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Your Online Presence – Your website is a storefront, a first impression and a doorway for your customers

your online presenceIt doesn’t matter if you are a brick and mortar business or you are an entirely virtual and online business, your online presence matters. That’s where people are! According to the World Internet Usage and Population Statistics, there were 320,068,243 internet users in North America in March 2017. Multiply that number by 6 for Asia. YEP! That’s where people are – ONLINE! That’s where we need to be as Christian Entrepreneurs.

These are some basics of your online existence.

“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.”

Pam Moore CEO & Founder, Marketing Nutz

The internet is an extension of the community in which you live. If you have a brick and mortar business, it is essential to extend your presence in the community through engaging with your community online. If you have an online business, you also need to have a clearly defined and active presence online. Start with a website.

Your Online Presence Basics - You need a great website.

In our digital and smartphone times, we are always on the go. We have information at our fingertips. We have a tendency to research more. We make more price comparisons, and we read reviews more than ever. You need a website because no one uses the yellow pages anymore to find goods or services and because that’s where people are!

Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways to advertise and acquire customers. These days, word of mouth is happening online. When you have a website, you can help direct that conversation. Your site provides a landing place for any social media links and any blog posts or articles you post about your business. Your website is a capsule of all you offer, how you offer it and where to get it. Your online storefront is a first impression and a doorway for your customers.

Your Online Presence Basics - Social media networking is imperative.

One of the most overlooked aspects of social media is the fact that it is an active and engaged community. Finding your niche or tribe and creating a following is an excellent way to grow your business and get people talking about you and your business. It is a way for you to show up, interact, and make yourself real to potential customers. It helps create brand loyalty when people know who is behind what they are buying. You have the ability to control and highly influence the social media community you are a part of and that you create. It is an excellent way to make yourself known, and it allows you to go deeper. Social media gives you an outlet to express and apply your vision and mission. It also gives you the opportunity to show followers how Christian Entrepreneurs do business.

your online presenceYour Online Presence Basics - Blogs are an extension of your voice.

It doesn’t matter what you are selling or how you are selling it; blogs are a sales platform. They are an extension of your voice, your mission, your vision, and the voice of Christ in you. Blogs are a space you control. You can talk about your product and how it fits into your life and your potential customer’s life. Blogs can be used to give detailed testimonials or case studies. Blogs can also be used to inform and encourage. You started your business because you wanted something more. You felt a pull to something bigger. A blog on your website is a place to grow into that something bigger. Blogs can be personalized and managed by you. You chose how often you write about your products and services. You chose how much you talk about God. You chose how people interact with you on your blog. You get to direct the conversation. It is a controlled environment. With the right strategy, blogs are great sales tools and community builders.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 ESV

Your Online Presence Basics - Community is the foundation.

The point of having an online presence is to build a community around your business and your brand. Keeping a balanced perspective of it being about you and being about your customer is important. We are not meant to maneuver through this life alone. Anytime you can encourage another by identifying with them or helping them solve a problem; you are building community. You are doing it the way Jesus wants you to. Everything you do online is about building community. There are real people behind the pictures, comments, and questions. Treating them as if you were face to face with them builds trust. It also lets people know who you are because ultimately the first thing you sell is yourself.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

My Prayer for your Online Presence

Lord Jesus,

Please give us wisdom to accurately represent You and our businesses online. Help us to maintain integrity and excellence in the online community as we do in our real life community. Point us in the direction which is best for our businesses, best for our communities, and best for our lives to glorify You in all we do.

In Jesus name – Amen

 

Featured Member: Brenda Violette

John 3:16 centers my life, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Growing up in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, part of the Bible belt I learned early about God. Due to a traumatic childhood and lack of healthy Christian parents or elders to guide me, that knowledge became a double edged sword; I had an awesome sense of the majesty of who God was, but not of His unfathomable love that was mine to accept, so I could not accept Him completely.

Jesus was a good man, but I was not able to connect. At that time, I had no idea I would later come to a full understanding and reconciliation of the one and only God of the universe that would hang on a cross and die for me and for the world.

