Growing your business online can feel daunting. There is so much to do. You have no idea what you need, what you don’t need or where to start. Let’s simplify the process by focusing on these six must haves in order to grow a successful online business.
Branding That Sets You Apart
Nothing is new in business. There are likely thousands of people doing exactly what you do. The only difference between you and those thousands of competitors is your brand voice and style.
Branding (your brand voice, look, personality and style) is what makes your brand recognizable. It is what people say about your brand when you aren’t present. It is why people will ultimately choose to buy from you over your competitor.
DID YOU KNOW: In marketing, it’s said that a customer has to see your brand seven times to remember it. That’s if your branding is consistent. How many times do they have to see your brand if your website, social platforms, marketing materials and business cards all look different or don’t relay the same voice? A lot more than seven! Take the time to make your branding memorable and consistent!
You must have a website. I shouldn’t have to say that, but I have had two potential clients approach me in the last month and ask if it is “necessary” to have a website for their business. Is it necessary to have air to breathe? Have a well-designed, current website that is mobile friendly. It doesn’t have to have dozens of pages, the simpler the better.
Your website MUST have:
1. Home Page
2. About Page (With a story about why you are in business and what makes your brand stand out.)
3. Contact Page
4. Social Media Icons
5. Products or Services Page
6. Blog (Yes, you should be blogging. It’s the cheapest and easiest way to create organic SEO and to give back to your clients and creating know, like and trust with them.)
You do not need to be on every social platform. You need to pick two to three platforms where you know your customers are playing and focus on those platforms. Social media is time consuming and every platform requires a different plan. Pick two and work hard on a plan that fits the nuances of that platform.
If you aren’t collecting emails, you need to start RIGHT NOW. Emails are your company gold and they are all yours. They aren’t subject to algorithm changes or organic reach reduction. You own them forever and ever. You can use them consistently to reach your customers. That said, use your power for good. Don’t spam your customers with a bunch of non-stop product emails. Provide value with each newsletter so that every time your newsletter shows up, your customers are excited to open it.
The best way to collect those golden emails is to offer value in the form of an opt-in. You can provide a checklist that accompanies a blog post, a workbook that helps them work through a process, a list of important information relating to your brand. For example if you are a gardening expert you could offer the ten best crops to plant each season as your opt-in. If you are a real estate agent you could offer a checklist of things to do before you list your home for sale. In exchange for your valuable information, your customers will give you their email address. Win win.
The most effective way to succeed online is to have an organized plan in the form of an editorial calendar. This calendar incorporates product or service launch dates, product or service promotion, social media updates, blog posts, holiday preparation, etc. Every single thing you do in your online marketing efforts is planned out in your editorial calendar. This will keep you focus, organized on task and it will significantly simplify your marketing efforts.
Spend the time and really hone in on these six key items. Your online success depends on it.
Know you should be doing all of these things but you really need someone to work with you and help you get them done? Are you looking for a community of women to work with and support as you go through the process of building your business online? I have some exciting news! I am launching Simplifying Social Monthly in September! It is a monthly membership course where we dive into all of these topics and many more that will help you grow your business. Learn more about Simplifying Social Monthly!