Build it and they will come, right?
Not always. In fact, it is rare that an extraordinary blog, service, or product gets found without significant legwork to get the word out to the people who matter most – your prospects.
In the online world especially, information is coming at us from left, right, e-mail, Twitter, advertisements, links, it is endless. To establish an online presence is without a doubt a challenge, but certainly not impossible.
1. Start by asking your current readers what they want to hear from you
While your consumer base may be small, ask everyone who follows you how they want to receive information and what they want to hear more of from you. You don’t have to come outright and ask for feedback, because busy people have a hard time responding. Instead, pay attention to what posts are getting read, what services are being investigated and draw your own conclusions from your website data. Do more of what’s working, and less of what’s not.
2. Listen to what’s being said about you
Set up a Google news alert and utilize social media monitoring tools. It’s crucial that you are always in the know of what people are saying about your business. If you ignore it, you can’t respond, or fix what people perceive as stuff you’re doing wrong.
3. Lean on and learn from the people you trust
If you’ve built up a network of like-minded people with a passion similar to yours, don’t be afraid to pick their brain a little. People love to share their knowledge, and more importantly, they love to help the people in their network. Lean on and learn from people you admire and respect and follow in their footsteps of what they did to gain their online status.
4. Build your presence offline too
Building a business online does not mean all your efforts stay online. Attend local networking events, go to tradeshows and be active, get out in your community somehow and spread the word about what you do. You’ll make more connections and may be surprised by the help you come by offline that will build your business online.
5. Take advantage of your small biz status and stay nimble
Large corporations have big hurdles to jump before anything can get done. Be aware of what you learn from listening and talking to your customers and network, and apply it quickly. The faster you change what you know needs to be changed, the sooner your business will grow. If something doesn’t work, you can quickly revert back to what you were doing before. Being a small business gives you extra legs to stand on as far as agility. Take advantage.
An online presence is hard to develop. The internet is such a crowded field that offers a multitude of possibilities but with that, many challenges. Don’t be afraid to use the people in your business and network to help grow your presence online.
What other tips do you have for building a strong online presence?