Today we are continuing our two-part season premiere together with Lauren from Nelly Marketing. In this week’s episode, we are touching on the topic of establishing your online presence. But let’s have a quick recap of last week’s podcast episode!
Last week we discussed how to set goals as a freelancer using the SMART method. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. But besides using the SMART method, Lauren has come up with an additional method when it comes to goal setting for us freelancers. If you haven’t listened to the episode, make sure to check it out here!
As we mentioned before, today we are discussing everything regarding establishing your online presence for your business. How do you establish one? Where can you show up? And what is important when establishing your online presence for your business?
We’re talking Websites, SEO, and Social Media. Plus, we’re giving you a very valuable formula that you can easily adapt to your online strategy when it comes to establishing an online presence for your business.
Let’s get listening!
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Wouter: Hello, freelancers. Welcome back to a new episode of the freelancer talk podcast. You are listening to season two. And last week I kicked off the season with a interview on goal setting together with Lauren from Nelly Marketing.
And Lauren is still here today. But before, I would like to ask you guys to please write a review and leave a rating on Apple podcasts or on other website, you'll find a link down below, and then you can basically choose your platform where you want to write a review. I would really love to hear your guys' feedback, but also it would establish a better ranking.
It would help establish a better ranking in the world of podcasting, The Freelancer Talk basically. That didn't really make sense what I said, but I think you guys got it. So that, that doesn't really matter. But for today I decided to talk about establishing an online presence. And as I said, Lauren is still here, so Hey Lauren, how are you doing?
Lauren: Oh, good. Thank you. I'm excited for this episode!
Wouter: Yeah, me too! And I think what I, we were talking about establishing an online presence already before recording this episode, because it's a very broad thing and it's. So huge that we could probably talk for days about this which we are not going to do. So we are touching the surface of where to establish an online presence, how and the what, but we are not going to dive into every subject very deep because this certain, basically every subject, every place, every house, everywhere, everyone deserves a podcast on its own, which.
I am promising you guys that I will deliver on this promise that I will basically do a podcast on every area, every subject that we are going to touch today, we are diving a little bit deeper into social media though, because I think that's for a lot of people, something very valid and interesting to know.
So yeah. I don't know, like we're going to, we're just kind of started. I'm just going to ask you Lauren, like. W what is your online presence and where are you present online?
Lauren: Okay. So I think generally, your online presence is being visual and presenting yourself online and enabling you to draw traffic to your brand.
So as you, as you've already mentioned, there's many different platforms and different Ways that you can establish yourself online. You've of course. Got your social media. You've got your search engine optimization. You've got website search in. Other formats. There's just, there's, there's so many ways that you can, you can show up online that it's very, very important that you identify which one you want to focus on initially, and then have the other ones kind of fall for them after that.
And then start to kind of bring them all, bring them all together and enabling you to draw people that either might not already know about your business or searching for you specifically, because they've heard or seen you on another platform so that they can find you and kind of connect the dots.
Wouter: Yeah. So what is then very important when you, cause we're going to go into the, where basically a little bit later in this podcast, it's what you said, like search engine optimization website and social media. We'll go into that a little bit later because I think that the where is just, what is of value to people, but there is also a What because what is important when you are establishing online, where, sorry, where you are establishing a presence online, what, what is the most important or actually, which areas should you include in your strategy? I guess?
Lauren: So once you've identified which route you want to take, which we are going to touch on, as you said, I think it's really important that you are.
Consistently showing up across whichever channels you choose. So once you've decided to, I say, invest, and that can be financially or non-financially once you've decided to invest in the channel. I think it's really important that you are consistently updating those channels and that you are consistently showing up on those channels and keeping them active.
I think it's also really important that you have a clear brand identity on those channels. If someone doesn't can't identify you the best way to identify your brand is through a logo. Right. But if someone can't identify you, it's not clear who you are or what you are offering someone. Yeah. Then you're not doing yourself and your business justice.
