Tools, Tips, and Strategies
Seasons and times will compel many to chart unknown waters, others out of curiosity and necessity. Regardless of the trigger, having an online presence and brand has become a must-have in this age.
More so, the pandemic has propelled and created a sense of urgency to digitize.
Over the years I have noticed that several people struggle with getting started with their digital presence, where to begin and the basic tools and strategies to utilize.
Today, I will be sharing with you tools and tips on how to kick start your digital footprints.
- Get a domain.
A domain is your website address, where users can find your website on the internet.
I recommend you use your name or your brand/business name. An example bkc.name, bernardkelvinclive.com, cynthiaclive.org, eugeneayim.com, samueladjei.com, ebenezerasumang.com, dailyaccra.com, ghanaweb.com. There are many top-level domain extensions, the common ones being .com, .org, you can have. blog, .info, .me, .name
The average costs of a .com domain extension are $12.99
You can purchase a domain from godaddy.com, namecheap.com, domains.google.com, bluehost.com, etc.
Once you get a domain, quickly create an official email address with your domain name. That becomes your official email address.eg. [email protected], [email protected] It positions you a serious professionally
- Get a blog/websitedesigned and hosted.
That would be your official internet home. Your website becomes your 24/7 online storefront. To market and promote your brand and business. It increases your brand visibility, authority, and breeds trust.
I recommend you using WordPress.org, Medium.com, squarespace.com, wix.com because they make a blog and web design quite easy without much technical know-how.
You can hire a professional web developer to set up your website/blog for you. With a budget if $100 minimum, you can have a simple blog/website set up for you. Search in your locality and you are sure to find a web designer to help you with a website and blog. You can contact www.bkc.name/consulting
A basic blog site should have a home page, about page, blog page, and contact page.
Once your website is done you need to be populating it with content- quality, timely and relevant content!
- Get a mailing list. A list of subscribers (emails of people) you can regularly communicate via emails.
You can use your website to capture email addresses of people by creating a landing page/ squeeze page. A dedicated page where you offer something in exchange for users’ email addresses. You can offer whitepapers, eBooks, checklists, audiobooks, infographics, webinars, etc. Just ensure that you are giving out something they would love.
You can use the following services/ mail providers to help you set up, capture, and manage your e-mail lists: mailchimp.com (highly recommend as the free version can help you achieve a whole lot), leadpages.com, constantcontact.com, sendinblue.com, convertkit.com, mailerlite.com, aweber.com, etc.
If you are using WordPress there are lots of plugins that can aid in setting up a landing page and collect email addresses easily, Sumo comes highly recommended.
Use the one which meets your budget and can still provide the basic needs such as a signup form, landing page, autoresponder.
Your mailing list is your goldmine for your online brand and business.
- Get your social media handles
Your social media handles are the names you choose for your brand. Either you get a handle or edit the URL(link) of your social media channel. Example Facebook provide an automatic URL(link) when you sign up using your name unless you change that deliberately it may be showing a link like facebook.com/kwame-amoah235, I changed mine to facebook.com/bernardkelvin
You would certainly need social media, so right from the beginning check and secure your names/ handles on the major social media platforms i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
For branding purposes, ensure that the handles are unique and the same across the various channels. For example, I have @bernardkelvin for all the channels listed above.
The idea is that even if you don’t have plans of using those channels immediately, it still saves you a lot from losing them.
- Get your brand creatives(designs) done.
Designs for your brand; from your brand identity to social media cover images.
You may decide to hire a graphic designer to design your stuff for you. And I highly recommended that especially for your logo.
Apart from that, you can create some graphics yourself, using any of the Do-It-Yourself design apps and services. I recommend the following canva.com, easel.ly, visme.co, infogram.com, stockphotosecrets.com/stencil
You can use it to create your quotes, memes, infographics, etc. with ease.
- Create a Content Strategy:
Develop a calendar of how you would be sharing content on your website and across the various social media channels.
Check Postcron’s free content calendar https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsKxtai-b7NqdGdqODJyd0xwc0xTQ3h4M2I3aUlPSWc&usp=sharing#gid=0
Another content calendar by Bobangus http://bobangus.com/free-editorial-calendar-template/
You can use services like Hootsuite to help you schedule posts and share them on social media. This saves you lots of time.
Check the following for social media software for posting; buffer.com, coschedule.com, mavsocial.com, hubspot.com
In conclusion, here are three critical principles to keep in mind:
- Be Consistent.
Constantly deliver value with your content and creatives. Consistency instills believability.
- Be Credible.
Don’t try to cut corners to win favors. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Stick to your brand values. Be trustworthy, deliver on your room promises. If people can trust you, your brand and business will grow. Trust is the currency for growing your brand and building your business.
- Be Branding is about differentiation, so be creative about your brand presence. Don’t become a ‘me-too’ brand.
Find your differentiation factor and nail it!
Digital Disruption ebook visit www.bkc.name/ebook
Brand Mastery visit www.bkc.name/courses
The writer is an Author, Speaker and Corporate Trainer. Africa’s foremost author(ity) on Personal Branding. An Amazon bestselling author of over 40 published books. As a speaker & trainer he has been known to simplify complex ideas about branding and life and present them to audiences in clear, actionable steps. He has over a decade experience in digital publishing and has globally consulted and trained thousands of entrepreneurs, pastors, and people like you to write books and build brands. He hosts the number one ranked Career & Business Podcast in Ghana. Bernard is a brand strategist at BKC consulting and runs the monthly Branding & Publishing Masterclass.