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5 Ways to Get Started Building a Digital Presence

If you started a brand tomorrow- what would be your first move? Most people think that they should start building their digital presence on Instagram – which is understandable. After all, on any given day, us human folks are using social media for 2hrs per day. Entrepreneurs – I’d bet that number is even higher.

In today’s increasingly digital landscape, having a digital footprint is as essential as having a strong cup of coffee to kickstart your day. But knowing when and where to focus your attention can feel a bit overwhelming.

Especially if you’ve got that *all-too-familiar endless to-do list that just seems to keep growing. Am I right?

 

Where should I start building my digital presence?

I know what stepping into a seemingly crowded marketplace feels like. I’ve been there too. Let’s dive into five actionable steps your can take to start building up your digital presence and get eyes on your brand.

1. Establish your domain

First on the list, and arguably most important is establishing your domain. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you take this step before you jump into the digital rabbit hole. Securing your domain name (i.e. where people find you on the internet when they type in your “.com” address) is super simple. You can go through a variety of domain purchasing avenues, and the cost is usually pretty low – roughly $19 per year on average.

The reason that I recommend this step first, and not the lust-worthy instagram name – is that if your domain name isn’t available, you may have to try different variations until you can make it work. For example, if my domain name “gretchenreese.com” had been taken, I could have tried to purchase “gretchenreesebranding” or “grdigital” instead. There’s plenty of options out there.

 

2. Create relevant social media profiles

Choosing your domain name leads right into securing your social media profiles. Try and keep it cohesive with your domain name when it comes to choosing your platform usernames. The more simple it is, the less you’ll have to tell people where to find you.

But where should you be? Just like understanding the difference between a bourbon or a scotch whiskey – selecting the right social media platforms is crucial. Check out where your audience spends their time.

 

You can ask yourself these questions:

  • What do they like?
  • Are they photo people or video people?
  • Long form content or short and snappy
  • Professional or casual?

Whether it’s the professional feel of LinkedIn or the visual allure of Instagram – once you’ve picked your platform (and it can be more than one), keep your branding consistent across all platforms for a cohesive online identity.

 

3. start & build your email list

In 2024, one of the top priorities for your digital presence (no matter your niche) is BUILDING YOUR EMAIL LIST. You might think, “ugh, Gretchen – but I hate writing emails. Do I have to?”

Short answer: yes.

Building an email list is like creating a lifeline for your business. It’s an investment in long-term relationships. What if social media disappeared tomorrow? Or it went down for 6hrs and your sales took a hit? Or what if that *all-too-illusive* algorithm changes again?

You need to be able to reach your customers without standing on borrowed ground (i.e. social media). Invite them to a platform you own – where you can control their experience from start to finish. Once you’ve done this – you’ll want to segment your list based on their interests to deliver tailored content that resonates with them. Tell stories, provide value and spark engagement with your brand – this encourages your readers to take action and deepen their connection with YOU.

 

4. build your website

Think of your website as your digital handshake—inviting, organized and easy to navigate. We already talked about domain names, but one of the things that tends to hold folks back from launching their site is a nasty little bug that I like to call perfectionism. There’s no need to wait until your site is perfect to launch – in fact, my first one…oof. I cringe when I think about it now. My point is – it’s okay to look like a beginner, especially if you are.

However, if you want to skip that step entirely – you can always use a website template to get that jaw-dropping look without needing to know how to code.

Here’s a pro-tip: ensure your site loads quickly and functions seamlessly across all devices (especially mobile!) to provide visitors with a positive user experience that keeps them coming back for more.

RELATED: Are Tonic  Templates Really Worth the Money?

 

5. Optimize for search engines

I used to think that SEO required an altar at your desk, bowing to the SEO gods and hope there was a way to be found. Not really, Gretchen – try again!

SEO (or search engine optimization) is a strategic approach to ensuring your digital presence doesn’t get lost in all of the noise on the internet. Start by doing some keyword research to understand what your ideal customer is searching for. Take these keywords, and add them naturally into your content – don’t just stuff them like a turkey on Thanksgiving – to improve your visibility in search engine results.

If you want to take it one step further, you can find media outlets or websites that accept guest posts to curate high-quality backlinks that build your website’s authority and credibility.

All in all, building a well-rounded digital presence involves a strategic approach and a willingness to embrace new opportunities. But it doesn’t mean you have to do everything at once. I’d recommend to start simple, and get fancy later.

 

Want to skip the learning curve and get the site of your dreams?

Designer site for a deal? Sign me up. Check out the TONIC template collection for 15% off.

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