Thursday, December 15, 2011

Are you taking care of your best marketing tool?

You're living in the digital age where 13 year-olds have smart phones, and not a day goes by that doesn't involve millions of people searching for the most random things in the world. Visibility is at an all time high! Let's be honest, it's hard to be visible in the land of a billion, advice and image stuffed blogs/websites. Everyone wants to be recognized, seen, heard, and interacted with. Ultimately this means your personal site is the single most important/best marketing tool you have.

Facebook and Twitter have their own merits, but I'm not talking about them. Because not everyone is involved in the social media whirlwind. If they're like me, then they're probably trying to avoid Twitter and Facebook like the plague. That is until someone ultimately sucks them into the vortex of 140 characters posts, and onlinine games that pose as innocent apps-- damn you Farmville!

Back to the point: Your Website! Are you taking care of it? Applying the miracle grow? Doing some fall or spring cleanup? Because if you're not then you're losing my business and my time-- if you think that doesn't sound bad then remember if you're losing me there's more where I came from.

Call it a rant if you will, but I get annoyed when I'm hitting up an author's website and the coming soon features a book released 6 months prior. The site design is a mish-mash of images and red text on black background. Add the inability to see what's coming next, or not being able to access your backlist easily. Guess what? My business has just gone elsewhere.

You're going to say what I would say, "I'm super busy. Day job, family obligations, personal issues, deadlines!" The consumer only says one thing, "Then obviously my money is not important to you." For me the excuses just mean less traffic, for you these excuses could mean dinner is not going to be chicken breast but a slopping heap of sodium-loaded, artery clogging, blubber inducing ramen. Note: Nothing wrong with a little ramen every now and then, but truth be told it's horrible for you.

How do you solve this problem? Re-vamp, and re-think (if these are not words then they should be)
Re-vamp: Is your site user friendly? Sure it may be butterfly, fairy tweaking pretty. I love a nice background, and some cool javascript art, but ultimately I want to research your product. I want to know about you. Are you someone I want to give my money to once... multiple times? I need access to your accomplishments, books, and knowledge. I also need to know you care. And the ultimate thing to remember is K.I.S.S- Keep. It. Simple. Suckers.
Organize in a friendly fashion. Don't make your potential customers hunt for info or have to jump through hoops to figure out how to contact you. There's a fine line between too much and too little. And unfortunately you're job to figure out the balance.

Re-think: Is your bio up to date? Blog schedule still the same? Are the blurbs the best you got? It's always good to evaluate your content, and make sure that it's free of typos, grammar issues, etc. I've created 3 websites so far for various ventures. I will say that it doesn't matter how many times you drag the pages with a fine-tooth comb, even an expensive one, you'll find errors. Even better you'll find places where you could have said things better...and take it from the not-yet-landed-an-agent person, you can always word things better.

Bottom Line (because you know I always have one): Websites are your online face, and a toothless smile isn't going to bring in the dough. This is the hub that drives your business. If it's not current, easy to navigate, easy on the eyes, or missing the important stuff, you can bet that me and half a dozen other jabberwocky's are leaving after a few clicks. Those clicks need to transform into a purchase. The better the website, the more likely you'll see some significant ROI (return on investment).

**Note: I'm not an expert, just a person with some experience and over a million hours logged into website searching; including plunder and despair!

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