Starting Your Own Business in Retirement? 5 Tips for Establishing Your Presence on the Web
These days, marketing a service is about establishing your presence and building trust on the Internet. In the past, you would demonstrate your product to an audience and they decided whether they wanted to purchase or not. Now there is little face-to-face contact as we cross global borders.
Thus, it is important to know what will help you develop trust amongst your potential clients or target audience. There are a few basic steps that one ought to bear in mind:
Choose your media carefully. You will probably not have the time to maintain a presence on more than two social places, so choose the ones that your clients are using.
For example, if you are targeting the 60-plus generation, you would probably be best on Facebook and Instagram rather than Twitter and Mxit.
If you are not posting regularly, i.e., a minimum of three to seven times a week, you might as well not post at all. Remember to post articles, videos and pictures that will excite your target clients, so that they will want to like or share.
There’s no need to write all the content yourself, either. You can share other people’s blogs or YouTube videos, where relevant.
The Sixty and Me website is a great place to start looking for suitable content if you are targeting the over 60’s. Ted Talks are also popular. Google has pages of quotes and free images which you can draw on for your posts.
It is ideal to start your conversation with comments or debate. A suggested method is to throw out catchy questions that people will want to answer.
Build a schedule on Excel where you can save material as you find it, for later use. Once a week, you can post your materials across your social media places using the Schedule facility which allows you to choose the time and date you want each piece to be posted.
On most social media, your first job is to create a large enough following so that you have credibility. For example, on Facebook and Pinterest you need at least 100 followers before the algorithms will start working in your favor.
It is worthwhile getting a professional photograph taken for your various pages. We all know that first impressions count, so make sure you have a picture of yourself that is representative and professional.
Building Your Email List
In order for someone to give you their email address, you will need to offer them something they will value. The simplest offer includes a regular newsletter or blog, but you need to be consistent in order to gain credibility.
There is no use posting blogs fortnightly for three months, then neglecting a couple of months, and going back to it later. This is a sure way to lose your credibility.
To start collecting email addresses, you will need to set up what is called an ‘opt-in’ page where people can choose to receive your offer by inputting their name and email address.
The opt-in page should take them to a ‘landing page’ where you thank them for signing up for your newsletter and either tell them their offer is on its way to their inbox or allow immediate download.
In most cases, you will need the assistance of your web designer, as these steps require a fair amount of technical knowledge.
The purpose of regular blogging is to show your potential clients that you are an expert in your field. Blogs may be personal, written as though you are talking to your client, or they may be professional and factual. It depends on how you want to portray yourself and what your clients would prefer to read.
Asking to do guest blogs on appropriate websites is a useful way of getting your name out to a wider net. But remember, there is nothing more frustrating than visiting a website and seeing that the last blog was posted three years ago. Posting regularly is important to establish a following.
Webinars and Podcasts
For the not-so-faint-at-heart, webinars are an excellent way of demonstrating that you are an expert in your field.
This, however, also requires a fair understanding of the background technology in order to produce a professional end product. Even webinar packages such as WebinarJam require technical input.
If you do not have the facility to do your own podcast series, you can search the web for podcast series where you could ask to be a guest.
The five tips above are a brief summary, suggesting some direction for the beginner. I am a coach and not a digital marketing expert, but two years and hundreds of webinars later, I discover I have learned much useful information, and I enjoy helping others who are starting out.
If you could have your own business, what would it be? Would you use social media to gain popularity? Which networks would you choose? Do you have any tips of your own to add to this list? Please share them in the comments below.
Hilary Henderson is a Retirement Coach. She brings to her coaching her experience as an Occupational Therapist as well as an entrepreneur. Her mission is to help people find relevance, purpose and meaning in their retirement years. Facebook is one way to reach out to her.