So I think that's really important. And then it's really important to build your brand credibility, your business credibility, but that takes time that takes the investment financially non-financially time, investment resource investment. So I'd say those, those are the key things. And then also within the branding, it's very important that you you have a clear tone of voice because you're going to change your tone of voice and adapt it depending on which channel you.
You used the way you speak on social media, for example, would be very different to how, how you speak on, on a website where you're sharing a field portfolio or trying to attract people via ads on Google. So I think again, from a consistency in a cohesive perspective is very important that you tie that tone of voice into your branding as well.
So I'd say those are the main things. And the other thing is that you've got to have good content. If you don't have good content or good information on your site. Yeah. Your, your channels, aren't going to perform as you hope they would.
Wouter: That's a hundred percent sure. And I agree with you. So there's actually four things that you got to, I'm just going to sum really quick on what you said.
The first one is consistency is that while you got to stay consistent, and I think this is something that a lot of people under over. Underestimate underestimate, sorry. Because you know, if you said to yourself, I want to do two blog posts a week. I want to create one video, one podcast and five Instagram things.
Well, the first week you will be successful, but the second week, the third week, the fourth week, it's a lot. So when you are consistent, this is, this is when we're going to talk about social media planning and actually, or about. Content planning and all that kind of stuff to be able to stay consistent.
So I did do a podcast episode on that in the first season. I actually don't really have the number which number of episodes, but make sure you listen to that because then I I'm going to, I did dive deeper into. The planning and a staying consistent part of that, which is sometimes really annoying.
But if you plan it's okay. The next thing, what you said was branding. And I did do a podcast with Sophie. She's a photographer and like a personal branding expert, which is also in season one. So if you guys are curious about branding and personal branding, make sure you also listen to that. Yeah. But with the branding, what you just said, as well as the cohesiveness, like your logo should match the, the way you talk to people should match.
Like people need to recognize you immediately. There's nothing worse than you have a Facebook page and a website that are completely communicating different things. Like nobody will get you, you know, I just swallowed a fly. What the fuck? Sorry. God, this is a mess. Okay. It's it's down!
Lauren: Colors as well were really important.
You know, if you've got your brand colors, as let's say blue, and you then go and have green plastered all over your website, there's no consistency there to the colors in your color palette are really important to the consistency of your branding as
well. Yeah, which is what I literally just changed with the free dental talk.
I changed my color palette and now I'm like appearing much more as a consistent, just visual cohesive.
That's a really important know that all these channels are visual. That was the first thing I said. When you asked me what an online presence is, they are visual. You need to be. Catching someone's eye and appealing on the eye.
No, one's going to go and use like a highlighter yellow or neon pink on something. If I miss that kind of fitted with the audience, but it's gotta be, it's gotta be very, very visually appealing that se so, yeah, you're right. And it takes time to change that all over. When you're changing.
Wouter: I love it. Like you and I bought also chose the color blue, like blue is like my favorite color and I.
I was looking for colors. And then I found one and I looked at you and I looked at your page and I was like, gosh, this is so similar. So I gotta change the blue a little bit. But yeah, I like the blue, but it's true. Like if you it's the visual part, because online it's all visual. So you got to take that into account.
And then the last thing, what you said is the, the credibility is really to, to get. You know, like you, you need to appear legit. Sometimes people just think having an Instagram is okay, but you know, like if that links through other channels where you appear to same, it looks better. But also, do you have reviews?
Do you have just more testimonials? Like. Do you have people or portfolio that you can show so that you become a little bit more credible? A lot of people, I actually read the studies that a lot of people actually don't really think your business is credible. If you just have a Facebook business page, because everybody can make that nowadays.
So. Yeah. So well, a hundred percent is what, what you said, actually, what was the, the, there was one more, I think that you, Oh yeah. Good job.
Lauren: Well the good content we've added, I think they're all C's. We've actually identified our four C'S of online presence, but yes, just the good content and having the tone of voice consistent across, across the various channels as well.
But making sure that you're adapting it accordingly.
Wouter: Yeah. 100%. So yeah. I wanted to now go a little bit into like where the, where, like, where you can show up. And we talked about website as the beginning which is really cool because you actually don't have a website at the moment. And I am always a person that's very an advocate for having a website.
