Five ways to build credibility with your customers

Credibility is essential for converting contacts into customers. While you may have the better product or service, if you lack credibility, perceived or otherwise, chances are you won’t make the sale and your potential customer will go knocking on a competitors door. 

So how do you build your credibility in the eyes of your potential customers? Contrary to popular belief credibility doesn’t start by focusing on your experience and expertise, it starts by meeting your potential customer where they are, identifying what they need and want, then easing their frustration by solving their problems. 

To help you here are five ways you can establish credibility with your potential customers before you start talking about yourself. 

1. Know your audience

Knowing your audience isn’t just about having an outline of your ideal client. It is about having an understanding of what is important to them, where they are at and where they want to be. The kind of understanding that allows rapport to be built quickly and an emotional connection forged, resulting in your potential customer thinking “hey, these guys get me”. 

(Need a little help with this? Get a copy of the 25 must-ask questions to get inside the mind of your customer here)

2. Talk to them in their own words

Nothing can irritate or isolate your customers and potential customers faster than big words and industry jargon. Often business owners will showcase a larger vocabulary and introduce more complex concepts in order to prove they know what they are talking about, but it rarely has that effect. 

Instead it can be seen as being arrogant, egotistical and confusing, causing your target market to become annoyed and potentially lost. 

If you want to increase your credibility (and appear more intelligent) talk clearly and plainly. It sounds strange I know, but the role of an expert is not to make concepts complex or confusing, it is to simplify and solve them, explaining them in a way that is easy to understand even if you know nothing about the industry or topic.

3. Hit their pain points and give them clarity

One of the fastest ways to build credibility with your audience is to understand the frustrations and problems they are experiencing and be able to articulate them. 

While many people know they aren’t getting the results they want, they don’t necessarily know why. They haven’t been able to identify the real problem or issue that is holding them back or the way around it. 

If you can give your potential customers clarity around what is going wrong and why, you will have their attention and establish yourself as someone who knows, and has experience in, what they are talking about. 

4. Solve their problems

If after you’ve showed your potential customers what is going wrong and why, you can then show them how to fix it you immediately boost your credibility. 

People want to feel heard and understood, so if you can take them to the point of pain, give them hope and then follow through with a relevant solution, you will not only establish your expertise, you will dramatically improve your chances of making the sale. 

5. Offer them proof

If you want to increase your credibility, let someone else tell the story. Use stories or case studies of past or current customers who had similar challenges to the ones your potential customers are facing now and show what you did for them. Testimonials from real customers talking about real experiences with your business show your value in action. 

Once you have established credibility in these five ways then start selling your experience and credentials. View talking about what you’ve done as a way to seal the deal rather than start it.

Your customers want to know what is in it for them first, before they give you their time or money, so the more customer focused you can be in your marketing and sales, the more credibility and rapport you build with your customers. 

How do you build credibility with your audience?

Amanda


Turning industry stereotypes into powerful points of difference

Whether we like it or not people make assumptions about us, our business and even how we conduct our business based on the industry we are in. 

Don’t believe me? What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a used car salesmen, lawyer or journalist? When you call a tradesman are you expecting them to be on time or late? Tidy or messy? What about when you meet with an accountant? Are you expecting a passionate, engaging person or a person who has less personality than their calculator?

While some people certainly do fit their industry stereotypes, many of us don’t. But as frustrating as it can be to be judged according to a perception, idea or bad experience someone else is responsible for, it can provide you with a very clear way to differentiate yourself and a very powerful method to sell. 

To show you here are four tips to help you turn your industry stereotype into powerful points of difference. 

1. Define your industry stereotype

In order to rise above the perceptions and bad experiences people have had with others in your industry you need to define your industry stereotype. To do this take everything bad (joking or otherwise) someone has said about your industry and combine it with common perceptions people have of someone in your field. 

By doing this you now have a list of what not to do, and how to differentiate yourself in the mind of your customers.

2. Create your industry “villain”

Once you have your “not to-do” list, create the “villain” of your industry to give all of the negative attributes a personality. For some industries like real estate or investment, you might paint a really shady, unscrupulous, self serving character, though for others it might be quite mild in comparison yet still appeal to common industry frustrations. 

The key is to make this “villain” realistic and relatable, because this is the person you are getting your customers to focus all their negative feelings and bad experiences on instead of you and your industry as a whole. 

For example a tradesman might say something along the lines of… 

“Have you ever been left waiting for hours without a phone call wondering where your [tradesman] was? Then when they finally arrived [x] hours late, after trampling dirt all through your home, you find out [insert frustration: the job has to be delayed/the job would take longer than anticipated/the job was more expensive than quoted/they don’t have all the materials or equipment they need/it wasn’t done the way you wanted etc.]?” Continuing on with the pain, frustration and inconvenience caused.

