Starting and running a business can be tough these days. With the prices of a ‘decent’ website on the rise, it’s easy to see why many business owners try to do it themselves or even prefer to go without.
In this article, I’m going to explain to you some quick, easy and FREE alternatives to get your business ‘out there’ without the luxury of a professional website.
The key to marketing your business online is consistency, you must be regular in posting heaps of helpful content online in order to get people to notice your business.
The way to do this is to think about what your customer’s yearning questions are about your particular product or service.
For example, if you’re a new parent you may Google such questions as:
What’s the best formula milk for a newborn baby?
What’re the best nappies for newborn babies?
What’s the best car seat for newborn babies?
So the idea is to produce amazing content around these burning questions and encouraging your readers to like and share your content across the interwebs.
You can get literally hundreds of content ideas by using Google suggest, to use Google suggest all you have to do is start typing your customers burning questions in to, you’ve guessed it, Google.
From here you will get a wealth of ideas for good content to create for your potential audience/ customers. I would suggest making a spreadsheet in Google Docs or something similar then create a publishing plan to produce at least two pieces of good content per week.
Note: It doesn’t have to be War & Peace just good, decent, helpful content that people will like and share.
Ok, so now that we’re armed with some brilliant content ideas what do we do with them?
We publish them to the Internet of course, but where?
Bellow is a list of websites and portals you can use for FREE to get your content out there and in front of your potential customers. All of which are free and easy to use and you can use just one or all of them if you like.
Don’t freak out just yet! You don’t have to get in front of the camera to utilise one of the worlds most popular websites to get new customers if you don’t want to, and I’ll show you how.
We can use our previously created article(s) to produce a slideshow or powerpoint style presentation with images and even embedded videos to get our message across.
To do this you can use Beautiful.Ai to create a stunning presentation around your article and record it with your screen recording software or services such as Screencast-O-Matic then publish it to YouTube and other video sharing sites such as Vimeo.
Once you’ve created and published your masterpiece, it doesn’t stop there. You want to promote that amazing piece of content to as many people as possible by utilising one or more of the options below. And you want to do so more than once too. More on that later.
Google My Business
Google My Business has to be one of the most overlooked and underused FREE online tools available to small businesses. Yet I see hardly anyone using it to its full potential. Google even offers you a FREE website as a part of this tool. Other features include:
- Contact Information (Click to call)
- Location (Google Maps)
- Opening Times
- Blog Posts (Ideal for sharing your content from earlier)
- Images & Video
- Share Buttons and so much more.
To claim your FREE Google My Business listing all you have to do it sign-up via this link and fill out all the required information and Google will either call you or send out a postcard to your location with a verification code. You can then go back to your account and verify the listing for your business and fill out even more information.
As I mentioned before, consistency is the key here. Don’t just verify your listing and leave it at that. Set a reminder on your phone or smart speaker to visit and update your GMB listing at least twice per week to get the most out of this excellent tool.
I’m honestly amazed at the number of small business owners I speak to that haven’t even heard of LinkedIn yet. LinkedIn is THEEEE social media platform for business, period. If you’re not utilising this brilliant platform in your business you are seriously losing out.
There is a premium version of LinkedIn, which is well worth the $60 per month (or whatever it is) if that’s what you’re looking for. To get started though, the free version is just fine.
Head on over to LinkedIn.com and sign up for your free account. With LinkedIn, you get a personal profile and you can also add a business profile, much like Facebook. The only difference is Facebook is for friends and family, LinkedIn is for BUSINESS! A big ‘Ah-haaaa’ moment for a lot of people.
Once your account is active start adding contacts that are in your target market/ area and post your amazing content on there for them to consume.
As mentioned above, Facebook is mostly for friends and family but you can also have a business profile on there but most people seem to get this all wrong. Just setting this profile up and pestering all your friends to ‘like my page’ is not enough I’m afraid. Your page will plateau and people will stop interacting with it.
The secret is to, you’ve guessed it, post REGULAR, HELPFUL CONTENT!
So if you own a Landscape Gardening business, for example, don’t just post “Hey everyone, do you need your hedge trimmed?” or if you’re a Mechanic don’t just put “Hey guys, you need your car fixed?” post REGULAR, HELPFUL, CONTENT!
Twitter & Instagram
I’ve bunched these two together because they are quite similar in that they are ‘micro-content’ platforms meaning you can’t really say much on them, you can’t even post links in your posts on Instagram.
The object of signing up for and using these platforms for your business is that they have astonishing amounts of hyper-active users and you’d be crazy to leave them out.
Be sure to put links to your other profiles above here, say something like “check out my amazing videos on my YouTube channel” or “Let’s connect on LinkedIn”
Then all you have to do is regularly post content and add new contacts, I would suggest adding about 20-30 new contacts per day.
So there we have it, a brief rundown and an actual Game Plan on how you can utilise the Interwebs to drive traffic to your business WITHOUT A WEBSITE. Although it does help to have a website too, this article just goes to show that you don’t actually NEED one when you’re starting out.