So I think what's really interesting for us to talk about is when do you create a website? When is the right moment and for what.
Lauren: Yeah. So that's an interesting question. So I decided that I wanted to get my business up and running before I go and invest in a website. It was a personal decision that I made because I knew it was going to take a lot of time and lots of copywriting and I, and it was going to be a financial investment that I didn't know if my business was even going to take off.
So I, it was something that I decided I didn't want to have initially now. That's there's no right or wrong answer to it. I found that that's been okay for me so far. I think it really depends on who your audience is, how you're getting the audience and what your product is. So whether your product or service, if you're a product, you absolutely should be having a website to be showcasing or products for me as a service.
I've been able to utilize other channels. And a lot of word of mouth has gone a long way. For me. I have found that I haven't needed a website, so sick. I think the more I keep growing my portfolio and get more clients on board, I will definitely be looking into getting a website because it's a way. The I can showcase like a product catalog.
I can showcase who my clients are and the work that I've been doing for them from a marketing perspective. So I do think it just depends on what your offering is and also who your audience is. I mentioned because it's very important. If you are based. For example in the UK, but you're trying to reach an audience in Australia.
It's a very good idea to have a website let let's fast forward past COVID where we can all go out and mix with other people. Again, if you have a product you're able to go and meet people in person and show them. So you might not find the website to be such a priority for you. So again, it depends on where, where your audience is and who you're trying to attract.
But I think if you have the capabilities right, To create a website, you should actually really consider it.
Wouter: And I think what you said is also. W what I want to add to that is also when you create a website and when you think of creating a website, you need to determine for yourself why you are creating a website and what you want people to do on your website.
If you just create a website for just having a website, that's. That's might not be, you know, like then you're investing in something. I don't know, like it doesn't have a goal. And I think when you create a website, you have to think in mind that when people go to your website, you want them to do something or you want them to.
You know, maybe get to know you or I don't know. It depends what you said. It depends to serve as it depends to product. But for example, me as a, as a dancer, as a freelance dancer and teacher, I actually created my website very early on because what I wanted to do is I wanted to show my portfolio in the way, how I wanted to do it.
And for example, on Instagram, after 24 hours to post is gone and people just. Maybe people click on your timeline and then they go down. But you know, like something I did three years ago, it's gonna, it's gonna take a long time for them to scroll back. So what I did with my website is because. I always say, when you're on your social media, your actually, the product of social media, you know, like they only allow you what is possible.
So what I do like from a website is that it, you have full control over your website and your own thing. So you decide how everything is. It's not a algorithm or anything. It's a place that you're built, but it's exactly what you said. What do you want to do? What your website, what do you want to achieve with it?
For who is it for? Where is it for? What is it? So take that into account. When you create a website, Absolutely.
Lauren: If, if you're, if you are a business that's trying to generate leads, then you absolutely should be having a website to enable people to come to you and express an interest in your product or service.
So I completely agree completely.
Wouter: Yeah. Then actually what the thing is with the website, you have to possibility to show up in search engines like Google and being in Yahoo, which leads us into search engine optimization. And just explain very quickly what this actually is because probably a lot of people are like, what is this?
It's called SEO. Can we talk quickly about it's like SEO and people? Like, what is SEO? What, what does it do? Can you give us a little bit of a just a little quick explanation of what SEO is.
Lauren: Sure. So firstly, it's really important to mention the SEO is not as scary as it sounds. I think people assume that you have to be super like technical in order to have any kind of SEO capabilities.
And that's absolutely not the case. SEO is all about optimizing your web pages. So the annual content so that you can be discovered by other users on, on a search engine and. It just, it increases your site's visibility or website visibility, and it just kind of drives traffic. It drives traffic to your page.
It's all about how high you are ranking on a search engine, hence search engine optimization and making sure that you are. Basically maximizing the potential of your website to enable you to show up as much as possible to the right audiences. So via the use of keywords and tagging on your, on your website, both in the copy and on picture tagging as well, to make sure, to make sure that you're showing up is basically if you were to describe it as an elevator pitch.
