7 Steps How to Put Yourself Out There Online

If you have a business, an online presence and campaign can benefit (and may be mandatory for) your continued financial growth and outlook into the future.

1. Get Your Domain(s)

When I’m working with a client, I usually make sure they have several domains in their quiver. If possible, and in order of importance, they are:

The Top 4 Dot Coms You Should Own

  1. Your name dot com
  2. The name of your business dot com, dot net and dot org
  3. What you do dot com
  4. The name of your leading product or service dot com

These are the top 4 dot coms you should own at the very least. First and foremost, your domain collection is about protecting you, your brand, who you are and what you do. There are thieves hiding amongst the landscape of the Internet looking for people and businesses, like yours, who will target domains associated with you and your business, by them and hold them hostage for a premium. And sometimes, it’s worth paying a premium for a dot com that clearly defines your product or service.

2. Post a Basic Site Presence

Let’s say you’ve covered the basics and have your domains safely tucked away in your GoDaddy account, what next? Start by minimally setting up small websites for each dot com. No need to panic here, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money investing in a web team to get the job done. I walk my clients through a simple 7 to 10 minute process to quickly and easily get this done through their existing GoDaddy account. No need to fret over it, this is a simple DIY web presence. No need to hire it our when you can do it yourself.

3. Who You Are, What Your Do and Where

Of course, this is only the start. Next up, you must know and define what you do and decide where you will position yourself in the marketplace. This is the real work of preparing to launch an effective online presence. Depending on how confident you are and where you are in your business’ life span, this may create a bit of frustration or friction, but trust me, it’s worth it. The information and data gleaned from this process is invaluable and will keep you focused on your business goals.

After you’ve collected all the data from your research and documentation, there comes the moment when you want to integrate this information on your web site. This is where you say, “goodbye,” to your basic web site. Now, it’s time for an upgrade.

4. Upgrade Your Web Site

You may need to upgrade your hosting account with GoDaddy, who has an excellent reputation for call-in phone support (avoid any unnecessary upsells. Their support team can be very aggressive in attempting to sell you products and services that you don’t really need). So, give them a call and tell them you want to upgrade your hosting account and use a user-friendly web platform, like WordPress, for your web presence. WordPress is not only easy, but is extremely powerful and there are many pre-designed templates (themes) and plugins that you can use to make your life online easier; and the price is right: Free.

It doesn’t take long for me to bring my novice clients up to speed and soon they are rocking the Internet like a web superstar. I would say, try it yourself; if it seems too overwhelming, consider hiring it out. If you outsource your web development, be prepared to learn enough about what is going on behind the scenes to make certain that you’re not being taken advantage of and be prepared to take an active role as you build your web presence.

5. Add Content Regularly

As you continue to build your web presence the basic rule of thumb is, “Content is King.” That is to say, posting valuable content about you, your business and what you do on a regular basis will serve you well in the data-infested murk and mire of the Internet. It’s all about being able to be ferreted out in the swamp. Your content will help people find you.

6. Internet Marketing

You will also need to do some online marketing, minimally some Google Adwords, and have some social media representation, such as Facebook presence.

You hear a lot about Search Engine Optimization (some good, some bad), nonetheless, it is necessary to have an understanding of SEO and take advantage of it when and where you can. Effective marketing online campaigns should be your best marketing tool dollar-for-dollar, if done right.

7. Keep On Keeping On

Like anything else in life, don’t think of your online presence as a one-shot deal. Nothing will deteriorate your online presence more than stagnation.

Everything on the Internet is changing every minute of every day. What worked like gangbusters yesterday, could be a worthless strategy tomorrow.

It takes a village to run a successful village and your web team is a priceless asset. Yes, you can start small and do it yourself, but as you grow be thinking about ways you can expand your web marketing to catapult your business to the next level.

Save Your Business Ship

So you’ve jumped into the sea of business and you suddenly discover you’re in treacherous water and your abilities to navigate your business ship begin to come into question. It doesn’t take long and you realize you could have been a little more prudent before launching your maiden voyage to have a handle on what lies ahead.

Nonetheless, wherever you are on your business journey, you can start taking steps to track your business, analyze our time and optimize the processes and procedures which yield the greatest return on your investment dollar, thereby maximizing your bottom line.

Let’s face it, the longer you can sustain your foray into business, the more time you will have to tweak your systems and increase your likelihood of success in your venture.

Here are some of the things you may be able to take a look at, which can make subtle differences yet yield positive impact and increasing cash flow while optimizing the operation of your business in real time.

