Small business owners have some very unique challenges when it comes digital identity management. In particular there is always the need to establish a proper balance between what you are doing online versus how you manage the rest of your business.
Here are five very focused ideas to help a small business owner with their digital identity.
1) A Modern Feeling Website. A modern website can do wonders when it comes to digital identity management. Over time tastes change, as do web best practices. If your current website is more than five years old there is a fairly good likelihood that while it might still have great copy, from a user perspective your site might not be presenting your business in the manner that your business deserves.
2) Stay Focused. Often times when I work with small business owners there is a desire to conquer the world. The reality is when it comes to digital identity management, as a small business owner you will be much better served if you are able to stay focused on specific digital milestones. This point is particularly important for small business owners that are new to the digital space. The idea is to develop an expertise in a select few elements regarding your digital identity, and then over time to spread further. Your goal for every digital touch point that you offer your customers is to make sure that particular interaction enhances rather than detracts from your business.
3) Consistent Messaging. When looking to nurture and manage your digital identity it is very important that you deliver a consistent message throughout not only your entire website but also with your social media, your digital comments, your newsletter and of course on-premise.
4) Pay Attention. Every retailer will tell you that what their competitors are doing matters. This is possibly even more critical when it comes to digital as all of your competitors are only a click or two away. Make sure that you are constantly monitoring your space to ensure that your digital identity remains relevant and meaningful to prospective customers. It has been my own experience that many small business owners fail to adequately prioritize for this. Unfortunately this can result in many lost opportunities.
5) Be Human. So much about being a successful small business owner revolves around personality. In particular when it comes to small business ownership, a big part of what makes your particular business attractive to your customers is the fact that you are the owner. The reality is people prefer to deal with other people rather than with anonymous organizations. A few very easy ways to make sure your digital identity feels “human” is to place your picture on your website, to consider including some personal facts in an “About” page, to sign your blog posts or end with some other very personalized call to action and of course when interacting with people either in your comments section or on social media platforms to make sure that your responses are “human” sounding and consider ending your comments with a signature.
While not a comprehensive list, hopefully the above five tips will get you started in the right direction and will allow you as a small business owner a great opportunity to take command and really begin to engage in effective digital identity management. With limited resources including both time and budget, as a small business owner you need to make sure that your digital identity is optimized and that you are making the most of EVERY opportunity.
Feel free to share your thoughts below, including possibly one or two tips that you might have placed above the five I mentioned. Thanks, Dave
Photo Credit: Flickr