3. Become the “hero”

Once you establish the pain and frustration the “villains” cause your potential customers, you then need to establish yourself as the “hero” who swoops in to save your potential customers.

To do this you need to paint the picture of how you, your products and services, the way you deliver them and/or the way conduct your business is vastly different in comparison to everyone else in your industry, using the proof of testimonials where possible. 

Through your marketing copy, and when you are talking to your potential customers, show them how you provide what they need and want, taking the weaknesses of the industry “villains” and turning them into your own marketable strengths. 

To use the tradesman example above, you might follow on by saying…

“But imagine if instead you received a phone call an hour before your tradesman is due confirming your job details along with his estimated time of arrival. If, when they turn up – on time – they removed their shoes, communicated clearly on how long it would take, explained what was involved, had all of the tools and materials needed in their fully fitted out workshop on wheels and delivered on time, on budget with the highest quality workmanship – guaranteed. Then after they finished, they cleaned up all of their mess leaving no trace they had been there other than a job well done. That is what you receive with [business name]”

4. Follow Through

While positioning yourself as the “hero” can generate interest and sales, delivering on what you promise is the true key to overcoming industry stereotypes and creating raving fans that will go on and sell your business for you. People can’t help but talk about someone who is breaking the mould, particularly when the person has helped them greatly. 

Have you ever found yourself stereotyped based on your industry?

Amanda


The four-step formula for more powerful marketing and advertising

Every day your customers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages and advertisements. They are there when they turn on the television, listen to the radio, drive past a billboard, wait at a bus stop, go to a public bathroom, search online, open an email, read a magazine or newspaper and even check their letterbox. 

As a result the customers you are targeting are smarter, more informed and value driven, they research their purchases and tend to see through the marketing hype and the manipulative, pushy sales tactics. They are time-poor, have shorter attention spans, scan more than read and want to know what you can do for them before they give you any more of their time or money.

To reach them, your marketing approach needs to be different, strategic, targeted, customer-focused, value packed and concise. Not always the easiest feat, but here’s a little helping hand, a four-step formula you can follow to help you create more powerful marketing campaigns, advertisements and copy.

Step One – Know who you are marketing to and why 

High conversions and great results come from strategic and targeted marketing campaigns where you truly “get” your customers and what they need or want.

To do this effectively you need to be revisiting and redefining your target market regularly. Your customers needs, problems and priorities can change, and who you want to target can change based on your experience, price increases, product changes, the campaigns you are running and your customers’ willingness and ability to spend.

Drill down as specifically as possible so you can find the commonalities in the group of people you are targeting. This will help you uncover which pain point, solution and incentive will be the most effective. I can’t stress enough how important this is to establishing a personal message, the kind that makes your customer feel that you are talking directly to them, even though you may be targeting thousands. 

Step Two – Identify what you are really selling

In order to market your business effectively you need to know what you are selling. This doesn’t just mean being an expert in your products and services, it means becoming very clear on what benefits you are offering your customers. 

To give you an example, let’s use an accountant. Service wise an accountant may offer customers tax returns, bookkeeping, BAS lodgment and structuring, but what they are really selling is peace of mind and security. Their customers can feel at ease knowing that their financial obligations are taken care of and their assets are protected if worse ever came to worse.

In the same way, a mattress store is selling comfort and a good night sleep. A fencing company is selling safety and security for your family. When you find what you are really selling, you can find the emotional pull, motivator or persuader that will most appeal to your target market.  

Step Three – Work out how you do it differently

When you know what you are selling and the benefit it supplies, you need to work out how you do it differently to everyone else. This will allow you to shape a more powerful outcome or result that people will receive simply by choosing to work with you.

Look at what your customers want and need, and then look at what your competitors are doing and not doing compared to you. What is different? What makes your product, service, business or you as a provider different and of more value to your potential customer?

Do you have more experience or expertise? Do you have better processes or follow up? Do you have a guarantee? Do you have consistent or unrivaled results? Do you use higher quality products? Do you have a wider range of colours shapes or styles? Do you have a more personalised service or a quicker turn around? 

Step Four – Stop marketing your product, start marketing your value

Good marketing is not about you, what you do or even what you want to market; it is about your customer, what they need and what is going to most appeal to them in order for them to hand over their money to you. You need to get out of your ego, and into theirs.

Be the solution. Look for ways your products or services and what you are really selling can help your customers solve what they need to solve or achieve what they want to achieve. When it comes to sales and marketing “nice guys” who have a genuine interest in their customers and a desire to help them, finish first. 

