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5 Ways to Grow Your Business Online

Ready to take your business to the next level but don't want to break the bank? These five—mostly free—tips were made for you.
Business 101June 07, 2023

In today’s digital age, the world is literally at your fingertips, unlocking new opportunities for self-employed entrepreneurs that previous generations could have never imagined. But it can be too much information at times, which can make it tough to know where to start for freelancers or small business owners looking for ways to grow their business online.

We know money doesn’t grow on trees, so these five strategies won’t break the bank. They also don’t have to happen all at once. Great news for your business bank account and already too long to-do list. Pick one or two to start, and see what works best for you.

Build a Strong Online Presence

No matter your industry, a rock-solid online presence is a must. Think of it as your digital storefront that never closes, attracting potential customers, building trust, and expanding your reach. Your website is the digital face of your business, embodying your brand and offering a gateway for curious customers to explore your products or services. It's your chance to make an unforgettable first impression that leaves a lasting impact. 

Does creating a custom website sound complicated and expensive? It doesn’t have to be. Modern website builders like Squarespace and Wix simplify creating your site, making it easy to prioritize the essentials. Focus on building a clear and concise homepage that highlights the following:

  • What you do and what sets you apart

  • Your key services and pricing

  • A portfolio or gallery, if applicable

  • A compelling call-to-action

Make sure to integrate your contact information prominently, making it easy for potential customers to reach out to you.

Leverage Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool to connect with your target audience. Choose the platform that resonates best with your target audience and start by setting up a professional account. Use clear, concise, and compelling brand information. Include a crisp profile picture, a well-optimized bio, and a link to your website. 

According to Sprout Social, the average person bounces between seven different social networks per month and spends two and half hours on social media each day. 

Sharing is caring, but make sure what you're sharing holds value. Provide content and insights that matter to your audience. Hairstylist? Share your favorite products and dazzling before and after shots of your clients' new hairdos. Personal trainer looking to find more clients? Share easy at-home workout routines for your followers. Become their go-to source of information and inspiration. 

Finally, if your budget allows, consider embracing social media advertising. The beauty of social media advertising lies in its precision—you can target your ads to reach the audience most likely to connect with your brand. While it is a financial investment, the increased visibility and targeted reach can make it worthwhile. So, dip your toes into the water of social media advertising for increased visibility and targeted reach.

Build An Online Network

Although you may work solo, you don't have to go at it alone. Engage with like-minded professionals in communities and groups relevant to your field. Offer advice, share experiences, and collaborate to enrich your own understanding and build authentic connections. Extend your networking efforts to businesses whose work complements yours. 

Take the graphic designer who starts participating in a LinkedIn design group, offering advice, sharing experiences, and adding value. They're not just racking up contacts—they're building relationships and growing their craft along the way. It's a win-win, fuelled by the exchange of thoughts, insights, and resources. So while it may feel intimidating to get started, online networking isn't just about the numbers or finding new clients —though it’s a nice perk)—it's about nurturing authentic connections that help you grow personally and professionally.

Invest in Email Marketing

Your email list isn’t just a collection of addresses—it's your golden ticket to a personal, direct conversation with your customers. In the bustling bazaar of the online arena, it's your calm corner for a meaningful chat. Building and nurturing your email list is akin to nurturing relationships. And in return? Loyalty, trust, and engagement—the trifecta that fuels your business growth.

Here's the secret sauce—deliver newsletters that aren't just regular, but regularly valuable. Think of your newsletter as a special delivery of unique insights, beneficial tips, and exclusive offers—stuff your subscribers won't want to miss. While establishing your email marketing strategy, you may need to invest in an email service provider. This might require a small fee, but it’s likely a tax-deductible expense that will be another investment in your growth.

Harness Online Reviews and Customer Testimonials

Online reviews and testimonials are more than just feedback—they're vital tools for building trust. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and their feedback can significantly influence your online reputation. Encourage your customers to share their experiences; their stories can significantly boost your credibility. Their impact is substantial; according to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making buying decisions.

Responding promptly and courteously to these reviews highlights your commitment to customer satisfaction. When you engage with reviews—particularly negative ones—you demonstrate that you care about your customers and are genuinely interested in their feedback. A swift, empathetic response can turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one, showing that you are there to listen, learn, and improve. Once you've collected these golden nuggets of endorsement, don't keep them hidden. Display these testimonials on your website and social media channels. 

Freelance better with Found

Self-employment can be one of the most rewarding journeys you can embark on. After all, the vast majority of self-employed workers have no intention of turning back. It can also feel complicated, especially when you're just getting started. 

Found was built to make self-employment easier. With smart business banking and powerful, easy-to-use tools, Found makes banking, bookkeeping, taxes, and invoicing—all your paperwork—simpler than ever. Love what you do. Let Found do the rest.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only.

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