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The Importance of your Online Presence as a Business

In the old days if we were looking for a shoe repairman or a new fridge, the first place we would turn to were the classifieds or the yellow pages. Remember those times?

Nowadays you bring the world to you by means of your mobile phone. Isn’t great how we can search for a curry restaurant, a new stove, a boating holiday and a friend’s contact details all in one place, on one device?

Now imagine what your business looks like from the outside in. The same principle applies. If you don’t have an online presence or a strong one at that, what kind of message are you sending out? You surely want your business to be found when your prospective client is doing an online search.

I know that if I want to change my hairdresser the first thing I’m going to do is go online to source a list of hairdressers in town, but more than that, I want to read great reviews in order to help me choose a new hairstylist.

Gone are the days of only taking your friend’s advice when it comes to purchases or finding new suppliers, now you’re counting on thousands of opinions online to help you make a choice.

At a recent event I was speaking at, someone in the audience asked me this very question, why your online presence is so important. Here are some of the reasons I gave them and I hope you find it of benefit too:

  1. Accessibility : By having a strong online presence you increase your accessibility. With the help of a great website you provide clients and leads a summary of the pain you solve, where to find you and what makes you great at what you do.
  2. Trustworthiness : Through social media and blogs on your website you establish yourself as a trusted source of information. Building trust and credibility with your audience certainly will enhance the longevity of your brand and thereby a sustainable relationship with your clientele.
  3. Cut marketing costs : I know that startups will really enjoy this one. And I’ve probably mentioned a million times (okay, maybe a few times 🙂 that you can do no to low cost marketing thanks to social media. Essentially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is giving you the opportunity for a free and easily accessible online presence. They give your business credibility. And, if you’re just starting out (read : no marketing budget) these are great platforms to market your business with, and define the pain you solve to masses without breaking the bank. You’ve got to love it!
  4. Build your tribe : After a few years in business one of the most important things I’ve learned is to first build your tribe. With an online presence you can now reach a far wider audience than ever before. You can build a loyal tribe who are the best spokespeople you’ll find. Your tribe will watch what you do, share it and talk about it to everyone creating a greater following. Tribes are loyal and will stick with you through thick and thin. They will wear your badge with honour and recruit on your behalf. Don’t underestimate the power of a tribe.

Bringing it together

Embrace the power of having a strong and effective online presence. Make sure that your website has call-to-actions and that the content converts. Share great content regularly. Establish yourself as a thought leader. Build trust and credibility. Do all of this online and you will soon see how powerful this can be to the growth of your business. Your authenticity will shine through and at the end of the day that is one of the greatest things you can do for your business.

Harness the power of a strong online presence!