Your Social Profiles
You have established your company and your new personal profile page looks like a million bucks. However, you must remove any crazy party photos and potentially offensive memes from your social profiles. Once you have done that, clean up your photo album and profile generally. People will be researching your profile, especially if they are investing in you or your company. And if you are applying for an employment position, you can be sure the person hiring will be checking out your numerous social media profiles.
Don’t let distasteful images or comments on social media ruin the hard work that you have put in. Use your online reputation to your advantage, not to your detriment.
After you make sure that your personal social media profiles are cleaned up, you will need to establish your brand on social media platforms. It is essential each social account is consistent with the other and that you stay “active” on your accounts.
If your company has various social media accounts which are never updated, your social profile will appear as a digital ghost town which is detrimental to your profile. Ensure that you provide quality content to the online community (i.e. potential clients). This quality content could be in the form of blogs, promotions, videos, pictures, podcasts and more. However, whatever you select to post, you must ensure a consistent brand message and your company’s values are communicated well. The content itself must be entertaining and valuable to your target audience. Publishing quality content frequently is critical to maintaining a reputation of being an active company – as opposed to a company that looks like it is going out of business.
Once you set up and you post content regularly, it is vital to capitalise by building and nurturing social media relationships by responding to questions, comments and feedback promptly. When you provide quality content and are active on social platforms, you are offering your audience a better opportunity to connect with you.
Similarly, you can also connect with other companies and existing brands in the market. Some of these other businesses might even enjoy working on content together with you and your startup or offer valuable advice and cultivate a brand-new working relationship. These opportunities for strategic partnerships have proven to be invaluable for many companies.
Online reviews are important. People read them. Facebook and Google have review and rating systems built into their platforms, as well as many independent websites such as TrustPilot and online directories such as Yelp.
A positive online review is a great way to validate your business quality and promote it simultaneously. The inverse is also true of negative online reviews.
Negative online reviews can be positive as they allow your company to respond positively to negative feedback. People respect companies that are responsible and will listen to them. The worst thing that can happen is that negative comments fall on deaf ears. Online reviews can get out of control before you even know there is a problem. For this reason, I recommend automating the monitoring process. It is almost impossible to manage this yourself, considering the vast number of platforms available online.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Several companies offer software that will monitor your brand online. The software will send you alerts and notices if someone posts a review on major websites or across social media. The software monitors people talking about your brand and what those people are saying about your brand. This type of monitoring software is a valuable tool for startups. Not only can you see what users are having problems with, but you may respond in real-time and react to your customers’ needs.
Be getting feedback faster, and it allows you to continually improve and confirm you are directing your company in the right direction.
Your Personal Brand
Whether you’re a founder, employee or an investor – it is also a great idea to have a personal brand website. This personal website should be one about yourself. You can check out mine at www.benwaldeck.com – it has been very useful.
Your personal brand website should be about you, what you have achieved and what you love to do. While it does have your business experience and knowledge, it can contain a few more personal details. Believe me, if investors are looking to invest in your startup, they will be looking you up online. A personal brand website will raise your credibility if you have done it correctly. Again, simplicity is the key here.
Similarly, if you are reaching out directly to get users to sell them on being the first users of MVP, they will likely look you up online. If you are hiring, candidates will want to know they are working with the right person.
For added credibility, add testimonials from users or clients and even a video if you like. I have done a lot of business after sending people to my personal web page. If you have co-founders, it is a good idea for each of them to have one as well.
Getting Professional with Email
When choosing emails, avoid using free accounts, For example; email@example.com as professionals will not take you seriously. Instead use your first name and your last initial at your domain, for example: firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have a personal domain, like this: email@example.com
Some people use their first name and last name, however as my domain name and my full name is too long, I opted for a shorter format. When choosing email addresses, keep it as short as possible, while remaining professional format.
You can use your email hosting as part of your hosting plan; however, in my experience, it is better to get specialised email services. I have used many email services over the years, from Office 365 to Rackspace and others. I find Google’s G-Suite to be the best. It integrates into a calendar nicely, and you can have a few aliases and is competitively priced. Google G-Suite is the professional version of Gmail. So, you can have your professional email address.