The Making Of An Online Business – Promotion

This is the last article from the series The Making Of An Online Business. So far, we talked about starting your own business, your projects, your teams, money management and partnerships. Today, we’ll focus on the last crucial topic in making an online business, and that is about promotion.

If you came here directly I strongly encourage you to read the rest of the articles, and the summary by following the links below:

What Is Promotion?

Promotion is basically spreading the word about what you do. It’s not advertising. It’s not lobbying. It’s not SEO, or direct email. Promotion is the simple fact of letting the world knowing that you started to operate your own online business. It’s so simple that in 99% of situation gets overlooked. Just tell people that you started it.

Why it’s so important about that? The real stake here is not to grow your client base, although you will have to do that sooner or later, but the shift towards your new identity. You will be a different person that the person that didn’t had that business. You need to be in that persons shoes and you need to do that faster.

It’s also important to tell that to as many people as you can in order to reinforce your choice. In other words, to use the outside world as a reflection of your choice. There will be times of trouble and you will tend to go back. It’s human and it’s a sort of a necessary strength test at some point. But if you’ve already told the Universe that you are a new person, going back to the old one will be harder. Might sounds funny now, but it works, believe me.

Where Are Your Promotion Channels?

You will use at least 3 important channels when you start a new business, especially an online business. And by channels I understand flows of information that you can modify in order to carry your message away.

  • employees
  • visitors
  • clients

Employees

It’s trivial but if you don’t let your employees know that you are in charge of that business and that you have serious intentions with that, you won’t get far. At least, you won’t be able to build a team around that business, and you’ll only use temporary jobless persons in need for some cash.

Your employees are the first people to know about what you’re doing, so speak out loud and speak clear. Let them know who you are and why are you doing that business. Clearly outline your goals and observe their reaction. They are your first ambassadors.

Visitors

Visitors are the receptors of your message, the consumers of your projects, the potential clients. They are the most sensitive human material for your business growth. Keep an eye on all the visitors reactions and do your best to build as many direct channels with them as possible.

Every business has its own specific, but be sure to implement email contact addresses, discussion lists, forums, blogs or social media presences for your projects. Everything you can in order to have the highest possible feed-back. And when something is going wrong, change it.

Clients

Clients are people who are usually trading money with services or goods from you. The line is very blurred in the online business field, as I already mentioned in the article about projects: your visitors might be your clients, for instance, if you charge them for extra features. Why are they important?

Because a contented client will tell two more people about your products. An angry client will tell 10 more people about your products. Clients are the most expensive promotion channels you can have.  Usually they can be a source of great reward, if properly handled. Of course, they can easily become your worst nightmare if you don’t treat them good. I said they are expensive because an angry client will cost you 10 times more than your spending for acquiring 10 new clients. And that’s still euphemistic.

When You Promote Your Business?

Is there a specific time for you to promote your business? Is there a daily task you do each day called promotion? The answer is totally no: your business promotion is your day to day job. You promote your business when you’re talking with your employees, when you sell your stuff to your clients or when you chat with your friends.

The bottom line in this article is that your online business is melting with your personal brand. Must seem like a very hazardous thing to say, but from my own experience, this is the only way you can make a difference. Your business is in fact your own way of providing value . You will have to use other resources such as a team, or money or partnerships, but in fact you will sell whatever makes you different. You, as a person.

If you look carefully at all the successful people in the online business you’ll realize that it was their personality, charisma or specific combination of skills, talents and intuition that made them famous. Not their business. The business came behind them, it was an effect of their own personality.

Success is a matter of confidence over marketing. A matter of personal charisma over finances. I’m not saying marketing, or human resources or finances are not important, I wouldn’t write about them in the first place. What I’m saying is that you can learn all of that later on. As long as you’re consistent with your own values and trust yourself and your products, that will shift everything in the right direction. And it will happen because you decided that.

You are the core of your business, not your products or services. Don’t be afraid of expressing your own personality for this is the only thing that will make you stand out.

You personality might be odd, challenging or surprising, but it’s unique. So, spread the word about yourself, shyness is so obsolete!

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7 Responses to The Making Of An Online Business – Promotion

  • Excellent article and I believe word of mouth is the best promotional reference for any business to build on.
    Very good review of building any business even off line.
    Cheers

  • @BunnygotBlog thank you for your kind words and your support. I’m really happy when something I do is really useful for somebody :-)

  • Very good article. It’s something that not many say but it’s so true! It’s all about the confidence!

    Thank you for writing it, because it’s also very motivational. Sometimes you need that push to help you see the light. This post certainly did it for me. :)

  • These are the comments that are making me happy. It’s so rewarding for me to see that my writing can make a difference :)

  • Good article Dragos, I think you’ve outlined the importance of branding things for your self and for your business well. It’s surprising how many people don’t value their own businesses enough to talk about them. Clearly a sign something is wrong.

    I do question a bit of what this applies to though as I think it works well with a service or customer facing online business but not all online businesses. A store or reseller online with little service or customer relations doesn’t really need to put that much effort into branding themselves along with their business. In fact, it is easy to separate and only the customer service aspects are needed with some genuine brand but not the store or business itself. What do you think, is that something you’ve seen?

  • @Mike King I think the personal promotion is needed at all levels of a business, regardless of the business type. Maybe the results are not always quite visible but they are nevertheless important. A customer service or a front desk is just a part of the business, the core need to be managed consistently.

    At least, this is my experience with business :-)

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