Simple guide to building an professional identity online with GoDaddy

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Whether you’re freelance, have a small business or are looking to step up that side hustle, having a strong online professional identity is key for ensuring your customers take you and your business seriously and helping you stand out from others in the market.

More and more people are turning to side hustles and launching their own businesses from their kitchen tables. Whilst we have always had a community of upcyclers, flippers and hobbyists, we have seen an uptick in listings since the COL crisis began – with a 3.5% increase over the 8 weeks since April 1st, compared to the 8 weeks prior to this date. So we’ve teamed up with GoDaddy to help those looking to launch or level up their businesses in an easy and affordable way.

When it comes to professional identity, most people jump straight to building a website. We understand, however, that not every customer wants to take that leap, and in fact there may be no need for a full blown site to scale your business.

Our #GetGoingWithGoDaddy partnership with GoDaddy aims to give you all the tools, tips and tricks to ensure your new business has a professional polish. As Well as the chance for 3 people to WIN £500 GoDaddy Credit for your passion project business ventures.

GoDaddy helps small business owners lay the groundwork, giving their passion project legitimacy and increasing the chances of success. Whether you’re flipping furniture or tutoring, GoDaddy has shared with us their guide to creating a professional identity. So say goodbye to that old (and perhaps embarrassing) MSN email and hello to the slick professional new you!

How to create a professional identity without the need of a website

Starting your own business is always busy, especially in the early stages – you may still be working full time for another company or still in University and your to-do list is a mile long. Creating a professional identity often falls somewhere at the bottom of that list, and this is why many aspiring entrepreneurs choose not to set up a website for their passion project straight away.

Of course, having a website for your business is an incredible tool as having an online presence can help you establish your:

  • Existence
  • Location
  • Offerings
  • Credibility
  • Authenticity

But thanks to the team at GoDaddy this is not the only way, and this is how:

Step 1: Create a logo

A visual asset that is consistent whenever and wherever it is used — online and off — makes a strong statement about the quality of your business. From an email signature, to social icons, business cards to LinkedIn, the more your customers see a consistent visual identity, the slicker your business will look.

In its simplest form, a logo is a symbol of your brand. The shapes, colours and words it contains make a statement about:

  • Your business
  • What it offers
  • What it stands for

Everything from font psychology to the way colour can influence mood needs to be taken into consideration when you’re designing your logo.

This may seem daunting to some or the exciting part for creating your professional identity but GoDaddy has your back with their guide below.

Step 2: Show off your business cards

These are inexpensive to have made and an essential item for your new business, plus they make a great addition for any craft markets you exhibit at or any networking event you attend.

Every time someone expresses an interest in what you do, you can hand them your card.

Keep your business card simple and make sure it features the following:

  • Your logo
  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your professional email address – see point three below
  • Your social media details

There are many sites on the market that can help you create the perfect business card for your business, whether it’s ones you hand out personally or even a digital version.

Step 3: Set up a professional email address

Your email address you set up when you were young isn’t going to cut it, sorry. Having a professional, on-brand email address can help you look authentic, credible, trustworthy and polished to your customers.

At GoDaddy, you can get one for as little as £1.49 a month, this gets you:

  • A .com or .co.uk domain of your choice, like yourbusinessname.com.
  • An email address that perfectly mirrors your business domain name, like yourname@yourbusinessname.com. Your account will be powered by Microsoft365 and includes 10GB of storage for emails, contacts and calendars.
  • Expert help available 24/7 on WhatsApp, phone or chat.

    Read more: Build your brand with email that matches your domain

Step 4: Create a business social presence

Tidy up your online identity. Update your LinkedIn and add details, references. If someone searches your business it is likely that LinkedIn will appear. On that note, make sure you have audited your social channels. You should be happy that any social presence and content supports your professional identity.

A social presence is a great tool for free advertising and gives you that online shop window without having to build a website, it also gives you the opportunity for customers to contact you and ask you questions ahead of any sales or service you provide.

Social business accounts are free to set up and with a little creativity and imagination, any business can flourish on these social media sites. These sites also offer plenty of advice on how to get started, which can be found within the setting tabs on the platforms. Once your accounts are up and running you may also wish to expand your reach with some paid advertising, packages and advice again can be easily found.

Build your network: Finally, now you’re all set up, start reaching out to those in your community. Follow people across LinkedIn and across social media. Share content that you agree with, you think can inform, inspire your customers or an article that says something about your business. Share your knowledge and expertise through your own posts and top tips.

Step 5: Get some flyers made

As a small business you know the importance of shopping from an independent shop or local services – and studies consistently suggest that consumers prefer to shop locally, with some polls indicating that 63% of shoppers would rather shop locally than with big multinational brands. That’s why our next tip on building a professional identity is low-tech.

Popping flyers through letterboxes in your neighbourhood, pinning them to community noticeboards, and asking local cafes if you can leave a few on the counter can help you attract these keen local buyers.

As per building a logo, you can source a Graphic Designer who can help with designing your flyers.

Step 6: Advertise and market your business & services

Gumtree has supported small business owners, side hustlers and kitchen table startups to reach prospective customers cost affordably.

From tutors to cleaners, home movers to handymen, upcyclers to crafters, there is no end to the small business community on our platform.

But there is a knack when it comes to listing your advertisement, whether on Gumtree or another advertising or social media platform.

Top Tips:

Be clear and concise – make sure a customer can easily understand who you are, what your business is and what you are offering

Be confident in your rates – do your research and make sure you are pricing yourself well within the market

Big imagery – Much like your logo, imagery matters. Choose a striking and contextually relevant image. If you’re selling a product try to capture as many angles as possible and ensure it is well lit

Good Reads – We have collated all our tips and best practises in advertising your business on Gumtree:

How to sell on Gumtree
Advertise Your Business with Gumtree
How to Flip: Selling Your Upcycled Furniture

Step 7: Make a Google Business profile

Free to set up, a Google Business profile improves how you appear to people on the search pages of Google.

A profile allows searchers to see essential information about your business from within the search pages themselves.

This information includes your:

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Opening hours
  • Amenities like on-site parking
  • Product photos

This is displayed to users when they search for your business name directly and in the map area when users search for terms like ‘Maths tutor near me.’

Google Business profiles can also feature reviews and you can add images to showcase your passion project in even greater detail.

And that’s our easy guide to making sure your online professional identity stands out  

So just to recap: There are multiple ways to start building a professional identity for your business that don’t involve building a website. 

These include:

  • Harnessing social media sites
  • Doing some real-world marketing and networking
  • Setting up a professional email address

If you need any help with the latter, you can always speak to a member of the GoDaddy Customer Service team

Good luck on your new business venture, be sure to check out some of our other #GetGoingWithGoDaddy tips to help bring your passion to life and be your own boss.

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