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Getting Started with Your Business Online

business online Let’s say you are starting a new business, or perhaps you are finally deciding to bring your business online. How do you get started? This is a guide with some basics. The actual, specific strategy for every business will be unique, and there are many questions you will have to answer based on looking at your own business, not a general model. Some basics to get you started with that are below.

Your name and URL

The first thing is probably the most important. What are you naming yourself? If you are an existing business and you already have a name, this is still something to think about. Selecting a name that will work for both your website URL and your social media channels is something you will seriously want to consider. When setting up shop online, you will need a URL for your website. One thing to note is that using numbers in brand names is tricky. Numbers can lead to confusion when it comes to using numerals or spelling the numbers out. If I ask for your business web address and you say aloud, “bunnies two dot com,” what is that? Bunnies2.com or BunniesTwo.com? It could even be “BunniesToo!” It might not sound like a big deal, but every obstacle that prevents people from visiting your website is a loss. If you already have a name with numbers, should you change it? That’s a good question and will depend on your individual case.

TIP: Do not keep searching a website that sells URLs for the same name. People track what names are popular or names that people are looking at repeatedly, and they often will buy the name for the cheap $15 price and then auction it for $5000 or more. I have seen this happen several times.

Is your name already taken on social media?

The next thing that you need to do is go to knowem.com and search for your company name on all the social media channels. Once you do this search, you will need to decide what you will do if your desired business name is being used on many of the main channels. You can manually sign up for these channels, or you can pay for the KnowEm service to set up the channels for you. It’s up to you to decide what you need covered.

Clarity and setting up your brand

Next, you will need to be clear on your brand. If you are an existing company, you may already have a brand identified. If so, review it and decide how to translate it to the online world. You will need to be visual, so decide what type of images, logo, colors represent you and begin crafting that story. If you are a new business, you will need to do some work. Branding is big business. You can hire someone to walk you through the process, or if you are a scrappy startup (nothing wrong with this!), you can follow some online advice to get you started. Either way, hiring a professional to do your graphics is something I highly recommend. Next you need a basic marketing plan. Digital marketing might sound secondary in your business, but if you are going to be successful, you will need to figure out how you are going to market your business. Starting up without having a plan is not ideal. Jumping online and creating a bunch of channels and going nuts with posting is certainly an option. But seriously, you don’t have time to keep up a bunch of channels. If you are small or a solopreneur you will find it a struggle to have one or two social media channels to operate, let alone more.

Do you understand how to use those channels? Are you willing to learn? How often will you post? What will you post? You will need to sort out a lot of things to make your online marketing plan work at a basic level. Take the time to figure some things out, like what the deal with Facebook reviews is or what the hell is going on with Google Plus? Finally, as part of your plan, you should create a system to implement the plan. The system is the part of social marketing that will determine your success or failure. It’s what will keep you focused and help you stay on track when you get busy. That’s it to get yourself started. Finding this a bit overwhelming? That’s understandable — and SocialNicole is here to help. You can get results here! — Photo Credit

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