After countless hours and months of hard work – the moment you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.
So now what? You’ve got this amazing website – but hardly anyone else knows about it. What’s the best way to tell people? And, get them to visit, stay for a while, and keep them coming back as they continue to share and tell others about you and the work you’re doing?
If these are questions you’re asking yourself – you’re certainly not alone. In fact this is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with so was the chosen topic during this month’s #GetMoreClients Tweet Chats.
There are approximately 100 million active blogs on the Internet. So what’s unique about yours? What is it about your website that attracts the attention of your ideal client? And, what makes your website any different from all the other service-based businesses operating in your niche?
Here are five things you should consider as you develop, launch and continue to build a website that attracts, engages and eventually converts site visitors into raving paying clients.
1. Attract the RIGHT people
Trying to be all things to all people is not the best approach to business and will probably have you exhausted and penniless in no time.
Niching and defining your target market is vital and will ensure you continue to attract the attention of your ideal client – the people who you know you do your best work with, who will benefit from investing in you, and who are looking to solve their problems.
- What are the problems and issues your ideal client faces?
- Do they realise that they have a problem; and are they willing to spend money in order to overcome their issues? [There’s no use targeting a niche market that is renowned for NOT investing in themselves.]
- What are the typical words and phrases they use to describe their problems? Make sure you weave these into your content and blog posts.
2. Create a memorable Signature Brand
There may be hundreds of other service providers offering similar services – so what makes you different? Why should people coming to your website choose to invest in your services and not one of your competitors?
Taking the time to build a powerful and authentic brand that instantly connects with your ideal client is vital. This is what is going to set you apart from your competitors. And, better yet – no one will be able to copy you, no matter how hard they try because your brand is unique and authentically ‘you’.
Remember a strong personal brand is just that – personal. It’s the essence of ‘you’. So here are some questions to start uncovering your brand that is authentic and real, and will be the basis upon which you’ll continue to develop your brand voice.
- What are the strengths and talents people are constantly complimenting you on?
- Identify some of your unique quirks or characteristics that continue to shine through in all that you do.
- When looking back on some of your successes (or how you were able to overcome a challenge), what were the skills and strengths you used in order to achieve that success?
3. Create your irresistible free offer
It is highly unlikely that people visiting your site for the very first time will purchase anything. In fact marketing specialists believe that it can take between 7 to 9 communications from you before someone will even consider opening their wallet.
This is where your keep-in-touch strategy comes in, whether it be a regular newsletter or regular posts via your social networks. In order to continue connecting with people, you will need their email addresses or be connected with them through their social networks. Here’s a way you can get their contact details.
- Develop a resource (i.e. free report or ecourse etc) – something that is of interest and real value to people and encourages them to provide you with their email address in exchange for access to the resource you offer.
- Make sure your social network links are easily located and encourage people to connect with you. And, remember to continue providing interesting and informative information so that people will want to remain connected with you.
4. Create compelling content
Not only is it important to build a memorable brand – it’s also important to build your reputation and credibility as a specialist in your field. You want to become known as ‘the go-to’ person in your area of expertise.
The way to do that is to create compelling content that confirms you are skilled in your field and encourages people to come back to your website because they want to learn more from you.
- Write regular posts and articles on hints and tips that you know is of interest to your ideal client.
- Make sure that each post is pleasing to the eye by incorporating attention-grabbing pictures
- Keep your language simple, clear and conversational and avoid using jargon.
5. Engage your audience
I don’t know about you – but I dislike being lectured to and will often switch off if the information is too technical or difficult to read.
So will people visiting your website so ensure the information you share and the approach in which you share it, engages your audience.
- Try incorporating other elements besides just the written word that engages various communications styles such as video and audio.
- Use plenty of stories and examples so people can connect with what you are talking about.
- Ensure you include a call to action that invites contributions from your audience. Ask them for their thoughts and feedback on what you have just written or ask them to share their own experience.
As you can see, building and launching your website is only a small step in your overall marketing and communications plan. It takes ongoing planning and action to ensure your site visitors not only visit your website but keep coming back and remain in your circle of influence. This way they continue to experience ‘you’ and hear your brand voice, so that when they’re ready the person who they’ll invest in – is you.
In my opinion, Content should be the number one consideration. I develop web sites for people … more so web aplications; I try to avoid doing web sites. In my experience, getting meaningful content from the client has always been the biggest challenge.
I once read a quote – I think it was on your twitter feed – “First Impressions Last!”. And I liked it because it conveys an important message very well. Don’t rush your website into existence before you have a web site worth having …. I believe that can do more damage to a brand than not having a site at all.
Thanks Rick; actually these things are not in order of importance – they are just five things people should be doing with their website.
In fact, if I was to rank them in any order (although I think they are of equal importance) I would say understand your brand first because this is going to influence and impact how your website will look/feel; the content you share; the people you attract etc.
I totally agree with your statement about it being better not to say anything at all (or not yet developing a website) if you’re unclear on brand or content. Determine those things first.
Thanks for the invaluable information. Great advice.
Janine of Grand Strand Virtual Solutions
Hi Janine, thank you! I’m glad you found this helpful. So many business owners create amazing looking websites, however unfortunately they are no more than a glorified online brochure as they forget one of the most important things is engaging with your audience.
really great blog! Good advice and very practical, easy to apply.
Hi Vivienne, I’m so pleased you found the article helpful. With so much information on the internet these days, it’s important that your website continues to engage your audience, while build trust. All key elements that will lead to prospects becoming customers!
Looking at the above comments, I believe someone touched on content being “king.” Maybe queen. 😉
But we must also be providing value.
Just my 2 cents…
Yes of course – value IS important. Creating content that is dull, boring and uninspiring just won’t cut it! So YES to value!!!
Great article. I Took some good points away. I have found great deal of success in your point #3 with “top of mind awareness” using mobile marketing. There are 3 x as more texters than email users. The average open rate with text message is 98% and with email it is 33%. The average text message is answered in 1-2 minutes and stays on a phone for an average of 12 days. You can not beat that for top of mind.
I am not saying do away with the email collection, I am suggesting the maximum benefit comes when you add mobile.
Dawn, those are some very interesting and powerful statistics. In fact, when I think about it, I would have to say that I always read my text messages, however certainly don’t read all of my emails. I’d be interested to find out your thoughts about sending text messages to people you may not yet have a real relationship with yet. For instance, some places here in Australia are now giving out our mobile numbers and I have received a few texts from companies I have no idea about. To me, that is just another form of spam. I certainly don’t mind companies sending me text messages that I have provided my phone number to though. That can be handy. Am interested in what you think.
Thanks for the reply. A reputable and professional Mobile Marketing Company will abide by the compliance and best practice standards set by the MMA. Just like CAN laws for email, the same hold true with text messages. We NEVER want to be a spammer. The way to avoid this is 1) folliwing MMA rules
2) Let the customer opt in with their mobile number..never message a number that did not opt into the database.
3) always state the name of your business, and the frequency you will be sending text messages.
4) Always have a way to opt out of every message sent.
Mobile Marketing companies that break these rules can be fined and eventually shut down for non compliance. I just wrote an article on Mobile Marketing Best Practices on my site.
Those are important steps to follow Dawn – thanks for sharing! I’m so pleased you reached out! Can’t wait to share your wisdom on the Ambitious Entrepreneur Show with our listeners!
Valuable information to help solopreneurs grow their business!! Thanks a bunch Annemarie!
Thanks Lisa; you are very welcome! Glad you found this helpful!