Your Internet Presence as a First Impression

The humorist Will Rogers famously noted “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” In the 21st century, we increasingly make that first impression online. Just like you wouldn’t want to see a doctor who keeps leeches in a jar, you don’t want to do business with a professional who appears out of touch or less than current in his or her understanding of their field.

Here are some tips for keeping the website looking fresh and interesting:

Show Your Work
It isn’t enough to tell people you’ve been in the business for umpteen years; everyone knows a professional in some field who has been in the game forever and, let’s face it, got a little lazy along the way. If you’re dedicated to your field, show it off in your updates by sharing articles you’ve been reading, passing along tips, noting quotes that have inspired you, and directing people’s attention to things that you are planning, such as events or seminars. Demonstrating that you are a vital presence, thinking and acting all the time, is a fine way to start a conversation with people.

Content, Content, Content
Creating a Facebook page or LinkedIn account in relation to your website only does you so much good if you aren’t engaging people. While you may have a blog, you may also lack the time and energy to create new material regularly. Don’t be afraid to look into a subscription to a service like our own MarketingLibrary.net or MarketingPRO for assistance with newsletters, articles, and social media content. If you’re too busy to write for yourself, that’s a good sign, right? Stay busy and enjoy the benefit of professionally written content, and then spend your time wisely, having conversations about the content you are posting with your clients and prospects.

Spring for a Face-Lift
Ever stumble onto a really old website that looks like it was uploaded before Y2K… very little in the way of graphics… very basic HTML? In terms of professional quality, it would be like turning up to a seminar dressed like Mike or Carol Brady. Here’s the hard truth: In five years, nearly every website you see now is going to look out-of-date in the same way. While you may have certain design cues that you want to keep, you have to be conscious about staying current in terms of functionality (ex: How does your website look on a smartphone? Does it have the same functionality?) Security should also be on the list if your clients and prospects have to log in in any way.

Keep an Ear to the Ground
Innovation is key. Imagine if you’d been the first person in your field to upload a podcast or post video of a talk on YouTube! We live in an exciting time where new and exciting ways of communicating ideas are cropping up every day. I challenge you to keep abreast of the new things coming our way and asking yourself this question every day: How can I apply this new idea to my business? There may come a day when YouTube is like an 8-track, so do yourself a favor and talk about technology with your colleagues, your friends, even your kids. Being on the cutting edge is one of the best first impressions you can make!

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