logo

Uncategorized´s archives ↓

Iempoweru Online Entrepreneur Reviews Customer Expectations Of Your Website

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur Reviews Customer Expectations Of Website Form And FunctionIempoweru Online Entrepreneur Reviews Customer Expectations Of Your Website Form And Function. Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about whether substance is more important than style when it comes to building and maintaining your website/blog.

My conclusion is that a “stylish” site makes the visitor feel at ease, so that they will take the time to view your “substance”. The “style” must also be a match with the subject matter.

For example, an attorney might not be taken seriously if her website looked more like it belonged to an exotic dancer. Or vice versa. The site visitor has an expectation of what they will encounter before they even arrive. This expectation includes “style” and “substance” – form and function.

When that expectation has been met, vistors return often and begin to know and like the author/owner of the site. They begin to believe in the subject matter expertise being conveyed. It is reinforced by that site owner taking the time to do things “right” – to layout their information in the ways that we have all come to expect it to be laid out.

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur Discusses Sales Process ExpectationsPart of the expectation will be that at some time along the way, that site owner will ask the visitor to buy something. But, before anyone parts with their hard earned money for a product or a service, they should expect certain steps to be taken by the seller. And no matter how “stylish” or how “substantive” that site appears to be, if those steps are not included, most visitors will not complete the transaction.

These steps usually include but are not limited to:

  • being directed to a shopping cart or a sales page, usually too long, littered with all the reasons why they should buy
  • listing options to buy the free, good, better, best service
  • being able to scroll down to the bottom to get to the price and point

The click to buy, usually goes directly to a payment gateway where it is expected to see:

  • “https:” in the url for that page signifying that it is a secured page/site
  • requests for name, address and phone number
  • requests for shipping address if different
  • requests for quantities, unique choice options- like size or color and maybe a special notes section
  • requests for credit card information to include the infamous “security code” on the back
  • info/details on how and when to expect delivery of both physical and/or digital products and services

Also expected is to have to verify some type of “terms of service” or legal acceptance as well as to get several opportunities to opt out, before the final “submit” button is pushed.

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur discusses developing customer trust in an online transactionsAnd after that button is pushed, expect a thank you email and/or a receipt email immediately.

If it is a digital product, expect to see a download button in one of those emails.

And if it is a physcial product, expect to see tracking numbers and regular status updates until receipt of the product.

And all of those expectations lead to trust with that site owner and wanting to come back for more of their goodies.

Onward and upward!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is Substance Or Style More Important For Your Website & Online Presence?

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks what is more important substance or styleIempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks if you prefer style over substanceCouple weeks ago, I asked my twitter chat community #IempowerU which they thought was more important: substance or style. I posed this question because it is one I have struggled with over the years. Initially, I thought it was more important to have substance. When I click on a link to view a site, I want to learn something that I didn’t know before. I want to leave that site with a brain full of new things to think about and consider. And I wanted to provide that same kind of site to viewers of my content. What it looked like was secondary.

Until the last year or so.

Now, I think that style, or at the very least, the “look” of the site is equally important, especially for the new viewer to my subject matter expertise.

Learn how to build your subject matter expertise at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurThe internet has been around for awhile now, the new has worn off to the extent that we all now know what to expect. We know what we have seen on other sites and expect the next one to look and behave accordingly. When it doesn’t, we are not as trusting as we could have been. Matter of fact, this very thing can lead to a site visitor questioning our subject matter expertise – the substance. If that were to happen, they may not even stick around long enough to read that content.

I don’t think that this means we all have to be “early adopters” feverishly combing the ‘net for the latest greatest tool, toy or trend to add to our online presence. Rather, I think it’s important to be aware of the most current trends in both design and functionality. Then, most importantly, pick the ones that appeal to you and your target market and discard the rest.

Entrepreneur Community OnlineIn 2011, I built the first rendition of my community site in dark blue, burgundy, with white letters, because those are my favorite colors. I was pleased with the colors, they made me feel good. Fortunately, several members of the community encouraged me privately to lighten things up a bit. After conceding on these points, I ran across an article on the latest color fashion trends for community sites – it was “in” to have a web design that was light, bright and minimalistic.

On the other hand, several weeks later, I built a website for a personal trainer. With my newfound knowledge of what was “in”, I considered building it to be light and bright and airy. But, my client said NO. He wanted it black, blue and “racy”. I went looking to see what other personal training sites looked like – and they followed the style that he wanted. He felt like his customers would not take him seriously if they didn’t show up to a site that looked like it was supposed to.

