small business

Building Something from Nothing…

Anytime a small business launches, they are stepping out into the business world with little to no digital assets to speak of. Sure, they may have a website, Facebook page and maybe a few blog posts in the till ready to go when things go live, but ultimately, they have no digital footprint.

So, how does a small business rapidly build an online presence from nothing that starts producing revenue sooner than later?

1. Ask for help from your network.

This is often hard to do, but the name of the game is social networking. So, use the network you already have to build your platform! There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t receive an invitation to like a friend’s or family member’s Facebook page. Most of the time, they aren’t even associated with the business. But, this works. It is not unusual to see a page go from zero to a few hundred fans in a matter of a week with the help of a solid personal network. Once you have a base, you can focus on building beyond your personal connections and, more importantly, within your marketplace.

2. Create Content Like Your Hair Is On Fire.

Vivid picture, I know. But, you have to get your level of authority within your industry as high as possible very quickly. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through content development. Blog as often as you can. Create videos regularly. Just create solid content that solves the problems of your audience and it will spread. Trust me…

3. Cross-platform Content Development.

Don’t ever produce a piece of content for a single medium when you are in startup mode. This is the time for efficiency and optimizing every asset you have to reach as far as you can. If you create an image for your blog, optimize it for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. If you put a video on Youtube, it should be on your Facebook page, your blog and a link from every platform you have a presence on. Compartmentalization will come eventually, but the point of the launch is to get your marketplace indoctrinated as soon as possible as economically as possible. Cross-platform content development is a key method of doing this.

4. Don’t Neglect “The List”

I cannot stress this enough! Do not neglect “The List”!

Yes, an email marketing list is still the most valuable asset you can build in your business. Often, during a launch, we focus on the media that will create a lot of buzz very quickly and neglect the slow builds like the email list. But, the ROI potential of email marketing is so much greater than that of any other medium on the web that you cannot afford to overlook it. Make sure to include this in every facet of your marketing campaigns for optimal growth. It will pay amazing dividends in the long run.


Smart Ideas. For Free.

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Kelley Shaw

Creative Director

Bringing Ideas To Life

Kelley’s role at RTL Digital Media covers a spectrum of design and production functions, including animation, catalog design, and trade show design with an e-commerce focus. She puts extra energy and life into our clients’ projects.  She knows how to make design fit perfectly—and strategically—into an organization’s branding and messaging.

Kelley’s experience includes directing the creative and artistic vision for Geneologie, an online and catalog fashion resource.  In three years, she was promoted four times, leading the in-house promotional marketing efforts. She built the vision, strategy and delivery teams that focus on Direct Mail pieces including catalogs, apparel, packaging, and design production.

Kelley previously served in a designer capacity assisting Americasmart, creating product displays, and was an intern with Denmark Ad Agency, where she created presentations, print graphics, and branding packages. She has received awards for her designs and invests her personal time with charities donating artistic help, graphics, and mentoring.