Now that so much of our businesses are conducted online, particularly in the marketing department, it is more important than ever that we do everything we can to make the right impression online.
Unfortunately, many companies are still making basic mistakes that cause their company to look unprofessional, and businesses that appear unprofessional to the consumer are hardly going to be anyone’s choice.
The good news is, most of the things that make your brand look unprofessional online can be fixed, but first, you need to know what they are…
1. Spelling and grammar mistakes
This is such a basic thing to get right, but so many companies do not bother to proofread their content before they post it, which means their online presence can be littered with spelling mistakes, improperly used semicolons, and autocorrects that would make anyone blush. The odd mistake is perfectly understandable – we all make them – but if they are ubiquitous, that’s going to be a problem.
Luckily, with tools like Grammarly and the ability to hire freelance editors, this is one mistake that it has never been easier to correct.
2. Expired contact details
Another basic that any business should be able to get right is providing their most recent contact details on their website and social media platforms. However, so many companies forget to update their phone number or email address when it changes and this can lead to frustrated customers and lost sales., It really doesn’t reflect well on your brand when your customers can’t even get in touch!
The good news is, again, this something that you can very easily fix by simply checking your contact details on every platform and giving them a quick update where necessary.
If there’s one thing a brand shouldn’t be, it’s inconsistent. The whole point of building a brand is that it will be instantly recognizable by anyone who sees it. So, if you send out one message on one profile and another elsewhere, you aren’t exactly going to look like a professional brand that has their stuff together.
How do you fix this problem? Find your voice and use it consistently., Ensure that your logos fonts, images, and ethos remain the same whether you’re posting on Facebook, Instagram, or on your own website.
4. A clunky website
If your website looks and handles more like it belongs to 1991 than 2021, then you have a big problem on your hands in the image department. These days, customers expect websites to be fast, mobile-optimized, uncluttered, and very intuitive to use. If yours doesn’t fit the bill, chances are not only will your brand look unprofessional, but you won’t make many sales or get much engagement either.
Thankfully, it has never been easier or cheaper to create a fully functional modern website using platforms like Squarespace, which uses simple templates to make the job more efficient. Make use of them and stop your website from embarrassing your brand.
5. Using a subdomain
If you’re serious about your brands, then you should at least spend the few dollars required to get your own custom domain name. If a business has a website that looks something like: mybusinessname.freewebsitehost.com, it is never going to look as professional as one that looks like: mybusinessname.com. It just isn’t.
You can buy custom domains for just a few dollars, and they will add many more times that in value to your business by making it appear far more professional, so what are you waiting for? Oh, and make sure you also sign up for a custom email address too because you’ll have the same issues with that if you don’t.
6. Getting into arguments
One of the worst things a business owner or their team can do for a brand’s image is to argue with their customers publicly online. All businesses get a bad review from time to time, and if you think it’s unfair, it’s fine to challenge it in a polite and factual way; what you should never do is get into an argument, start slinging insults, or throwing a tantrum and show yourself up as an amateur. No one will take you or your brand seriously after that and you may end up with a lot of negative publicity coming your way.
What should you do? As I said, if you do need to challenge a review do so calmly and factually, not to mention as politely, as possible.
7. Not updating your socials
It may seem like a pain when you have far more important things to do, but if you want your brand to look professional online,m you cannot allow your social media presence to languish. If you’ve set up a brand account on any given profile, then you, or a member of staff, should be posting on it most days. This will not only show that you’re a serious company that knows what you’re doing, but it will also enable you to better engage with your audience, which will lead to more sales, too.
Don’t have the time? Hire a social media manager to do it for you, just don’t let it slide.
8. Using stock images
If you use stock images to show off your products, it will send the message that you’re broke as a business or that you don’t have the time or inclination to sell your products, inc which case, why should anyone buy from you? In some cases, it may even put customers off because scam companies use stock images and they may not be sure if you’re legit. So, this is one mistake you really don’t want to make.
Luckily, it’s easy to take really good product images using just your smartphone and a few props. Sure, it’ll take some time, but it will be worth it when your products are allowed to shine and the sales roll in.
If you can avoid doing any of the above, your online presence will appear far more polished and professional and your brand will benefit as a result.