Your online presence is the first thing people see when searching for you. It's also an essential way for potential clients will discover your brand. Your online presence should showcase skills, competence, and personality in a way that makes them want to hire you.
However, online presence isn’t solely the domain of individuals. Businesses, too, can aim to meet objectives based on what they need to accomplish. Because of that, the channels you work with for your online presence can be diverse.
As an example: if one of your objectives is “gaining new clients,” then one goal might be “building an email list” so that people can sign up for updates from time to time about how other companies have been using my services or products successfully.”
Build Your Online Prsence
Here are five effective ways you can build your presence on the Internet:
- Create a website
- Start a blog
- Join social networks
- Guest blog for other websites
- Collaborate with others
1. Create a Website
Websites are typically the cornerstone of an online presence. These digital assets can be built and owned by businesses and individuals. The core difference between a business and a personal website is what the designer sets out to achieve.
There are many ways you can go about building a website. Again, these assets can range from simple single-page portfolios to multi-page corporate websites. The complexity of the website may affect how you approach its construction.
How to Build a Website
There are multiple ways you can approach building a simple website. All you need is web hosting and a website builder of some kind. These tools can help you build websites quickly, even without knowing any code. Many web hosting companies include a website builder with their web hosting plans.
Outsourcing the design and development might be necessary for those who want a website with more features or simply more complex. Many expert web developers are around, and working with one can help you stay focused on your core business.
Tip: One of the most critical needs for a website is reliable and fast web hosting. Slow websites can negatively impact your brand image. Studies also show that website speed affects customer conversion rates.
2. Start a Blog
There is sometimes a misconception that blogs are personal diaries that their users share. While that might have been the original intent, blogs today have become essential tools for personal and business use.
One of the reasons so many people start a blog is because they want to make money from it. Personal blogs can be easy and cheap to start. Some passionate bloggers have turned their blogs into an income stream that lets them quit their day jobs.
On the other hand, we usually see business blogs as an extension of the business website. They are an excellent way to quickly boost your business website and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
The reason is simple: blogs are great for improving your search rankings.
Building a formidable collection of authoritative blog posts will have Google loving you and sending masses of potential customers to your business website. For example, if you own a restaurant and the website includes a blog about food trends and recipes, you'll likely rank high on Google when people search “food trends” or “recipes.”
The higher your rank, the easier it will be for potential customers to find your business.
Websites and blogs can serve similar purposes. For example, they can;
- Build trust with your audience.
- Promote products and services.
- Create a community around your brand.
- Drive leads and sales by promoting offers and discounts.
How to Build Your Blog
Building a blog can be even simpler than building a website. Remember that for blogs, content is king. The groundwork for the blog itself is generally a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress. These applications are simple to deploy, customize, and start using.
Deploying a business blog can be slightly different since they often need to be integrated with business websites. Still, with a few tweaks, usage of the business blog should be no different than simply learning how WordPress works.
The basic process should be;
- Registering your domain name
- Signing up with a reputable web hosting company
- Installing WordPress (or any other CMS)
- Pointing your domain name to your CMS
- Customizing the appearance
- Adding needed features (WordPress works with plugins which makes this so easy)
- Adding content
Check out Jerry's detailed guide on How to Start a Blog for more details. That guide is complete enough to hand-hold you through the entire process from start to finish.
3. Join Social Networks
If you're new to social media, the process can seem overwhelming. But when you think about it, your presence on social media is an excellent way for potential customers to get a sense of who you are and what kind of business you run.
It also gives them an easy way to engage with your brand to learn more about what products or services might interest them. After all, who doesn't like talking about themselves a little bit?
If people feel comfortable expressing themselves on social media, they might just share their thoughts with others, which means more potential customers for your business!
You should also know that there's no need to limit yourself when it comes time for promotion or marketing efforts. While many platforms (like Facebook) require particular pages just for businesses instead of personal accounts, most other sites allow both types at no extra cost (some even have business-only plans).