On Being An Entrepreneur

My journey to become an entrepreneur started from an early age. The development of leadership skills can be traced back to my childhood where I was the oldest of 5 children. Due to family dynamics, I was forced to take the lead in caring for my siblings and household.

Those skills were further developed when God placed an angel on my path as I entered my last year of high school and was frightened about an unsure future. There were no financial resources for me to go to college or even adult guidance giving me encouragement to help make decisions for my future.

My angel introduced me to a vocational program that my grades and credits qualified me to register for even though I hadn’t finished the last year of high school. Although uncertain, I chose nursing because it seemed to match what I had done all along – taking care of people.

After graduating from the nursing program, I worked for 3 years in a local hospital until I married my son’s father. Then, we moved to Germany for the next four years. Upon our return to the United States I needed to find a job. I felt this internal tension—I really wanted a career. I wanted to do something important with my life.

An overwhelming desire presented: I wanted to work in an office, to have normal business hours. I wanted to dress up every day and make important decisions. Internal fears surfaced: Was I smart enough, was I brave enough?

I pressed through fear and enrolled in a local business college for business administration. The program was 12 months long and I applied for a school loan of $1,650.00. I smile even today when I think about how far that $1,650 went.

My son was five when his father and I divorced. I spent the next several years educating myself and growing my skills in the business world. Raising a child alone, I sacrificed getting a college degree and some career opportunities.
I self-educated with voracious reading, training programs, college classes and of course OJT. When I graduated from business school my first job was a production clerk for a small Oil and Gas Company.

Today, I am an entrepreneur running my own business. Who knew!

I had grown weary of constant layoffs in the corporate environments, the 70+ hour work-weeks, spending less and less time with my family and literally no personal life.

I belonged to the company – there is a price to pay. I prayed for God’s guidance. The answer came, just not the way I expected. There was a reorganization of the marketing department where I worked and I lost my job.

Before the loss of my corporate cubicle, I never had a desire to be an entrepreneur. God placed in my heart that desire and now I can’t imagine working for anyone else. He has a plan for me as an entrepreneur to accomplish His purposes in this world. He wants to grow me and use me to for His glory.

In February 2008, I created VBS Virtual Assist, LLC, and now VBS Online Business Management. As an Online Business Manager, I manage the day-to-day operations, revenue generating projects, product launches, virtual teams and metrics in order to free up the business owner to focus ONLY on what she should be doing in her business to grow to new levels of profitability.

What is the big dream for my business? Of course, I want to provide for my family and my community in financial ways that God will provide. But, my BIG dream is to be able to build a successful business that supports women to grow and believe in themselves and their message. I look forward to the day when I can give witness that when God places a desire is your heart – keep going. He is willing and able to see you and it to its fruition. We are the ones that give up too early, not Him. He has a purpose for planting that desire that is bigger than all of us.

The three tips that I would share with a friend setting out on her own entrepreneurial journey?
• Be very clear on what you want to offer and who you want to serve then check the viability
• Be patient with the journey – it’s not an easy path, the growing is in the struggle
• Get a support group of other entrepreneurs. Family and friends are important for support, but other entrepreneurs get you.

Brenda Violette is CEO of VBS Online Business Management and an Online Business Manager. She has a passion to help women entrepreneurial Speakers, Coaches and Authors grow their business, establish themselves as new market leaders and assist in creating independent wealth in the process of sharing their God given gifts and talents with the world.
The authority that she brings comes from my nearly 30 years of business management experience and many satisfied customers. VBS Online Business Management conducts business using the core values of integrity, leadership, professionalism and best in class offerings. She is your CHAMPION!
Brenda is a devout Christian whose faith centers her each day. She lives with her husband, Joseph Violette. They both enjoy living in Middletown, Connecticut and spending time with family and friends and serving God through their church and faith activities. Brenda served as Director of the Alpha Program, training others in the principles of Christianity for many years at their home church in Cromwell, Connecticut. Her husband plays classical guitar for Connecticut based Christian Band, Knees to the Earth.

Brenda Violette
Online Business Manager
VBS Online Business Management
www.VBSOnlineBusinessManagement.com