One of the most common terms used by every business these days is ‘brand’—personal brand, the millennial brand, memorable brand… you get the picture.
The brand you build from day one will be your business’ identity and you will have a strong role to play in that. People will start associating that brand with you just like they do with Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and so many more. Most entrepreneurs get so engulfed in building their business that they do not give enough attention to building their own online presence - and these early decisions can be consequential to the success of your brand.
Knowing how to build an effective online presence is a key skill for every entrepreneur. It determines not only his own but also his business’ success too. Thanks to all the resources available today, achieving this is a lot easier than you might imagine. All you need is determination and consistency.
These five suggestions will help you get started on building your online presence.
1. Build a stellar personal website
Despite being one of the most obvious steps, building a website is daunting for a lot of entrepreneurs. They pay all their attention to building their business’ website and miss out on their own personal website. Having a personal website allows people to get to know you in a more intimate fashion. It is one of the most effective ways to establish one-on-one contact with your user.
Building a website starts with two simple steps:
- Get the right domain name
- Build your website
Getting the right domain name is a huge part of the battle won. A domain name is the first digital touchpoint for a user to connect with you. Hence, you can use this opportunity to communicate that you are up-to-date and innovative in your approach. A good way to do this is to get the right domain extension.
Take Joan’s example. She is a copywriter and has recently launched her own content marketing agency. A relevant and brandable domain name for Joan could be www (dot) joancopy (dot) site.
Industry-relevant domain extensions such as .online, .tech, .store, .press, etc., allow you to have a domain that makes you stand out and get a domain name that is short and crisp. The domain name creates enough intrigue in the user to learn more about you.
When it comes to building your website there are a number of free tools, like the WordPress website builder bundled directly into Webnames' managed hosting plans. These platforms make it easier for anyone to build their very own website using pre-specified design elements into ready-to-use templates.
On the contrary, if you have the budget to hire a freelancer who can help develop your website, that can help guarantee it's original.
2. Actively engage on social media platforms
The rule of thumb is to be where your audience is. And the majority of the people today are active on social media. To build long-term relationships and establish thought leadership, you must engage in the conversations happening on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
By actively sharing content and engaging in active conversations, you can highlight your brand and your personality. You can share your blog posts on Facebook, you can conduct polls on Twitter, you can do Instagram stories on the events you attend or any celebration in your office to know what people are thinking about.
Knowing your target audience and engaging them in a valuable way can go a long way in building an effective online presence.
3. Make content marketing a priority
Content is what draws people to your website and ultimately, to you. If the users see value in what you have to say, they will check you out.
Content marketing is all about creating valuable content that is easy to consume. Experiment with a few content formats such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc., and then analyze them to see the ones that are performing the best. Use that best one to share information about your industry, your product, your personal story, and more.
Sharing original content is also a terrific way to nurse your SEO rankings. Creating value-driven content that is keyword-rich will help you get readership, backlinks and first-page Google ranking over a period of time. And, you can always reuse the content to get more out of it.
4. Build your email list
If people find value in what you have to share then they will want to stay in touch with you. These people are potential leads for your business. Therefore, you must build a connect by asking for their email address to ensure you can communicate with them in the future.
Building an email list and engaging with those users on a regular basis is one of the most cost-effective methods to build long-term customer value.
Have relevant pop-ups on your website and blog that prompt users to sign-up for your newsletter. Moreover, you can give incentives to users who recommend your newsletter to their friends.
5. Actively participate in online communities
These communities are a great platform to connect with people who are relevant to your industry. It can help you engage with potential leads. And since all these platforms are free to join, there is no reason to not be on them.
However, it is imperative that you stay consistent on these platforms. Or you may come across as spam or incredible. Regular engagement and valuable answers will help you build long-standing credibility for yourself and your business.
The tips mentioned above are easy to implement. However, consistency and dedication is the name of the game here. The key to succeeding and ensuring your message stays consistent on all platforms is to know what your unique selling proposition is. Knowing that piece of information will help you provide true value to your users which in turn will help you build a credible online presence for yourself.
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This blog was written for Webnames Blog by Alisha Shibli, a Content Marketing Specialist at Radix, the registry operator behind great new domain extensions like .store, .online, .tech, .press and others.