Note: This post was originally published on Dukeo when I was a contributor there.
Growing a healthy web presence can often seem so complex. What it comes down to is a matter of overthinking. I find myself sometimes coming up with solutions to problems that are so much simpler than my original approach. Then, I often wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying; and instead, focused more time thinking intelligently about the situation.
In the end, things don’t have to be tricky when developing a web presence early on. In my experience, some of the schemes you find online to help yourself improve your influence are just the author’s attempt at growing their own. While I can’t blame the author, I can say that you’ll be a lot more efficient if you narrow your focus.
Establishing better web presence for a business, or as an individual, requires actually informing people of what you do. Can people know about your expertise if you don’t tell them? Can people give you their support if you don’t ask for it?
Even better, how can that translate into an effective web presence?
What we’ll be discussing has a large range of topics, but narrowing it down brings us to issues like defining your niche, creating relevant content, strategizing your presentation and sharing with your network.
Your Web Presence and Other People
What eludes us often when we are trying to appeal to audiences and new supporters is actually informing people of who we are and what we do in a meaningful way. It’s a problem of visibility, personality and organization. Sometimes it’s easier to think that someone might not be interested in what you have to share in order to justify staying in your comfort zone. Well, that can’t happen anymore.
Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t just a cliché way of saying that you should try something you’ve never done before. It says that the answer is right in front of you if you’ll grab it, and one thing people notice and appreciate is effort. Your web presence will matter to other people if you tell them why it matters to YOU.
We have to make ourselves focus on the genuine interactions we can establish, and there’s a difference between arrogance and confidence. No one wants to hear excessive boasting, but don’t be afraid to share what you do if you know you’re good at it. An internet marketer won’t seem very effective if he or she doesn’t put their skills on display, and effective web presence is dependent on this aspect.
Define Your Niche
The first step to beginning these relationships is defining your niche well. A problematic focus is one that is too broad and too ambiguous, and it’s easy to make this mistake.
Often, it can seem as if it’s better to have a large appeal because the topics you focus on will reach more people. This usually isn’t the case for a variety of reasons.
- It makes you seem indecisive. What are you really trying to specialize in? If it’s social media, what aspects of social media? If you can define those aspects, why are you an expert in that particular field? All valid questions to help narrow things down.
- It’s better to show expertise on one topic, and then branch out once people know you’re good at what you do. Your niche can grow, but you have to establish authority in one or two key areas first.
- People often need a particular service, not one that has so many topics that they can’t decide if they’ve found the right one. The clearer you are about what you do, the better chance you have at converting attention into support, and even clientele.
The best way to summarize the importance of your niche is making sure that you fill a need. For example, there are thousands of marketing services out there; so again, why does your matter? Web presence is an issue of survival, so giving people something specific to count on ensures that you soar to the top.
Once you’ve established your expertise in a field that is marketable online, you have to deliver the content people expect. If you’re a blogger whose topics help others, that’s a service you offer. The payoff comes in your ability to display knowledge and receive feedback from like-minded people.
One problem with keeping content relevant is letting it get stale. Obviously, you can’t write on the same topics over and over again without shifting the focus to different issues from within.
In essence, you’ll discover that each niche has a veritable layer of topics. It’s your job bring them forward and show people that you have relevant and intriguing information. This strategy helps inform others that you know the ins and outs of your field. Not only does layering your niche with relevant content give you better authority over the topic, but it bolsters your opportunity for a more significant web presence, overall.
People often make decisions based on these kinds of displays, as well. If you have information to deliver, people will let you know what they find most important. When looking for opportunities to learn about content effectiveness, getting in contact with other experts for a peer review can give you an objective sense about your work.
The ways in which you choose to strategize your presentation can vary. You should have multiple avenues for people to access. A website for starters, social media pages, an eBook or an open discussion forum are just a few ways to exemplify your work and engage the community it appeals to. Becoming an active member of your niche is as important as anything, and it becomes an important aspect of web presence building in general.
In this case, you have people to connect with, and that’s not just with concern to those who can benefit from your knowledge. Reaching out to others in the field, collaborating or sharing ideas and being a part of the social circle in general help to present your knowledge and your connectedness. It’s a basic public relations strategy that goes a long way.
Above all, your presentation should represent professionalism. If you’ve got your niche, your content and your social circle the one thing that can make you irrelevant is choosing to be careless. Instead, keep your presentation skills honed and effective.
Basic Web Presence Tips
- Understand what matters about your niche to other people.
- Be friendly, active and productive.
- Look for new opportunities and display your hunger to learn more.
- Show a willingness to involve others.
- Answer questions and respond to general concerns.
- Always be thinking of new ways to show your appreciation for the support you gain.
It doesn’t matter if you’re responding to comments on articles, making a status update or contributing to discussion topics in social media groups – these skills propel your expertise.
Sharing and Growth
One of the simplest factors of web presence optimization lies within your ability to tell people about it. By taking yourself through the previous points in this article, you’re not only setting yourself up for a great community of people to engage with, you’re creating a persona that people will want to support.
Echoing my opening sentiment, one of the best ways approach problems of growth can be the simplest. Reach out to the groups you’ve made yourself a part of – people who care about your success. Close family, current and former colleagues and friends are your stepping stones to a wider reach.
When you think about it, you realize how obvious it really is. After all, the more you involve groups that want to share your content because they want to help you succeed, the more likely you are to reach new people who will do the same.
What it comes down to is sharing your expertise because you have developed a network that will support it. This is a cycle that leads to organic engagement in your niche, and reveals the effectiveness of your web presence strategy. A solid approach can eventually do most of the work for you.
Finally, the best potential for growth is seeking out people you can help in their journeys, as well. No one ever said you couldn’t defeat the competition by working alongside them. In this scenario, you can benefit from propelling others. The return is a greater potential for people to reciprocate those favors. We’re all trying to make something of ourselves, and we can help each other along the way. Giving back to the community when you can will only help build your own web presence in return.
Make the Effort
It may be that we don’t think of the simplest solutions first all of the time, but the easiest route isn’t always the easiest to find. What matters when you’re attempting to create and grow a self-sustaining web presence is your ability to search for solutions that are practical and logical. It’s easy to forget that some of our most important communities are right in front of us, waiting to be used.
You have to exhibit a work ethic, and the professionalism that people want to attach themselves to.
Don’t hide under a rock and don’t be afraid to share what you do. You could be next social media success story, but no one got there by keeping their talents a secret.
Begin by setting your web presence goals. Defining your niche and presenting your content doesn’t have to be a conundrum. Start at square one and build, as initial success breeds great opportunities to display and expand your expertise.