That is the question- especially here recently. It seems like the idea of being an entrepreneur is very enticing but a pretty daunting task in and of itself. The best thing about today's time is if you are not 100% sure, you can test the water. Set up shop online and- BAM- they will come. Well, it's not really like that, but kind of. Now that you have decided to go into business for yourself, it's time to go get the new Rolls Royce and a penthouse =) No, not really but it sounds good. Ok, seriously, I am gonna give you a couple tips and ideas on where, when and how to start. There is no better time than now to start….so, there is that. Now let's get to it. I am here to help you navigate through all of the clutter and all of the people who will tell you, "you have to do this", "you have to do that", and "you need to register here". I will keep it very simple which will serve as a great base to start and you can build from there.
Find yourself a domain name. I know this sounds easy but, trust me, this is way easier said than done. Be short, be clever, be rememberable and be straight to the point, and PLEASE understand a ".com" just may not be there anymore. As a website designer, what I am really liking right now is ".co" (no, that is not a typo) and ".io". I highly suggest getting them from domains.google because they let you see what's all available in an attractive layout. It doesn't look too techie, but doesn't look too plain jane, either. Now that we have mybusiness.co or .io or whatever you pick, it's time to get a website. You have plenty of options including building one yourself. Tools are getting better and better and, I'm not going to lie, self-built sites are starting to look pretty good from an aesthetics standpoint. You also have what I call the "run of the mill" website design services like Hibu or Go Daddy and, lastly, you have the agency option. Now I will be 100% honest with you, agencies are going to be the pricer route but I feel it's worth it… and not because I am an agency guy. Just think, aesthetic friendly frontend and robust backend with all the bells and whistles…… Hey, hey, hey, now stay focused here- we are talking about websites, but the robustness of WEBSITES backend is an article in itself that I will touch on at a later date. Touching on robust backends… just think if someone walked in on the tail end of THAT conversation. LOL.
Now it's time for everyone's favorite thing: Social Media. And trust me, there is a lot more than just scrolling, looking and posting pictures of babies and cats. There will need to be a brand persona in place and ready to go, but (again) that is another article for a later date. However, think about what platforms your consumers are on. Where are they likely to spend time? And based off of what you come up with, that will be where you build your business profiles at.
Now it's time to get listed and claimed. There are listing and claiming services, but you can use those later. My goal right here and now is to get you on to the places that are most important. Example: I am not saying you shouldn't be listed on Yahoo, but come on, let's be honest, Yahoo is getting like 3 searches a year or something. Google is a digital monster. You literally want to deal with Google as much as you can because they are the number 1 search engine and they will favor their own stuff- so this is most definitely a place you want to be listed, claimed and added to maps if you are in a business where people can physically come to you. Bing, Yelp and (clearly) Facebook are also places you want to be listed. Technically, Bing is the number two search engine but that is a faaaaaaar number two. However, in all actuality, the number two search engine (and it may be tied for first place) is Facebook. More searches happen on Facebook than on Bing, but Facebook is not technically a search engine…I hope that makes sense.
It's now time for the last thing. Well, not the last thing but to get you off to the races and jockeying for position in your respected field, Yes, it is here… TIME TO RUN ADS. The best places for Ads is: Ding, Ding- You guessed it, Facebook. There are other places where you can post ads, but if we're being honest, Facebook is an absolute monster in the digital advertising arena. This is what you do: you can type as much as you want but, unfortunately, people have the attention span of a goldfish, so long copy on an ad is not a good idea. I would say have a compelling title and just under a paragraph to state why your business is the one for the job. Now I will be honest with you, there will be a good and I mean GOOD amount of money spent here. My advice to you would be to KNOW your audience, KNOW who you are approaching digitally inside and out, and just that alone can save you a couple dollars to reinvest. Domain, Website, Business listing and Facebook Ads. Yes sir, yes sir and ma'am, now it's time to jump in the game. This was brought to you by Raphael Robertson of Robertson Marketing & Branding