Redesigning your website – or business?

Watching a great course at CreativeLIVE all about redesigning your website with the consistently fantastic Janine Warner.

It’s all good stuff, of course, but one thing in particular resonates.

Janine’s finished talking through a case study of a pal who went through a website transformation. Said friend is an author, photographer, teacher and media personality (whatever the hell one of those is) – which means she’s a polymath to the point of being spread thinner than the marg on an anorexic’s butty.

I’m reading between the lines here but it’s insinuated that during the website development this woman discovered that actually it wasn’t just about her digital presence – but about her business. You can’t put lipstick on a pig (not that either the website or the woman are in any way porcine) yet people with shaky enterprises (which this wasn’t) think that by creating a kick-ass website your business will be golden for the rest of time.

It doesn’t work this way

I’ve spent too much of my life designing websites for people who think the internet is a cure for their commercial crises. And with more of us than ever (me included) trying to find that one thing that defines us among myriad options and talents, it’s not going to get any easier for the web developer.

Photo Credit: CarbonNYC via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: CarbonNYC via Compfight cc

The creators of newborns should be obliged to take an 18-month ‘How To Be A Parent’ course before they can get child benefit. Dog Ownership courses before pets can be purloined.

By the same token, every business creator should be duty-bound to take on at least a mentor for several months while their enterprise is getting off the ground. If for nothing else, clarity and purpose.

There isn’t a website in the world that can help you make a success of your business unless you’ve already got the vision, values and culture down pat. Scratch that: you call yourself an internet marketer.

What then?

When you finally get to the point where your business is ready for a website – the first, or the next – ask yourself the answers to these questions I just foisted in front of a pal who wants to get his etailing in order:

  1. I’m five years old. Tell me what your business does in 10 words.
  2. What’s the one thing about what you do that makes my life better?
  3. Why should I buy from you rather than Jack down the street?
  4. How much time do you have for your website every week? If you’re packing fudge 24/7 you’re not going to be the next social networking superstar this side of Christendom.
  5. Who are your heroes in business? Why? How are you learning from them?
  6. What do your customers of today and tomorrow say about you? What most appeals to customers about what you offer?
  7. Let’s talk creating stuff for your website. Have you already got any content together – as in text, or photos, or videos, or any audio content? Where is it? If not, how are you going to make it?
  8. Who’s your ideal customer? Why?
  9. Grab a drink and think big – where do you want your business to be in three years? How will it be different to what you’re offering now? Will you be selling products, as well as services? What kind of clients would you most like to work with? Are you planning on diversifying or selling up altogether.
  10. I’m five years old. Tell me what your business does in 10 words.

You’ll probably think I’m bananas for asking the same question twice. I’m not. Call me acute psychologist. Whatever – just call me cute.

I want you to post your answers in the comments below – or email them to me. And I’ll help you make that next step.

How to see success like a superhero

I went to the opticians yesterday for my seven-yearly check-up. The opticians, curse of us hardcore web workers for how they castigate and caution us for spending 17 hours a day in front of a phalanx of pixels.

He was a lovely man, though questionable in the extreme for his choice in humour which involved him making a rather sordid reference to a scene in A Clockwork Orange while my chin rested in the bowels of a particularly peculiar machine.

But that’s not important. What is, is how with a few deft flicks of his wrist and an arrangement of innocuous shards of glass he transformed my competent sight into that of a superhero.

In five minutes, which included a couple of gos on this absurdly basic 1980s-style ‘follow the dots’ game, he’d turned me into Batman! Or Captain America. Or the Green Lantern.

Or more concisely, the one who can see through walls.

see success like a superhero

Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc

Small steps to success

You don’t need to go see an optician to see the benefits of making minor modifications. Businesses in the know are changing their websites daily to help people focus on what’s important – for both the customer and entrepreneur.

In this age of always being busy, more is definitely less. Doing the very best with what little time you have available means you can keep in sight at all times the little things that generate the greatest rewards.

It’s not necessarily about crafting the perfect story about your brand. It’s not about redesigning your website. It’s about starting somewhere and building gradually and methodically towards your grand vision, snapping up the incremental rewards that come with commitment and none of the haste with which we customarily lace our days.

There’s a reason the Italians are all over the philosophy of slow food. It works. No other nation gets what’s good for us better than the central Europeans. Family time, natural ingredients, and smiles. Always smiles.

