Do you have a business?
Do you want to make more sales? Are your clients in your city/province/country, anywhere on planet earth or even on the International Space Station? Do you use email or your phone to conduct your business?
Then, you need to get your business online!
A question I hear often:
How can I find more clients through the internet?
The quick answer is: by investing in and building a compelling online presence for your business, your service and/or your products.
In order to grow your business through the internet, there are two sides to the story:
- your clients need to be able to find you,
- and you need to be able to find your clients.
How to help YOUR CLIENTS FIND YOU on the internet
Think about how YOU find products or services now.
Here’s a typical example: we recently moved to a new city and I had to get our car serviced. I didn’t know who to take my car to, so I did the following:
- I searched for a service centre near me – i.e. the solution to my problem – on good-old Google.
- Google showed possible solutions in a list of search results – first I saw two paid ads, followed by a small interactive google map showing various (listed) service centres close to me. Next were links to Facebook pages and websites where Google found information that it thought was relevant to my search. (this is why good content/wording and SEO is so important!)
- I then clicked on the links that I thought would have the info I need, until I found a few options for the type of service centre I was looking for.
- Next, I took action: I completed contact forms and emailed two of the service centres.
- The sales conversation was in action when one of the service centres contacted me back within a few hours.
- Finally, I booked the service for my car and the sale was made.
The service centres that do not have active online listings? Missed out completely. Word of mouth is great for business, but you can’t rely on that alone. You need a professional online presence for your business to show people who have never heard of you before that you are competent and can be trusted.
The service centre that did not answer my email enquiry? I sure won’t bother to contact them again. I have forgotten who they were already. Quick follow-ups on warm leads is critical! Also make sure all the listings for your business contain the latest, correct contact details.
The service centre who had a professional website with all the info I needed and answered my email quickly? They got the job. My problem was solved.
So to summarise, the process described above goes something like this for clients:
PROBLEM > SEARCH > SOLUTION > ACTION > CONVERSATION > SALE
- The client has a problem – they need a service or product that you can assist with.
- They search for a solution on google
- You need your business to be findable, visible to both Google and the client (This means relevant words and good visuals).
- The client needs to see clear CTA’s (Call to Actions) all over your Facebook page or website so that they know what to do next.
- The sales conversation needs to feel as easy as possible for the client – automation can help, but personal attention is always best and helps to build trust.
- If all the above goes well, you end up with a sale! And this to a client you may never even meet in person. The magic of marketing your business on the internet!
A QUALITY ONLINE PRESENCE WILL…
- help potential clients to find you
- build trust
- showcase aspects of your products or services that they may not even be aware of
- help to streamline the sales conversation
- help to automate aspects of the sales process
- provide easy access to information about your business, processes or products that clients may need – eliminating the need for certain types of phone/email queries.
- work for you 24 hours a day
- help to keep your business top of mind
Where to start?
THE MOST BASIC THINGS YOU NEED IN PLACE TO HELP YOUR CLIENTS FIND YOU ARE…
So, let’s chat about a few simple things you can do to get started. With these basics in place, your business will already be more discover-able on the Internet.
1. CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
You don’t have to do all of them – pick one social media channel for your business and try to do it well. I recommend Facebook in most cases.
You can create a free Facebook page for your business. Posts by Facebook pages are indexed by google, so they provide an excellent opportunity to be found online through search engines.
It is important that every Facebook post on your Facebook business page have good captions with enough words, as well as always mentioning your services, products and contact information. Don’t assume that all your Facebook “fans” see every post. They don’t – so repeat the important info over and over.
Populate your Facebook page with a well-thought-out “ABOUT” section, quality photos of yourself and your business.
Add a profile picture and cover image and remember to add a description or caption for each that includes a basic description of your business / services / products and all your contact details.
Facebook also allows you to list your services and prices, add your products to a little basic shop or even accept bookings through the page. For help with the setup of your Facebook page, feel free to contact me!
Another excellent platform that is more business-focused that’s been is LinkedIn. You can follow the same steps as above create a LinkedIn profile for yourself to show your expertise and experience.
Use a quality headshot of yourself and fill in as many of the available sections of your profile.
A LinkedIn profile can show your level of professionalism to potential clients and build social proof.
It is also possible to set up a LinkedIn business page the same as you would do for Facebook. For help with the setup of your LinkedIn profile or page, contact me.
Finally, if you enjoy taking photos of your work, services and/or products, you can use them to market your business on Instagram. Take the best photos you can, write quality captions, use hashtags, tag your posts with a location you’re at (if relevant).
Also post to Instagram stories and make sure your Instagram profile as a link to your Facebook page or website if you have one. For help with the setup of your Instagram Business profile, contact me.
The next step is to create consistent quality content that your followers, fans or clients will enjoy and that will help new clients to find you on the internet.
2. START PRODUCING CONTENT FOR MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE
In order for Google to show your business to its users, it needs to know what you are about. And the thing that Google’s search-bots do really well is READ. This means, to prove to Google that your Facebook page or website is what the client is searching for, you need to WRITE (or hire a writer – because writing about your business can be really hard!).
In order to get potential clients to click on your Facebook page or website, it needs to LOOK GOOD and be user-friendly. Human internet users (mostly) SEE, and as they say – a picture can be worth 1000 words. This means you need quality visuals and photographs to display your business well, you only have milliseconds to communicate to potential clients that you are – or have – what they are looking for.
START A PHOTO BANK FOR YOUR BUSINESS:
Get some quality, professional photos taken of yourself and your business. You can also start collecting relevant FREE STOCK IMAGES from sites like www.unsplash.com.
START A COPY/WORD BANK FOR YOUR BUSINESS:
Start your basic copy bank ~ you can download my helpful website copywriting template to guide you through the first steps. Even though this was prepared with website copy in mind, you can also use this document if you need to prepare copy/wording to use on your social media channels.
3. INVEST IN A PROFESSIONAL BRAND AND WEBSITE
When you are ready to create a seriously impressive online presence, it is time for professional brand design and web development. This will help you to stand out from your competitors and assist your clients in their buying decisions.
I always say that your website is your marketing mother-ship. Ideally, your clients should be lead to your website (from social media, google, even phone calls etc.), where they should be able to find all the information they need to make them want to hire you or buy your product, and the first steps of the process (completing an intake form etc.).