These are just some of the ways I’ve seen both large and small business owners fail or lose business from their online efforts or lack thereof. There is no perfect science for online success, but there are some simple principles and methods that should be considered if you’re serious about building and growing your online presence and business.
TOP 10 WAYS TO LOSE ONLINE BUSINESS
Word of mouth is just the beginning of getting the word out to potential prospects and clients. Linking to your site from every possible social network and profile on the web is an often missed opportunity by many. Adding links in your email signatures has never proven to hurt. Not understanding and maximizing SEO may be the greatest missed opportunity.
9. Use controversial content that creates “camps” or makes people choose “in” or “out!”
Your opinions and expressed feelings regarding Politics, Religion, and a variety of other topics can and will create a parting of the ways with much of your traffic if you’re not careful. Avoiding the “like” versus “Don’t Like” or “I’m with you” vs “Against You” is advice I hear often from successful professionals online. Don’t make readers choose a camp, because it may not be yours.
8. Spend too much time just playing on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
If you poke 3o people a day on Facebook, that’s nice. If you tell everyone following you on Twitter your play-by-play plans for the day and share photos of every image your eyeballs land on, that’s really cool. If you’ve signed up on over 15+ social networks and feel guilty that you haven’t visited each one and updated your status, you may want to get help. STOP IT! Your business comes first!!
7. Focusing on making money instead of providing value-added content.
Sell, Sell, Sell. Me, Me, Me! This won’t work off-line, and it certainly won’t work online. Providing value with absolutely no expectation of anything in return over time will produce relationships which are necessary if you ever want to do business. This doesn’t mean to give up the farm and all your goods, just use a strategy that builds like, trust, and a rapport. The rest will fall into place when you connect and meet IRL. (In Real Life)
6. Trying to build traffic and analytics instead of building quality relationships.
Some people get very excited about the amount of traffic their sites and blogs generate every hour, day, and month. They feel and believe that just because they are on the first page of the search engines for certain keywords and phrases that they are successful. Even with 500 hits to your site an hour, if you haven’t created or built one single relationship, then what is the point? Don’t count hits, count trips to the bank.
5. Don’t know your markets, your products, your tools, and your service areas.
Let me look into that for you… I’m not sure? Hmmm… that’s a great question? Let me see, not sue what I can do? Not sure if that’s an option. What does that mean and where did you hear that? Are you kidding me, are you nuts? These are all comments and signs that you may want to know a little more about your market, product, business, or service. You are the expert, it’s no different when your doctor says… “Hmm… I’ve never heard of that before…” Yikes!
4. Lack in response time to online contacts. The sting and power of the 1st hour.
100% of online contacts have the option of being mobile and 100% of people usually are. What percentage of people want to “WAIT” to hear back from you for any reason at all? NONE. This is why text messaging has become the fastest and most popular way for the world to communicate. It is the number one communication tool besides face-to-face and the phone. Answer your phone. Respond to email quickly, and new online contacts will often wait 3-5 minutes before they’re gone… FOREVER!!
3. Not using a good CRM to manage campaigns and follow-up with online contacts.
If you can’t remember what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner two weeks ago on Thursday, then there is no way on earth you’re going to remember what you’re suppose to do two weeks from tomorrow at 10am, 1pm, and 7:30pm regarding your business, clients, follow-up, or personal life. Most people can’t even remember what to get at the grocery store so they bring their Retail CRM with them. (The Shopping List) You NEED a “shopping list” for your business as well.
2. No call-to-action or method and form of contact capture.
Your website may get hundreds of hits. Your various blogs may have thousands of readers and subscribers. Your real estate MLS or IDX might produce millions of visitors but if you have no form of contact capture or call to action, then why even bother being online, spending the time, money, and effort to build your online presence and empire? It’s ok to give information and share value-added content but don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Use multiple and creative ways to capture contacts.
1. Don’t update ALL your online profiles and sites: email, phone, contact info etc.
You have a company website, you have 3 niche websites, you have 4 really cool traffic driving blogs, and now you’re on more than
15 20 30 different social networks and sites including Four-Square, Yelp, and Google+. Changes in real life are inevitable so don’t forget to make those changes online as well. Watch out for “Page Cannot Be Displayed” “500 Server Error” or “This number is no longer in service” and “mailer firstname.lastname@example.org is undeliverable.” Keep track of your online bread-crumbs.
“Maybe I should rename this article the “10 Ways To Grow Your Online Business!”