It is a difficult thing to establish a presence on the web that potential clients can find and interact with - especially for new businesses. It can be a bit like arranging a party. It is a big event for you, you want people to know about it, but there is so much to do.
Here is a tongue in cheek, description of a typical new business launch...
Building your web presence is like getting ready for your party
Just a few days to go and I still have so much to prepare for the party. My business is about to celebrate all it can do for its prospective clients.
I know to get my marketing sorted. I know I need a web presence ready for the launch of my business so I can invite all my perfect clients to use my services. But I am not completely sure how to do it. I am even more confused after going to that network meeting last night. The electrician explained how I don’t even need a website. The plumber explained how he wrote his own with Wordpress and how I could also do the same. The website developer from Massive Overheads.inc explained how I needed a normal website and a separate mobile website, and how he would be happy to do that for a 'small fee' of £15,000+VAT.
Then there was the florist that explained why I should be on Pinterest and the baker who swore that Facebook was the answer to everything. including the meaning of life. The social media expert advised me that images on my mobile phone would be good enough, so that should cover video as well.
It all seems so complicated and daunting. Time to write down a list.
The web presence domination list
- Mobile website
All to be done by the weekend. Three days to go till launch. Wish me luck!
The web presence shopping trip
For the website, I found someone who can write something for £300.00 on Wordpress when they get home from school. That sounded like a bargain. When I arrived at their house they were out playing football with their mates. Will try later before their bedtime.
For photos, my mate said they would meet me at the park and take some nice pics of me. I chose my fluorescent green top because it would show how colourful I am. But when I get there it is raining which is a bit of a downer. Not to be fazed we stood under the big old willow tree and took some pictures for my profile page (shame about the old caravan in the background, but I am sure no one will notice).
We also had time for my mate to do me a quick testimonial video explaining how great I was. It was a little bit blurry and shaky, and the dog barking whilst it chased the squirrel up the tree might have affected the sound quality a bit. But the main thing was I had a testimonial. Someone told me that was important.
Back home to do some IT stuff. Blog, hmmm… Leave that for now. It can’t be that important for my web presence. Facebook is easy. I already have an account and most of my friends will probably want to buy from me anyway, so that should be good. Twitter. I don’t get that so will come back to that. Linkedin seems easy enough. I'll just make a quick account and invite all my email list. Google+. Well I don’t get that at all. What exactly are those circles about? It can’t be any good because my best mate isn’t on there. YouTube is easy. I'll just upload my video from my phone. Pinterest, hmmm… Okay, will also leave that for now as I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.
So that is all done. Back to see my web developer. After all I do get that the key part of my business' web presence is the website. Unfortunately, he was having his tea then seeing his girlfriend. He might have a look at it tomorrow for me.
So, all done and two days to go. Fantastic.
Day of the party
I have been posting like mad on Facebook and copying the content across to Linkedin. The website is delayed for a week due to a school trip and technical difficulties (something about an online tournament called “Ultimate Shooting Other People Online Finals” taking up bandwidth at the web developers house). But I'm still confident people will turn up for the party anyway. I doubt they will notice the missing website anyway.
1pm. No one has arrived yet.
5pm. I thought someone had turned up but it was someone selling double glazing. I invited him in for some cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. He didn’t seem that interested in my business.
10pm. Still no visitors!
12pm. Time for bed. No one came. I'm starting to think launching a business adn creating an effective web presence is hard!
Not to be discouraged I will do some leaflets. I think I have some ink left in my printer and if I make them small enough I can make loads of them, and give them out at the local shopping centre tomorrow. That will work…
The typical startup
Most people who have a business will have memories of their own business launch that goes something like the above. It can take many years to reach the place where we understand that the launch of a new business, new product or service and its associated web presence requires planning and careful selection of the advice we are given and the expertise they use.
Ten tips for new business owners who want to launch their business on the web through an effective web presence:
Research your market to see if there is a need for your product
Make sure your product is ready for market
Work out your income needs
Plan to have a six month buffer of income at the start of the business and seek to maintain three months buffer at all times
Identify your perfect client
Identify what the perfect supplier looks like to the perfect client
Make sure you look like the perfect supplier
Learn the difference between long tail social media marketing and short tail social media marketing
Use long tail marketing through blogging, YouTube and Google+ to establish your presence prior to your launch
Don’t let the kid in his bedroom build your website, or do any of the activities in the 'fictitious' story above. Seriously…
Build your web presence with SME Heroes
We are a semantic web company that helps business owners launch their web presence with confidence.