Is Your Local Having a Bad Hair Day?

On a late spring day, our fescue was in full bloom. We had tirelessly worked over the Fall and early Spring to weed and over-seed it and today was its day to reward us with its splendor. I plopped down right in the middle of yard and let the green grass cradle my head like a pillow. Soon my three boys were pouncing on me, and I began playfully hurling them to one side and the other. My wife circled above us snapping pics on her iPhone to capture our fun-filled father/sons wrestling match.

"Let me see", I urged her after they relented. Swiping through the photos she had just captured, I was taken aback. "Is that really what the back of my head looks like?!" She shrugged. "It couldn't look that bad, could it??" I was in my early 40's. I knew my hair was thinning, but my barber had kept it pretty high-and-tight and it still looked good from the front so I honestly had no idea how thin it had gotten until the camera slapped. Wow. I was kidding myself and it took the camera to call my bluff.

About an hour later, I bought some sheers and that was that. There was no more future in my hair and I wasn't going to be one of these "comb-over" guys. I looked older with that hair than I would without it. Bad haircut is worse than no hair to cut at all.

It's kind of like your website and your digital strategy. A bad one is worse than not having one at all. If we are going to grow the Local, bring in apprentices and organize new members, bring on new contractors, etc. they have to see themselves in it before they ever talk to you. In their mind, there has to be a future in it. That future is online.

It's unfortunate but most of us, young people in particular, see the world a 2½" x 5" screen. We live inside our phones. If you aren't going to market with a mobile-friendly website, with compelling video content and a strong social media strategy, you risk looking like my previous haircut… Dated. Clueless. Without a Future. And that's "no cap" (ask a teenager what that means).

I've spoken to BM's that have had someone in the Local build their site, or a family member, and that's fine if they know what they are doing, but I've seen many (maybe even most) Local websites which would lead me to believe that's not the case. Building a website is only part of it.

You have to consider not only the look of the site, but it's functionality. Can they pay dues online? Check their status? Field job calls? Track hours? Be notified of events and important things like open-enrollment? Communicate in real-time? Do they see a future for themselves in your site?

You have to consider the platform the site is built upon, the user experience, search intent, content strategy, how the pages are indexed and tagged, inbound and outbound links on the site, upload speeds, security certificates, the list goes on and on. This is not even considering your social media strategy, and the fact that a person can interact with your Local and your members through various social channels without ever having gone to your website.

It's a lot to consider but being elected to serve the members and working with the signatory contractors who employ those members means them seeing a future in your workforce and your Local. And that future starts with your website.

If you have some bald spots in your website, Contact us here.

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