Seven steps to a digital strategy that gets big results

By: Gemma Went

Date: 25 September 2018

Seven steps to a digital strategy that gets big resultsIf there's one thing that can take your start-up from zero to hero, it's a properly designed and developed digital strategy.

In order to help you achieve your goals, I'm sharing an overview of my seven-step framework for a digital strategy that gets big results. It's what I use for all my clients, as well as my own business, and I've shared it in my Simply Smart Business Academy, to rave reviews.

So let's get to it.

Step 1: Research your competitors

Start by doing some research into what your competitors are doing online. What do they focus on? What do they say about themselves? What do they offer? What are their unique selling points?

This information will really help you understand where you fit in alongside your different competitors, and uncover how you can stand out, or find your own point of difference.

While keeping an eye on the competitive landscape is really important, it is possible to take it too far. Don't let the fear of not being “as good as” hold your start-up back.

Step 2: Identify your people

You may not be hyper-focused on one ideal client avatar, but you do need to understand your audience.

This isn't just about your clients and customers - this extends to influencers, your peers, your suppliers, and anyone else you might want to connect with.

Getting into the hearts and minds of these people will help you define them, and build a connection with them online.

Step 3: Get clear on your “why”

This is a lot easier to do once you've looked at your competitor landscape and you understand who your customers are. You've seen where everyone else is, and what will make you stand out.

Your uniqueness lies in your core values and your “why” for running this start-up. Knowing what you will and won't do is something that will impact all of your messaging, and that's what will make people decide whether to work with you (or with one of your competitors) - so spend time getting it really clear.

Creating content that comes from your core values is what will really engage people, and will help you build a loyal community.

Step 4: Set your start-up goals

Think about where you want to go with your start-up, and refine that. You might start with five-year goals, three-year goals, one-year goals, and then six-month goals.

Pick out four or five key business goals that are really important to you in the next year, and be really specific.

Next, you need to think about how your digital activity can help you achieve these goals. Take each goal, and think about the digital objectives you need to put in place to get there.

Remember, both your business goals and digital objectives should be SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

Step 5: Map out your digital ecosystem

Think about all the places you're going to be present online. I like to do this visually with my website in the middle, and surround it with all of the different ways people will land there. This could be:

You will need to integrate all of these activities so you can really streamline your approach, and make sure you're consistent with your content.

Step 6: Sketch your plan of attack

Once you've ironed out your start-up's digital objectives and ecosystem, you want to look at tactics. These are the actual steps and the actual activities you'll need to do each day, week and month.

Getting down to the granular level will save you a lot of time later on.

Step 7: Implement and track your plan

Your implementation plan involves taking everything you've gathered and mapped out so far, and plotting it out so that you can actually do the work. You need to be able to review and monitor your progress, so don't be tempted to skip this step.

I've created a 90-day planner in Asana, and I use it to plan and implement everything I do in my business.

I hope you can see that it is possible to create a really strong digital strategy for your business - without the blood, sweat and tears.

Copyright © 2018 Gemma Went