If the shoe doesn’t fit…

Baby and big shoes

When you represent your business the tone should display who you are and who your company is, not just what’s trendy at the time.

In the news the last few days have been reports of companies like Denny’s joining the tweet-osphere and the youngins on Tumbler.  Truth is, most top companies have social media accounts so it wasn’t so fascinating that they were on Twitter and Tumbler, so much as the “tone” of their posts. They’ve gone with a very funky, youthful sound for their social media style. Personally, I think it’s cool. Dare I say…they’re dope!

Ok, it’s totally understandable if you cringed when I said dope. It’s weird to me too! But here’s the thing, it should feel weird. I’m, shall we say, not a kid anymore. I’m not a young start up comprised of 20 year olds straight out of college. My slang days are pretty much behind me, as they should be. The tone of your social media should represent who you are and who your company is, not just what’s trendy at the time.

Not to mention, just like with the “dope” comment, customers and clients can sense when the tone of your social media doesn’t fit who you are as a company. That’s not to say don’t be current and on trend with social media techniques and practices, but the tone of your social media should be consistent with the type of business you operate.

Do, add a little humor in there from time to time. Do, stay on trend with posting types (i.e. photos, memes, videos). Do stay true to your genre of business. Don’t use the word “dope” if you are over the age… 🙂

Where to build your website??

wordpress

WordPress.com is like the cute little sister with the big smile and dimples that boys think is very nice and cute. WordPress.org is the hot older sister with the leather skirt, red lipstick and killer body!

There are a gazillion sites that will allow you to have a website up and running lickity split. But they are not one size fits all. The most popular platform is probably WordPress. If you haven’t already heard, WordPress is the best thing since sliced bread…or at least that’s the buzz around town. But what you may not have heard is that there are 2. That’s right, 2, WordPress sites. There is WordPress.com and WordPress.org. They are very similar in that they both offer blog sites and have the same name. They are very different in virtually every other way.

WordPress.com is like the cute little sister with the big smile and dimples that boys think is very nice and cute. WordPress.org is the hot older sister with the leather skirt, red lipstick and killer body! I wont go into the whys, but WordPress has created 2 separate places that allow you to build your site from templates and have it go live in minutes. It’s a great feat to have one platform under your belt but to have 2 puts WordPress ahead of the pack.

So why would anyone ever build anywhere other than WordPress? Welp, there’s one easy answer… it aint easy! WordPress is not really ideal for the novice. It’s not a drag and drop, big friendly buttons, simple templates, type builder. So for those of you that know you need to hire a professional designer to build your website BUT want to be able to make changes yourself (i.e. add pictures as you get them or change an employees name from time to time) and you don’t want to pay to have it done, WordPress is NOT for you. And while we’re at it, Joomla isn’t either. Great builder, but not for the novice. You want something like Wix, Webs, Web and similar “drag and drop” website builders.

But be warned. Drag and drops may not have all the bells and whistles that WordPress has. Sometimes you are extremely limited in what you can add and do on your site. Colors, fonts, screen size, and many other options may be pre-formatted for you and unalterable. A website designer can build in any platform but we can’t create a masterpiece with a box of crayons. That’s not to say your site wont still look amazing, but you may not have the top of the line options or specific colors you had in mind.

If you want to maintain your website yourself, ask your builder to build your site in a easy to use “drag and drop” web builder. If you wont need changes for the foreseeable future or if you are going to have the builder maintain the site as well, WordPress is great.

 

Social Media Posting Meltdown?

“If you are a service based business with clients vs customers, 1 post a day on each platform is sufficient.”


As a social media consultant, I know all too well the enormous impact social media can have on your brand. The platforms themselves are free advertising, free marketing and free product placement all in one fell swoop. But alas, as with so many things in life, free is rarely totally free.

