So you have a brilliant idea for a new business. You have set up your business and now you need to reach more people. While word of mouth is a great way to draw in resources from your existing networks, and traditional methods like print ads still have their place, the world is gravitating towards using the internet as a primary platform for communication. As an entrepreneur you can use this to your advantage by using online tools to create awareness of your brand and build relationships with your potential customers. Here are 5 basic steps to take as you prepare to carve your niche into the digital landscape.
Set up a website
Your website is the face of your business. Your front page should act as a billboard that clearly communicates what your business is about. It should be welcoming and friendly, and look good from the first glance to entice viewers to stick around.
Using the right combination of words and images, your front page should draw potential customers in by identifying their problems and explaining how you can offer them a solution.
Start a blog
A blog will give people a reason to return to your website. You can use a blog to elaborate on different aspects of your business, and to tell stories that educate and inspire your target market.
Focus on providing meaningful content that is relevant to your target market. These post can be shared on your social media channels and give people an opportunity to engage with your content.
Build your mailing list
Use a service like MailChimp or Aweber to install a contact form on your website. You can then use your website to build your list, by offering something of value in exchange for your readers’ email addresses. This can be a free consultation, an e-book, or anything else that is useful enough for someone to be willing to provide you with their email address so that they can have it.
Send regular emails to your list. This could be monthly, weekly, or however frequently you desire. But don’t use it just to sell your products. Again, the key word here is value. Focus on providing your readers with meaningful, valuable content, and they will happily support your products when you do mention them.
Create a Facebook page
Use your Facebook page to post inspiring images and interesting news that relates to your brand or your industry. It’s okay to use your Facebook page to market yourself, but these posts should be kept to a minimum. Rather focus on providing useful content for your followers, so that when you to post something that relates to your brand or your product, you will already have built up a rapport of trust.
While it’s possible to build your Facebook following organically, this takes a long time. Facebook ads will speed up this process, and will allow you to specifically target the type of people who would be interested in what you offer. You can use Facebook ads to promote your page, or for specific posts that you want many people to see. Use this strategically and you will be able to build up your Facebook page with fans who will be interested in the services you offer.
Having a Twitter account will give you an opportunity to communicate directly with your potential clients. If you use your Twitter page strategically to post informative and inspiring tweets, you will be able to build up a following for your brand in a relatively short amount of time.
It’s important to interact with others users by mentioning and retweeting them. Write personal tweets and avoid generic cut and paste corporate speak. This will show that your brand is run by humans who care about other humans.
Building your online presence will take a certain amount of effort at first, but if you do this strategically with a focus on meeting your potential customers’ needs, it will pay off in the long run. As a general rule of thumb, don’t use these services only to promote your services. Focus on providing solutions that are relevant to your industry and the customers will find you.
Feel free to get in touch if you need assistance in developing a marketing strategy that is specifically suited to your business.