Solutions & A Philosophy for Success
In Part 1, I defined the term Digital Sharecropping, and then outlined the ways that nearly everyone is doing it in their online businesses. (If you missed Part 1, go ahead and Start There first.)
As previously mentioned, it’s basically the practice of building your business on someone else’s land. While there are many potential downsides to doing this, mainly not having to reinvent the wheel, there are also a whole host of reasons that create a compelling case to begin Digital Sharecropping yourself, if you’re not already do so..
A Quick Detour
Most of the focus in this series is on social media, but this concept also applies to anyone who is freelancing or creating digital products. I’ll be covering these topics separately in upcoming posts, and you’ll see the philosophy of Digital Sharecropping in action.
What are the benefits?
Probably the “end all be all” of benefits is that you get to take advantage of infrastructure that you didn’t have to build yourself. This can be an online platform or social network, an existing user base, software, or other technology.
From day 1 you can be up and running on another platform, with little experience and minimal barriers of entry.
Anyone who has built an audience online (or is in the process of building one) knows the uphill battle for each new visitor & subscriber. Not to mention the learning curve of building your website, learning the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of your email marketing service, and all the while creating new content.
If you setup a profile on Twitter or Instagram, for instance, you can post updates today (with some relevant hashtags, of course) and immediately gain some new followers and traffic.
The second main benefit of Digital Sharecropping is that it’s still your content! What you create on other platforms can be re-purposed, posted elsewhere, linked to, and more.
It’s important to put your content in front of your audience wherever they happen to be. Social media often takes the brunt of the arguments against Digital Sharecropping, but the word “social” says it all.
This approach of being proactive will allow you to bring visitors to your site from other platforms. Think of it as harvesting your crops.
People are more likely to “know, like, and trust” you if you’re approachable and engaging on other platforms besides your own. The key is to talk with your audience, NOT just talk to them.
Have a Call to Action
Once you start to engage with your audience, it’s important to get them back to your site so you can keep the conversation going. (Read: email list)
Since another potential downside to Digital Sharecropping is that you often don’t get access to your audience’s email addresses from other platforms, it’s imperative that you be proactive with your call to action to bring them back to your site.
The way to hold on to your success is to keep moving & adapting. Once you start to see diminishing returns from one traffic source, it’s time to re-evaluate and adapt.
Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google may be on top today (and possibly for years to come), but there are many other platforms on the rise, and you don’t always need to focus on the biggest & best ones out there to succeed.
Engage on the network that your audience hangs out on, and if your audience begins to shift – shift with them. The beauty of Digital Sharecropping is that you can instantly jump on board any platform that is rising in popularity, and with little effort, begin to capitalize on that built in audience & infrastructure.
To Sum It All Up
Relying on Google traffic is passive, but can be very slow. Going out onto the different social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn may take a little more work, but can be much more rewarding.
The amount of time you’ll need to spend on each platform to get positive results will vary, which is why focusing on those that give you the best return on your time is especially important.
Above all, though, understand that no strategy is going to work indefinitely.
Realize that things WILL change, so build your action plan around that understanding.
Keep lean, agile, and above all.. Be Consistent.