Especially nowadays where more and more businesses are starting up online or moving towards having online options for their customers, you need to know a couple of very important things about gaining success in a very competitive online world.
1. Protect Your Brand
Cyber squatting is where some lowlife’s will register your businesses domain name and then try and profit from it by either selling it back to you for a premium or running advertising on it, to you or your closest competitors. To prevent this from happening, at a minimum you should be registering your brand name and variations for at least your countries extension (.com.au, .co.uk, etc) and the .com. Then once your business is starting to gain momentum you should Trademark your business name, tag line and logo to ensure that no one can take the domain names away from you.
2. Get a website
Wait before you think “I’ve heard this one before” have you really? Studies have proven that up to 74% of people will search for your brand or person online before doing business with you even if they have seen you on TV, Radio, in the Newspaper or any other medium previously. If these people don’t find you when they search it could make you look unreliable, untrustworthy or just plain lazy. None of which you want when you are trying to traction in the early stages of a start up.
Even if all you do is go to http://wordpress.organd put up a free website with a $17 domain name, it will at least fulfil people’s minimum perception requirements of your brand.
3. Claim Your Space With a Blog
Weblogs or blogs as we usually refer to them are one of the easiest ways for businesses to build trust and create authority in a market. By posting relevant content to your market on a consistent basis it will help attract more traffic to your site and engage your readers/viewers with your business.
- Look around industry related forums and blogs for what people are asking about to give you ideas for topics.
- Look on Youtube for the highest watched videos related to your business. Pssst!! This is what people are interested in, create content about it
- Create “How to” content. Some people are scared to give away their best tips and advice because they think no one will purchase from them if they do. This is rubbish and has been proven hundreds of times. Teach people about your market or business and profit.
- Use different media. If you don’t like writing pull out your phone and make some quick videos that you can upload to Youtube and put on your site. Take the Audio from the video and make and mp3’s to host on the blog then get someone to transcribe the audio.
4. Build Your Tribe
Building a community around your business or brand can be one of the most powerful things that you can do and is easier than ever with the use of Social Media. Go set up a Facebook fan page and/or start a Facebook group around your topic and start conversations to draw in your target market. Use the tips above to find what your market wants and give it to them.
In Seth Godin’s book Tribes he talks about how people love being part of tribe but they need a leader. The opportunity is there for you to become that leader and have your followers fall in love with your business or brand. Like in the traditional type, if you build a loyal tribe around your business your followers will help and support you. Only in this day and age instead of hunting and gathering food and water they will gather more followers and promote your business for free.
5. Build Your List
Building an email list properly is one of the most overlooked yet highly cost effective things that you can do today to grow your business. While building your tribe on a platform like Facebook is essential for a successful business, if Facebook happens to be blown up or simply decide they don’t like your fan page and take it down, you are left with nothing… This is why it is imperative that you collect an email database from every online property that you have and back it up.
Also around 81% of visitors to your website that don’t make contact with you will never come back. This means that 81% of the hard work or expense that you put into getting them to come to the site is being wasted.
Samuel Junghenn is the Managing Director of www.ThinkBigOnline.com.au a global Internet Marketing Company Based in Sydney Australia.