Here’s Some Background On Me And Why I’m Here 😀
This June, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern for the CEO of Entre-SLAM, Christa Chambers-Price. My first job was to search through the internet to find brands and new entrepreneurs that would be interested in competing in a brand accelerator hosted by the American Heart Association with a $30,000 prize and connecting with eager investors.
Within the first 12 days of my internship, I had looked through at least 500+ brand websites trying to sift through each one to find who would be interested in the AHA grant. Believe it or not it was egg—zaus—ting!!!! I cannot express the frustration that set in on my second day…my 2nd day…the day after the first. Has anyone ever searched up a topic and felt like you’ve used all possible key word combinations that exist in your brain? Yes, that was me on my second day.
1) SHARE YOUR WORK
In this age of social media and online interactions being so prevalent, having your website be in tip-top shape is one of the most essential tools you have as a brand. What I mean by this is the ease of navigation throughout the site. Those website themes that look so modern and cool are not what you need, I promise you! If your site is hard to navigate, people will be turned away by that alone. You may be thinking, “oh no, it’s okay, the people who really care about my cause will be fine.” Yeah, no. I mean, sure, you’re going to have a couple ride-or-dies that will get to know what’s up and learn where everything is with no problem but is that really a smart way to build a brand? Let alone a brand that is trying to create social change and leave an impact on this world? I would argue, no. You can do better, and guess what? It is so easy, you’ve already done the hard part, I’m just here to nudge you into perfection.
If you are trying to build a brand, a company, a movement, you need to get exposure. Have those social media accounts and post to them. Post about what you are doing, what you have done, what you wish to do. Let people know who you and your brand are. Hashtag the *^$%# out of all those posts too. Go out there and search for platforms, conferences, or competitions that will increase your exposure. There are so many, trust me, just take the time and start looking.
Don’t wish people were listening to you, make it their only choice but to hear you. The best part about social media and online media, in general, is that everything is at your fingertips. It’s all you baby!
Alright next up on my list – reachability. Or lack thereof?
2) KEEPING TABS ON YOUR TABS
People, people, people. Let’s just start off with the most obvious reason why I’m talking about the reachability of any brand. Once again, “Hi, my name is Kate Preissner, and I’m looking for startup entrepreneurs that are creating social change within their communities and who also want $30,000 to use to advance their brand”. But wait! How do I contact you? Where do I contact you?
This is honestly just a simple case of customer service, but online. Think about when you walk into a retail store and where their helpdesks are placed and how visible they are from the front or main entrance of the store. It’s the same concept only online. Just because it’s an interaction behind a computer screen doesn’t mean it should be any less personal or customer friendly. Think of your website as a virtual helpdesk sitting in your social change store.
No matter where your navigation bar is – the top bar, a side list, whatever – at least two of those should be to contact info, and an “about” or “why” page. Popular headings for contact info that I’ve personally liked were the generic “Contact Us,” but my personal fav is “Meet the Team.” Do you guys see how just a little wordplay automatically makes it more personal and friendly?
You could also separate these into two different pages. If you feel like adding the general contact info to the same page as your team is going to be too cramped or messy, then just split them! This is also a great way to filter through different types of inquiries your brand receives. For example, my inquiry about a $30,000 grant should probably be separated from an inquiry about sizing on a product or any other miscellaneous questions. There should be a clear difference between those two inquiries in both urgency and in the topic. One should probably be forwarded to the CEO or “higher-ups,” and the other could be answered diligently by Linda via email@example.com ;)
2a) SUBMISSION BOXES???
If your website…
- Has a submission box for any and all messages, comments, or inquiries (pictured above)
- Or puts the contact tab at the very bottom of your site in little itty-bitty font (pictured above)
Please change it right now. Yes, right now. Remember up above in part 2 when I was telling you guys about Linda’s firstname.lastname@example.org email being the only available email? Yeah, I would choose Linda’s email address over a submission box 11 times out of 10!
These submission boxes are cool and dandy for Bob over here who needs to figure out when the next volunteer opportunity is going to be or for what Carl can do to become more involved in the program. However, using this as the only source for people to reach you and your entire company is not a good look, nor is it easy for any serious business inquiries to feel…well, serious (i.e., what I was trying to do with the grant competition). By using the submission box method, the conversation or message thread is never started through your email, so now I don’t have a record of what I said or when I said it.
Whenever I came across this issue, it felt like my message or “comment” was going into the great inbox abyss of customer service, email@example.com, “Linda can answer that for you” type of emails. That shouldn’t be the feeling that anyone leaves your site with no matter their inquiry, big or small.
3) NOW WE ARE COMMUNICATING
This is it, guys! This is what I’m talking about!
I looove seeing this!!! Look at the multiple avenues this brand has given me to contact them and others on their team.
It’s all in the format. You’ve got a name up top, their position within the organization/brand, a little bio/background, then a phone number, and individual business email addresses.
It’s so beautiful I could cry! :’)
1) If your “meet the team” tab looks like the example above in part 3,
2) Your “contact us” tab looks like the submission box from part 2a, and
3) Both of those tabs and your “about/why” tab are visible and accessible within one click from your home page…
Congratulations! You are now a proud owner of a website that doesn’t intimidate or annoy potential donors, accelerator, and opportunities.
Whew, if you’re still reading this and made it all the way through this post…the jokes on you because I stopped reading after how I spelled exhausting in that second paragraph. 😂
In all seriousness, through the hundreds of companies that I have gotten to learn about, I absolutely adore what everyone is doing to help make this world a better place to live in for everyone in it! I’m just here to nudge you into perfection because I know you are capable of everything you wish to be and more!