It’s interesting to be a marketing agency in that you get to be a part of a lot of different businesses and hear a lot of different stories. Every business was a start up at some point or they reached a size where they began looking at exterior options for digital marketing. Just like anything else, if you don’t have the expertise or haven’t done it before, you’re likely to make mistakes. We’ve taken a look at the last couple years and have compiled a list of the most common small details that end up causing really big issues (and then we will talk about the tums).
1. Login Credentials and Account Access.
This comes in at number 1 because you don’t think about it until it’s too late. Before I begin to give you an idea of specific logins that you need, I want to preface it by saying that I understand that businesses have employees that they trust and that is extremely important. Still, there’s no certainty that anyone will always be around or willing to share login credentials to you years down the road. Here is an article about employee retention in different industries on LinkedIn. Bottom line is that most employees will leave after some extended period of time. Based on that fact here are a few guidelines and best practices to follow:
- Google Business Listing – Make sure that the Google Email Account that is used to confirm and verify the business listing is one that you will always have access to. Don’t let someone in office staff use their personal or company email to do it. Consequence – not knowing the email address used or not having access means that you have a minimum wait time of 9 days to even begin to have the potential for access. If the person with the account still has access they can deny you and make the process very long.
- Email Accounts – Don’t create important fundamental documents with critical information in an account that might one day be deleted or not accessible, especially a log of passwords or logins. Consequence – by the time you realize that all the information you need was on this sheet it may have been passed from person to person leaving you with no idea what it’s called or who was the last person to have access.
- Website Logins – This is where a lot of business owners get burnt. They hire someone to do a website for cheap and then that person either stops working in the industry or disappears all together. We have mentioned before that doing a website is only partially the building with the other part being the hosting, dns and domain. Make sure that your web developer makes you an admin user of your website with complete access. Also confirm that your domains are not in their personal account(s) and that they don’t personally sign up for services that impact your website. It is imperative that you have an understanding of who owns your website if you stop working with the developer. Consequence – if you cannot access your domain (GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost, HostGator etc.) then we simply cannot create a new site for you and display it as we need access to your DNS. Also if you lose your domain, you lose all the domain authority you have built and your email accounts. Also if you cannot edit your site, then we will not have access to do it either. This means that you will have no option but to create a new site if you need changes made.
- Social Media – It is very common for a company’s social media accounts to be setup by office or HR staff. When these staff are gone, questions arise about how to post, who was posting and who has the logins. The worst thing to do at that point is to create an additional page. Use the same email address that you use for all your other business profiles (like the Google Business Listing) so that it’s all easy to reset. Consequence – You can’t post anything new until you figure out how to login. If you have multiple pages, they have to be merged.
- All Other Misc. Services – Since this will be different for each business then I am going to just put the rest into it’s own category. Typical services would be Amazon, Ebay, Email Services, Call Tracking, Leads Management, etc. If all of these services have different admin logins then sooner or later someone will need it and not have it. The reason this is last is because usually with some degree of persistence you can get an account rep on the phone who can help you get back in. Consequence – You have a deadline for something that suddenly comes up and then you have to delay it because no one can login to the appropriate service.
2. Paper Notes and Records.
We have all been a victim of writing something down that we needed only to not be able to find it later. This couldn’t be more difficult to deal with when it comes to translating everything you need into a digital medium. Nothing slows the process down more than having to sort through pieces of paper to find information that we need for your new website or marketing campaigns. Here’s some common problems items and what to do.
- Pictures – Place these all in a specific place like a dropbox or google drive so that everyone will have access when they need it. A secondary option would be for someone to keep it on some sort of drive like a USB thumb drive. Hard drives die all the time and it is very difficult to recover lost pictures from a dead drive.
- Password Sheets – Putting all your passwords on one spreadsheet is a recipe for disaster unless it is highly restricted and cloud-based. A better idea is to use an app or service that is specifically made to control and retain this info.
- Important Documents – If you need paper items to be on your site the best practice would be to have it professionally scanned or better yet get an electronic version of it from the source.
Part of the conceptual plan that will allow you to avoid these issues is to consistently ask yourself what would happen if you lost access to x,y,z? If it would be bad, then you need to make sure that you figure out now how to get credentials before the 911 moment hits and you can’t. I hate sitting in front of owners of businesses who realize that the person who could get them into some critical asset is now gone and now they have to either pay thousands to rebuild or lose it all together. We debated for awhile if we wanted to keep Tums in our kitchen because of all the people who have said their anxiety was turning their stomach in knots from realizing how they had been scammed or didn’t take the correct precautions. So avoid the sleepless nights, the headaches, the profit loss and the tums and keep all your login info safe and accessible.