But it's, you know, there are some. Really easy ways and tools that you can use to do it. So I really wouldn't. I know a lot of people kind of go, Oh no, I don't want to get involved in that. I'm not technical at all. And that's why I want to make that point that it's not a scary subject.
Wouter: For example, what I do for the freelance talk is that I just have a plugin, which is which is a Yoast SEO, basically.
I, it shows me what to do and how, and how good I'm doing right now in my writing and in my tagging and my meta-tags and all these kinds of things. So it, it gets actually really easy when you use plugins for your website, for example, it's it's not that hard, but basically. If I type in Nelly marketing and Google and you appearing as the first search let's say first search results.
That is basically SEO you showing up.
Lauren: Yeah. And the higher, the higher you rank, the better your SEO is. There's a, there's a very there's a famous quote that says Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. That's that summarizes SEO, Google. Google's going to love you and push you higher up, but everyone else has to love you first.
Everyone else has to be searching for your brand name or the product or service that you're offering through the keywords. So Google would love you, but everyone else has to love you before.
Wouter: I when we think about, you know, like we're touching on something, that's so big, cause SEO deserves a special episode, I think, and keyword search and all of that kind of things.
And where can you find keywords? So I am going to promise, I'm going to make another promise to you guys that I will do another episode on this later on in the season, because I think it's a, what you said, it sounds scary to people, but it shouldn't be. And if you just have somebody really explaining, like what.
Everything is and how it works. It's not that hard actually. So I will get back to that with another expert on SEO. I'll promise that. And then we're just going to go into. Take a dive into social media. And cause that is, I think right now the biggest place where you can establish an online presence as a business.
And but you know, like when you think social media is so many different platforms, so there's LinkedIn, there's Facebook, there's Instagram, there's YouTube. There's Twitch. There is Twitter. I don't know. What, how do you decide which one you should show up first?
Lauren: So, so difficult. And the thing with social media and the rest of the digital world is that it is constantly changing and adapting.
And every day there's a new release, a new feature in a new function that everyone wants to jump on and be the first two Gates. It's constantly changing that you have to keep very up to date with it. So again, like the decisions. To whether or not you use a website. I think it really depends on the product or service that you are offering.
As well as the audience that you're trying to try and to connect with. And I say connect rather than approach, because people can connect with you because they're interested in, in Maybe that you might be a thought leader in, in one field and offering advice to people rather than actually purchasing from you.
They can still engage and connect with you. So I purposely said that, but I think it really depends if you're going for the millennial audience, you're going to use the likes of Snapchat and Tik TOK, more likely. If you're going on the basis of the type of content you're pushing out, if it's visual, you're going to choose a platform like Instagram.
If you're going more along the blog or the long form content, you're very likely going to find more success on a platform such as Facebook or even LinkedIn. So it really depends on your audience, what you're, what you're offering as well as the content that you, you wish to be sharing.
Wouter: And exactly that the type of content, because you said you can do a blog, but you can also do a video, but you know, like with video you can make a long video that should go on YouTube, or I G T V.
But if you want to create the short, quick, fun videos, you go to, for example, tick-tock and. Instagram real is actually a day. They do it the same, but it's, it's about knowing which type of platform pushes, which type of content and form. And then kind of like using that to, to create that type of content for that type of platform.
And just what you said is that, you know, like, okay, so millennials are there and this are there. You do can find online on websites where people from which eights are, which age are kind of like active on. So then you can immediately, like if you had your target audience, like, I want to, I want to talk a tweens, you know, like where are they?
I mean, like, I, I think I don't even have to say this Dick duck. It depends what you said. Like we talked about this earlier. It depends which country, because you know, Facebook might be dead in the UK, but might thrive in Israel, for example.
Lauren: Yes, which is exactly the situation. And when I moved here, I thought, huh, I don't do Facebook.
