Today, your business can either fail or succeed based off of how well you do on the Internet. You may have an online business, or a component of your business is online, but either way, your sales online dramatically affect your growth. When companies release their quarterly reports, the growth of the business online affects whether investors buy or sell shares in that company.
We live in a time of unparalleled access. Billions of people are logged on the Internet and social media as you read this article. There is an opportunity, but there is also a lot of competition. Entrepreneurs welcome competition because it keeps us on our toes. However, if we are going to turn leads into customers, we have to stand out.
There are many distractions and voices that claim to have strategies and tactics that will help your online business. There’s some mediocre advice and some downright dangerous advice. If your business has stopped growing online, it may be because of one or all of these five reasons.
1. You’re relying on old strategies.
Technology and strategies move fast. What used to work might not work even two months later. There are some tried-and-true strategies, such as email marketing, but if you’re relying on old-school tactics to grow your online presence, you will be disappointed. SEO strategies come to mind, and social media is following the same path. There’s a lot of advice that’s been passed around like it’s law, but it’s not and it won’t help your business. Long form articles, chasing influencers and buying links are all old-school strategies that won’t grow your online business or presence.
2. You’re trying to copy industry leaders.
It’s natural to copy someone who’s successful. The problem is that leads and customers will do business with the original, not a clone. What worked for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. Your goal is to get leads to know, like and start to trust you. That process won’t begin if you’re not authentic.
3. You’re not focused on building traffic.
It doesn’t matter how good your website looks or how your funnels are set up, if you don’t have website traffic, you don’t have a business. The strategies that build traffic include getting interviewed on podcasts, writing guest post and writing for large authority publications such as this one. You can always tweak your systems if you have an audience, but it’s meaningless the other way around.
4. You’re relying too heavily on social media.
In the last ten years, social media has been great for businesses all over the world. In the last few years, however, the landscape has changed. Once tired-and-true tactics don’t work now because, today, you have to pay to reach your audience. Most of the popular social media platforms need to generate profits for their shareholders. Social media is a rented platform and a lead generator that should be directing leads towards your website. That’s where the sale will happen.
5. You’re trying to be an “expert” instead of building a connection.
The standard (and bad) branding advice is to make yourself as unavailable as possible. This way you can command a higher price for your time. Maybe that worked at some point, but not in today’s connection economy. Today, if someone doesn’t feel connected to you or your message, it’s very unlikely they’ll do business with you. Don’t be an ‘”expert” who’s on a pedestal. Do everything you can to connect with your audience as much as possible.
When I stopped chasing all the bright shiny objects, I was able to focus on what would help my business. The results have been growth beyond what I thought was possible. In the last two weeks, I’ve booked six paid international speaking gigs, signed a major consulting contract, and started working with ten new coaching clients. Getting exposure on several large publications and connecting with my audience has been a game changer.
If your growth has stopped or slowed, take some time this week to go over your plan and the strategies you’ve been using online. Make sure you’re continuing to focus on what will help your business. Test what you think works. The sad reality is there is a lot of hype and fluff in the online space. Don’t fall victim and let it derail your businesses growth.