Moving on with taking your offline business online
This article is for those who has an offline business, for example a take away shop, hair saloon, building contractor, singing studio, printing shop, plumbing business, etc..... there are so many kinds of businesses, but you know which one you have.
Your business is physically located somewhere and you want to start moving on to taking your offline business online. In other words, you want more exposure and you want people who search for your type of business online to find you.
If you are new here and landed on this page, I would suggest you read the 1st step first (click on link).
The most exciting part is at the bottom of this article.......
Before we move on to step 2 of taking your offline business online
After you completed step 1 and your Facebook page for your business is created and up and running, you'll want to get more fans.
This infographic supplied by Neil Patel of Quick Sprout explains how to get more followers.
If you don't have a website or blog yet, why am I taking you down this path?
Let me first explain why I'm letting you create a Facebook page for your business before a website.
- chances are that you already have a personal Facebook page and you already know how Facebook works
- learning to create a website can be very overwhelming because of everything you have to learn
- and while trying to maintain your website, you must still keep your social media pages running by creating and sharing things
- this way, when you start adding your social media information to your webpage you already have followers
- when you add your website to your Facebook page, your followers will be able to see your website and it will not be like most website startups where you start and have absolutely no followers
Step 2 of taking your offline business online
Chances are that you already know about Google's Gmail.
If you already have a personal Gmail, it is great, you can use that one or create a Gmail account for your business.
Google is the fastest growing search engine with the most benefits to businesses and utilizing everything you can add-on will grow your website faster.
Step 3 of taking your offline business online
You can decide for yourself which of the social media accounts you want to create for your business.
But a word of warning, although your social media accounts are the places where you advertise your business, the more social media accounts you have, the more you will spend hours in front of your computer or on your tablet.
The most popular ones are Facebook as mentioned, Twitter and Pinterest. Instagram is also growing into a very popular social media.
Where to start?
I would suggest you start a Twitter page now too. Twitter is where you share short sentences and you can share images as well.
You can only create one twitter account per e-mail address, so if you have different email addresses for business and personal, you will use your business e-mail address.
When you create your Twitter account, you do it as your business for your business.
You can add your business logo as a banner and a photo of you (the business owner) or change it around.
If you created a banner for your Facebook page you can use that too, but if the banner is too big, part of it will be cut off.
As you can see if you visit my Twitter page (all-about-life-tips), I used my Website logo, but moved it so that the part that shows the website name is visible. Feel free to follow all-about-life-tips on Twitter by clicking on the link above.
You can also use your business logo as the profile picture if you want to, but I believe that people would rather do business with someone they can see.
Good posts to read about Twitter:
It will be up to you if you want to create a Pinterest account, but I would not suggest creating a business Pinterest account just yet. But I would suggest taking a look at Pinterest and see what Pinterest is about.
This is where you pin pictures you like and you can add pictures about your business' work.
It is a fun place to keep pictures organized and there are allot of beautiful pictures you can pin to keep them on your boards. Pinterest is also great for advertisement.
If it is so much fun and great for advertisement, why did I say I will not advise you to open a Pinterest account yet? The answer is because you will want to have a Pinterest account as a business and to do that you have to verify your site.
If you are following these steps I set out for you, you will not have a site to verify yet. Being able to do this, you have to be able to edit your website with HTML code.
But the choice is absolutely yours. If you really want to create a Pinterest account before you create your website, you can do that and change it later to a business. For more information on that you can read this article: Set up your business account.
To build your best Pinterest profile, I will suggest reading the following - help with pinterest: 14 ways to drive more traffic to your website.
Google+ is similar to Facebook where you can share photos and updates. If you decide to add Google+ to your social media platforms, I would suggest going through articles of Social Media Examiner first. Read this post, 6 steps to getting started with Google plus.
Listing your business in a directory
Depending on where you are, you can list your business in your local online directory. They are at the top in all search terms when people are looking for a certain business in a certain area.
Here are some you may consider adding your business to:
If you are in a different area than the ones mentioned above, you can type "yellow pages" in your search engine (I prefer Google) and see which one is for your area.
