3 Basic Ways to Build the Value of Your Small Business Online A guest post by Christopher :o from the Dapeem blog

September 29th, 2009

Running a business in a saturated market if no easy feat – in fact, it’s downright tough. With more and more businesses popping up daily, entrepreneurs are facing the challenge of not only making their product or service available, but rather, making them more valuable than anyone else’s.

With this in mind, small business owners have taken to the web to build the value of their business.

Here’s what they’re doing to effectively build the value of their small business – consider doing the same for your own business!

1. Branding

Creating a recognizable profile for your company and yourself is important when building value online. Whether you run a website, a blog, a collection of social profiles, or all of the above, it’s important to create an image for your business so people will recognize it across the web.

Branding your business online is about consistency. Help your visitors recognize your profiles, blogs, and website visually by adding a simple picture of yourself – not your business logo. The first step in tapping the social sphere as a business entity is creating transparency – in other words, you need to introduce yourself and let your visitors know who you are. By spending time branding yourself first as an authoritative person in your niche, visitors are more likely to stick around and trust you.

Once you’ve successfully branded yourself online as an authoritative source, you can then proceed to brand your product or service.

This step is all about consistency and persistence. To brand your product of service, create an image and let people know it exists – in other words, remind your visitors it’s available where ever possible without spamming them.

One of the best ways to remind your visitors that you have something to sell is to post a banner in your own sidebar, header, and in the footer of your blog posts. Remember, this game is all about reminding your visitor – the more you remind them, the more likely they’re going to buy.


Because they trust you … don’t they? Wait, how do you build trust online so that you can brand yourself as an authoritative voice?

2. Building Trust

The practice of building trust with your visitors is similar to building credit – it takes time and it requires a record of good history.

To start building trust with your visitors, you need brand yourself as a transparent source of information – that is, someone interested in providing information … for free. Even if you’re helming a business and need to focus on making money to stay alive, you need to position yourself as a source of information and help that visitors can depend on. If you don’t then visitors will happily click away from your site and visit someone else’s – and there are plenty to choose from.

Becoming transparent is simple – just be you. Avoid hiding behind company logos, mystery profile pictures, and other tactics designed to shield your identity from your customers – you don’t want people to think you’re shady. Reveal yourself and give people a reason why they should trust you – it should be clear, to the point, and fast.

Giving your visitors a reason to trust you can happen in as little to one to three steps – if you’re new, chances are it will take a bit longer.

First, create something of value your visitors can use. For example, if you have a blog, create a post that your targeted visitors will find helpful. The goal at this point is to attract your future customers, hook them with helpful content, and lead them to one of two places … which leads us to the second step:

Second, provide your visitor with an impressive “about” page. Whether you’re working from a blog, a social profile, or traditional website, you need to create that “about page” so that your visitors can read more about you once you’ve impressed them with your post (the about page is one of the most popular pages visited on a site). Tell the visitor who you are, what your experience is, and what you’re doing.

It’s completely up to you whether to take the modest approach – some find it effective, others find it effective to blatantly spell out why they’re at the top of their game. Perhaps a balance of both would serve your goals best. Visitors want to be in the hands of a pro, yet too much arrogance or confidence could result in a backfire and you’ll lose the customer.

Usually at this point you will have either gained or lost a new reader, but sometimes readers will stick around undecided, which brings us to the third step … which is more of an ongoing step:

Third, continue to help your visitors with helpful information (such as blog posts, guest posts, eBooks, reports, and more). This step depends entirely on your performance either as a social media personality, blogger, or other web publisher. Your activity and production will determine whether or not your readership grows, shrinks, or flatlines, so it’s crucial to stay on top of it at all times.

Blogging and social activity can be very rewarding, but it requires dedication of time and effort. This brings us to the final method I’d like to explore …

3. Building Useful Content

With the boom of social activity online, including networking, bookmarking, commerce, and more, there’s no question that every business owner online is a hyphenate – that is, you’re a business owner – web publisher.

By publishing blog posts, submitting to article directories, updating your status, and uploading photos or videos, you’re a web publisher. How much you do is entirely up to you – there is no secrete formula or mixture that leads to success … it’s all about experimenting what works and what doesn’t. If you’re selling cameras of developing photographs, you might find more results joining photo sharing sites than video sharing sites. Likewise, you might find that your crowd prefers to follow you short updates than your drawn out blog posts.

Regardless of platform, the point is that business owners should to take advantage of the web by providing useful content for their visitors, followers, and customers.

What type of content?

Helpful, of course! Write an article that solves someone’s problem, provides a possible solution, or other helpful resource. The idea behind producing content is to feed the conversation online and help visitors in the process – those visitors will turn into your customers depending on how well you present yourself as an authoritative voice in your niche.

If you position yourself and your business as a helpful resource, you increase the chance of turning your visitors into customers – especially when you reach out and provide help with your social profiles.

Building value for your business online isn’t all that complex; it just takes time and effort, which for most business owners, isn’t an option. If you have the time and ability to create content, it’s highly recommended. Every piece of content you publish is like an active banner – the more you publish, the more likely you’ll be able to attract some visitors. That said, creating content is also an exceptional way to connect with your customer – it enables you to open a discussion with them, hear their feedback, and even track them as customers. It also happens to be one of the ways small businesses can win customers from the conglomerate giants … connection. For more on this, check out The Power of the Business Owner’s Connection with the Customer.

Brand yourself and your business, build trust with your readers through transparent presentation, and provide helpful content – just a few ways to build value for your business online.

Christopher 😮 writes about building more value, finding more customers, and making more money online at the Dapeem blog.