Convinced that you need to be online? Good. Now what?
Get a Website and Set-up Social Media
Step 1: Get a website
If you are just starting out with your online presence I recommend using WordPress. WordPress is not just a blogging platform and you don’t have to have a blog if you use WordPress for your site (but you can).
WordPress is an easy to use, elegant platform that comes with a plethora of ready-made services for you to use. Most importantly, it is set up to encourage interaction between you and your target audience, so, essentially, it is a website with social media capabilities (for example, site visitors can comment on your pages, if you allow it).
With WordPress you need to choose between two options:
- A hosted WordPress.com site – free, before you add upgrades.
- A self hosted WordPress.org site – for which you will need to acquire a hosting package and a domain name (a URL) to get started.
If you need help choosing between the two Contact me .
Once you choose your website’s platform you will need to set up accounts and adjust WordPress to fit your needs. This can take between 30 minutes and a few days depending on your needs and what you have ready before you start.
Step 2: Pick the initial social media network to focus on
There’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. When you are new to social media and online marketing I recommend to only focus on one platform to publish content (especially if you are a one-man band or have limited time and money). The reason for this recommendation is that social media is not a place for you to spit out content, but rather a place for you to interact with your audience. It is easier to do it well when you only have one “extension” to your site.
Which social media network is right for you? The one that your target audience mostly uses and preferably the one you know best and feel most comfortable with. It helps if you already have a presence on the social media network of your choice, so that you can invite your contacts to connect with your brand and increase your visibility.
Once you make your choice you should set up an account, upload content and so on. A very important part of this step is connecting your account on the social media network of choice with your website, which includes:
- Putting your website’s URL somewhere in your social media profile (e.g. in the about section).
- Connecting your website with your social media network of choice by using WordPress’s widgets and plugins (e.g. using Publicize to publish your blog posts on social media).
Step 3: Join Other Social Networks
You will mostly create content on your social media network of choice, yet you should join other social media networks as well. On these social media networks you will have a presence, but for the most part you won’t be publishing content. Why join more networks without putting up content?
- So people can find you, even if they are not on the social media network that you selected on the previous step
- To get a better understanding of how these social networks work, who is on them, and whether you’d like to use them more
Again, be sure to include a link to your website as part of your profile.