In both cases there were functional elements that had to be adjusted, despite what might be “in” or not. My client wanted his content links to align with his color scheme. The link color he selected did not contrast enough with the text to alert the viewer. So, we broke from this to provide his viewers with a better experience.

Learn how to have a mobile friendly site at Iempoweru Online EntrepreneurIn my 1st community site, I wanted to add plugin features that were not compatible with other main elements to the site. Eventually, I had to abandon those whistles and bells in favor of maintaining the integrity of the site. I am eternally grateful to those original community members for sticking around through all those learning curves!

Because the internet evolves so quickly, functionality changes may not be a “nice thing” to adjust – but will be critical to maintaining your existing online presence at the same level. Such is the case with making sure that your site is “mobile friendly”. If you want to know more about this, please sign up for the Weekly Tips. I tell you what and why this is important, as well as how to check and then make sure that your site is “mobile friendly”.

Images courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We Are Launching The New Weekly Tips… Monday, June 15!

I am very excited to start offering Weekly Tips to all my favorite, longterm clients as well as any new ones that want to join us. We officially start on Monday, June 15, so stay tuned!

Let me tell you all about it!

Find more customers and make more money with help from IempowerU Online EntrepreneurEach Monday-Friday, I am going to share a new tip with you – and it will be a LOT more than a 140 character blip on the screen. It is going to be a something that you really need to know, shared by 4 bite size emails, on why you need it, what it’s all about, and most importantly how you do it. Or, if you are too busy, how I can do it for you! I will include combinations of action steps, checklists, reports and videos. These tips will be about what you need to know to be able to use the internet to help you find more customers to make more money in your businesses.

What exactly do I mean by that last sentence?

1st:

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur we help you save time so you can make more moneyThe technology of promoting your business online evolves so rapidly. Recently there have been developments that I wanted to share with my client community. I know it will help them improve their entire online experience. But, they are busy, I am busy, how can I reach them quickly? I want to let them know of the updates, revisions, changes. But, I also want them to know how to do it… so that they are on the cutting edge no matter how busy they are running their businesses!

They needed to know yesterday and they only have a minute to spare today… so it has to be quick, fast and only what they need to know to keep rolling along. And as always, it has to deliver ROI, or it’s not worth them taking that minute today to do it!

2nd:

So, then I was thinking, maybe there are others out there that would benefit from these Weekly Tips too. And then this idea got bigger, more organized and had to be spit shined! My natural “builder” tendencies made me want to rush right out and build. But, then, as I caution all my clients, a little bit of planning now, relieves a lot of stress later.

3rd – and most important to all of us!

As part of my own regular quarterly review and business planning, I was sitting at the table thinking, just what is it that I do for my clients. Online and social media marketing strategy and implementation that includes website blog building, community site building, content writing, keywords, seo, social media postings and engagement, lead generation, marketing to sales conversion. Sure I do all those things and for me they are VERY exciting – I love doing them. But, my clients only want to know enough to…. or listen long enough to…. And I notice when I get off on an excited tangent on the different ways we could do this or that, their eyes glaze over. So, what is the bottom line service I provide for them… possibly for you?

Eureka! Get those lightbulb idea moments at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurEureka! it hit me right between the eyes! I help them learn what they need to know to find more customers & make more money from their websites and online presence! And I save them time and money doing it. Throw in some accountability and team work and presto! That is what I do.

As important is what I do NOT do. I don’t believe in promoting get “rich quick schemes” or brow beating people with endless emails of junk. When I contact people I want both of us to get something very meaningful from that contact.

So, if this sounds like something you need and want, sign up for the Weekly Tips – because the internet keeps evolving with or without us. And those customers have to go somewhere to get served… might as well be to you!

Light Bulb Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are You Succeeding In Creating Or Improving A GREAT Online Presence?

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur Discusses Tracking your ROI With Google Analytics

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How do you know?  How do you know if all this frenetic activity and completed “to-do” lists are giving you the return on your investment?  First of all, don’t discount anecdotal clues such as reader comments in your blogs, or full engagement in your social media platforms.  These are the first signs of success.

For statistical clues, though, you will need to add on some tracking tools.  I will not be recommending any of these tools for you in this post. Instead, use these steps to develop a strategy to research/select your own.

