In March of 2008, I retired. I took a couple of years off and tried to relax. But, as my wife will surely tell you, I’m not one for relaxing. I’m an idea generator and a starter. So, I got off the couch in late 2010. I started traveling as a speaker. And that lead me to the place I am now: running two companies and a platform.
I founded Wealthbuilders and billyepperhart.com in 2014 (Tricord Global was already set up). But as I went along, I found that the world of business had changed pretty drastically as technology changed. The first iPhone was released in 2007 and quickly changed the cellular world. Social media was now a necessity in marketing. The online world had really found its stride. So here are some things I learned as I got back on the horse and adapting my experience to the current world of business.
- You need a website. And it’s easier than ever to make one now. With services like Wix, Weebly, WordPress and lots of others, you no longer need to have a web designer to have a decent website. Yes, down the road, if your business becomes really successful, you’re going to want to have a web designer take you to the next level. But until that point, there are plenty of pre-existing themes that you can easily use. Just remember to do a bit of research into your competitors’ websites to see what elements are important. Make sure it’s easy to contact you and purchase goods if those are relevant to your business. Make sure the layout is functional for what your audience is looking for.
- People are on their smart phones. Having a website and a flyer is no longer good enough. People have migrated to their phones. Computers are no longer the primary way people shop and research online. Because of that, we realized Tricord Global’s 2008 website was not going to float the boat anymore. The term “mobile-friendly” now dominates the market. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then it’s a fair guess that you’re losing a significant amount of traffic. Mobile-friendly websites adjust to the sizes of various screens. That means when someone visits your website on their phone, it’s sized down to make for an optimal browsing experience. Otherwise, it’s difficult to navigate and they may get frustrated and leave. Other things to consider with phones are advertising through various applications and perhaps even creating an app.
- Figure out what social media platform fits your business—and stick to it. Don’t make the mistake of jumping into Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest all at once. Instead, do some research. You already know who your market is. The next step is figuring out where they spend time online. If you’re an insurance company, chances are Tumblr and Pinterest aren’t going to be very useful for you. But if you’re a clothing company, then Instagram and Pinterest are probably at the top of your list. Focus your efforts on growing one or two platforms at a time so you don’t burn out. Building social media presence is tedious!
[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]Focus your efforts on growing one or two platforms at a time so you don’t burn out.[/tweetthis]
- Be generous with your content. The new advertising is free. And by that, I mean that your business should offer freebies. From free webinars to free tips in commercials, businesses are offering freebies to pull people in. In a world oversaturated with marketing, the way to stand out has been to offer the goods up front. If you’re going to sell an expensive video program, then you need to give about 50% away of it for free. Show that customer you can change their life by changing their life a little bit. By proving yourself and your product to the customer, you’re making yourself memorable and also creating a bond where the customer feels grateful to you.
- Don’t navigate the waters alone. The best move I made when I jumped back in the game in 2014 was surrounding myself with good people and good educational products. I hired someone to take on social media and websites, and started learning from the best about how to successfully go about doing business in the online world. Judging by our growth this year, I think it’s safe to say we’ve had a successful start. And hopefully you will too.
The sheer volume of options and advice out there can be intimidating. But follow these five steps and you’ll have a pathway to success.
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