“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
– Milan Kundera, Writer
Digital technology is no longer a secondary tool in modern business and leadership practices; it is essential in nearly every facet of communication and infrastructure. This sort of necessity is more than the need for computers, mobile internet, or other devices that connect people to one another in an efficient fashion. Nowadays, entire networks of business, social, and personal information now exist and thrive online.
Your digital footprint represents how prevalent and aware you are of these landscapes. Understanding just what that means, as well as how to use it to increase your leadership reach, business production, and overall social awareness, can be the difference between succeeding and floundering in the modern world.
Your digital footprint more or less represents your overall online presence and effectiveness. This can be defined in a number of ways, but for starters, it should be understood in terms of your ultimate goals. In business, many peoples’ goal in this regard is to increase awareness of their brand/services/leadership ability, in order to increase production on a number of levels. With much of business being conducted via the internet and other online networks, a digital footprint determines just how effective you are in achieving this goal.
Even if you are not completely aware, you and your business likely already have a digital footprint in some regard, be it a website, social media, LinkedIn pages, or even simply others talking about you and your business. The point of maximizing your digital footprint is to expand these reaches, while at the same time having control of your messaging and desired areas of attack.
Each online platform provides a variety of tools specific to its user base, area of business, and monetization structure. It is important to learn about these different platforms and find the best resource for your specific area of business. However, many of these platforms share areas, so it is also important to keep your desired clientele in mind and focus your digital footprint efforts to cater to that audience. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make in doing this, however, is trying to market and spread awareness across all platforms in a general fashion. Understanding your target audience can increase your digital footprint in a way that actually provides an effective return to your business.
Having a solid understanding of the potential of a strong digital footprint is an important first step. Even if you do not necessarily feel ready to dedicate serious resources to grow your online presence, being aware of how your competition may take advantage of the increasingly dominant digital landscape is a necessity. A digital footprint, at the very least, adds more tools to your craft, allowing you to be more prepared for future success.
Kelly D. Scott
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization