Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are You Ready To Market Yourself?

At the beginning of a New Year a lot of small businesses make the decision to step up their marketing efforts by investing more time and money in advertising, social media marketing, and related avenues. It’s a great time to do it, the rush of Holiday sales is over, you’ve got a fresh new perspective on a brand new year, and if you do any business related reading it’s what everyone is talking about; how to get ahead in the year ahead.

I also fully support a well-planned marketing strategy. It keeps you on top of goals and ahead of the game for holiday marketing and special opportunities. Unfortunately all the buzz about getting more traffic, making more sales, and reaching more clients can get in the way of the real question. Are you ready to handle them? Are you putting your best foot forward?

First impressions are key and a customer’s first experience in your store will greatly influence whether they come back or tell their friends. So what does it mean to be ready? Here are some key areas and resources to make your website and your brand ready for the world.


- Is your logo distinct and representative of your overall vision?

- Is your logo easy to read and memorable?

- Do you have a website address that’s easy to find and easy to remember?

- Do you have a Unique Selling Proposition that is clearly stated?

- Do you have a blog that tells your story?

Website Design

- Is your website attractive and easy to navigate?

- Does your website carry through the image of your brand with colors and fonts?

- Do you have professional photos - sharp, true to life colors, details of products?

- Is key information easy to find - how to contact, store policies, payment options?

- Is important information clearly presented in readable text and easy to find pages?

- Do all your links work?

- Have you proofread your copy?

Customer Experience

- Can your customers find your contact information easily?

- Is it easy to purchase items or services?

- Is the checkout process easy to follow?

- Are there unnecessary steps or information asked for?

Built in Marketing

- Do you have an about page that tells your story?

- Do you have links to any press you’ve gotten?

- Is it easy for a blogger or magazine to share information about you - photos, links to your store or blog?

- Can I sign up for a newsletter?

- Can I find your Facebook or Twitter pages?

- Do you share any other social media networks you belong to?

The goal of marketing is to attract customers, but if you're not ready to give them the best experience then it's time and money wasted. Put your best foot forward from the beginning and your customers will keep coming back and tell their friends.

Are you ready to market yourself? Can you answer yes to all these questions?

This is part one in a 5 part series, here are links to the rest:

Branding: It's All About Experience and Benefit

What Does Your Website Say About You?

Customer Service - Do You Know What Your Customers Experience?

Is Your Website Marketing For You?

I encourage comments directly to this post, but also feel free to email me directly with questions, reactions, struggles, etc.

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!

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