Are you busy running off to do the next thing on your marketing list while the last thing is still cooling in the dust?
Have you put some of your marketing on autopilot and left it running so you can chase down bigger fish?
Do you sometimes finish a task or launch a campaign then breathe a sigh of relief and move on with a quick brush of your palms?
Then this quiz is for you!
It’s the slow-down, pay-attention, marketing-is-never-done guide to success.
Take this quick quiz to get in touch with things you may not have given a second thought – or even a first thought to.
1. How Long Has It Been Since You Updated Your Business Card?
Your whatnow? Do people still have those?
In an internet age, those little paper cards may seem passé and that’s part of the problem! When we work online we have less opportunity to hand out business cards but the next time you attend a conference, networking event, meetup or business meeting, you’re going to want that card handy.
So how current is it?
Did you print 500 cards six years and two phone numbers ago? Was that before you started a Facebook page and cancelled your fax?
Get smarter: Dig your card out right now and look at the content. Does it reflect well on your business and brand? Is your contact information correct and current? If not, it’s time for a reprint.
2. When Was The Last Time You Read The Copy On Your Website?
Writing great web copy is intensive, time-consuming and gut-wrenching. You pour your heart and soul into it and even if you hire a copywriter you still have to go through the process of telling someone about your business and perfecting everything from the calls-to-action to the “About” page.
The problem is that your business is never as static as your web copy.
You may change a product line, add or remove a service, rethink your bio or grab a few great new testimonials. Unless you’re regularly updating your site, the details can quickly get away from you.
Get smarter: Look at your home page right now. Is it current? Is it accurate? Does it give visitors the best information and most direct path to action? Start there and then revisit every page on your site. When you find details that aren’t quite right, change them. Don’t worry about doing it all at once. Small periodic changes are better than a total revamp when you find the whole thing outdated.
3. How Does Traffic To Your Website Compare To Traffic A Year Ago?
Or a month ago? Or last week?
Unless you’ve got a really good memory, you don’t need to have exact numbers in your head but you do need to know where to find them. And you should also have a general idea of your site’s progress.
I’m using the word “traffic” loosely, because there’s more to it than the raw number of visitors. You should know how long those visitors are staying. What they’re reading. Whether they’re converting.
Overall you need a big-picture understanding of what your website is doing beyond taking up space on the internet.
Get smarter: Run some reports right now. Compare a year ago to today and look at the trends on your site. What do they tell you? Bounce rate going up? Hm, when was the last time you checked your web copy….
4. How Many New Fans Have You Added To Your Facebook Page In The Last Month?
It’s not always about the numbers. But sometimes it’s about the numbers. No, they don’t always mean conversions and sales but they’re a pretty good indication of whether people are finding you and finding what you say valuable.
You can apply this to your Twitter account, Pinterest page or anywhere else you have a social presence. If you let your accounts languish and aren’t engaging people, it will show in your numbers.
Get smarter: Keep a simple spreadsheet of month-over-month growth. It doesn’t need to be meteoric but it should trend upwards and certainly not downwards. For hyper-local businesses, your audience may not show much growth but if you’re losing people that could be a bad sign.
5. Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Marketing 101. Know your audience.
You may think you know who your ideal customer is but if you’ve been in business for a while you could be taking this for granted and missing the mark.
If you’ve just started and you’re trying to appeal to “as many people as possible” then you’re definitely missing the mark.
As your company evolves, your ideal customer may change. And as you gain more experience in business you’ll probably refine your definition as you discover your true niche.
Get smarter: Look at your ideal customer persona. If you don’t have one, write it now. Can it be refined? Has it changed? Are you sure you’re hitting the right target or do you see room for fine-tuning?
6. How Old Are You In Your Bio Shot?
The good news is my bio shot is only three years old. The bad news is I’m a little grayer now…
You don’t need to update your photo every six months but if your LinkedIn profile has your college graduation photo and now you’re 40… it’s time to get out the camera.
We all want to look the best we can and nobody wants to update a photo with one looking older and wiser.
But pretending to be a perky 20-something when you’re not is bad for business and bad for your self-esteem, too. Be you. It’s who people want to do business with anyway.
Get smarter: Take an inventory of everywhere your profile photo appears. Social accounts, forums, bios. It should be an accurate representation of you. If it’s older than a few years, update it. Having a Gravatar can help – you can change your photo once and have it reflected anywhere a Gravatar is used.
7. Why Are You Using [Insert Social Network Here]?
Just because you did doesn’t mean you still have to.