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform
An important thing to note is that social media platforms often have different focus areas. These focus areas might be better (or worse) for certain businesses. Individuals should also be aware that achieving certain goals on specific platforms might be challenging.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Instagram are currently some of the most popular social media platforms. They have different functions and features that make them unique. These features also appeal to companies for various social media marketing campaigns.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the world. It is used by more than 2 billion people every month and has over 1 billion daily active users. Allowing users to connect with friends and family, you can also use it to promote products, services, and businesses.
It has several different post types available for businesses, including videos, photos, and links shared from other websites (known as “sponsored posts”). These posts can help companies stand out from other brands, especially if supported by Facebook advertising.
Twitter is a microblogging platform where users can post text-based posts to their followers (known as ‘followers'). The maximum length of a tweet is 140 characters, but some users may have more than one tweet due to extra characters added as hashtags or retweets.
Twitter is an excellent way for businesses to connect with their customers and potential customers. You can use it to share news, coupons, and special offers or help customers by answering questions or providing customer service.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site that allows users to upload professional pictures and resume information and connect with other professionals in their field of work or study. You can find jobs, get hired, or build professional relationships online.
As you can see, Linkin is distinctly different from Facebook since the operative words here are “professional network.” It's not just for sharing photos of your dinner or cute videos of your dog. Instead, it's a place where you interact with other professionals.
TikTok is an app that allows users to create short videos by recording themselves lip-syncing to music from their library of licensed songs on YouTube Music Library. Users can then share these videos with others through the app or on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
It's an easy way to reach new audiences. People use TikTok for many different reasons — to make friends, share their lives, or simply kill time. This wide variety of users means that there's an opportunity for your business to reach people who might not be on any other social platform.
4. Guest Blog for Other Websites
Guest blogging for other websites is a great way to get your name out there, build your brand, and pick up some extra traffic. You can also get a link back to your website or blog by writing for other sites, which boosts your SEO.
Writing articles for other websites shows that you are an expert on the topic and helps increase your credibility. The increased exposure can lead to more opportunities such as interviews and speaking engagements.
Here are some tips to consider when guest blogging:
- Make sure that the website you choose is relevant to your niche or industry.
- The article's content should be related to the topic so readers don't feel like they have been conned by reading something completely unrelated.
- Make sure that the website has a large following so that when you publish an article there, it gets read by a ready audience.
- Follow writer guidelines to increase the chances that your article submission gets approved.
When writing posts for other sites, don't just write one or two and disappear forever. Write more than once so that people come back and check out future posts knowing that they'll be good ones! The consistency also helps build trust between you and readers who may be new.
Tip: Need help? Our agency offers outreaching and content marketing services. Learn more and reach out here.
5. Collaborate With Others
Collaboration is the key to success, especially when it comes to building an online presence. Work with others on a project, or find someone in your niche who can help you grow in that area. If you have a community of people around you who share similar interests, collaborate with them and do group projects together!
From Mommy Blogger to Freelance Writer
Some of the best jobs I've gotten have been from networking, both with friends and strangers. That means you need to spread the word on your networks that you are now blogging professionally.
Start attending conferences and professional events. Because of my participation in conferences, I now have blogged for CVS, MassMutual and Maty's Health Products. Make sure that the brands you approach complement your vision and voice and have a plan on what to offer them. Many brands are looking for reviewers, so be sure to let them know that reviews, articles and giveaways are paid products and not free. Or, you can start a relationship with a great review and then upsell them additional services such as blog writing or social media promotions.– Gina Badalaty, Embracing Imperfect
Many people are afraid of collaborating because they think it will take away from their success, but this is not true. It can increase both parties' reach. For example, one side releasing content can reach both audiences simultaneously.
Building a professional online presence doesn't necessarily have to be complicated. You'll always be able to find one negative post somewhere on the internet, but if you take pride in your work and take measures to build a professional online presence, you can create a site that will do your brand justice.
Before making any decisions, think about what you want your online presence to say about you and your work or business. Then you can move forward with confidence.