You are just launching a brand new business. Nowadays, a web presence is not just about a website. While a website is a component of a web presence, significant results can be achieved by other means.
Editorial Note: After reading this article, some of our readers were confused regarding the definition of a web presence and the difference between a web presence and a website. To clairfy this confusion, please read the article What is an Online Presence before continuing to read this article.
You may think that you are in a pickle if you don’t have a website for your business but you would be wrong. You can do many other things online that will help you to build a robust online presence without actually have a website. If you are able to have both, all the better. However, it is not black and white. There are several shades of gray when it comes to our online world.
Online social media profiles
The first thing that you should do is to set up profiles (which won’t cost you any money) on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Remember that it is important for you to completely fill in all of the details in your profiles (including a photo) so that other people will be able to connect with you on a human level.
You will need new business cards for your new business. There are several services that will allow you to create online business cards for free. Some of these services are businesscardland.com, and businesscardstar.com.
Launching a blog
Having a blog is an incredibly lucrative and effective tool to increase your online exposure and reputation. Many blog services are free, such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com (which is owned by Google). You can use their generic template or you can purchase a fancier template at minimal cost. If you feel that it important to establish the aesthetics of your brand from the very beginning, you may want to consider investing in the decorative template.
What it means to have a web presence
For businesses nowadays, having a web presence is conceptually similar to being listed in the phone book in the past. People who are searching have an expectation that they will learn basic information about whichever companies they come across. Whenever a person gets a referral to a business, their natural reaction is to look up that business online. Everyone needs to have an online presence.
Facebook is another excellent social media channel that will help you to effectively build your online presence. The misconception that Facebook is only for reporting what you ate for breakfast, which movie you saw last night with your boyfriend, and about connecting with a friend who was in your high school and with whom you haven’t spoken in 25 years is much less present than it was.
Facebook is an extremely effective social media tool for business. You can set up a Facebook fan page for your business and you can start to build relationships with people who you can help professionally and who can help you professionally. Of course, always remember that you need to keep it completely professional. You can use the Facebook page for the personal side. You will definitely want to keep your business contacts separate from you persona contacts.
Word-of-mouth and online presence
As a business owner, your business will become more and more successful because you offer high-quality products and services and your clients tell their friends who tell their friends who tell their friends. You don’t need a website for “word-of-mouth” marketing. However, you do need to furnish people with a way to reach you (maybe even more than one way).
The importance of a website
Undoubtedly, website’s are an important part of any business but they are certainly not the be all and end all of businesses today. They work very effectively side by side with other types of online presences. One of the big differences between a website and online presence is the existence of fresh content vs static content. The content on websites is not changing on a regular basis. In fact, it only changes when a professional intentionally changes it. Other elements of an online presence, on the other hand, is constantly changing and evolving.
In this day and age of advanced technology, there are so many ways for a business to become successful online. It is important not to discount one approach for the sake of another. There is certainly enough room for several approaches to successfully work together to enable businesses to achieve tremendous success. Make sure that you take full advantage of all that is offered.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).