The new year is on its way whether we are ready for it or not. This is the season for end of year planning, preparing for the new year's goals, and figuring out the best ways to make the most of our time.
As you are setting goals and prepping for the new year, there is a part of your business you shouldn't overlook. Your online marketing presence. Right here at the end of the year is an important time to consider if and how you are utilizing the best online strategies to grow your business. It's time for a checkup!
1. Conduct an End-of-Year Review
Grab your journal or open up a new page on your laptop and ask yourself...
- What did I accomplish this year?
- What went well and what do I want to expand on?
Once you've taken a look back ask yourself...
- What do I want to do differently?
- What do I want to improve on in my business in the new year?
2. Showcase the Highlights
Look back through your past projects and old emails. Make note of the growth and good work you did this year. But don't keep those accomplishments to yourself. Highlight them on your website and social media accounts? Don't have a website for your business yet? Don't fret. We will cover that in just a minute.
3. Create or Update Your Website
If you haven't taken the plunge and hired someone to help you show off your expertise and share your brand story as a creative small business owner with a custom designed website the new year may just be the time.
We know it can be a little daunting (and even scary), but we promise if you work with the right designer, it will be a fun and rewarding experience.
Maybe you already have a website but feel it's time for a rebrand and a fresh look to represent the mission of your business. Send a message to a designer and get started creating a brand that represents your business' unique story and message.
4. Create a Consistent Editorial Habit
Content, the stuff you say to the world (your ideal customer), is what sets you apart. Now that you have a plan to either have your website built or rebranded, create a schedule for your content.
Consistency is the key to a strong content strategy. It's what will set you apart from your competition. We are big fans of blogging here at STM because your content is housed on your own website, your real estate here on the internet. But your content plan can be as simple as when and what you will post on your social media platforms.
Right here at the end of the year is a great time to start creating a consistent content habit. Don't wait until the beginning of the year when business starts to take off and get busy again. Create this new habit now that will carry over into the new year.
5. Update Your Profile Pictures
This may seem a little unimportant but you might be surprised how many people are still using their high school picture as their profile picture on their professional platforms.
All of your social media platforms you are using professionally and your website images should be of your current likeness. Nothing breaks trust more than when a potential client meets you in person after checking you out on social media and your website (and I promise they will most definitely check you out online) and doesn't even recognize you because your profile image was from the 90s.
Even if you don't think you've changed, it's still smart to update your profile photo anyways.
6. Commit to Learning One New Platform or Online Marketing Strategy
Part of running an online business (or even if your business is a brick and mortar store) is growing your online presence. Like I mentioned before, your potential customers are most definitely checking you out online. Committing to learning how to market online is a huge part of your success.
Perhaps you already know Facebook from back to front. Consider diving into Pinterest, especially now that you have a website to link back to, and growing your online presence there. Or consider growing your email list in the new year and diving into effective email marketing strategies.
As you consider which platform or marketing strategy to master next, ask yourself where your ideal client is hanging out. Do you own a photography business where you take newborn pictures? Instagram might be the best platform for you to tackle next. Are you a blogger? Pinterest is your best friend.
Whatever your business, it's important to ask yourself where your ideal customer is hanging out online and be in that place. Don't try to be everywhere. Be where your customer is. You can always add a platform or strategy as you get more proficient in this new one.
As you take a look at your goals and dreams for your business in the new year, don't forget to give your online presence a tweak. We live in a world where online marketing strategies can't be ignored. It's an exciting time for us as creative small business owners and bloggers!
Blessings in 2018 for both you and your business!
Welcome! I am April Williams a freelance writer and Squarespace web designer working with creative small business owners. I am passionate about God, family, spoiling my Boxers and coffee...in that order. Here you will find practical tips for branding, marketing and social media so be sure to check out the blog for more free training and resources.