are in the end helpful for the tactical side of you, but now you understand that before you can even begin to be successful with building your online presence, you need principles that are rooted in your core.
You need to build an online presence that makes you money, that serves your target market, and helps build trust between you and your customers. That is the simple way to build a strong online presence for your business.
With all the technology that surrounds us, it is easy to forget that the basis of having a presence online is human connection. Every genuine follower you have, every email address on your list, and every customer who buys from you is a real person. They all have their fears, their dreams, and their lives.
If you connect with the person, and not the statistic, there is no way you cannot build a strong online presence for your business.