Ever since I began working with, and on, the web in 1993, I’ve been intrigued by other people’s reactions to the online world.
It’s a subtle thing really, a shift of the eyes, a twitch of the shoulders, but when I talk with most folks about using the web to achieve business goals, I get the feeling that they’d rather be talking about, or doing, just about anything else.
After years of feeling like a drug dealer selling to reluctant addicts, I’ve figured out that the real reason folks are uncomfortable with the web can be boiled down to three simple reasons:
Back in the old days, you used to need many technical skills to get even the most simple thing, such as building a website, done online. Happily, thanks to the cloud and software-as-a-service (SAAS), getting business done online is nowhere near as complex today. Even so, many folks still see the web as a “tech-skills-needed” zone and therein lays the problem: When people think about the web, they think about technology and the fact is, technology is something that makes many folks feel uneasy.
Many a business begins their exploration of the web with a lot of enthusiasm and hope. They work hard in order to figure out the best ways to use the web to achieve their goals. And that’s when they learn the hard truth: there are no obvious “best ways”. From websites to blogs, social media to search engine marketing, marketplaces to e-commerce solutions, there are hundreds if not thousands of “best ways” to achieve your goals online.
In addition, the web is full of very helpful people who are willing to bend your ear free of charge and tell you what they think your business should do online. This leads to a cacophony of online chatter which, when combined with the sheer number of “best ways”, leaves most folks feeling completely overwhelmed.
Often, businesspeople feel pressured into taking actions online that are not tied to their business’ goals. A few of the reasons include:
Once I understood the reasons that lay behind people’s discomfort with the web, I was determined to help them move beyond them to see, and get excited about, the opportunities presented online. In order to do just that, I set out to create a framework that allows businesspeople to:
The result was the “What Your Business SHOULD Be Doing Online” formula and I’ll be dishing all the details on this step-by-step approach in the next post in this series.