Setting up an online store is the easiest way to sell products and services. Today, you can reach millions of potential customers without setting up a retail space or investing in an office. In fact, many successful online businesses started life as a home business – run from a home office. Your online business can take the same route and achieve success with minimum investment.
Just because you are operating as an online business, however, doesn’t mean you can make do without a good image, professionalism, and credibility. These three aspects are still very important in the eyes of customers. You also need a well designed website to attract your customers. Potential clients or customers will not even consider your products if your design is not up-to-date.
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to establish a strong and impressive presence for your online business, both online and offline. These next few tips and tricks will help you boost credibility and presence right away.
Set Up a Home Office
Working in a professional environment is a great way to build confidence as a business owner. With confidence, comes a higher sense of professionalism. These are small details, but they are details that will affect how you interact with customers and conduct your business.
I always recommend setting up a home office to those starting a new online business. At the very least, you want to set aside a corner in the house for work. Add a desk and create a suitable working environment for yourself.
You can also choose to allocate portions of your day for working. Spending time actually working on your online business makes all the difference. The more time you invest in your business, the higher your chances of achieving success will be.
Use a Virtual Office
Setting up a virtual office is easy now that there are multiple service providers to choose from. You don’t have to actually visit the service provider to get your own business address. This is a great way to gain a business address for correspondence.
Adding a business address to your e-commerce website increases your credibility as a business entity a step further. Customers tend to trust e-commerce sites that display physical addresses more than those that don’t.
A virtual office is also great for when you want to incorporate your business from the start. You can use the virtual office as the official address for your business, complete the paperwork, and create a legal business entity for your online business.
Rely on Conference Call
For connecting with clients or dealing with customers, you have conference call services to add to your arsenal. Using the best conference line service, you gain a number of things that will further increase your standing as a business entity.
For starters, you get a business phone number and professional branding; the latter means someone will answer phone calls with your signature greeting. The same service also integrates screen sharing, pinless conferencing, and toll-free conference calls.
This type of service is also very affordable, especially now that you have companies like BrandedBridgeLine.com making their services available. You can choose the plan that suits you best and begin using a conference call service like a large corporation.
Develop Your Online Presence
As mentioned before, an e-commerce site alone is not enough to attract (and convince) customers. Of course, website design should be your starting point when it comes to a great online business, and should provide potential customers with everything they need to know on a site that’s easy to navigate on both a computer and a mobile phone. Nowadays, however, you also have to develop a strong online presence to support the main website, starting with social media pages that show consistent brand elements and key messages.
You want customers to be able to find you easily, so investing in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) is a must. Both SEO and SEM are meant to achieve different objectives, but they eventually contribute to increasing your online business credibility.
The same can be said for other digital marketing campaigns. Through video marketing, for example, you can connect with the audience on a more personal level. Video is a great medium for telling stories and conveying complex messages in simple, easy-to-understand ways.
Invest in Yourself
A business is only as successful as the people behind it. As an online business owner, it is time for you to invest in your own online (and offline) presence. I’m not saying that you should create an entirely new persona or post extravagant content about your life as a business owner. This approach does not work in the long run.
What you want to do instead is build a genuine connection with the audience. A good example is how Caleb Wojcik, the man behind Gorillapod alternative known as SwitchPod, positions himself as a vlogger – someone who is close to SwitchPod’s target customers – in a genuine and pleasant way. Caleb uses social media to direct attention to his Kickstarter campaign.
That genuine approach really shines in the case of SwitchPod. Not only was the Kickstarter campaign successful, both the brand and Caleb also received a lot of attention and a substantial boost in credibility. The next time Caleb has a product idea to develop, he already has a strong audience base to lean on.
One last secret you must never forget: all of these approaches are meant to be used continuously. Creating a strong presence and building credibility are never a one-time deal. You have to put in the work, invest in building and maintaining your presence, and continue connecting with existing and new customers.
Once again, being genuine is the key here. If you are genuine about establishing credibility and connecting with the customers, the whole process is easier than you think. After all, you only need to be yourself and represent the business you are already passionate about starting. Using online and offline resources, you will start getting the attention of customers in no time.
These are all parts of setting up a new business (yes, including an online business) and the excitement that come with the process. I know, because I’ve been there myself. Now that you have the best tips in hand, all you have to do is get started with your own presence.