I haven't used it in years. And suddenly this is the platform that everyone pushes their businesses on because it thrives businesses here thrive on networking. So some of the, you need to be showing up on Facebook. If you want to be promoting your business and, you know, gaining followers and potential customers as well.
So yeah, absolutely. As a regional and local implements as well.
Wouter: I think also what I would add to all of this is that when you go on Instagram, I mean, it's common knowledge that you just don't when you, when you go on social media that you just shouldn't just sell yourself and a brand and market all the time.
You know, I think these platforms are social media. It's like a social place. AKA it's a community thing. So I said it already in the podcast before about goal setting that one of your goals. When you are setting your business goals, whatever it should be also to create a community and you can see this super, super good and super detailed happening on social media platforms.
Just community building is such a, because from that, you get leads from that. You get fans from that, you get ambassadors. Nobody likes to get products pushed down their mouth and just like. Buy this, it doesn't really happen that much anymore. When you think of community building ,really quick, because I think this also deserves another topic as episode, but what, what would your approach be?
How, how can you be online present in the social media thinking like, okay, this is a community app. What should your approach be into, you know, when you give contents?
Lauren: I think my absolutely number one at the top of that list is to be authentic. Your content has to be authentic. It has to be real and it has to be relevant.
You know, I'm I offer marketing consultancy. So there is no point in me posting about something that is completely unrelated to just because I know that people want to see, or people are talking about a certain topic if it's not relevant to what I'm offering, because. Why people aren't stupid.
Everyone now can set up a social media page. I think the whole world has grown to understand at least the basics of social media. So now, you know, you can't really fool people. I think it's really important that you keep your content authentic. You keep it real to yourself and you keep it relevant to your business.
I'd say that's absolutely top of the list. And I think you also need to make sure that you're not underestimating how much. Time and effort it takes to put into building that community because that, that could just be offering people a bit of free advice or letting people know I'm here. If you want to run any marketing questions by me, you know, there's obviously a line I'm not just going to give all my services for free, but if people have got the old question, right.
You know, I'm here and people then going to become loyal to you and wants to engage and following connect with you because they see that you're, you're an expert in your field, but you're not taking liberties. And just, I'm just all about the money.
Wouter: It's a people's first thing. It's like you're offering your service. And of course you have your paid services, but on Instagram and on Twitter and everywhere, you also still have. Got to connect with those people. And it's about this community thing, what you said it's and then I think also in a way of like giving content, it has to be a certain value.
Like nobody likes to see, unless the value was like laughing about city videos. That's also alive, but you have to determine like what kind of value can you provide on these platforms that therefore people aren't going to be. Fans and ambassadors from you that they will connect with you and you create that community.
And I think that is so important. What you said is, is yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's like what you say. Yeah.
Lauren: And, you know, anyone we're all aware that people can buy followers online. Right. And that's then where you just, you just get anyone following you. And I think I was always under the impression that I'm only gonna connect with people.
You know, follow people on Instagram, for example, or push my groups to the, to the right, to the right places, because I want to make sure that the people that are viewing my content have an, have an interest in what I'm offering. So I think that we would accidentally links back links back to, to what you were saying about value.
Wouter: It's this thing. It's a quote that comes to mind. Now, I think it's this thing of like, would you rather have 1 million followers or would you rather have 20,000 followers who all become clients and customers from you? Because 1 million followers, not a lot of people, they actually care at the end of the day.
It's just about the number. But you want to have the right people following you to create also a healthy following and okay. We're talking about following, but actually it's more of a connecting thing, which I love on LinkedIn. It's called connect. You know, it's like connect with not just like follow or like it's like connect with, I think we'll see this change over time.
It's not just about. Following a famous person. It's about connecting this much more. And w just to really hook back on what you said, that all these social social media platforms are. Everlasting changing and they can be very overwhelming. I do want to point out that if you are going for a online presence on a social media, just tackle one first, just choose one, manage that one and master debt one and then extend to others because it's what you said is it's going to take a lot of time and effort for you to.
