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December 21, 2011


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I have to admit I’m not good with business cards.  When someone hands me one it usually gets tucked away in my pocket or purse. More often than not it ends up a victim of my washing machine.  In fact, I’ve always considered people who hand out their business card like candy to be annoying.  That was until I needed an auto body shop and remembered I had a casual acquaintance who owned a body shop.  I had forgotten the name of the shop, though. What to do?  Then, I remembered the business card.

After digging through my purse I found his card and a few days later was paying his company for fixing the dent in my bumper.  The moral to this story is that even though my friend’s incessant handing out of business cards borders on aggressive marketing, it is effective.  That is how one builds an online brand presence and gets more customers.

There are all kinds of tips and techniques for online brand presence building and increasing traffic to a company’s website.   While all the advice is completely well-meaning and in most cases highly effective the first step in building a company’s online brand presence is to think like my friend and see opportunities in every situation. 

The key to building an online brand presence is to remember when online the small business owner should always behave as if all their customers are watching.  By being cognizant of their movements and behavior on social media and forums they create opportunities to build an online brand presence.  There are a few simple steps that go a long way in developing an impressive online brand presence:

1)      Every online signature should include a website address. Period.  This includes Forum signatures, email signatures and social media.  One’s online signature is their business card and is how online brand presence is created.

2)      To reach more customers subtle promotion must be authentic and show thoughtfulness.  This means becoming active on industry forums.  Active does not mean constant pitching of one’s product or service.  It means becoming part of the community and adding valuable and thought-provoking comments.

3)      Business owners should become experts in their field.  Expertise demands respect.  The best way to showcase expertise is to create a blog.  By discussing all aspects and elements of one’s industry or product they will grow a customer base guaranteed.

Building an online brand presence is about more than just online marketing – it’s about creating a brand for one’s company and selling it.  The goal of every business owners should be to have a customer base who thinks of them first when a need arises; much like I did when I needed my friend’s body shop. 

 

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