Your online reputation on the is your main source of business growth, if you’re like most founders. That’s the quality and quantity of your visibility and opportunities.
Here are 3 tips on how to make your website and social media accounts reflect what’s good about you.
This is a very meta activity. I’ll audit Northbound.io’s own online presence to identify the biggest opportunities or lowest hanging fruits. We’ll discuss two themes: 1) a brand’s backstory and 2) the transparency of its journey.
Before we start, let me share that Northbound.io is a new brand that’s still firming up its voice. Its legacy is fresh, allowing it to easily adjust the identity, while it also needs to be clearer about its backstory as most people are unfamiliar with it.
Let me also share that auditing my own stuff is especially challenging. Ever heard of “the curse of knowledge?” Being the creator of Northbound.io, I’m the #1 expert about it so I’m blinded by my own understanding of my own work. I could use the honest assessment of someone else to gain a fresh perspective. It will better represent the opinions of the new audience that I want to reach.
What uniquely works about Northbound.io’s online presence is the expression of its opinion on its About and Start Here pages. This place is very opinionated and it shows. It’s not yet another gig that aims to market and profit online, regardless of how. It comes from a deep conviction that the world is better if we followed the new ways of Modern Work.
What Doesn’t Quite Work
1. Social Media
This is Northbound.io’s biggest cause of confusion, when it comes to its online presence. I didn’t have clear decisions on which social networks to focus on, and what brand to promote. Is it about my personal brand as the founder? Should Northbound.io really have all these social media accounts at this point?
Northbound.io exists on AngelList, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I didn’t have a social media strategy for these, so the main intention was to park the username and to be present on those networks just in case. I initially put up the AngelList account due to San Francisco’s influence on me. However, I’m currently happy with the route of self-funding. The Facebook an Twitter accounts, on the other hand, merely publish syndicated posts that are originally intended for my personal accounts.
The lack of a decision here causes frustration and a confusing social media footprint.
Moving forward, I’m focusing on my personal social media accounts. I’ll leave Northbound.io’s accounts live, but won’t stress about the lack of updates. This is about focused business operations and concentrating the online brand equity. That’s based on Northbound.io’s conditions like the nature and size of its audience at the moment. As for the social networks to focus on, I’m choosing Twitter to be the main thing. I might do more videos in the near future, so that’s going to be on my personal YouTube account.
2. The Website Isn’t Transparent About Northbound.io’s Journey
I write and share tons of reflections about my business. My mastermind groups get an earful from me on Slack, email, Skype, and FaceTime.
Being a Quantified Self geek, I write tons of notes every day for my own reflection. My accountability buddies haven’t even heard half of my reflections.
I also share the journey once in a while on my social accounts.
However, what’s a better place to share the journey of a website whose main purpose is describing growth journeys? The website itself.
Moving forward, I’m going to share more about Northbound.io’s journey on its homebase online. It will be an art to choose what to share and how to do it. It can be frustrating sometimes. But it’s worth a shot.
3. Better Website Navigation
Because the brand is currently flexible, the website’s navigation is sometimes frankenstein. On good days, you’ll find a good menu structure. And there are bad days.
At this time of writing, the menu structure is based on the 3-step business execution process:
- ? Set a North Star,
- ? Map Your Way, and
- ? Watch Progress.
That’s not terrible, but what’s missing is great navigation that’s specific to pages. There has to be a page that shows your roadmap and allows you to jump from one article to the next relevant article.
I want new people landing on articles to find links within the body text and at the end of each article that will allow them to continue their business goal management journey.
That will consist of specific content upgrades for each post, a nice footer link, and a new header link that will bring you to some sort of roadmap.
Moving forward, I have to revisit the site map and navigation structure.
This was painful to write because it’s about criticizing your baby… in public! I wish you picked up a lesson that you’ll apply to your own Internet footprint. Tidy up your website and social network accounts.
Moving forward, expect me to improve Northbound.io’s social media presence, transparency of its journey, and website navigation & interaction design.
I’d love to hear your critique of this critique! Let’s update websites and social accounts to better reflect what’s up with founders and their products. Poke me on Twitter.