Why You Must Create a Dynamic Online Presence for Your Business

Author : , Date : March 30, 2015

Why-You-Must-Create-a-Dynamic-Online-Presence-for-Your-Business

 

A note from Don… I’m excited to have with us today someone I admire and respect. Andrew Warner not online is a talented and smart blogger, he is a business owner who understands the internet.

Take it away Andrew…

 

It looks easy, doesn’t it?

Knuckling down and finally taking your business online.

But what does that mean? What’s really involved in that?

I mean, you flirted with the idea, but never knew what was really involved, did you?

There’s more than just registering a domain name, writing a couple relevant articles or even promoting it. You have to engage with others, build relationships, map out a strategy to take you to where you want your business to go.

It’s not as easy as people think. It takes a little bit more work to truly get being online — but it’s worth it.

Especially when you have the potential to double, triple or even quadruple the growth your business is experiencing right now. Because being online leads to three things for your business:

 

  1. More exposure worldwide.
  2. More “potential” leads that you can convert into loyal customers.
  3. More money in your bank account.

 

And in this article, you’ll learn why you’ll never grow your business to reach its full potential unless you create an online presence.

 

Offline Businesses Need To Make The Shift Online (or Get Left Behind)

 

Let me ask you a question.

How smart of a business person do you think you are?

Obviously smart enough to start your own business, right? And even smart enough to operate, and maintain it for as long as you have, correct?

But are you smart enough to realize that:

  1. A large number of consumers do their searches online BEFORE making a decision to purchase something.
  2. You are the expert in your own business. There’s no better way to position yourself than by building a strong online presence.
  3. You can grow your business tremendously if you have a following.

 

As a business owner, your main goal is to provide excellent customer service at all times. You want to make sure that the experience your customer experiences with you is something memorable. And hopefully, they’ll spread the word to others who’ll do the same.

That’s how you build up a loyal following of customers.

 

Why Creating An Online Presence Will Strengthen Your Business (and Lead To More Sales Than You Can Handle)

Do you know what the real difference between offline and online is?

Offline, you can develop more than a few loyal customers to your business. Online, you can develop a whole following. And that following can drive in more business than you can imagine — if you do it right.

But whatever your business is, you should consider creating an online presence for the following reasons:

 

1. It Helps Shape Your Image & Brand

 

Branding is something that a lot of businesses overlook when trying to come online. Either they don’t know what it is, or they don’t know how to do it effectively — but it’s too important to ignore.

Realistically, it all comes down to understanding what business you’re “really” in.

When you know that, you can start shaping your brand, and image, to whatever you want your customers to see.

Take a business like Starbucks for instance.

They not only know what business they’re “really” in, but they’ve built an online presence to shape their brand as well. Look at their online presence on Facebook:

 

starbucks-facebook

And Twitter:

 

starbucks---twitter

 

They certainly know what they’re doing when it comes to building an online presence, don’t they? And because of that, they’ve kept their brand sharp and powerful.

You can achieve these same results too because having an effective and powerful brand comes down to:

 

1. Choosing a domain name that memorable. This means NOT being cute with your name. You want something that represents you and your business when your customers think about it.

 

2. Knowing what your brand stands for. You need to have a full understanding of what your brand is about. What’s your primary purpose? What do you want to be known for? Those are questions that have to be answered.

 

3. Being active. Do you think it’s possible that you can get the results you desire if you’re not active on relevant social channels? What about if you don’t keep your customers updated with a blog — or email? Those things are too important to neglect.

 

2. It Provides An Opportunity To Connect With Your Prospects Anytime (and Win Their Business)

 

Make no mistake that your customers are always busy. And unless they’re loyal customers, they’re always looking for the best deals — depending on what business you’re in.

That’s why it’s important to create an online presence so that your customers can:

 

  1. Connect with you and your business on a personal level. They’ll be able to do this by seeing your status updates and knowing what’s going on with you and your business.
  2. Know where you are — or where you’re going to be (depending on your business).

 

That second point may not work for all businesses but take this business for instance. Having an online presence certainly works for him, doesn’t it?

 

creme-brule-man

 

And although you may think it’s just a food truck, he gets a lot of business because he has such a loyal following that he’s built up online.

Certainly helps when loyal customers helps advertise your business like this, doesn’t it?

 

arvinder-gujral

 

And support you over any other competition.

