5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Brand Online
Author: Erin Ferree
Article source: http://hostingreviewscentral.info/. Used with author's permission.
The Internet is a practical and accessible tool to build your brand. Here, we list 5 of the easiest ways to leverage the Internet to your best advantage:
1. Own your own domain name.
A domain name is the ?website address? where your website lives, and it is the last
half of your email address. You can purchase your own business name, or a
variation of it, as your domain name. The cost is less than $10/year.
If you haven?t named your business yet, it?s a good idea to check the availability of
domain names to match potential business name candidates. It?s best if your
domain name matches your business name.
Resource: GoDaddy.com is the most reasonably priced, and reliable domain name
registration firm we've found (just don?t sign up for any of their other services ? you
only need a website address).
2. Use that domain name as your email address.
You probably already have an email address from your internet service provider that
looks something like: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. It looks
much more professional to have firstname.lastname@example.org as your business
email. The repetition of your business name will increase your memorability and will
help you build your brand.
You can even forward your new email address to your existing email account if you
don?t want to go through the hassle of changing your email program set up. The
disadvantage to this is that your old email will show in the ?From:? field ? so, in the
future, you may want to set up the email program to not forward.
Resource: This can be easily set-up with many web hosting companies. We
recommed Dreamhost as an excellent web hosting service.
3. Create an email signature file to use on all of your email.
This is a mini-advertisement that appears at the end of all of your email. Include
your phone number, a short description of what you do, any current sales or
promotions you?re offering and your website address. You can even include your
logo graphic in your signature file.
This is an especially great tactic if you?re a member of any email lists ? your email
will reach many people whom you don?t know, and they may be interested in your
products or services. Be sure to create and use your signature file when you post on
online forums, as well!
Resource: See elf design?s article on Tech Tips for details on setting up a signature
file that includes your logo graphic.
4. Have a website designed and developed.
A website is a ?must? in today?s business world. Not only does it add to your
credibility, it will also enable potential clients around the world to learn about your
products or services.
The most common excuse that people have for not having a website for their
business is that they don?t know what to include on it. But, you can start out with a
website that consists of a single page. Everyone can write at least one page about
his or her business. If you have difficulty writing one page about your business, try
recording yourself talking to a friend or client about your business ? it?s often easier
to tell someone your story than to start with a blank page. Or, you can hire a
freelance writer to help you get your story online.
We recommend that you expand your site to a five-plus page site as soon as you
can... or start out with a five to six page website. This larger format allows plenty of
pages to cover all the basic information about your service business. A product-
sales based business requires a few more pages, mainly in the shopping cart and
Resource: Additional website design and development information are available in
our other articles: (links here to other articles)
5. Put your email address and website URL on all of your printed materials.
?If you build it, they will come? is unfortunately just not true on the web. You have
to promote your website to let people know that it?s available to them, and that you
have valuable information housed there. The easiest and most immediate way to do
this is to add your email address and URL to your printed materials wherever
appropriate. Put this contact information on your business cards, printed articles,
email, note cards and other correspondence.
Make sure to include your website address on all your company-wide materials ?
letterhead, brochures, postcards, catalogs? you name it. The only place it is not
appropriate is on envelopes or mailing labels; the postal scanners don?t like it!
Resource: elf design can assist you in adding your new online branding information
to all of your collateral materials. Contact us for a quote today.
If you aren?t taking advantage of the Internet?s many ways to build your brand, then
you are missing out on some very effective and affordable ways to tell the world
who you are, what you do and what makes you different. Start building your brand
with these proven methods, and keep an eye out for next month?s article, which will
give you more methods to extend your business?s reach online. About the Author
Erin Ferree, Founder and Lead Designer of elf design, is a brand identity and graphic
design expert. She has been helping small businesses grow with bold, clean and
effective logo and marketing material designs for over a decade. elf design offers
the comprehensive graphic and web design services of a large agency, with the one-
on-one, personalized attention of an independent design specialist. Erin works
closely in partnership with her clients to create designs that are visible, credible and
memorable ? and that tell their unique business stories in a clear and consistent
way. For more information about elf design, please visit: Logo design at http://www.elf-design.com
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