1. Opt out of services that have no positive impact on your business

As burgeoning business people, we enthusiastically tend to join organizations, enroll in programs and manage a number of subscriptions to services with the best of intentions, thinking that this-or-that will help to bring potential clients or increase our value in the community.

You may be paying for a service that you’re not equipped to take advantage of at the moment. No need to pay for it while you wait for the planets to align.

Take this time to review these types of programs which consume your valuable resources but offer no return on your investment.

You can always opt back in when you’re in a better position to take action and reap the rewards, otherwise, cancel.

You may also be able to streamline processes by grouping them into one service which encompasses the features of many services you are presently using. This type of consolidation is in the best interest of your business while reducing administrative costs by reducing the number of accounts being managed and increasing your bottom line.

Though it may make you feel uneasy at first, because you have been led to believe that you need a particular product or service, letting go of the dead weight will yield a demonstrable benefit to your organization that can be measured in additional resources, production and/or cash flow.

Once you start paying attention to the details of your business, you will be on the lookout for new products and services which will help to optimize your operations even more, as more and more service begin to appear on the horizon to replace outdated services which are not as optimized for your particular business.

2. Prepare to bail out or jump ship

Being in a state of alertness and readiness can maximize your business acumen as you are tracking and reviewing your business plan and efforts along the way, keeping you from getting stuck in a rut.

No one wants a leaky ship, so keeping track of costs vs. returns can keep your ship in tip top shape. You can make repairs when appropriate of jump ship altogether. Marketing and promotion costs are problematic and can easily spin out of control if not properly monitored and controlled, as well as other production costs.

Sometimes being immersed in the day to day operations can be overwhelming and may make it difficult to be perfectly objective, so be open to the idea of inviting someone to assist you in reviewing your operations from a different perspective. It may give you insights that you may not have otherwise had access to from your present perspective.

It is fairly simple to create a mathematical formula to evaluate our cost of doing business – or engaging in a specific activity or process – and determining its value to your ongoing business.

Always be aware and reviewing the many aspects of your business and always ask yourself, “Is there a better way?” Look for better ways to conduct your business and you will be surprised at how new ideas will present themselves to help streamline your operations. You will find that in most cases you can do more with less by cutting out the fat.

An effective business person is always looking for ways to improve their operations and increase the bottom line.

3. Continuing education for higher efficiency

Unless your business is so unique that it cannot be possibly related to any other business venture in existence (which would be extremely rare) you can find ways to learn how other businesses are increasing their efficiency and increasing their bottom line.

You might be surprised to find a great deal of information readily available by making a few queries on Google, finding there are other businesspeople just like you who find themselves struggling with the same (or similar) challenges.

You may even find groups, forums, blogs and membership sites where like-minded businesspeople congregate and share their stories. Often, if you are active with these folks and build a relationship with them, you can find them an extremely valuable source of information and resources.

Continuing education is your most effective weapon in battling for your battling for the survival of your business. Not being plugged in and being aware of trends and improvements will anchor your business in stagnant water, leading to its eventual demise.

There are so many resources available to keep you on the top of your game, it would be folly not to consider embracing them.

So, take advantage of subscribing to magazines, joining trade organizations attending trainings and conferences about our area of business and/or areas within your business that can greatly affect your bottom line.

This is not a one-size-fits-all answer, and even if you were the most knowledgeable person on the planet regarding your particular business when you opened the doors, all marketplaces are constantly in a process of ebb and flow. It is your responsibility to be in the know and position yourself in such a way so as to be able to make adjustments quickly to ensure your endeavor’s longevity and continued success.

Always be on the lookout for ways you can leverage your resources and cash flow for maximum returns.

Who Do You Serve?

Ever wonder why it’s so difficult to find what it is that you’re looking for in your life?

The principle of focusing with laser accuracy on what you want, help you to attract what it is that you’re seeking. This approach works in all areas of life. Specifically, we will look at applying this approach to business target markets. In order for a business to achieve profitability, it is important to specifically define one’s target market.

Your target market includes a specific group of people that want your product or service. The more specific you are about defining your target market, the more effective your marketing efforts can be.

serving target market customer avatar laser focus advertising

Customer Avatar

The best way to define your market is to reduce the attributes of your target market to one particular person who represents your clients or customers. Be as specific as possible, give him/her a name and maybe even create a drawing or get a photo to represent your perfect client.

