The Internet has made it easier than ever for budding entrepreneurs to start a business, but the nuances of “being online” can be confusing. If you’ve recently launched a startup, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a professional online presence, so people know who you are, what you do and how to reach you. Whether or not you intend to sell your products or services online, it doesn’t matter; you still need a website and some active social media profiles for your business to grow. With this in mind, here’s how to build an online presence for your startup business in five easy steps.
Step One: Do Your Research
Before you start marketing your business online, you need to know who you’re marketing it to. Find out who your target audience is and how they use the Internet, and then you can target your efforts more successfully. You probably already know your business goals (perhaps to turn a profit or fill a gap in the market), but you also need to think about the goals of your customers. What do they want and why are you best placed to provide it?
Step Two: Create a Website
As a startup business, your first investment should be a professional-looking website. There are tools you can use to set this up for free, but if you want to make an impression and stand out in your field, it’s best to consult with a web design agency. Web design can be tricky; as well as layout and branding, you also need to consider security, mobile responsiveness and search engine optimization to help people find and use your website.
Step Three: Get Active on Social Media
To connect with a modern audience, you need to know how to use social media for your business. Refer back to your customer research to decide which platform is most likely to reach your target audience. The key here is consistency: you don’t have to be on every site, but you do need to provide communication and consistency if you want to build trust in your brand.
Step Four: Promote Your Business
Social media provides the perfect platform for promoting your business, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s free or even easy. Paying for ad space and running targeted campaigns is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website and build a following. Without investing at least some time or money, you’re unlikely to make much of an impact.
Step Five: Keep Up the Good Work
Now you have a professional online presence, which will attract high-paying clients, help spread the word about your products or services and enable you to build a glowing reputation. The work doesn’t end here, however. Creating a professional website and setting up your social media accounts is just the first step in marketing your startup. You also have to maintain your online presence to keep growing your business.