How to Meet Your Next Customer - Part 4
Building Community in Online Neighborhoods
The online world is vast, and it can be a little bit overwhelming to know where to build your business in the digital world. But good news: It's easy to do business online if you join the right community.
Think Location. Location. Location. Only with a heartbeat.
Meet your next customer through these 5 steps:
3. Become Findable
4. Build Community & Flow
5. Show Your Values
Go Big, Then Go Small
To engage an online business, you've got to join the crowd before you can stand out from the crowd. You've got to follow the trending hashtags and do some research on your next customer before you can build your community in the online neighborhoods you're trying to reach.
Join The Crowd
In order to navigate the vast ocean of doing business online, you need to build your boat.
The first thing you'll need is an online business page. This can either be a webpage with a custom domain or a social media business page. I recommend both.
Your main business webpage can be a quality 1-page website to start.
Make sure to have these 5 Key Pieces on your website:
Name of your business
Your physical location
An About Us section that shows what you offer, and & what your company stands for
A Contact Us form, or listed business email & phone number
Links to your social media platforms
Social Media Business Profiles
Before you jump into trying to maintain ALL of the platforms, do some super quick research by googling where the majority of your customers hang out. Then create content for those specific customers to start out.
Secure social media profiles in ALL the platforms to make sure your company name doesn't get taken
Based on super-quick research decide which platform to start with & maintain
Upload your logo, bio, about, and link back to your website
Create content for the 1 platform consistently, and slowly build community
Ticket to Ride
There are some online communities that you can be a part of online, through membership, reputation, self-categorization, or paid contests & campaigns.
Online Directories - As many industry directories, chamber directories, and city lists that can link back to your website online will help your business become findable in SEO searches & in online communities like your city & industry.
Hashtags, Alt-Tags, Metadata Tell Search Engines & your next customer why your content is relevant to their next search. This is a great way to become findable as well as build in the right online neighborhood.
Paid Campaigns & Contests Want to add more people to your neighborhood? Get in front of a wider group of people with paid campaigns & contests. This works even better if you have a specific demographic you're hoping to get in front of.
These communities that you need to join, or tell search engines you're a part of, are a great way to start to build in a relevant community.
Research Your Next Customers
To join the right online communities, you need to find out where your next customers hang out and build in their neighborhood. It helps if you do some basic research to keep in front of you when you're building.
To build your business in the right online neighborhoods, ask yourself these questions:
What kind of customers do you want to attract to your website and social media?
What industry do they work for?
What hobbies do they have?
What is their age group?
What is their gender identity?
What kind of buying habits do they have online?
Take the answers to these questions & build out a few customer profiles - as if they were specific people. Then when you're creating content, you'll know who to target (John, 38 M who loves dogs & hunting on Facebook) and write for him.
Don't Forget the Heartbeat
It's easy to look at online presence in just the KPIs and ROIs and CTAs (that's a lot of acronyms for data & results).
But building your business as a member of online communities is a different strategy than building followers or conversions.
You DO want to be smart about how and where you build. You DO want to first research & build customer profiles to speak to.
But once you've got an online presence, don't forget these aren't just follows, likes & shares, or potential sales - they are humans who join in online communities to feel like they belong.
Use the customer profiles you've created to get in front of the right people, build online in the right neighborhoods, and create content that will add to the heartbeat of that community.
Meet The Author
Sue from Skavlem Designs
When I make a design, I think – What can this do?
These designs don’t just exist. These designs DO. They work hard alongside you and your business. These designs are levers. They are sales. They are engaged customers. They are brand recognition that gets you that meeting.
Top 3 things I love to do: Read. Paint. Snowboard.