Do your online efforts stink? You may not think so. You post really good copy on your website, you blog occasionally or even regularly, you put stuff on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn groups, Pinterest and still; yet there is no substantive growth for your efforts.
You’re doing what all the “experts” claim you should be doing and still you say to yourself; “Self, I don’t know what to do, nothing is working for me?”
I fully understand what you’re going through. I’ve been there and done that. And then one day last fall it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’ve had all this experience in the military helping develop leadership training materials; ten years of entrepreneurial experience; and more failures to learn from than I honestly want to admit publicly but will if it helps someone else.
Issue 1 – I Didn’t Know the Real Business I was In
I have been in web design and development since 2005, but I dabbled in it for two years prior to being forced into it after a horse accident left me broke and bankrupt.
I did what a lot of people are doing today. I started a business out of desperation. Now, that can be a very incentivizing thing, for a while. But a business has to have more substance to it than desperation in order for it to succeed.
It’s amazing what you don’t know that you don’t know. Wow, that sounds so much better in my head than it reads on the screen.
But it’s true. You have no idea what you don’t know.
What I didn’t know back then and many of you haven’t considered now is that there are three things a business must initially be able to do and do well:
- Marketing – who is going to buy your products
- Sales – did your marketing convince them that they need “your” products
- Production – you must be able to deliver on your sales promises
Here is the problem, if you don’t know what business you’re really in, how do you market yourself or your product or services?
Let me give you an example that I hope will make sense?
I am in the web design business, but I had no idea what business I was really in. People needed a website, so I built them a website. It was simple and the money was easy.
Until everything changed in 2008 – 2009 when the rubber met the road and things got hard. In the new economy if you couldn’t articulate why someone needed you, if you couldn’t talk to them and about them, if you couldn’t meet their needs; you were done. The writing was on the wall.
Since then I’ve taken all my training and experiences and learned what business I’m really in.
I help businesses:
- Change their negative mindset about their business and turn it into a positive
- Achieve success by understanding who they really are
- Understand what business they are not in
- Understand the “real” problems they solve for their prospects
- Understand who their real audience is (by the way – my audience is much bigger than people who need websites. It’s really the people who know people who need websites)
- Learn how to communicate in a persuasive and powerful way that relates to the reader
- Attract more prospects and convert more sales
Does that sound like a web designer or developer? Not at all! That’s because I learned a website that is a brochure that just tells someone who they are and what they do is now useless.
It means nothing, says nothing, and helps no one; leaving the reader to ask; so what?
Why do you think companies came along like Wix and offer a free website. (by the way, you can read my article titled “Is a Free Website Really Free?“)
If you’re going to be successful online, you must know:
- Who you are as a person – you are the business and the business is you
- What problems you solve
- Who you solve those problems for (do you have a profile of your ideal customer?)
- How your products or services are part of the solution
Issue 2 – I listened to Too Many Supposed Experts
Let me say right now, I have no problem with experts. In fact, I did a lot of reading and listening to them and used ideas and practical things they shared to help me. They are wonderful and much needed!
I’m referring to those who claim to be experts but cannot back it up. If you’re a social media “expert” and you only post 3 times a week and your engagement is virtually none and you don’t market yourself at all; why would I listen to you or trust you to market me?
Get the point?
Okay. The biggest problem I see is that everyone is leading everyone and just going in a circle. Everyone is blue in a sea of blue. Everyone just blends in and looks the same.
This morning, Enstine Muki was very gracious and posted a very nice article that he shared on me. In it, I had the opportunity to comment on a post by a commenter that I knew said it perfectly:
“It took me some time, but I finally figured out for me what great content means. I see too many people writing in the same style, format, structure, topics, etc… I decided I wanted to be very different. Even on social media. I really believe that’s what’s making the difference when I add the heavy marketing and promotion of my work to the mix.
I have a business friend who asked me just last week why I don’t put quotes on my social media businesses pages like everyone else does. I asked her to look at my Facebook post reach – at that moment it was almost 1-6 – for every one follower there was a post reach of 6 people; why should I be like everyone else?
They key to these great folks like Enstine I have been fortunate enough to meet is that they have their own voice, have thought deeply about their business, and that translates into their writing. That equals success in my opinion.
I want be different. I don’t want to be another “7 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers” and be like everyone else. Let’s give people something they can really use, and let’s show off what we can really do for them. Let’s make them want to buy us after we show them how we can solve their problems.
Isn’t that what business blogging is really supposed to be about?”
You have to discover you. Don’t be like everyone else. Be who you were intended to be!
If you do that and:
- Write great content
- Market and promote it (click here for previous article on how to do that)
- Engage with your readers by always responding to every comment
- Connect with great bloggers who are influential and make it about them (that means comment and promote their articles and social media posts)
You can have a very long-term successful online career.
Your Online Presence Stinks Because You Don’t Put In the Work
It takes work. And therein lays the problem. Most business owners will whine, complain and make excuses. Then wonder why it isn’t working. They have the wrong mindset and whenever they say they will “try” it they’ve already pre-determined the outcome so that when it fails they can say it doesn’t work.
The issue isn’t what you know, it’s what you don’t know and what you’re willing to change your mind around.
I can’t tell you how much money I’ve lost because of what I didn’t know and didn’t do over the last nine years. I took all I had learned about leadership from the military, my business coaches along the way, all the reading on business I do, and from all the relationships and experiences of the past that inform my present.
The internet more and more is reflection of the offline world. Your online efforts don’t have to stink. Click here and learn what the #1 problem is with any business website and what you can do about it.
If you want to experience me for free and you can wait, consider joining an upcoming webinar… you will get more value than you ever thought possible!
Latest posts by Don Purdum (see all)
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- It’s Not “What” You Sell, It’s the Story Behind “Why” You Sell - October 19, 2016