No business can afford to shun the online arena. Use these six tips for an online presence that will boost your brand’s success.
The online business world is full of quickly evolving information and takes a lot of navigating and persistence in order to achieve great success. Having a strong online presence is a concern for business owners, and keeping up with the rapid pace is often all-consuming. It’s tempting to focus on what you’re innately good at, but that means you are likely missing out on opportunities to improve and grow your business. Strive to gain autonomy in these six areas so you become a powerhouse in every aspect of your business.
1. Find and establish your niche.
While this is the ultimate foundation for every business, it’s crucial for online success. When customers meet you online, you have about 10 seconds to show and tell them what you do well and how you can improve their lives with your products or services. Make sure your message is consistent across all channels, such as your website, your blog and social media platforms. You message must be clear and concise too. Many businesses have a hard time finding ways to stand out in the marketplace. Whether you offer business traveling services or have an online clothing company, finding a way to differentiate your business is vital to online success.
2. Utilize technology to maximize success.
The thought of mastering technology often makes entrepreneurs nervous. However, one of many factors that define successful businesses is the ability to embrace how technology will enhance their customer mission. The size of your team doesn’t matter; technology will allow you to consolidate various tasks to increase your production focus on more important tasks. Technology isn’t always as complicated or expensive as you may think.
3. Know your competition.
Every great business learns about its competitors and becomes familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. The more you know about them, the better off you are. Know their locations, what they sell, how much they charge, their web addresses and their reputations. You have to know whom you are competing against to help you figure out ways to get your customers to choose you and not the other businesses. This is always important in business, and the online arena is no exception.
Figure out what your competition is doing on social media channels so you can make sure you are present there too. Make sure you inspect the keywords your competitors are using – Google provides tools to do so.
4. Focus on building your brand’s online reputation.
Most business owners are intimately familiar with the concept of building an online reputation. A mistake can ruin your brand, so do what you can to stay in control. Each customer’s opinion of your brand matters and can make or break your business. There are a few ways you can become an online leader in your industry. Create excellent content and share it through your blog posts. Search engines love blogs, plus it gives you a dedicated place your audience can check out anytime they want to consume your content. Your blog is the perfect place to provide your audience answers to common questions and develop rapport. Don’t make the mistake of using the blog to solely promote your business; instead, use it as a place to give your readers tangible solutions to relevant issues.
Go ahead and take a few minutes to set up a Google Alerts notification for your brand so you can inspect what people are saying online too. This gives you the chance to comment on any negative feedback people may have and resolve their issues.
Develop a set of social media guidelines so those who post on behalf of your business know what’s expected. Learn how to effectively and professionally manage customer complaints that come in. Adopt the mindset of how to solve problems in a proactive way that always pleases the customer, even if they are wrong.
5. Stick to your word.
Once your website is up and running, you need to make sure your products are delivered at the time you guaranteed. Fulfill your promises and always over-deliver. You customers want to know you value them. They want to see the effort and commitment from your business and know that you care about their happiness. Breaking promises you made to customers will drive them straight to the competition. Do what you can to achieve customer loyalty – the customers have endless businesses they could buy from and won’t stick by your side if you are unstable and don’t work to build a relationship based on confidence and trust.
One thing about keeping promises is making sure you only promise what you know is feasible to bring to fruition. In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s easy for your business to become overshadowed and lost in the melee. If your business shows it is capable of keeping promises to customers, it will stand out among your business competitors, attracting and retaining more customers simultaneously.
6. Be persistent.
Businesses often think they’ll find success overnight, but that rarely happens. Persistence is a trait you need to endlessly have in the business world. Implement strategies for success and growth, and make sure execution plans are well defined. Be patient, consistent and persistent – these traits will pay off over time. Stay focused on both your short- and long-term goals.
When you believe in your business and stand behind its purpose, your business model is unwavering, and your action plans are necessary to support your company’s vision, you are off to a good start. Stick with your business through its triumphs and trials, and prepare to encounter challenges. Keep your eyes on the prize; remember that most businesses take at least three years before they turn a profit.
One important thing to keep in the forefront of your mind is that effective ecommerce is attainable for really any business when it makes the right choices. Many business owners even find they thrive more in the online world than with a physical location. The good news is that an abundance of cost-effective resources is at your fingertips; you just have to use them. Do what you can to get your business on track for unbridled success.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.