Amanda


How to turn a mistake into a marketing opportunity

While mistakes in business can fill us with dread and embarrassment, like many other times of trial and adversity they can be turned into an opportunity to showcase the professionalism, integrity and authenticity of our business.

So how do you recover with your reputation in tact after you’ve dropped the ball? Here are three tips to help you turn a mistake into a marketing opportunity and win the respect of your customers and business associates.

1. Remember mistakes can be the best teachers

When money is coming in, the phone is ringing, our customers are happy and everything is going smoothly we don’t always look for ways to improve, change, update, innovate or leverage to make our business work better. After all if it’s working why mess with it – right?

Just think about it, when are you more motivated and driven to change your marketing approach or bring in sales, in a slow month or a busy month?  What about adding value to your customers and increasing your level of customer service? Are you more likely to think about it when you have a happy customer or an unhappy customer? 

When are you more innovative and creative in business, when it’s business as usual or you’re under threat because of a mistake, wrong decision or competitor? 

Creativity and innovation thrive when we are under fire. There is nothing quite like making a mistake or facing adversity and the accompanying pain or embarrassment, to get us out of our comfort zone and into our creative, innovative and strategic problem-solving zone to find a better way. 

So take the education, learn the lesson, find a way to make it better or prevent it from happening in the future and make the change.

2. Realise mistakes can humanize you and help build rapport

The fact is we all make mistakes, and provided it is small, there is limited damage and the intent was innocent, mistakes can actually work for us, making us more relatable and approachable to our customers and business associates. 

To give you an example, many years ago I told a potential customer they could get “one product for the price of three!” – a bargain right?! This silly, slip of the tongue completely broke the ice, gave them a good laugh and allowed me to build a good rapport with them over the phone which lead to an ongoing relationship and ongoing sales. 

Who hasn’t made a typo, got tongue tied, sent an email to the wrong person, forgotten to do something, misspoke, or made a wrong decision? The key is in how you handle it, recover from it and make up for it. 

Could you use the mistake or blunder as a rapport builder, a case study to help your customers avoid the same mistakes themselves or as an opportunity to showcase new and better procedures, methods or measures?

3. Use your mistakes as an opportunity to show your character

There is something inspiring about a person who takes responsibility for their actions, faces the consequences and tries to make it right. It shows character.

So if you do make a mistake own it, if you make the wrong decision fix it and if you have an unhappy customer, address it. Be professional, admit your mistake, apologise and make it right. 

By being open, honest and accountable for your mistakes you not only protect your reputation, you can end up having more people want to work with you simply because of the attitude you have and actions you have taken.

Amanda


Three tips to help you build your email list

With so much focus placed on how many likers, followers and connections we have on social media, it can be easy to lose sight of the most important number – your subscribers. 

As business owners we often spend so much time, money and effort building our databases on someone else’s platform, but what about our own? If you could no longer access your social media accounts or blogs, would you have a way of staying in touch with at least some of your likers, followers, readers and connections? 

It can be a scary thought can’t it? To make sure you are building your list while leveraging social media and blogging, here are three tips to turn your likers, followers, readers and connections into subscribers.

1. Create a killer opt-in

In order for a potential customer to give you their contact details willingly, you need to give them value and incentive. It could be a checklist, cheat sheet, fact sheet, list of resources, strategy session, ideas, a gift certificate, newsletter or a whole host of other ideas.

The key is that you need to make it relevant, desirable and where possible shareable, so there is no doubt in your potential customers mind that they (and others they know) must give over their details to get it. To do this you need to be generous. You need to give enough away so it is easy for them to see the value, yet still enough mystery that they need to buy from you. 

A good opt-in, depending on your product, service and industry of course, should inspire your potential customer, challenge the way they think or do something, solve a problem or at least start to solve a problem and/or appeal to their ambition or desire to reach their goal. Emotional engagement is key for high performing opt-in.

If it is a newsletter that you are using as an opt in, instead of saying the usual “sign up for our e-news” say what someone will receive from reading your e-news. Will there be tips, hints, ideas, and deals? Look closely at what value it provides, what will your reader be able to do or know as a result of your information? 

Also try teaming it with a great offer “Sign up for our e-news and get a $5/$10/$50/$100 (depending on what you sell) voucher to use with your next purchase” or “Sign up for our e-news and receive the [x] game-changing tips/hints/questions to ask/habits to achieve [x]”.

2. Capture details with competitions

We all love the chance to win something, particularly if it is something really relevant, desirable, luxurious or expensive (even if it is perceived value) so use a competition as a way to grow your list. Again, look closely at what your potential customers may want or need to make their life or business easier, more enjoyable, fulfilling or profitable. 

