I treated myself to a bit of professional development last week and went up to Tavistock for a Small Business Support Day run by the marvellous Clair from Plain Sailing.
I first met Clair at the Inspiring Women conference that she ran last year (also in Tavistock) and since then I’ve been constantly inspired by her energy and depth of knowledge.
Last week’s workshop covered using Facebook for promoting your business, how to promote your website outside of social media, and blogging. I found myself switching between “oh yeah, I’d forgotten I knew that” and “ooh, I didn’t know that”. It was a great reminder of why it’s worth spending some time to refresh your skills every now and then, even if you think it’s something that you already knew about.
I had sparks of inspiration throughout the workshop and now need to go back through my notes and work out how to implement what I’ve learnt.
One thing that I found incredibly reassuring as someone who specialises in websites, is that it is still important to have a website for your business. It’s not enough to have an active Facebook page, you do also need at least a one page website away from that. It does sometimes feel that social media rules the roost these days, but what you need to think about is what if your social media platform of choice goes pop (like Google+ did a few months ago). You do also need an actively maintained website that you have full control over, so that you are not reliant on a third party site such as Facebook.
If I only take one thing from the day (and there was definitely more than one thing that I could pick up!) it is the importance of blogging. Clair gave the best explanation I’ve ever heard of why a blog is important for your website. It basically boils down to “because Google loves it”. Despite good intentions I am guilty of neglecting our Webfooted Designs blog, but I’m now feeling inspired to spend more time on it. But, following Clair’s very sensible advice, I’m not going to promise how frequently I will post – best not to promise a schedule than commit to something and then not stick to it! I’ll just quietly schedule it in for myself and see how I go…