It may sound like something out of a scifi novel but establishing your presence is really not that hard to achieve in an online setting.
The main thing is making sure that when you meet a new contact that they have somewhere they can find you online that further explains what it is that you can do for them.
There are many ways that you can establish an online presence, so I will go ahead and just list of some of the most popular and most accessable options available.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to remain consistent across all online channels; so if your social media says that you complete one service or provide a certain product; that this information is backed up and explained further on your website.
Seem obvious? You may be surprised how any people have conflicting information across multiple online services!
Many businesses start with a social media page that quickly explains who they are and what they do, this is a little bit backwards in my opinion.
Social Media is great and powerful, and the fact that you can easily create a new facebook page for a business in a matter of minutes is a great power! However that power is open to anyone to create one with minimal fuss at any time.
When you are trying to show that your business is solid and trustworthy you should lead by showing them that you have an internet presence that goes above what the average facebook or twitter user can create in their spare time!
Step 1: Getting A Website
Even though this is your first step in establishing your online presence, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one!
You need to work out what your current skill level with web design is, and whether you are better off investing time to learn how to create a basic website on your own, or if you are better off investing money to have a professional give you some assistance.
If you would like to have a conversation about getting a website built feel free to get in touch with me, I can help you work out what is going to be the best option for you moving forward.
Step 2: Working Out What to Write
For some people this will come naturally; for others this is by far the hardest part of establishing a web presence!
As I said earlier, it is important to remain consistent.
If you already have a good idea of what your brand represents and how it should be displayed then that is always a bonus! If however you are unsure about what your branding is and what it all means, then it may be a good option for you to sit down with a marketer and really work out what image you are trying to portray with your branding.
Once you know how you are trying to portray yourself it is as easy as finding some simple ways of cmmunicating your central message! Don’t be alarmed if you experience small bouts of writers block, this is perfectly normal. You may want to consider having someone come in and help you out with the written side of things, a lot of businesses do this.
Step 3: Setting Up Social Media
If like many business owners this was your first step, there is still nothing to be worried about.
The main reason I recommend setting up your website and then your social media is so that when people find you on social media they are only a click away from being able to engage with you at a higher level.
Social Media is great for having a quick snap shot of who someone is, and then seeing that they have other people who they are already involved with (social proofing); it’s just that when it comes time to tell your story it is much easier to be in control of what they find out about you if you are the sole proprieter of the web page that they are visiting.
The most important thing to remember after you have set up your Facebook page is that you should also set up a twitter account for your company, and then you should consider making a linkedin account for your business also.
The nature of social media is changing, and people who stick to just one of the platforms stand the risk of being left behind.
Whilst it is tempting to only start with the social media that you yourself personally use, it is important to remember that you are stepping out into a new ventre of online marketing; so it is not always going to be the familiar setting that you are used to!
Step 4: Become a Regular
You know when you discover a website for a business that seems like they will be able to help you out with a need; and then you notice that the copy right logo in the bottom of the screen is two years out of date; that the last time they updated their blog was a year and a half ago?
Leaving your contact details with that website seems like it may be a little pointless.
You can be pretty sure that whoever was once looking after the website, and making sure that it was kept relevant has now stopped completely.
There is every chance that their business needs just took over and they no longer have a surplus of time for maintaining their web presence, in which case they are probably just the business you want. It just doesn’t feel like anyone is even paying attention to the fact that you visited.
It is important to make sure that your website is staying up to date and relevant! You may be surprised by how easily the average web user can tell if they are dealing with an out of date website and what effect that has on their buying strategy.
This rule goes ten fold for social media, due to the fact that everything you do is date stamped, a user can quickly tell if you have been keeping your profiles and posts updated!
As You Move Forward: Do Not Be Worried:
It can be nerve wracking to say the least as you wander into the unknown world of online marketing. There are going to be ten million contradictory blog articles and opinion pieces out there. You will feel like you need to learn a whole new swathe of acronyms and jargon; even though you probably do not need to!
If you want to organise to come and have a chat with a professional marketer simply reach out, I always have time for YOU