Whether it’s excercising more, cutting down on unhealthy treats or taking time to do things I love, I enjoy the challenge of a New Year’s resolution. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the previous year and give myself the opportunity to work on maintaining a healthy life balance.
Personally, my 2018 resolution is about keeping my body in better shape – I’m 45 this year and last year my body started reminding me of this in no uncertain terms! The pool and my bike will be seeing more of me this year (and please feel free to check in on me in a few months time to see if I am keeping to that).
So – if the start of the year is good for a personal resolution, then what about one for your business, and the digital aspect of your business? Again – it’s a great time to reflect on the previous year, and in particular the things that we *should* be doing, and in the busy lead up to Christmas it’s quite easy to let things slip…
Here are a few ideas to help you get started and work on a digital 2018 resolution for your business!
1. Improving your website’s SEO
OK – so ‘SEO’ (or Search Engine Optimisation) is a ma-hassive subject and there are so many factors that come into play that are important to consider.
There’s finding and using appropriate keywords & making sure your content is using them; there’s technical things that help like download speed and SSL certificates; there’s making sure your website has good structure and the important pages have internal links to them; there’s consistent business citations on directories and links back to your website; and there’s more… But how on top of these are you? Where do you start?
If working out a SEO plan for 2018 is a good resolution for your business then I’d suggest taking a step back and get an SEO review done. There’s lots of software out there that can generate a report for you – or you can hire someone to do one for you (and translate the technical jargon into a user-friendly plan).
2. Blogging well, blogging consistently
There are plenty of good reasons why you should blog on a regular basis (see this post – 18 Awesome Benefits to Blogging!). So how was 2017 for your blog?
Chances are, as so often happens with small businesses, there were many more higher priority tasks that beat that monthly blog post on your to do list. Or even if you have been pretty consistent with blogging, has it been getting traffic, and the right kind of visitor?
Now is a great time to put in place a 2018 blogging plan. Start off by looking at your ideal customer, then work out what problems they have that you can help solve. Once you have a list of these problems, work out how you can write about your part in solving them (and if relevant when the appropriate time is throughout year). I like to use a web app for tracking tasks like this (I use Asana for instance) but you can just use your diary!
I suggest compiling 6 months worth of blog post titles, add bullet points for each of them so they are easy to pick up and write, and get them into your action plan for the year.
3. Blowing your business’s trumpet, and blowing other’s too
I am English (well actually I’m a blend of English, Scottish, Welsh and Danish… but I grew up and was educated in England) and so as is consistent with my nationality I am less likely to shout to the rooftops about how great I am than others may. How about you?
In terms of marketing and so in terms of your business, if you are not the a vocal advocate of your business then how do you expect anyone else to be? If blowing your own trumpet sounds like a good plan to make, from a digital perspective then here’s a couple of things you could be doing: –
- Make sure your website has a strong and positive message that clearly identifies what you are great at, and give examples of them as case studies, portfolio items and great testimonials from your customers.
- Use social media to promote examples of what you do. For instance post on your Facebook page or LinkedIn profile about a great job you’ve done and share it using a personal social media profile. Then send a message directly to a couple of your contacts (ideally influencers in your target market) and ask them to share it on their social network.
- Send out email newsletters to your clients, prospects and subscribers list that help them understand more about what you do, why you are great at it, and what benefits they can get from engaging with you.
- Go to networking meetings, identify businesses where your services can run alongside and support theirs, whose customers are similar to yours, and consider how you can work together to promote each other. Combine forces and create a marketing plan that targets customers to your mutual benefit.
4. Engaging with your customers, socially.
We all know what a massive impact Social Media has had on the world – it is almost impossible to ignore, even if you wanted to.
For business, the rise in use of mobile devices has meant that the potential to be seen at literally any time of the day, and in any place is more likely than at any point in history. I’m not suggesting you keep logged in and alerted 24-7 – that would plainly be unhealthy – but I am suggesting that if you don’t use Social Media for your business very much, then consider starting, or consider being more active.
As with my suggestion about blogging, above, I’d suggest a starting point of visualising your ideal customer, working out what social media platform they are most likely to use and considering the right sort of content for the customer and the platform.
Then I’d suggest thinking about being social on it – not just broadcasting, but listening, responding, conversing – being social.
I really could just go on writing more and more suggestions here, and as with all advice (even if it is dressed up as suggestions) I am being careful to take my own for myself. I hope the list above is helpful to you and your business though, and if you’ve not considered a digital resolution for your business for 2018, that my suggestions help to define one.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – do you have a New Year’s resolution for your business, digital or otherwise? If you do then what is it, and how do you intend keep to it over the course of the year ahead?
Now… time for my 44 year old body to hit the pool!