Digital entrepreneurship is a breathtaking category of entrepreneurship spearheaded by the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Fearless leaders like SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Uber’s Travis Kalanick have also helped to shift public opinion of entrepreneurship.
According to Marc Andreessen, digital innovation is transforming every industry. The world is becoming more connected. More people have access to the internet. This only means that digital entrepreneurship will become more prevalent.
In this article, we will define and explain who a digital entrepreneur is and give some real-world examples of this new type of entrepreneurship.
Digital Entrepreneurship Definition
Digital entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs who have the skillset and know how to leverage digital and e-commerce technologies such as social media, analytics, and the cloud to create value online through digital products.
According to Statista, the number of social media users worldwide is expected to triple to over 3.02 billion compared with 0.97 billion in 2010.
Using social media networks alone, digital entrepreneurs connect directly with consumers like never before and use software programs like Instagram tools to measure campaign success.
Being a digital entrepreneur goes beyond knowing how to get likes on Instagram. Digital entrepreneurship is about having advanced information literacy – that is, knowing how to find the information to accomplish a business goal.
At the very least, entrepreneurs today will have:
- A search engine optimized website
- Email subscriber lists
- Multiple social media accounts
- Social media marketing know-how
It is not a requirement to understand how each element in the marketing mix works. However, it is an advantage for those who are in the know.
Successful entrepreneurs like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos are known to set long term business goals with a focus on how to use the increasing demand for new digital products and service.
How To Become a Digital Entrepreneur
Digital entrepreneurs have a genuine interest and passion for the online environment and how to use it for business success. Being a digital entrepreneur goes beyond knowing how to market an app. Here are the three main things you should do to become a successful digital entrepreneur:
Learn How Great Digital Companies Built Success
No one is ever too old or too young to learn. The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella is famous for his philosophy of being a ‘learn-it-all’ instead of a ‘know-it-all’.
Pick a successful company and do a search for how they became successful. There are so many resources online to help you understand the digital landscape and how to use it.
You can also find people who are local to you who can help you understand digital marketing. Find a local business in the digital marketing or innovation field, contact the founder or senior manager through LinkedIn and ask them to be your mentor.
Gain Understanding of Analytics
Having a good understanding of how to measure digital success is an important part of digital entrepreneurship. Using tools like Google Analytics, you can track website visitors, set goals to identify where you are getting the most conversions or sales. Analytics is also great for reporting on your marketing spend.
Most companies spend money on Google Ads, Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads. Imagine not being able to tell which one is most effective? Because of analytics, digital entrepreneurs run smarter marketing campaigns.
Monitor Consumer Behaviour
For many years retailers paid attention to consumers behaved in their stores. They did this because it helped them understand where to place items in the store. Understanding where to place things in the store meant that they could increase sales.
As a digital entrepreneur, you will not have the opportunity to monitor user behavior in the traditional sense. However, you can use heatmap software tools like Hotjar or Mouseflow to understand how users are behaving on your website.
Digital Entrepreneurship Examples
Some of the most prominent examples of digital entrepreneurship come from companies in silicon valley. From Apple computers, Instagram and Amazon. Slack and Dropbox are examples of companies that used the internet to scale.
Companies that create subscription boxes, sell online courses, or provide software as a service (SaaS) products are perfect examples.
Summarizing The Digital Entrepreneur Phenomenon
When it comes to entrepreneurship, most people say that every entrepreneur is a digital entrepreneur. However, without an understanding of analytics or consumer behavior, most entrepreneurs can get lost in the sauce.
If you want to become a digital entrepreneur, you need to have a solid product, backed with a great understanding of your target customer. Use analytics to determine how effective your marketing campaigns are and monitor consumer behavior.