(Editor’s note: this is a sponsored article, which means it’s independently written by our editorial team but financially supported by another organisation, in this case Fiverr.
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a recently converted freelancer, launching your own business isn’t easy – especially when you’re strapped for cash. Luckily, the Internet has given us access to a trove of online services and marketplaces that can help you kick off your business, or take it to the next level.
Despite the deluge of options, don’t forget to take a good look at the services you intend to go with so you know what you’re getting you and your company into. After all, quality often comes at a price.
Without further ado, here’s 8 ways to boost your business with online services:
1) Build a top-notch website
Typically, one of the first points of contact between your business and a potential user or client is your website. Needless to say, it’s a crucial component in communicating what you do and why people should trust your service. First impressions do count, so it’s a smart idea to invest in a tip-top website (or designer) that can succinctly sum up what you do and accurately reflect company values.
2) Design a memorable business card
Part of getting your name and business out there IRL means attending events, starting conversations and strengthening relationships with contacts. After mingling, you’ll want to leave a business card that includes critical information and stands out from the rest. So – make sure its design is a good representation of your business and exudes professionalism.
Enlisting a professional designer for this would be a good idea, but online services can also be very useful.
3) Implement a well thought-out social media marketing strategy
Social media is so deeply embedded in our lives these days that it’s hard to recall the time before they existed. Not only that, apparently millions of Facebook users are not even aware they’re actually using the Internet when active on the social network.
While social media marketing used to be considered a fad or experiment for traditional companies easing into Web 2.0, building up a social media presence is no longer an option—rather, a necessity—for burgeoning startups and entrepreneurs when it comes to creating brand awareness and engaging with the community. Whether you want to outsource that aspect of your venture or do it in-house, the key thing is to come up with a strategy that caters to your business and goals.
4) Give impactful presentations
At some point, you’ll likely have to present your idea or company to an audience of potential investors, industry peers or media. When you do, make sure you don’t suck (at PowerPoint). Prepare in advance, include key information, create well-designed slides and whatever you do, don’t use Comic Sans. Maybe spice it up with a Prezi.
5) Aim for a seamless user experience
Once the user has jumped through the hoops of getting to your actual product and/or service, don’t disappoint. In other words, it better be easy to use and navigate.
Whether it’s an app, platform or marketplace, the last thing you want—after spending all that time, energy and money trying to garner the attention of the user—is to offer a distressing experience. Remember, the Web is a big place, and if you can’t satisfy the user’s needs with a pleasurable experience, they’ll move on to the next thing, which is only a click away.
6) Create concise and stimulating content
This one's related to 5) — namely, the ability to communicate your concept effectively and coherently. This will undoubtedly be a key factor in helping users get a gist of what you do and grasping its value. In case you’re looking for some content-creating tips, here’s a good resource on cutting the bullshit and writing great copy for your startup.
7) Produce compelling videos
If you’re looking to roll out a crowdfunding campaign for your business or launch a new product, a promotional video could be the way to go. Video is an effective and easily digestible medium to convey who you are, what you do and why it matters.
To be really convincing though, it’s crucial to ensure the end-product is of high-quality video/sound, gets to the point in a compelling manner and has a strong narrative component.
8) Set up a customized online shop
Have a bomb product that you want to start selling online? No problem. Launching your own personalized online shop—without have a coding background—is not as difficult as it used to be thanks to services such as Tictail and Squarespace.
This post is sponsored by Fiverr, which gives you instant access to millions of gigs from people who love what they do. Fiverr is the world's largest marketplace for creative and professional services, currently listing over 3 million gigs in more than 100 different categories across 196 countries.