There are many ways the internet can work for you in promoting your business and I have compiled a list of ten ways to help you get started.
Website: If you’re going to market yourself online, you will definitely need a well organized and attractive website to fit your personality and your business. You don’t need anything fancy and expensive, don’t get caught up spending thousands of dollars on your site, because this is not necessary! You want to start small and build on it, just make sure you have all the relevant information accessible on your site and don’t make it look like your 5 year old son threw it together. Don’t clutter your site, make it easy to navigate, because if visitors have to search up and down for what they’re looking for, they will give up and head to the next website – so make sure you grab their attention! Check your web statistics regularly and this will show you how long your visitors are staying on your site, if you start seeing a trend where visitors are leaving your site rather quickly you may want to take a look at your site and revamp it a bit.
Adding your URL to everything! Put your URL on your promotional items, letterheads, business cards, products and in your email signature. Also be sure and add your URL in all the press releases you send out to the media. Having your information at their fingertips will make it easy for them to visit you online and contact you.
Search engines: Sharpen your search engine process so you can get the best possible exposure online. If you want additional exposure try search engine marketing where you pay to have your text ad appear when people put in certain keywords to search, I suggest starting with Google Adwords and start small to test the water first.
Sign up box: Yes, the sign up box, everyone knows they need one, but yet fails to implement it on their site. Having a sign up box doesn’t mean having a link that says something like this, “Click here to receive my monthly newsletter” chances are your not going to get too many visitors clicking on that link. A good example of a sign up box can be seen at CharliJane.com, look and see how the box has been created into the header, if your unable to add it to the header then make sure you put it in the top right corner of every page. My suggestion would be to put this on your top priority list as you may be loosing visitors everyday that you will never be able to market or build relationships with. Give them something of value, something that will make them feel or that will solve their problem and they will sign up and continue to enjoy receiving your eZine and announcements.
eZines: Another must have! If your going to spend the time to get yourself online and build an internet presence, you will not only want to have a sign up box on your site but you will want to create an eZine (newsletter) to send to your mailing list every month or bi-weekly. By having an eZine you are keeping the lines of communication open while sharing with them valuable tips, articles and resources that will help them grow their business. Make sure you provide high content that will really be of assistance or interest to them. You should provide your readers with 90% valuable content and 10% promotional, if you do anymore then 10% of promoting yourself you will lose your readers. FYI: Besides word of mouth this has been my most successful marketing technique, so be sure and get your eZine started today!
Article writing: Find others on the internet that have a site complimentary to yours and offer them free articles you have written. The other site will add value to their site and you get additional exposure, it’s a win-win situation. You can also submit your articles online at many article submission sites to have other publishers pick them up and reprint on their site or in their eZine. Don’t under estimate article marketing as it is a very successful marketing technique!
Online forums: Excellent way to network, get involved and build relationships. Always add your URL in your email signature.
Viral marketing: There are many ways to take advantage of viral marketing, one way is to add an “email this link to a friend” on every page of your website, it makes it easy for your visitors to simply click it on and share with a friend or colleague, same goes for social sharing buttons.
Link exchange: You can create a link exchange on your site and ask sites that are complimentary to yours but not competitors to exchange links with you.
Blogs: Start your own blog! Blog marketing is part of a technique called “buzz” marketing and can drive additional traffic to your main website. You can set up a blog for free at blogger.com or wordpress.com.
Social Media: Huge! Be active, get involved, show you care and people will find you.