The steps to succeeding in high school politics and finding confidence in oneself are the same as mastering Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and online business in general. Learn the steps to succeeding and being happy with your business online from our new blog series.

5’ 7” tall, 112 pounds, with a matching corduroy outfit and enough Cool Water cologne to challenge the Geneva Convention’s chemical weapons policy, I began my first day of high school. I had no idea what to expect beyond what Molly Ringwald and the Brat Pack showed me, but I knew I had to make my mark somehow. But how was I going to fit in and be accepted by a group of kids that had already been there for one, two or three years (and a couple kids even longer)?

The feelings I had while walking into high school for the first time are so similar to the feelings businesses face when thinking about online marketing. How do I get the attention I want? How can I make sure I’m doing things right? How do I avoid bullies and getting in trouble? How do I succeed? Am I good enough?

Step 1: Find Your Community

Figuring out what type of person or business you truly are often takes some time and introspection, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring options. Do you love movies? Try an acting class. Maybe you’ll learn acting isn’t your best skill but that you love attention. Knowing this will help you pivot toward the place where you fit best. It may take you in a direction you never imagined. You may become the next Cup Stacking world record holder!

For a business example, let’s assume you sell seeds. You should probably begin building relationships with farming and gardening communities online. That’s the logical place to start. But maybe you’ll learn that those communities don’t love your product as you expected. Perhaps you’ll even have trouble connecting with the online communities. Don’t give up. Use this information to pivot toward the place you fit best. You may wind up supplying seeds for a huge smoothie and juice chain that wants to use them in their drinks!

Perhaps most importantly, don’t feel obligated to completely lock into a single community. It’s vital to know where you are comfortable and how you fit in, but the most crucial element to sustainable business (and long-term popularity) is finding what makes you unique and embracing it. You still need a group of friends to rely on, though.

Subscribe to the Connectivity blog by signing up (to the right, in the sidebar). Step 2: Get Popular will be posted next week!

Josh is Connectivity’s Content Marketing Manager.