A friend of mine has a 2018 McLaren 720S. It’s a “supercar” – a high end, street-legal sports car – that can go from zero to “holy crap” in a heartbeat. He can handle it, as a high-performance driving instructor. And as the founder of a successful business, he could also handle the six-figure price tag.
With all of that, do you think he would ever turn over the keys to a complete stranger?
But if you’re blindly letting someone handle your website and social media accounts, you’re essentially turning over the keys to your business without a backup plan.
A client referred someone to me who had been having trouble getting control of the Facebook page for his business. Their former manager had been the social media person, and when that person left on less-than-stellar terms, the former manager was not inclined to turn over control of the Facebook page. That page had thousands of active followers, but unfortunately there wasn’t much he could do about it – except start a new page.
Another client sought me out because the person doing his website wouldn’t change out a picture, and it turns out – he had been paying this woman thousands of dollars to manage his website, and he had absolutely no idea where his domain was housed, nor how to get control of it.
Unfortunately, I hear these stories all of the time. So what can you do about it?
Trust but verify
If someone is coming to you, claiming they can build you a website for a certain amount of money – check them out. Do they have a website themselves? If not, run for the hills!
Check that they have a registered business with your state. In Mississippi, it’s easy to check the Secretary of State’s business registry by business name or even the officer’s name.
Same thing goes with someone wanting to take care of your social media. Do they have a public social media page, or is it private? If they do this for a living, they should have some sort of public footprint.
Ask for references and actually call them. Did this person deliver on time? Does the client feel they got a great value for the money? How easy was it to work with him or her?
Be the ADMIN
You want to be the administrator of every digital account you have for your business. That means being the admin of your domain registry and where the website is hosted. That means being an admin of your social media accounts.
If someone is building a website for you – YOU buy the domain name and hosting and give THEM access as a contractor or delegate. Very easy to do through GoDaddy.
If someone is handling your social media, even if that person is an employee, you do not have to give them full access. Often being an “editor” is sufficient enough on Facebook. On Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, make sure you’re the keeper of the password and your email address is the default email address (that way they can’t change the password without you knowing about it!)
Other things to consider
Verify your Facebook page. That way, fans will know yours is the official one.
Get an SSL for your website. This is a security certificate that lets customers and visitors to your website know their visit is secure, and it also helps you show up higher in Google search results.
And finally remember – you don’t have to know how to build a website or manage your social media accounts – but you should have control over them. Just like you’d keep control of the keys to your sports car.
Dawn Dugle is the CEO of Dugle Media. She travels the country teaching strategic brand storytelling.