10 things to remember when creating an online presence
What is the best internet marketing advice you have heard? I recently asked this question in LinkedIn “Answers” and got plenty of great feedback (you can have a look at the answers by clicking the link in the end of this post).
First of all what does the word “best advice” mean? I guess the best advice is the advice which works for you and brings you closer to your goal. This could be very different depending on your area of business and obviously your goals. Many thanks for everyone who contributed! In this blog post I am trying to crystallize the answer to 10 most relevant points to remember when creating an online presence. Note that these advice are nor in order importance neither this list is covering all relevant points. You should understand it rather as a teaser to ignite your thinking process. OK, we are ready to go. Let’s open the 10 points up a bit.
1. Focus on what you can give, not what you can get.
It is not about you being cool or great, it is about adding value and giving something interesting to the listener or reader. Share your knowledge, experiences, good and bad practices and help people. You might get great response, create business or you might not. Do not expect to get something.
2. It is all about dialogue and collaboration.
Do not just broadcast your messages or links to your websites. Engage people to a dialogue with you and with each others.
3. Do not expect to get paid.
People online hate commercialism. Do not be the annoying sales guy who just pushes his/her message and always expects to get something in return. Be generous, give something to your audience that they can’t pay back.
4. Share stories.
Stories are the most powerful tools to convey a message. By telling a real life story you involve people on the emotional level. It is even better when people feel the story is personal to them.
5. Ask (open ended) questions.
Why not asking what people want to know, before telling them something?
6. Give stuff away for free.
Make great information products that you actually could sell too. But do not sell them. Rather give them away for free. Afterward you will be surprised when the sales on other areas start kicking in. (Free) content is the king or actually content is way more than that, it is the whole kingdom.
7. Be authentic and sincere you.
Come as you are. Do not try to be anything else than you really are. You are great as you are. I recently watched (again) the heavy metal band Metallica’s documentary called “Some kind of Monster”. This documentary is about the creative process producing their record called “Some kind of monster”. In this film Metallica was hiring a new base player. After the initial casting Lars Ulrich (Metallica’s drummer) said that Robert Trujillo (who was then selected as the new base player) was the only one who was himself, not trying too much and also not struggling even playing the hardest parts. In contrary the other candidates were “trying to be 10% over their capabilities all the time”. So, do what you can, don’t be the guy trying 10% over his capabilities.
8. Go where your customers are.
Do not expect the people come to you. Go yourself to the (online) places where the hungry crowds already hang around. There is no point trying to help people (even with brilliant stuff) if the people do not need your help.
9. It takes time.
Do not expect overnight success. You might think an analogy to classical off-line business development. Let’s imagine that you meet the potential customer for the first time. Do you expect him/her to buy immediately from you? Probably not. Even more ridiculous sound that you would expect that he/she recommend you to all of his/her friends too. I doubt you would expect that either in the first meeting. So the question is that how on earth could you expect one or the other online? Summary: know your missing and vision and be patient.
10. You are in customized mass marketing business.
The times when it was profitable to produce average products to average people in large volumes are gone for good. People online expect highly customized and personalized products and information. If you’re designing for everybody, then you’re really designing for nobody.
Wrapping it all up
In the LinkedIn answers the person who asked the question can always rate one of the answers to be the best one. It got plenty of great answers, however one of the answers was so short and simple that I rated it to be the best. Many thanks for the answer Nagesh.
Here it is:
What is the best internet marketing advice you have heard?
“Participate, Listen, Add Value, Share Knowledge, Assist, Don’t expect to get paid every time and for everything you do.”
-Nagesh Dudam, Software Architect & Consultant-
So, finally one could ask what is the difference in marketing online and offline? Actually there is no difference really. In the past marketeers did not have to worry about people who got upset or even hated the message they broadcasted in the TV/Radio/Print because it was not possible respond or have any kind of dialogue. Marketeers just produced messages that they liked themselves or thought that their target audience would like. In the online world the dialogue is possible and negative feedback spreads like a virus. That has lead to the fact that finally marketeers need to produce stuff that is interesting, entertaining or useful to the people. If they don’t they are going to hear about it and their business is going to suffer.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, I wish it added value to you or maybe this post inspired you to think about the internet marketing from a bit different perspective. My biggest wish is, however, that this blog post respected the 10 points discussed above.
Many thanks for your precious time!