When was the last time you looked closely at your company’s profile and how it presents itself to the outside world?

Online Presence
Illustration by PCH-Vector/Getty Images

Here’s why I’m asking: I was doing some brand strategy work recently with someone who shared the name of a company I’d never heard of before. The more I heard about their offering, target audience, and go-to-market strategy, the more intrigued I was. As soon as we concluded our call, I eagerly went online to learn everything I could about the brand. Know what I found? A web presence that was nothing like what I had been told. Worse, it was the complete opposite. Company descriptors said they specialize in providing products for high-end homes and properties, but the images Google shared when I searched the company name were of a nondescript ’50s-era cinder block building in a strip mall in the middle of nowhere that looked sketchy at best. I was dismayed, to say the least.

So, again, I will ask: When was the last time you took a hard look at your company’s online presence and made changes? This isn’t a question only for larger companies — it is a question for ALL companies. If the answer is more than a year and if that effort wasn’t comprehensive, now is the time to commit to reversing that trend, fast. I will go out on a limb and say there are likely very few companies in the channel that wouldn’t benefit from a brand refresh that includes visuals and verbiage.

Look at it this way. If someone were looking at your company for the first time, for any reason, does the vision provided match the narrative? And does it do that successfully on every platform across the sphere, including websites, social media platforms, video platforms, forums, authored articles, in employee profiles on LinkedIn, and comments made on posts, stories? When was the last time you checked GlassDoor? There are many layers to the digital onion. Companies and brands must peel back the layers and inspect what each reveal regularly to be sure each one is right for the time, right for the audience, and right for the market.

Here are a few quick things you can do to get this underway:

  1. Make a list of all online properties for your company and include links to each profile.
  2. Copy the descriptors being used and compare each one to the others, highlighting variances.
  3. Next to each listing, add a screenshot of the website homepage, Google search results page, Google Business Profile, LinkedIn page, and all of the social media platforms the company has (whether active or not).
  4. Now, compare all that to what your company intends to say, show, and support — what do you see?

Likely, you will see some work that needs to be done, and that’s a good thing! There are very few companies, if any, that will go through this exercise and find nothing to change. Even the biggest will experience times when these things get moved to the back burner. It’s okay, give yourself a break. It happens, but it should happen less frequently, so make that the primary goal but vow to increase the frequency every year so that this becomes part of a quarterly or bi-annual review and refresh process. You need to make it so that your stakeholders not only buy into it, but support it because they and their peers will benefit from more engaged prospects and customers and fewer questions asking what your company does. Don’t get caught in that rut.

Take time now to create a review process and schedule, and then stick to that plan. Involve your stakeholders in the execution of the review and then put the resulting modifications in front of your team. Does it provide clarity to your target audience, and is it compelling? If not, keep working on it. Like a woodworker, you will need to carve, sand, whittle, sand again, maybe whittle again, and then polish up before stepping back to see what things look like and how they feel.

Sometimes this can be a daunting task to undertake. I get it! As always, worry not. There are agencies, firms, and freelancers that offer this service and, as always, I’m here to help. Drop me a line if you want to discuss or learn more.

Original article can be found here: https://www.residentialsystems.com/features/secrets-of-success/show-your-best-side

A 25+ veteran of the residential tech & AV integration industries, Katye McGregor Bennett is the CEO of KMB Communications, a boutique communications firm that anchors the intersection of technology + design by connecting brands, buyers, and prospective audiences through creating compelling content and conversation that elevates and amplifies. In addition to co-hosting Design Uncut with Veronika Miller, Katye hosts two popular podcasts, Connecting Tech+ Design and AV Trade Talk. She is part of the DesignHounds influencer group and also serves on the NAHB Custom Technology Work Group, is a strategic advisor in the CEDIAHTA, and AVIXA communities, a frequent contributor to Residential SystemsConnected Design and founder of the AV Yoga group.