Are you one of many pandemic-struck business owners who is now scrambling to build an online presence? It may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually easier than ever to create a company website that lets you manage the content on your own. Hook up your site to social media, get an email list going, and there really is no limit to where you can take this.
Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need to get started.
A website or blog (same thing)
Start by searching for a domain name. Your domain should echo your company name as much as possible. .Com is always best, you can add a location if that locks in an available URL. Always try to avoid hyphens.
Once you have that, you must have hosting. All this means is that your website’s files (HTML files, images, PDFs) should live on a secure server somewhere in the world. For domain name registration and hosting, try SiteGround.
A mailing list
Having a mailing list is a BIG YES if you want to sell online. What can you sell? Physical items that you ship, physical items that other people ship, information products that go out automatically. Try AWeber for your company mailings. This is where people see a form on your site where they can sign up to hear from you via email. Their double opt-in, permission-based email system is the way to go.
Social media profiles
Get all of your content elements in place, such as your company bio (About Us), list of services, collection of images (logo, headers, banners, images for posts, etc.). Start creating (or have a VA develop) profiles on the following sites: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. If you find more good sites, you can certainly show up on ones that will help you reach your audience.
PayPal business account
A PayPal business account will give you access to all of those virtual business necessaries, like taking credit card payments, adding a checkout area to your site, showing up as a brand rather than a person, accepting payment from multiple email addresses, creating HTML coded buttons to place on your site, taking donations, creating invoices, limiting payments from certain buyers, and a whole bunch of other things that are necessary if you want to function as a business owner online.
A good smart phone
Once you tap into the virtual selling and sharing world for your business, you’ll want to be able to hop online from anywhere and do your stuff. Make sure your phone takes great photos, has plenty of storage space and memory, lets you upload live videos which are all the rage right now, and won’t crap out on you at an opportune moment.
Feeling inspired to write and share on the fly? Get a good laptop with lots of battery life so you can create on the go. Google docs is ideal when you have a laptop because the content you create while out and about can be accessed from your Gmail account after you get home and back into the driver’s seat of your PC if that’s what you use.
A branded YouTube account
YouTube lets you monetize the video content you share there, but they have relatively new requirements for this which include having thousands of page views. The earlier you can get started with your YouTube account, the closer you’ll be to hitting the goal so you can make money using their platform. Just be sure that your account reflects your business brand so you can continue to increase exposure.
Graphics creator such as Canva
You really do not need to spend piles of cash on a pricy designer. If you’re not that picky (but appreciate great graphics anyway), start your free trial on Canva and be mind-boggled at all of the incredible template files they offer for you to try out and publish anywhere you like for free. If you plan to go the next level with your marketing, Canva has a paid version for a more high end design experience.
If all of this scares you a little bit or you’re not really sure how to get started, I’ve created a new course that will walk you through all the steps to get your business online. To find out more information, you can check out Building Your Business | The Tech Side 101 here.