I have been gathering ideas for this blog post for a while after noticing some improvements that could be made. These are for small business start ups, if you are unsure how to begin. We all have to start somewhere, luckily, I had my Computing degree and graphic design agency experience that both came in handy. Which is why I put together 10 tips for small business start ups that might come in handy.
1) Get a website
Even if you’re just starting up – having a website adds to professionalism. If you have nothing to put on there at the moment, you can create a ‘website coming soon/under development’ page. This adds anticipation for your followers. Buy a domain name and hosting. (Use the code SWB10 for 10% off hosting with my recommending hosting company – who I use too!)
If you are creating your own website please please make sure it’s done right. There are so many businesses out there I have loved their work but their website is such a bad first impression that it instantly puts you off!
No music, no crazy backgrounds, correct margins, padding, don’t use flash if you can help it. It doesn’t work on phones and tablets. Don’t use 3 different fonts and please don’t use Comic Sans – ask any designer and they will shudder at this font!
If not – it’s really not that expensive to set up a wordpress site and buy a decent theme – or getting someone to do it for you. It is an investment at the end of the day and this will help visitors visit and stay on your website.
Which brings me to my next point…
The amount of times I have seen people use gmail or even worse – hotmail on their twitter accounts. Now this isn’t a dig – these are tips to help better your business. Having a gmail or hotmail or yahoo etc email doesn’t reflect your business side.
Looking at the two examples above – you know which one appeals more and more people will be willing to email…
3) A newly designed website which isn’t responsive
As a web developer – I get really excited when I see people tweet that they have a new website being launched! So when I click on the link – browse around, looks nice and appealing – great! Then when I resize the browser – my heart is shattered. It’s NOT RESPONSIVE!
Ahh the frustration!
Responsive websites are websites that are designed and developed so they respond to any screen size you are viewing the website on. Take the time now to resize the blog – see how everything still stays on the page.
With more and more websites being viewed on your mobile phone or tablet, why should you have a website only designed for the desktop?
If you compliment someone’s work/website on twitter – give a reason as to why you do. Otherwise it can seem generic and not much thought gone into it…
Oh I love your blog – I often get, thank you, I love it too, can you tell me why?
Other people often compliment the design and easy navigation, I’ll take that compliment! It’s nice to know why you love something about someone’s work or blog or website. Then that will grab the attention more as opposed to receiving a generic comment.
5) Be genuine
Keep in touch with bloggers if they have helped you get exposure. There is nothing more annoying than when you take the time to write a feature about someone or a company and then all you receive back is ‘Thanks’ and no contact afterwards. Slap in the face!
6) Connecting your twitter profile to Pinterest or facebook.
Yes there are highlights of this and it’s easy to connect them to share across platforms. However the annoying thing is if someone is posting pictures to facebook and our news feed has about 17 “I just posted a photo to facebook”. It’s annoying. Don’t be that annoying person.
I have had to unfollow people in the past who have done that because it was happening so often and I didn’t follow them to see that. I want to see those products on their website or twitter account. The same is with Pinterest, I do love it. And I often share something to twitter if I feel its right. I do not however when I’m on a pinning afternoon, share all 25 pins on twitter. If people wanted to see ALL of your pins, they’d follow you on Pinterest right?
7) Daily Stats
So you want to see how many followers and unfollowers you have?
That’s fair enough as we all keep an eye on those stats. But to tweet it daily about how many followers you are losing and how many you’re receiving. Often you are losing more followers than gaining and you wonder why? Stop tweeting those daily stats, deauthorise that app that tweets on your behalf. Tweet about your work, that’s why I’m following you!
8) Unhappy Tweeters
If you’re having a bad day, you tweet about it. Fair enough I sympathise. If you’re having a bad week and tweet every day about how tired you are or how this has gone wrong etc, I don’t want to know! People would rather read fun, happy positive tweets as opposed to the opposite! Again, I have had to unfollow people whose work we actually do admire, because of their constant whining. Have you heard of the law of attraction? Take that into consideration. What you complain about you will attract, – think before you tweet.
9) Brand Consistency
With experience of working in a design agency, I can’t stress the importance of branding enough! You have your business name, great – create your profile across the platforms. So if your business is secret cakes, don’t call your fb page secret cup cakes, and your twitter secret pink cakes.
Catch my drift? Keep it consistent so your fan base will be able to find you on those platforms. If your name is long and you have issues fitting it in – that is fair enough. I had the same on my twitter secretweddingb is my @username. My screen name is secret wedding blog so it’s still in keeping with the brand.
The same goes for a logo. When I set up my blog, I didn’t have a logo – and that is annoying on twitter and facebook. You don’t want to be the unhatched egg on twitter – you will get less followers and can appear as spam!
So get a temporary logo in the meantime. Doesn’t have to be great as its not permanent. The logo below was only a temporary logo – you didn’t really think it was the final thing did you? 😉
That was quickly done using an app on the iPhone one lunchtime and instantly you feel better having the same branding across the platforms.
If I haven’t emailed you back and you’re already emailing back asking the same question again – yeah that’s annoying.
I had to set up an auto-responder on our emails because I was receiving so many and it can be difficult to keep up. If you haven’t heard back from someone, give it up to a week (depending on what was agreed) to chase them up. They may have forgotten or you may just be in a queue and waiting for your turn!
I am not claiming to be perfect in Secret Wedding Blog’s Internet presence, but I have quickly picked up a few tips that I thought could help others out there. So I hope it helps you and your business or blog become successful!1