Last week we recommended beginning with a website, or a blog, or a blog website.  The following recommendations are for selecting tools that will measure statistics on these.

SEO at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurStep #1: Educate yourself on this topic before you select any tools

Start with terminology. Read this wikipedia explanation of the entire topic and of commonly used terms. Get 2nd or 3rd opinions by surfing the web. Before you get crazy about tracking:

  • learn what words to use
  • learn what is being done or tracked
  • determine which of these things will be important to you and your strategy

Select the right tools based on this research:

  • learn how to use them
  • learn how to review the results in the manner the tools creator intended
  • aka: read the directions!

I don’t believe one size fits all – you may want to track different things than I do, so why should we all settle for the same old tool?

On the other hand, don’t become a crazy tool junky either. Stay up to date on new tools/features coming onto the market, but do just pick something, use it and get back to your core business tasks.

I am a proponent of using free tools, especially in the beginning. I want to see how something works first, before I buy it. Get a 30 day free trial on a product that can be upgraded as your needs become more complex.

Step #2: Don’t become obsessed by your site stats.

Don’t look at them every day, every hour or every 10  minutes. Pick a day of the week or month to review your site stats – only.

Remember, this is one of the tools of your business, not the only one. You have so many more important things to do each day than obsess over your site stats.

Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process.  If you have reviewed your strategy, done the research and want to brainstorm about specific tools, make an appointment with me and let’s get started!

Next month: What Will Social Media Do For Your Business?

What Tools Do You Use To Create Your Best Online Presence?

tools to work on your online presence at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurYou know why, you know who you and your customer are, you are ready to start creating/improving your online presence. But, where do you start? Do you do a website or a blog? Do you jump into social media? Which one? Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, what about You Tube, or Pinterest? What the heck is Stumbleupon or Digg? Do you use Etsy, or Ebay, or Craigslist? Do you post your events on Meetup or Eventbrite or on your blog or website? There is so much to do, so many places to be, and… this is just your marketing… at this rate, when will you ever have time to do the actual sales and then work? EEEk! Help!

No problem. As with every other aspect of your business, develop and then implement your strategy.

If you are just joining us, please review all of my blogs, in order. All of these blogs help you prepare your strategy to develop YOUR big picture. This big picture will lead you into selecting the tools that will work the best for you, your time and your customers needs. You do NOT have to use them all. Pick the ones that:

• you think will work for you after doing the actions steps listed in each blog post
• learn how to use them properly to accomplish the desired outcome
• give them a fair amount of time to get the desired results
• discard the ones that don’t give those desired results
• keep the ones that do give you results
• adjust your master plan or the strategy you are now designing
• keep going!

Remember my motto: Attempt, fail, improve – if you wait around until your plan and theory feels perfect, you will have missed many if not all of your opportunities for success.

The following 2 tools are where I think you should start to create/improve your online presence.

Click on the title for a wikipedia definition. Keep in mind that the wikipedia content is submitted by the reader, adjusted, verified when required and presented. These definitions evolve as the users use, learn and participate  Attempt, fail and improve.

Website
A website is your brick and mortar store in cyberspace. Once you get the pages/content set up, you rarely update or add new pages – they are referred to as “static” pages. These can be used as online business cards, brochures, photo albums and catalogs. You can set up a store to sell products from a website.

Eleven years ago, when I started learning how to do all of this, there were not as many options as there are today. Now, there are many diy platforms where you can learn how to set up a website. This will require time, effort and patience – do-able if you really want to. The most important ingredient if you diy, is an open mind. If you think you can you can… conversely, if you think you can’t…

Blog
Blogs are like the marketing department for your cyberstore. They can be apart of your website or they can stand alone. I would bet that 85% of all “websites” today are actually blog websites set up on Blog Platforms.  A Blog platform allows you to build static pages on the site that can look, feel and be used as your website static pages.   Then, on the same site, you can write blog posts. The blog post is an informal way to write an article that your reader can respond to by way of commenting.

You can also sell products and services from a blog with a dedicated url and host.  Selling is usually against terms of service of the free blogsite platforms.

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur, we will host, teach you how to set up, use and maintain your blog website, so contact us when you are ready!

create multiple streams of income with IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

What Will You Do With Your Blog Website?
Depends on your answers to Why You Want An Online Presence, Who Are You and Who Is Your Customer – read all blog posts in order.

Use your blog website to establish your subject matter expertise online. We will cover specifics of this in future blog posts.

