Ok, you’ve started a business, now what?
During my time helping business owners set off on the journey to go digital, I’ve learned one thing: there’s a lot to know. I forget that what I know is based off of over a decade of working in digital media and marketing along with a hunger to keep up with what’s going on in the ever changing world of content marketing.
But you didn’t click on this article to hear me opine, so I’ll get to the point.
Whether you are the person starting your business online or if you’re trying to help a client, here are some tools you can use.
For building a website
To be honest, companies that will help you build a website are myriad and a longer article on their own. So, I’ll give what I recommend to my clients when they are getting started.
Medium has a really simple, sophisticated interface. If your business is more content-oriented, then this is a viable option (similar to mine, for example) for you. You have a lot of creative leeway using their free package. There are more options when you pay for the site (this is one of my favorites) but in the meantime you can get started for free.
WordPress is a favorite option for many people. My own site is run off their free option (though I do pay for my URL through GoDaddy), but they have a more robust version you can pay for. WordPress is a great option for many businesses because it can be as manual or analog if you want. If you only want to sell some items and update a blog, you can do that via some plugins and an app on your phone. Or if you want to code your own, unique website, that’s available to you too.
If you’re looking for a simple, beautiful option where you can sit down and have your business up and running in 1hr or less, I’d recommend SquareSpace. At $9.99/month for a basic package, you get a ton of features including the ability to sell things. Truth be told, if I or one of my clients was in a retail business, I’d run it off of SquareSpace. Chances are that just one sale will more than make up for the cost of the site, and you have their support staff on-hand ready to help with your questions. It’s the best value for a paid website I’ve found.
For socializing your business
Every business has a different strategy for how they want their brand and content to be seen by the public which is why there are a lot of different options for managing social media posts. Additionally, you’ll need to decide what you want your tools to do for you: automatically posting, chain of approvals, or simply scheduling. However, keep in mind that you will pay for these conveniences, so it’s important to think about which you really want/need then scale if needed.
Sometimes it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the world of marketing that it’s easy to forget some business simply need to know the basics about online marketing.
For a lot of people, this means taking the first step of having a website. If your business runs largely offline, like my local bagel shop, it’s still a good idea to have a website. That way people can find you and learn a bit about your business before deciding whether or not to visit.
There’s a joke amongst Millennials that if you’re dating someone and they don’t have a social media presence, then there must be something they’re hiding.
While it’s not exactly the same for businesses, it’s still important to put a professional foot forward and make sure people know you care about them being able to find and contact you.
So, in an effort to help you get your online marketing efforts off the ground, I wanted to put together a quick checklist of five ways you can start building your online presence today.
- Get a website
Decide what you want your website to be like, and set a budget to help you narrow down your choices. The good news is that even if your budget is $0, you can still start a website. Places like wordpress.com and weebly.com make it easy to create engaging sites that make your business look professional.
If you plan to have a basic webpage, that’s totally fine. But remember that you’ll have one chance to make an impression on your potential customers. So, choose a design that conveys what you’d like people to base their first impression on.
- Get an Instagram Business account
I promise this sounds harder than it is. It’s as simple as:
- Starting an Instagram account
- Go to Settings and choose to make it a Business account
- Enter your business’ phone number or email
- Start posting!
You’re convinced you need a content marketing strategy, but where do you begin?
Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Review Your Demographic
Have you ever heard the saying that we get what we need, not what we want? That’s often the case when it comes to internet marketing. You can try your best to attract a certain demographic of people, including employing specific SEM parameters, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll get that audience.
For example, if you have a website about yoga, you may try your best to attract people who are experienced yogis, but instead you find new enthusiasts. Does that mean your readership is any less valuable to you? No. Of course not! You should embrace people who find your content helpful, and aim to build a community around that which will still achieve your original goals.
So, ask yourself these two questions:
This is my price sheet. I’m not afraid to post it because at the end of the day, my main goal is to help my clients achieve their goals.
I’ve worked for many agencies but because they have high overhead, they try to negotiate high prices. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I wish them all well because they keep people employed.
But that’s not what I personally believe in.
I believe in reasonable prices that allow me to devote attention to achieving my clients’ goals, and a commitment to agency-level work.
So, this is my price sheet. No hidden fees. If you’re ready to jumpstart your marketing strategy, let’s go!
As much as we all wish that there was a secret formula to write the perfect, most engaging, informative blog post, that doesn’t exist. However, there are lots of tools to help people customize their strategy and learn exactly what their audience wants. Here are five tips and tools that I’ve found helpful, including some free tools you can use to get started.