An example might be:

Name: Cory More
Age: 35 years old
Geographic Location: Greater New York Area
Education: High school
Profession: Hourly employee, data entry
Diet: Mostly vegetarian, somewhat interested in eating healthier, regularly integrates meat-eating (usually chicken and fish, beef rarely). Wife purchases food staples from local market.
Home: Rents (not a homeowner)
Auto: Owns an older vehicle (paid for), while wife drives newer auto (payments)
Family: Married with two children. Basically happy, but finds financial strain a constant irritant,
Regular spending activities: Cab fare 3x per week, eats restaurant lunch work days, buys commercial cup of coffee 2x per work day.
Spare time activities: Watches a lot of TV, plays video games, meets friends at bar twice a week after work, watches a movie at a theater once a month, smokes marijuana occasionally
Mental health: Moderately undiagnosed depression, feels unworthy – as if he could have done better – if he’d not rushed into marriage and family.
Satisfaction: Likes time commiserating with friends at the bar, twice a week. Faithful husband, basically enjoys intimacy at home (though flirts occasionally with saleswomen).
Secret wish: Would like a higher paying job or ultimately to win the lottery

On and on it goes, until you’ve added as many details as possible to clearly define your perfect consumer. Having this picture clearly in your mind will help you aim your marketing efforts to your target market. (Uh… That’s why they call it a target.)

Once you know who your Avatar is, you know what he/she does, what interests him/her, where he/she goes, you can align your marketing efforts to deliver the message that he/she wants to hear and be in the place at the time he/she is likely to be looking/listening for your message.

But My Target Market Is Everybody

Oh, of course, you just want $1 from every person in the United States, right?

If you do not focus on a target, you will certainly miss. This is one of the reasons most businesses fail.

If you want to get what you want, you’ve got to focus and exert some energy to create your desired result.

You can have multiple Customer Avatars, and create separate customized marketing efforts to best approach each one, but too many of them will water down your message.

Personal SWOT Analysis

Harvard Business School professors, George Albert Smith Jr and C Roland Christiensen developed the first incarnation of the SWOT Analysis in the fifties and later, Stanford University’s Albert Humphrey adapted it for use in organizational strategy.

This tool is as effective today as it was then and is an excellent way to establish your baseline prior to entering a potential business venture.

Personal SWOT Analysis strength weakness opportunity threat

Using this analysis you determine what are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

This same system can be adapted to evaluate your innate abilities and challenges.

To create a Personal SWOT Analysis, simply title each of 4 pages with Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat.


STRENGTH

Always start from a position of strength. So list all the strengths tat you possess, personally and professionally. Think about answering questions, like, what are the things that you do well? What unique personal resources can you call up? And, what do others see as your strengths?

No need to hurry, here; review and re-review adding any attributes, skills or gifts that you may have missed. Most people are amazed at what they have accumulated over the years in their personal escrow. Bask in the glow before continuing…

WEAKNESS

Understanding our weaknesses is so empowering. On this list you note the things that are difficult for you, that you admire in others and which you possessed yourself or activities that you’d rather not participate in.

Think about asking yourself, in what areas could I improve? Where comes easier to others than me? How do others see as my weaknesses?

This is an excellent opportunity to review skills that you need to be aware of either opportunity to gain the knowledge or skills for yourself or alternatively seek resources for outsourcing.

OPPORTUNITY

We are all surrounded by a myriad of opportunities for personal growth. You may be aware of some that are immediately within your grasp, others you may need to begin to look for.

List the opportunities that come to mind regarding personal growth or expansion at home, at work or in relationships within your circle of influence. Maybe consider taking steps to grow your audience.

Keeping a keen eye for opportunities to share, care and grow will keep you on the leading edge of your life’s journey in style.

Ask questions, be curious; about life, what are other people doing that you look up to, competitors, or associates in your field. You may uncover other opportunities by being more aware.

Thoughtful, metered Googling and social media excursions can help keep you abreast of opportunities, but you must stay in control. Don’t let these tools become your weakness.

THREAT

What are the roadblocks that appear to be in your way? What stands between you and what you desire? What are the challenges that you face?

BY clearly defining the threats to your success, it is easier to map out a route to circumvent the threats that may turn out to be opportunities for personal growth.

In the event that you decide that becoming an expert in the thing that may be blocking you is not congruent with the person that you are… No problem. It’s an opportunity to outsource; find, hire or trade services with someone who would love to handle this for you.


Using this personal SWOT Analysis will help you grasp what assets you possess (many we take for granted), and what your shortcomings might be (many are exaggerated and easily overcome) and having it in black-and-white will help you chart your journey to unbridled success.