The primary purpose of adding your business to one of the online directories is that when someone types - hair saloon in Welkom in their search engine, they will be able to find you. For this reason it is important that you add all the necessary information, like:
- where you are situated
- what kind of business you have
- list of services you offer e.g: cutting hair, dying hair, styling hair, etc.
- name of your business
Step 4 of taking your offline business online
I am running you through some steps quickly now, so that you can be on your way to creating your website as fast as you can finish all these steps.
Now comes the exciting part, but not building your website yet.
Are you serious, you might ask. Well, I can ask, do you know what HTML and CSS is?
Basic knowledge of what a website entails will help you allot to know before you start building your website.
WordPress is the most popular, that is why I suggest before you start building that you first familiarize yourself with WordPress as well as HTML and CSS.
The best way to do that is by watching some videos:
When you get there take following steps:
Type Free WordPress or WordPress free into the search field.
If you only type WordPress into the search field, you can just click on the first line under price and choose free.
You will get a screen where there's allot of WordPress courses available, next how to choose the right one?
Because these courses are free, you can do as many of them as you like, but you don't want to waste too much of your valuable time, so I suggest doing the following:
Look for the course with the
- highest amount of lectures,
- most hours and
- most stars.
This shows you which of the courses are more popular and easier to understand. The ones with the most lectures obviously covers allot more than the ones in less time or less lectures.
Now, I suggest you do as many courses as you can and want to, because the primary purpose of doing everything different from what every other person suggests is so that you can have the knowledge you need to be able to build your website right the first time.
Before you start building your website for your business and start using WordPress, taking one or two courses on HTML and CSS will also help you to understand more, you can read more about that in this article: how to become a web developer expert - but what it is about is also searching in Udemy for Free HTML and CSS courses.
The best thing is, for every course you complete, you receive a certificate.
There are allot more valuable courses that you can take to gain the most knowledge of how a website works before creating your website. This will help you to know what to expect as well as how to grow your business' customers once you are online.
Step 5 of taking your offline business online
There are many ways to start building your website and many free available options, like with Sitebuilder (no html and CSS knowledge - easy to use), Blogger (extention of Google), host-ed.net (can start with a free plan and upgrade) or Free WordPress and even Wix (no html and CSS knowledge necessary), but there are many things to consider before you choose.
- To get the most out of your free site, at some point you will have to start paying (upgrade)
- your domain name will have a part of the free name included in it e.g: yourname.websitebuilderbrand.com you can read this article to find out more about using free site builders: are website builders actually free?
- Having a paid domain name (shop name) and host (server hosting your domain name) will be more of an advantage, but if you can draw more traffic through social media - not necessarily through search engines - you will be able to build and maintain a good site.
- Free sites mostly never show up in search results (maybe on the last page of search results - nobody ever looks at the last page when they search for something)
- Read this article: 10 Website builder reviews
- Choosing the right WebHost for the right price can be tricky. You absolutely have to read this article: Cheap Web Hosting Guide: 19 Secrets Nobody on The Payroll Will Tell You
Step 6 of taking your offline business online
Build your website. Here is a easy to follow article on How to easily create a WordPress blog in 5 minutes.
What I prefer:
The following are what I use and is solely at your own discretion whether you want to use them as well or not:
You can buy your domain name at
The hosting company that hosts my website is D9 hosting. You can click on the banner to go take a look at what they offer and maybe bookmark the page to be sure to find them again when you do decide to buy domain name and hosting.
If you take the annual account, you receive a free domain name, but then you have to pay your account for a year now in advance.
- I suggest taking a look at what they have to offer, bookmarking the page and when you are ready to buy your own theme you can take a look again.
This was a mouthful
Depending on where you are with your social media, you can go on to creating your website.
Although this article is a mouth full (and mind full) to absorb, the most important part is to take the courses before you start your website. And there is still allot to learn.
If I knew about this way, I would have preferred to do it this way around, because when you start building your website and don't really know what your choices are, you make the wrong decisions - which can cost you dearly.
I don't want the same to happen to you, that is why I wrote this mouth full and would prefer you use these methods to take your offline business online.
I've also found a very useful source to help you build websites. Because this is such a huge thing to try to do on your own, you can read this post to learn more.
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