“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” – Mahatma Gandhi
In my eyes, this quote sums up much of what it’s like to run an online business.
Starting and growing a business that funds the life you want to live is absolutely a worthwhile accomplishment – and it most definitely has its stages of drudgery and triumph.
The beginning, we’re all familiar with. It’s the stepping stone that starts us off on the entrepreneurial journey… defining our products and services, perfecting our systems, getting in the groove of finding clients on line.
The middle part, that’s the struggle. And, if we’re all being honest, a lot of that boils down to figuring out how to raise your profile online. It’s not always something that feels particularly natural, especially if you’re English/an introvert/a bit shy/a chronic sufferer of impostor syndrome.
It’s also something that doesn’t feel particularly possible when you run a micro-business. If you’re responsible for all the things, carving out time for self-promotion can feel like an insane luxury. And outsourcing isn’t always an option right off the bat (I’ll never be an advocate for outsourcing before you can actually afford it).
Today, I’m rounding up some of my favourite tools for raising your profile online – without so much of a time investment.
First up, make sure all of your web content is fully optimised. In a nutshell, that means ticking a series of boxes to make sure your website and blog posts show up high in any search results.
Sounds painful, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be.
Yoast SEO is a free plug-in for your WordPress site, which scans your content as you write it. It then provides you with a nifty little list of recommendations that will help you improve your search ranking.
Think of Medium as the blogging version of Twitter. Essentially, it’s a platform where you can republish your blog content and reach a much wider audience with a few simple clicks.
Medium has a fabulous little import tool which allows you to pull in posts from any site you publish too. All you need to do is make your edits and tweaks, then hit publish!
(You can find me on Medium here.)
Nobody needs to tell you about the power of social media – even my grandparents get it at this point.
But the constant showing up, and sharing stuff from your archives, and engaging, and curating ace content… it’s bloody time consuming, and that’s putting it mildly.
SmarterQueue is a tool that does it all for you. Seriously, I can spend 2 hours on Smarterqueue and that’s my social media content nailed for a whole month. The best part? You can set it up so your stash of brilliant offers and articles keep getting shared indefinitely.
Cost: Free for 30 days, then £15.99 per month
Hashtags are a pretty important part of your social media strategy – they’re the little add-ons that help your stuff get found, particularly on Instagram, where you can include up to 30 hashtags per post.
Focalmark is an app that uses a mix of human research and algorithmic voodoo to generate relevant hashtags that will connect your Insta content with a very real audience.
Getting featured in newspapers, magazines and high-profile online publications can help attract all kinds of crazy leads to your business.
But how do you find out about said opportunities?
JOURNOREQUESTS, that’s how.
Journorequests is a site that connects journalists with sources, all through a handy email digest. Sign up and you get a daily round-up of PR opportunities in your inbox.
Live streaming & Instagram Stories
Whilst not strictly “tools” I feel like these two are worth a mention.
Right now, live video and ephemeral content are hot, hot, hot! While this may seem like yet another thing to add to your list, both of these are relatively low effort options.
Live streaming is all about off-the-cuff content, so you don’t need to all sorts of mad planning or making things pretty. Also, if you download those live streams of yours you can repurpose them endlessly across all your other platforms.
For tips on how to create live videos that engage, read this.
(You can find my occasional live streams here.)
Instagram Stories are made up of photos and/or 1-minutes clips of video that are available to view for 24 hours. You don’t need to create special “Story” content (unless you want to), you can simply add your recent posts.
For tips on making your Instagram Stories pretty, read this.
(You can find me on Instagram here.)