Why A Strong Online Presence Is More Important Than EverNov 20, 2022
As someone who specializes in online image, I can confidently say that we’re currently going through a period of HUGE change. Social media and internet presence are becoming crucial, and as we’re shifting everything online, you need to know how to embrace this change and turn it into success. Luckily, knowing why a strong online presence is more important than ever is the first step to using this change to your advantage.
Recently, especially in a post-pandemic era, people are still learning to adapt. COVID-19 brought internet usage to an insane high: A person's average time online before COVID-19 was roughly 4 hours a day. Only 8 months into the pandemic, it was already up to an astonishing 6 hours and 42 minutes per day, and now, the average American internet usage is at a whopping 8 hours and 14 minutes per day! Activities that were once exclusive to the real world are now becoming more interwoven with the world wide web. Consumers, and possible customers, are more likely than ever to turn to the internet to address their wants and needs. It’s becoming more and more clear– having an online presence is critical.
This era of internet usage is an incredible learning opportunity, and it can completely transform your business and brand if you use it.
As someone who spent decades focusing on branding and business building, I truly believe that we’re going through a transformative stage right now—one where your online presence will need to be the main focus. Let’s explore why.
Why We’re In A Transformative Stage
The world we live in today is very different from the one of ten years ago, even just one year ago! People have had to fundamentally change how they interact with each other and, as a result, many companies around the world have had to dramatically change how they do business. This increased connection can make or break your business. If embraced and used properly, you can attract more customers than ever before and grow your services beyond what you've ever dreamed. If ignored, your business can easily fizzle out and vanish among all the other businesses jumping to use the internet to their advantage. Don't be the one to disappear.
What People Want
In an online world, every bit of information is accessible with a simple Google search. When potential clients search your name or company, you want your results to be inviting and credible. This means having professional, authentic photos populate your results, along with a polished website and ideally some interviews and articles.
Having no results show up when you’re Googled can be offputting, and it tells the person that you’re not important or credible enough to show up online. While that may not be true, that’s the perception in this online era. Luckily, you have full control over these results!
How Your Online Presence Can Help (Or Hurt) Your Business
It's simple: refining your online presence to draw in customers is the best way to grow your business. This is where your personal brand comes in. With all of us spending more time online, potential clients are likely to do more research than ever before prior to contacting you, so you need to be sure their research results align with each other.
A strong online presence that reflects your brand, showcases what you offer, and matches your personal values and integrity can quickly turn those searchers into customers. By being sincere online, you stand out from other businesses, and your services become more trustworthy and appealing.
However, a weak online presence may drive them away from you and toward your competitors. If a possible client is researching your company and scattered, disorganized results come up, they assume your company is as messy as your online results. Having four different websites about your services pop up, each saying different things, is confusing and seems unreliable. Let’s face it–people judge. You could have the most sophisticated, organized business in the world, but if your Google results don’t reflect that, people will have no idea.
The Fundamentals Of A Strong Online Presence
Your online presence needs to be concise, connected, and have multiple aspects.
A strong online presence is made of:
1) Website: the core of your online presence. Use your website to showcase your services, feature your products, share consistent, quality information, and capture leads.
2) Social media: build relationships and gain trust by sharing authentic, relevant content and consistently engaging with your audience. This can be through Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest–any social media platform where you can build a following!
3) Online business listings, including Google My Business: let searchers see what you offer at a glance, accompanied by reviews from real customers.
4) Email marketing: as one of the most important parts of your online presence, email marketing is key to reinforcing your brand and services to the people who are already interested in you.
5) Interviews & Articles: Being interviewed and written about is the key to creating credibility. If clients see that you have other people dedicated to your service and expertise, enough to write or interview about it, they’re infinitely more likely to be influenced by your brand. Submitting articles to websites such as medium.com is a great start to getting yourself published, along with hunting down potential podcast features as an interview.
My Advice To Businesses:
Invest time now in your online presence. Why? Because it will pay dividends, both now and in the future.
By acting sooner rather than later, you’ll be prepared and ready to welcome customers as they delve more into the internet—and you’ll have a strong online presence with the power to unlock new and exciting opportunities. A strong online presence is more important than ever, and by acknowledging and utilizing that fact, you’ll be leagues ahead of your competitors in no time!