Usually, success in an online business depends upon selling outstanding products or representing really good affiliate plans. But just as important in getting people to buy from you is your business image. In this article we will look at how to define that image and sell yourself to help your potential customers decide to buy your products.
There are several things to think about when developing your online image. But it’s no different from preparing a resume or a personal history. You’ll want to look at your education or training, work experience, and your life experiences, and how all of this defines you as an individual in such a large marketplace. You have to sell yourself to the public.
We start with education, because that’s the point where our lives began to take a definite shape. Think about what part of your education relates to who you are. Is it the favorite grade school teacher who unlocked your ambition to learn? Or is it special talents your high school studies or extra curricular activities revealed?
Remember, your personal level of education not so important. It’s how your educational background helps define who you are and how well you can help others online.
Next, start thinking about your life experiences. What large events in your life like being married or single, raising children, and maintaining long-time friendships helped shape you? What would you change or keep the same assuming you’d have control over such matters? What have you gained from your experiences in life? What defines you?
Then examine your work history. What occupation did you start out in? (This includes what has been traditionally known as “home maker”, or household manager, if you will.) What various skills did you obtain? What other occupations have you had? What things about traditional employment brought you to the Internet looking for income?
Now try to decide how your education, life experiences, and work experience translate into your online goals. In general, how much income do you expect to replace with income from online? What do you think your niche market is? (This is defined by what type of customer you focus your business on.) How does your business fit into the large scheme of Internet marketing?
Okay, you say, now I have a handle on who I am. I have an image. What do I do with it? How is it going to help me sell products?
Well, announce it to the world. * Tell * people who you are.
Work up an online resume or an “About Us” page for your site. Include key points from your self-searching. Make yourself into a real, live human being with whom your customers can do business and enjoy visiting again and again.
Publish your name, address, phone number, and email address. You needn’t worry about being swamped by phone calls and letters. In five years online I’ve had one customer ever call me, and it was not to complain. I’ve had one letter, and it was for more information. Emailing is so much easier and it saves long distance rates and postage. (I don’t have a toll free number yet, so it’s their nickel to call me.)
Provide a self-photo. Without undue cost, “put your best foot forward” by having it taken professionally. It should be the “real you”, not some computer enhanced alter ego that portrays you better than you actually are. Don’t be afraid to update the photo regularly to show you developing in your career.
Finally, let’s talk a little about being professional. I’m not referring to how you phrase your sentences or how fancy your vocabulary is. Instead, I’m recommending you try to be realistic – confident without hype and humble without putting yourself down. In short, be yourself.
In your comments and publications avoid sarcasm. Some people may catch the humor while others may be offended by it. Don’t issue ultimatums like, “If you’re not willing to [so and so], then you don’t belong in this business.” These folks are your prospects or have signed up under you. They are expecting your help and example, and you wouldn’t want to push them away from making a decision to buy.
When all is said and done, what you say and do online brands you to those with whom you come in contact. It would be far better to take time to brand yourself in a positive light than to leave your image to chance by neglecting your online presence. Show them who you are, and let the business begin!
Brian Moore publishes ‘BizOps Secrets’, a complete ezine resource for online success. AllPro BizOps, Proven Business Secrets That Work Online. allprobizops.com