Many people have websites and businesses but they have no clue at all how to promote them. And without promotion, the website is as good as dead because no one is going to find it and no one will visit.
Without promotion, you will not get anyone to buy anything from your website. That’s a sad fact of the online world but that’s the truth.
So here goes, 13 tips you can use to start promoting yourself and your website.
1. Put your website URL on every outgoing email you write. Make it snappy and short. Remember to hyperlink it so your friends/customers/prospects can click it and be taken to your website instead of having to copy and paste the URL.
2. Sign up for a Facebook account and start a fan page for your business. Get friends and family to link to you and help you spread the word about your new website.
3. Get a blog started.
I know this is tough for many folks. Writing is not everyone’s favourite activity but a blog is still a viable method to get the buzz going. Don’t know how to start a blog? Read up with this and this we wrote to help you get it right. (But a big note of warning: It is not for everyone though if you get it right, it can help big time. If you need blogging help and advice, we can plan out a 3-month blogging programme to help you get started. Contact us if this is what you need)
4. Get a Squidoo page up and running and get the traffic to your website. Started by Seth Godin, this is a neat way to be an expert and at the same time, be charitable. Don’t know what’s a Squidoo page? Check this out and have fun! And then sign up.
5. Advertise your website.
It costs money but you get traffic and you may even get a chance to test if your products are as hot as you think they are. Of course, you know the big ones like Google Ads. But pay attention to the up and coming ones like Facebook ads. Like all online ads these days, you decide how you want it to run, what words you want to shout out and who you want to target. Here’s more info on how you can get started on Facebook ads.
6. Get into Facebook Groups or LinkedIn groups
Facebook Groups and LinkedIn groups are interesting. Join for the fun. Join to contribute your ideas. You are there to help, advise, comment and share. And you get to do serious market research if you’re really clever in asking the right questions. Don’t treat them like they are potential customers – treat them like focus groups because they’re a mine of information.
7. Don’t be blatant
While I am on this subject of hanging about in groups and topic-specific forums, be careful that you don’t overdo it. It’s easy to say “Come visit my new website and buy my products” but it’s not pleasant to be bombarded by these messages. If you have nothing to contribute to a forum, don’t piss people off by asking them to visit your website. If your website is interesting, people will visit. How do you make your website interesting? Create useful, relevant content that excites them. Find out what they want to know about and create content around these topics.
8. Offer to do something, for free
This sounds so counterproductive to your business. But if you have a skill that’s much sought after, offering to do something for free will get you lots of goodwill. For example, if you are a graphic designer, could you not offer to design a logo for free? This gives people an idea of your services and your expert skills too. Start with doing pro bono work for your favourite organisations. We’ve sponsored websites for NGOs such as Cat Beach Penang and Penan Women Project.
9. Offer something for free
OK, so maybe you are not in services. That’s OK. If you are selling products, can you sponsor your products? Offer it as a prize in an online contest or lucky draw. Offer something fantastic – not something that’s old and dusty. Again, you will get tonnes of goodwill! And people will love you for your big heart.
10. Collaborate with someone else
Can you partner with someone who complements your business? If I am a chocolatier, I will team up with a florist to sell my products. If I am a real estate agent, I will team up with a renovation contractor. The pairings are endless. You don’t need to pair with 1 person either. You can pair with so many other businesses which don’t rival yours.
11. Get a Twitter account.
It’s not just a place for silly updates of what you’re doing this hour or this minute. It’s useful for getting resources, getting updated on what your idols or fans are doing and getting bite-size nuggets of important information. Before you run out to sign up for one, familiarise yourself with this new thingy with this how-to article.
12. Get into business networking sites.
Facebook will take up your time but before Facebook came along, there was and still are a bunch of business networking sites to promote yourself and your business and your website in. In 2004, Ryze used to be so hot. Now it’s withering. With business networking, it’s a lot more specific. You know why you’re there. You can be a free member (to see if you really like it) and then you can upgrade yourself to a paid membership. Check out Xing.com, Ecademy.com, LinkedIn.com. And there’s also one called Affluence.org which calls itself the exclusive organisation of the world’s wealthiest people.
13. Create your own social network for your fans
If you want to be a leader, then create your group. These days, you can create a group easily on Facebook. We have a Facebook group for people who’ve attended our Marketing Mojo events. We also have a Facebook group for people who like books.