You want to grow your online presence! Where do you plan to start? What do you need to do to get there?
Having a strong online presence can bring great benefits to you and your business, but it also takes time.
Your online presence will have the benefit of allowing people to find you, interact with you, and get to know, like and trust you. This is why it is so important to have an online presence.
What exactly does having an “online presence” mean?
Your presence is the sum of all of your online identities, both personal and business, along with the content they’ve created and the history of activities or interactions they’ve had.
Your online presence can have a very wide reach and, when established successfully, can spread your brand awareness and gain you fans, subscribers, prospects, customers, … In short, everything what you can want for your business.
How to tackle it?
Don’t know where to start to develop your online presence? You are not alone !
Building your online presence is a complex process, but it all starts with your business goals. Clearly defining your goals and understanding how your online presence will help achieve them is the first step in determining how you need to take action.
What should you do ?
Establishing an online presence ranges from creating a website, creating profiles on various social media, and determining the best ways to engage and interact on these different platforms.
If you want to be successful, here are the top 5 things you need to focus on:
1. Build a solid platform
For most small businesses and entrepreneurs, building a solid platform starts with creating a website. It’s your hub: a centralized place for people to go to find out more about what you have to offer, contact you, and interact with your content.
You need to make sure your message is clear (what are your products and services?) And your content is engaging. In addition to that, on a more technical side, it is important that navigation on your site is easy and instinctive, that your details are on a contact page or that they are clearly visible and that you add a page “to about “. A membership incentive (for example, a small “giveaway”) can also be useful if you want to create an email list.
SEO (search engine optimization or “SEO”) is an important piece of the puzzle. You are not an SEO expert? It does not matter. There are many resources that can help you become one.
2. Be social and engaging
One of the best things about the Internet is that it allows you to be anywhere.
But being “social” doesn’t mean you have to be present on both Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Medium, YouTube, etc. In general, you should focus on at least one or two of these profiles and post and engage your audience on them regularly.
So how do you choose the right platform? Start by knowing your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Where are they located? Where do they spend their time online? Why are you trying to reach them?
Consistency is essential. You need to post or blog regularly and actively participate in conversations to increase your audience. The best communication channels are those that allow you to reach and engage with your target audience, are manageable based on the size of your marketing team, and help you achieve your goals. Social media platforms can differ in their effectiveness in helping you attract, mature, or convert your target audience.
3. Provide consistent and useful content (focus on help, not selling)
Whether it’s through your website, online community, podcast, YouTube channel, or social media, you should always strive to deliver consistent, quality content to your audience. This will help you gain visibility, credibility and reputation in your industry or business niche, and give people a reason to want to follow you.
Each of your social media channels is an opportunity for you to add value to your followers. It also stands to reason that you want the content you share to help you become more recognizable and stand out in your market.
The content can be your own or that of others that you share with your community. In fact, a mixture of external and internal content is preferable. Not only will this boost your followers’ confidence (they’ll see that you’re not there just to promote your business), but it will also help you build relationships with others in your industry or market. (when you share their content with your audience).
4. Build relationships (not just collect views)
Being seen is important to your online presence, but building relationships is even more so! If no one knows you, it can be assumed that they won’t search your website or Facebook profile, look at your Instagram stories , etc.
What’s the best way to attract your target audience to your world and build meaningful relationships with it? Find an online community or group made up of people with similar interests or working in the same industry or niche as you. Then start building relationships with them by becoming an active member of that group and bringing value to them through your interactions. People like to interact with other people more than with businesses.
If you are at the very beginning of your journey, chances are good that the members of these communities are better connected than you and that they can introduce you to other people so that you can expand your network.
To be an active member means to be present. Spend a few minutes each day in these communities and try to answer a question, write a comment, offer a tip, or ask a question. After a few weeks you will be amazed at all of your new connections and the people who want to know more about you and what you do.
Remember, you should always start by providing value to others. When participating in a group or community, it is strongly suggested that you do not advertise yourself or your business. Once you start building relationships with other members of the community, they will naturally want to know more about you and your business.
5. Continuous improvement
It’s important to remember that you can’t do it all the first time and nothing will ever be perfect. Establishing your online presence is a process. That takes time. The longer you wait to start, the longer it will take you to reach your goals.
That said, your website and social media profiles can be optimized and improved through the use of imagery, keywords as well as fully populating your account information. When in doubt, use pictures and other visuals!
Always focus on your goals. It also includes thinking about how you will be able to measure the effectiveness of your online presence once you get started. It’s important to try different things, regularly monitor your progress, and find what works best for you.
Be patient !
Establishing an online presence offers tremendous potential to market yourself and your business through various online channels. But it takes time, so you have to be patient. With a solid platform, constant activity, interesting and engaging content, and meaningful relationships, you’ll be on your way to growing your online presence and achieving your business goals!