The end of the year is approaching. While you take stock of where you have been and plan where you want your business to go, you will map out your destinations and determine the best ways to get there. One substantial goal would be to position yourself as an industry leader through your online presence. Here are a few tips:
Reviews and Recommendations
Testimonials are an important part of building your business. With so many places to display online reviews, there are a few that stand out and provide targeted ways for your business to be found.
- LinkedIn is one of the best places for you to collect client reviews. Your clients can provide a review of your expertise and services that is directly tied to your LinkedIn profile. The distinct advantage of these reviews is that they cannot be fabricated and are therefore considered to be highly credible.
- Google Places/Google Plus allows you to display Google reviews on your Google Plus business page. This is especially helpful when people are looking for someone local who has great customer service.
- Yelp. If you’ve got a brick and mortar business, it would be helpful to collect reviews on Yelp so that people who are searching for local businesses will be able to find you and see the comments of your previous clients.
Take advantage of local business traffic
- Google Places/Google Plus. Make sure you have a Google Places business page so that your business will appear in the results of people who are looking for someone in your local area. There is an option to hide your address if you work from your home.
- Bing Business Directory. Make sure you create a business profile through Bing Business Directory to take advantage of people who search with Bing.
- Yellow Pages and Dex Online. Because the internet has become the preferred method of searching for vendors, your local telephone directory is now available online. Make sure your business is listed under local businesses. Some of these services offer a premium listing as well as free listing options. It’s worth checking out.
- Mantra. This is an online business directory for all business services. If you have a Mantra business profile, it will be included in Google search results in related searches.
Advertise your products and services using social media
- LinkedIn. Did you know that LinkedIn has company profiles? You can create a LinkedIn company profile that can be connected to your personal profile. That company profile lists information about your products or services and facts about the company as well as pages dedicated to promote your products and services.
- Facebook. Does your business have a Facebook fan page? It can be used as a means of sharing the social side of your business through photos of events and company news.
Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber. There are many services that facilitate collecting email addresses so that you can maintain contact with your clients and prospective clients through email. With an email newsletter, you can establish relationships with your followers and maintain top-of-mind presence while providing timely information about your company and industry.
Twitter is another way to connect with others in your industry. Find people who are focused on your industry, by using the hash tags (#) that match your brand focus. This way, you find people with similar interests as your own, and you can learn from others in your industry while keeping up with trends.
One of the best tools by far that will help your business is a business blog. What are the most common problems your clients face? Write about them in your blog and you will provide a way for your followers to stay engaged with your business. Two rules to remember: 1. Keep the tone conversational and informative, not a sales pitch. 2. Allow your expertise to shine. Each post should represent a conversation with your readers that demonstrates your business essence.
There are a great number of online tools that help build credibility for your business. They provide a means to announce company news and events, and keep followers informed about the important things going on in your industry. There’s no time like the present to get that conversation going!