Last week I had the opportunity to attend a digital masterclass in my city hosted by MTN Business, with quite some cool and informative industry giants, to share a bit more insight on business and how to maximise technology and the digital space successfully. The points I have shared on this blog post were presented to us by Palesa Phili who is Head of MTN in the KZN Region, who touched on some really great points on how to start planning your digital presence, grab your audience’s attention and to make sure you are successful in being online
Have a Plan
Nothing begins without you putting together a plan for it, especially with regards to your business. This is highly important. You need to know why you going digital, your reasons will help you direct where your presence should be, the type of content you will be sharing and your key message and purpose online. This can simply be done by doing a simple strategy which will be your guide and execution plan
2. Get Smart about your communication
Your content online and the messages you send out to your audience is so important and will determine your success rate. Understanding your audience, what they want to hear from you and how they want to hear it, is crucial. Your messages need to be delivered with the right tone and be consistent in order to captivate your audience and have them engaging with your brand. If your audience is not listening to your messages, you will already be failing with your digital plan. It is also good to know and also be smart by choosing the right platforms to deliver your messages.
3. Lock it down
Security and backing up your content is so important. Palesa said “77% of cyber security is targeted at small businesses!” These statistics are quite scary because this means your ideas and work are in so much danger to be stolen and copied by other people. Your website and any software you might use to assist with your business, need to have good security and also be backed up to make sure you never lose any of your work and content. It’s already so hard for people who are starting out to get a hold of information and build their brands so it’s highly important to protect it at all times.
4. Go Digital
Palesa shared with us the importance of having an online presence to drive success for your business. We all know how powerful the internet is in this day and age, plus everyone’s client is present and can be reached online someway or the other. We all need to go digital but be smart about it as well. Not all businesses and brands need to be presented on all digital platforms. Choose the right one for you and make that work. The most important digital presence which I believe every business needs is a website. Your brand having a website gives it a bit more leverage over your competitors, it will help show your customers how professional you are and a website will drive potential clients your way when they search for the services you offer. Be accessible digitally!
5. Get into the cloud
A cloud allows you to back up all your important work files and be able to access them anywhere across your devices. This is usually the best way to work because you don’t store your files all over the place, they are in one place and you can get access them where ever you go, even if you not using your own device. This also means they will alwasys be safe and secure and you never lose anything. There are different ways of saving your work on a cloud, the easiest ways would be using iCloud or Google Storage or OneDrive. As you grow you can look at more advanced way that will cost you abit more.
6. Be open for business 24/7
By using the technology now easily available to us, this allows you to be present online 24/7 and for clients to gain access to your business anytime of the day and also get in contact with you. A lot of people usually browse the internet when they are in bed late at night, when they are comfortable with no distractions. Being online allows your potential clients to gain access to your brand and information anytime of the day
7. Maximise Social Media
Be present on the right social media platforms and learn how to use all the tools available to small businesses to achieve success. Social Media platforms are all aware of the need to support small businesses and make things a bit more easier for them to convey their messages and reach their audiences, so they have put in place some great features and tools forward, but you need to make sure you learn and maximise its uses to its full potential.
8. Use free business tools
When you are starting out you do not need to pay for tools and software you can not afford. This is why there are some great tools that are freely available to help with daily productivity and running of your business. There are quite a few free tools to explore for every role that needs to be played in your business and are abe to assist with so much productivity and success to run your business successfully.
9. Market your business more
When you decide to be present online, you need to make use of your paltforms and be consistent with your content and make sure you are posting regulary. Regular content drives more engagement and potential of turning a follower into a client. Another marketing tactic to consider is having an integrated blog on your website to drive your SEO score on google searches and motivate anyone who lands on your site to make use of your services
10. Get strategic partnerships
Colloborate. Colloborate. Colloborate! Colloborations are one of the best things to do for the growth of your business. You are not only creating meaningful working relationships, but you are exposing yourself to a much bigger audience by working with other brands, especially trusted brands or other small businesses that might have been in the industry before you. Put together proposals and approach anyone you feel will help you execute that job or approach brands to offer them your services for a project they currenly working on.
Hopefully these tips will motivate you to take your digital presence a bit more serious or help you navigate the digital space more successfully.