If you are just starting a new business, one of the first things you'll need to understand is how to represent yourself on the internet. Representing yourself will help build trust between you and your audience, and help communicate why your business is important. Here are a few tips that can help you properly introduce yourself and your brand on the internet.

The Basics

If you want your company and brand to stand out, then make information easy to find on your website. That means when potential clients visit your website, they should be able to figure out who the owner of the company is, where the company is located, and what they do within a few clicks. Tell your audience why you're here and why your company or services and products will resonate with them. On the first page of your website, you should have your mission statement, your address, and a professional photo of the manager/owner. Your audience wants to know whom they are interacting with and how they contact you. Especially if you are a sole proprietor, you want to make sure that people are coming to your website and knowing who you are as a person and why they want to create a professional relationship with you. Let's dig a little deeper into each topic and explore the importance of each: 

Incorporating a Mission Statement

Have you ever stumbled across a website where all you get is the company's name and some sort of "Click here to join!", with maybe a gritty picture of their space or some type of staff member? Those websites instantly turn me away and I would rather find another, similar business to work with. Why? Because there is no direction and there is no mission statement to suggest a reason for me to stay and find out more. Having a mission statement is essential on your website because it helps your audience know the reason why you built your company in the first place! You want your audience to realize right away that you are serious about your job, and that you are motivated to create a product or service for them to enjoy/partake of. There needs to be some kind of drive behind your business, and what better way to do that than to outline it in a mission statement that is on the first page you come across when entering a company's website? If you click here, you'll see the homepage to my website, with the mission statement right below the main title of the page. "Photography is my passion. Marketing is my goal. Building relationships is my motivation." This mission statement first describes that I'm a photographer and that taking photos is a passion, not just a hobby. Second, it explains that marketing is how I put my passion into action, and third, it describes that the driving factor behind what I do is building relationships with those I work with. Need help coming up with a mission statement? Check out this website to start the process. If you have a mission statement already, then I highly encourage you to put it on the first landing page of your website. 

Location Matters

If you want to be found by Google, then putting your address on your website is key. Google analyzes and verifies where your address is posted and if it's posted correctly and if it's exactly the same in each spot. However, you should put your address on the front page of your website not only for the purposes of getting found on Google but also to help direct people where to find you. As a commercial photographer, I do not have a set address, however, on my main page, you'll notice that I do have a general location where people know I reside. I technically can take a job anywhere, so I'm not confined by a specific address, but most companies have storefronts, and so you'll want your audience to know exactly where that is. If you want more people, in person, at your store, then put your address at the top of the landing page of your website alongside your business phone number so people can reach you easily. All of this sounds so simple, yet I've seen many companies not do this. If you want to be present online, and show your potential client who you are and where you're located, then you need this vital information on your landing page.

Post Professional Photos

Last but not least, to help you really stand out, you'll need to provide some professional photos of your staff and managers of the company. Photos are more engaging and get a lot more attention in the cyber world. Plus, if I'm interested in your company, wouldn't I want to see what you look like? Especially if you offer a service, such as painting nails, doing hair, offering tattoos, massages, facials, photographic services, the list can go on. If I am wanting a particular service from you, then I would first want to know what you look like. Are you friendly? Serious? Sad? Happy? Cold? Warm? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let those words represent you and your company. Instead of just tell your audience who you are, show them. Represent yourself and your brand in a professional, confident, and friendly manner. You would be surprised by how much of a difference it could make having one good photo of yourself or your staff on your website. As said previously, post your professional photos on your front page. Again, this engages the audience and lets them know what to expect, right off the bat. If you or your company are in need of professional headshots, then check out my page here. I am more than happy to help your company grow, be seen, and truly represent yourself on the internet! 

If you're wanting more tips on how to represent yourself and your brand on the internet, then check out my other post titled 4 Ways to Be Authentic on the Internet and Why it Matters.