Take your time

Take a look at the feedback from your customers. Find the easiest thing to modify – and with clear intent, do it. And wallow in that for more time than it deserves. Because in your mind, the little things aren’t worthy. But they are – and together, they add up to a pretty big mountain and a summit you’ll be proud to have conquered.

The formula for business success online: 2014 edition

Time to be the hero

Photo Credit: JD Hancock via Compfight cc

You know how I feel about these digital marketing courses. Too much bluster, not enough time to do what is preached, and so on.

You’re well aware of what you need to do online. It’s the same as what you do in the elegantly-monikered meatspace. Make a plan, test, execute, measure, refine, test, execute, measure.

Doing things digitally needn’t be any different so don’t be scared by the unending list of tools and systems at your disposal purportedly to make magic happen.

Digital is more important than ever – mobile marketing more so. Soon the keyboard will be dead and yes, we’ll be communicating electronically more than ever before, and mostly on the move. Smaller devices, bigger buttons is the order of the day for the more astute entrepreneur.

But for the internet to be an essential component of your marketing strategy, you need to be clear on three things:

  1. Who your customer is
  2. Where they are
  3. What they want

Sounds easy? It kind of is, but it kind of isn’t. Whereas in days gone by you leafleted people en masse because it didn’t cost that much to despatch flyers in newspapers or advertise on local radio stations, now you’re competing against peers worldwide and with billions of targets to aim at, you need to act a little more refined.

Who your customer is. Early on in my career I wrongly believed that if I built it, they would come. They didn’t. Then I reasoned it wasn’t the product; it was me. But it wasn’t that, either. It was believing that everyone was my customer. They aren’t.

My takeaway on defining your customer is what Gary Vaynerchuk said to me in the Huffington Post

What the Big Vee said:

I just do a lot of listening and paying attention to consumer behavior. I’m not the type of guy who is going to take a lot of Big Data and figure out what it means. It’s more about my intuitive feel. But whether it’s about data or intuition, the important thing is understanding where things are going and then building a product to collide into that path. It’s kind of like Wayne Gretzky passing the puck to where the player is going to be, not where he is. I’ve done this my whole career – figuring out where I think the consumer is going to be, and then building a business to intersect when they get there.

Where your customer is. Some of them will be walking down your street. Others will be perusing local media. But even if you’re not actively selling to a global marketplace, there is every reason to be seen by people anywhere who share common traits with your ideal customer. The more people who belong and empathise with your vision, products and message, the more sharing will be done. The more sharing that gets done in this always-connected world, the higher your brand reaches on the search engines for everyone. And you didn’t forget Google Places, right?

When we say ‘where’ we’re not necessarily talking geographical. Here we’re talking where they most enjoy hanging out online (since this is a blog, and you’re on some form of electronic device).

With rampant generalisation, Pinterest is great for women, especially engaged ones and those ready to move into a new home. I don’t care how many times cNet updates its boards – Pinterest is not a great look for technologists.

Facebook is great for the office warriors with nothing better than their time than being caught up in your Sponsored Posts that in some meagre way should either newsjack or be relevant to your target audience. By the way, did you know you can hyper target your brand Page’s posts to specific audiences within your Likeosphere?

Twitter and G+ are still very much the domain of the first-movers and mavens.

Jelly and Vine are for egotists.

Foursquare is for dead people.

What they want. Once you’ve identified tomorrow’s takers, you need to figure out how to warm them up today. And really, this is the area I want to drive home since it’s the foundation for a book I’m working on right now.

Content marketing was created to help businesses optimise what they had to say to garner the greatest number of eyeballs. But once the fizz subsided, the novelty factor of having someone from your preferred brand talk at you diminished and your interest levels tumbled faster than a fat lad on a helter skelter, content marketing became useless.

But I’m a strong believer in silver linings and so creating the very concept of content marketing, though even by title being inherently flawed, was not in vain.

Content is cool. Content with context is invaluable. And if you meld content and context, you get hacked.

Get hacked

There’s an unrecognised secret to growing a compelled community that is shared by a select few online operators.

Why? Because they actively they engineer change among their citizens.

Unless you’re creating an article, video, campaign, radio series or presentation to develop your consumer, it’s not enough.

Change, baby

It used to be hard as hell coming up with content ideas. And I believe that’s because we were trying to be too smart.

The reason we saw a glut of how-to blog blogs was because we didn’t understand who our customers were, and what they wanted.

But seven years on we’ve got near-limitless social intelligence that builds a more comprehensive customer persona than any omnibus survey ever could.

