Staying Connected

Staying Connected

Welcome to Staying Connected, brought to you by SkyCastle Productions. 

In Staying Connected our goal is to help business owners navigate the uncertain times we’re currently living in, and help provide tips to operating a business when your customers and clients can’t physically be on site. 

In today’s inaugural episode we’re going to be talking about websites, my bread, and butter.

How your website can be a tool to help educate your clients on what you do, and why you do it, but also how your website can keep sales, and operations functions on track. 

I’ll be sharing with you some solutions from my own clients as well as identifying some ideas that may help you. 

Identifying Goals

When working with my own clients the first thing I do is identify their marketing goals. Even ones they may not think of as part of their website design. There are many solutions that your website may be able to offer even for your “offline goals”. When working with clients who want to provide educational products we could create a “members only” area on the site where their students could download lesson plans, or re-watch recorded content. If someone wanted to share their products on Facebook there are shopping cart features that we can use to create direct sales links so that a client could purchase your product directly from your post on Facebook or Instagram. Identifying your goals is the first step to knowing what should, or shouldn’t be on your website. 

So if you’re following along with me now think about your on and off-website goals. Jot a few down and think “If I couldn’t be face to face with my clients how could I preform these goals online?” 

Solving Puzzles with Missing Pieces

I never thought I’d have to ask any client “How does the day-to-day work happen for your business in the current rules of your state’s level of self-quarantine?”. But, here I am asking this.

How DOES the day-to-day work happen for your business in the current rules of your state’s level of quarantine? Where I live in GA our Governor has requested that all counties take part in a shelter in place effort, and in my city Atlanta our Mayor has shut down all non-essential businesses and limited all gatherings to less than 10 people. For small businesses, this could be a death sentence. This is why it’s important to think about what your day-to-day could look like with you physically being on-site at your office or retail location. 

Right now your website probably doesn’t have the capability to schedule calls or complete orders. Most websites for restaurants, retail, or business to business operations have 5 basic pages. 

Home, About Us, Our Services, Request a Quote, and Contact. 

Home is usually a rotating slider of products you offer. About us probably has one paragraph about when the company was founded, with short bios about the founders. Request a quote may have a form for your clients to fill out, and contact has information about how to visit you in person. 

This website structure works. I won’t pretend that it doesn’t. However, it only works when you’re in the office and operating normally.

So if you’re taking notes, now is the time to think about what your day-to-day looks like and how your website can be used to fill in the blanks for things you would normally have to be in the office to complete. 

Tips and Tricks

Now that we’re thinking about our goals, and how we can use our websites to replace in-office operations, let’s talk about some basic scenarios to enhance websites to serve your business better.

Restaurants:

A friend of mine and I were talking this last week and we both mentioned how many mom-and-pop restaurants aren’t going to be able to keep their doors open and employees on in this current client. One of the main reasons for this is because they have no way to engage their customers if those customers don’t walk in the door. 

This is why it’s important no matter how small your restaurant might be for you to consider online ordering. 

Online ordering happens when a client visits your website and places an order from your menu. They then pay for their meal online and pick up the meal curbside. 

To accomplish this you’ll need 3 things. A website, a credit card processor with a shopping cart compatible feature, and a vibrant attractive menu. 

Retail: 

Locally owned retail stores have been some of the hardest-hit industries yet they have one of the easiest abilities to move their services online. 

While the obvious needs to accomplish a move online for a retail business is to have a website, eCommerce platform and detailed photos of your products another way to attract business and remind your clients you’re still around is to have an active and engaging social media account. 

The first step to this is to know your clients. If you’re targeting women ages 18 – 35 you’d start by posting your products on Instagram and identifying the most used hashtags for your industry. Likewise, if you’re selling yard equipment to professional landscapers think about building a “Group” page from your company’s Facebook page and inviting all the local land scapers to it. By doing this you not only create a direct path to your client, but you keep the people who are most likely to engage with your content connected to you and each other. 

Salons and Beauty Services:

Salons and beauty services face a different set of hurdles. Most of your client interactions require you to be less than 6 feet apart from your clients, and it requires you to handle people who potentially could be ill. Hairstylists have been working through these issues every flu season since the invention of the reclining hair washing chair, but now they’re unable to muddle through with the best hygienic practices. 

Now is a time to consider a different model for your business. Affiliate marketing maybe your greatest ally at this time. Affiliate marketing is when a brand offers a cut of a product sold from the website or social media post of an industry professional. If your salon sells specialty products reach out to the manufacturers of those products and see if they offer any affiliate marketing tools for them. 

You should also consider educational videos and posts to instruct your clients on why they shouldn’t buy certain boxed colors or cut their bangs themselves. 

Moving On

Thank you for watching our first episode, be sure and let us know what you think so message us or visit our website to email us. www.SkyCastleProductions.com. In our next episode, we’ll be talking with William Twitty, SkyCastle’s lead photographer about using photos to upgrade your menus and showcase your products for online use. If you have questions for William be sure to send them to us before Wednesday so we can have them ready to answer!

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