Pursuing an online target market is probably the best way to expand your business. Among many things, almost everybody conducts transactions, from looking for stores to hiring services and paying bills, online. The internet has become a venue for dependence, especially now that it can be easily accessed using portable devices.
As a business establishment, it will be highly profitable to establish your brand online. Apart from being cost-effective, an online presence directs you to the right market, to new partners and other interested parties who can help in enriching the scope of your business and take it to greater heights.
But how exactly can you develop a business career online? No matter how big or small your company is at the moment, here’s a step-by-step guide that you can use to make your brand flourish the way you want to.
1. Seek out the online news sites.
What does a brand do when it wants to be seen, heard and felt? It goes public. It invests on advertisements, gets published on print, and from there it creates a buzz. The same reasoning can be applied online, but in rather more effective moves.
If you want your brand to get noticed, then you must establish a reputation in the online world. You can do this by seeking help from news sites, such as Yahoo!, AOL, or even the HuffingtonPost. This is because people go to these sites to check out what’s hot, and among these people is your target audience. Once your audience finds you a reputable name in the industry, the more confident they will be in doing business with you.
2. Get that sign of approval.
One major aspect of having a good business reputation online is a sign of approval. Having a review of your brand in major industry sites would be of great help, especially those that set the ground rules in commerce and online business.
Perhaps a review of your company on BBB.org can give you a more respectable name in the online world. This is because once your brand has been reviewed and given a positive rating by the site, it just means that your name and business can be trusted by your target audience.
3. Establish ties with online investors.
Expanding your brand online also means that you have to establish strong ties with other industry partners. There are online investors whom you can do partnerships with to form mergers or create new segments in your company, especially if you’re looking for new markets to serve.
What makes online investors a good choice is that they introduce you to their own clients as well. You find it easier to get customers because they are already within your reach, thanks to your investment partners.
You do not have to go into an investment deal right away though; you can start by being present in their circle, such as their contact list. From there you can slowly introduce your brand and eventually find potential partners whose ideas fit best to your business goals.
4. Build a social media profile.
Social networks play a big role in expanding your business career online, and they work in ways you wouldn’t even have imagined. Hence, your brand should have a social media profile in which clients, partners and other industry colleague can connect to.
As a brand representing a business, you may want to establish a profile in networks where you prove to be relevant. While Facebook indeed is the biggest social network at present, it deals more with the social side of things, which may not be that useful for your career goals. Perhaps you may want to take a look at networks that deal more about connecting businesses together, such as LinkedIn and Resuface.
Linkedin is a social network that specializes in building online communities for industry professionals from different niches to interact with. It is a good place to penetrate especially if you’ve already built a strong foundation for your business, as most of its members are industry experts and professionals too.
However, Resuface offers a different take on constructing a professional social media presence. In this platform, you can introduce your brand by creating a profile that also serves as a business resume. This makes it easier not only for other industry members, but also your target audience to see what your company has in store.
Since social media serves as a pool for individuals to stay connected to each other, then you can use this feature to gather the different sectors that prove to be relevant to your business goals, and you can do that in Resuface.
First, Resuface may be used as a portal for you to link up with members who wish to work for your company, something you may need especially when you are in the process of increasing your manpower. Rather than going to different job boards to find aspiring employees, you can start screening applicants right on the platform itself.
Resuface also opens doors for different brands of the same niche to connect, similar to the principles of LinkedIn. What makes it different however is that the community that they can build is not only limited to firms themselves, but also individual members who express the same interest in the niche, such as freelancers, industry experts, and even people looking for jobs in that particular specialization. This is a very important factor because you have the better edge in exposing your brand to those that matter.
Relevance plays a very important role in achieving your business career goals, no matter what niche you’re in. This is because it all boils down to selling your goods and services to your target market. Your audience will not look at you if they don’t find you relevant, and Resuface, through its features, helps you establish that kind of presence your business needs.
5. Maintain open communication lines.
When you are doing business online, your communication media should always be open and available. These include emails and Skype, as these are the primary forms of communication that you can use when talking to potential clients, partners and employees.
You may want to check your email inbox everyday for inquiries, quotes, requests and other pertinent messages, and it is important that you respond to them at the soonest possible time. It will also help to keep your Skype account active, as you may have to entertain calls and video conferences from online clients, and even conduct online application interviews at any time of the day.
6. Remind the online market that your business is present in the real world too.
Regardless if your business deals with a purely online market, it is important to show that you also exist in the real world. Adding a physical address, phone number and even a map help a lot in making your brand legit, as these show that you have a headquarters that can be visited anytime.
The physical address is a measure of transparency; without this, your brand can be considered a scam, no matter how good your intentions are.
7. Create a website.
Finally, your business should have its own website that’s active and ready for access. A website not only contains the full info of your business, but as well serves as your portfolio when reaching out to clients and aspiring employees. This is also the end destination of your social media profiles, as users are redirected to your site when they want to know more about your goods and services.
In essence, a website allows everybody in your circle to take a sneak peek of your business. This is where they find the answers to the questions about your brand and business, and yes, this is also where they will base their evaluation of you.
Developing a business career online is all about two things: presence and relevance. You have to establish your online presence, and that’s through your website, social media connections, open communication lines, and transparent contact information that your target audience can rely on. And yes, you have to be relevant, and that’s by working on a good reputation, and building relationships to everyone that matter.