“I need to be more visible! I need to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, what? You aren’t on Snapchat yet? Fail! Absolute fail!”

…says the voice inside our heads.

Sound familiar? At the beginning of my business I certainly had moments of panic about all the social media options and what to do about online visibility.

That is until I realised what is actually important.

So let’s dive in to what is important to see just how visible we need to be.

In the online space there are a lot of people saying that you need to be really visible.

The idea behind this is, of course, that the further reaching your business visibility is,  the more people who will see it. The more people who see your business, the more people who will be interested in it and, consequently, the more people who are likely to purchase what you have to offer.

So clearly – according to all this big talk online – you need to be visible!

‘But what if I’m an introvert? What if I just really don’t want to do this?’

Well, exactly, right?!

In a previous post 3 Reasons Why Online Business Is Perfect For Introverts I talked a little about my own experience as an introverted entrepreneur. So I really do understand the feeling of overwhelm that can come up when you go online and feel like everybody is everywhere, and you aren’t, and really just don’t want to be! So what do we do?

‘Visibility’ in the sense above is just one way of thinking about one aspect of the business puzzle.

For your business to be successful, you need three things

1) A Solid Business Foundation

The first piece you need to have in place is a solid business foundation. Your business foundation is your niche, your messaging and your offers.

Your niche:
This is how you understand internally what you are doing, what your business is all about

Your messaging:
This how you communicate the value of what you do to the outside world. This is the part where a lot of people struggle. It is so important to communicate what you do in a way that will make the outside world actually care about it! If you can not get people to understand how valuable your work is, then nobody will benefit from it!

Your offers:
How you actually provide your work to the world. Your offers need to be properly tailored to your niche.

2) A Sales Process

The next piece you need for your business to be successful is a sales process. This might sound obvious, but it’s fundamental! You need to know how to sell and have an established and functional sales process. Otherwise people won’t be able to buy – even if they wanted to because you haven’t made it obvious and guided them through the process.

3) Lead Generation

And finally here we are – Lead Generation. You need clients, customers, people!

You need a way for the people who need what you have, to be able to find it.

You can do lead generation in any number of ways. Maybe you are running an automated webinar, maybe you meet people for coffee, like actual coffee, in a coffee shop (i.e. NOT online at all). Perhaps you do something on LinkedIn, maybe you generate leads through referrals. Or maybe something completely different!

No matter what it is that you do, in order to be successful you must bring in leads. You must have some process in place to turn those leads into sales, and a convincing value proposition for those new clients.

So this overwhelming ‘visibility’ phenomenon you see online is really just businesses doing an extensive (or excessive?) amount of lead generation.

The reason those businesses are doing that has it’s relevance. Consumers often need several touch points with you before they are comfortable and ready to buy. So of course, if you can spread yourself all over the internet the theory is that your chances are better of converting the people you are reaching into clients.

Here’s the thing though:

You do NOT need to be everywhere

Some of my clients who work solely through strategic partners. In case this is a new concept for you, a strategic partner is someone who sells a different product or service to the same audience as you do. For example: If you are a nutritionist, you might align with one or more personal trainers who would recommend you to their clients for a kickback. These would be your strategic partners.

This is only one example. You really don’t have to spread yourself all over the internet and become totally overwhelmed trying to do all the different things there are to do, to be on every social media platform.

What you need for your business to be successful

Here’s what we mapped out above. You need:

  • a solid business foundation (your niche, offers & messaging)
  • a sales process
  • lead generation (any kind)

business foundation simple.001

So yes, of course, being everywhere on the internet CAN get you leads, but it’s actually a really inefficient use of your time and it’s going to burn you out.

The 80/20 Principle

Just in case you are still worried, think about this from Richard Koch:

’80 percent of all our results in business and in life stem from a mere 20 percent of our efforts.’

Koch goes on to explain that 80% of a businesses revenue come from 20% of it’s customers. So of course, spending all your time trying to reach all of those other 80% of potential customers. Is just inefficient. Once you’ve worked out where your key clients are, it’s all about managing your time so as to invest more in those key areas.

What is the answer?

The answer is that visibility is not actually a meaningful metric. You just need the people who are potentially going to buy from you, to have some way of finding out that you exist. And once that happens to have multiple available touch points that lead into a sales process.

You don’t have to be doing everything. If twitter is not your thing, don’t do it! If you don’t know where to begin with Instagram, don’t do it!

There are too many possible places you could use for me to list them all.

So just find the ones that are relevant to you, the ones that your potential clients are on. I’m not everywhere! I’m on two social media platforms, that’s it! And that’s enough!