Becoming a better digital entrepreneur is an enviable position to be in – and one that takes drive, skill and tenacity to achieve.
In the modern age, we’re always looking for the path of least resistance – lifehacks and workarounds that will get us where we want to be, faster.
There is always scope to become better at what we do, so should you find yourself with 24 hours to spare, why not schedule an intensive self-improvement session?
Whether you’re a freelancing mom, or the head of an ecommerce empire, this could be just the skills boost you need.
Hours 1-2: Get up to speed
What’s going on in your industry right now?
Would you say you’re up-to-date with current news and trends?
In the digital world, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse. Becoming a better digital entrepreneur is all about knowing what tactics and tools are currently proving popular.
Begin your 24-hour mission becoming a better digital entrepreneur by spending some time reading industry publications and making notes of anything useful.
Consider using a convenient note-taking app like Evernote so you can come back to these findings later.
Ideally, you should make it a habit to read or watch something relevant to your industry every day.
Some good publications (by no means exhaustive) for staying abreast of what’s happening in the digital industry include:
- The Drum
- Digital Journal
Hours 3-4: Assess your apps and software
There’s a lot of technology out there designed to make our lives as digital entrepreneurs easier.
New apps and services are coming out all the time. Sure, some of them have overlap, but it’s always worth expanding your toolbox if it’s going to help your business – provided it’s affordable.
Spend some time investigating the best apps and software in your industry to see whether they could benefit you.
This might include:
Hours 5-6: How’s your time management?
Digital entrepreneurs need to be exceptionally good at managing their time in order to be productive.
This is especially true if you run your digital side hustles alongside a regular job.
Take a step back and look at all of the ways you could be wasting time throughout your day.
This video provides some excellent advice on time management for entrepreneurs:
In addition, some books worth looking at include:
- No B. S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity and Sanity by Dan Kennedy
- A Time Management System for Creative Entrepreneurs by Minette Riordan
Of course, you will struggle to read two books on time management in two hours, but you may want to order them for later.
You can also make the most of your time with one or two handy time management tools. Consider:
- Rescue Time
- Focus Booster
Hours 7-8: Money management
On the road to becoming a better digital entrepreneur, mastering money is essential.
How’s your cash flow?
Spend the next two hours taking a good look at your finances and asking yourself what could be improved.
Learning to manage your finances will almost certainly determine your future success.
Ask yourself where can you cut costs with your current projects.
Further, what books, seminars, and courses can you use to optimize your skills in this area?
Hours 9-10: Networking and building relationships
Good relationships and strategic networking will take you far in almost any industry.
So take this time to start (or continue) building your network of entrepreneur friends.
Start by connecting with people on social networks and don’t be afraid to reach out with questions.
Then look for networking events in your area – Meetup is a good resource, and there are many others.
Try to find around five potential networking events you can attend over the next couple of months to give your business relationships a boost.
Remember, becoming a better digital entrepreneur requires good communication skills – and however charismatic you are, there’s always room for improvement.
Being good with people can get you far in life.
Hours 11-12: Becoming a better digital entrepreneur through data
As a digital entrepreneur, there’s really no way to escape the importance of data for improving your business.
You must be able to discover what’s working and what’s not, therefore you should be collecting data from all of your pursuits.
Things to look at include purchasing factors, customer data, referral behavior, user feedback, customer behavior, etc.
Depending on what software you’re using, much of this may be automatic – Shopify, for example, has in-built analytics and reports to help you gain insight into your visitors and analyze your store’s transactions.
But this is of very little use if you don’t take the time to look at it and act on your discoveries.
Even if you’re bored and uncomfortable perusing data – just give yourself two hours to look at key metrics like your website traffic, conversion rate and referring sources, and see where you can room for improvement.
Hours 13-14 – Content marketing
Content marketing is very much the foundation for all online marketing and one of the best ways to provide value for your audience.
A productive way to spend these two hours would be to research what makes a strong content strategy – then to take action towards building that strategy out.
