Moniek James (LATEST SHOT, USE THIS GOING FORWARD -- 03/24/20)

Moniek James

In the last decade, we’ve seen a dramatic change in how people use technology to get information and purchase products. Digital content has become increasingly more valuable to consumers, and business owners who want to stay relevant and grow are being challenged to focus on being digital-first to leverage new opportunities.

If your business doesn’t currently lead with online channels for marketing, now is the time to take it seriously.

Once upon a time the business world revolved around brick and mortar. Enter years of technological advances like social media and artificial intelligence, plus a global pandemic that caused shutdowns from sea to shining sea, and the idea of doing business has changed forever.

Consumers have embraced learning how to do things instead of paying for them to be done, which means opportunity for entrepreneurs to teach what they know. The desire for personalized experiences has increased, which means business owners can use digital tools to segment their audiences and design content based on the buyer’s journey.

The explosion of platforms like TikTok means entrepreneurs can learn how to create micro-content for that gets attention. I believe that small business owners give themselves room to be more sensitive to their audiences because they’re able to speak directly to them via online channels.

Consumer interests change quickly, and if your business is already active in the digital space, it’s easier to change the direction your marketing toward new platforms, change the tone in your messages or the delivery method without duplicating your work. If you notice that your content’s performance is decreasing (organic reach is down on every platform), you’re able to make adjustments without delay because digital platforms are updated in near real-time.

If offline-marketing works for your business, consider how you can test new initiatives in the digital space, where you can experiment as often as necessary until you find your best fit, before investing in avenues where you wouldn’t be able to make updates without paying.

These days it’s possible to build a very successful business using only digital resources. The limitations that once existed are gone, engaging with customers directly is expected.

Your digital-first approach doesn’t just mean that you have a website and social media profiles — it means that you integrate digital into all aspects of your business model so you can create a competitive advantage in the years to come.

Moniek James is a serial entrepreneur and nerd who helps small business owners use social media to be more awesome online. Find her at where she shares her favorite entrepreneurial hacks and musings.