As a creative, an artist or a designer building an online presence can be overwhelming. I am really big on just taking things as baby steps, breaking it down into to bite size pieces and making realistic goals on a real time line, at the same time practicing forgiveness of self.
Working for myself I have bootstrapped everything in my small businesses I have built over the years. If you are starting out trying to build a business around your hobby or passion, craft, writing, building, designing, any small business venture, you will need to learn to do everything yourself. Just take it one step at a time and everything will work out great.
According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for what they need online which me then you should be there in force. If you dont have a marketing plan yet, make this at the top of your to do list.
Online presence builds your brand and your reputation. Over the years I have heard that people need to see you 7-10 times before they will actually buy from you. WE experienced this with the pottery and wholesale and I do now with the design.
People stumble upon you, or having been refereed will research you, so need an up to date website and other outlets to let everyone know who you are. I would like to mention from my experience that you need to be in several places, not just a website, because everyone consumes information differently. They all have their favorites so they all will end up being your favorites.
These days they say you need to create an online presence everywhere. I agree with them wholeheartedly. They being the marketing and tech gurus of this modern technology age. Lucky for us all you need is a smart phone to make it happen. If you have the dough I suggest getting the largest screen out there simply because its just that much easier to deal with. Its a mini computer and you need to think of it that way, not as a phone.
Platforms are the online spaces that you will have your information. Your options are having a website, a blog, video channel, instagram, facebook, snapchat, twitter, pinterest or any of the other social media outlets you choose. These are the ones I use. The others I have a smaller presence on are Linked In and Google Plus. I’m sure there are more, but I really want to keep it simple sharing with you what has worked for me to be able to gross the numbers we pull a year.
First you should have a website. You DO NOT have to hire anyone to do this with you unless you cant even turn on a computer. If you are finding this, I think you are perfectly capable of building one yourself. I use Netfirms as the host, I am able to get my website names, they host it, and I can build it all in one place. Also they have a super easy program to build with, Weebly. Its a drag and drop program where you click on an element you want on your site and drop it where you want it. I am not one to want to learn html or code, so this suits me to a T.
Next work on your social media, spend half a day creating accounts, if you dont already have them, on facebook and instagram. These 2 you can have a business pages which I highly recommend. Snapchat is fun as well and that’s the point, try to keep it fun. Also sign up on twitter and create a Linked In Profile. The beauty of having this group is you can connect facebook twitter and insta. You simply set up you want to share in the options. I post once on insta and it goes to FB and twitter. To keep it simple focus on what work you are doing, the process and simply post about that. You can certainly do that once a day. Once you get more serious about what you want people to know about what you do, then you can create a content calendar. But for now, starting out just get used to the platforms and post consistently.
Engagement is the final key for now. When you are posting, or people are emailing you, you need to respond. Not only are you building trust, you are building alga rhythms that google loves. Don’t just like a comment, answer them back.
There is a lot more to all of this, but just take it in baby steps and do what you can you. Most importantly DO IT!!!