We all want the best opportunities without the expense. This is what I spend my days specialising in: helping people to maximise the free digital tools they have access to and start leveraging their online presence for business growth.
Are you wondering where to start? It takes an average of 12 times to be in contact with you and your business before someone becomes a customer, so making the most of your online first impressions is key. Like dominoes, every value-adding and positive interaction will increase the likelihood of retaining potential customers long enough to reach the point of conversion.
Here are 4 important steps to making the most of your online presence, nailing that first impression and maximising the value of your digital platforms.
1. Complete your profiles
Just as in person, online first impressions count. When I attend an event, I dress the part and convey through my presence and conversation who I am, what I do, and how my business adds value. When people look at you online, they make similar assessments of your ability, professionalism and trustworthiness. Your profile and bio play a crucial part in introducing who you are and why someone would want to engage with you.
On every social media platform you are on, you have a settings tab. Check it. If there’s an option to add content or to customise, quite simply, do it. Continually revise, update and keep your bios and business profiles current.
2. Use professional photos
Early in my business, I invested in professional photos. Just as there is a dress code for events, a casual photo or a profile shot cropped from another function is a missed opportunity to convey competence and professionalism to your audience. A smart business photograph will ensure you are easily recognisable and consistent across your various profiles. Key platforms include your website, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
3. Spend time understanding your customers
When I first meet someone, I ask their name and make an effort to understand who they are, what they do, and what interests them. This is a natural and essential way we connect with people and is the basis for relationship building. Through finding things in common and continuing the conversation on social media, the connection strengthens and is able to grow.
In the same way, when you understand your customers you increase opportunities to connect with them. What do they like? Where do they ‘live’ online? Start by observing or surveying your current customers. Ask genuine questions, find out why they engage your business, and aim to apply these insights to your everyday communication.
4. Test, learn and execute
Your online presence is a living being. It’s not static. So whatever you do, don’t set and forget. Review and update them regularly. Post regularly and check your site-generated analytics for insights. The more you understand what works and make the most of it, the less you will pay for continued and improved visibility (also known as reach). The key to cost-effective business growth is to recognise what is (and isn’t) working to learn from, build upon and implement new strategies for success.