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July 3, 2013

If your summer is slow, focus on marketing & sales for a competitive advantage; part 3 – spruce up your online presence

working-at-the-poolOK, we’re now three weeks into this series of working “on” your business during the summer slowdown that many of us face.  Based on my earlier posts, have you done some planning for the fall conference season?  Or spent any time improving your use of LinkedIn?  I hope so.

Here’s the suggestion for this week…

Summer tip #3: Spruce up your online presence

Regardless of how big or small, successful or not your firm is, you have an online presence.  You surely have a website, might have a blog, probably have a LinkedIn profile, might Tweet and maybe have a FaceBook page.  And you should!

So here’s the question… when was the last time you took a ‘critical’ look at your online sites for their look, feel and content?  Been a while, huh?  I understand.

Now I’m not talking about a full-blown do-over… but looking through your site(s) and tweaking it in some obvious places.  For example…

  • On your website, are all the links working?  Do any of the images or graphics need updating?  Is it still consistent with your company look & feel (use of logo, colors, fonts)?  Is the list of services up-to-date?  How about your list of clients?  Or your staff bios?  Are there obvious links to your blog and social media sites?
  • Several of those same questions above can be asked of your blog, as well.  In addition, are your posts tagged for easy sorting?  Can viewers easily access your most recent posts and the archives?  Importantly, are you consistent in the frequency with which you blog?
  • Regarding both your website and blog… are you using SEO on both?  Have you defined and properly use key words and phrases?  Are your website and blog connected?  That is, does your blog share the same primary domain name as your website?  It should, to help with SEO.  Is there some consistency of look and feel between the website and blog?  They don’t need to look identical, but it should be obvious that they’re both from your firm.
  • Take a look at your personal LinkedIn Profile?  It is complete and up-to-date?  Have you taken advantage of all the opportunities for promotion that LI provides?  Are you using a ‘professional’ photo?  What about your company profile… also up-to-date and complete?  Are you promoting your profiles via other channels – on your website, on your email signature, etc?  Have you looked for and joined all the appropriate groups?
  • What about your Twitter account?  Is the one-liner under your photo or logo up-to-date?  Have you included a link to your website in the header?  Have you spruced up the site with custom background images and graphics?  Are you using the best hashtags (#s) for categorizing your tweets?

The same goes for FaceBook, Google+, Tumblr, Flickr and all the others.  If you’re going to take the time to have and manage a digital presence, then take the time to do it right… make sure the sites are as good as they can be… maximized to take advantage of all the site providers have to offer and all integrated with each other.

One final comment… because the sites are our sites, we sometimes can have a difficult time being objective about how good (or not) they are.  No worries… get an outside opinion… talk to co-workers, business associates or better yet – get some honest feedback from clients… after all, that’s who the sites are for.

Of all the marketing tactics you can implement, none will have a more significant impact on creating and maintaining a competitive advantage for your firm than a well-managed online presence.

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