Steps To Overcoming The Small Biz Mindset - Your Web Presence
I've been working with several clients lately in a fairly small town in Wyoming. As we've launched into what their goals are, where they are with their business and where they'd like to go I've been reminded of something. So often we start our careers with big dreams and goals, then as the road gets tough and "reality sets in" we starting thinking smaller. It's typical and it creeps up on you without you really knowing it. The good news is...it's easy to fix!
First, just take a few minute to remember what your big dream was. Do you want to serve hundreds/thousands of people? Do you want multiple locations? Do you want to publish that book or land of the front page of a magazine? Do you want to be recognized as a leader in your industry? No matter what it is, don't assume it's out of reach, just write it down.
Now, if you lack the focus, drive, determination to reach for that big goals...feel free to check out our Vision, Purpose, Power webinar. If you feel like you've got all that but just want some quick tools to get you moving in the right direction and optimizing how technology can benefit you...keep reading.
I can't possibly stress this enough. If you don't have a good looking, well functioning SEO optimized website, you aren't serious about your business. Ouch...some of you just cringed, but it's true. Within a few years the same will be said about mobile apps and by then, if you aren't fully optimized on the web and on mobile devices, you will be feeling the pain of progress in diminishing sales. Right now there are tons of options for quickly and easily building your own website (wordpress, wix, square among others). If you don't like that kind of stuff, or don't have the time, hire it done. It's just that simple. If you ignore it, it will cost you.
Whether you do it or you pay somebody else to do it I want to highlight one thing here...DON'T DO IT POORLY. You have one chance to make a first impression and if your customer is on the web looking for you, they can easily click to someone else if your site doesn't have what they are looking for.
A few of my pet peeves to consider:
- Phone Number: Don't setup a site and not put your phone number on it (and for mobile they better be able to click that number on their phone and it dials you right away). I know small businesses do this thinking that they don't want people having their personal cell, then get a forwarding number (google voice is free, line2 is a super cheap option...there are tons of them). Whatever you do, don't make it hard for them to contact you.
-Email: Some people refuse to put their email on their website for fear of spam. Here is the thing though...as of June 2016 51% of people said that they do more shopping online than in person. Wait, what?Yep, that means that people are sitting at their jobs browsing for your information. If they have a question that doesn't fit your standard question form on your website (or maybe they have information they want to send to you but your site won't let them upload) now you've put up a roadblock for them to do business with you. Set up your spam filter. Set up your antivirus program. Let your website work for you!
-Buttons/links: Have you ever clicked on someone's social media links on their site and it takes you to their web developer? Have you ever clicked a link and gotten an error message saying the page can't be found? We all have. Don't let it happen on your site though. It's frustrating to the consumer and generally they lose interest in whatever they were going to look at on that link.
Can't afford to have a mobile app built? Understandable, most people can't. However, if you haven't optimized your website for mobile viewing you're in trouble. On average, 70% of all online traffic is now done through mobile devices (phone or tablet). Your website may look great on your desktop but look at it on your phone. Is the font easy to read? Do the buttons all work? Is the phone number "clickable". People don't want to have to tap on a scroll bar, they should be able to scroll like they do on a regular home screen. People don't want to have to zoom in or out to read or see your content. A good web developer will know that you want a responsive design. Keep in mind too that "responsive" and "mobile friendly" are NOT the same thing and it's important that your site be "responsive". (click here for more info)
I won't go into the importance of social media in this article, it's a series of articles all on it's own. I do want to stress one thing though...claim your online "real estate". As you are setting up your website and claiming your domain, make sure that you get your business name on all the social media apps there are, even if you aren't ready to use them. Why? Look at iCloud. iCloud was around starting in 2000 as iTools, it went through a series of name before resting on iCloud in 2011. Someone else bought the name before them. Now they have a product that they want to promote with the specific domain name of iCloud but they have to purchase it...they paid $6 million for that domain name.
Now lets think about your business. Let's say you're a small town photographer...Kim Smith Photography. 2, 5, 10 years from now you've hit it big as a travel photographer. You own your domain but you never bothered to sign up for your account on whatsapp. Now, you're traveling the world and trying to communicate with high end clients but some Joe Schmoe has "kimsmithphoto" profile. Ugh...you could potentially lose clients who message Joe, thinking it's you and end up with awful images. So what to do? Claim your online "real estate". Here are the most important ones. (click here for more info)
Lastly, I just want to encourage you. The key to all of this, especially if you personally aren't a big browser person...just get started. Join an in person or online community of people who are sharing ideas and resources. Is your staff on social media more than you are? Find out who knows the most about business listings and get them to help or hire a contractor to help you.
Most importantly, "never let your small business keep you small minded". Use technology to your advantage for advertising your business, simplifying your processes and maximizing your return on investment. Even if you never want to be Kim Smith Photography, traveling the world, making millions...thinking like a bigger business can simplify your business, free up your time to spend with family and in the end, make you more money!
**Want some help getting started? Schedule a FREE strategy session today to get direct feedback about your online presence and a list of first steps to jump start your progress!