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StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

How to Create a Professional Online Presence For Your Startup Business

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.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

What Are The Best Ways To Get Online Exposure for New Products and Services?


The success of any business, or product, depends directly on social influence and exposure gains. More exposure means that more people see what you have to offer, and why your business or product is a better choice than your competitors. Here are the best ways you can raise your online exposure profile.

Social Media Marketing

If your company does not have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page, you are missing out an important part of your marketing strategy and a huge opportunity for growth. Social media has grown in importance in the online marketing world significantly in the past ten years, and it has the power to reform the rankings of successful businesses and put yours at the top. Being able to reply individually to all customers – whether they are reviewing your service or product, sharing a complaint, or asking a question  – will show that you really make time for your clients, and care more about them than the contents on their bank account. Google+ has also gained a lot of traction in the past couple of years and is able to rival the daily users of even the dominant social media page Facebook. Having eye-catching titles that come out on top of a Google search for your specific niche will encourage more customers to try your product than someone further down the list. There is also the opportunity to do competitions and promotions across your social media accounts, where the conditions are sharing the pages and following all accounts that your company have to offer. Therefore promoting your business, without having to spend the time physically sharing it.

Blogger Outreach

Getting as many positive reviews about both your brand and products out there as possible will be a great way of gaining exposure. Get a positive review on a high traffic website, and you’ll see your sales rocket. Professional journalists or bloggers tend to have a loyal following of readers that will trust their reviews and recommendations, and if they have a large following, you will be able to reach a mass amount of people overnight. However, it can give you an endless stream of work if you are approaching bloggers individually and the promotion of your company could potentially read too much like an advert, turning off interested customers. Luckily, there are companies that help to bridge the gap between your business and the blog websites; simply reading through a review of FATJOEs Blogger Outreach Service will show you how simple it can be to reach your market, without doing all the legwork yourself. Companies that offer these services have creative writers that work your link in by using a natural, non-affiliated, anchor text in a guest blog catered to the host blog’s style, to ensure it isn’t overly promotional.

Create YouTube Videos Showing Off Your Products and Services

Not only can you embed any videos you make onto your website, but the comments section allows for further feedback from your customers. The videos themselves will allow potential customers to have a more in-depth look at your products and can be very persuasive if you manage to weave in a strong sales pitch. Customers can also gain a greater understanding of your services if you create a video addressing some common questions. If you have a unique style or way of doing things, you can display that here. It’s a chance to be personable with people who are interested to know more about your business, so keep it friendly and engaging.

There are many more ways to gain online exposure for your business, but these examples above are the most surefire way of increasing your visibility online.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Strategies to Improve Your Online Presence

The world is online, even if your business isn’t. Refraining from having a website, and associated local listings and social accounts is how you remain invisible to all but your locals. Now, this might seem like a great thing, when you’re, say, a local mechanic, but there are people just outside of your neighborhood who could use your services as well, only because you aren’t online, they can’t find you. Improving your online presence is how you’ll be found, it is how you’ll increase business, and it is how you’ll further your success. To improve your online presence, follow these tips:

1. Start (or Improve) Your Website

You need a website that uses cloud hosting. This is how you’ll ensure that you have miniscule chance of downtime, and how you’ll gain full customization options. You need your website to not just look good, but you need it to be fast and you also need it to be on-site SEO friendly. These three traits are what make a website perfect. Google will rank you based on your speed, and users may not go through your site if it takes ages to load. Similarly, you need the website to look great in order to convey professionalism, so that users can trust you before they even know you.

2. Grow a Genuine Community

Buying followers and likes on Instagram, Facebook, and any other social site is a waste of money. Keeping up the appearance is nowhere near as important as creating an organic, genuine community. You can use social media to increase your website visits and even your sales, but you need to do it the right way. This means crafting bespoke, unique posts with great pictures. It also means engaging with your community at large, before and after they follow you.

A great social media marketing campaign can get you the awareness you need, but you need to respond and be engaged with what your community is saying and doing to be on top of trends, and to nurture these relationships. A repeat customer is more valuable than a one-off sale any day.

