Many times our aspirations for our websites can outweigh our budgets and time lines.
Many times we get wrapped up in having a powerful presence on online without capitalizing on all the opportunities that already exist to find customers on other sites. This is just a short list of those resources you can utilize before you develop your own Website. In addition this exercise can help you determine what your site really can do for you so your dollars stay focused.
- Google Places
This is a must for any business these days. Have your local listing present in the search engines and allow people to find you. This site also allows you to upload photos and videos for your business. New innovations come out every month, so keep this post updated. http://www.google.com/places/
This review engine is a great place to be found and allows you customers to rate their experiences. Think word of mouth, digitally. http://www.yelp.com
- Yahoo Business
Similar to the Google Places, Yahoo Business allows you to list your business, services, and contact information. http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com
With the addition of Facebook company pages, you can create a following and start conversations about news, promotions, and services. This might be a time consuming unless you determine the conversation strategy beforehand. And remember, this is business not your personal page. http://www.facebook.com
Useful to promote brand awareness, new products and services, and specials or promotions. Also a great way to find out what people are saying about your business and your competitors. Tie this to your Facebook page to help with updates, as well think about using scheduled tweets to manage this channel. http://www.twitter.com
Another example of digital word of mouth; you can use the forums to answer questions and share your expertise through blog content and network with other businesses to generate referrals. Also think about using Linkedin Ads as a way to promote your business. http://www.linkedin.com
- Local Associations/ Chamber of Commerce
Find out if there are any local associations related to your business and get the word out through their Websites. This would include any local directories as well.
There are lots of opportunities out there to get your business posted and start communicating with your clients, and you don’t necessarily need to opt for the luxury model website to market online effectively. Quality messaging and photography will help you keep a professional look as well as provide you talking points for your conversations in the social realm. Good luck.