Since 2006, I’ve lost count of the number of websites I’ve built – both for myself and clients – but it numbers in the hundreds.
While there are a few scenarios I can think of for people who want to work from anywhere which don’t require you to have some sort of website or online presence – either as a nomadic entrepreneur or remote working employee – in the vast majority of cases, having an online presence is a MUST.
In the Location Independent Checklist series, I list the following as the bare minimum for an online presence:
- A blog and/or website
- A mailing list
- Social media profiles
…and I stand behind at least the first one, even if you’re a remote working employee and have no intention of ever setting up your own business – managing your professional brand is a given these days, as an entrepreneur and an employee.
Here are 10 things to help you establish your online presence…
#1 If you’re an absolute beginner and have no idea what a website is or what is required to build one, this back-to-basics post will help.
#2 Do not wait to get yourself online. Do. It. Now. The sooner the better. If you’re a woman in business and budget is an issue, join this (it’s free and will get you set up with a website in just one day).
#3 If coming up with a name or domain name is an issue, grab my Naming eKit to help you (it’s practically free, save for a tweet).
#4 More often than not, a self-hosted WordPress website will meet all your needs. Using a hosted service is ok but it will often cost you more – if not in terms of money, then certainly time, or flexibility and control to do exactly what you want with your presence.
#5 Before you hit the button for that 1-click install of WordPress, sit down and put in the work to design your website first. In that post, I shared my exact process for how I do it each and every time, including how I did it for the recent rebrand of this very site.
#7 Second only to having an actual website, a mailing list is something I wish I’d set up and focused on right from the start. If you’re not sure about investing (both money and time) in building a mailing list, this post might help tip you over the edge.
#8 On that common conundrum of AWeber versus Mailchimp, I think that article gives you 3 pretty compelling reasons for one over the other, plus the final note of caution is a crucial one if you ever send out affiliate links in your emails.
#9 If you’re starting a new venture don’t automatically assume you MUST have a new Twitter account, Facebook page, LinkedIn group, Pinterest board or other for it and be active on all of them. Be active where your audience are active and want to be active with you (there’s a difference) and reserve the other profiles for brand protection purposes only.
#10 One or two platforms done really well are far, far more effective than multiple platforms done badly, not at all or chronically neglected.