Visibility, Credibility, Profitability. (VCP) Many of us are familiar with this concept as it relates to business networking. Making yourself visible by showing up at networking events and functions is often where it starts. But before we can graduate into Profitability, we must first build and develop credibility among referral partners, business owners, and consumers. Often, gaining credibility can be a lengthy task and even after it is attained, it is easily lost if you don’t “keep doing what got you there.”
Online visibility, just like personal visibility, means making the effort to show up in a presentable fashion. Having a website that represents your business properly is a start, but it’s truly only a start. Just like you need to make a commitment to attend events regularly and get your name and face “out there”, you need to make a commitment to getting your website “out there” through techniques such as email marketing, Social Media platforms, and Search Engine Optimization. The more visibility you have online, the better your chances are of attracting that perfect client. Investing the time and/or budget to develop your online assets is imperative if you are expecting to bring in new business via the internet.
Just as in “real life”, this is the step where people tend to drop the ball. Building credibility takes time and not only do people need to see you consistently, they often need to experience both your expertise and your integrity before they will hire or refer you.
But how do you accomplish this online?
The key to online credibility is consistently producing high quality content. You must be willing to share your information freely through blogging, video, Social Media posts, and sometimes even free webinars and podcasts. The bottom line is that the more often you make the effort to provide your audience with great information, the faster and deeper you will build your credibility. The Achilles Heel for most business owners is impatience. They often throw in the towel if they don’t see results within the first few months. Online credibility can take 6-12 months of consistent effort to develop and without a long-term commitment it is rarely achieved.
For those who stay the course and faithfully follow a strategic online marketing plan for an extended period of time, profitability reveals itself in the following ways:
- Organic traffic from search engines leading to new customers
- Content sharing via email and Social Media results in more referrals
- Higher conversion rates from new prospects when they “check you out” online and see great information
- Unexpected opportunities such as speaking engagements from organizations who find your content online
If you’re looking to improve your business by leveraging the internet, it’s important to remember that the concept of Visibility, Credibility, and Profitability hold true both online and off line. Approach your internet marketing plan strategically and with commitment and you’ll turn your website into a revenue generating business asset!