And we’re more confident and mature in how our businesses work, and play with our communities.

That’s why people like Tim have been able to build products beyond their core. Tim didn’t start out with the intention of writing his trilogy of Four Hour books. And he rarely seems as comfortable than in full flow with his Kevin Rose bromance on their web TV series Random. But he nailed the dreams and needs of his target audience by sharing his expertise for their betterment.

We all have it. I work with leisure centres packed with knowledge on how to get fitter, eat healthier, be better. They share through blogs and social media what it takes for every type of person to finish that content a superior version of who they were before.

But to take it easier with content creation those three elements have to be in alignment. And like Gary said, you need to be a master listener to do it better every time.

What I’d do

Whatever your business or organisation, you need to get totally under the skin of its being.

  • What do you exist for?
  • What do you thrive on?
  • Who are your happiest customers?
  • Who are your happiest associates?
  • Who are your customers, period?
  • Why do they buy from you?
  • What do they ask for that you don’t already sell?
  • What do they do on weekends?

The preoccupation with only putting out messages that market your products is a hairpin curve when you need to pick up speed.

Now I have that understanding of where I am, where I want to be, and who I want to take with me, I start noodling on the hack. What is really, really important – putting aside all my preconceptions of that matter already having been covered a zillion times (because it hasn’t, honestly) – and how can I add our unique take on fixing the itch?

Find five things, pillar posts as we might say, that you and your team know about stuff that could intrigue, inspire, entertain or educate your audience. Be completely selective – after you’ve thrown all the ideas in your head at a big sheet of paper. Rid anything that doesn’t excite everyone.

It could be a way to learn guitar more quickly. To bone a fish. To get bigger quads.

Hack it.

Put a marker in the sand. Publish it. Make sure you can measure its effectiveness. Find the social networks where your customers are, and tell them about it. Jab, jab, jab, right hook, as that Vaynerchuk chap might say.

Plan, test, execute, measure, refine. But hack. Always.

And report back and tell me what you think. Because we’re going somewhere with this. And I want you to be there when it blows up.

How to stay safe online

Update (11/02/2014): earlier today I guested on Tony Snell’s BBC Radio Merseyside breakfast show to discuss Safer Internet Day and how best to keep children protected online. Here’s a recording from that show…

In 2004 I was asked how kids could be protected on the internet.

At the time, it was simple – to be protected on the internet, they should be protected from the internet. In 2004, with less than 10 years under its belt as the world wide web, the internet wasn’t an essential part of our lives. Companies like Amazon weren’t the be all and end all of retail; Twitter hadn’t been born, and thefacebook was known only by eggheads from an American university noone ever heard of, in a state noone could spell.

Today Harvard has 277 reviews on Google Places, part of a mapping system that has almost destroyed an entire industry of satellite navigation manufacturers. thefacebook is now Facebook, with 1.23 billion members. Twitter is finally profitable, and Amazon sells a book every single second.

The world has changed. We believe everything we read online. Worse, people are still posting pictures of their cats on Facebook.

Everything is the new norm

Nothing is private. If it’s secure, it’s hackable.

And in this new era of everything being accessible by anyone, we’re slowly coming to terms with the fact that nothing is sacred.

Nothing is sacred, and noone is immune from the internet and all its myriad temptations.

So what happens now?

We can’t back up the truck. Too much has changed. The internet is largely used to fuel good. Social networking has connected the world, and we can now see and do things that were previously impossible.

But as the web becomes ubiquitous, thanks to the efforts of companies like Cisco working on plans to make the internet accessible by the 4.something billion people across the world who are yet to be exposed to this seething mass of bytes, so the seedy, sordid underbelly of the internet grows.

As does our paranoia, not helped by reports of governments, previously considered bastions of integrity upholding our rights, snooping on the very citizens who mistook their interest as safeguarding their wellbeing.

Dozens of companies have sprung up in response, figuring out ways to protect us from ourselves. We’re all curious: we all want to know more. The media has raced to catch up and compete with the internet providing us with a daily diet of shock and outrage. And still we browse, and click. Browse. Click.

Children first

Chat rooms have been the host of many a nefarious act but Ask.fm brought cyberbullying to the attention of the mainstream media last year, victimised as the instigator of a young girl’s suicide.

Grindr and jack’d, smartphone apps ‘for gay, bi and curious guys’, are often cited as cursed examples of how the internet is the purveyor of distress and doom, doorstep darkeners as havens for bullying, victimisation and persecution rather than social facilitators for those who need support and friendship at a crossroads of their young lives.

