Each organization, like each individual, must define success for themselves. This is true in life, in business, and certainly on the Internet in terms of professional use. Why spend time and money on the Internet and on digital media? It has to be for a reason. It has to be for the hope of a net gain for having done so. Therefore, what does that net gain look like?
For most organizations, success is healthy growth. So, then the question is: How can the Internet help you grow?
Well, you can use the Internet and digital media to
- expand your brand,
- grow your network,
- generate leads,
- nurture prospects, and
- serve clients.
These are healthy paths to positive growth for your organization. And although the process of achieving these objectives is unique for any organization, there are a few boilerplate truths that I can share with you here in this article that are important to keep in mind.
1. Clarity is Key
You must be present, positioned, and positive in the mind of the prospect, or they are not calling you.
It turns out, it’s not who you know. It’s who knows you and what they think of you. Think of any service you may need. For example, I recently needed someone to come take a look at my HVAC system at my home. So, my first thought is: Who do I know that does HVAC? That generates a short list of people/companies. So, I have to be aware they exist (and know what they do) or they’re not even on the list. This is presence. Since I am on the Internet for hours of my day, you being present to me there is you being present me period. I don’t discriminate between the Internet and the physical world… it’s all just my day.
Next, I must have these people/companies positioned appropriately in my mind for them to stay on the list. For example, what if I think that Company A only does commercial work, then they are immediately off the list. What if I think they are expensive, and I want the low end solution? Or conversely, if I think they’re “cheap” and I want something high quality. This is positioning. Yes, people must be aware you exist, but they must also understand what you do, specifically. Not just the service, but how you are positioned in the market of service providers.
Then, after I have the list in my mind of the people who I think can help me, I apply my personal opinions of those people/companies to narrow the list. What is my opinion of these people? Do I think they are professional, successful, nice? These opinions can be formed by experience, research, or hearsay. They can be accurate or misplaced, but the point is that I don’t work with people that I don’t like. Do you?
2. Content is King
The Internet is nothing but content. Anything that you are looking at on a screen is content. So often I am approached by people thinking about a website as a thing they need, but not about what they want to say with that website. They come to me wanting to do email marketing, but not sure what they want to say in the email. They need hosting, maintenance, web development, web design, video production, and more… yet, they have not thought about what they intend to say to the people on the other end of their digital publications. This is not meant to be critical of my prospects and clients. I very much welcome people coming to me this way, as one of my strengths is to help them with what they should say. I’m just making the point that we often put the cart before the horse.
Here’s a simple example to help keep things in perspective. Let’s say that you have a room full of your best prospects all sitting at tables and awaiting a presentation. They are all quiet and looking at the podium. You slowly approach the podium. You have three minutes. What would you say? Figure this out, and you are miles ahead of most.
3. People Do Everything
We tend to be enamored with technology. And, as well, we should be. Our world is changing radically and connectivity technology is driving the change. Yet, it’s easy to forget that this technology only exists to serve humans. People do everything. We may do it by using technology, even automated technology, but ultimately we still do it, and we do it for our own benefit.
In approaching the Internet and digital media, the vast majority of your costs will be in human resources. The technologies are relatively low cost (for the most part), but the skilled labor is expensive. We (at RevenFlo) based our business model on this truth. Web Team is our ability to provide an entire team of skilled individuals for the cost of one employee. No one person can do all of the work. You’ll need strategy, management, writing, design, development, photography, videography, measurement, and more. You’ll need a team, and being in a constant search for vendors and in constant sales cycles only slows you down and costs you money. A team is ultimately the solution to success.
4. Process is Iterative
The process of doing work on the Internet and in digital media is one of iteration. You can’t buy success online; you must achieve it. That’s why a team is ultimately your solution, versus any deliverable. People often want a website or a video, but for what? You want this because of what you think it will DO for you. But remember, people do everything. Therefore, you need to share a video, post a video, and create another video. You need to publish on a website, improve a website, and measure the traffic to and behavior around a website. The process is continual and iterative. Therefore, you need to shed the idea that a deliverable is what you need. Yes, any work has its deliverables, but what you really need are outcomes, and outcomes are achieved through iterative process.
5. You Grow What You Measure
Tony Robbins said, “Where focus goes, energy flows.” It’s true. Whatever you decide to regularly measure is what you will consistently affect. Therefore, it’s critical that you define your metrics from the beginning of your investment in the web. You should review them regularly, and be agile in your work to affect those metrics.
You can measure the number of contacts or leads you get, of course, but you can also measure how many people go to your different services pages on your website. This may help you understand the appetite for one service over another in the marketplace and will therefore help you know where to invest (not just online, but in your business overall). You may also measure your web traffic from a particular geographic market to judge your brand presence in that area, which may help you determine when to open another location.
There is no shortage of analytics with the Internet. The chore is deciding what you want to measure and why. Then, you must measure it regularly, and put your efforts to affecting it.
Alot goes into achieving success online. But it’s not as complicated as many would believe. You really just need a team, a budget, and a willingness to spend your time and energy working for growth. Let us know if we can help.