While the prize doesn’t need to be directly linked to your business, keep in mind that the more general the prize the more general the people will be who enter it. You don’t just want to grow your database for the sake of growing it, you want to attract targeted, interested people, so take your time when thinking of a prize.

3. Be an information tease

We are really lucky to have tools like blogs and social media at our disposal, so why not put them to good use by doing a little information teaser campaign. 

Once you have identified information you think your audience will really value (think golden nuggets of great wisdom, serious money saving or making tips, a step-by-step process or formula, or anything else you can think of that really gives your audience the opportunity to “peek behind the curtain” of your knowledge), do up one or a series of blog posts or status updates incorporating them. 

Ideally you want there to be at least 5-10 tips/steps/pearls of wisdom in order to get the most impact. But here’s the catch, you only release half – and not the best half, into the public domain the rest you have under lock and key available only to those who join your mailing list. 

Keep in mind though that this only works when the information is relevant, valuable and when done sparingly, when used all the time this tactic can lose its impact. So time it well, after a social media advertising campaign for instance, in order to turn those likers and followers into subscribers.

Do you have any tips for building your mailing list?

Amanda


Marketing words that boost engagement and conversions

Words are powerful. They can move us, engage our emotions in ways we don’t even realise and persuade us to take a course of action we may not have ordinarily taken.

That is why the words you use to help you tell the story of your products and services are so important. They can be the difference between telling and selling, and someone browsing or buying.

Fortunately, there are some words and phrases that have been tried and tested to help boost engagement and conversions regardless of your industry. So to help you, here are seven words I’ve found as a copywriter to be extremely effective, regardless of who or what I’m writing about.

1. “You”

No word in marketing is, or ever will be, as powerful as the word “you”. The more you can make your marketing about your target audience, and their needs, their problems, their desires and their frustrations the more effective it will be.

Remember your potential customer doesn’t care about you – at first anyway, they want to know what is in it for them and how you can solve their challenges and meet their needs like no-one else can.

With this in mind, one of your main objectives when writing your marketing material should be to use the word “you” as many times as possible. Customer focused words like “you” should appear at least twice as many times as self-focused words like your business name, “we”, “us”, “ours”, “me” or “I”. 

2. “Guarantee”

When you are willing to back your own product or service with a guarantee, particularly a 100% money back guarantee, you minimise the risk for your customer and give them a sense of safety and security at the time of purchase.

Offering a guarantee can also help you persuade your potential customer into feeling like they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by buying from you.

3. “Free”

While some marketers over the years have questioned whether the word “free” is still effective in marketing, the fact remains that we all love freebies. The impact of the word, however, depends greatly on what it is linked to.

“A free quote” for instance, isn’t a good “free” incentive. Let’s be honest, would you pay someone to come and give you a quote for a job if a quote was all they were giving? I know I wouldn’t, it’s just something we do in order to generate business.

The key is to offer something that is relevant and of value to your audience. So if you were looking at offering the ever popular “free consultation”, instead of leaving it at that, articulate what value they will receive in a consultation with you (and FYI a sales presentation or the opportunity to come and “find out how we can help you” isn’t value). What will you give them, or talk about in the consultation? What will they have or be able to do by the end of it?

When you start approaching your free offers like this, you will start to see just how powerful the word “free” can be in your marketing.

4. “Instant”

Let’s face it; given our lifestyle, most people you market to will have a short attention span, little patience and a growing desire for instant gratification. You only need to look at the growing credit card debt to see this is true. We don’t want to wait, we want it now and, while some of us may meet it with some scepticism, we are, generally speaking, intrigued by anything and anyone who can deliver us the instant results or changes we are looking for.

If you can build an instant element into your offering and marketing, whether it is instant access, download, delivery, implementation, value or results, it can be incredibly rewarding.

A word of warning though, when you build up a customer’s expectations like this you need to be 100% confident that you can deliver on it. If there is one shadow of a doubt – or you have to rely on someone else to fulfil your “instant” promise (like a third party or supplier) think about what else you could do instead.

5. “Easy”, “Quick” or “Shortcut”

We all want to know the easiest option or the quickest way, it forms part of our desire for instant gratification. We’re willing to look at whatever will speed up the process of being, doing or having what we want, or make the process that much easier.

Perhaps your product or service is easy to buy, easy to use or implement or has the potential to make your customer’s life easier (be specific with how). Or maybe it’s the shortcut they’re looking for that will deliver what they want in record time. The easier and quicker something is, the more desirable it becomes in the mind of your customer.

