Establishing an online presence may seem intimidating, but it is extremely important to create longevity for you and your massage practice. An online presence allows you to build your name within the industry, create credibility and be visible to customers. Luckily, creating a website helps you accomplish all of these goals. With the vast array of opportunities on the Internet, creating a website can be a rewarding strategy for growing your business, if done effectively.
In order to accomplish Internet-based success, you need a basic understanding of Web hosting, which, in turn, will guide you in choosing the right hosting provider. For those who are still offline because they find the idea of Internet marketing or creating a website overwhelming, it is time to explore the different avenues for growth and success online.
Why you should be online
Having a presence on the Internet instantly places you in front of a large audience. Without a Web space to represent your work, your ability to showcase your specialty is somewhat limited in terms of how and to whom you communicate with. By researching and understanding where to start, you can feel confident in accomplishing these goals efficiently.
Likely your goal as a business is to get noticed and to grow in size and clientele. By embracing the opportunities online, the ability to do so can be simple and efficient. The Internet has become an ideal information resource and using it significantly in your marketing strategy means you are taking the first step in expanding your outreach to customers. In fact, research by BIA/Kelsey, a Chantilly, Virginia, media research firm, and its research partner ConStat in Berkeley, California, shows 97 percent of consumers turn to the Internet to research products and services. Unless your business has a Web presence, customers will more likely overlook you and your services. Consider your professional website the foundation of your online marketing strategy.
As a massage therapist, your entire business relies on reputation and recommendations, and a website is precisely in line with how the quality of your work can be best communicated. By welcoming existing clients to review your work, new ones will gain confidence in your skills before ever meeting you, adding credibility and success to your business.
What is a Web host?
The concept of Web hosting may be new to you, so let's compare it to the idea of renting a space. Web hosting providers are companies that offer you a space online to house your website, much like a landlord offers living space. These companies provide you with a virtual part of the Internet to use for your website, which is stored on a computer server located in their data center. Not only do they essentially rent the space to you, but many hosting companies will also provide the tools necessary to get your business website up and running.
Web hosts are great business partners for the Internet, providing online solutions for small business owners, such as massage therapists, through corporate companies requiring more complex solutions. For best results, choose a provider that includes Web space, a domain name, at least one e-mail address and other essential resources like online marketing options-all in one package. Not only are these inclusive solutions the most affordable option, but it will also streamline your billing process so you only have one invoice to manage.
In the end, the Web host you choose, design of your website and extra features you embrace should all work toward one common goal: creating a unique identity for your business online. The Internet is truly a great resource and marketing tool with a lot to offer massage therapists. Taking the initial step online is a move in the right direction.
Read "Key Web Terms to Know," by Kelly Meeneghan.