Visibility, Credibility, Profitability. Many of us are familiar with this concept as it relates to business networking. Making yourself visible by showing up at networking events and functions is often where it starts. But before we can graduate into the Profitability, we must first build and develop credibility among referral partners, business owners, and consumers. Often, gaining credibility can be a lengthy task and even after it is attained, it is easily lost if you don’t “keep doing what got you there.”
Online visibility, just like personal visibility, means making the effort to exhibit up in a presentable way. Having a web presence that represents your business properly is a good start. Just like you need to make a commitment to attend events regularly and get your name and face “out there”, you need to make a commitment to getting your website “out there” through techniques such as a mobile web presence, email marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Search Engine Marketing.
The more visibility you have online, the better your chances are of attracting that perfect client. Investing the time and/or budget to develop your online assets is imperative if you are expecting to bring in new business via the internet.
Just as in “real life”, this is the step where people tend to drop the ball. Building credibility takes time and not only do people need to see you consistently, they often need to experience both your expertise and your integrity before they do business with you or refer new business to you.
The key to online credibility is consistently creating high quality content. You must be willing to share your information freely through blogging, video, Social Media posts, and sometimes even free webinars and podcasts. The bottom line is that the more often you make the effort to provide your audience with great information, the faster and deeper you will build your credibility. The Achilles Heel for most business owners is impatience. They often shed in the towel if they don’t experience results within the first few months. Online credibility can take 6-12 months of consistent effort to develop and without a long-term commitment it is rarely achieved.
For those who stay the course and faithfully follow a strategic online marketing plan for an extended period of time, profitability reveals itself in the following ways:
If you’re looking to improve your business by leveraging the internet, it’s important to remember that the concept of Visibility, Credibility, and Profitability hold true both online and off line.
Begin with a credible web presence, including a mobile web presence. Beyond a professional and slick design, it's all about content and the credibility of the content. What you know about the business and the product and services should be online. Do not hesitate to be personal, your audience is interested in learning why you are doing things the way you do them.
Share the content with potential new customers around you through search engines, social media and eventually more traditional ways like Newsletters.
Capture your online leads through a basic sales automation mechanism so that you keep track of the leads and you can track conversion in to real profitable new business.
Track and interact with your web audience in real time through a chat mechanism, you would be surprised how eager people are to learn about you and the products and services you have to offer.