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BUILDING AN ONLINE PRESENCE

WHERE TO FIRST?

So let’s get down to it. Building an online presence without previous experience is just a case of trial and error. For the first 2 years of trying to build a business online i did just that. When i look back I wish i read a manual, watched lots of videos or wish there was someone guiding me. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. So I took it upon myself to keep trying until i get it right. You would think that I am an expert now right? No i am not, I am just better than i was 4 years ago. That’s why i chose to write this blog to help that Independent Sales person who is just stepping into modern business. 

The one thing you need to remember is to be consistent in the name you choose to use for your business and keep it the same across all your online platform. This will help search engines to link and find you easily. I didn’t know that, so i changed many times.

Source: lornapagan internet marketing, marketing, social media marketing Digital Business C

Online presence begins with you, your name. Promote yourself first before promoting the company you represent. What I mean by this is that if you choose to add the name of your company to your online identity, please ensure your name comes first. I.e. Rebecca Holding – Independent Arbonne Consultant. 

Best case scenario you have a brand name in that case I would still use my name first for example Rebecca Holding_Pacesetter. Remember, people buy and connect with people not a company. So make yourself relateable.

You may not always be able to use the same name depending on platform. The following are where I would start as soon as your business is registered.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISER

Check your web browsing history. Where did you go last time you were looking for a plumber? A nail shop or a Chinese restaurant? Google my business should be the first place you want to start from. Registering your business on Google My Business will put you on Google Map  and make your business visible on google search. This process is very straight forward and takes less than 10 minutes. You will have the opportunity to add your business details and pictures.

If you haven’t done so yet, do that now. After you have registered your business, Google will send you a verification pin by post. This is a very important step as it will activate your account and your business will appear as verified. It usually takes 7 days to receive the card. Click here to watch a video on how to set up your Google my business. 

As far as I am aware, If you are in Network Marketing, most companies provide a free website which saves you money. However, a personal website allows people to get to know you better especially if you are planning to build a team. A personal website can also allow you to express your yourself with blog posts or galleries. 

Luckily you always have an option to set up your own website. You will have the opportunity to optimise it, add more information about yourself. With a personal website, you can customise it to your liking. You have full control on what goes on and how to run it. 

Online Local Directories

More and more people prefer to do business with locals. That’s where directories come to play. From Yellow pages to Scout, Thompson, Yelp, being registered on directories means you can easily be found online. Google or Bing search will always prioritise local results. Being registered in local directories can make a huge difference for your business. 

Enrolling your business in local directories can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. You can choose to register manually with all 48 online and local directories. You can take advantage of some services which will do the registration for you. Registering manually saves you money but not time. If you ever changed any details about your business, you would have to go to every single one of them and update your details. Paid services will cost anything between £9-£30 a month.Online directories also connect you to other small directories. Before you know it, your name will be visible on the first 5 pages of google. 

Paper Business cards are not a thing of the past. They are still very effective however, I have come to love digital business cards instead. How many times have you attended a networking event, handed loads of business cards only to find it on the floor as you leave? I hated that! It was a waste of money for me. 

A digital business card has so many advantages: 

  • # You can include all your contact details
  • # Add all your web and social media links
  • # They are shareable 
  • # Easily update your details
  • # Add Pictures and videos 
  • # Add a contact form
  • # They cost less than a website 
 
I have tried many digital business cards but i have found this one to be very effective. 
My Digital Business Card screenshot

MY TOP SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM PICK

Don’t try to do everything. The key to effective Social Media presence for your business is not to try to be an expert at everything. It is time consuming and not effective, especially at the beginning. You can be registered on as many platforms as you want, just be an expert at one or 2. Personally, Facebook and Instagram are my go to platforms while still cross posting on twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

If you are already on facebook and posting on your personal timeline, set up a Facebook Business Page. I cannot stress this enough and how important this is. Although you will be tempted to post on your personal timeline from time to time and that’s ok. But it should be occasionally, any other posts related to your business, should be posted to your page. Set it up now. 

My best tip, be consistent. Don’t forget about your account then come back one day a month and binge post. That doesn’t work. Post with at 3 hours interval.

On my next post, I will share with you what i have found useful over the years. The post will include how to get engagements, what to do with those likes, Group, page which is best.

Twitter

As I said above, you don’t need to be an expert at all. Twitter is not my area of expertise. In fact i rarely post directly on Twitter. Depending on your business, how available you are and the audience you are. Make sure you are keeping up with Hashtags. 

Well, now we are talking. Over the past 6 months, my Instagram engagement has gone from 2000 followers to over 9000. What i like about Instagram is the level of engagement with your followers. There isn’t a limit to how many times you can post. My experience with IG became more interesting as soon as i changed my contents. 

Hashtags, beautiful, diverse content and engaging with others. I have started researching hashtags and finding what is trending. There are websites such as Top Hashtag.com, Izea, Hashtagify, remembering to insert a minimum of 20 to 30 per post. Using a grid app to plan your posts can also make your feeds more attractive. I use Preview, but there is also Grid and many other apps. 

Online visual marketing at its best. Pinterest is all about pictures and short videos. The key is to identify your own interests and combine with your business. Knowing how to get the best of Pinterest is very important because you can easily be sending leads to your colleagues without realising just because you saved someone else’s pin which contains their link as opposed to yours

Useful link

How to set up Pinterest
How to make the most of Pinterest

Linkedin

Relating to your target audience, connecting and making innitial contact can make a difference in your experience on Linkedin. Most people on Linkedin are already professionals. They either work for themselves, have a job or are between jobs. They can pretty much tell if you are only connecting to sell them something or you are interested in what they have to offer. I find that with Linkedin, as soon as you connect with someone, tell them what you do and what you are looking for. Don’t wait to get to know them first because chances are you won’t. Having a clean and at least 75% of your profile completed can also make a difference. 

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER AND GROWTH

Loving your online experience is about making sure it is not stressing you out. If the idea of posting every day stresses you out, there are ways you can make it easy for yourself. I like to prepare and schedule my post once a week on Sunday afternoon. I give myself an hour or so to plan, create and schedule. Which then leaves me time to engage with people during the week. 

When your timelime is only filled with company or products materials people loose interest. You want an audience that will keep coming back. Facebook for instance only shows your posts to 8-10% of the total number of your followers. So your content and the way you interact with them can make a difference. 

Put a system in place that will save you time and make your pages more appealing. 

Decide which of the platforms will be your main one. Once your have done that step, choose a theme. What are you interested in outside your business? Do you like cooking, singing, or just writing quotes? Incorporate that to you daily posts. If you are a mum, don’t forget to include your family because other people in your circumstances may relate to that. 

sometimes it is easy to want to do everything when the most sensible thing will be to find ways to make it easy and doable.

I have used Buffer, Every Post, Hootsuite, BlogPosts. Manychat, bots… there are many ways you can manage. The most user friendly for me is Hootsuite and it is also the most affordable. Look into the above to streamline your social media. 

 

The Best Social Media Management Software

Last Thoughts

When I started using social media for my previous business, I was criticised for many reasons. I tried to change the way I was running my business for 6 months and the results were disastrous. I am glad I did try both ways. I have learnt that online marketing/ social media is here to stay. The way people buy is rapidly changing. Even Amazon is offering same day delivery which Argos has copied too. There was less people in shops on Christmas Eve because many people completed their Christmas shopping online. 

There will always be human interaction and that should never be replaced by modern technology. Learn something new every day. 

In the coming weeks I will share about how I used Facebook to grow my business. The Pros and cons of Facebook and Instagram, useful apps, books etc… 

What else would you like to know on this subject? Would you share your thoughts in the comment section?

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