Rachel Klaver is a marketing strategist, specializing in lead generation and content marketing.
OPINION: If you’re a sole proprietor or small business owner selling services, your website is key to building enough trust for people to get in touch with you.
If you have an engaged social media audience, adequate SEO, and you’re still not getting leads and customers to your website, you might have a trust issue.
Some confidence comes from the overall look of the website. We advise our clients to use as few stock photos as possible, make the site easy to navigate, load quickly, and use consistent colors and fonts. All of this gives your website a professional look.
However, one of the areas that many people want to rush into is words.
The truth is, a simple site with amazing content that speaks directly to your ideal customer will convert better than a pretty, flashy website that uses jargon, generic language, and nothing that speaks to your ideal customer.
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For us at Identify, we went from a beautiful 65-page website, where people would come, stay for ages, and then never get in touch, to a clean, simple five-page website that generates constantly leads and grows our business. .
My first foray into marketing was writing detailed sales copy for early internet entrepreneurs. It was a science of selecting the right persuasive language, with key phrases highlighted in neon yellow. In many ways, some aspects of this method of writing are still effective today, although I’m grateful that our websites look better now.
I interviewed editor Hayley Maxwell about the key areas she thinks are important to get right on a website, on my MAP IT Marketing podcast (https://www.rachelklaver.com/Podcast if you need it). Maxwell primarily works with female solopreneurs to help them create very clear messages to increase leads.
I shared with Maxwell the story of how removing many pages from our website had an immediate effect on our lead generation, and how I often recommend cutting back on content when writing strategies. She has accepted.
“We have to be very selective, thoughtful and strategic about what we actually share on a website because it’s there to give your ideal client a first glimpse of you, your personality and how you can help them. It doesn’t mean bombarding them with every service offer you have.”
Maxwell says selecting services that you both like to offer, and which perhaps tend to lead to other jobs later, can be an effective strategy. You can offer other behind-the-scenes services, but you don’t need to feature them on your website. “I know people worry and ask ‘But what if someone comes and asks for X, Y, Z?’ The key is to let people know who you are, the basic services you offer. If they like it, they’ll often ask if you still offer different services,” says Maxwell.
One of Maxwell’s biggest bugbears is service companies that don’t include pricing. “As service providers, we are here to serve people. If you walk into a store and pick up some pieces you like, but there’s no price on them and there’s no salesperson to be found, you’ll just have to ask these coins and out. In the case of your service-based business, all they have to do is open another tab and do another Google search.
For a long time, at Identify, we didn’t have our prices on our website. I found it difficult because we don’t have a single price. For us, pricing is relative to the size and stage of the business, relative to the overall complexity. Last year we made the decision to add an “as from” price to our website on our FAQ page. This was after we had a series of dates with people who didn’t have the budget to work with us.
Since adding this starting price, we have found that we have better lead quality and higher conversion rates for the sale. If you are also a service business with a sliding scale, the “from” option may also work for you.
Some sales trainers tell you to keep the money side private, because you want to ignite the prospect’s desire first and prove value on a sales call. Maxwell thinks that’s disrespectful to our potential client. “Price restraint is about you. You just want to make a call with the person and make it harder for them to say no in person. When we display our prices on the website, we make it as easy as possible for the visitor to navigate through your website,” she explains. In addition to saving time by not talking to a prospect who can’t afford to pay you, you’re also respecting their time. “It’s about always thinking about your user, the ideal customer, and really using your copy to attract or repel.”
Maxwell’s website specifically mentions that she works with businesswomen. The truth is that she works with men and women, but the main message is focused on her ideal client, a solopreneur businesswoman, who often wants a sustainable and successful business that still leaves her time to spend with her children outside of school hours. “It’s really important to articulate clearly who you want to work with. It helps us quickly, and again helps us save time
One of the biggest temptations for solopreneurs is to make their business seem bigger than it is, just by using the word “we”. I often encourage our clients to switch to “I” if they are running the business solo. While some think this will put them at a disadvantage, the reverse is often true. Some people prefer to work with companies where they know they will have easy access to the business owner. A “we” business may not be what they are looking for.
Maxwell agrees. “It’s about owning what you do and owning that wonderful fact that you’ve built and created a business where you use your skills to help and support others. You have to completely own that, not water it down with a “we””
If you want to improve your website messaging, starting by thinking about your core offerings is a great place to start. Be brave using the I-word in your copy if you’re a team, and make sure you’ve displayed your prize for people to see.
These three elements will help you build trust with your website visitors and improve the quality of your leads.
Rachel Claver owns Identity Marketing, which works with businesses to create the strategy they need to better tell their story to the right people. Listen to his weekly MAP IT Marketing podcast – created to help small business owners learn more about marketing.
Identify Marketing is a content partner with Stuff for specialized small business information. Find Rachel’s events here.