It is always a challenge to set up and maintain a sustainable business, whether it’s online or offline. The online marketplace, which is a major trading forum today, is even trickier. This is owed to the large number of businesses operating online due to the ease of getting on board.
The internet today is full of opportunities that we, as business owners, can take advantage of and succeed. A lot of businesses have taken advantage of these opportunities, and they are currently doing very well. Statistics show that over 80% of companies have taken advantage of an online presence. These numbers alone should be a powerful motivator to nudge you to make your business felt online. Of course, before making the leap online, you should make sure you have the best internet and phones for your business to keep pace with competitors. Furthermore, you have to employ key business tactics to stand from the multitude of competing for online businesses.
Today I will highlight a few practical and actionable steps that have proved crucial for businesses to thrive online. Most of these steps I have learned through trial and error, sometimes with painful losses. You don’t have to go through the same process, however.
This is the first step I would advise any freelancer to take. Your domain name is what your freelance business will be identified by, so put a lot of thought into it before purchasing the first domain you find in the market. For my domain names, I make sure to get a catchy phrase that is easy for people to remember.
After I acquire the domain name, the next step is getting a hosting that will enable me to put my website on the internet. We have several web host providers, and their prices differ from one host to another. I am usually very cautious while selecting a web hosting package. I ensure not to go for the cheapest because they are often associated with poor customer support and many downtimes. I always prefer a web host that is fast, reliable, and secure before looking at its cost. That is not to say, however, that you should be completely blind to overcharging hosts.
After I purchase the domain and hosting, I take the next step to create a website for my business. We have readily available templates in the market. However, I strongly advise against using these templates for a business. I also tell people to ensure that their websites are mobile phone friendly, attractive and inviting, compatible with virtually all search engines, and should load relatively fast. Any website that lacks these qualities is a total turn-off to the users who often leave without even looking at what it’s all about.
After creating the website, the next thing I consider is creating its content. I ensure to create content that will attract and keep the target audience glued and coming back to the website. I ensure that the content I provide my audience with is unique and engaging and offers them useful information. When creating content, always work with the question: what problem is this content solving for the client?
After I’m done feeding the website with the relevant and quality content, the next step is an initial submission with Bing, Google, Amazon, and eBay. I do this to ensure that my website will be visible in search results. I also ensure to provide my Google Maps listing as well. The purpose of this is to ensure I get generic traffic- people who do not need to have heard about my site before.
After I get various search engine indexes on my website, it gets listed on the internet, but I don’t stop there. I start doing the targeted website promotions using SEO’s pay-per-click marketing, sending links on social media, LinkedIn, and posting Google Local Marketing.
Having a strong social media presence for my business is a key factor. I do this by engaging and hiring internet marketing agencies. They do a great job of ensuring my website reaches my target audience. I also take advantage of other basic internet marketing strategies, such as email and affiliate marketing, which helps promote my website. Creating business pages on different social media platforms has also helped me reach a wide segment of my target audience.
I find it crucial for social media to have a relevant and exciting content update on the pages regularly. However, I find it very time consuming to have an excellent social media presence. I would advise freelancers to hire professional marketers and social media managers to handle any campaigns you might run on your pages. This leaves you with adequate time to deal with your key freelancing trade.