March 8, 2012
I know this sounds like, “duh, MJTVgirl….you into the wine a little early today?” — but, in reality, many of us have this issue. Any of these sound familiar?
- “I don’t want to put prices on my page – each client is sooooo different,”
- “I will put up ALL the things I could ever conceive of doing for a client on the website. They will find what they are looking for,”
- “A website is the place I can showcase everything….that way, everyone will see how incredibly talented I am!”
OK..no. No. And most definitely NO.
Let’s address pricing: do you realize that you are missing a HUGE SEO opportunity if you don’t talk about pricing? What if you wrote an article that addressed “How Much Does it Cost to X” – fill in your specialty or product. Wouldn’t that be an article you think a LOT of your prospective customers would be searching for? Particularly if you are in a business where the pricing is not necessarily so available? If you are clear about your pricing, say it.
In terms of a business that custom-fits the product or service to the client need, that is fine, however, I would recommend you come up with “products”: packages that you know many of your target customers would want. This is a great way to show them the product/service you are offering can be boxed-up in a meaningful way — and they can get their heads around what you do. If you are so vague about how everything will work, they won’t trust you and will go elsewhere.
Next – there is not really such a thing as a competent generalist. Most of us do some sort of specialized work. Whether it is for one or two industries or within one category. For example, both of these could be true: “I build pools” OR “I build high-end, custom pools.” If you have a beautiful mansion and are looking for something really unique, who would YOU call? The point is, be specific to what you’re offering. The narrower (narrower?) you can be, the more expressive and the more you can address specific issues — these are your clients. Searching for help and finding that level of specificity feels like slipping into a warm bath. Ahhhhhh……
One more little point on this: If we are the pros, why would you leave it up to those who seek the help to “figure it out” on your website what you do and how you can help them? I would never want to leave it up to a customer who is looking for help to accurately diagnose what type of help he or she needs. In a service industry, that is my job. All they know is “something isn’t working and I need help.” For god’s sake, help ‘em find help.
The third no-no is really just an ego issue. Remember — the best copywriting, the best kind of content addresses the NEED – and it’s not “hey, wonder where I can find a guy with a HUGE ego to help me?” No one is searching for that. They need your help. Let them find you. OK?
February 21, 2012
Like most of us, I started out my working life learning. I was hired by a TV station to be the new weekend producer and after one weekend of training with the previous weekend producer – who was now the 11pm producer – I was on my own. It was the kind of job that went by you like a freight train on fire. But – you learned.
The next thing that happened was I “did”. For many years, I wrote, ran tapes, edited stories, assigned reporters to cover stories and managed the “children”. I was a doer. Next thing you know, I am teaching. Teaching the next weekend producer who came in when I was promoted. And so it goes.
Each of us are a combination of doers and teachers – which one do you like best? If you can zero in on which makes you the happiest, perhaps this is a bit of knowledge you can follow – right into a new career.
Are you a teacher or a doer? If you’re a doer, you’ll probably charge by the hour – if you’re a teacher, you’ll charge by the lesson. Think about it.
February 17, 2012
Many thanks to Darla LaDoux for this gem of wisdom.
When I sit down with my clients, I ask them “who is your perfect client”. After working through a few “must haves” we usually get to “my perfect client is one who can afford…..”
Stop right there.
I’ve got news. They can never afford you. I don’t care what business you are in – if you are selling a product or a service, or if it is cheap or expensive. No one is sitting around with a pile of money that they are waiting to spend with you.
It’s only when they connect with the benefit of what you are selling in a way that is beyond a transaction that they will be willing to invest. They buy for their reasons Do you know the reasons your prospects buy from you? What is the bigger “why,” that is the true benefit in their life? If you design websites, what does your client really get from you? Is it more sales and profit? Is it the peace of mind that comes from finally getting it off their to-do list? Is it personal pride and enthusiasm about their brand that really drives them even more than money? You’ve got to know the motivation of your people. When you describe your ideal client, it should never be about what they can afford. It needs to be about what they believe.