Wanna know something embarrassing?
That one time I gave a horrible first impression.
I'm embarrassed to tell you this story, but I'm going to anyways.
Really early on in my business, I was on a mission to schedule three networking calls every week.
One day, when I opened my laptop, I realized I had a meeting with someone named Jenna (that's not really her name, but we'll pretend). Because I didn't have any time to refresh myself on who the person was that I was about to network with, the only information I had was her name.
And, guys… I thought I was meeting with someone entirely different (who had the same name) the entire meeting.
She realized this about halfway through and corrected me.
“No, I'm actually a web designer,” she said flatly, rightly offended and annoyed. The conversation fizzled quickly from there.
Turns out… this person was someone I had been admiring from a distance via social media, and who I was really excited to get to know.
But I blew it, because I gave a terrible first impression (embarrassing).
Have you ever met someone for the first time and given them a poor impression?
When we give off bad first impressions, usually they don't reflect our best selves. Regardless, they define our relationship with that person.
It's the exact same way with your business.
The majority of people interacting with your business for the first time will interact digitally, usually on your website or via social media.
And I see so. many. businesses neglecting to prioritize their digital first impressions. Here are some excuses I've heard.
- “We don't really care about what our site design looks like. We just want it to be functional.” (That's like wearing sweatpants to a networking event! How you show up matters!)
- “Everyone who visits our website for the first time has already heard about us from someone else, so we don't need to simplify it.” (That's like being the one person in the room who thinks their reputation precedes them.)
- “We don't want to offend anyone's intelligence by over-simplifying what we do.” (I've never seen anyone feel stupid after reading a sentence they can fully understand.)
Here's how you can see whether your website makes a good or bad first impression this afternoon! (Do it!)
- Show your home page and social media profiles to a friend or neighbor and ask them to explain back to you, in one sentence, what your business does. (If they can't answer it concisely, you need to think about changing your homepage copy and bios.)
- Can you explain what your business does to a first grader? If not, try it right now!
- Is your website link something you're proud to send out to people, or are you embarrassed? If it's the latter, that's a red flag that you're giving people a bad digital first impression.
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