When was the last time someone asked you for your brochure? Maybe 5 or 6 years ago? Longer?
Today, people ask us if we have a website and we better be able to say “yes.”
I used to believe it was okay to put up anything for a website just so long as you had one and that it made some sense. But today, since so much of our business is going online I believe that to be truly successful you must have a marketing-savvy website.
What I mean by that is that every word and every page is carefully chosen to consistently market your business and lead site visitors closer to buying whatever you’re selling.
You’ve only got a few seconds to let site visitors know whether or not they’re in the right place, so make sure that, right up front on the home page or landing page, that you identify who your site is for and why they should stick around.
If you visit my Soul Proprietor Coach site, the headline you’ll see as soon as you arrive is this:
Welcome Soul Proprietors!
Are you a great Coach, Therapist, Healing Professional, Teacher, or other Spiritual-Minded Entrepreneur. but nobody knows it?
That leaves no doubt who the site if for and gives a hint as to why they might want to stick around to learn more.
Give your site visitors reasons to delve deeper into your site by giving them directions as to what to do first, then what to do next.
On my site — and I suggest you do this on yours — I ask the question: How do you get started? Then I give 3 recommendations of things I want them to do. At the end of the home page and then on most all pages on the ‘inside’ I ask at the bottom of the page what they would like to do next. This way, the visitor is guided through the site in a systematic way.
Now, does everyone follow my guidance through my site? No they don’t, but asking those questions keeps them engaged even if they don’t follow things ‘in order.’
To follow on with the question I ask in my headline, I want to make sure that visitors to my site can recognize their own situations as problems that might be solved either at the site itself or by hiring me to help them. A marketing savvy website will always have a page titled something like “Is this you?” or “Does this sound like you?”
On that Sound Like You page, you’ll want to put several possible scenarios that your clients might be facing. Hopefully, they’ll recognize their situation in at least one of those scenarios, maybe more, and now they know for sure that they’ve come to the right place to get their problems solved.
Use sidebar and navigation links to point visitors to articles you’ve written that will help further clarify in their minds that they are in the right place and that they want to start a relationship with you.
The best relationship starter is getting them to sign up for something you’re offering as a free gift in exchange for their contact information. This then gives you the opportunity to send an ezine on a regular basis and stay in touch with them on a consistent basis by other means.
SIDE NOTE: People will get on your list for a variety of reasons but mostly because they believe you can offer a solution to their problem. They are willing to part with their contact information in exchange for some help that you’re promising. Some folks will stay on your list forever and you’ll never hear a peep out of them. Some will start engaging you right away, and most others will lurk around to get to know you better before extending the relationship any further.
Soul Proprietors ask me all the time, “how long should I leave someone on my list especially if they are unresponsive?” The answer to that is: You leave them on your list until they ask you to take them off.
I’ve had people hang around my list for 3 or more years before they ever contacted me or bought anything.
An About page is crucial. This is where you once again take the opportunity to tell site visitors all about the site itself, what they can expect to find, what they can expect from you, and to learn a little more about who you are.
Be as candid as you are comfortable being and be sure to include your photo on your About page.
I want to have real relationships with my site visitors and I want them to know they are dealing with a real person who has ups and downs just like they do. You’ll want to do the same at your site.
Every marketing savvy website provides a way for site visitors to get in touch with you. ALL the ways you can be reached including your phone number, mailing address, and fax number.
A contact form is the best way to handle email because you don’t really want your email address published on your website. This is because robot trawlers from spammers are looking for emails to send spam emails to. I made this mistake early on and now, many years later, I still get tons of spam email.
SIDE NOTE: It used to be that you could get away with writing your email address like this: marty @ soulproprietorcoach .com or marty at soulproprietorcoach .com, putting spaces in between the parts of the address, but the robots have gotten smarter and smarter and now they can eliminate those spaces and still grab your email address. So it’s better to use a contact form and not take the chance.© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh