What separates dreamers from digital entrepreneurs?
Here’s a hint: it’s not talent (though talent helps) and it’s not luck (though luck is appreciated). The difference between a dreamer and a digital entrepreneur comes down to having the right skill sets to make your entrepreneurial visions a reality.
Of course, starting a business isn’t what it used to be. You have to master several complex skills in order to get a business off the ground–especially as a new entrepreneur. Here are a few of the big ones that are here to stay.
There are a lot of skills on this list, but most of them boil down to the same skill: communication.
Communication is the single greatest skill you can have in your back pocket as an entrepreneur. It is your guiding principle and you’re key to success. It’s the current that carries every other element of your business.
Don’t believe it? Think about how many times you have to repeat your business pitch, talk to an investor, sell to a customer, or even just send an employee email in the course of your career.
Communication is in everything you do. Now is the time to learn the secrets of strong communicators.
Next is a more technical skill: search engine optimization, or SEO, a.k.a. that thing you need to do if you want your business to see more customers than a hot dog stand in a North Dakota cornfield.
SEO is the art and science of making sure that the almighty Google (and those other search engines, too) will show your website to relevant web surfers when they put in a search that applies to your offerings. You can’t buy your way into Google rankings–it takes time and dedicated effort.
And yes, SEO evolves almost as fast as Google’s endless miles of code, but that also means that now is the time to start learning.
If you need SEO because Google is king, you need content marketing because content is king.
If you’ve ever dipped your toes into SEO, chances are you’ve already encountered this phrase and hate it with a burning intensity. But regardless of how cliche it is, it’s not going away.
In the same way that communication is the heart of everything you do, content is the way you communicate your business to would-be customers. It’s how you show your customers who you are, as if they’re meeting you and having a conversation with you in real life.
And given how much content is out there, you’re going to need to write quite a lot of content to keep up. We’re talking blog posts, social media, web copy, whitepapers, e-books–the works, and the works have to be regularly updated.
If you’re a bad writer–or if you’re the kind of entrepreneur who believes in strategic investments that allow you to focus on your talents–you can still post great content. There are tons of services out there that will give you high-quality, well-researched content. Plus, their job is to ensure that you have a great experience with successful content, which means they stay up-to-date on the latest rules of the content game.
Like we said: it’s a strategic investment. Now’s the time to make it.
On a related note, now is the time to get social. And by social, we mean social media.
In 2019, an estimated 2.95 billion people worldwide used social media. Those numbers are only expected to keep going up as smartphone penetration continues and people live more of their lives in the digital space.
Listen: social media isn’t just cat videos anymore. Social media can take a brand from zero to 100 overnight. Social media can start a movement (or take one down). Social media lets people communicate on the topics that matter most to them.
And if you’re not already on social media, you’re going to get left behind in the dust.
The key is knowing which social media platforms to use for your business. This is based on your unique business offering as well as your client base. If your business doesn’t lend itself to photos, Instagram and Pinterest aren’t good fits. Similarly, if your follower population lives on Twitter instead of Facebook, you need to get busy on Twitter.
This is the Year to Go Digital
As an entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to build a business at the cutting edge. Now is the time to learn new things, to make your business stronger, to create something truly unique.
And here’s a secret: once you start learning, it’s that much easier to keep up with the curve.
Remember, every moment you spend learning something new is an investment in your future success. Isn’t your dream worth making that investment?