It 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.
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
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