When you start your entrepreneurial journey, you naturally want to build your numbers. Whether it’s your social media presence, your email list or just overall visibility, you associate a larger number with growth.
Larger numbers, however, aren’t as important as you may believe. Just because an entrepreneur has large numbers online doesn’t mean it has translated into income for their business. Here are five reasons why online entrepreneurs need to look beyond the numbers, and focus on what actually builds a business.
Related: 6 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty
1. The numbers don’t indicate engagement
If you have a large social media presence, a large email list or a lot of people visiting your website but you have zero engagement, your business won’t grow. The best leads are word of mouth and those come through the engagement of your fans and followers. If your online presence is a ghost town, the large numbers won’t help your business.
Your goal should be to engage your audience. Get them involved in the conversation in a way that they want to tell others. Your community should be so engaged that your reach goes far beyond your numbers.
2. That personal connection is what creates life-long customers
Several years ago, there was a popular book that went on to become a New York Times best seller called The Four Hour Work Week. The book talked about automating your business to the point of being hands off. While the concept of this book is entertaining, and can work for a certain type of entrepreneur, the reality is that you have to establish that personal connection to create life-long customers, .
People buy from someone they know, like and trust. That will never happen communicating through a virtual assistant. A customer is a person. The more they feel a personal connection, the more they buy and tell others about your business. Marketing genius David Ogilvy said, “The consumer is not an idiot, she's your wife."
Make that personal connection.
3. The numbers can easily be manipulated
It’s pretty easy to buy a large following these days and too many entrepreneurs do. Everyday, on social media and through email, you see services offering fans for a price. The problem is that those aren’t real people. They will never buy from you.
Big numbers may look impressive but they won’t translate into income if they’re not real people. You have to ask yourself, are the numbers are more important than the income?
4. Add value and the numbers will naturally increase
As you add value and connect in a personal way with your audience, engagement will increase. With an increase in engagement will come more people sharing about your business. That will increase your numbers organically.
Great content, products and services create a loyal fan base that will spread the message all over the Internet. Over time, those numbers will increase in the best way possible because all the new fans and followers will already be engaged.
5. Building a business is not about ego
Who doesn’t like to look at their platform and see huge numbers? However, we are in business to generate income and make an impact in people’s life. This isn’t about us or the numbers.
While it’s great to have those large numbers, and it can be good social proof, your business can be successful with a small devoted following. You can create lifelong customers that do all of your advertising for you. We have to focus on business, not our ego or our emotions.
We own a business in a time when the economy is recovering. There are many other businesses that do what we do. The good news is some of the greatest businesses have been built in down times. To be one of those businesses, you have to stand out from the competition by building a devoted customer base. Focus on creating amazing content. Focus on creating irresistible products and services.
Focus on really connecting and engaging people. When you do, they will respond and your numbers will build. It’s too easy to get caught up in the comparison game. That game will derail your business from growing. Numbers are ok, but real people are better.
Related: 12 Ways to Increase Online Sales