Thursday, 23 February 2012

PART II - Networking and Growing your Business through Blogs, Websites and Social Media!

Business Websites and Blogs – Do I Really Need Them?

The answer is a resounding YES!

Website Templates can be a great way to get a website up and running quickly and inexpensively. Various online site-builder options are available for non-web designers, ranging from basic to fairly complex. But any business these days, new or old, at the very least needs a professional looking web presence to be competitive.  It’s practically replaced brochures and other printed marketing tools.  

So, instead of paying a web developer anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars to create a site, why not first try out one of the many pre-built template sites?  They’ve done most of the hard work for you already.  Many businesses can start with something more generic – because the goal is to get potential customers to contact you -- and then decide when (or if) the time is right to go to a more expensive website solution.

Here are a few well-known DIY website-builders:
For those who love to share their ideas and advice, there are a number of easy to use blog creation sites. Wordpress (you can create a website here but – be warned – give yourself some time as it can be quite a project depending on how complex a site you want) and Blogger from Google are the two biggies.  This article, Best Free Blogging Sites outlines those sites and a few more.

As for ramping up your Social Media marketing savvy, here are a few excellent resources to get you up to speed on that increasingly popular method of advertising:

·         Social Media Examiner (your guide to the social media jungle) – fun site, easy to read, great info and advice. Very prolific as Michael blogs every day, so you’ll want to just scan it for key articles of interest… or check the archives.

·         Mari Smith -- the online guru for Facebook marketing. (check out Part lll in this series for more on Mari Smith and plugging into online tutorials and webinars to teach yourself how to build and grow your business.)

·        LinkedIn the primary professional networking site to be on. Google+ is trying to compete but LinkedIn is still miles ahead of anything Google has put together (don’t get me started on Gmail – hate it!) Anyone who would like to read an article I’ve written on Painless Networking using LinkedIn, write to me, mention this blog, and I’ll show you how to initiate valuable contacts on LinkedIn without cold-contacting.

Coming in Part lll - How to Shore Up Shortfalls in Your Business Brain Trust!

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