 

creme-brule-twitter

 

More than likely your customers are active on various social networking sites. It’s your job to make sure you’re constantly connecting with them and building that relationship.

 

3. You’re Exposed To A Larger Audience So You Can Potentially Get More Referrals

 

Let me share a quick, TRUE story with you …

About 4 years ago, an associate of mine, here in Toronto, started an Art business selling local paintings. His job was to be the middleman and sell the paintings and other pieces of art for the artists. His theory was, “Artists are good at what they do, which is painting. They need me so I can be great at what I do, and that’s selling.”

And he was.

For the first year or so, he did very well. He had 50 clients and was averaging 4 – 7 sales per day selling art pieces that sold anywhere from $300 – $700 — and making 35% commission per sale.

A few months after that, he created a website to take his business online … and that’s when business really picked up.

He grew from 50 clients to 360 in a year of being online. Now, he has a network of 935 artists, across Canada, that he works with — and he sells their art work to art lovers all around the world.

So, what’s the point of this story?

He grew his business, had more exposure and got more referrals when he came online. Just imagine what you can do for your business? Think of all the places and prospects that you can reach if you take your business online.

That’s something you need to act on.

 

A Few “Behind-The-Scenes” Rules Offline Business Can’t Afford To Ignore When Integrating Online Practices

 

1. You Have To Start With A Real Plan

 

No matter what your business is, you can’t truly succeed in it without a plan. You know that, right?

Of course you do. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be the smart business person you are. So if you had to have a decisive plan to make your offline business work, why wouldn’t you need a plan to flourish online?

The short answer is … you do.

You had a plan in place to make your first dollar, right? And to acquire your first customer, correct?

If you want to grow your business online, you need to have a plan for that as well.

Here are some things you need to ask yourself before you formulate your plan:

 

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What social media platforms are they on and how do you plan to reach them?
  3. What are your weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly objectives?
  4. Which online marketing strategies will you devise?
  5. Will you be the one to handle the online marketing? Or will that go to someone else?
  6. How will you measure any success you get?

 

These aren’t all the questions you need to answer, but it’s a start. When you have an answer to each question that you’re thoroughly satisfied about, you can start putting your plan into place.

In business, if you don’t have a solid plan, you’ll never figure out where you’re going. Let alone get there.

 

2. Follow Directions and Never Assume You Know Everything

 

Imagine this scenario…

You’ve just purchased a Peninsula desk with hutch doors and attached credenza for your office.

Anxious to get everything assembled, you start unpacking each box — completely ignoring the directions in the plastic wrapper that came with it. As you look at all the parts spread out on your office floor, you say to no one in particular, “Seems simple enough.”

But, 3 hours pass and clearly no progress has been made. Feeling defeated, you reach for the plastic wrapper containing the directions and start reading it.

And within 2 hours, with the help of the directions, you put everything together.

Sounds familiar, right?

We’ve all been there before. We’ve all thought we knew it all and didn’t need directions for something, haven’t we?

As business owners, there’s no question that you’re confident in your abilities. You not only know what your customers want, but know how to market to them effectively — offline. But just because you know what you’re doing offline, doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically know what you’re doing online.

Following your “gut” online may work for a little while — until you hit that wall. Then, you’ll have to start all over again because of something you missed.

And as hard as it may be to follow directions sometimes, it’s better than suffering a setback.

 

Conclusion

 

Having an offline business can be a thrill — and I commend anyone who has one. But, you’d be foolish if you didn’t implement online strategies to help grow it to heights you couldn’t even imagine.

The world we live in today, being online is a necessity for any business because most of your customers are online. And a smart business owner knows that they need to be where their customers are.

Being clueless isn’t an option anymore — you need an online presence to build your business.

And if you’re considering it, just know it may take a while to build it. But as long as you put in the time, energy and focus needed to do so, you can be successful.

That’s what I want for my business. I’m pretty sure you want the same thing as well.

So what do you think? Are you clueless about building your online presence? Or are you well on your way?

 

Take a moment and share your thoughts in the comment section. And, we would appreciate it if you took a moment to share this post. It’ll not only make us happy, but could really help someone you share it with. 

 

About Andrew Warner

cbc97c272732660c8a5249ad121d9611_f661Andrew M. Warner is the author of Shadeofinfo.com, where he helps bloggers and entrepreneurs grow their blogs from nothing into something amazing. Get his free report, “5 Proven Strategies That Will Growth Hack Your Blog Immediately” to learn how to open the floodgates to massive traffic and grow your blog … the smart way.

