In the early stages of setting up a business, the to-do list is always equator long. Creating a professional identity for your new venture often falls somewhere near the bottom.
This is why many aspiring entrepreneurs choose not to set up a website for their passion project straight away.
They feel like there just aren’t enough minutes in the day.
Of course, a website is an incredibly powerful tool for new businesses. Having an online presence can help you establish your:
A website is not the only way to do this, though.
In this blog, we look at eight ways you can build up your professional identity without a website.
1. Create a logo
Some entrepreneurs daydream about their logo before they’ve even made a single move to launch their passion project. Others won’t have given it a thought.
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.
Also, when you’re creating a logo, you’ll need to come up with some rules that stipulate how it should be used. For example:
- How much white space should there be around it?
- How should it look when it’s put on a coloured background instead of a white one?
- Is there a minimum size it should be at any given time?
Having a logo that looks consistent whenever and wherever it’s used — online and off — makes a strong statement about the quality of your business.
Creating a logo is a lot quicker and easier when you use a tool like the GoDaddy Logo Maker. You can pick from a great-looking template so you don't have to start from scratch and you can develop several versions of your logo in next to no time.
Related: How to make a logo.
2. Rustle up some business cards
Our second tip on building a professional identity is to create some business cards. These are inexpensive to have made and an essential item for new business owners.
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
These can also be digital, of course — check out HiHello, Haystack or Switchit.
3. Set up a professional email address
Nothing says ‘amateur’ like a Hotmail or Gmail email address, especially if it’s an email address you’ve had since you were young like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having a professional on-brand email address can help you look authentic, credible, trustworthy and polished to your customers.
Fortunately, professional emails are easy and inexpensive to set up.
At GoDaddy, you can get one for as little as £1.49 a month.
This £1.49 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 email@example.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.
4. Create a Facebook Business page
Next on our list of professional identity-building tips is a Facebook Business page. Free and quick to set up, these are a good first step on your way to a website.
While they don’t look quite as slick and aren’t as unique as a website, they give you a basic online presence that allows potential customers to find out more about you and what you offer.
Most importantly, Facebook Business pages allow people to contact you and ask you questions ahead of any sales.
Happily, Facebook provides comprehensive advice on how to set up a business page here.
5. Set up an Instagram Business account
As with Facebook Business pages, Instagram business accounts are free to set up.
You’ll get the best out of an Instagram business account if the products and services you offer translate well into pictures.
For example, bakery, nail art, fashion and craft-based businesses will probably make better use of the visual-based platform than a plumbing business might.
Although with a little creativity and imagination, any business can flourish on this social media site.
Again, Instagram offers plenty of advice on how to get started. You can find some of it here.
6. Get some flyers made
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.
If you need help designing your flyers, you can lean on a free design website like GoDaddy Studio, which features editable templates for flyers, posters, social media graphics and more.
7. Look into marketplace listings
There’s usually a charge for getting listed on marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy.
However, when you choose to showcase your product on these sites, some of the hard work of running a business such as shipping and returns is taken care of for you.
The trade-off is that you can’t nurture a direct relationship with your customers, as the platform keeps control of all that.
Related: How to sell products online
8. Make a Google Business profile
No list of tips on creating a professional identity would be complete without Google.
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:
- 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 ‘coffee shops near me.’
Google Business profiles can also feature reviews and you can add images to showcase your passion project in even greater detail.
Create a professional identity in 8 steps
There are multiple ways to start building a professional identity for your business that don’t involve building a website.
- 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 GoDaddy guide for advice.