3. Get Listed

If you are a local business, you have so many options to be referenced, referred to, and listed. This is great both for the organic hits from these second-party sites, and it’s also excellent for SEO. For instance, if you are a local boutique retailer, you can easily list your business on all directories, like Google or even TripAdvisor. You can also provide your local news agencies of any events you might be holding, since they are more likely to publish a local piece that promotes their neighborhood. This means that you’ll not only gain more traffic from these sites, but Google will rank your website higher due to the number of back-links.

Being smart about your online presence is how you can not only be found by more people, it’s also how you’ll be trusted by more people. Trust, and greater visibility, will lead to success.

Jeffrey Gitomer

Are you a social sales pacesetter? Or are you losing business to one?

Here are a few questions to get your social sales juices flowing:

  • Why are big companies interested in big data?
  • Why are formerly non-social companies suddenly scouring and analyzing social data?
  • Why is ‘mobile’ the new ‘social?’
  • Why is ‘cloud’ the new data room?

Often referred to as pacesetters, companies that have chosen to embrace and engage cloud, analytics, mobile, and social strategies are cleaning the clock of their competitors who have chosen the path of cautious resistance or even abstinence.

NOTE WELL: The real pacesetters are using all four strategies – not one or two.

PERSONAL NOTE: When I saw the statistic that 68% of Facebook usage is mobile, I realized the revolution was in full swing and those not playing hard would lose sales, loyalty, goodwill, reputation, and profit.

REALITIES:

  • Customers are smarter. You must be at least as smart.
  • Customers are social. You must be at least as social.
  • Customers are mobile. You must be at least as mobile.
  • The availability of online information about you AND your competition is instant.
  • Customers expect an easy-to-buy process.
  • Mobile is not an option – it’s an imperative.
  • 24-7-365 is the new 9-5.

My good friend, Sandy Carter, is one of IBM’s General Managers, and their social selling evangelist. Sandy fed me some support data from their recently published IBM’s 2014 Business Tech Trends Report. The report reveals that previously emerging trends like Big Data and analytics, cloud, mobile, and social are now being implemented across corporate enterprise beyond just experimentation and wait-and-see.

The Tech Trends Report also found that the gaps in IT skills that used to exist within these core segments are starting to narrow as organizations are uncovering the skill sets needed to use these technologies to their full advantage.

THE SECRET: These big pacesetter corporations have discovered that by partnering with smaller, specialized companies they are able to obtain the critical skills they need to gain a competitive advantage – thus paving the way for innovation and increased market share. They also learned that total integration of all four pacesetter elements was their breakaway move.

BOTTOM LINE FOR FASTER SUCCESS: Pacesetter organizations are now finding partners in a myriad of places including academia, start-ups, clients, citizen developers, and established specialized leaders. Pacesetter corporations that integrate cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies across their business are four to seven times more likely to use cloud to deliver social, mobile, big data, and analytics.

In short, pacesetters use technology for the competitive advantage and the results are more profitable business outcomes.

Here are a few concepts beyond buzzwords that will help you think about and understand why these strategies are being deployed and bringing amazing returns:

1. Cloud Strategies: Where can I store data and apps that are accessible on demand globally?

2. Social Strategies: How am I in touch with my customers to give them information and social proof, and how can they be in touch with me to tell me all is well?

3. Mobile Strategies: What are my customers using to communicate ideas, needs, and desires? How are they accessing my information? How are they purchasing?

4. Analytics Strategies: Data helps make better and smarter decisions. Data shows the past, reveals the present, and helps predict trends in the future. Another word for analytics is profit. REALITY: An app without analytics is a washing machine without a motor or a car without gas. How is your EXISTING data being mined, analyzed, and used to target trends, analyze profits, and increase sales?

4.5 Partnering Strategies: How are you using SEO experts, app builders, bloggers, and social awareness companies – global outside experts – that can help you achieve amazing success in a fraction of the time (and cost) it would take to do it yourself?

YOUR BOTTOM LINE: Now is the time to get your social mojo working in your favor. The opportunity is ripe and the expertise you need is at your fingertips. Carter told me, “The companies we deal with that listen to us with ‘all ears’ and eagerly implement the pacesetter solutions quickly convert their investment to ‘all clicks’ as their social interactions skyrocket and sales quickly follow suit.”

How’s your conversion doing?

“Get involved and get more.” If you search the hashtag #IBMBTT you’ll be able to access pacesetter ideas and answers – and maybe add a few of your own.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].