So what do we do to protect the world’s youth from the babbling brook that is the internet, always shape-shifting and trending and bringing us false positives on the planet that cocoons us.

Like every web developer at the zeitgeist today, we have to think mobile first.

Let’s be honest, most children these days haven’t even heard of a desktop computer. When was the last time your kid said: “Dad (or mum, if you’re fragrant) – can I go sit in your hoarding room and spend hours trying to get comfortable amid your 2891 books and 54354315 trinkets while staring into a fusty screen and typing on a plastic plate packed with bouncy keys”?

No, when it comes to keeping your kids safe online, I don’t think you need to worry about workstations.

So I’m deliberately glossing over methods to stop your kids finding content they shouldn’t on your antiquated computer. Besides, if they’re tethered, you can either go and sit next to them while they ‘research for their project’ or fill the room with your favourite tunes, thus rendering their stay shorter than a small chihuahua.

Kids these days wouldn’t be seen dead at a desk. I think desk manufacturers will be up there in the bankability stakes with plague curers and cave paints in five years’ time. Which in itself is probably the logical solution for youngsters getting into a pickle online.

Safer Internet Day

February 11 is ground zero for family security online. It’s Safer Internet Day – when we all create a better internet together.

I’ve seen this event grow from obscurity to become an obscure property that changes little. It gets dragged up once a year trying to persuade billions of parents to take more responsibility for their offspring doing unspeakable things online.

But the problematic truth is most parents are less responsible online than their kids.

I’m not saying children don’t need coaching on how to use the web. That should be part of any academic curriculum. But like those kids roaming the streets painting shop windows orange because they having nothing else to do, if you can’t teach the parents basic skills you have little chance doing the same for their progeny.

But there is hope

Let’s assume you’re genuinely interested in the wellbeing of your children: that you get a chest rash every time they touch their phone.

You can condense the ways kids can be affected by dodgy things online into a few actions:

  1. Communications: talking to someone they shouldn’t, or someone about things they shouldn’t, using texts, videos or photos
  2. Watching porn or hunting down blueprints for printing 3D guns.

Snapchat was born out of an observed trend among Generation Z to share amusing or illicit stuff without trace. Like that tape in Mission Impossible, every photo in Snapchat self destructs in 10 seconds.

Facebook is working on ways to let people create anonymous user profiles. Campaigners across the world have long eschewed Facebook when conspiring against official organisations, preferring instead to punch intel into hard-to-monitor platforms like BlackBerry Messenger.

Like the shiny new trainers sported by six year olds to keep up with the Joneses at school, phones are considered as essential a component of the school uniform as ties and trousers.

Kids don’t like being talked down to, tracked, or sensible. Which as a responsible parent inevitably makes your job harder when your stock-in-trade for making the internet safer is getting a little Orwellian by consent.

What it all boils down to

You can install dozens of big brother apps and pay companies hundreds of dollars a year to twitch your computer’s curtains by sitting between devices and the world outside, but ultimately both curiosity and common sense prevails.

The minute an app is released to protect your kids, someone’s firing crossbows through the defences. Clearly PageClean is a step in the right direction, being cloud-based and updated remotely to keep you covered at all times, the best the company can.

However the solution is in the moral code you dish out to your children. Your parental charter is to keep the young ones same from harm in every environment, and if that means withholding mobile devices until they have shown themselves to be adult enough to own them, or locking down on use until they finish their chores, the responsibility is in prescribing daily the difference between right and wrong, yes and no.

Chat rooms have been around for decades. The people inhabiting them haven’t become any more vindictive or evil. The media is brimming with stories of cyber bullying, and while today it feels like a pandemic, tomorrow something else will be back on the agenda as we trot out the age-old worries and issues that change only by the channels across which they’re delivered.

And instead of rapping government agencies over their monitoring of citizens’ internet use, we need to educate them as to where the real problems lurk. We’re not all terrorists, but we are all to some degree terrorised online.

I don’t think the problem is as widespread as the media leads us to believe. I do believe in the main that our young are more considered and rational online than the shock stories would lead us to believe.

Like the shiny new trainers sported by six year olds to keep up with the Joneses at school, phones are considered as essential a component of the school uniform as ties and trousers.

Which is why education at these places of academia shouldn’t stop at English and maths, but how to get the best from your devices. By demonstrating the many exciting benefits of portable technology, we can subtly employ psychological techniques to switch kids off the more infernal, deviant and dark arts of the digital world, proposing ways they can leverage the internet to get the best from their skills and themselves.

