damolade consulting[STRATEGY] : A PLAN, METHOD, OR SERIES OF MANEUVERS FOR OBTAINING A SPECIFIC GOAL OR RESULT.
Danielle Devereux is an Austin, TX based full-stack marketing consultant with over 10 years experience in digital media.
Danielle brings creative vision, strategic thinking and lean execution to projects for small businesses & start-ups all over the world.
Measuring where you've been, crafting strategy and executing the steps to take your business to "the next level."
I'm focused on the success of your brand.
Let's work together!
Startup Stories: 5 Places Your Investments Should Go.
As a Founder, I’ve learned my fair share of lessons the first couple years cultivating Damolade Consulting. I’ve also helped plenty of startups scale their businesses and noted the paths they took that lead to success and growth.
When it comes to starting up any business that partly relies on their web presence to bring in sales for products or services, you may wonder where you should be channelling your time, effort, and budget to bring in quality leads. And while there’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all kind of solution to this, because every startup is different, there’s always going to be best practices that will help you scale up and grow.
When you invest everything you have into your business, you want to make sure that a) you’re on the right track with your investment dollars, and b), that it’s likely to bring you some form of ROI. So if you’re wondering where you should be channelling your energy and dollars, here are a few areas I’ve found that provides the most bang for your buck.
A Visually Thoughtful & Interesting Brand
We all tend to place a lot of emphasis on creating content and thought-leadership, while this is always going to be important, it’s important not to neglect the design. Focus on something that speaks directly to your customers, but also facilitate the sales process too by considering user experience (UX).
Your website is the window into what your business truly represents. What story are you telling with imagery and branding? Once you have some concepts, make sure you’re also thinking about your users experience finding their way around your site with a helpful interface, and SEO so that people can find your page in search results. Consult with a UX Designer and an SEO who understands information architecture and can help you plan for both.
Of course, we are going to stress the importance of SEO and social media content. Do you even know us? If you haven’t noticed already, we are kind of obsessed with content. Note: here, here, and here.
Content is crucial in today’s business landscape. It’s what warms up an audience to your insights and creates a sense of trust and authority in your brand so that when they are ready to buy, they are more likely to do so from you.
So what kind of content do you need? Well, that is going to depend on what type of business you have. To get some early ideas, check out your competition’s websites. It also doesn’t hurt to google your products and/or services and see what type of educational content comes up in search results. You may see opportunities to improve on what already exists in your niche, or become a leader on a specific topic. Create a spreadsheet for ideas and content gaps in the search landscape that you may be able to fill yourself or by hiring a freelance writer to help you.
Content ideation can seem hard, but when you get yourself into a routine of doing it, it will start to come more naturally to you. Keep an eye on your landing pages reports in analytics month over month to monitor which content is popular with readers and search engines.
The Best People You Can Find
At first, you may not have the funds to pay a full-time or freelance worker, but as soon as you can grow, you should give this some serious thought. When you hire someone, they can take over on the bulk of the operational work for you, and you can still work on pushing your strategy forward. It’s something that seems so small, but being able to delegate tasks is vitally important to small business growth.
Over the years, Damolade Consulting has gone from a one-woman show to having multiple freelancers managing every possible aspect of the business that was a time suck for building the business. You know what they say: you need to be working on your business, not in your business!
My own personal philosophy is this — once you have mastered a task, you should teach an up and comer to do it for you, the repetitive nature of your role won’t serve you past your own personal learning precess, so it’s better to spend your time focusing on growth, analytics, and learning new skills. Plus, teaching others is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a founder!
Mentors For Yourself (When Possible)
You may also want to consider seeking out some mentors for yourself. Those people can be within other agencies, startups, or universities. Or they could be other founders like yourself. It’s hard to explain how to find the perfect mentor for you, but if you are open to finding people, I believe you will find them. Listen a lot more than you speak and you will glean valuable insights on everything from new processes that make you more money or workflows that make your business run better.
The Right Tools
Every business is going to need some tools to help them do everything from creation to measurement. Depending on your industry, you may not have to invest heavily in this area. I started with just a MacBook Pro and some Google Docs to an office with freelancers and a suite of management and reporting tools. As long as you have the basics, you should be able to startup. In my industry, there are hundreds of systems and tools that promise to streamline your workflow and manage all the things. Within social media management tools, there’s Buffer, Hubspot, Tweetdeck, ManageFlitter, Hootsuite, MeetEdgar etc. You have to cut through the clutter and find the tools and platforms that work best for you that also work within your budget. No one tool does it all so get ready to combine to get the best results!
However, if you have to get more physical equipment then just a laptop, you should consider different options, such as business equipment financing, to make this happen. We all know that equipment can be expensive, so you’re going to want to make sure that it’s entirely worth it.
I hope some of this list made you think about a couple of areas you were neglecting and will inspire you to get moving and seek the help you need to move your business forward.