Business leaders — Yes, you.
I know you’ve got a boatload of things that are stressful and overwhelming that are probably keeping you up at night. And if I were to name a few, they’d probably be the struggles with finding/retaining talent, creating/discovering growth opportunities, and managing operations and preparing for the future.
Well, sorry to add another thing to your worry list, but here’s a big one that most of you aren’t thinking about…
People are looking at you… online… and not just here on LinkedIn! When you look at your LinkedIn profile, you see this:
And why does LinkedIn share these tidbits of data with you? Because they want you to know how much you’re being perceived, and by whom, and at what rate… They know that these things matter and translate to business.
Everything we do as business leaders is with the goals of:
- Being seen by lots of people
- Being perceived as worthy
- Being engaged by the right people – which of course means making money.
So, why aren’t we paying attention to the place people are doing this? Why do we stay bogged down with operations and sales when there’s another crucial piece that we need in order to be successful.
Your digital presence matters. And yes, it’s another thing you have to think about. But you don’t have to spend stupid amounts of money to make a positive dent on your presence.
There are things YOU can do (or that your staff can do) to help you. But the first step is getting honest, looking in the “mirror”, and being willing to really see what is there for what it is. The next step is, accepting your strengths and faults, and doing something about it. Don’t just accept it for what it is. DO SOMETHING.
But you’re overwhelmed, right? You don’t have time to figure out how to do something. Well, here are a few quick things you can do to get started. Overcome the Law of Inertia! “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Get moving!
Step 1: Evaluate Yourself in Third Person
- Let’s talk about your website first. Get honest with yourself: would YOU, if you didn’t know you, buy anything from you, WITHOUT any context – but only by what you can see on your website? Write down what you see, feel, and presume based on your view.
Step 2: Look Around – See Where You Are
- Perhaps your website is fine – you’re happy enough and it shows who you are trying to be in a satisfactory way. Have you Googled yourself lately? (quick tip, use Chrome, open up an incognito browser window by right clicking on the icon, go to google.com and then put your company name in between quote marks and hit enter ex. “Macys”. This will narrow your search results to the exact term you’re searching)
- Take an inventory of all of the sites that your company name shows up on. Read them. What do they say? If they mention your company’s address or phone number, are they correct? This stuff matters. (You can also use this free scan.)
Step 3: Take a Gander at Competitors
- This one is for all of you who tell me, “I don’t have competitors”. Using that same Chrome tip from above, go to google.com and put in the words you would want someone to find you for. Not your company name. The words that you think someone who has the intent to buy from you would type in, for example: “Pizza near me,” or “intellectual property lawyers in northern Virginia”. Remember – people use search to FIND things. That means they’re using things like geographic modifiers in their search to help them narrow their choices.
- Next, look at what they’re doing. Note what you like, dislike, and what you want to emulate. You can’t beat your competitors if you don’t know what they’re doing.
Digital presence matters. And don’t think you’re out of the woods because NOTHING is said about you… Having no digital presence can even be worse than a dead Facebook company page with a crummy review from 2 years ago.
The reality of doing business in 2019 is that if you want new business, not just referrals (but don’t fool yourself, even referred people will still check you out 99% of the time before they try you) – you need to care about what’s on the web. Your business, no matter what type of business it is, HAS to convey consistency, capability, and sophistication. You have to be trustworthy and congruent in your presentation, everywhere.
So, Fix the Easy Stuff First
- Start with your website – you have the most control there. Update your image.
- Tackle your Google Places Business Profile – don’t have one? Claim it. Update it.
- Give your social media channels some love – make an effort to start posting again.
- Encourage your customers to leave feedback. But don’t buy reviews – that’s not allowed. Ask for people to share their experience and to tell others about you. And do good work so the things they say are positive.
Even if you start acting on these tips, you may still find you need a little more help. The biggest thing I hear from business owners is that “I can’t handle one more thing.” If you are at that point, don’t throw up your hands in exasperation, just call us.
Here at StraTac, we’re ready to help you generate business lift. We are able to harness the power of our team, and based on experience, make recommendations on the most impactful first steps you can take to influence your business in the fields of Sales, Operations and Marketing.