A foundational step in building your own brand and carving out your identity in a globalised market is creating your website. Whether you’re a digital nomad flying from sun-drenched beach to sun-drenched beach, or a bricks-and-mortar company in the first flutters of existence, the need for a website is paramount.
Having a website is necessary for obvious reasons. Considering the internet is the number one place that people get their information on local, national, or international companies and services, you really need to have an online presence. This vast seam of potential business is a rich vein that you can tap try. But that’s only if your site can be found.
It’s a great shame when time and money has gone into a website for it not to add value to a company’s profile. A website that cannot be found quickly and easily is essentially worthless. That’s the internet for you.
Paid advertising is often prohibitively expensive and when a business is only beginning there is rarely enough money to afford a lavish advantage like Google Ads. Most must make do with free forms of advertising wherever they can find it. So how to go about promoting your website for free? Well, there are a number of ways, and we’ll discuss a handful right here.
Many of the most popular websites on the planet are social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al tend to dominate the habitual browsing of the average internet user. But for the individual or business looking to promote their brand without spending a dime, social media offers a fantastic – and fairly comprehensive – method.
Social media allows brands to communicate to a huge audience so that those who may not otherwise have known about them are able to hear their message.
Linking with other like-minded companies is an excellent starting point. In the same way that brick-and-mortar stores are often clumped together to draw in potential business and collectively enjoy the benefit - ever noticed how all the cell phone stores are in one place - linking with the competition online can do the same. Make friends with the enemies to share the wealth.
Social media can also drive targeted traffic to your website. Retweets, likes, and shares from a well-placed post can bring in thousands of visits and potentially lead to trade. On top of this, a publicized post will guarantee you followers, increasing the audience that sees each company post and improving the odds of business further down the line. This building of brand loyalty is a real holy grail for major companies so here’s your chance to get ahead of the game.
Social media, and particularly Instagram and Snapchat offer an intimate way for small or independent businesses to offer interested parties a closer look into the “everyday life” of the business. For example, the filming and posting online of the process behind creating hand-made jewelry is an amazing way to show people the care, skill and hard work that goes into making the product. People like to see what goes into producing a product and it allows them to feel a little closer to the brand. Win win.
Creating a Facebook page for your business, a Twitter profile, and an active Instagram portfolio to create an extensive web of targeted social media. Frequently clients dip in and out of one social media platform or another, so it is important to have a holistic approach.
The drive behind social media is the communication and relationship building it enables between users. Leverage this incredible communication opportunity properly and you’ll be on the road to success.
Google My Business
Google is the internet’s kingmaker. For better or worse, there is no successful business that does not engage with the search engine giant with a view to self-promotion. Google is, as is oft repeated, the most popular website on the planet, and Google’s My Business is where you register your company so it can be easily found by any of the 3.5 billion searches undertaken each day. Usually, folks will interact with My Business through Google Maps when they look for local business. The listing should include the name of your business, a contact number, and importantly your website address so that this potential client has a way of reaching and reviewing your company.
Marketing opportunities are rich here as anyone has the ability to upload photos of your business as well as leave reviews. Let’s hope they’re positive!
The Yellow Pages really has nothing on My Business as a directory of services. That’s why you need to be part of it.
Most people do not automatically consider YouTube to be a promotional channel, but it certainly can be. Posting videos to YouTube will help potential clients find your services and also allow you to showcase what it is that your business can do – and how you do it differently – in a way words alone cannot.
The key to YouTube promotion is to post frequently enough to build a reputation on the platform to draw in new viewers and keep old ones returning. In each video you can provide a call to action to direct viewers to your website to promote your service and drive up business.
The video descriptions are also ideal opportunities to insert some well-researched SEO words and phrases to increase the likelihood of them being found.
With over 65 million business professionals now signed up to LinkedIn, the platform offers a market that is certainly worth appealing to. Most think of LinkedIn as a glorified CV but it’s also a fantastic and free place to promote your personal website.
One of the best ways to promote yourself here is to join a group. The way LinkedIn organizes its groups is by common interest. So, if you’re a new yoga center trying to drum up some new clients you could join one of the many groups already set up. Better yet, start your own! Set the ground rules, pick a name, and invite friends over.
Interacting with others and building a network can all work wonders for promotion. Every friend of every connection that you have on LinkedIn is able to view your profile; that’s a whole heap of potential business. Considering the fact that LinkedIn is a professional platform used by many heads of companies, promotion here could lead to some very bountiful friendships.