Friday, September 28, 2007 at 3:00pm by Site Administrator
Few entrepreneurs possess all of the skills themselves that they need to build a successful business. However, a digital entrepreneur is a new breed that needs to be at least aware of some of the skills necessary for online business success. And they have to at least be capable of the basics before the inevitably delegate these tasks. These skills are especially critical for entrepreneurs whose websites will be their sole source of income – that is, who have no offline income for the business. This applies whether you’re selling products or services online.
- Communication skills. This is important more than ever, especially if you need to communicate online with potential customers, whether by blog, through comments, or even ebooks. All of these are becoming crucial – if they aren’t already a necessity – for online businesses to draw targeted web traffic. And with communications skills, you also need diplomacy skills.
- Web analytics and data mining. If you choose to blog your business, you’ll quickly learn that if you build it, they will not necessarily come. Understand the value of tracking visitor behavior through web analytics, and then mine the data to detect trends (search terms, etc.) and improve your content accordingly.
- Design understanding. No, you don’t need to be a designer per se, but should have a sense for at least effective website navigation, information architecture and even the need for a good site or blog logo.
- Website optimization. You do not need to be a full-blow SEO/ SEM (Search Engine Optimization/ Search Engine Marketing) guru, but knowing the rudiments of website optimization means you don’t get hosed if you do decide to hire outside talent. (As with any industry, there are honest SEOs and dishonest ones – don’t believe the hype that they’re all bad.)
- Networking skills. SMM (Social Media Marketing), from where I sit, is absolutely essential these days, to promote your website/ blog. Either that or viral marketing – preferably both. Successful social media promotion requires excellent networking skills with “online friends”.
- Forecasting. All these skills are useless if you can’t at least come up with a rough idea of what your online business might earn from your efforts. Of course, it’s infinitely harder to predict revenue for online businesses, and you may have to revise your figures as you learn, and as you determine what brings in at least a low watermark of revenue.
- Public speaking. If you succeed in your forecasting, public speaking will come in handy when you’ve reached a modicum of success. People will want you to give lectures. The lectures might later turn into paid workshops, which could be a very lucrative opportunity.
Notice that if you utilize the right tools for the above skills that you don’t have to spend a dime. That is, you can utilize the rules of bootstrapping to build your skills as a digital entrepreneur.
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