Welcome back to Business & Budgets! In this post we will be discussing what online presence is, how to build one and making the determination on whether your business needs a website or not. In today's society the old methods of word of mouth and running storefronts are no longer enough to close the deal or make the sale. When being referred or coming across your business during a search, people need to have a place to learn more. Many times they can find the additional information you are seeking on your website. There are some entrepreneurs who are able to run their business without a website, though many still have an online presence of sorts. So let's jump into the details on what an online presence is and why you need one.
What is an online presence?
An online presence is any existence of you or your business online. Placement of your business on other sites and platforms will increase traffic to your direct website. Here are some examples of online presence:
Websites: Yours, as well as listings on partner companies, affiliate companies, etc.
Blogs: Write for other blogs to expand your audience
Interviews: Reach out to local magazines and radio stations, follow-up quickly when they reach out to you first. Setup interviews, don't forget to add the interview links to your website
Reviews: Make sure your business is listed on Google so that clients can leave reviews
Directories/Listing Pages: Many platforms and companies offer directories that are free or cheap to list your business, I am offering one for local Atlanta businesses, click here to submit your business
Social Media Accounts: Social media is free so use it to grow your business, LinkedIn and Alignable are great professional platforms, but the normal ones such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook work great for sharing information about your business too
Why do you need an online presence?
An online presence is extremely important for many reasons, most importantly because of technological advances that have shifted so many sales to online platforms. Here's a few facts to consider if you haven't yet built a website or started to develop an online presence.
79% of all people shop online
10% of all retail sales are made on the web (with projections of 14% by 2021)
Most people conduct research online before making a purchase, what will they discover about you and your brand during that process?
How can a strong online presence benefit your business?
Having a strong online presence will benefit your business in many ways, with the most important of those being that you will be able to close more sales. If people have a way to pay for your goods and services without having to reach out to you directly you have a better chance of making the sale. Some people will be up at 3am on your site, you don't want them to leave because you don't have a purchase button on your site. You will save time by not having to always set up a sale call. Having your brand sprinkled across the internet will give you more and more sales opportunities.
How to build your online presence?
Building your online presence is easy, free and quick so it's best to get started today. Here are a few things to start working on ASAP:
If you have the means and ability to start a website, do so!
Landing pages to collect client information and share something useful, typically a freebie
Booking site, Setmore is a good platform
Payment or donation page to collect funds
Eventbrite page to showcase your events and take payments
Ask for reviews from current and prior clients
Blog for other blogs/businesses
I hope this information is helpful to you as you begin to craft an online presence for your business or personal brand. Feel free to drop a comment with more tips on how to grow your online presence. If you have questions about how to get started or develop your presence further feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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