“Online you’re not you, you’re your digital you. Virtually real, but controlled by real you.”
-quote from don’t hug me I’m scared
There are 3 types of digital presences one can have. Good, bad, harmful.
A weak presence is what a majority of people and even small business have. A social media profile or two, an email and history of purchases and Google searches (companies use personal data to market to you).
When you fail to own and use your digital presence to it’s full scope, for all intents and purposes, you don’t exist.
A Good Digital Presence
Top performers need a website.
Bill Nye has a website, so should you. At a minimum you should own your name if possible. But it’s important that your digital presence be about one aspect. We are all amazing multi-faceted people, but people want to box you. Go with it. Define the box by defining your digital presence. Like Bill Nye with science. That is his box.
You need to do this because people will want to associate you with ONE thing. If people don’t associate you with one thing, you’re presence is too noisy and people won’t associate you with anything.
In life as in online you have to pick a path. When you’re young you can be whatever you want. But by your 30’s you should know what you’re doing. When online, you can go in any direction. Travel blogger, Shopify store owner, fitness YouTuber. Whatever.
The goal is this:
To become known for being an expert on something specific:
If I say: podcasting, who do you think of?
If I say favorite YouTube Music channel, who do you think of?
If I say graphic design, lettering, button icons, blogging who do you think of?
…and so forth.
Whoever pops into your head has done a good job about creating a strong digital presence by being know as an authority and an expert on ONE thing. To the point where they pop into your head first. You trust them, recommend them, and will purchase from them.
Get it yet?
Either you control it your message with your own content or other people will control it against your will.
Take US presidential candidate Ted Cruz. He used to own his name (TedCruz.com), but he let it expire and someone new owns that part of the conversation about Ted Cruz:
WEAK DIGITAL PRESENCE
A weak digital presence is what most people have. Social media profiles like Facebook and perhaps a Linked-In profile. Maybe a personal website powered by on of these many free blog sites and of course an email account.
Your digital presence exists as a medium for you to consume content and be marketed to. Nothing more. This is fine for average no-getter Joe. But for top performers, get on board and build a website.
So which are you? A go-getter or a no-getter?
DISASTER DIGITAL PRESENCE
The risk of trying to own your digital presence is making mistakes and having yourself look like a fool. I’ve talked about this previously in how to destroy a website as well how new webmasters in charge of their own website forget to craft a compelling unique selling point.
In short, no website and web presence is better than a bad website and bad web presence.
No blog is better than a bad blog. Bad is when you’re the sort who is faking it till you make it like that case study on destroying a perfectly good website.
Your digital presence must be some aspect about which you are really good at. World class even.
How to craft a strong digital presence for beginners
You have 4 parts to your digital presence:
- Message (unique selling point)
All of these things work together. Design enhances content, your unique selling point is the reason why people pay attention to you and technology is the medium by which you get all this content and messaging out into the world at large.
Technology is the tools and resources you need to communicate with everyone else online. If you don’t know how to manage this aspect nothing else matters. Your message, content, design is all irrelevant without being able to leverage technology.
Now you don’t need to be an expert programmer, but you do need a knowledge base of the technology at work. Just like if you were to start a podcast. There is no quick way to avoid the emotional labor of learning and applying. Have you checked out my free tutorials on creating with WordPress or my create a website service?.
Design, at least good design, enhances content and allows your visitors to quickly and easily “get” what your website and thus digital presence is all about.
The truth is this.
People see a website and your digital presences as one thing. They don’t look at the published content and the design choices as two different things. They see one thing, the website. Use this to your advantage and don’t think quality content alone or a pretty design is enough. It’s not.
You’re goal is to create something of quality that is engaging.
People want to categorize you. They want to associate you with something. People can’t handle an accountant who is also an aspiring painter. The secret to attracting an audience is two part:
1) Be really good at what you do.
No exception. Who do you know that’s very successful but not very good at something? What that thing is, is up to your own talents and abilities. Become good at something, then you can build a powerful and profitable digital presence.
2) Produce content weekly on your specific topic and only your specific topic.
This is surprisingly hard because you need to drill down into one topic and go deep with that one topic. Ignoring related topics. Like graphic design and only focusing on icon design or design for print art or logo design.
That’s why I don’t talk too much about topics like SEO, or pay per click advertising. Not that it’s something I can not help with, but it’s beyond the scope of this website. It would make my messaging to noisy.
Website Creative Pro = Website Made Easy.
Creating a website and then making money with it in various ways. That’s what this site is about. I could talk a little about YouTube, I could talk a little bit about paid advertising but it’s not the main thing of this website.
I only touch on topics like that when needed as a way to fill in missing content gaps on this website.
You can expand into new topics once you’ve established yourself
But it’s one topic at a time. That’s all that people can process.
One of my favorite websites is matthewwoodward.co.uk. It’s about SEO.
When I think of matthewwoodward.co.uk I think SEO and SEO tutorials.
He’s done an excellent job positioning his digital presence as an SEO expert with a focus on tutorials. But he does create non SEO content. Sometimes he will talk about blogging or random website test he is running and so forth.
You can stray from your topic, but first you must curate around that topic and be known for something first. THEN expand.
After you’ve defined your message and specific topic. It’s time to produce content. What is the best medium to communicate your digital presence with? If you’re a CPA at an accounting firm, a weekly blog post about actionable tax advice may be all that is needed.
You could even niche down and be an accountant for successful bloggers and talk about tax issues for people who make their living online
For go-getters, those who are wanting to build a powerful digital presence to the point where a job is optional, you need to produce at least two types of content formats. Your options are audio, video, and published text. What you produce depends on where your audience hangs out.
YouTube is great for tutorials and vlogging about a topic.
Podcasting is another awesome platform because so few are doing it because of the technological barriers.
Published text is great for answering questions and ranking well in the search engine results page of your favorite search engine.
FINAL WORDS AND WHAT TO DO NEXT
For top performers, building a powerful digital presence opens up the internet to wide variety of opportunities that don’t exist to most people who lack a digital presence beyond a Facebook or a LinkedIn page. If you’re really good at something, what’s holding you back from getting started online?
If you enjoyed this, share the love on Facebook or Twitter. It’s a small thing thing that helps this website reach a bigger audience.
Till next time,