If you set up a social profile for your business because it seemed like a great idea at the time/everyone else had one/someone told you to/it used to be a great lead source – rethink!
A sad, neglected account is worse than no account at all. Remember, there are no rules about what you have to do and where you have to be. There is only what works for your business.
And even if it’s “working”, your goals may have changed as your business has changed or as you’ve learned more about how to use the network.
Get smarter: Take stock of all your social profiles. What are your goals for each? Can you define them in one sentence? Are your activities on that network matched to your goals?
8. When Was The Last Time You Updated Your Bio?
Put this in the column along with updating your web copy and your profile photos.
If you’ve been around the internet block it’s impossible to update your bio everywhere. There are probably guest posts, references to old speaking gigs or defunct eBooks floating around. That’s ok because your bio is just who you were when you did those things.
But the bio that’s on your social networks and in your LinkedIn profile and on your website – and the one you cough up for the next guest post or speaking gig – that one should be current.
Unless you’ve done nothing, achieved nothing and changed not a whit, your bio should reflect you right now.
Get smarter: Read your bio right now. Does it showcase your most recent achievements or are you still referencing that one thing you did back in 2001? How well does it reflect your current goals and personal style? It may need a revamp, but don’t neglect to make minor changes now and then, even if it’s only because you thought of a better word to use in the first paragraph.
9. How Much Time Are You Spending On Social Media?
More importantly, how much time are you really spending?
The day I started tracking every second I spent on social media is the day I stopped spending so much time on social media.
Social sites can be a real time-suck, whether you use them personally or professionally. And for a lot of us, I bet there’s a lot of crossover. I may go onto Facebook to post on our business page but not without checking out my friends’ latest baby photos and that funny George Takei quote.
Without an understanding of where your time goes, and perhaps even a time limit, you might be losing hours every day that could better be spent growing your business.
Get smarter: Use a timer or time-tracking software to figure out exactly where your time goes. Don’t cheat! If you get sidetracked for an hour clicking through to news articles from Facebook, that still counts. Track yourself for a full week and then evaluate how you’re spending your time. Set limits with goals for your social use.
10. What’s Your Month-Over-Month Email List Growth?
Sometimes we’re just happy to see “more”.
But you could be learning a whole lot more from your list growth than just the fact that it is, indeed, growing.
Growing is good, but wouldn’t it be awesome to know why? If you examine your numbers and then evaluate it against your content, campaigns and promotions for that month, you can start to see patterns.
The months we went heavy on interviews here? List disaster.
The month we gave away an editorial calendar? Meteoric.
Lesson learned: fewer interviews and more free stuff.
Get smarter: Start a spreadsheet with your month-to-month numbers. Add it to the spreadsheet where you’re tracking your social following and you’ve just made your life easier! Note your promotional efforts and your numbers for the month. Watch over time to see what works and what doesn’t.
And there you have it – 10 simple questions to help you get in touch with your marketing and ratchet up its effectiveness. How did you do? Are you totally on top of things or did you find areas to improve? Start with one task and keep going until you’ve got a good grasp on exactly where you’re headed.
Got any other questions that you think we should be asking? Share them in the comments!
Join the discussion 6 Comments
Thanks for those reminders. In my about me page on my writing blog I’ve got a picture of me when I was 2, but it’s just to be original. I’d seen this from a successful blogger and I thought it was fun. Then I have two more recent pictures.
My avatar, though, was starting to get old, so I changed to this one which is very recent (few months old).
I’m very bad at keeping track with my traffic and I have to work on this, I know. For me the issue is always one thing and one thing only – time!
I haven’t made business cards in a while, because I haven’t needed them in a long time, but I see people’s resume every day with disconnected phone numbers. That’s a shame. We really need to update constantly.
Thanks for this reminder that we all need.
Good point about resumes! That’s something I bet a lot of people put together then just reuse and reuse…. but you never know when your phone number or something else might have changed. It’s always a good idea to check those details.
I like the idea of having a baby photo, because of course it’s obvious that you don’t look like that anymore. It’s nice to have it alongside your current photo so people can see you then and now. Great idea!
These are some great reminders! I confess I’m one of those people with the box of old business cards, but I actually have been thinking of updating them, so guess it’s time to do it!
Yup, probably time. “Old” isn’t bad as long as they are still current and in good condition. Sometimes if you have them too long, even if they are correct, they start to get frayed edges and look “old”. It’s inexpensive to print them online so it’s worth keeping them new.
This article was really helpful! Thank you.
Glad it could help, Anne.