Nowadays it is almost mandatory that if you are in business, that you are also online. Society expects each and every business to have a website, a Facebook page, or some way of being easily accessible at the mere click of a keyboard or the tap of a phone. And if you are one of the minority who does not conform to this stereotype, then you are certainly going to be at a disadvantage.
The benefits of having an online presence cannot be under estimated. Having that 24/7, never-closed shopfront (otherwise known as a website) means that you are never more than a few clicks away from your ideal customer or client.
But simply having that online presence is certainly no guarantee of success. There are websites, and there are websites! Just like there are businesses and there are businesses. Quality, reputation, trust and credibility are all great contributors to creating that powerful online presence that will truly allow you to shine online.
So how can you get on board and join the successful web dwellers? How can you make the most of the Internet and all of the ease and accessibility it allows to make your own business stand out, become visible, and use it to propel your business into the stratosphere?
Well to start with, you can address your branding. It is crucial that you always have your target market in mind with everything you do. So, when designing the way you want to be portrayed, you need to consider your ideal client and direct all of your attention towards appealing to them and their needs and preferences. So, if you are aiming to attract corporate, big business clients, you would want to have a very professional presence with strong colours, bold, direct logos and fonts, very business-like images. Completely different to the styling of a business whose chief client is a mum with young children for example. This would suggest a much softer approach, with warmer colours, family-friendly images, and perhaps more flowing style of lettering and colours. So, catering to the expectations of your target market will go a long way towards grabbing their attention in a sea of other similar businesses.
And then being consistent. Constantly using this specific branding with everything you do, everywhere you have a presence online. People can then begin to notice you, recognise you, associate you with your business, and they will then also start to seek you out. This will allow you to really stand out from the crowd.
Give away your best stuff for free. Thai is a recommendation that is frequently touted, particularly by internet marketers, and it is very sage advice to follow. If you can give away for free, the things that your competition is charging for, then imagine how much trust that will give you with your target market! You will be seen as a true expert, and not as the salesperson who is constantly selling their wares.
Use social media:
I simply can’t emphasise this one enough! If you are in business, Linkedin may be your chief platform, but for the most part, Facebook will be your best friend. And be smart with the way you plan your social media strategy. Target Facebook groups where your ideal clients hang out. Constantly post a variety of content, video, photo, personal and information posts, with the occasional sales one in there too. Add value. Comment on others posts and offer help, advice and solutions. Show your expertise and customer service. When people have an issue that requires your product or services, they will naturally turn to you because of the trust and rapport they have built with you over time. It is very important to nurture your leads and potential customers without expecting an immediate return. Some processes can take 6 months, a year, or even longer to decide they want to do business with you.
The key is to know your ideal customer. Be crystal clear on who they are, and then offer very tailored solutions to their particular problems.
So, be consistent with your marketing, be patient, and be present, constantly visible and you are already on the way to shining online!