Whether you’re launching your business as a sideline to the day job or have handed in your notice and spent months researching, honing and building your business, at some point you need to make the online world aware of your presence. Here are some steps to help untangle the process.

Website

Many people leave websites to the last stage of their plan as the thought of building an entire online space is a daunting one, especially as websites tend to go through a lot of trial and error before they are a true reflection of the business. When meeting with a web designer being open to their thoughts on the user journey and ideas on functionality will help you achieve the best possible result quickly and with minimum disruption. Unless you have a lot of experience of building websites with the functionality you are hoping to use on your own site, view the web developer as the expert and the benefit of their experience will get you the best possible website.

Social Media

Social Media can divide its users. Some can’t wait to get involved, having had personal Social Media profiles over the years and others are wary and afraid of the minefield that advertising a business on Social Media can be. What we do know is that having Social Media profiles set up for your business is unavoidable if you want it to do well. In both cases, that of the experienced user and that of the newcomer, doing a Social Media for businesses course will help you get to grips with goal setting, understanding how to keep a business audience engaged and reading insights to ensure your content is always optimised for your audience.

Search Engine Optimisation

Some Web designers will advise you on what you need to do to optimise your website for search engines and some prefer to have nothing to do with it as Google and other search engines often change their algorithms so what works one week, may not work the next. However, SEO is a major player when wanting your website to rank in searches and cannot be ignored. Either invest the time (and you will need a LOT of time) in learning this stuff and following industry blogs or outsource the SEO side of things, at least to begin with, so you give your new website the best possible starting position.

Training

Online marketing is constantly evolving. This is due to search engines and Social Media channels constantly working on their algorithms to deliver the best experience to their users as, after all, the more users you have, the more people they can make money from via advertising, data collection etc. Whilst it’s not your job to know the ins and outs of online marketing, making a point of booking annual training, whether it’s a one to one session with a consultant or a one day course or longer, will help keep you aware of what online developments are being made and how to be ready for them.

Networking

With billions of people using Social Media every day, online marketing is essential for the success of your business. Local networking is also valuable when introducing your services/products to the world. With so many Start-Ups these days there are many opportunities to join networking groups, both large and small. Networking groups often have like minded individuals who would rather use a local/niche service/product than something offered from a large corporation.

Meeting and exchanging details with the people at the events, no matter how unlikely it is for them to want your service/product can be invaluable. Even if you are in the same industry, when people become overcommitted with their own work, they are far more likely to recommend someone they have met face to face than turn down the business and risk it being taken to a much larger company.