Your digital properties are your home on the web where you will continuously act as hostess to numerous visitors, interested parties, and passers-by who visit you online. Consider ways in which you may extend hospitality to other people in your field of interest by knowing how to be a good guest, too!
My biggest recommendation for networking is, in the words of Dante, from a little spark may burst a mighty flame. Participate, help, and find ways to provide value to the people with whom you work online. All of us working together truly make a larger difference.
For example,If a well-known influencer invites you to provide a guest post for her, add a link to this fact on your own website, and invite your own readers… read more
Humor, if used judiciously, goes a long way towards entertaining your visitors and letting them know more about you and your company’s sense of fun, humor, playfulness, or creativity.
If your site does not benefit from humor, then please disregard this tip!
But if your site does allow an opportunity for you to provide a respite for today’s busy, left-brain-focused worker, take it. There’s a reason newspaper readers open up the Sunday Funnies section first and magazine readers go to the back page to see the silly picture or the comical illustration.
Some ideas for a humorous section to add to your website include: “Humor at Work,” “Funny Stories from the Field,” “Joke of the Week,” “Picture of the Month,” or “… read more
One of the easiest ways to promote your business is to add your name, title, contact information, and a tag line to your outgoing e-mail.
Add your phone number, e-mail address, and postal mail address, as desired. Consider adding additional links to your LinkedIn profile, and also consider adding a blog page, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, or other social networking tool that matches your business model.
When contact information is added to your signature, correspondents may easily connect with you. Potential customers can connect with you if they’ve seen your e-mail on a listserv or your message was forwarded from a friend. What’s more, a tag line, motto, or additional keywords give e-mail correspondents… read more
Online forums function like community information centers: people post and respond on topics of interest. For some forums a user must register and wait for approval before posting; for others, users may post anonymously. Certain members of an online forum may be assigned as “moderators” with the privilege of banning or deleting users or postings that don’t fit the forum’s guidelines for activity.
The great thing about forums is that they will typically allow you to visit as a “lurker,” simply reading but not responding, until you work up enough courage or interest to share your viewpoint by commenting or starting a new “thread” of discussion.
When you become involved in a forum that truly interests you, you’ll discover… read more
When we focus on building up our business, we sometimes get bogged down in the operations, the constant challenges, and the problems. However, when we take a step back and look at the big picture, we realize that any business is all about its customers. With no customers, there are no sales; and with no sales, there’s zip, zero, zilch, nada, nothing.
When you embrace this fundamental aspect of building your company, you realize that providing “customer love” must be your most important focus, both in your website and in your person-to-person interactions.
Offer resources galore for both your existing clients and visitors. Your thoughtfulness shows that you appreciate and support your customers. Casual visitors will turn… read more
The professional networking service, LinkedIn.com, continues to grow in usability and value, consider using this tool to provide your knowledge and insight into current trends in specific industries.
For example, recruiters post their tips on how to find qualified applicants; people with heavy involvement in new technologies answer specific, obscure, or technical questions; and people recommend services with which they have experience. It’s a continuous source of up-to-date information with more of a "work-related" feel.
If you’re an answer provider or you have some knowledge in a particular field, share your knowledge by answering other people’s questions. You might do this on LinkedIn or on a different service like a… read more
Most people prefer to spend time with their family and friends, pursue important activities, or get real work done instead of dealing with junk e- mail. What constitutes junk e-mail? Junk mail consists of any of the following:e-mail for which the recipient did not sign up e-mail from which the recipient cannot unsubscribe e-mail without a link to the original site sending it
If you dislike junk mail as much as I do (and if you receive as much as I do in a typical day, you definitely dislike it), you’ll take extra precautions to insure that all your e-mail communications find a happy response upon their delivery.
E-mail communications form a large part of normal interactions with a company, so it’s best to start off… read more
If you're a woman in STEM, you have many opportunities available to you to connect with other women founders.
