Getting started at just about anything is the hardest, right? Whether it is a new diet, a new hobby, a new business or a new blog, there are a million things to learn and about 10 million things to add to your to-do list!
If you are just starting out as an business or a ministry, one of the top things on your list is figuring out how to get noticed online. For something that is just words and images on a screen, the online world is very noisy. It can be hard to get people to notice this new thing that you are doing, but here are some tips to get you started.
Leverage the contacts you have.
If you know enough about a topic to start a business or ministry around it, you are bound to have developed some relationships in your field along the way. Make sure your contacts know what you are doing. If you have worked with them before, maybe they can provide an endorsement you can use on your website.
This was huge for me getting started.
If you are running a new business, it’s super important to take extra special care of any clients your contacts refer to you. Your friends will become one of your most reliable sources of referrals, because they can trust you to take care of their people.
Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1 (NLT)
Know who your ideal clients are and go where they are.
It’s awfully easy to stay in your comfort zone and hang out with other people who do what you do. And that is great for ideas and support.
But you need to spend time with your potential clients and readers. Find the Facebook, Linked In and other online groups where they hang out and join them.
Don’t barge in there shouting how awesome you are.
Go in and be helpful. Give and give and give.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
Don’t you just love someone who is truly helpful and not just trying to show off? Listen to their problems and issues and help them find ways to solve them. They will quickly recognize you as the expert you are and before you know it, they will be coming to you for help and referring their friends to you.
Collaborate with others.
Starting anything new can be lonely, hard work. So find some like-minded peers and work together.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. Ecclesiates 4:9 (ESV)
I recently had a huge bump in traffic and email subscriptions by participating in a giveaway with some other bloggers. I also collaborated with several other writers for the New Year, New Thing series in January and we all benefited from the extra traffic and exposure.
Develop relationships with influencers and offer to do guest posts for them. Find people who provide a different service for your target audience and are a few steps ahead of you. Propose an amazing guest post that will solve a problem and provides value for their audience. They will love you for it and come check out who you are!
This is another area where being authentic is a key ingredient in the secret sauce of getting noticed. People with an established audience can sniff out right away when you are sucking up just to get access to what they have put in the work to build.
On the other hand, I have found that many people remember what it was like to be small and just getting started. If you can bring something new and valuable to their audience, you will find others who are willing to help you get noticed.
And if you have the opportunity to help someone else who is just getting started, be generous in doing so. John was clear in his instruction for us to help other faith-based ministries, even if we don’t know them:
So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 3 John 1:8 (NLT)
Have you tried any of these ideas and found them helpful? Are you looking for collaborators or guest post opportunities to help you get noticed online? Speak up in the comments! You never know where you’ll make that perfect connection!