You can sell your products and services directly from your blog website.

Also known as ECommerce
Much more on this in future blog posts so stayed tuned.

Take an in-depth look at yourself and how you are doing business.   Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to get through this step to create this picture of why you are, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect – just get it written down.

Then we can start to select the best tools to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

WHO Is Your Customer? Where Are They? Not Just Another Target Market Post!

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks you to identify your perfect customerOn a regular basis, review and evaluate who your customer is and where they can be found. Then, review and evaluate the needs of your customer and how you are meeting those needs.

You must design/implement a business online presence/strategy that will appeal to that customer base and their needs.

Review your existing data on the following:

  • your target market
  • their demographics
  • their psychographics
  • their pain
  • your solution to their pain

If you do not have this information compiled yet, start now.  It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be.

Remember: attempt, fail, improve.

As your business evolves, so will your products and/or service offerings.  As you meet the needs of your existing customers, they will ask for more.. or different.  Sometimes, without even realizing it, you may veer off course so much that you now have a totally different customer base.

Take a few minutes now to analyze your customer base in-depth.  Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to create this picture of your perfect customer, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect – just get it written down.

Then we can start to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

Your Online Presence – The WHY Component

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur asks WHY you want an online presence

Why Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last month we talked about the “2 Steps To An Online Presence That Does The Work For You”. Step 1 is the least sexy, tedious and time consuming part – strategy and planning. But, without this step, you are going to muck about in a lot of strange places, with no direction, no benchmarks and then give up before you get to an undetermined finish line.

If you are a builder like me, you don’t want to make endless lists and “plans” for the future. You just want to build and correct up as you go! Ok, so let’s do just that. Build and plan at the same time.

Get a piece of paper, a keyboard, a video camera or a recording device and then answer these questions for yourself. Don’t just think about it… you need that cranial space for more important things… like remembering the steps required to build this plan!

The WHY Component – why are you creating or improving your online presence in the 1st place?

What are the tremendous possibilities when you do? Not sure? We can talk about this in-depth!
And what power do you unleash when you create an online presence on purpose… as opposed to letting your casual facebook updates do it for you?

And finally, how will this increase the dollars on your business bottom line? It will! I promise!

Take an in-depth look at yourself and why you are doing what you do. Sign up for weekly tips that will take you step by step through this process. Or schedule an appointment for one on one instruction, if you want to get through this project yesterday. Start today or start tomorrow, but, either way you have to get through this step to create this picture of why you are, right now, at this moment. Don’t worry about making it all perfect – just get it written down.

Then we can start to create, improve and implement an online business strategy from these answers.

2 Steps To An Online Presence That Does The Work For You

IempowerU Online Entrepreneur helps you create or improve your online presenceDo you want an online presence that does the work for you? GREAT! I want that for you too. Let’s cut to the chase and get started making this happen for you.

Step 1: Create Or Improve Your Strategy – your big picture.

Quit hiring people to build websites for you that you can’t afford and then don’t do what you wanted them to do anyway. Stop opening social media accounts and then walking away because you don’t know what to do with them. Don’t spend another dime, or minute on this until you can sit down and make a plan based on your unique situation.

Your strategy will be composed by answering these questions in-depth:

  • Why Do You Want An Online Presence?
  • Who Are You?
  • Who Is Your Customer? Where Are They?
  • What Tools Do You Use, How Do You Use Them, How Do You Track Them?
  • When Should You Use Each Tool?

Based on your answers to these questions, you will now have a plan, action steps and a timetable. Whoopee, you say. If you knew the answers to these questions, you would already have a rocking online presence. Ok, so, stay tuned each week as we dig into each of these topics. Or, you can schedule an appointment if you don’t want to wait.

Step 2: Implement your plan aka START.

create multiple streams of income with IempowerU Online Entrepreneur

  • No more thinking about it… it is time to just do it.
  • It won’t be perfect: start, experiment, fail, improve, keep going.
  • Don’t freak out if you don’t meet your timetable goals – adjust, fix what can be fixed and keep going.
  • Seek the help of experts when you hit a challenge – don’t get sidetracked because you can’t figure something out…contact me!

That’s it. These 2 steps will get you to an online presence that works for you… everyday M-F, on weekends, on holidays, when you are on vacation, even when you are sleeping.

Will it be easy, quick, painless, free?

NO.

Will it be worth it?

YES.

Onward and upward!

Page 1 of 2:1 2 »