Here are some resources:
Women Techmakers (from Google): https://www.womentechmakers.com/membership
AnitaB.org Community: https://community.anitab.org/
Women in Product Slack group: http://womeninproduct.slack.com
Women Who Code: https://www.womenwhocode.com/
Female Founders Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FemaleFoundersCommunity/
GIST Network: http://www.gistnetwork.org
Additional Resources for Women in STEM from the White House:
Tech Women, U.S. Department of State: http://www.techwomen.org/
Women & Girls in STEM… read more
Founder Monica S. Flores discusses the importance of digital in nonprofit marketing, coordinating website redesigns, updating old processes, change management, why representation matters, and Vin Diesel.Listen to WDG's other nonprofit StrategyBytes episodes on the FEEDBACK feed, and check out wdg.co/nonprofits for more information.
Polls and quizzes add levity and a bit of entertainment to the typically tedious task of searching for a vendor online. Your quiz may be a way for visitors to “see how much they know” about your industry, with two to five questions that you’d like to ask. Your poll provides a way for you to gauge a response to your own questions. For example, for a site focused on product software, you might provide a poll asking what version users are currently using.
Make sure your quiz, poll, or questionnaire adds value to your site. If it’s relevant, sheds more light on your service, provides quick information to other visitors, or gives you information about who is visiting, use it.
Make sure your quiz or poll does not require… read more
CMS Website Services is an innovative, Raleigh-based Web Design & Development Company specializing in Software Development, IT Infrastructure Development & Management, UI and Front-End Development, Digital Marketing, Technology Awareness Programs, Automation Software Development, Blockchain Technology development, and Mobile App Development.
Since our inception in 2006, we have successfully helped businesses innovate and grow by strengthening their ideas with our IT service in Raleigh. While we are apt at various technologies, we are a pro at Drupal. Our portfolio consists of more than 1,000 successfully completed Drupal projects for a diverse clientele, including: universities, established businesses, start-ups,… read more
A Shift In Perspective By Liz Roncevic Founder and President, Bizmap LLC
Some of my greatest career challenges have been the biggest blessings in my life. When I look ahead at the years to come, I truly believe that anything is possible. If I were to take one thing away from former years, it would be just that. And it would also be the importance of that small piece of advice; that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
For a good portion of my 20’s and 30’s, I really struggled with finding my professional purpose. I think I also struggled a lot with myself and my personal challenges. Professionally, I always felt my job choices were not properly aligned with my long-term goals. Like most people, I was striving for a… read more
Whether you consider yourself an expert or not, if you’re in business, you’re providing deep knowledge and skills in a particular content area. This knowledge qualifies you as an expert!
When you share your expertise, you provide a genuine resource to both current and potential customers.
An easy way to share is to offer a column or regularly updated section comprising frequently asked questions and your answers, tools, or recommendations.
For example, a column entitled, “Ask the Interior Decorator” may contain a section with design tips for challenging spaces. “Ask the Painter” may offer recommendations on colors, paint brands, or tools. “Ask the Financial Expert” may display your particular expertise on stock… read more
If your work requires an estimate that you give to a client in order to proceed, consider offering a quote generator or an online calculator.
For example, in the website development business, an easy rule of thumb is to estimate the cost based on the complexity of the design, the number of pages, and the functional modules desired. Fixed costs include the domain and hosting. In this case, an estimate calculator will help a potential customer determine the cost of her proposed website. The customer can also change variables to see how different choices impact the final estimate for her project.
Financial services companies, mortgage firms, banks, and any company that deals with figures may offer online calculators to help… read more
In some fields, you provide a valuable service when you offer up-to-date information.
A delay of even a month on time-sensitive data may mean a different outcome to someone’s business.
Consider offering white papers as background research to web visitors who may need highly specific information to make an informed decision.
While you need not add proprietary code, trade secrets, or private information, you may add facts, figures, graphs, charts, preliminary studies, or research papers on your field.
Query experts in related fields to provide information that will help your consumer make a better decision.
For example:a graphic designer may offer a printer’s perspective on styles, paper… read more
Create a calendar as a go-to reference for relevant events in your field.
Because of information overload and the openness of the Internet, web visitors appreciate when you filter, synthesize, and sort all the available events into a concise “must-attend” list. Such a calendar will help your visitors keep abreast of local or Internet-based events.
Ideas for events: networking events, informational seminars, speaker panels, conventions, book readings, work parties, volunteer opportunities, or other gatherings.