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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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16 thoughts on “Why You Must Create a Dynamic Online Presence for Your Business

  1. Hello, Don and Andrew,

    Andrew: Wow!!! What a comprehensive article, and oh so excellent – you did a great job on this, and I’ll be very proud to share it with my friends.

    You’re absolutely right, it’s definitely the relationship that is built that is responsible for any sale that happens.

    Selling is a natural course of action when value is given because there is an insatiable appetite developing for more value from that person… That’s a beautiful thing, no?

    Great point about never assuming you know everything – love that! Staying humble with a willingness to learn from everyone you come in contact with is such a wonderful character trait and will aid us in success probably more than anything, in my opinion. Sometimes it’s learning what to do and other times it’s learning what not to do from bad examples.

    You’re so right, Andrew. We’ve been business owners for 30+ years, but only in the last 4-1/2 have been online business owners and the potential is staggering! It’s just plain smart to be online…

    Don: Thanks for having Andrew on, he really delivered the goods, that’s for sure. 🙂

    Hope you both have a wonderful evening and a blessed Easter!

    Take Care,
    ˜Carol

    1. Hi Carol,

      Thanks so much for the comment.

      Yep, you have to build and establish that relationship before any success can happen. And no one knows everything. Even the most seasoned entrepreneur can learn new things they never knew … for example, when social media came into play and “blew up.”

      Many entrepreneurs had to learn how to succeed online and use it as a tool to grow their business. And if you’re not using online as a tool to grow, you’re just missing out.

      – Andrew

  2. Hey Don and Andrew,

    This was definitely a great guest post here. I wish I had this post some 4 years ago for my masters meeting. As soon as I talked about online marketing, one of the members just rolled their eyes.

    But yes, you do get a lot more exposure. When I first got online to marketing my business at the time, I thought it was going to be a lot easier, but apparently it wasn’t. The biggest difference between offline and online is that with online you can expose way more people around the world as opposed to offline. Other than that, the same challenges are still there.

    The smartest thing that entrepreneurs can do is to use Social Media. It would be more beneficial and you can reap more benefits when you utilize social media. Plus it’s a more convenient way to connect and build rapport with others! You can’t beat meeting your and building rapport with people around the world from the comfort of your laptop, can you?

    Thanks for the share Andrew, and thanks Don for having him as a guest!

    1. Hey Sherman,

      Thanks for the comment, buddy.

      Haha, I bet that person that rolled their eyes is now fully immersed (or trying to be) in online marketing.

      Exposure is the name of the game, and while may small businesses may seem happy about staying offline, thing is, you need both. And if you have them as your disposal, why not take advantage of it?

      Social media is great for small businesses. And like you said, you can build rapport with people around the world while being on a laptop.

      – Andrew

  3. Hey Don and Andrew,

    What a great guest you have today Don, one of my favorite people and bloggers. Love what you shared with us too Andrew!

    I know that a lot of businesses are eager to come online but they think it’s all just about selling. It’s the following, the relationships as in the examples you’ve shown us here that will bring in more sales. Sure, we all want to make money which is why we are in business but with so many people in our faces all the time we have to be picky. We want to know we’ll get the best deal, the right people will be there to help us and/or they’ll be able to solve our problem through our purchase. It’s about trusting that person or company that we’re interested in.

    Social media is a great way to get in front of your audience but there is also an art to it. You’re example of the desk is pretty spot on because most people just think they don’t need the instructions. It’s just a desk right! How hard can this be. LOL!!! That cracks me up.

    Thank you Andrew for such an awesome post. I know that what you’ve spelled out here will be helpful to many.

    I hope you both have a fabulous week and take care. Off to share this post.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks so much, Andrew did a great job. I’ll let him speak for his article as he’ll be by soon. However, I do want address that business owners are not being taught to look at their business as a way to make a difference. We’ve been taught to “make money”.

      There is nothing at all wrong with making money. While that’s what the business owner wants; it’s not what the customer wants. They are not interested in giving their money away just because it helps the business owner.

      It has to be a two way street and that’s where many are missing it… maybe not in their words because most if not all believe that; but for sure in their actions.

      Thanks as always for a great comment Adrienne. Andrew should be by soon.

      ~ Don

    2. Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for the comment.

