Building Your Brand Online
Whether you like it or not, whether you come kicking or screaming or decide to jump all in, you and your business are going to have to seriously consider and pursue an online presence. Whether you are a storefront with a huge customer base or a relatively small home business, your online presence is increasingly important in today’s global marketplace.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be talking about the ways that you and your business can build your brand online—and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls that some businesses encounter as they navigate these new avenues of customer contact.
What Does Your Website Say About Your Business?
First impressions are everything, or so we’ve been told, and websites are no different. We’ve all had this experience—we navigate to a new business’s page to check them out, perhaps having heard about them from a friend or having seen a boosted Facebook post, and we recoil almost instinctively. Why? A lot of reasons may be at work—difficult navigation, unattractive design, boring or (gasp!) error-filled content—but the result is the same: you leave as quickly as you came.
Obviously, if you’re aiming to encourage customers to order through your website or to at least make contact with your business through your online presence, this is bad news. In fact, a poorly designed or haphazardly constructed website is one of the key mistakes small businesses make as they are beginning to create their online presence. In a hurry to get something online, or operating under a tight budget, small business owners either create a website themselves or don’t spend enough time determining their strategy or crafting the content.
The result is never good.
Identify What You Do Well
As a business owner, you know that careful reflection is essential to growth. That principle is true in every facet of life but especially in business—if you can’t see what’s going on, how can you improve and move forward?
So, take a good look at your website. Does it accurately reflect the character of your company? Is it easy to find what customers want to find, whether that is a product or a description of services, in the time that they have? Is the design aesthetically pleasing? Do you have content that is convincing and easy-to-read?
If not, it’s time to reassess.
Invest in Your Online Presence
Having a beautifully designed website with carefully crafted content, to present your message to customers as clearly and convincingly as possible, does not have to destroy your small marketing budget. In any business, it’s important to know what you’re great at and what you’re not, so you can find the experts to help you.
Finding talented freelancers can help your costs stay low and allow you to make the most of your budget. A number of freelancing websites have thousands of talented freelancers from all over the world ready and willing to help you implement your good ideas. Knowing what you’re good at and realistically understanding your time limitations can help you decide what elements of your website construction you can handle and what needs to be left in the hands of experts.
Your online presence is essential to your success—you must be sure that you are making the right impression on your customers in the first moments. If you haven’t invested wisely in this facet of your business’s marketing plan, now is the time.