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Here’s Why Some Small Businesses Are Hiding From Website Platforms

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Here’s Why Some Small Businesses Are Hiding From Website Platforms

We are living in ehe age of the World Wide Web and connection to the Internet, when even in the most rural areas, a raging 46% of the population manages to stay connected.

In the more developed countries, this figure increases to the majority of the population, sitting at around 96%. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that certain enterprises still maintain the belief that they do not require the use of a website for their customers to visit.

The arguments that they make to support this theory are abundant. However, six main absurd excuses seem to surface on average more than others. A brief summary of these can be seen on the infographic below provided by Infobrandz:

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    “A website is redundant for this particular business.”

    2

      Across major continents, the implementation of the Internet exceeded 75% of the total population (including both personal and business use) a mere two years ago in 2014.

      These statistics have only risen higher to the current standing of 2016 which approximates an average of over 3 billion Internet users worldwide, with the development of countries globally as well as the World Wide Web.

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      These numbers may seem intimidating at first glance due to the potential amount of people that your website can be targeted to. However, understanding the potential target market that a website will be able to captivate can be the key to developing business for small business owners.

      If you can correctly implement your website — meaning you are able to set up a unique webpage that captivates potential target market consumers with innovative content — it is highly likely that traffic to your business will significantly increase.

      “The industry is not online.”

      It’s been reported that 42% of the global population actively makes use of the internet in one form or another. In addition, this rate is increasing gradually by approximately 1.13% per year.

      Looking at these numbers, it is clear that the Internet is intricately connected to the world’s population. Due to this fact, your clients, both current and potential, are most likely connected to the web in one form or another.

      If your industry is considered one of those that do not require a web-based platform that promotes interaction with your clients, this should by no means hinder you from having your own web-based platform.

      In fact, this should compel you even further to develop your website as it will give you a competitive edge, making you among the first in your industry to actively interact with your clients and prospective clients over the World Wide Web.

      If you are able to be one of the first companies in your industry with a web-based background and customer interaction platform in place, there is a high probability that through the website, you will be able to command and grow your market share.

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      “Development of websites can be overly expensive.”

      o

        A lot of small business owners are under the assumption that building a professional website is going to empty your bank and leave a hole in your wallet. The cost of developing websites fluctuates according to the complexity of your site. A simple website with minimum functions can cost you from $100, whereas the price for a more advanced website theme can extend to $1000 or more.

        For a small company, the complexity and features of the website don’t need to be extravagant. The cost is decreased, which makes it more affordable, thus a smart choice for investment. However, throughout the web, there are even more inexpensive options. There are dozens of DIY website builders which simplify and alleviate costs, time, and effort. Sites that offer these features include Weebly and Squarespace. If you feel that creating your own website is still too much hassle, there is a wide range of much more affordable outsourcing choices when you hire developers through sites such as Upwork and Freelancer.

        The use of freelancing websites can result in a much cheaper development process if you can find the correct contractor. The average cost of a website is never easy to determine. However, with freelancing sites, you can set up the development of your site on your own budget. These costs vary from freelancer to freelancer, as well as from company to company. The most accurate average for a small business website will be around $1000-$3000. The total cost includes the domain name and hosting, the design work, the programming, and the feature development, as well as other ongoing expenses.

        However, it is important to compare this expense to that of the potentially exponential benefits that an online platform can have not only for the growth of your clientele and income but also for your business as a whole.

        “I have enough customers.”

        The essence of a successful and growing enterprise always lays in the expansion. The development of your total market share is an essential asset, critical in maintaining your business relevance. Keeping on track with this fact will enable you to grow your small home business into a company ready to serve your retirement. Having a website is an essential step.

        When people are in need of a product or service, they tend to use search engines online. Lately, mobile phones have been evaluated to be the most conventional devices used for searching. As many as 44% of online shoppers make use of the search engines on their phones to make purchasing decisions. An SEO-friendly website placed near the top of Google’s search results will be privy to approximately 60% of all organic clicks. Therefore, making small business websites with friendly search engine optimization is the key to increasing your clientele and developing your business.

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        y

          “Maintaining a website requires an extensive allocation of time.”

          In the past, it was difficult and time-consuming to design and maintain a successful website. However, thanks to improvement in both code and software, no longer will your website take hours away from your day leaving you no time to rest. Maintaining your website is simple and it keeps your content appealing.

          The first basic step when it comes to maintaining your website is to ensure that your domain name is paid for and relevant. Domain names can average approximately $49.

          After your domain name, the next step is to secure a hosting contract. Again, different packages are offered depending on your platform requirements and the particular offers available from the hosting companies. Generally, the price ranges from $1 to $10 per month.

          Site maintenance is not as difficult as one may think. If you are interested in learning how the maintenance of your website will work and all that it involves, click here.

          “I use social media instead.”

          Using social media is a fantastic idea for all businesses, as about 2.3 billion people make use of one social platform or another. The annual growth of the number of social media users is approximately 10 % (that’s 219 million new users each year)!

          A recent survey by HubSpot was conducted with 569 participants. The report concluded that businesses are expected to be on three to four social media channels at a minimum. The below graph represents customer/potential customer expectations with regards to service response time on social media platforms:

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          Untitled

            Furthermore, following a friendly and direct rule of engagement with those interacting with your business will improve the word of mouth to your brand.

            It is true that having a stagnant website is not as useful as having an Instagram or a Snapchat account thriving with followers. However, no matter how many followers, shares, and likes you can accumulate per day, if you are not able to turn these idle potentials into fluctuating sales, is there a point to having them at all?

            This is why it is vital to have a call to action such as a link to your website visible somewhere on your social media platform. This allows for more in-depth engagement as well as potential purchases from your website from leads generated by social media platforms — these two foundations work hand-in-hand.

            Start developing your website today

            Although it is true that a small business can do well for themselves without implementing and investing money in online platforms, building a website is not as difficult or as costly as it seems. Furthermore, the benefits of having a website for your small business is a motivation too strong to ignore. Not only will a website promote your company and increase your brand’s awareness, but over time it will also lead to more productive sales quotas and critical expansion in the future.

            Featured photo credit: Vikas Agrawal via Infobrandz.com

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            Vikas Agrawal

            Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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            Last Updated on August 25, 2021

            Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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            Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

            As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

            Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

            According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

            “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

            A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

            What Is Your Personal Brand?

            “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

            Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

            Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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            I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

            A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

            Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

            Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

            Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

            In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

            According to Castrillon,[2]

            “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

            The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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            As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

            In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

            “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

            When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

            The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

            Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

            The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

            5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

            These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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            1. Set Your Personal Goals

            What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

            2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

            Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

            1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
            2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
            3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
            4. What makes you different from others like you?

            The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

            3. Write Your Professional Story

            Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

            4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

            Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

            5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

            A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

            The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

            Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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            As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

            Other People’s Stories

            Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

            Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

            Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

            “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

            So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

            Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

            Reference

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