Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World

Platform is a new book coming out by Michael Hyatt. No, I’m not getting paid to promote it. I just think it’s a good book and would like to recommend it if you happen to be someone with something to say or sell to the world. I’ve just started reading it and have already found it to be valuable. You can read more about it on michaelhyatt.com and be sure to check out the bonuses you get if you order it by the end of today!

I’m sure you’ll see some reviews on portions of this book in the coming weeks right here.

Have you read any great business books lately?  What do you recommend?

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and happy reading!

Sandi

What Do You Have On Your Website’s Home Page?

website client or customerDuring the month of February I’m attending Social Media Examiner’s Small Biz Success Summit.  It’s only the second day and I’m loving it.  We’ve already heard from some great speakers and I’m looking forward to going more in-depth on the finer points of social media marketing.  A couple of points were brought up today by Rich Brooks that I’d like to mention here.

First is the question of what is on your website’s home page.  So many websites treat their “home” page as an “about” page with information on the company, boasting how many years they’ve been in business, etc.  This is a problem because potential clients or customers generally want to know first of all:  what’s in it for them? They want to know what you are going to do for them. They want to know how you are going to make their life better.  Tell them right away on your home page or you will lose them.

The other point was that of your personal or staff photo. Do you have one on your site? It helps potential clients or customers to have a more personal connection to you and your business. Depending on your business type, this may or may not be important. In general, it’s important for the small business.

I know, we all have some horrible photos. That’s why you have a professional photographer take your photo or a staff photo. It’s worth it – they can do miracles.  🙂

What Is Your Brand?

brandingDo you know what your brand is?  Is it clear to you and your customers or clients? Or is it a bit fuzzy like the question mark?

It may help to first think of some popular brands that you are familiar with.  Think about your experience when you come in contact with that brand. Is it reliable, fast, caring, creative, inspiring…

Now think about yourself or your business and ask these questions:

  • How do others perceive you?
  • How do you want people to feel?
  • What do you have to offer?

Finally, how does that look in your branding and is it the same across all of your marketing?  Bold bright colors, pastels, clean, cluttered, simple, complex… Fill in the blank. All of this is important to think about before creating or overhauling your website and social media presence. 

Here is a link to a short 6 minute interview between Social Media Examiner and Mari Smith on personal brand that may be helpful to you:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-your-personal-social-media-brand/

Design, Function, & Marketing – Which Is More Important?

social media marketingIn the last week I read a statement by someone and was also asked a difficult question, both of which got my wheels turning.

First the question: I was asked if I had to choose between web design and marketing, which would I choose?  I couldn’t answer the question.  I couldn’t choose.  Not only do I enjoy both, I believe the two go hand in hand.

As my illustration above shows, social media marketing points to your website.  Sure, you can choose to have your website on facebook but what happens when facebook changes once again or the masses decide to leave facebook for the next shiny object?  Your website apart from all of the social media is your one constant that won’t change unless you decide to change it.

The design of your website is important.  It’s your storefront; it presents your brand; it’s uniquely you or your business.  This brings me to the statement I read which said in a nutshell: design isn’t so important, function is.  Once again, I believe that both are important.  They go hand in hand.  In general, one without the other will fail.  Note, I said “in general”.  Yes, there are some exceptions to every rule.

All of this is the foundation of my business.  My tag line is “web design with peace of mind”.  Peace of mind comes in knowing that not only do you have a great looking website but that it’s functional and search engines will be able to find it.  Peace of mind also comes with a social media marketing strategy that will help your clients and customers find your website / business.

I know I’ve skimmed over some very important areas here. In future posts I will cover some of these areas more in-depth. Which specific area would you like to know more about?

Search Engine Optimization

Imagine a world phone book. Ok, I know I’m dating myself here. If you don’t know what a phone book is, google it.   🙂    Anyway, you can imagine this phone book to be at least a mile thick.

Now imagine you asked the phone book makers to list your business in the world book. You are so excited to have your business available to the world! However, you failed to realize that the phone book makers neglected to list your business in the appropriate category and this fine book is not in alphabetical order. How in the world will anyone find your business?! They won’t.

While this may seem absurd, it happens all the time with websites. Your website may be the coolest site out there, but it’s pointless if a search engine can’t find it.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself or  your web designer:

  • What are your keywords?
  • Is your meta description clear and simple?
  • Do you even have a meta description?
  • Do other sites link to yours?

These questions are just a start. There is a lot that can be done to help your website shine in the jungle of the world-wide web.

Why Twitter?

A friend asked me recently how to use Twitter.  Someone had told her she needed to be on Twitter and that’s as far as it went. So she has a Twitter account. Now what?

I view Twitter as an incredibly versatile tool that, as with any tool, it helps to know what you want to accomplish with it. Here are a few ways I currently use it:

  • Education – I follow leaders in my fields (web design and marketing) and learn a lot from them. I read their blogs and the articles they link to. I get the most up to date news from them.
  • Example – I follow a few successful businesses to see how they market their products and services. There is a fine line between informative and annoying. I’m developing my own ideas on how to market myself and the services I will offer.
  • Encouragement in faith – I follow a few leaders who share the same faith and encourage me in my daily walk. In the midst of all the business hullabaloo it’s an oasis.

At this point I don’t feel I have a whole lot to offer but eventually I hope to be able to offer some of the above to my followers.  I do tweet or retweet occasionally but for the most part I’m in education mode.

What is Twitter to you? What do you hope to accomplish? Who do you want to know? What do you have to offer? Why are you there (assuming you are there)? What are your goals? These are just a few questions to ask yourself if you are in the same quandary as my friend.

Don’t follow blindly. Follow with a purpose.

For a more in-depth article on following and getting followers, click here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/3o1CWq/cathypresland.com/blog/internet-marketing/get-followers-on-twitter/

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