Easier to get hold of things but education starts by giving your kids a simple moral code. Stranger danger doesn’t apply any more or less online as it does in the real world.

It starts with a drive

Apart from a band of tits who have spent their lives figuring out the right way round to sit on a toilet, we all have stopped using mobile phones while driving. That we ever did shows that evolution is a lie. But the threat of fines, death and abuse from fellow motorists has been enough to dissuade us from practising this heinous habit.

But noone gives a second thought to walking along a busy pavement texting, or browsing Amazon while we’re crossing the road.

What gives? Who invented the filter making it ok to have zero spatial awareness on two feet, while focusing all our attention on staying safe on four wheels? You risk your life and can cause just as many accidents striding out head down in control of a mobile device – and the results can be equally catastrophic.

Thinking of our smartphones and tablets as lethal weapons goes a long way towards gaining respect for the role of texter, watcher or browser. And like a long-ago suggestion of licenses for social media practitioners (Tina Fey has her thoughts on this, below), maybe we should make it mandatory for people using portable devices to sign up to a charter of responsibility?

Lock ‘em down

Ok let’s cut to the chase, the reason you clicked that link. I’m sorry it took us so long to get there but it’s all about the journey, not the destination, right? I bet in this case you’re prepared to make an exception.

If your little princess or fella has received an Android smartphone, they have enough on their plate being ridiculed behind the school gates without you spying on their every move.

That being said, they could definitely do with your help figuring out where to hide.

That’s possibly not the reason why the MMGuardian Parental Control for Android app came to be, but it is the very best option for playing command and control with your kids’ lives.

Makers have built in more functionality than the dashboard of a Lexus to keep the big brother in you giggly with excitement.

MMGuardian lets you block and allow apps, kill text messages containing certain words or to particular telephone numbers, locates the phone for you and even sends regular updates of where it is.

All this is controlled via your own admin interface, so you can change things whenever you like.

You can even limit the amount of time the rugrats can use it for every day. Best of all, it comes with uninstall protection so your mini hackers will struggle to shrug it off when they realise you’re spying on them trying to bring down the Pentagon.

I have a friend who uses this and who sat his children down to tell them it had been installed. They’re good kids, but they ARE kids, he told me.

Which is where my second Android pick comes in. Kids Zone Parental Controls includes Chore Time – which as well as helping you keep track of what your small people are up to, locks their phone down until they’ve done their tasks around the house. Don’t let the app name deceive you – this could be a boon if your other half spends too much time watching football/curling on the telly.

If you want to be big brother there are apps you can install on your kids phones – ideally before they receive them. It’s a bit Orwellian but

Obviously the kids could leave the phone somewhere they’re not, but it’s unlikely in this always connected world.

iON iOS

If your kid is spoiled enough to have an iPhone, there are basic parental controls built in. They really are basic, and you don’t get any reporting of what they’ve been up to, but you might consider it a start.

Go to Settings > General then click Restrictions, and Enable Restrictions on things like age-restricted movies on the device and stop them installing apps or making in-app purchases, using the internet browser, or video messaging.

Turn off clearing browser history too.. Plenty of people have reported their offspring hacking the system, as we know kids are wont to do, so if you try and prevent apps from being installed also prevent apps from being deleted so if they do pull one over you’ll be able to see when you get your phone back if they deleted it during the same session. Make sure you get your phone or iPad back at bedtime.

But what if you want to keep them safe while surfing online?

Aside from removing batteries from their beloved gadgets, the best way I’ve found really is good – but it comes at a price. PageClean is like a gatekeeper, sitting on your mobile devices screening everything coming in through the wifi router, or your 3G/4G mobile internet connection, and blocking adult content on apps and websites.  Better yet you can set your own filter rules if you know of anything iffy you want to cut off right away.

Like I said, though, your virtual nanny needs paying. PageClean starts at $18.99 a month to cover one device, rising to $43.99 per month for the all-you-can-eat plan covering unlimited devices (and is available with a 30 day free trial).

Free – to do what you want

Google has a suite of safety tools designed to protect young ones from seeing stuff they shouldn’t on the web.

Google’s search engine and video service can be locked down independently of any apps you choose to install.

Head over to google.com/preferences and set search to filter explicit results.

Meantime YouTube provides parental controls via a Safe Search feature.