Social media is like any other form of communication. It’s got to be good, give and take, and often. It’s the “often” part that is commonly a source of frustration for many business owners. If you are a Fortune 500 company you have a marketing department complete with a team of social media gurus tackling your various platforms day and night. But if you are a small business, your social media guru is likely you in your jammies in the middle of the night with only the glow of your computer screen illuminating your weary eyes.

So how often is often enough? Well it depends. Depending on the nature of your business the rules can change a bit. If you are a customer based business that sells a product you need to post to each of your platforms a couple of times a day at least. And you need to respond quickly to customer posts/comments. However, if you are a service based business with clients vs customers, 1 post a day on each platform is sufficient. In fact, on picture or video platforms you can post once a week and still be on top of your game. And blogs require even less. A monthly post is more than enough unless there’s a special event or service you want to announce.

Stuck for what to post? It’s always a great idea to constantly like other company’s posts and share them to your page. We’re all in this big spinning ball together and it’s just as good business and good sense to encourage the communication with your counterparts as it is to encourage it with your customers. And of course, for many business owners who just do not have the time or the inclination to sit in their jammies all night and day posting to social media. That’s when we social media gurus are happy to step in and post on your behalf so you can use your jammies for sleep and not as business casual attire. 🙂

Your Website Should Be As Good As Your Business.

web-building

 

What is your website? Is it a collection of words and pictures about your business? Is it an online advertisement for your business? Is it just a place for customers to find out how to contact you? Depending on who you ask it’s some or all of those things. The reality is, your website is you. It’s the part of you that everyone sees, sometimes before they ever even meet you. It allows customers, competitors, investors, etc, to see what you’re all about. How seriously and how professionally your business is run.

Imagine you are looking to buy a car. You go to X Car Dealership and when you walk in the floors are dirty, the receptionist speaks poorly and the salesman seems rushed. Then you go to Y Car Dealership and the floors are polished, the receptionist is welcoming and articulate and the salesman takes the time to make sure he is meeting your needs. Which dealership would get your business?

A website can be just a page on a screen that shows how much your product or service costs and how to find you if someone wants to buy from you. But it can also be a presence that bellows to visitors that you are the real deal. Anybody can put up a website nowadays. You don’t even have to have a legitimate business and you can still have a site that says you do. But often, the fly-by-night businesses don’t take the time to invest in their websites because to do so requires time and money. They are not in it for the long haul so they don’t need to invest that heavily in their web  presence. But you are the real deal. You believe your business, your skills, your products, are the best around. Tell your visitors that by investing in a quality website with polish, professional speech and the time and attention to detail that shows customers that you will show them that same level of professionalism.

Inspiration is not a four letter word.

inspire

Most of us get inspired daily to do any number of things. You see a cute hairstyle on a celebrity and decide to try it. You see the amazing coats that Olivia Pope wears and decide to buy one, a couple sizes bigger, but whatever. 🙂 The world around us inspires us to do many trivial things in our personal lives but it also inspires serious change or provocative actions. So let your website be inspired by what you see and hear too.

Your website should be a representation of you, of course, but there is no rule that says it can’t be inspired by some other site. Make no mistake, inspiration is not plagiarism. Webster’s provides two very distinct definitions of both and they are not the same. This is not your 12th grade English paper, the rules are not so rigid.

Most web designers have an arsenal of web designs in their quiver and can whip them out in no time to give you an awesome site. Trouble is, what one person thinks is awesome, someone else may find too modern, too old fashioned, too colorful, too bland. So, we typically ask you to take a look around the web and find a site you love in order for us to get started designing your site. We want you to find something in which you love the colors, the style, the function. I can then build you that exact site. BUT I WONT!

We’re back to the difference between inspiration and plagiarism. We’re asking for your ideal site because that gives us an idea of what type of look you like, not so that we can duplicate some other designers hard work and skill. It’s all about inspiration. I can be sure that you love the site I create for you right out the gate and not have to do a dozen redesigns that delay your timeline for getting your site published. And unlike those trendy bangs that are a bear to maintain or that gorgeous white coat that you ruin with a red wine stain, your website will be perfect and right for you.