If you are just starting to market your product or services online, I highly recommend you focus first on building these properties:
Build a Blog
Running a blog properly can build your authority and promote your brand like nothing ever. I recommend posting as often as you can, as long as the quality doesn’t suffer. Regular, quality posts give people a reason to keep coming back to the site. A blog can also be thought of as an eNewsletter that people actually read because they can subscribe to the feed and receive the new posts when they are published… you know what, just head over to the Friday Traffic Report for this great article on why you should run a blog. Jack explains it better than I could, maybe because he’s one of the recognized blogging leaders.
As you can see from my archives, I’m a huge fan of WordPress and recommend you get a self hosted wordpress blog. I use Godaddy for hosting (get good discounts here). I also highly recommend you spend the money to get the Thesis Theme. I’ve tried using the free templates and customizing them to suit and even though I’m fairly good at CSS, Html and Php, I’ve wasted so much time that is worth a lot more than the $80 or so that Thesis costs. I’ll be changing this blog over to Thesis in the next few days and I wish I’d done it ages ago when I first heard of Thesis.
If you don’t have a twitter account, go and sign up now for free at twitter.com. It’s ok, I’ll wait :) … Now you’re back, we’ll go through why you just did that…
Twitter is a powerful social communication medium. People can follow you and receive your status updates (140 characters per update). It is the best tool available now to easily keep people up to date with what you are doing, your take on the world and resources you think people can use as well as interact with your audience, find new resources and get ideas for new articles. Don’t go and post what you had for breakfast; no-one wants to know that. Think who your target market is and only write tweets that they would find useful.
Feel free to follow me @mikehaydon on Twitter and let me know, so I can follow you too.
I’m assuming that you’ve got a Facebook Profile. If not, get one for free here.
A Facebook Page is like a profile except for 2 important differences:
- A Page has “fans”, not “friends”; and
- Pages are indexable by the search engines.
The difference between friends and fans is that friends have to be “accepted” by you, whereas anyone can become a fan, meaning your facebook profile can be used for what it was intended – keeping in touch with your friends. I don’t think I need to emphasize how important the second point is.
Go here to setup a Facebook Page. You should setup a page for each facet of your business, each brand or each niche. There is no limit on how many Pages you can setup, but remember that the more Pages you setup, the more work you’ll have to do interacting with your fans and keeping the Page up to date. See here for an example.
Once you have these setup, you’re on your way to great visibility online. Regularly update these sites with quality content and watch your presence soar.