You don’t need a business consultant to tell you that “first impressions matter.” Your mom or dad probably told you that at some point, likely during high school when you went for your first job interview! But as a business owner, the first impression your company makes today probably comes online, rather than your hairstyle or handshake. So what impression are you making with your digital footprint?
Your Digital Footprint is Your First Impression
All businesses should have some digital footprint, whether it be your website, a Google business page – (create your own here for free), directory listings for organizations you belong to, customer reviews, or media coverage. However, when was the last time you Googled your business to see what is out there?
If it has been a while, I highly recommend taking the time to do it. What is out there could determine whether a new prospect becomes a new customer. It’s well worth the time. Here are some things to look for when looking at the results of your digital footprint.
It is surprising how much-outdated information is out there. Are you at the same location? Have your product offerings changed? Are your opening hours correct? If there are employees listed on LinkedIn, are they still with the company? When facts are outdated, it gives the impression that your company is stale and what’s worse, if your contact info is wrong, it could cost you a sale.
I have seen many occasions when different services are listed throughout a company’s footprint, as well as the general description of the company. Successful brands are built on consistency. Determine what best portrays your company, and update your website and any listings to reflect that image.
Depending on your business, this might be up there as the biggest positive or negative factor in your digital footprint. Whether you like reviews or not, they are here to stay. They are an increasingly important determinator when prospective customers are shopping for a product or service. It is vital to respond to reviews; respond to the good with a personalized thank you, and respond to the bad with your side of the story.
If the bad review is justified, own it, apologize, and demonstrate how you’ve rectified the situation to ensure it won’t happen again. People don’t expect perfection, but they do expect good communication and grace. By responding, you get to share your side of the story, publicly make it right, and show some grace in how you handle constructive feedback. When you don’t respond…or worse are defensive…or even worse…combative, it can be viewed as hostility or that you don’t care about your customers’ opinions.
Remember that old adage, “The customer is always right!” Well that phrase was coined in the early 1900s by the famous London retailer Harry Selfridge; but thanks to social media and review sites like Yelp, Google, even Facebook, today we live in world where the customer may not always be right in your opinion, but they are armed with social media and can use it as a weapon against you. It’s better to be gracious and move on. A 2019 article from the Review Control Center reported that one bad online review can lose you 10% of potential new customers.
- Update Photos
Nothing is worse than having an old photo on your website. Can you imagine having a customer not recognize you when meeting in person! How embarrassing would that be! Get an updated headshot every couple of years, and update your profiles. Think about updating your business photos as well, to keep your digital footprint fresh and relevant.
- Keep your Website Current
You had a website created in 2010 and it was spectacular! The problem is technology moves on apace, and what was spectacular in 2010 now looks sad and very outdated. Is that the first impression you want your business to make? More people view websites on mobile devices (phones and tablets) than on PCs these days, and it’s amazing how many websites are still not “mobile friendly”. Your website is your biggest marketing tool – it’s on duty working for you (or against you) 24/7/365. Make sure your website gives your business and brand the credibility it deserves.
Need Help Managing Your Digital Footprint? Contact Flourish Today!
Whether you are a new business owner just getting started, or a proven entrepreneur looking to further grow your business, my business consultancy services can help you Flourish!
If handling your digital footprint is just one more thing on a growing to-do list, let me help. Having the right people in place can save you time, money, and headaches! Allow me to be part of your team. To schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about how I could help your business Flourish beyond your digital footprint, call 480-980-6066, email Info@FlourishBiz.Consulting, or use the contact form.