Monday, July 26, 2021

Make the Most of Your Online Presence


This isn't just about getting rid of that 1990s clipart you've become attached to for the past decade or so.  If sales or traffic have been slow, ensuring new visitors not only feel welcomed but informed may be what your online presence may be lacking.  Often, this is the case for e-commerce operations that have non-descript names and/or a minimalist site that leaves a lot to the imagination.  While the latter is common, there's usually a formula in place (such as a strong social media presence) that offsets the whitespace chosen for your site.

Although too little is better than too much in terms of user navigation, you need to think like your typical visitor.  Ask yourself if the language used is appropriate or inviting.  Checking links every month can't hurt either.  While these are the basics, here are seven tips to ensure website functionality.

1.  Define realistic goals.  It's no secret that you want to make money but you may need to begin with building an audience first.  A lot of times, novices can get lost in this phase because they haven't created milestones that will lead to sales.  Before creating a loss leader (giveaway item to create traffic or customer base), make sure that the main dish is hard to resist by placing time restrictions on discount prices or emphasizing limited supply.

2.  Tell visitors about your product and its uses that satisfy their needs.  Don't use your description space to brag about how superior it is to the competition unless you have solid facts confirming such.  Give dimensions and other details that may be a selling point without having to give a hard sales pitch.

3.  Don't set a thirst trap while trying to make a sale.  In other words, unless you offer customization of your product, don't be too eager to get business.  Running a business is about the long haul and while making exceptions means paying some bills faster, don't be surprised if the client expects the same treatment...or worse, tells others wanting the same deal.

4.  Make your online presence more personal.  These days, basic storytelling techniques are paying off for those who want to stand apart from the competition.  It can also help give your freelance business a relatable identity.  Bio and/or  'About Us' pages are good places to start but filler blog posts can also be a place to share something of value.  If you're about humor, this can be good but if not, simple is best.

5.  Don't take clients for granted.  When business is good and time is limited, this is very easy to do.  Even if you have to reserve a time to thank them for their business or send over a small token, show thanks every time.  This gesture of gratitude is what they'll remember about you when newbies try to hone in on your turf by offering lower rates.

6.  Troubleshoot problems ASAP. This is the beauty of flexibility in scheduling.  While you can work in your jammies, you also have the power to wake up earlier (or stay up later) to resolve issues in their time zone.  It also helps to know the customs and holidays celebrated in each client's native country so you'll know how to plan your day.  Even if obstacles cannot be remedied right away, corresponding within the client's time of business shows professionalism.

7.  Keep links and content fresh at all times.  Checking links and balancing content should be done regularly and a number of free link checking sites can perform this task quickly.  When you're going at it alone, running out of post ideas is common, which is why it helps to have a backup on hand.  A reputable content marketing service that prides itself on delivering non-generic content fast is the best way to go when your time is precious.



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