The world of online business offers much in the ways of opportunity, but heed caution; without the proper mindset, tools, and focus, you won’t stand a chance amid so much competition.
Not everyone will make it online. That statement isn’t meant to scare you. Instead, it’s meant to light a fire under your behind. Where others fail, you are going to succeed. Here are six principles to keep in mind if you hope to have a successful career in the digital world.
1. Stay Focused
The constant barrage of digital media has forced us all to be multi-taskers. That’s not a good thing. The University of London found that focusing on too many things at once can actually lower one’s IQ. And you need all your wits about you if you hope to reach your professional goals.
To remain honed in on the work at hand, use the Pomodoro Technique. Here’s how it works: Pick a single task and work solely on that task for 25-minutes, then take a 5-minute break. That’s one Pomodoro (Italian for tomato). When you’ve reached four Pomodoros, take a 30-minute break. Then, rinse and repeat.
This technique will not only assist you in getting more done, but it’s also great for keeping the procrastination monster at bay.
2. Continue Your Education
The digital landscape constantly changes, and Google switches up its algorithm nearly every other day. This means that you need to remain current, and you should never stop learning. To remain ahead of the curve, take a few courses, read more relevant books, attend webinars (and offline conferences), and work on becoming certified in your chosen specialization.
3. Use The Proper Tools
To succeed in the digital world, you need the proper tools. Just like a plumber needs a wrench and a carpenter needs a hammer, so should you be using the right tools for whatever career you have in mind. If your toolbox is sparse, check out these 30 terrific tools for small businesses, and these 10 free business tools too valuable to ignore.
With a fully-stocked toolbox, you will be organized, on track, and fully-prepared for any obstacles that may come your way.
4. Get Organized
You should never sit at your desk and take a wild guess at what you should be working on next. Instead, plan your days, weeks, months, and even years well ahead of time. A to-do list is your friend in this instance, as is a project management board.
Wunderlist will keep your tasks fresh on your mind, and Trello will keep your projects organized and in sync. The best part? Both platforms will follow you across all your devices, making them digital world must-haves.
5. Network Like It’s Going Out of Style
You cannot succeed in the digital world without other people. Luckily for you, social media is largely free and puts other professionals like you right at your fingertips. So get out there and connect, corroborate, and co-mingle. In other words, don’t be afraid to reach out and network, network, network.
There is no better way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening now than to make friends with other professionals in your field. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and any other social networks you can think of. You’ll expand your professional reach, you might learn a thing or two, and you never know when you might become privy to a new and exciting career opportunity.
6. Keep The Content Coming
Besides people, it’s content that drives the digital world. To succeed digitally, you should be working on crafting constant content. But not just any content will do.
John Sills, senior consultant at The Foundation - a growth & innovation consultancy firm - says that the best content marketing shouldn’t just be good, it should be human. To add a little of that human element to all the content you create, inject a little of your personality and showcase your sense of humor. Whether it’s an article, video, blog post, press release or ebook – you should be doing your best to make human connections with every piece you publish.
To put it even more simply, John suggests that you be “interesting, positive, and relevant”.
Sharing your personal story will give others hope, and you’ll be building trust, which will quickly turn into loyalty. That’s a sure way to get ahead online.
With these six tips under your belt and your motivation to succeed driving you along, your competitors had better watch out. You’re about to make a name for yourself in whatever virtual career you decide to pursue.