Online success isn't for the weak of heart. Ask anyone who is making a profitable living online and they'll tell you hard work, long hours and earning they've put in. Throw in the reinventing yourself, when needed, is part of their successful strategy.
Anyone who claims otherwise, is well, full of hooey.
I talk to folks all the time looking for that magic bullet of online success. They have an idea, some more original than others, and believe they can make a go of it.
I then advise that an idea or a product isn't enough. Shortly after that they state, “I assume we can get my site ranked on the first page of Google?”
You know what happens when you assume…
Vital Mindsets to Having a Successful Online Business
Most important of all, you need to have the correct mindset based in reality. Online is not a “build it and he will come” playground. It's more build it and hope to get found.
Here are some of the things you need to think about and plan for if you want to take a shot at procuring online success.
Service, Service, Service
So very many websites talk about themselves: Our Product. Our Service. Our Company. Me, me, me! Us, us, us!
Many make the mistake of making sure that the visitor is told what the site owner wants them to know. But where is the customer in this?
- Think about why your potential customer would come to your site and cater to that.
- Compared to other sites with similar focus, why should he or she be interested in your product or service? Tell them.
- What makes your product or service unique, different, better? Be clear.
- What are their likely questions? Answer them.
Once a potential customer shows up on your site, you cannot provide enough information about your business and methodology. The more details you provide the more you'll contribute to you being viewed as an expert in your field.
Great content is backed up by your personal genuine experience. Your potential customers know this.
Be the Best
Strive to be “the” site for your product, service or industry. Nothing less will do. How can you separate your site from the all the others currently ranking on that top page? By doing things better, differently, more genuinely.
With billions of Web pages and thousands of competitors' sites already online, your success depends on you offering all around excellence in your business's presentation. To stand out from the rest.
Don't let that opportunity slip by with an unprofessional, sludgy, unorganized presentation. Your website must look attractive and professional if you expect to capture your site visitors' attention. You need to convince them that your company is a high quality, reputable firm, able to deliver on your promises.
Remember, all your potential customers have to do is find a competitor that has invested in their image and the quality of their Web presence. You will then immediately be perceived as a hobbyist or amateur.
The Only Thing Consistent is Change
The Web is evolving daily. Be prepared to evolve with technology and stay on the edge. After doing this for 2 years, online hasn't slowed a bit. I've lost count of the number of times I had to take a new approach, learn something, embrace new info I wasn't aware of until after the fact. That's what is required of you too.
Those on the edge will be the survivors with the highest success ratio. Analyze your Web server stats, Search Engine and financial statistics to see what seems to be working. Determine pages visitors naturally migrating toward. Seek out what campaign seems to attract the most visitors and orders. Then build on that.
Upon careful review of your Web server statistics and your off-line marketing campaign, determine what is working and what isn't. Being honest about what isn't working is crucial.
Modify your business plan accordingly today — next week or next month could be too late. Then modify as necessary. Flexibility rules!
Direct marketing has shown that while one classified ad may not produce a single inquiry, slightly different wording or position may be a winner. You won't know what works best until you try — and test — different things. That is what really makes this gig tick.
Plan on continuous, incremental improvements until you get it just right. Not to mention keeping up with the trends and “looks” as the Web grows and changes.
If you own a website, you have your work cut out for you. Constant experimentation is the only way to determine your specific formula for success.
Be Prepared to Go to the Next Level
With any business, how do you get to that level that will ensure your success?
- Know where you are. You must be on the plateau where enough is no longer good enough. Many entrepreneurs become motivated when they start feeling like they are stagnating.
- Reach for those lofty goals (and know what they are). Climbing towards seemingly impossible goals always requires change. It will require extra effort. It will take commitment. You have to want it badly enough to pay the price. In time, money, sacrifice.
- You must have a plan. Put your goals in writing. You don't need a formal fancy-schmancy business plan. But make your plan clear, specific and measurable. Break your long-term goals into short term milestones.
- Focus on achieving one step forward each day, week, month, year. Track your progress and push yourself to strive where you need to be to reach your goals.
Don't have the time? MAKE THE TIME.
Even though I am very customer-responsive, I realize that if I do not actively, aggressively set aside regular time to run my business, it just will not get done. I have my calendar schedule out with the reminders of the things I must accomplish. They don't go away until I mark them as done.
We are all extremely busy. Sometimes because we don't prioritize how we are spending our time and the resulting payoff. Prioritize accordingly.
To stay one step ahead of obsolescence, I am constantly learning new technologies and developing new strategic partnerships. I test and tune all the time.
My strategy includes planning new articles and site features that help position my business more effectively in the constantly growing WordPress Consulting and Business Coaching market. If something doesn't gain traction, I try something else.
Some are afraid to take this approach because inevitably you meet with failure. Not everything you do is going to work the way you though. Or be a resounding success. But, you'll never know if you don't try. Corny, I know — but true.
Does it take time? Yep! Will it be effective? There's only one way to find out. By doing. Heck, who said this would be easy?
Many have been led to believe the myth that all you have to do is put up a decent looking website and the world will beat a path to your door. Not going to happen. Yes, you can be extremely successful, but it the willingness to consistently put in the hard work that is the differentiator.
Fail to Plan; Plan to Fail
Plan your work; work your plan. You've heard these phrases countless times. Nor is there anything unique about any of the points noted above.
- Focus on your customers. Cater to them.
- Offer excellence. Nothing less will do.
- Keep tweaking your marketing strategy. Again and again.
- Prepare for growth. Estimate (realistically) and plan accordingly.
- Schedule and prioritize your time.
Just presenting a great product on the Web will not produce. Even having a great website is simply not enough.
You must work at it continually and market your product or service effectively if you expect potential customers to find you in the first place. Then, more importantly, come back again and again.
You can't market effectively without utilizing these marketing mindsets, many of which can just be considered the basics of running any successful business on or off-line.
So, ready to leave your comfort zone? My blog has 100s of articles to get you started.
At your service,