Use a calendar or set of calendars to organize your own work schedule and allow time for at least one networking event per month. For example, if you’ve been invited to speak on a panel, schedule this into… read more
A blog is easy to update and keeps you very current. Use your blog to create an informative, useful, and timely net that fishes out information, news, views, and opinions in your field.
Give readers meaningful explanations about your company by using blog posts to share your expertise.
Put yourself in great demand for services, products, and speaking or writing gigs as you post more quality blog items on your field of expertise, guest post on other blogs, promote new products and services, or highlight an interesting new initiative.
HINT: Do NOT post relentless commercial messages to your blog.
They’re not meaningful or engaging at all.
What will you post? Communicate from your own point of view… read more
The more complex and cluttered your website is, the harder time your visitor has when she visits.
Keep it simple.
Take some extra time to review your content from a new visitor’s perspective. Common business website issues for the general public include:industry-specific jargon that a non-initiate would not understand (if your site is targeted to people who would understand your lexicon, by all means, stick to it; if you’re reaching out to people not familiar with your industry, at least add a glossary page)
alphabet soup, with many abbreviations or acronyms that only specialists understand (just because you refer to it does not mean your customer understands it)
cryptic navigation (test your… read more
If you haven't visited Craigslist.org, you might want to take a look at this immensely successful community bulletin board service, which is organized around geographical locations and subject areas. The site is clean and easy to understand; it has black text with blue links on a white background, and it hasn't changed since its inception. The enduring quality of Craigslist.org is part of its appeal: you always know what to expect when you visit. The content may change, but the format does not.
Change, when it comes, may be disconcerting to your regular visitors.
If you already have a certain look-and-feel for your site and you want to change it around a little bit, consider retaining some of the major elements, such as… read more
When you are encouraging your customers, associates, and friends to contact you, so give them clear instructions on how to do so. Since people like to connect with you by phone, via e-mail, or in person, cover all three preferred methods:put your phone number on every page, include a link to your e-mail contact form, and post a list of any events, seminars, or panels that you’re attending or your company is sponsoring.
An e-mail contact form on your website does not need to show your actual e-mail address. One tip is to convert the e-mail link into a graphic (to reduce spam) or hide it in language only a real, live human may decode, like this: myname (at) my address (dot) com.
If you have multiple staff members, use a… read more
If your e-mail box is free of junk mail, congratulations. 🎉
You’re one of the few people whose e-mail addresses didn’t “escape” into the wild world of Internet bulk mailers. 😠
If you do receive unwanted e-mail, you know how important it is to offer privacy and confidentiality to your own clients 😃 who entrust you with their e-mail 📩and contact information.
It’s a great idea to keep your content up-to-date and freshened up with news about your business.
Checklist for ways to keep your digital platforms fresh:
As you start to receive feedback or requests through your digital platforms, you’ll begin to hear the same comments or similar questions from multiple visitors.
In response to these #feedbackloops, consider implementing new features that match your users’ needs.
Examples of inexpensive new features include a FAQs section, a daily photo or quote, and automatic sign-up systems. More examples:
A quote or photo personalizes your business.
An estimate calculator gives visitors an opportunity to make rough estimates online.
Automatic membership and login sections give your… read more
Best practices for multimedia 🌐🆗
Sometimes you may find that elements you *personally* understand may not be comprehensible to others.
For example: buttons, links, images, arrows, emoji’s, embedded movies, and music may enhance some page visitors —- but might confuse others. 🤷♀️
Get a sense of who your end users are and design for their needs.
✅ Keep it simple.
✅ Reduce complexity.
✅ Streamline your e-checkout process as much as possible.
✅ Remove extra elements that detract from your message.
Make it easy for your potential customer to take the next step with… read more
Before going live with any of your website content, consider if the content is respectful, informative, and engaging enough to deserve display space. Also make sure your text is properly formatted, spell-checked, and grammatically correct. Crop and optimize images so they reduce the impact of load times for your page.
Since your users have just a few minutes to make up their minds about your service, give them adequate information to help them come to a favorable decision. When you make unsubstantiated claims or outlandish promises that no one is able to deliver or when you use any kind of “pushy” or even abusive language, your users will feel irritated, and your site will become off-putting. If you provide ground rules and a… read more