How to start an online presence

In the modern age, it's a matter of “when” and not “why” when it comes to establishing an online presence to promote your business. Here's some tips to get you started now.

When your business is brand new people need to know it’s there. Not only is a website your window to the world and home on the web, it has become an essential requirement for any new business. Your site can be used as a powerful marketing tool and a way to make money.

Having the right technology and knowledge allows you to build, develop and maintain your site. And you can do it all in-house on a shoestring budget. Let’s look at ways to develop a professional online presence.

1. Website template

There are a number of companies offering website templates that come with domain registration, hosting, e-commerce and design as part of the package – offering websites that can be created today and trading tomorrow. Many e-commerce platform sites come with an in-built payment system and mobile responsive pages. Website template providers include Shopify and Wix.

2. Blogging

Blogging is a website or part of a website that’s regularly updated by an individual or a group of bloggers. There are blogs on any number of topics and the fact that anyone can start blogging for free makes it diverse and exciting.

It’s an easy way to get online. You can write posts on your area of expertise, upload images and video, and become the go-to place for customers looking for your advice/tips/services/products. Search engines love blogs and the more you write, the higher up the search engine ranks your website will go and the easier it is for customers to find you.

It's important to blog regularly to build a loyal readership. It’s free and easy to get blogging with tools such as Blogger, Typepad or WordPress.

3. Get on social media

Create a profile and make regular updates on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Join in with relevant conversations to gain an audience and, eventually, potential customers.

Stick to the rule of thirds. One third of your posts should promote your business, sell your services or products and generate revenue. One third should highlight ideas from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses. And one third of social content should come from personal interactions that help you build reputation. Read more on how to get started on social media.

Having a presence on the web opens you up to customers from across the world finding you too. Keep it polished so when a customer comes to buy, you’re ready and open for business.