I’ve changed my thinking over the years about how small businesses can make that first all-important step to achieving an online presence. Advice I’ve given in the past is the same advice that most small business marketing consultants give: Buy a domain name, pay for hosting, set up a website, etc.
The problem with this advice is that many small business owners don’t have the time to manage their own website, let alone learn everything they need to learn to set up a business online, nor do they have the money to pay someone like me to do it for them. They aren’t stupid. They just live in the real world. So there needs to be a low-commitment way to achieve an online presence that is still effective marketing for the average small business owner.
And there is.
I recommend starting with ONE social media website. It can be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever. Which one doesn’t matter. What matters more is that you get accustomed to creating some kind of content online that gets people familiar with who you are and what you do. Preferably, you’ll do enough research on the social media sites before joining one to figure out where your target audience has a large presence. But if not, it’s OK to just dive in.
If you pick one social media site, then you can spend 10-15 minutes a day checking in. Not much. Just a little. Then you can get a taste of what online marketing is all about without having to shell out hundreds of dollars on site development.