Utilizing the internet to establish yourself as an industry expert, and profit from it

The internet has been one of the most impactful developments in my lifetime. It provides us with instant access to seemingly endless amounts of information, entertainment & expertise. As technology is further evolving, I think it’s important to adapt to it by fully utilizing the potential it provides.

Establish, develop & evolve your presence on the internet

The internet provides you with an enormous potential to get noticed. Your presence on the web allows you to establish yourself and become known for something. On the personal side of things, this could mean tweeting funny observations about going through high school, or blogging about your love of 90s songs.

But one must also look at it from a business perspective. You can create a web presence that reflects your brand. Your brand is the automatic association people make of you, when they hear (or see) your name or business name. The gut feeling they get, and the emotional attachment they make with you. It is what makes you different from, and relevant to others. Your unique expertise and interests can drive an online presence that helps to establish you as an industry expert. This expertise is an important part of your brand and is a valuable commodity.

There are numerous ways in which you can develop your presence on the web, and get the word out about your brand. One of the easiest and most common ways to do so, is to start a blog or niche content website. Write content that adds value to the internet as a whole. Pick topics you are knowledgeable and passionate about. Even if you only have a little bit of existing knowledge on a subject, having some passion to learn more will make researching a topic easier. It will also make the time spent researching and writing content feel fulfilling and rewarding. Time well invested. Writing great content might not come easy at first, but much like riding a bicycle… it’s a skill you can pick up fairly quickly, with a little bit of practice and experience. The important thing is to simply get on the bike! Even if you fall, you learn and get better.

While your interests, experiences and passions will drive your brand, don’t forget it can evolve and there can be multiple brands.

Evolving a brand – Just as it is important for a business to evolve its brand, you may very well do the same with your web presence. You might hear from your followers that they want to learn more about something you hadn’t thought about. You might get an idea for a tool or service that adds value to the life of these same people. For example, you might have been interested in becoming a security guard, and created an online resource that talked about the industry, and how to get a job in the field. Over time, you might decide you want to be a police officer, and so your online presence might also evolve to talk about career opportunities for those with security guard experience, and how to get into these careers. Your online presence has evolved naturally along with you, and this is a good thing.

Creating a new brand – Over time, people’s interests and passions can change. Perhaps you thought you were going to be a web design guru, but noticed a problem in the process of invoicing your clients. This is the case of Mike, who stared FreshBooks. FreshBooks (affiliate link) provides online invoicing software, and is the #1 cloud accounting software for small businesses. It was started by Mike, who owned a small design agency.  At the time, he would have had a strong web presence in the area of web development, but now he is most certainly known as an industry expert in the world of invoicing. As you can see, there is nothing wrong with this. His original brand and online presence served its purpose, but now he has a new brand and web presence.

Why exactly would I want a web presence? Why should I care about what you are telling me?

Creating a brand for yourself or your business, and establishing yourself as an industry expert has numerous benefits:

1)      You will evolve as a person. You will be surprised how the process of writing great content or opening your mind to the needs of others can help shape who you are as a person. You become more knowledgeable in areas you are passionate about, and you become a better communicator. You also will learn to notice opportunities life may be providing you, that you may not have noticed before.

2)      It’s rewarding. This may happen more for some people than others, but it is very rewarding when you receive a comment or email from someone saying how you have been helpful to them, and that they appreciate what you did. If you go as far to create a social media presence on Facebook or YouTube, noticing positive comments, as well as likes & shares is also a form of a pat on the back which can be quite rewarding as well.

3)      People do business with those they know, like & trust. Building an online presence allows you to build relationships with people. If someone is getting value out of what you are offering and thinks you are making the internet better as a whole, they are much more likely to do business with you when the time comes. They believe you are a credible and reliable expert, and this can be a profitable opportunity for entrepreneurs.

4)      It can help you get a job. Imagine you have gone through school, and are trying to get a job. You apply for a position, and have an equal amount of education and experience to another person applying for that same job. You both have a good quality LinkedIn profile as well. The employer searches for you both in Google, and noticed that one of the two job candidates has a blog where they extensively discuss their expertise, and the other doesn’t have a similar web presence. Is it possible this might give the person with the blog an advantage? Employers these days are searching Google and social media sites, to see what they can find. They very much qualify people and eliminate people for potential job positions based on what they find.

5)      It can open the door to other possibilities. Being seen as an expert in a certain area online can lead to many other opportunities. You never know who might discover and love your web presence, and the doors they might be able to open for you. You might get asked by the media to speak on the subject, or you might get asked to speak at a conference. Both of these opportunities can have an incredible impact on increasing your profile, thus opening more doors for you. Also, do you think when Justin Bieber posted videos of himself playing acoustic songs outside in Stratford, Ontario that he knew what was coming? A talent manager found his videos on YouTube, and requested to become his manager. He then introduced him to Usher, who signed him to his record label. The rest his history.

Profiting from a web presence

There are many ways to profit from a web presence. Some of the ways have already been mentioned. This includes getting a job, the fact people will want to do business with you, and the connections that can be made, which can open doors for you.

In addition to these ways, there are other ways you can profit from a web presence:

1)      Sell Advertising – If your web presence starts to get some good traffic, you might want to consider selling advertising. You can try to sell advertisements directly, but Google Adsense is another great way to get started. Basically, Google will provide you with the technology to place relevant ads on your web site. When a visitor clicks on an ad, you get a portion of the revenue generated from that click. This can range range from a few cents per click on the low end, to $30-$50 per click on the high end. You might not be able to pay yourself a full time wage, but as a side income to your job or business, it’s a great deal.

2)      Affiliate Marketing – There are endless amounts of products, services, and information you can sell on your web site. Here’s how it works: The company whose product you are promoting provides you with methods to promote their products. This can be done by linking to their product, and placing ads on your site, among other things. For every user who clicks on the ad and purchases a product, you are paid a commission. One of the most popular merchants that does this is Amazon. The great thing is that if someone clicks on a link you have provided to a book, and also happens to purchase a DVD while they are on the web site… you get commission based on the full order. Again, it’s difficult to make a full time gig out of this, but you can make a great side income by simply recommending products or services you believe in.

3)      Create your own product or service – As you grow a community of people who believe you are an industry expert in your field, you will no doubt start to notice needs your community has that are not being met. This might be a driving force behind you creating your own product or service to sell. If you can come up with something scalable to a large number of people, this can be extremely profitable and worthwhile.

As you can see, adapting to technology by building a web presence that helps establish you as an expert can be a very worthwhile and profitable project for you to take on. It is something I would suggest everyone consider doing. Honestly, I wish I had this understanding sooner… but I’m happy to share this information with others. If you have anything to add, let me know!

About The Author

Derrick

At LOWD Media, we specialize in supporting entrepreneurs. We understand inspired entrepreneurs and business minded individuals. We then use this understanding to learn about your business and help you create a look and feel for your business – your brand identity. Our business startup packages provide everything you need to begin marketing your business effectively and at an affordable price. Once you begin marketing and growing your business, we strive to support you and grow with you. Long term success for your business means long term success for our business. Let your brand be heard loud and clear with LOWD.

Leave A Response

*

* Denotes Required Field