Websites with lots of useful content reap the rewards of higher traffic and better conversion rates, so there’s little to lose – and potentially a lot to gain.
This Learning Content Marketing course on Lynda.com would be a good place to start and takes just 58 minutes to complete. Bonus: you get a skills certificate for your LinkedIn profile.
There is no shame in documenting your journey to becoming a better digital entrepreneur.
Hours 15-16 – Email marketing
Email is a powerful marketing tool that delivers serious results for online businesses.
And it really doesn’t take long to wrap your head around the basics.
Email marketing is a must for keeping in touch with your most loyal prospects and customers.
According to McKinsey, the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
So here’s your plan for the next two hours if you want to get to grips with email marketing:
- Check out this 57-minute email marketing course on Lynda.com
- Get yourself signed up to MailChimp (integrates with almost any ecommerce platform)
- Take a look at their blog for inspiration around your next email campaign
- Spend 15-30 minutes brainstorming possible campaigns your customers will respond to
You can’t really make it online without knowing what you’re doing on social media.
Use this time to start making a note of best practices – both for organic engagement and paid social advertising.
Chances are you will need both.
You might find you need help with your social marketing, in which case, know where to look.
Freelancers are abundant on sites like People Per Hour – but be sure to look at their ratings and past work to be sure they know what they’re doing.
And once again, never underestimate the usefulness of the many tools at your disposal, including:
You don’t need to know everything about every network, but it helps to have a good grasp of those relevant to your audience.
This graphic provides an excellent overview:
Hours 19-20: Your personal brand
Every good business needs a face.
Look how many big businesses are influenced and associated with their founders.
As the head of your digital business empire, now is the time to spend a few hours looking at your vision, your values, and what you want to achieve.
Everything from the way you write and respond to emails to your business goals and social media presence impacts how you are perceived.
Having a personal website and blog is a good first step.
You will struggle to make good headway on this in the next two hours, but you can get started.
You should also do a quick sanity check of your social media channels – are you projecting the type of business person you want to be?
Get a brief overview of the fundamentals of creating a strong personal brand here.
Hours 21-22: Va-va-video
Video is fast taking over the internet. This is no fad – it’s the future.
Video is consumed universally and it is responsible for a hell of a lot of internet traffic.
So can you afford not to include video in your marketing strategy?
If you haven’t been using video in your marketing strategy yet, there is a lot to learn, but you will only get better with practice.
Start by turning to some of your favorite brands – and competitors – to see what kind of video content they’re producing.
And remember that nowadays, you can record some remarkably good videos with just your mobile phone and some basic techniques.
I recommend starting here with the Complete Beginner’s Guide to Video Marketing, followed by How to Create Outstanding Video Content on a Budget.
When it comes to becoming a better digital entrepreneur, the internet really is your best friend.
Why not challenge yourself to make a short, simple video in under one hour?
Hours 23-24: Automation
We’ve touched on a lot of automation tools already, but now is the time to get selective and decide what areas you need to automate within your business, and what needs special attention.
The web is the ultimate place to automate your business, and marketing is becoming increasingly automated as a result of new technologies.
Spend your final two hours making a list of all the tasks you complete regularly as a digital entrepreneur.
Then separate them into ‘needs automation’ and ‘needs handling in person’.
You may be surprised.
Everything from fulfilment and communications to sales and social media can be automated.
The following book may prove invaluable: The Automated Entrepreneur by Bob Mangat.
Phew! Feeling tired yet? All of this does, of course, only provide an overview. But as a digital entrepreneur, you will to some extent need to become a jack of all trades. Prioritize what’s most relevant to you first and start building your experience in each area, using some of the recommended resources above. Becoming a better digital entrepreneur is all about tenacity. Good luck!
Victoria Greene is a writer and brand consultant blogging for Victoriaecommerce. Here she helps people ‘hack their growth’ with time management tips. Big fan of social selling and content marketing through storytelling.