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How documenting procedures can add to your value on a team.

Websites are designed, launched and maintained. They also grow in content, evolve and get cluttered. Sometimes we create a process to promote a service and then we forget about it after it is launched. Heck, we may have a simple blog set up that ends up getting neglected. Recently I visited the site of an active, viable company. Their website looks clean. Ideas are clear, but their blog hadn’t had a post in over 10 months. Why? Since the post dates (always recommended) are on display, it’s very obvious that it’s been a while. It will give a visitor pause wondering, “Is this company even still doing business? Are they still growing their product and keeping it up to date? Will they support me if I want to buy their product? How can I know if they can’t take the time to post something once in a while?”

Take the time to review your site as a visitor would. Consider buying a friend lunch to go through your site with fresh eyes. Where do they go? What do they click on? Is all of the sidebar and footer information current? Are you missing key steps in the journey to convert a visitor to a customer?

Creating and following a detailed list of procedural tasks, gets it out of your head and enable others to continue the effort.

I was once told that I withheld information in order to have to be consulted. In my late 20s, I saw this as a way to ensure my role and necessity. I wasn’t even aware I was doing it. It was my way to make sure no one else messed stuff up that I put in place. It was exhausting. Dumping all of those procedures did three things:

  1. lessened my load.
  2. allowed others to be successful for the overall company goals
  3. helped me realize how much I had done and created – and be proud of myself.

After that realization about myself, I quickly worked to document as much as possible. It worked!

One of my clients has me help maintain 15 websites for them. When we add a new show to their podcast line-up there are over 40 steps to ensure that new show is promoted in all the correct spots, feeds set up, sent out, added to schedules in various formats, added to drop-down navigation, adding analytics to the site, webmaster tools, banner ads that are tracked, subscription forms to generate RSS to email communication, automated social posts of the content from their shows and their main blog and more. Without a checklist to go through, thoroughly, and highly focused, there are many ways to miss key steps. Miss enough steps for more than one show and our sites are now incomplete and don’t serve our goals of building an audience and sharing out content.

Tedious as these lists can be – they also require review and maintenance – they are critical to keeping you looking like a fool or people wondering whether or not you are truly still in business, and succeeding. No one wants to deal with a company going out the door. They want a strong company that leads the way and that pays attention to the market – whatever the market is. Don’t let them lose confidence in your business or products simply because someone dropped the ball on the blog for the past 10 months.

If you need help going through the nooks and crannies, help with procedures and lists to not miss a step or task, let me know. I could even create a few training videos to make it super simple for someone to carry out the list.