For self-employed entrepreneurs, the Internet represents a formidable promotional tool and a powerful marketing lever. Using the Internet to promote yourbusiness andaccelerate the sale of your products or services has a name: webmarketing. Indeed, the development of the Internet has profoundly modified the traditional communication scheme between brands and their customers or prospects. The Internet has made it possible to multiply the channels of communication between self-employed entrepreneurs, in all fields, and their audience and to communicate more widely and quickly on their offers and their values. A gain of time and visibility not to be neglected. Internetrepresents a greatopportunity for self-employed entrepreneurs by allowing them to easily reach a larger number of potential customers. However, the offer is vast when it comes to digital marketing and it is essential not to spread yourself too thin to make good use of your budget. We take stock of what you need to know about online communication when you run your own business.
Reflect on its positioning and set up a digital communication strategy
Nowadays, communication for self-businesses does not necessarily involve buying expensive advertising space or distributing flyers door-to-door. While these tools may be effective for some, the return on investment is often long and unpredictable. Moreover, it does not allow to target exclusively your potential customers but can be done exclusively on the Internet where the professional will find an adapted and inexpensive communication space. Unless you are starting out in an innovative sector, it is likely that the competition will already be well established when you embark on the adventure of self-entrepreneurship. This is particularly the case in the field of home-basedpersonal services . So, before jumping in head first, it is essential tothink about your positioning and yourdigital communication strategy. The first must allow you to create an attractive and differentiating image, and the second to optimize your budget according to your business objectives.
Conduct a competitive audit
Before thinking about its positioning and its digital communication strategy, it is necessary, as for any other company, to make an audit of the competition. Indeed, if you want to differentiate yourself, it is essential to know the messages and values that your competitors put forward in order to position yourself differently.
Indeed, it is not because you are a small company that you should not carry out a coherent and structured marketing plan in order to reach your objectives. Just like the business plan, you should not neglect your company’s online visibility strategy since it will allow you to regularly monitor and diagnose the development of your company’s image. If you have already launched your own business, you will be able to point out the strengths and weaknesses of yourpresence on the Web.
Define the customer target(s)
For any communication strategy, it is imperative to know which target customer your company is addressing. Depending on your activity, it can be more or less broad. As such, it can sometimes be interesting to start by targeting a smaller audience, called niche, to meet their specific needs and expectations. For example, if you start a home cleaning and ironing business, you can either target all potential customers without any differentiation or choose a more restricted target such as couples with two children living in the city.
Thus, your written and visual communication will be particularly thought to answer the expectations, needs and constraints of this specific clientele and thus encourage them to contact you. To do this, it must determine its typical profile and define its social characteristics (first name, age, place of residence, employment, hobbies, income…) but also its psychological characteristics. It must also draw its specific behaviors and its way of using the new technologies.
Choosing the right communication channels
Depending on your objectives, your positioning and your targets, your entire action plan will be determined and therefore the choice of communication channels that you will use to promote and publicize your company. There are a variety of means and tools at your disposal. While a showcase site or a blog will be more relevant for some, others will have to rely more on social networks. In any case, if you decide to set up a website, it is essential that it is responsive and well optimized so that you are better referenced on search engines. Will she choose to develop her presence on social networks, create a blog, a showcase site? Similarly, it is essential to question the relevance or not of using a paid strategy with the Web giants (Google, Meta,). Depending on the objectives set, it is strongly recommended to establish a precise schedule that takes into account the different periods and contexts that are favorable or unfavorable to communication.
Google, one of the best allies for entrepreneurs
Used in more than 95% of web searches, not existing on Google means not existing on the web. And for this, it is essential to go through the referencing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process by which search engines rank websites on a given query. Indeed, during his research, the Internet user types keywords in the requested engine. These expressions allow the platform to establish a hierarchy of results deemed relevant.
The company has the choice between paid search (SEA) and natural search (SEO) to appear on the search results. The latter option is not only the most effective in terms of return on investment and credibility, but it also offers long-term results. However, it takes more time and the visibility in the first pages of Google will not be immediate unlike advertising. Indeed, referencing your website is a long and tedious work, you can do it yourself but it is still preferable to surround yourself with web writing professionals to optimize the results.
Once you are properly referenced, don’t hesitate to familiarize yourself with Google Analytics. A free website analytics dashboard that gives you access to a wide range of information about your website and the people who visit it.
But the possibilities offered by Google do not stop there. On the contrary! Google My Business is certainly one of the essential tools for the visibility of self-businesses and independent on the Web. If used properly, it will allow you to appear in a good position on search results but also on Google map. Moreover, the possibility to ask your customers for reviews and ratings is a valuable advantage to highlight your skills and reliability.
Never neglect social networks
Social networks are a great lever for your business and allow you to stay close to your customers and prospects. It can also be a great tool to highlight new services you may offer or special offers. Depending on the social networks on which you decide to interact with your community, you will be able to reach different audiences depending on your targets.
Beware, however, Rome was not built in a day. Gaining subscribers requires work and a long-term investment. On Facebook, you can for example publish information about your offers and services, while you can showcase your daily life as a self-employed entrepreneur on Instagram and make BtoB approaches on Linkedin. It is therefore important to carefully choose the networks that correspond to your target audience.
Don't give in to the siren song
Finally, beware of overly tempting offers from some companies that promise you wonders. Above all, avoid making long-term commitments. This will allow you to change providers if you are not satisfied. It is preferable to call on real professionals who will listen to you and take into account your needs and financial and technical constraints.
In communication, as in all the other fields essential to entrepreneurship, reflection is essential! Faithful to its vocation and its role of advice and support, Augias is also at your side to help you define and plan your digital marketing strategy, contact us!
On all fronts, Augias is able to support self-employed businesses in their web marketing strategy. An efficiency and a saving of time for you to concentrate on your core business.