Last year I wrote a post called Holiday Homework for Website Owners, on December 27th. As I am working on our portfolio and some minor changes to our site today I thought I’d pull this up and see if I’ve made any progress at all on the always-needed, but oft-neglected marketing of Fresh ID. Like working out and eating right, letting marketing slip when business is busy is all too easy… we just have to keep trying to do better!
Below is the post from last year and my comments about each item in italics…
It’s the last week of the year and I always feel a surge of energy at this time, for the coming year and our business. And then I realize I want to clean up some things around the site, make some long thought about improvements, and get ready to open the doors to a fresh new Fresh ID in the new year. Combined with several of our clients needing significant home page improvements, I’ve got a little checklist of site and marketing things I am going to address this week and I challenge you to use it if needed on your own sites. Let’s be fresh together in
2011! 2012! 😉
1. Is your homepage in need of an update? If it’s static, meaning, it doesn’t incorporate real-time or dynamically changing elements to keep it fresh, you need to change it at least monthly to create new experiences for repeat visitors. You can also do coding to have content rotate randomly so the mix of content feels fresh, and you can add real-time updates from Twitter or Facebook or YouTube so that users are presented with constantly changing content.
We will be working on a new slider or key message for our site for 2012. This needs to be done before the year ends so check back to see if I got it done! We are torn between using a slider so we can change messages more frequently, or creating a video that has some motion and excitement.
2. Is the content you have in your site, hitting the mark? Using analytics you can determine what’s read, what is never read, and make choices to streamline your navigation and pages of information so that you have less to maintain and dig through, but visitors have more to read and look at that pertains to their needs.
Our content just doesn’t seem to be read that much. I don’t know if it’s because a lot of our business, though not all, comes to us via word of mouth, so people just do some shallow checking and then call us or what. Lisa is going to do some analyzing of our traffic and as we work on our 2012 messaging, likely we will do away with some of our pages and tighten up the content. That’s the GOAL I have, at least.
3. Is your marketing copy up-to-date and clear and compelling? Ours is getting a fun re-do and we are going to focus on the “sweet spots” of what we offer (things we love to do + we are good at) and we are going to offload the rest to a simple, comprehensive list (we CAN do a ton of stuff… So much that it can be too much to absorb.)
I don’t think we did this, totally. We need to re-assess some of our copy as we have some new products we’re working on in 2012 and so looking at how we want to position the company to focus on what we love to do the most.
4. Do you have links on the site that don’t have content? We’re guilty of this and need to get the content there, or delete the links and references to it until it is there.
Yay! We don’t have links that don’t have content. Whew.
5. Are there things you want to do that you haven’t done yet, but feel passionate about? We have several things we will do in 2011 that are new for us and will be adding that information to our site so we can get started.
YES, we still have things we want to do that we haven’t been hired to do yet. Creating proprietary products also fall into this list item, unfortunately they require an investment of time and money, so we will have to plan how to approach what we want to see happen in 2012 carefully. The joys of being bootstrapped!
6. Have you been procrastinating about getting marketing tools in place that you need to, including, but not limited to: a Twitter account, an email newsletter or campaign, a landing page to promote something, a Facebook custom tab to take your business page to a new level, a thorough scouring of Google to see if there are business directories or review sites where you should list your company, a Foursquare and Gowalla presence if you are a retail, food or hospitality business… In other words, if you are in need of more business, are you doing all you can to be found online by people who are searching? If not, this week is the time to get things done!
We need an intensive effort on SEO and local search and Taylor will be working on that in the first two quarters of 2012. We will also be enhancing our own Facebook presence to show what we do so often for clients.
7. Is your portfolio updated, if you have some type of creative service business?
Umm… I’m in the middle of updating it, and appallingly, I have 16 items to put in. I think I’m going to make a calendar entry for the last day of every month, and get the recent items done in a more timely manner so it’s not so overwhelming. It helps that we deliberately chose a theme that limits us – I will talk about portfolio management in an upcoming post.
8. Is your ecommerce store updated with all the products you sell, and out of stock products noted, and unavailable products deleted?
Yes, our little Etsy stuff is all updated with what we sell. We’d like to add more and need to get on a more rigorous schedule of adding X per month or something. Room for improvement and marketing here, for sure.
9. If you need to be found online, discovered and trusted as a viable consultant or designer or writer or accountant, etc. are you blogging? People who don’t know you will get to know you and familiarity breeds trust to eventually do business with you or recommend you to others. You aren’t doing yourself any favors if you are capable of writing and aren’t blogging. I am the worlds worst offender on this and it is my solemn vow to blog more in 2011 because I know it leads to direct sales, and it helps me to articulate my voice and opinions and our ongoing mission as a company.
I am HORRIBLE about not blogging enough. I promise to improve in 2012 – will be working with Taylor on how she can get all of the 3 owners blogging more… we have a lot to share, but just get overwhelmed and don’t write it down.
10. Are you having fun in your business? If not, are there things you could change to make it more fun, or less stressful, or more easy to accomplish? You know in your heart and head what you need and would help your workday be more sane. Make the plan to make the changes you need to make work a more pleasant place to be.
Yes and no, depending on the day and moment. We have growing pains, which are unavoidable. We’ve been tired, but are feeling a little breathing room as a giant project is winding down. We are continually working on how to make work pleasant, not unbearable though, so I think this is something we will always be striving to ensure and if we ever deviate from caring about this, we will be too big for our britches and will re-read this to remind ourselves of what is important about doing this work!
I’d love to know what you’re working on this week. I better get busy! Lol!