The beauty of the digital age is just how easy it has become to learn new skills and how quickly you can begin to implement them to start building your business. We know that the internet and social media can quickly become information overload when you go down the rabbit hole and overwhelm a lot of users, making it harder for people to figure out just where to start out.
In order to start building your business in the digital age, here are the top 5 skills every startup entrepreneur should learn when they are getting started.
- How to build a website
- Basic SEO
- How to create content
- Basic Digital Marketing
- How to build an email list
How to build a website
I remember dropping out of web design in College because coding in Dreamweaver was painstakingly annoying and my course had nothing to do with web design. Fast forward years later and there are so many website builders available for us to use that they take all of the coding out of building a fully responsive professional website. I use WordPress for my sites and I simply purchase a theme online and customize it to my liking and they make it easy to add e-commerce functionality to it.
This is the #1 skill I believe every startup entrepreneur should begin learning how to do. Not only will you save thousands of dollars in developer fees, but you can also turn this skill into a side hustle and build websites for others. Some of the top Content Management Systems (CMS) you can use to build your websites are: WordPress, Squarespace, Joomla, Drupal, Weeble, Magnolia, Wix, Typo3, Bynder and that’s just to name a few of the top ones. Make sure you do your research and learn the benefits of each and figure out which is ultimately the best CMS for you. You can build a website, get your domain and hosting for less then $500ttd if you decide to do it yourself.
Search Engine Optimization is the second skill you will want to begin working on. When you have your website up and running, SEO is going to be how everyone online begins to find your content. It’s one of the most satisfying feelings when you start generating organic traffic because you have been putting in all the work to ensure your website is SEO friendly. Keep in mind that Google uses Geo-location, so it is going to populate the results from websites in your country first before showcasing content outside of the country.
Since a large part of our businesses in the Caribbean does not have websites, this is a major opportunity for businesses to get in fast and take advantage of all the traffic that gets left on the table. So much of my sales come from the fact that when people Google products, my business is the only one that pops up. FYI, your social media posts do not show up on Google, so only being on social media is a huge disadvantage for your business because social media is not searchable on any search engine, which is where people mainly go to search for things. Check out Neil Patel and his content on social media to start learning about SEO, and you can also check out Yoast and there amazing training and resources to learn about SEO as well.
How To Create Content
Learning how to create graphics, infographics, edit videos on your phone, where to place content and what content does the best on particular platforms, is extremely important. You can literally cut the building time of your business in half. When you start creating valuable, visually appealing content for your audience, it helps build your know, like and trust factor and is an easy way to start building your following.
When you have a loyal following (not to be mistaken for a large following) you are now in a position to start selling solutions to your audience. Content Creation is the number 1, 2, and 3, top ways to generate leads and establish yourself as a thought leader to your audience. It also gives you opportunities to be featured on News platforms, guest speaking, podcasts and other opportunities will arise when you are viewed as the thought leader in your space.
Basic Digital Marketing
Now that you have learned how to build your website, got the fundamentals of SEO down and you have begun creating content and putting it out there on social media, the next step is to learn some of the basics of Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing is how you will be able to get your content and products seen online and also allow you to look at the analytics to see what is working and what’s not.
Some of the key components of digital marketing are Pay-Per-Click advertising, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Native Advertising, Email Marketing, Retargeting, Google Adwords, Facebook Pixel’s, to name a few. When you start researching the power of each of these techniques, you will be able to see how each of them play a powerful role in getting your content & products in front of the right eyeballs online.
Developing Your Email List
The great news is that you do not need to have a website to start growing your email list, this is actually something you should start as soon as you possibly can. There are many free email marketing services, most notably Mailchimp, Aweber and Convertkit. You can start collecting email addresses and begin sending valuable information to your audience right away.
Moving your audience from your social media account to your Email list is paramount because you are fighting the algorithms on social media but with your email list, you have a much higher chance of your information being read. You also aren’t subjected to all of the changes in social media that can impact your visibility to your clients. The 3 platforms mentioned earlier come with some great free options and templates to get you started to collect emails but also to create high quality & visually appealing emails to your audience.
So there you have it, the top 5 skills every startup Entrepreneur should begin learning in order for them to start a business online. Learning these skills can not only help you start & grow your business but if you master the skills, you can actually make money in doing these specific things for other people and businesses. It’s a win-win all around.
The best part of this is that every single skill mentioned, you can learn for free if you are cash strapped by jumping on Youtube or scouring the internet for blogs and free resources. When you start generating some money, you can begin investing in some online courses to continue building your skills. As a Caribbean Entrepreneur, learning how to leverage technology and all of these tools will allow us to participate in the Global Economy and allow us to become more self-reliant, as we generate income that is no longer tied to a country or one specific economy.