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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 thiswikipediaexplanation 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 wikipediadefinition. 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!

What Techniques Do You Use To Do Your Marketing On A Consistent Basis?

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017Some things are easy to do and even easier not to do. Such is the case with most forms of marketing, but, especially social media marketing. It is easy to put off these tasks in favor of doing the ones that seem to bring the immediate money to you, such as closing a hot sales call, or doing the work that got sold, or talking with clients, or delivering orders. All of these things are necessary too and so much more rewarding, quickly. You make the sale, collect the check and perform the task or service. No guess work or waiting to see if your effort produced results.

Marketing is one of those things that you can postpone while you have the sales coming in. But, what happens when that pipeline runs dry? You got it – nothing – as in, you are out of work and the rent is due in and how are you going to pay those bills? Throwing a tweet out there at this point is so ridiculous, might as well go stick your head in the oven, at least that action would have results that you could see!

I wouldn’t advocate doing that last step, the results will not be pretty. So, what do you do instead?

Don’t let the pipeline run dry.

Easier said than done. I know.

Regarding the tasks involved in doing social media marketing, here are some things that I do, they might work for you. And please, share yours with me.

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur we do social medial marketing rightFirst of all, I take the time to develop a strategy. Then, based on that strategy, I block out time in the day, the week or the month for the specific tasks required from my strategy.

Then I do them, at the same time every day, week or month. I decide what tasks can be interrupted, what tasks must be done at that time, and then I just do them.

Sure, there are LOTS of times when I don’t want to, or when I would rather do something else. But, when I am tempted to get distracted, I think about that empty pipeline. And I hate that much more than I do sticking to the routine of my marketing strategy.

As I develop the process of doing, I consider things like:

  • developing keystroke efficiencies for each task
  • saving templates for repetitive actions or steps
  • setting up a work sequence that allows having multiple windows open at one time. I move from one window to the next quickly. As I am saving on one screen I am posting on the next.
  • research and select internet tools that allow you to automate non-critical tasks

Most important of all, when developing your strategy, decide what is critical or non-critical. Example would be that unfollowing people on twitter is non-critical, responding to a true comment from a new follower is critical.

All well and good, but, how do you know if any of this is really doing you any good at all? It seems like you throw those tweets out there every day and still get no response. And how the heck does a tweet lead to getting a client?

Well, that is why you have that social media marketing strategy – same as you do for any other type of marketing. This strategy will be your guide. You will know who, why, what, where and when. There won’t be any guesses and you won’t have to ask that question again. Because in your strategy, you will plan for measuring the success of certain steps and then what to do next.

Using the comment box, let me know the techniques you are using. Until then, onward and upward!

Online Marketing Success: 6 Things You MUST Know

Linda Hughes, iempoweru May 2017Entrepreneurs and small business owners: Take a minute right now to KNOW these things. They should be top of mind, answer them immediately. And then you will be well on your way to online marketing success.

#1: WHO are you trying to sell your products and/or services to? WHO is your target market?– demographics and psychographics.

Learn at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur that everyone is not your target marketDON’T SAY EVERYONE!

Why? Because you can not be all things to all people! You can not solve everyone’s problems with a one size fits all kind of solution at the same time. You just can’t!

How can I be so sure of that? Been there, done that, first hand experience gained everyday.

Learn why people should buy from you at IempowerU Online Entrepreneur#2: WHY should they buy from you?

No really! Why you? You as opposed to your competition. Yes! WE ALL HAVE COMPETITION! If you don’t have competition, you don’t have anything worth buying.

#3: WHAT is the pain you are fixing for them?

Tell me in a less than 30 seconds and then prove to me just as quickly that you have the solution. And I don’t mean give me a fancy, glib, sparkly elevator pitch that someone else wrote for you that doesn’t even sound good to you and that no one will believe anyway.

#4: WHERE will you find your target market?

Looking for clients in all the wrong places wastes LOTS of time!

As in, if your target market doesn’t even own a computer, trying to reach them through twitter is just ridiculous. Does that mean their money is not as green or will not spend as well?

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur we help you save time so you can make more money #5: WHEN will your target market need your solution?

AHHH – timing is everything.

Pouring all of your time/energy/efforts into a person that is not ready to buy is a waste of your time/ energy/ efforts.

Yeah but, when they are ready to buy you will be top of mind! Who cares if you have gone out of business already.

#6: HOW will you reach your target market with your messageabout your very way cool solution to their unique problem?

Sorry to say this, but, while it is true that social media is the greatest thing since peanut butter, there really is more to life and business than social media. And other ways to reach your target market!

Refer to my comments onWhereto reach your target market. How many other obvious, in your face methods to reach your target market are you stepping over in your rush to get to facebook?

Then, consider this – using social media for your business is primarily marketing. You still need to have a sales strategy and IMPLEMENT that in order for any of your marketing efforts to work.

Ok, so let me get off my pedestal and put my money where my mouth is. Here are my answers to these questions.

#1: Who is my target market?
Demographics:Early stage and emerging growth companies that want to utilize a strong online presence to gain exposure for their products and services.

Psychographics: These are early adopters that are not afraid to make mistakes multiple times and who value substance over style initially. And NO, not all entrepreneurs are early adopters. And yes, I believe that you will ONLY succeed if you are ready to roll up your shirt sleeves, get your hands dirty and IMPLEMENT your ideas!

#2: Why will my recommendations solve your problems? Why should you buy from me?
Great question since there is an online marketing expert on every street corner. You should buy my solutions because I know they work – time and time again. They are not solutions that I copied from someone else’s blog. They are tested, tried, proven. And I don’t wait for someone else to come up with the next greatest way to do online marketing. Instead, I experiment every day with newer, better ways to do the same old thing. Read here for proof.

Magic happens at IempowerU Online EntrepreneurWill my recommendations be like a magic wand that gets waved, instantly producing tons of money pouring into your bank account with no effort? NO! It requires you to think, plan and then IMPLEMENT every day no matter how you feel, no matter what shiny object floats by to distract you.

#3: What pain am I solving for you?
That I have been there, done that already. I know how to make these internet tools work, I know what to do when. I know what works for this type of business and what doesn’t work for that one. And just so I don’t get too cocky, every day I experiment with new tools, try new things with old tools. This means that you don’t have to do these things on your own. Instead, you just get to plug into the proven method, work the system and get back to running your business.

#4: Where is my target market? #6: How will I reach them?
They are already online or willing to learn how to be. They are willing to consider new methods for old problems. I will reach them in planned and implemented daily on and offline transactions.

#5: When? No time like the present!

If you need online marketing help and think you would be a good fit after reading all that,make an appointment with me and let’s get started accelerating your online marketing efforts to success.

Creating Your Online Presence: It IS Really ALL About YOU

At IempowerU Online Entrepreneur its about youWe are always being told that it is NOT about us, that it is always about our families, our customers, our strategic partners, the world. It is almost a crime to be thinking about ourselves, especially when we are trying to sell a product or service. But, I say different. Because until we truly know ourselves, our motivations, needs and limitations, how can it really be about anyone else?

Today, I give you permission to make it all about YOU, especially as we plan your online presence and strategy to create it.

Take an in-depth look at yourself and how you are doing business.Contact me to request a survey that will take you through this entire discovery process.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.

Remember, have fun with this. Isn’t that one of the reasons you started your business in the first place – to have more fun? So, just do it!

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