In order to expand, many businesses will eventually turn to outside investors for money, and that’s probably why you’re here. You want to impress investors when they meet you for the first time online, not turn them off. At Valentin Report, we’ve put together 5 tips for doing just that.
All of the potential investors will want to see a business plan with solid financials, but they’ll also be looking at the overall package. And that’s where you can gain some serious credibility to building a powerful online presence for you company.
Your company probably has a website (some estimates but the percentage of American businesses without one, large and small, at around 30%).
Tips to building and maintain an online presence for your company that will impress investors
So, if you don’t have a website or any online presence at all, you’ll need to get one. One exception may be if you’re proposing to use the investment funds you’re soliciting to create one, and as long as you have a solid plan to do so in place, you should largely be excused for not being online. Other than that, there’s no excuse.
Tip #1 – Update your website!
For those who have a website, web assets, and a corporate internet footprint, do yourself a favor and avoid the biggest mistakes most company’s make: letting your site go un-maintained and without regular, relevant updates.
Abandoned websites and blogs may tell investors that your company lacks focus. The same goes for assets that are off-site like social media and corporate profiles, web directories, and business listings that are inaccurate, invisible, or just plain wrong.
Tip #2 – Make the time to get it done
You and your managers need to make the time (and perhaps the monetary investment if you’re looking for companies who can provide corporate web development services) to build a comprehensive and powerful presence on and off-site.
Twitter could serve your business, but understand in what ways and why before you set up the account and dive in. If you’re releasing updates on how your dinner date is going with your business feed, you’re giving investors an unprofessional image.
Make sure your online communications, on Twitter or on any other platform for that matter, mirror the professionalism your business has in the physical world. And make time to learn about how to properly set up, manage, and utilize social profiles – have a plan!
Tips #3: Utilize “reach” technology that’s available for free
Multimedia presentations and videos can be used to explain what you do, and can be launched, hosted and shared for free on sites with great reach like YouTube and Vimeo. But an isolated web video could leave you looking uncommitted and inexperienced. Integrate this type of material into your web site and own the message you want investors to see.
Wikipedia can also be a resource that informs potential investors about you and your company. Provide facts and let investors see the image you want to portray. Wikpedia contributor accounts are relatively easy to create, and anyone is welcome to create an entry for a company.
Social media is another reach technology that needs to be an integrated part of an entrepreneur’s overall business strategy. It can be part of a broader marketing or web presence strategy, but it should also fit into other dimensions of your business plan, like your customer service operations.
We have to realize and accept that investors are pretty tech savvy these days. Social media really does help investors decide whether or not to back your company.
Tip #4: Track your online presence and be able to show a history of competitiveness
Potential investors will want to see numbers that justify the time spent on developing and maintaining a positive, effective web presence. Use the tools that are available to analyze the return on investments that you generate in your online efforts.
Google Analytics and other web analytic packages will help you get the data you need to demonstrate the value of your online presence over time. Any analytical tool that tracks website visits and activity should be used at all times. You can also use bit.ly to track social media dissemination.
Tip #5: Focus resources on growing and developing a web presence
Like we said in the beginning, a powerful web presence is important, but it’s nothing if it’s not growing. Set aside time each week to manage and perform tasks associated with creating and distributing interesting corporate content across the web, whether it be through blogs and Web 2.0 tools, or visibility tasks like SEO and search marketing.