The online world is an ever changing landscape and it can be immensely hard trying to keep up. What works right now does not necessarily mean it will work tonight, never mind tomorrow. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up. This frustration can sometimes kill your ambition and dream. A quick look around and you will see the digital world full of broken dreams in the form of abandoned blogs and failed online businesses. Here are some pointers if you are thinking of cutting through the swath and carving your best path in the digital world.
Pointers to carving your own unique path online:
One would assume this to be a no-brainer, but l am still always surprised to see how little research people do before they jump into a business, both in real life and online. For instance, there used to be a restaurant space close to where we lived that was going out of business. Talking to the owners who had owned it for 2 years before the debt crushed them and forced the sale, we discovered that it had been a restaurant prior to that. For some reason, they thought they could make a go of it because they had a passion. They blinded themselves to the fact that there was no foot traffic where the restaurant was located. Most people drove in the place to buy gas and they would pick up cheap hot dogs and snacks at the gas station. A little research would have saved them a small fortune. Guess what went in there a few months after they sold at a loss. Yep! Another restaurant. The same thing goes for trying to carve your path online. Every good business strategy includes research. You need to research your niche or business if you have one.
- Is it a crowded field?
- What are you bringing to the table?
- How can you stand out or present yourself in such a unique way that people will listen and patronize your business?
- Will it be profitable?
You can not figure this out as you go along. It needs to be thought about before you embark on your journey.
Invest in your success:
This is a hard one for a lot of people. Me included. The desire to make money is strong and often, when you are starting out, you have little or no money to spare. The very thought of investing money is both scary and daunting. While there are a lot of free information online to foster success, it might be necessary to invest some actual dollars in your business. If you intend to be taken seriously as a blogger or business person, you can not do it effectively from a non-hosted website for instance. Nobody is going to take you seriously if your website is attached to a free hosting site like blogspot.com . You need to get a hosting company like the one l use and recommend. Siteground (affiliate). You need to invest in a domain. You may need to take an online course, get some business cards made and the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that it takes money to make money. That being said, you want to make sure you don’t get scammed. There are a lot of “online gurus” out there selling nothing but snake oil. Learn to read between the lines. Just because someone has a flashy website and loads of glowing testimonials doesn’t mean they are as successful as they claim. Takes you back to research up top. Learn to read between the lines. Check with others before sinking hundreds or thousands of your hard earned money. If it sounds too good to be true, remember, it usually is.
Notice l said emulate success not plagiarize success. There is a big difference. To emulate means to look at the successful people in the same field and try to imitate their success and even surpass them with your own ideas and hard work. You use their success to motivate you. Plagiarism is to appropriate their work and achievement and put it forth as your own. That is the lowest form of stealing and should be beneath any honest person. Nothing is a secret for long in the online world and more than likely, you will be found out. Once you lose the trust clients might have had in you, it is difficult if not impossible to get it back. Stealing is a crime and a very uncool thing to do. You’ll be surprised to find just how small the online world really is and word gets around quickly. Your reputation should be guarded ferociously.
Running a business is hard and very time consuming. I really find it hard to believe how much energy some online entrepreneurs expand in playing the comparison game. I see it all the time on Facebook. You’ll see the hundreds of comments bashing someone who is doing the follow and unfollow game (this is when someone follows you on social media hoping you’ll follow. Once you do, they unfollow you and hope you keep following so as to have a high follower count). Who cares what others are doing? You have a lot of time on your hands to follow what is likely an app doing the follow/unfollow. Wouldn’t your time be better spent working on ideas to make your online business better? I know mine would. Your success should be your number one priority, not who is buying followers.
Use Social Media Wisely:
Social media is a time suck for sure. It is a necessary evil as it is a wonderful way to get your business in front of the potential clients. It is also very easy to get caught up in it. Make sure you have a strategy. Find out where your potential customers are at and make an effort to be there. For instance if you intend to be in the fashion world, you know you need to be on Instagram. For other businesses, perhaps Facebook would be better and being on Instagram would make no sense. Don’t feel like you must be everywhere. You just might end up diluting your efforts. Once you’ve narrowed down your target, use automated scheduling tools such as Recurpost, a powerful tool l have written about before.
Patience and Perseverance:
Nothing happens overnight. Certainly not success. Anyone who promises you that is simply lying to you. Educate yourself. Brush up on the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the foundation of all things online. No use having a great business if the customer base is not finding your online business. We are all in the hands of Google and the goal post keeps moving so it’s constant education. Know that from the start, do your best and try to work your way to page 1 on searches
I hope this few pointers on carving a unique path in a digital world helps you in your present or future business. The underlying advice here is that hard work will bear fruit. Nothing is handed to you on a platter but empty dreams. You need to visualize your success and do everything you can to make it happen. If you like this article, please share.
Have you any pointers to add to this post? What has been your experience navigating the online world?