business

3 Ways Businesses Should Spring Clean Their Online Presence

When the sun starts shining a little more often and the flowers begin to bloom, many of us get into “spring cleaning” mode around our homes.

We get rid of any junk, we make necessary updates and we just sort of “polish” things from top to bottom.

Well, I’m here to tell you that, for small business owners, this springtime clean sweep shouldn’t only happen at home. It should also happen in your business.

And even if you work from home, or if your office is completely neat and tidy, chances are, there are some elements of your online presence that could use a little freshening up.

To be honest, things change so often online that we really should be looking to make necessary updates on a quarterly basis. But either way, doing a thorough spring cleaning to your online presence is a great place to start!

Here are 3 ways small businesses should spring clean their online presence in 2017:

Dust off the “welcome mat.”

I like to think of your “online welcome mat” as the the first step someone takes before walking through your front door (literally if you’re a local business -- if you’re an online business, it’s what they do before reaching out or engaging with your offers).

Essentially, it’s how people know how to contact you.

Of course, you should have this information on your site, and all of that should be accurate. But you should also make sure the information on your Google listing, your Facebook, your Instagram and other social media is thorough, seamless, consistent and up to date.

Surprisingly, I see tons of businesses with old addresses and phone numbers listed. I’ve even tried to contact a business before using the phone number listed on their site. only to discover that they don’t allow incoming calls! Seriously!?

Take some time to go through each page of your website and scour your social presence for information that needs updating.

Make sure you don’t miss anything by downloading my Online Presence Spring Cleaning Checklist, available here in my resource library.

Clean up the details and refresh the “decor."

Here we’re talking about all elements that make your business look clean, professional and captivating online.

Now is a great time to update images and other visual components of your branding, and to make sure it’s consistent everywhere online.

I’m giving you full permission to delete old, low-res or blurry photos (even if they have likes and comments), erase old tweets and take down links that are no longer relevant to your business or brand.

Additionally, check to see that you’re communicating clearly, consistently and accurately on your site, via email and on social media. There's no better time than now to refresh the message you’re sending to your online audience! It may seem obvious, but lots of businesses let this stuff sit on the back burner for way too long.
 

Connect with people who will appreciate your cleaned up space.

When you wrap up spring cleaning your home, your first thought probably isn’t to invite your rowdy neighbors over for a house party.

Take this same approach once you’ve put in the work to clean up your online presence. Connect with people who will appreciate the effort you’ve put in -- people who find your business and brand valuable.

The best way to attract the kind of online audience that will actually help you grow your business is to interact with current and prospective customers, as well as industry influencers and thought leaders on social media.

Of course, you also want to be putting out value-driven content that will resonate with the type audience you want to attract. Share helpful tips, ideas, entertaining videos -- anything that aligns with the mission of your business and brand.

If you’re unsure about what type of content you should post, simply ask yourself, “What does my ideal client/customer need to know or understand before deciding to do business with me.”

You can even share this information via video. And it doesn’t need to be fancy. You could go live on Facebook and share a few quick tips. This sort of content can grow your reach on social media and attract the right type of clients/customers in record time.

Spend a full day or two spring cleaning your online presence. I promise it will be time well-spent since you’re likely to see better results from your overall marketing efforts.

Download the Online Presence Spring Cleaning Checklist so that you don’t miss a single important step. Plus, I’ve even included a few bonus tips and organized the entire list so you know exactly what to do first.

Grab your free Checklist in my Resource Library here.

The Comparison Trap

Let’s be honest for a minute. We’re ALL guilt of comparing ourselves to others. Whether it’s wishing you had a better car, a bigger house, a better job or even a better spouse, we all do it.

But comparing ourselves to others doesn’t stop on a personal level; it also creeps into our business life. C’mon, you KNOW you look at other websites and wish you had that clean and sleek design. Or you stumble across a killer blog and wish you could mimic that type of credibility and professionalism (I’m totally guilty of this). Perhaps you skim another business’s social media? You are instantly envious of all their followers, their engagement and their retweets. Maybe you just wish your business could garner more profit like so-and-so’s business.

Regardless of the reason, we’re all guilty of falling into the comparison trap.

Here’s three simple ways to stop the comparison trap when it comes to running your business.

Acknowledgement

The first step to solving any problem is to admit there is a problem. If you think you don’t compare yourself to others, take a moment to really think about it. There’s no shame in admitting this. It’s human nature to one-up each other. Whether your thoughts are malicious or benign, you are still comparing your business to another.

Think about one or two times when you came across a blog, a website or social media and thought, “Wow, that’s really good. I wish my ___ looked like that.”

Leverage

You’ve admitted that you sometimes fall into the comparison trap. Now you get to admit your strengths. Your strengths fall into three categories.

  • Gifts- things that you are inherently good at
  • Talents – things you work to be good at
  • Opportunities – occurrences that open a door for a new gift or talent

Your gift may be the ability to magically juggle many tasks at once. Your talent may be blogging in batches or calligraphy. And opportunity is usually disguised as a new project, new client or a new order that will challenge your skills.

Your GTO are unique to you and your business. Even if the market is saturated with other businesses offering the same thing you are it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful. Business A may offer all the tax preparation services as Business B, but they are still different. Business A has better customer service, longer hours and good reviews. Business B excels at scheduling appointments, gets larger clients and has a killer blog.

The trick is discovering your GTO and leveraging them for your advantage. Learn to use what you have to separate you from the pack.

Celebrate & Collaborate

Just because another business is doing better than yours doesn’t mean you have to throw a pity party for yourself. In fact, you should throw a party for them! You should celebrate that other businesses have different GTOs. Wouldn’t it be completely boring if we were all the same? We foster a creative community by celebrating the success of others.

When we all celebrate the success of others, collaboration follows. Teaching, learning and sharing not only builds a stronger community, but it also builds a referral network. When Business A acknowledges that they might not be the right fit for a client, they can recommend Business B.

So when you feel yourself being drawn into the comparison trap, just remember to acknowledge it, leverage it and then celebrate it.

Be honest, when have YOU fallen into the comparison trap?