For quite some time, I’ve been analyzing the correlation between successful businesses and the ways they leverage their Internet strategy. While evaluating my own clients as well, it has become apparent to me that the ones who are most successful are the ones constantly innovating and releasing a variety of new products and services. This innovation, combined with thought leadership and ideas to improve their clients’ business has been proven to be that magic formula many are looking for.
I recently wrote the 3 Key Elements to Web Site Success article on my blog, which started my discussion on the key elements of creating such success. So let’s explore this further.
If you examine the process visual below, you’ll notice 12 key areas listed vertically on the left hand side with three key analysis areas listed horizontally at the top. The exercise, although straightforward, requires some time to analyze and make the proper decision. What you have to do is for each of the key areas listed on the left hand side, evaluate where you think you are today by placing the letter “T” (for today) in the proper box representing competitive, distinct or breakthrough. Then determine where you think you need to be in the future in each of the three key areas by placing the letter “F” (for future) and then draw a line between the “T” and the “F” to represent the direction you need to move or remain put. It is quite common for most to think they should always move to the right and become breakthrough in all areas. However, this may take tremendous effort of both time and money and may not be realistic. What I would like you to consider is to focus on what constitutes success and therefore you may decided that some areas are ok to either stay where you are or even move to the left rather than always move to the right. Yet you may decide that in several areas, or perhaps all, must create the movement to the right. Here is further clarification to the left side key areas:
Content / IP – Represents your intellectual property such as articles, position papers, process visuals such as the one below, audio and video recordings. This is a very powerful way of to showcase your expertise, position you as a thought leader and establish credibility.
Design & Navigation – Determines how professional and attractive your site is and how easy it is to navigate the site and find the content. If you are trying to position yourself as a world-class entrepreneur and organization, is your site communicating the same message?
Web Site – Ranks your overall effectiveness of using your site to create a success in your business. The key questions are: “How much credibility is my site generating?” and “How much business and new clients can I link to my Internet efforts?”
Blog – Are you using one in your business to better communicate your messages and stay in touch with your clients? You should!
Online Forum – Is the ability to create and leverage a community around your brand. Although rather tough to get off the ground, once such community is created, the results are amazing.
Newsletter – Is an effective way of staying in touch with your clients while frequently sharing your wisdom and news with them.
Podcasts / iTunes – Consider recording audio messages that position you as the expert in your field while perhaps introducing other thought leaders through interviews. By integrating such recording to iTunes, which is one of the largest repository of great intellectual property (IP), you will further expose your content to others.
Videos / Youtube – Similar to the above point but using short videos to communicate your messages and integrate them to Youtube which also has become a huge repository of great IP and a popular search engine.
Products / Services – Do you have them clearly defined on your site with the ease of inquiring about them and ordering them? Should you innovate and add more?
Social Networking – Does it make sense for you and your organization to participate and expose yourself to Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and others? If so which are the ones that make sense?
Webinars / Teleseminars – A hugely growing technology areas to better communicate and stay in touch with your clients. Once conducted, these can easily become products on your site, which may lead to newer streams of business. Ease To Do Business – Rank yourself on how easy is it to do business with you by leveraging the various technologies you have implemented and should you improve and simplify.
I realize it takes hard work and focus but then again if it were that easy, many more would be successful. Where do you rank yourself and what does your Internet Strategic Profile looks like?
© Chad Barr 2009 All rights reserved.