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Education and Engagement — How to grow your digital footprint online

Education and Engagement — How to grow your digital footprint online

digital-marketing-knowledge5 reasons why educating yourself and engaging online is important for your success online

I recently wrote a post about my daily ritual of reading, sharing, engaging with others online and creating new content for my website.

I guess I got a little ahead of myself (Cart before the horse I would say) by talking about ‘how’ before talking about ‘why’. Regardless, I wanted to talk a little bit about why we urge our friends and clients to consider developing a ritual of learning and engaging online on a daily basis and how it can help them grow professionally and expand their digital footprint online.

Who is this article and advice for?

So, there are two parts to this argument — learning and engaging. Learning should apply to every person that has a job or owns a company. If you want to grow your company or as a professional, you need to continually educate yourself.

Engagement online, by contrast, will apply to those who are in charge of expanding their personal or company footprint online. (business owners, marketing managers, individuals who want to grow their influence, etc.)

If you’re following me, in short, this advice is for anyone who wants to grow professionally and use that knowledge to grow their personal, professional or business influence online using digital marketing and social media.

3 Reasons why you need to keep learning:

1. We need to keep up

There aren’t many businesses that wouldn’t benefit from someone learning more about what’s new and what’s changing in their industry. Heck, even if your industry never changes, you could be studying up on your competition or learning more about business basics. You could be learning how to improve your processes and how to keep and nurture good employees. There’s always a reason to be learning and becoming better at what you do.

For our business specifically at SMG, it’s always changing. Every day things are changing. If you blink you’ll miss it. I’m sure there are a lot industries like ours where you either stay on the cutting edge or you die. At a minimum, if you stay in business you won’t grow and be as profitable as you could be.

Establishing a regular ritual of learning something new about your work, business or industry should be an important goal for anyone that wants to advance in life. Even if you don’t own the business, you’re in a great position to influence things. Everyone can come to the table with new ideas, opinions, advice and ideas that push the company forward.

Ultimately this effort could result in a promotion because of your contributions, the company you work for might become bigger and more profitable, you might just become great at your job and be irreplaceable. Not a bad problem to have.

2. You need to be a trusted resource

Everyone can strive to be a trusted resource. It doesn’t matter your position in the company.

You could be in the mail room or you could be the CEO. Learning something new is important for everyone at every level. Maybe you’re only able to influence things in your department. That’s great opportunity actually, and you can make a real difference. If you’re the CEO you’re in a position to become a thought leader and possibly guide, not only your company, but your customers and even your entire industry.

In the end, continual education helps you become a trusted resource and this ultimately helps YOU. You’ll end up making more money, having a better status in the company, ensuring that you have job security, more opportunities and all the rest. If people trust and rely on you as a source of knowledge you can become someone that’s in demand and even irreplaceable in your department, company, in the eyes of your clients and in your industry.

3. You can push others to improve

Again, this one is similar to the above point but it’s important because having knowledge allows you to help others. That might be your co-worker or that might mean millions of customers or employees. The point is that knowledge can help OTHERS become smarter, better equipped, more sophisticated and more forward thinking.

How does helping others help you?

If you lead your department or company to high levels of efficiency, results, and quality, the light will shine on you.

If your employees are becoming better at what they do, it helps your company become better from the ground up. Your company will have better systems, more innovation, more clients that feel like you’re irreplaceable.

If you contribute to your industry and help your peers, then you’ll make more connections, you’ll grow your influence, you’ll be more trusted, you’ll ultimately make more sales. Genuinely sharing free advice and helping others without expecting a reward is the easiest way to profit, and it’s proven.

Now that I’ve talked about why ongoing education is important for you, your career and your company, lets talk a little bit about how you can get even MORE out of the knowledge that you gain and work it into your digital marketing strategies.

5 reasons why you should share your knowledge and engage with others online:

1. It’s the foundation of digital marketing

If you haven’t heard it already, creating valuable, useful, cutting-edge content is the cornerstone of digital marketing. Without valuable knowledge you can’t create great content. It’s that simple.

Great content is being created at an amazing pace now that the barrier to entry has been removed on the internet. Anyone can setup a page where they can immediately publish anything, and those that publish great content will rise to the top of the heap across the board and reap the rewards that come from increased visibility.

2. You’ll brand yourself as trustworthy

You want your customers and clients to trust you and the best way to do that is to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about. Building trust on the internet is essential to building a better brand, increasing your visibility and it’s the foundation of a good sales strategy.

People do more business with companies that they trust. Demonstrating your knowledge through social media, blog posts and content, free downloads, ads promoting great content and generally sharing your knowledge is a great way to build trust with prospective clients and ultimately make more sales.

3. You’ll amplify your thoughts and content

Content allows you to effectively increase your visibility online when people are searching for topics related to what you do. Just publishing content on your site accomplishes this goal. But that’s not all. Content allows you to share and engage on social media. Great content makes your paid advertising more effective. Great content and knowledge can be emailed, made into graphics, developed into videos, you can write ebooks, you can talk intelligently on forums and leave engaging comments on websites.

With knowledge and content, all of these things are possible. You have a vehicle to expand your personal and company brand online. Knowledge and content is the spark that starts the fire.

4. You’ll be able to engage with more people

Having knowledge, opinions and ideas and sharing them on your website and social media allows you the opportunity to engage with others. Whether you’re trying to grow your network of contacts in your industry or connect with potential clients, knowledge and content allows you to position yourself as an expert that others will want to engage with. In the end you’ll build a larger network (possibly world-wide) of people that you can do business with.

5. You’ll create good signals that increase your visibility online

Creating content, sharing knowledge, engaging with others is the best way to send positive signals that the search engines love. The more content you have, the more Google will consider your website a relevant and trustworthy source of information around what you do or sell. Google can see that your website is continually updated. They can see that other people share and link to your content. They can see that you’re engaged on popular social sites and that people like, follow, favorite and share your content with their followers.

These are all positive signals that show that you’re a valuable resource that others need to know about. Search engines WANT you to be found if you’re sharing valuable knowledge. So the more you create content and share your knowledge, the more you’ll benefit in the end with more visibility online.

Summary:

So, in the end, this is a long way of saying that if you want to succeed professionally and grow your footprint online in the future, you MUST have a plan to continually educate yourself, experience new and forward thinking information, engage with others online and this will result in personal, professional and business growth.

digital-marketing-education

You do this by reading, watching and listening on a daily basis. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, then you need to hire someone that can do it for you. A company like SMG can’t help you learn but we can help you create valuable content, engage on social media, plan effective digital marketing strategies, properly manage digital advertising, set goals and measure the overall effectiveness of the efforts.

Email us or give us a call if you’d like to talk more. (330-266-1188) We’d love to see how we can help you learn more about digital marketing in general.

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Chris Auman is a veteran Internet marketer, website developer, and designer with over 20 years of experience in the trenches. As President and Senior Strategist at Sanctuary, Chris has successfully guided the online marketing efforts for companies large and small. Chris’ clients range from family owned & operated retail operations with a local footprint of 1-10 stores to multinational Fortune 500 companies.

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