“Tidying Up” Your Digital Business

Today’s blog post is written by Mary Alice Dutkanicz, Senior Manager of Data Migration Services.

This past month, I was delighted to see Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” appear in my Netflix queue. I was familiar with Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and was excited to see her practices getting mainstream exposure.

The KonMari method breaks down the process of tidying one’s living space into categories, rather than organizing room-by-room. Within each category, the homeowner is asked to consider each item, determine whether it “sparks joy” in their life, and then either fold it neatly back into its drawer or thank it for its service and part ways with it. While it’s not so much of a stretch to apply these concepts to organizing the physical office space of your business, this practice of considering the “joy” factor in decision-making could also be applicable to your arts organization’s digital space.

Taking inventory of your online presence might seem a bit more daunting than tackling an unruly office supply closet, but it’s vital for your business to weed out the clutter of things that might be outdated or preventing your patrons from taking an action (i.e., buying a ticket, making a donation, etc.) So where do you begin? A good starting point is to make a list: what do you like about your website right now, and what areas aren’t working as well as they could? Rather than getting overwhelmed moving page-by-page (or room-by-room), try breaking it down into a few aesthetic categories:

  • User Interface: Does the look and feel of your website match the energy of your organization? Is the flow of your homepage clean and easy to read, or does it feel cluttered with information about multiple aspects of your business? If you’re unsure of where to begin paring things down, find a few examples of other arts organizations’ websites that are a good model to use as inspiration.
  • User Experience: Take a spin through your website from the perspective of a new visitor. What are the primary reasons a patron would visit your website and are those areas clear and easily accessible? Think about the potential roadblocks that might prevent the average patron from purchasing a ticket or donating online. Is your website mobile-friendly? Is your event calendar and pricing structure easy to understand? If a patron has to call your box office (not by choice) to purchase tickets, then your website isn’t pulling its weight.  
  • Content: Beyond ensuring that your advertisements and event listings are accurate and up-to-date, this is an excellent opportunity to start thinking outside of the box. Aside from show listings, what other content might “spark joy” in your patrons and encourage them to frequent your website more often? Perhaps you might feature a teaser of some behind-the-scenes footage or a personalized greeting from an upcoming performer. If you’re already generating this type of content on your social media sites, why not embed a gallery of your most recent posts?

Of course, your online presence isn’t limited to just your website. This concept of thoughtfully categorizing and evaluating what’s working and what needs improvement can be applied to many other aspects of your digital space, from your social media branding to your back-end email marketing campaigns. What served you well in the past, may not be serving you now. And that’s okay! You can thank your designs and campaigns for helping your organization get to where it is today, and archive them.

Once you’ve taken everything out of the closet (so to speak), and you’ve honed in on what’s working and what’s not, I suspect there will be many “sparks of joy” in the form of increased patron engagement.

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