And just when you think you’ve cracked it, all the cool kids defect from Apple and join the nerds who have known for years that Blackberry and its Messenger app are where it’s at when it comes to being naughty on the web.

Safe from yourself

Sometimes you just need to protect yourself. And sometimes it’s easier to gloss over the reality. You’re too busy to realise what you’re doing. But slowly, you’re building up a profile of yourself online that could one day come back to bite you.

The best example of this in practice is Google itself. As you use the search engine, it builds up a unique picture of you. So much so, the results you see are often skewed towards things you’ve searched for in the past. Anti-filter website DontBubble.us really drives home the message.

So what can you do to steer clear of your search results influencing those third-party ads that crop up on thousands of websites? You could do worse than use DuckDuckGo, a totally anonymous search engine set up to protect its users, not only from deviant trackers but from themselves.

Summary

If you’re going to spy on your kids while they surf, to do a proper job you’ll have to pay for the privilege. Monitoring use on a qualitative level is not a perfect science, and there are some people working damn hard trying to make it so. They, like us, have mouths and other needs. So stump up, and let the kiddies log in with your confidence on their side.

Home page photo credit: somegeekintn via Compfight cc.

Resources

Why digital marketing courses suck

Let’s play a game.

I want you to get a piece of paper. Would it be too much to ask you to hold a pen, too?

Today we’re going to do some life art.

And our model for this session is like no other.

He’s been here all day, actually. He like to get to know his students before they him.

You haven’t seen him? But how can that be?

Let me introduce you to him.

Please meet the invisible man.

Good luck

How do you succeed in mastering something that you cannot see? Something that you can never truly understand, or picture.

Gravity aside, there are few intangibles over which we have control.

Digital marketing is one of those things. And right now it’s white hot among conspiring academics who can see the opportunity for making money by capitalising on weaknesses and trends.

But it’s just another invisible man. You have the same tools to create an outcome, and the same chance of delivering it.

Why digital marketing courses are balderdash

There’s only one way to learn how to do business online: get closer to your customers.

And at the root of solving that challenge are two traditional, pure-play sciences:

  • psychology
  • sociology

You need to first get under the skin of your customer, to understand who they are and what they want.

And then you need to know how they act. Where they go, and how they communicate with others.

The brutal truth no matter what walk of life we’re in, is that people aren’t inherently comfortable dealing with machines.

They want to talk to mortal beings. To buy from people, not pixels.

So you need to be human.

  • You create value
  • You build a community
  • You offer seamless service time after time
  • You rinse and repeat

The only constant in digital marketing is change

How can you possibly teach or take a course when the sands are shifting daily? How can you sleep at night delivering a syllabus that leaves your students with nothing more than a couple of well-meaning but ultimately useless letters after their names? And take thousands of pounds for the privilege of showing them the invisible man?

That’s if you can overcome the biggest problem of all: marketing.

Noone knows, not even the professors in their ivory towers, the studious types peddling their experiences as lifelong civil servants who have more than likely never operated beyond the entrepreneurial threshold of an incubator.

Noone except the customers. The customers who decide. The customers who do their own marketing on your behalf. And the customers whose decisions rely solely on your ability to make happy, to master the alchemy of loyalty and deliver purple cows.

People don’t want to be marketed to. Let’s get that straight. The most juvenile member of the agency academy knows that.

Even if the instructor is worth his salt he’s selling you the wrong pitch.

I’m not peddling untruths, though. I’m simply saying unless your first lecture doesn’t consist of a revelation you’re part of some crazy trick and after Derren Brown has finished with you you’ll get your money back and a copy of The Bible to continue your reality studies, you might want to spend the next lesson doodling or building a rocket to the moon with cotton buds.

What is digital marketing?

If it was a thing, digital marketing would be defining the goals of your business, defining your customers, finding them and putting in motion a strategy to connect the two entities.

You’d learn the needs of your customers, both of today and tomorrow, and you’d create a website and social networking strategies to be there when they want you.

But most of all, you’d be yourself. Because if you know deep down what you’re doing is right, that you’re positively impacting the lives of others and providing a valuable service in a way your competitors can’t touch, it’s a matter of time.

Time is all you need

The most valuable commodity we have. And when it comes to building a business and touching your customers, it’s grind. Doing it every day, for months and years. Building, slowly. And never waivering from your vision and beliefs.

Getting feedback. Measuring, monitoring. Refining, and bettering.

And donating those thousands of pounds I’ve just saved you to a humanitarian organisation.

Home page image: seanmcgrath via Compfight cc.