I get asked this question a lot. You just launched a business, and you’re not sure where to begin. For a younger, more tech-savvy generation, digital communication is hardwired into the fabric of their brains. But what if you’re not so young? What if you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the different platforms, channels, blogs and digital noise?
Don’t worry. This is the best and most important time in creating the perfect online brand. Don’t feel pressured to launch yourself into ANYTHING. Here’s 5 simple things you can do now to point yourself in the right direction. With a little patience, help and guidance, soon you’ll be confidently promoting your business where it counts. And not where it doesn’t.
- Speak to your customers first
Don’t have any yet? Don’t worry. Speak to people who would buy from you, or speak to people who already buy your type of product. That means physically go out and ask people. Where did they hear about it? What made them purchase? Where do they go for advice and guidance online? Their answers will tell you everything you need to know. If your customers use Twitter, then you need to be there. If your customers use email, then that’s where you start. If your customers don’t use Twitter or email, then you don’t need to either.
2. Invest in a great website
If there’s one place to spend money, it’s on the user journey. The journey of a customer to your website, through your pages, and then to buying from you. This journey should be simple, easy to navigate and have plenty of guidance along the way. Speak to your developer about exactly how you want your website laid out. Ask your friends and family to play around with the website, and find glitches and errors. Your website is your shop front, so it needs to be tidy, brightly lit and inviting.
3. Start with a single platform for your content
Now you know where your customers hang out, pick a single place to start talking about your business. That doesn’t mean go crazy with sales speak. It means talk about why you do what you do. Talk about who you are as a company, what you believe in, and showcase examples of great things you care about. Gradually, join the conversations that you need to. If it’s a blog, then you should start with questions you commonly get asked (hence why this is our first blog) and if it’s social media, keep it about YOU.
4. Be Yourself
Yes, that’s the most important thing you can be. Don’t try to be salesy if you’re not. Don’t try to sound more professional than you are. People, overwhelmingly, buy from people. We’re influenced by emotion, not by over-flowery language and trite jargon. So be yourself, and share, write and promote your business in a way that lets that shine through.
5. Don’t be afraid of failing
Here’s another important tip for beginners. You will mess up. It’s not the end of the world. Don’t be reluctant to experiment, ask for help, get it wrong, experiment some more, and still get it wrong. The online world is as messy as the real-life world, and you only learn by your mistakes.
I’m repeating my talk on Lean Content on 14th November, to sign up for a free place click here: