With so very much online business advice available – from increasing bread-and-butter sales and strategising dynamic online marketing, to remaining authentic and on-message with your branding at all times – it’s easy to feel that while everybody else seems to be flying high, you might not quite have your eye on everything.
So you check your social media feed for a quick break, and you’re immediately hit between the eyes with a new plethora of advice. “10 Twitter mistakes!” “Five easy ways to use Instagram!” “Things You’re Not Doing on LinkedIn But Should Be!” “Improve your followers’ daily lives and they’ll love you forever!” You know the kind of thing.
Then there are the parade of often slightly hysterical posts from online marketing companies, telling you that you must monitor all your website analytics every three seconds, because if you don’t, gremlins will come and get you in your sleep. Or something very much like that.
While it’s really fantastic to have the opportunity to learn from the experts and those who have been out there before you (it is wise to check your analytics every once in a while; I often ask my copywriting clients to have a quick look at their website’s bounce rate before and after I’ve provided new copy for them)…who actually has the time to read every single piece of advice they encounter on the web, let alone put it into practice?
The trick to cutting through all this noise, as I’ve recently discovered, is simple. Basically, you have to know stuff about you and your business. Namely, the type of work you like to do, who you like to do it for, and where you’re most likely to find it.
And so my approach is to base my online strategies on what might appeal to me, as a regular and slightly cynical person-about-town (and in turn, the very sort of people I like to work with).
For example, pictures don’t play to my strengths and I’m not a particularly ‘visual’ person, so I decided not to set up an Instagram account at all. This means I’ll never have to click on any Instagram-related advice posts (it also means I won’t feel compelled to post endless pictures of cups of coffee along with the tagline “Hard at work!”. If you’re reading this, please simply assume that I am, a) ALWAYS hard at work, and b) ALWAYS drinking coffee).
There are also a lot of online articles around that advise you how to write compelling blogs or online posts – usually amounting to a headline stating “Five great ways to…”or “10 mistakes about…” to pique interest, actually providing the advice, then ending with a call to action (read on for mine, you’re almost there!)
Again, while this is good advice, before you post anything at all I would recommend making sure that you’re happy with it. Do the words speak with your voice; would you read them and feel compelled to buy something, or use the services they’re promoting? If you wouldn’t, try again – or ask a professional to take a look at it for you.
See, I told you there’d be a call to action.
(And here’s another one, because with Christmas and a brand new year clearly visible on the horizon, you might be feeling it’s time to take a look at your online presence and make a few changes. If you are, I’m here for you – get in touch for a free consultation, preferably over coffee!)