Before you begin expanding your digital presence, you will first want to make sure that you have laid the foundational groundwork. Your core branding and messaging should be in place and clearly showcase who you are, who you help, and how you help. This means you will also need to do some work on clearly defining your target markets for your business. Only then are you ready to start building out your comprehensive online presence.
Here is a 7 step process on how to develop the digital frontier:
1. PLAN: The most logical place to start is to develop a plan, just as you probably do for each of your clients. Think about your goals, budget, and the resources that might be required to go “digital”. Consider which online marketing channels make sense for your business as well as the education or training you might need to get up to speed with building your online presence.
2. PUBLISH: Today it’s easier than ever to self-publish online. Sharing and distributing your insights online through blogging technology will position you as the go-to expert in your market. Work to build a robust library of unique, personable, and high quality content that is accessible and relevant to your target markets 24/7 on your online hub (website/blog).
3. SHARE: It is no secret that we are bombarded with information today. People have enough information. What they really want is knowledge. They want someone to sort through all that information and lead them to make good decisions. Creating a successful online presence involves sharing the right knowledge (content) with the right people (members of your target markets).
4. CONNECT: You can invest in an amazing online presence and have outstanding content, but without a community, you won’t generate opportunities that can forward your personal and professional success. Proactively focus on building your community online through search engines (web traffic), social media (networking), and your email database.
5. ENGAGE: As you grow your community via your online presence and activities, you will open up the door to engagement opportunities with others. This is where the real relationship-building happens. Social engagement is professional networking as we know it in the traditional sense, but it’s online, easy, and can accelerate relationship development.
6. OPTIMIZE: Optimizing your online presence is an ongoing activity. Online marketing programs cannot be put on autopilot. The landscape changes rapidly and therefore, you will need to be constantly updating and optimizing your online presence. This is not much different than the concept of adjusting and rebalancing client portfolios to minimize risk and maximize returns.
7. ANALYSE: There are some amazing and powerful digital tools available that can give you great insight into how your digital strategy is working. A good number of these tools are free or low cost. With digital tracking and marketing tools, you can gather data from your activities and analyse your strategy to determine what is working.
Following this 7-step process will help you successfully expand your online presence.