How many times have you heard that your business needs an online presence? How many times has someone talked your ear off about starting a blog? Now, we’re not going to tell you that you’re “required” to have a blog or that you must be on five different media platforms.
We are going to tell you that you and your business really do need to be online – somewhere.
Here five reason why you really do need to have some sort of online presence for your business.
1. Having an online presence = better SEO and better SEO = more customers
SEO is just marketing speak for how “Google-able your business is”. If you’re not online, Google can’t find you and if Google can’t find you, it’s harder for clients and customers to find you and your products. a 2014 study found that 81% of shoppers conducted online research before they made a purchase – if you’re not online, those shoppers can’t research you. Consultants regularly share case studies illustrating that improved SEO can double your e-commerce sales.
While blog posts are more likely to increase and improve your SEO, it’s also possible to optimize your Facebook page, your Youtube videos and your Twitter stream so they’re as Google friendly as possible.
2. An online presence helps you showcase your expertise
Clients want to know that the real estate agent/website designer/photographer they’re about to hire is experienced and informed. Of course, you could schedule a call of coffee with them, and spend an hour walking them through your portfolio, your pricing and your skills. A carefully crafted YourTube channel or Facebook page could do that work for you.
Well written blog posts show your followers that you’re an expert. When you share select articles and links, your readers see that you’re on top of developments in your field. When you create videos, people hear your voice, see your mannerism and begin to know and trust you. If you blog and share content and create videos, people see that you really, really know what you’re talking about.
3. You’ll be able to gather e-mail addresses for your list
Did you know that your e-mail list is the most important, most valuable asset that your business has? Social media algorithms change but when you have someone’s e-mail, you can reach them and sell to them whenever you want. You can announce new products and services, you can offer discounts, you can drum up new business – without buying ad space!
(But it’s pretty hard to gather e-mail addresses if your business isn’t online). The best way to collect e-mails is to offer your readers something free and enticing in exchange for their contact information. Here is a great tutorial on how to create your own opt-in freebie.
4. Being online helps you stay in touch with previous clients and customers
When your business is online, it’s much, much easier to stay at the forefront of people’s minds. You’ll pop up in their Facebook feed, their Instagram stream or even their inbox!
You can maintain hundreds of relationships through a thoughtful Facebook presence – which is much easier than heavy, cumbersome customer relationship management software. You cna chat in Instagram comments, share their content, or link to them in your blog posts.
5. You’ll make and build professional connections
Every time you mention someone in a YouTube video, link to them in a blog post, or @mention them on Twitter, you’re building and strengthening relationships. You’re introducing your followers to helpful information and to consultants and companies that you trust.
These little shout outs add up! When you really love someone’s work and you share their stuff with your audience, you’re building what could be a long-lasting, mutually beneficial professional relationship.
Have we convinced you? Taking your business online doesn’t have to be exhausting, overwhelming or expensive – you don’t even have to write or have a blog if you don’t want to! You can find an online platform that’s right for you and your people – just as long as it’s online.