Have you just started a small business, or is your side hustle fast becoming your main stream of income? Whether you are creating craft goods, selling homemade foods and beverages, pet sitting, ghostwriting, or providing professional services, there are many opportunities to market your business online.
Have you just started a small business, or is your side hustle fast becoming your main stream of income?
Whether you are creating craft goods, selling homemade foods and beverages, pet sitting, ghostwriting, or providing professional services, there are many opportunities to market your business online. However, chances are, if you don’t have a website yet, you might worry that you won't be able to tap into all the benefits of digital marketing.
The good news is that you can start your digital marketing strategy even if you are still in the planning stages of setting up your website. Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Set Up Your Google Business Profile and Verify Your Business
Google Business Profile is free, and it allows you to establish a profile with your contact information, business hours, and customer reviews. A completed Google Business Profile makes it easy for customers to find you and adds legitimacy to your brand. You control the information displayed across all of Google's services, including Google Reviews, Google Maps, and Google Shopping. You can also see how customers interact with your business on Google.
By claiming your Google Business Profile, your business gains credibility. You can tell potential customers about your products or services and post updates, new offers, promotions, and seasonal events. Visitors to your profile can connect with you through messaging or phone calls.
Whether your customers come to you or you go to them, you should set up your Google Business Profile. You don't need a physical store or office.
2. Set up Instagram and Pinterest business accounts to boost engagement
Instagram and Pinterest are free to set up and are good considerations for creating a professional digital profile.
Setting up Instagram for Business and Pinterest Business accounts is free. Business accounts come with many benefits, such as access to your account's analytics, scheduling posts, and tagging products/services (which is fantastic once you have a website and set up Instagram and Pinterest shopping).
A big benefit of creating your Instagram and Pinterest business accounts is that you will have a platform where you can actively - and visually - market your products or services without a website.
So, optimize every post and include hashtags relevant to your business, products, or services. Also, follow back the accounts that are following your profile and make an effort to comment and engage with their posts too. This will make your account more visible and draw attention to your brand.
3. Start refining your email list
Once you have set up your Instagram and Pinterest business accounts, it is time to start fine-tuning your email database. Look at your existing customer information and add to that - whether you do social media posts inviting people to subscribe to your email list or engage face-to-face with customers at events where you sell your products.
Remember to emphasize that you will not share their details with external third parties and that the information you gather is only for your records. After all, you want to make the process as easy as possible!
4. Get your website content ready and choose a platform
Key basics such as an intro, about, products/services, and contact sections are all essential, even if you plan just to have a one-page website. Start creating your content, and if needed, reach out to a freelance copywriter to refine the copy for you.
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5. Create the framework of your initial email marketing campaigns
Once you have planned your website, you will want to make new and old customers aware of your new site and where they can get more information once it is up.
One of the best ways to do this is through a solid email campaign introducing your website to create excitement about its coming launch. Include short, informative content about what visitors to the website can expect (such as online shopping) and any exclusive benefits, such as coupons or discounts.
Start with an announcement email informing your subscribers about your upcoming website and build your content to ensure that once you complete your website, it will be easy to drive traffic to it.
Conclusion: The best time to market your small business is now!
Not having a website doesn't mean you have to wait to put out the word about your small business. Draw on your resources and create that foundation of social media channels and email contacts that will allow you to market your business once your website is up. Keep the momentum going, and you will soon see results.