Are you eager to start earning money online but don’t have a website? Would you like to have a professional-looking online presence, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you think that it will take you too much time. Is that something that’s slowing you down so much that you don’t feel confident to start that freelance business you always dreamt of? Then I got good news for you: You don’t need a website to have a professional online presence. At least, not at the beginning.
Let me be clear about this: Personally, I think that having a website as your “main hub” is the best option for a professional online presence, but it isn’t a must to have it done before you start your business. That is why I’d like to offer you another solution to start as fast as possible – and consider having a website later on.
First Step – Social Networks & Freelancing Platforms
- Social Media. Create a business profile on
the socialmedia platforms where you want to attract people. Business profiles look more professional than private pages, and, besides, it is mandatory if you want to activate ads.
- Freelance platforms. Open a profile on job platforms where freelancers offer their services for customers to hire someone to complete a project. Some of these platforms are about.me, Upwork, and
- Special mention to LinkedIn. Creating a profile is almost mandatory for someone looking for work because:
- It showcases your experience to other LinkedIn members.
- You’ll see job openings relevant to your profile.
- Customers looking for someone with your work experience can easily find you on Google thanks to LinkedIn’s strong SEO.
What’s the challenge when relying on social media?
Although setting up your online presence on social networks and freelancing platforms is the quickest way for your portfolio or services to become visible, you should be aware of the fact that you don’t control these sites. This means that your reach could get affected by any changes Facebook or LinkedIn made to their algorithm.
That’s what happened when Facebook recently chose to show more posts from friends and family on their feeds. Translation: If you want Instagram or Facebook to show your business posts, you’d better pay for advertisement.
Anyway, I won’t keep on commenting on algorithm changes – this could take a whole blog post – but just bear in mind that they can change your social media efforts overnight!
Second Step – Get your potential customers’ emails
The solution? Well, if you had a website, I’d tell you to redirect all your social media fans or contacts to your site, but as you don’t have a website -yet -, you need to get your potential customers’ emails. You need to be able to communicate with them outside Facebook or Instagram.
You could directly ask for their emails so that you send them weekly newsletters, but this doesn’t usually work that easily. You’ll have to give them something in return. So get in your fans’ shoes. What would they like to have?
Third Step – Create your free product
What could you offer? Maybe they want more in-depth info about something you are explaining on your Facebook page. Or they’d like to join a raffle or an online event you’re organizing. Another way to get their emails could be announcing that you’re going to start a 5-day email series to teach them how to build something you’re an expert in.
The process is actually quite easy:
- Announce your promise on social media – Your free email series, video challenge, ebook, free coaching session, or in-depth info on any relevant subject.
- Get your fans’ names and emails. Make sure you communicate what you’re going to do with those emails.
- Send them the promised product, service, or info.
Now, imagine you’re successful, and you get hundreds of emails. What do you do with them?? Are you actually typing them all manually on your email program? Really? Wouldn’t it be easier if your new email subscribers could type their info for you?
Fourth Step – Create a landing page
A “landing page” is a single page where you explain what your subscribers are going to receive in exchange for their emails. Even if you’ve never heard about landing pages before, I’m sure you’ve seen thousands of them.
Now, the benefit for you is that your email subscribers type their name and email, and they automatically get an email from you welcoming them and where you deliver the freebie they gave you their emails for.
No worries, there’s no coding or web design involved here. Several companies, like ConvertKit, LeadPages, and Kajabi, offer landing page templates, and you just have to select the design you like and add your own content. Other popular options – which I haven’t used, though – are Drip, ActiveCampaign, and MailChimp. Just make sure the option you choose is easy to use, and that they let you:
- create the landing page to offer your freebie,
- get the name and email of your potential clients,
- and set up a welcome email which they’ll get automatically after opting in.
Recap – Steps to improve your online presence
If you think that building a website is not appropriate for you due to one of these options:
- is too expensive,
- takes too much time and you want to start as fast as possible, or
- you want to test things out before investing in a professional-looking website,
these are the steps that you should follow to improve your online presence:
- Create a business profile on those social media platforms where your potential customers probably are – especially LinkedIn.
- Open a profile on freelancing platforms.
- Create a free product for your potential customers.
- Start collecting emails from your potential customers.
- Use an email platform to send welcome emails automatically.
In the long run, you should consider having your own website. Although it’s not necessary at the beginning, there’s no better business card than a website. And once you’re ready, visit this post to find out if having a blog would be beneficial for your site.
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