One of the most humiliating things you can when it comes to starting a business is expose yourself. You have no idea how people are going to react or exactly how to do it. I am here to let you know if you have a fear of being seen or recognized NOW is the time to eliminate it. Depending on what type of business you are going to start it is absolutely necessary. It also does not require much cash. Grab your pen and paper you have a lot to write down. Ready?
Get Over Yourself
That's right I said it! Get over yourself. Whatever fears or anxiety you have about exposing yourself for the better of your business.. now is the time to let it go. Don't think you are too good to do any of the following things I am going to discuss, or you aren't good enough. Whatever is stopping you from moving forward with your dreams get over yourself!
Make Your Mark
I am not sure what type of business you are starting. Don't be so focused on the legal aspect just yet. The first thing is to give people access to you. Whatever your business is, people need to have access to view what it is that you do. Even if you haven't actually started yet. Get people riled up and excited about your business. Here are HIGHLY Recommended things you can do.
Get business cards or flyers- the number one thing I was always asked in the beginning "do you have a card" *slaps forehead* I surely did not. I changed that VERY quick. Check out vistaprint.com or 123print.com
Start a website- Nowadays this is extremely easy to do. A few places to start is Wix.com or Web.com user friendly and free. I also recommend you have a domain name registered. For example if you go to www.AshleyTamarra.com it will take you directly to my site no questions asked. Registering a domain is not free but it's not absolutely expensive either. One of the most popular domains is GoDaddy.com they are always running specials. Check them out.
Start a blog- depending one what you are doing your blog can be your website. It's pretty much a online diary where you can talk about whatever you want. The top three blogging templates in my opinion are blogger, tubmlr, and wordpress. They are all free however to get advanced templates it will cost you.
As much as people hate to admit it social media is necessary for your business. People kill me "oh.. I'm not into social media".. okay cool, you don't have to be on a personal level but your business better be by all means. Do you know BILLIONS of people search the internet every second of the day looking for "something"?? That something could be your business. Not only does social media offer exposure to billions of people it is absolutely free. I did a little research and found an article on-line with AMAZING facts on how social media helps your business..
Humanizes your brand. People prefer to do business with other people, not just brands themselves. Twitter’s new Vine video app provides businesses with the perfect opportunity to introduce key personnel or its quirky, laid-back culture by sharing a brief six second video clip with followers. If you’re not comfortable with creating and uploading a video, a blog is another way for a business to personalize its brand to better connect with customers.
Monitors your brand’s reputation. An infinite number of on-line conversations take place on a daily basis across social networking sites, and many of these discussions are about the public’s perception of various brands on the market, both good and bad. By utilizing on-line reputation management tools, you can monitor for mentions of your brand on the Internet to promptly engage in those active conversations. This can go a long way in helping to convert a prospect that has been researching your brand to a viable customer. In the event that negative feedback is being voiced, these monitoring tools allow you to take action quickly before your brand can be damaged
Builds loyalty for your brand that could arguably be better than word-of-mouth referrals. Now more than ever, people are choosing to follow brands on social media sites, and businesses have the opportunity to turn these on-line visitors into lifelong customers by using social media to deliver five star customer service and share valuable content that will keep followers coming back for more. Also, since people are more likely to trust a brand that their friends “like” on-line, brands that are actively making an effort to expand their on-line fan bases will be more likely to earn new fans that were referred from existing customers.
Increases search engine optimization. There is no question that the current trend with social media marketing is to create more content more often. Recent updates to search engine algorithms will list newer content toward the top of search engine results pages, therefore increasing the likelihood that someone would stumble upon your brand when searching for a product or service online. It’s important to not just create content for the sake of creating content though. Search engines also take into consideration the quality of the content when ranking it on a search engine results page, with poor quality content earning a low page rank.
With all of that being said here are the top social media sites your should invest your time in.
Now, there are unwritten rules to social media many people don't follow. Probably because they are unwritten. Worry not my friends I have you covered. These are in no particular order..
Be Positive- Be a light everyone wants to turn to. No one likes a pessimist. In all honesty I would never want to check out someone's venture who was rude, short, and negative.
Follow People- This is the one time in your life it's okay to be a stalker. Follow follow follow people. By doing this they are notified and half of the people you follow will click your page to see what it is you're posting about. They may follow back which in turn has other people following. This grows your fan base/ customers.
Use Relevant Hash Tags- Not just tags for the hell of it. For example I am a fashion blogger, therefore when I use #blogger #fbloggers. The purpose for hash tags are like little files it stores pictures using that tag. On the website's database for the world to see.
KEEP YOUR PAGE PUBLIC- (notice the all caps) There is nothing more crazier to me than a striving business with a private profile! What exactly are you keeping private? If you want to have social media for your personal life.. yes, okay make that private but your business page. Never. It puts up a barrier to people who are interested and it pretty much seals off all of your hash tags from being exposed. Stop being shy go public people.
Interact- I will never forget the time I bought a phone case. The case's packaging included their contact info (hint hint), I went on to follow them on Instagram. I posted a picture and tagged them in it. Within the hour they responded to the post thanking me for my purchase with some other quirky stuff. It made me feel so special, because even though they are a well known company they took the time to respond to little ole me. It made me want to go back to them which I did. You need to be the same way. Be personable, answer questions, comment on random posts or tweets. Getting known is a humbling experience... sometimes you have to throw yourself out there. People like people people.
Remain Professional- We do not want to know all of your personal drama. If the page is for business keep it that way. It is a turn off for people to have to read your personal thoughts and see your janky pictures. Again, there is nothing wrong with this.. but do it on your personal page. Depending on your business your personal page is most likely your business page.. keep it professional! If you're a baker we have no business seeing your waist training pictures. Be a good judge of what you put out and how you want people to perceive you.
Stay Relevant- I am not saying post 100 pictures or posts a day but you need to be active enough so people know you exist. Keep yourself up to date with who is following you. Posting frequently let's customers know what's new with the business or what to expect.
Self promotion is key to success. This is the one time it is okay to be a little "jerky". Right now I want you to repeat after me. ME ME ME... MY MY MY... I I I... got it?
it is okay to talk about your business that is what you are doing. if you don't who else will? Of course it will get to that point once you reach local/ national/ international. People talk. But even still you have to be about yourself. Imagine a book writer NEVER talking about the fact the wrote a book? *crickets*
Now.. don't apply this to everyday life and just make it all about you in all situations. I really hope this topic isn't confused. lol.
Be a Talker
Now I am not saying just run up to any person in sight hauling off about your life and what you do. However, being a business owner causes you to be a people person. I remember one time I went to one of my favorite local eateries alone. I sat at the bar and between me and this older white gentleman was a bar stool. I spoke to him and before long we were exchanging stories, business cards, we even took selfies. lol. Turns out he was a band member and I was a fashion blogger who loves live music. I was not in there to promote myself but when the situation arose I ran with it. Even if he never checks out my blog.. he knows I exist. On the outside we had nothing in common but once we began conversing and we learned new things. Point is make yourself talk to be people.. learn how to be a people person. Make yourself interesting to other people. A great tip is to always have business cards or flyers on deck.
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