Do you own your website assets?

Do you have control over your web assets?  You should.

Do you have control over your web assets? You should.

Do you own your business domain? Can you access your website?

I am concerned by what we have recently found while consulting with a number of small businesses. Over the last 7 working days, I have encountered this several times, so it bears sharing with you: if you have a web presence, someone in your organization needs to know how to access it and your organization should own the domain name. Here are three things to keep in mind:

1) If I search your domain name in WhoIs, who will be the registrar? What I mean is, if I go to a WhoIs site and look up who OWNS or has registered that domain (your domain is your .com/.net or .org address) will it say your name or will it say your web developer’s name? It should say your name on the underlying record. If you have opted for private registration, check with the host and ensure your name and address are on the main record. To do this:

* go to a WhoIs lookup and type in your domain name (without the www). Click Lookup.
* Scroll down until you see the WhoIs Record. Is your business representative’s name and address listed? If it is a private registration, and you authorized a private registration, it won’t be there. Otherwise, you should see YOUR business information. Not your web designer’s. Ask your web partner to transfer the domain into your name. You can still give them access as a vendor and they can still do their job, but now you are in control of your domain name.

2) Do you have the logins to reach your site? We are working with three clients right now to update their web presence, better integrate social media tools and improve their search engine optimization. To do that, we needed to have access to their web files. The client did NOT have any information about where their web site was housed or how to reach it. They had to contact their web developer. That person refused to give the information until we got involved.

It’s your business, your brand. Make sure you have all logins and information in case you decide to make a change or have an internal resource take over the work. Again, even if you remain with your current provider, someone in your organization should have this login information on file. Would you not have login information to your payroll or to QuickBooks?

3) Do you have a backup of your site (and I mean all of its files)? This backup should live where you can reach it. If anything happens, you can work with someone to restore the information.

Look, it’s ok to rely on trusted partners to help you on web design, social media integration and more. Just use the same common business sense that you’ve used before.

You wouldn’t want to be kept in the dark about your finances, your medical condition or your personnel. Technology is no different. Be in control of your website assets.

3 Big Social Media Myths Debunked Here

Social Media is about business. Don't be dumb.

Social Media is about Business. Don't be dumb.

We have had the pleasure of spending a good amount of time talking with small and large business key executives in the Vistage group and with small biz chamber members via our local chambers of commerce.

There continues to be a lot of misinformation surrounding social media and its impact on business. I’d like to hop up on my soapbox and address a few of them based on recent conversations with prospects and new clients.

Myth 1: Social media is easy. Wrong. Social media applications are usually easy to understand. But social media as a strategy, like any other marketing and sales strategy, requires planning, knowledge and experience.

A successful social media strategy takes time, patience and finesse. Remember, social media is SOCIAL. You are developing a relationship with these folks. That is no easier than walking into a party and trying to develop a trusting relationship with someone you just met. Do ya think that only takes 15 minutes, too?

Myth 2: Social media is free. Wrong. The applications and software are usually free to use, but to do social media right, there are costs.
* who will monitor your online reputation and efforts?
* who will Tweet and write for you?
* who will gather content assets for you to use?

Are time and resources worth something to you? Is your brand worth somoething to you? Is your online reputation worth something to you? If you can put a dollar figure on these things, then social media needs to be taken seriously.

Myth 3: We know how to do this because we’re young (or already using it personally). There is nothing you can show me that I don’t already know. Ha! This is my favorite. If you think social media is something that anyone can know everything about, you’re wrong there, too. Even the top names in the game (Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, et al) can’t know it all because it’s an ever changing landscape. Just because you understand the mechanics of some of the more common social media applications and use it to tell your friends about karaoke does not mean you have the business prowess to connect the dots to lower expenses, increase sales leads or impact the bottom line.

I know how to paint and hammer a nail, but I get some help when I’m adding on a larger addition. This is your brand, your business, your future. Be smart about it…Take some time and a little money to get some input.

Social Media: It’s the Why not the How

Embrace the WHY of social media to grow your business. Last week I attended a local leadership meeting and was honored to make a mini-presentation to the members on social media. I didn’t realize that the hardest part would be explaining why they should get involved. They wanted to know about the mechanics of the how. That’s the wrong approach.

    The Right Approach is the Why

1) Social Media is, well, social. Social is good! Don’t you attend local meetings? Reach out network at community events? Volunteer? Create lasting relationships to generate sales and satisfaction? Why should you be engaging in social media? For the same reasons.

2) It’s one-to-one, but your reach is one-to-many. Where else can you get your message out to hundreds or thousands in an instant? For free? It bears repeating here that your posts, your Tweets, your status updates, etc. should still smell like a personal conversation. You’ve heard me talk about authenticity. Your conversations need to feel real and be targeted to the person – not your 600 followers.

3) The conversation is happening – either you’re in or you’re out. I’m amazed at the number of businesses who still think social media is folly. Folly, I say! That’s just crazy talk. It’s only folly if you don’t plan, don’t create a strategy and a policy, and walk into it blindly. Hear me: Prospects are talking about you and your company. And they will continue to talk whether or not you’re in the game. How is that smart?

4) Social media is not going away, so live with it. I know I’m being a little ornery in this post, but there is no time to be coy. Remember back in the day when your mom announced that email would never be the primary method of communication? No one thought instant messaging and texting would be around for long? Hello! They are now ingrained into our social communication consciousness. Social media is not going anywhere, but maybe your organization is if you don’t move now.

Ok, I’m passionate about this for lots of reasons. If you’ve read some of our other posts here, you know that I feel strongly that this is the now and the future of relationship building with your customers, prospects, vendors and partners.

But, you have to embrace, internalize and believe in the why before you jump on the how.

You can visit Professional Mojo to find out more about onsite and online training, keyword talks and custom social media plans toolkits created for your needs.

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