If your company makes custom iPad apps and you’re frequently seen tapping away on your Nook, how would that affect your street cred?
It’s not so farfetched. Examples abound of corporate hypocrisy — perceived or real — at every level. You can find business people embarrassing themselves all over YouTube, Facebook, Google+, etc. So it pays to be cautious in your personal and professional activities.
Any business that wants to stay competitive has to practice what it preaches. So you need to be certain a potential business partner accurately represents itself. Some examples:
- If a business claims its staff are “SEO experts,” try searching for them on the web. If they are not prominent on search engines and they believe in search engine optimization as a viable marketing tactic, why are they nowhere to be found?
- If a firm specializes in web design, check out their project portfolio to see if it meets your standards. More importantly, check out the firm’s own website. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals before entering into a business agreement.
- If a company preaches social media, SEO, email marketing, web design, online advertising and other strategies, it must practice what it preaches. Ask for specific examples of how they helped clients and, again, seek out those clients for referrals.
Don’t be dazzled by flashy designs and splashy graphics. They’re just the tip of the iceberg. The really cool stuff is below the surface.
It might sound basic, but perform due diligence before you hand over a cent. In these times, the stakes are too high to let it slide.