If you are a service-based business, you likely have the trust hurdle to overcome with potential clients. They are making tough business decisions about what to invest where, and you are there to provide direction, support, and expertise.
Service businesses rely heavily on word of mouth recommendations - but if I was in the market for hiring out work, one of the first things I would do is see if the person or business has a website that is chock full of information and testimonials.
Here are some tips to get your internet presence off on the right foot:
- A professional site goes a long way in making your potential clients feel like they can put you on the short-list. There are so many DIY options nowadays that you can realistically come up with something without a lot of money. If you'd rather hand off that task to a professional, make sure they are up to date with current design trends and won't gouge you with an hourly rate. Know beforehand what you'll want to accomplish with your site so the designer can give you an accurate estimate.
- Either pay for quality photos or find some beautiful stock photography that you can adapt to your branding and logo. I find a ton of beautiful pictures on Unsplash and Pexels.
- Put up your testimonials - don't be shy about asking previous clients and anyone you've done any work with for them!
- Make sure all your links work and your contact information is easy to find and fill out.
- Make sure all your social profiles are easy to find and link off your site (don't open in the same window as your site).
- This will be home base for your expertise. Potential clients will not only want this info, but other business owners in complimentary fields should be able to refer to your knowledge base and share with their clients.
- Be consistent - even if you only blog once per week or even every two weeks. Nothing screams unprofessional more than someone who puts up 4 or 5 blogs and then disappears. Using an editorial calendar helps.
- Make your blogs very shareable. Almost all website platforms integrate with some sort of blog share feature. Other great free and paid options are SumoMe and Social Warfare.
- Don't forget to reuse your content on social media. Try sharing a post on different social accounts several times over the course of a couple weeks at different times.
- Offer to write guest posts on other blogs.
- You don't need to be on all of the social media networks out there - only the ones that make the most sense for your business. Dividing your time and resources when you're first building your socials will do more harm than good.
- Pinterest skews heavily female (if that's your target market), and is a huge traffic driver for your website if done correctly. Concentrate on linking images back to your website for a couple months before you focus too much on other platforms.
- If you're not quite ready for a Facebook page, start by joining a few Facebook Groups that pertain to your industry. These are invaluable for building relationships with other business owners and potential clients. They are also a great resource for when you have those stuck solopreneur moments (i.e. wanting feedback). Make sure you participate and give more than you get.
- LinkedIn is another wonderful professional site that will let your clients know you are serious about your business. You can also join and participate in relevant groups here too. This is another great social platform to share your blog content.
5 Key Summary Points
- Make your web and social presence complete and easy to navigate.
- Be consistent with your content.
- Engage and cross-promote with others in your industry and related fields.
- Focus on building one or two social media accounts at a time to build brand awareness and credibility
- Ask for testimonials - referrals are always the best marketing.
Still not sure where to start??
I offer free 20-minute video consultations for businesses either looking to start off on the right foot, or reign in the rat's nest that is their social media.