There are an awful lot of choices out there for getting your message out. What works for one business won’t be right at all for another. So here are a few thoughts you might take to bed with you tonight. See what bubbles to the surface in the morning.
There are many ways to build a website. You can do it yourself with some of the drag and drop programs (Wix, Weebly, Webs), you can hire someone to use a standard template (many industries have standard templates…that’s why so many real estate websites look alike), you can hire someone like me to build something that is unique to you. Whichever method you choose, this is probably the most important piece of your online presence. This is where you will send clients to learn who you are and what you do. Think of your website as your office in the ether….you want potential clients to know where your office is, right? And when they get there it needs to look like you.think of your website as your office in the ether Click To Tweet
Once your website is up, your website will need maintenance. The best way to show up in search engines is to keep content fresh and relevant. Also, traffic builds traffic, so using social media and newsletters to drive traffic will also raise your rank. And to some degree ‘keywords’ matter, so it will be important to use language that your potential clients might use as well as do some back end work to make sure your site is read well by the search engines. But the old days of relying on ‘keywords’ and ‘meta-tags’ stuffed into your pages is past. This is a rapidly changing area as search engines become more and more sophisticated.
When your visitors visit, make sure that you give them an opportunity to sign up for your email list. Email lists are golden! This is how you will stay in touch with your visitors and stay top of mind. If you are in their inbox they will remember your name at that all important moment when they need you.
Are you especially comfortable with Facebook or Instagram? Is SnapChat your thing? Social media is important, but choose outlets that you can relate to. I have no idea how SnapChat works (and my teenagers would be mortified if I started sending selfies out to the world anyway), so that is not something that I use. If you are new to social media, choose one platform and get comfortable there before you add more. And remember there are companies like Buffer that make populating your social media sites so much easier.
Is your business heavily reliant on imagery? If so, use social media that puts images at the forefront (Pinterest, Instagram). Do you have a hilarious sense of humor? Use it in your posts. Do videos tell your story best? All of the social media platforms now take videos so you aren’t limited to YouTube. Even if your business isn’t an image-centric one, find a way to use images. They garner a lot more attention than text alone.
When you set up your social media pages, you’ll need a banner that aligns with your website. Keep your imagery as consistent as possible so that it becomes synonymous with you. And most importantly, use your social media platforms to link back to your website.
Newsletters are another way to send traffic to your website. They are also a great way to share your story. But most important, your newsletter is you stepping into your potential client’s office. It is your opportunity to say hello and offer your service.your newsletter is you stepping into your potential client's office Click To Tweet
Your newsletter can be a simple graphic offering a special deal, it can be photos of your latest project or projects that are in process, it can be stories of a job that you did with a testimonial from a client. If you like to write, newsletters may be your favorite part of this whole online world. If not, you can either hire someone to write for you or keep your newsletters’ focus on imagery or videos.
Depending on the size of your email list, you may be able to get away with a free version of MailChimp (my favorite email marketing service) to get started. There are other companies out there as well and they are all worth a look. This is your most efficient way to reach out to your past, present and future customers. And this is why you’ve been collecting all of those emails.
you can do this
These are all things that you can do yourself. But yes, they do take time and require an interest in wriggling through all of those computer programs that may not be familiar to you. But if I can do it, so can you. If, on the other hand, you don’t want to do all of this yourself, you can call me. As much as I like designing interiors, I also love the world wide web.
Keep in touch,