The perks and benefits of self-employment are wonderfully unique to the job – but for every hour spent working in the comfort of your own home and for every modicum of quiet confidence at being your own boss, there’s a job and a task waiting to be done. Depending on your personal success, you might have an assistant – maybe even two. Depending on your profits and industry you might be high tech, low, invested in science or embroiled in the arts. One thing for sure, however: you’re on the web. And if you’re not, you should be!
Here’s our four-step guide to personally growing your business online and driving web traffic to your door.
1. Ads and Investments
Your website is your business window to the world; it can enable you to engage with customers and clients on a global level on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, folks can’t know about your product or service without a little help. The best and easiest way to do that is to make investments in advertisement and sponsorship.
That might sound daunting, but putting money in the marketing pot is often worthwhile and there are many ways to go about it. There’re radio ads, both local and national. There are targeted ads on social media websites like Facebook or Reddit. There are Google ads that will show your work to those most inclined to find it interesting – if you’ve ever regularly spent time online or in rush hour traffic, you’ve been on the receiving end, and now it’s time to deliver a few banners and pop-ups of your own. Think about your target audience and how best to reach them – what websites will they use? What related searches will they make? Perhaps you better make social media accounts of your own related to business. When you’ve got your answer, then go ahead and invest!
Take Omen by HP, for example. The gaming specific brand of a much larger company, they’re sponsors of everything from community podcasts to entire eSports leagues. They want to sell to gamers and tech-minded people, so they put their name and brand on the specific things they’ll be interested in. Smart, focused advertising.
2. Perks, Peaks and Bonuses
So you’ve got some extra traffic on your website thanks to ads, but how do you go about maintaining interest? Just because someone visits your website once, doesn’t mean they’ll be a return customer. In that respect, you’ve got to entice people to try your product or service and make a great first impression to boot.
Many companies offer bonuses, incentives or wholesale price reductions to achieve this goal. Virgin Media in the UK will provide better deals to first-time customers on everything from internet to movie packages on the TV. Again in the UK, many an online clothing store like Topshop or ASOS will dole out discounts with special codes via email for repeat buyers. Online casino Betway offers up to £1000 ($1327) in welcome bonuses to its new customers, too. Once again, think about an affordable and appropriate version for your own business, then be brave and make it happen.
3. Suit Up Your Address
If you’re not on the web currently or if you only maintain a basic presence, think about expanding. As above, your website will be the first thing many potential clients see, and it’s important to maintain a professional appearance full of vital and easy to read information. Not to worry, you don’t have to go off and learn to code yourself – many building services and individuals can help you there. An independent graphic designer or website building company like Squarespace are the perfect way to spruce up your tabs and text if you can afford it.
4. A Card or Two, or Thousands
A new business or an older company looking to expand needs a regular and healthy dose of networking to survive. Whether you’re meeting clients, partners or investors, a smart business card with your personal and company details can work wonders. Depending on who you’re dealing with, cards can even be a practical necessity. In Asia, they’re a respected and regular part of meetings, for example, exchanged in an almost ceremonial and polite manner. So get some designed, get some printed, then hand them out! You’ve got a shiny new website to advertise, after all, and ads can take place in person as well as online.
Growing a personal business is no easy feat, but you certainly don’t need to rely on word of mouth anymore – the internet has democratized business, giving you the ability to quickly respond to reviews, target specific demographics and market to the globe. Every industry and product can benefit from publicity on the web, and with effort put into the advice above, you’ll see a steady increase in traffic in no time. It just takes effort and confidence.