Lauren: It's like a whole other job for me to be managing my, my Nelly Marketing Instagram is like becoming a full-time job. You know, you need to be showing up on stories and and then posting regular content and even searching what hashtags are most relevant. It all takes, it all takes time. And the other thing I wanted to give a little bit of advice on is if someone's taking the time to message you or comment on your posts or share something on their story.
I always 100% will make sure that I'm replying acknowledging it, adhering to that, sharing it back on my story, perhaps, because they've actually taken the time to do it now. I think that's a huge I think, I think that's huge if they
Wouter: If people become a that they share. Yeah. Yeah.
Lauren: It's huge credit to you.
That's the word it's huge credit to you if they've or a compliment to you, if they've actually decided to share some of your content because they find it useful. So I think just taking the time to answer and being present, and that helps those connections in the same way. If your friend was to text you.
If you didn't reply, that friendship is going to quickly go downhill, the way you maintain friendships and build relationships with people is by having a two-way conversation, the same should be happening online. That's the way that we're going to establish and then grow your online presence.
Yeah. And, and get healthy relationships as well. And in the end valuable relationships that will pay off, you know, and I think we've touched on all these things to give a really quick. Quick review summary of what we just talked about is we talked about website. We talked about SEO. We talked about social media.
These are the places of where you can kind of like show up online. And then we also talked about what is important to branding the consistency, the cohesiveness, the credibility, and the content, how, and then what we said is that, you know, you've got to give value. It's about creating a community. It's not just about you selling your products or services because everybody can do that.
And. I think one of the main things, what you said before Lauren is being authentic. I think this is something so important being authentic and being also just real and you and being a human, you know? Yeah.
Lauren: Yes. I think as well, it's very much quality over quantity. Similarly to what you were saying about the million followers or the 20,000 it's quality versus quantity.
If you've got 200 extremely engaged followers on your page. Well connections on, on another channel then that's absolutely fine, rather than having thousands of followers that aren't engaging with you, aren't interested in your product and it just basically numbers. So hugely quantity over quality over quantity.
Wouter: Quality over quantity I think we might wrap this episode up with that, with that statements, quality over quantity. Be authentic. I just add it to be authentic because I just had to, you know but I just really. Well, first of all, I hope that this episode was useful for all of you guys. And what I'm going to say is, again, I'm going to promise you guys to dive into some of the subjects and some of the topics that we just talked about today to give a little bit more insight in these specific areas like branding and like credibility and.
Social media as in strategies and stuff like that. But I just really want to thank you so much, Lauren, for doing this two part episode, actually the first one with goal setting and today on establishing an online presence. These episodes were great for everyone. For me, it was so interesting to talk with you about everything and For sure everybody, you can find Nelly marketing on Instagram and the link will be down below in the show notes and give her a follow up, check what she does.
She's really great at what she does. And I think it's this time for you to like support each other and support, support, small businesses. So go show some show, some love for Lauren.
Lauren: Thank you. And thank you so much for inviting me, especially for the two part. And I'm just hoping that, you know, I hope people keep coming and listening to you because what you're doing is, is brilliant.
And it's really creating that community that we've been talking about that needs to remain engaged.
So thank you.
Wouter: Thank you so much. And I mean, Probably I will invite you for another episode somewhere down the line. Cause I think it's a good, you know, it's a good way to keep talking and very valuable information.
So thank you very much to all of you guys who are listening to podcast is available on YouTube. So if you are listening to this podcast on YouTube, make sure you are subscribed to the channel to know your notifications so that you get a notification from when there is a new episode. But actually there is always a new episode every Tuesday.
Next week I'm going to have another podcast episode, which I'm not going to say which one it is because actually at the moment of recording, I don't know at the moment. But if you are listening on Apple podcasts, make sure you write make sure you rate the podcast and leave a review because that would really help me.
And I would love to hear from you guys what you think, if you are a freelance yourself and you feel like you have something that you want to talk about. Sent me an email at dot com and I'd love to connect you guys. Of course, follow the freedom to top on Facebook and on Instagram. And that was it for now.
Thank you guys so much again, thank you so much, Lauren. And I'll talk to you guys next week. Ciao!