      You’re so right. A lot of businesses who come online do think it’s all about selling. They have that mentality that it’s just another tool to sell. But you can’t do anything online without building relationships.

      “Sure, we all want to make money which is why we are in business but with so many people in our faces all the time we have to be picky.”

      That is so true.

      Lol hey the desk thing is true. I mean, who among us haven’t though, hey it’s just a desk. But when a couple hours pass and we haven’t made any progress, then we have to turn to the instructions. Same with online success.

      – Andrew

  4. Hi Andrew,

    Great seeing you here at Don’s place. I like the way you showed how important it is to be on social media platforms. Every business needs to be there offline to online.

    I like the way you pointed out the analogy of putting a desk together without reading the instructions. HA…I think we have all been there. So true when having an online business. We need to follow the instructions. We do need some kind of method we are going to follow marketing our product/services. This is where coaching comes into play.

    We are not know-it-alls. We have to be on a constructive learning curve so that all we do comes together. From our blogs, to social media, to lists, and ads. They need to be congruent with our product/services.

    Social media is a great place to connect with others. I must be in 5 groups now that are all internet marketers. We share and reciprocate each other. I love it!

    Thanks for sharing your expertise!

    -Donna

    1. Hi Donna,

      Thank you so much for commenting on Andrew’s article. I know he’ll be by shortly to contribute.

      I love that you mention “we are not know-it-alls.” We have to be constantly learning ourselves; which means we have to teach ourselves how to learn through reading, listening, watching, studying, researching and conversing with others.

      Thanks for another great comment Donna!

      ~ Don

    2. Hi Donna,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Social media platforms are important, and it’s important to be on them, no matter if you’re online or offline.

      Coaching does play a huge role in it too like you said. We’re certainly not now it alls. Unfortunately with many people who have offline businesses and come online, they think they know everything. They think they can just jump in feet first and get the results they desire … but they’re wrong.

      Thanks for commenting.

      – Andrew

  5. Hi Andrew and Don,

    Very nice to see you here, Andrew, and really enjoyed your wisdom as always.

    There is no doubt that being online, our reach has for limit only the limits of the world, and that’s the beauty of promoting our business online.

    This really resonate with me right now as I’m about to embark on a trip throughout Europe while keeping on doing what I’m doing now. That’s is so fantastic.

    However, if we don’t know what we’re doing, it would be like spiting in the air as we say in French (which means have no impact on what we’re doing) what-so-ever.

    I am currently seriously working on your #2 What social media platforms my potential clients are on and how do I plan to reach them? This is easier said than done for sure, and when I found the perfect answer to that one, I’ll be sure to spread the word.

    Great post, Andrew and thanks for having him, Don.

    1. Hi Sylviane,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Being online really opens so many more opportunities than if you were to go the way of traditional marketing — like many small businesses do.

      LOL I never heard that spitting in the air reference. That’s interesting.

      #2 is easier said than done, like you said. I’m learning that too for myself and will pretty soon be fazing out one platform, or a couple, and put my full efforts into the ones that me readers are on and that brings me the best results.

      – Andrew

  6. Hey Don & Andrew,
    Good to see you both together. Don, Andrew cannot show his face somewhere and leave without a positive mark. You did a great job by getting him to share with us.

    This is a social media and blogging age and you have demonstrated by with indisputable examples. Gone are those days where institutions wanted websites just to show off and online these days is not just about websites. It has to do with websites, social media and blogging.

    These forces put together will help any business create a dynamic and ‘interactive’ online presence.

    Thanks for giving actionable tips and guides Andrew and I’m happy to have been here to read this post.

    Do have a wonderful week you both 😉

    1. Hey Enstine,

      Thanks for the comment.

      You’re so right. These days, it not just about a website. You have to get involved in social media, blogging, etc. if you rally want to make an impact.

      Any offline business can make an impact online by just taking advantage if the fact that many of their customers ARE online. Once they realize that, and cater to that, they’ll help you build and grow.

      – Andrew

  7. Hey Don,

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to speak in front of your community here. You’ve built up such a great one and I hope that they’ll enjoy this post as much as I had fun writing it.

    Thanks again.

    – Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      I am delighted you’re here my friend!!! I really appreciate your article and your heart. You are a great writer and you have a much needed perspective.

      I hope you have a great week and I look forward to interacting with you and our readers on this article.

      ~ Don

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