6. “Never”

The word “never” can be incredibly powerful when you are pointing out the negative benefits of your product or service. If you’re wondering what a negative benefit is, it’s something your customer will avoid (and want to avoid) by buying and using your product or service. Essentially it demonstrates how you can help them avoid pain.

Obviously how you use it depends on your business and what you sell, though some examples are “never miss a payment again”, “never worry about a deadline again” or “never pay too much in tax again”. The key is to make the negative benefit realistic, of high importance to your customers and for ultimate impact something that is weighing heavy on their mind or keeping them up at night.

7. “Proven”

By having a proven system, formula, methodology or product, or a strong track record of generating results, you take the risk and fear out of buying from you. It’s one thing to say that you are great, it’s quite another to be able to back your claims up. The effectiveness and credibility of your message amplifies when you prove you can do what you say you can.

Don’t just make “proven results” or a “proven formula” another claim though, say how and why it is proven or draw on testimonials and case studies to show that it is proven.

So there you have it, seven words that when used right can generate great results in marketing. The next challenge is to find which words will work best for you and your business.

Have you found certain words work wonders in your marketing?

Amanda


Resell, Upsell and Cross-Sell – Little words that bring in big money

One of the fastest ways to make more sales is to get your existing customer base spending more with you. Having already seen the value and results in doing business with you, your existing customers are not only easier to convert, but also don’t require you to outlay any money in order to reach them.

So how do you keep your customers coming back and spending again and again? By finding ways to resell, upsell and cross-sell your products and services.

Resell – Keep them coming back

Build in a repeat purchase of your product or service so you can continue to resell to your customers. This means finding a genuine, ethical way of getting your customer to purchase your products and services repeatedly, not altering the quality of your products or services so people have to purchase them more often. There must be value for them as well as you.

It doesn’t even need to be the entire purchase again, it could be a specific part or component, a smaller condensed version like a refresher course, for example, or an ongoing maintenance program depending on what is relevant.

Upsell – Increase the amount they spend

The easiest way to upsell clients is to get to know them. Ask questions, find out their needs, their frustrations and what they want to achieve. By doing so, you will have a greater understanding of why they are buying and be able to suggest products and packages that have more inclusions to benefit your customers as well as make it more profitable for you.

If you’re not sure about how to approach your existing customers, you could say something along the lines of “Having worked with you for [x] amount of time now, and knowing you and your business well, I believe [x product or service] may suit your needs better. While it will be a slightly larger investment, I believe it will give you better results/make your life easier/help you achieve your outcome quicker/insert other benefit.”

Cross-Sell – Get them buying more with each purchase

Cross-selling is the official marketing term for “would you like fries with that”. The aim is to get your customers buying related products or services in order to make their buying experience with you all the more enjoyable, beneficial and profitable.

For example, if you owned a furniture store and a customer wanted to buy a bed, then you would want to cross-sell a matching tall boy, blanket box, mirror and bedside tables, in order to sell the whole bedroom suite as opposed to just one product.

If you sell online and don’t do it already, you may want to have a heading with “you may also like” or “customers also bought” and include related products or services under each product or service you feature on your website as a way to cross-sell to your customers.

So before you go out and spend a large amount on bringing in new business, look at how you could resell, upsell or cross-sell your existing customers.

Amanda


Five questions to help you tell the story

Stories are powerful. We not only remember them long than we remember facts, they engage us, appeal to our imagination and when done right, cause us to become emotionally invested. 

Imagine if you could cause this same reaction in your target market after they read your website or promotional material? How many more enquiries would you get? How many more sales would you convert? To help you, here are five questions that once answered will help you tell the story of your products and services and emotionally engage your target market.

1.    What is your target market’s biggest need, frustration or problem? 

People always move faster away from pain then they do towards pleasure, so pain is a good place to start your story. What problems do your target market experience without your product? What limitations do similar products or services have (without naming and shaming) that could be causing your target market frustration? 

What is keeping them up at night? What is costing them money, time or limiting their growth that can be related to not having or using your product or service?

2. Why haven’t they been able to solve it? 

Once you’ve established their pain, look at why they haven’t been able to solve it until now. Was it due to a lack of time, money or knowledge? Have options or availability been limited until you or your new product or service has come along? 

3. What would their life be like if their problem was solved?

Paint the pleasure. Describe the life of your target market once their problems have been solved, their ideal “imagine if…” scenario. How much more effective, efficient or profitable will their business be? How much easier and happier will their life be? 

4. How does your product or service solve their need? 

Once you’ve taken them to a place of pleasure and hope, show them how you or your products or your services make it possible. How are your products or services different? How have they helped others achieve the same ideal scenario? 

5. What do they need to do now? 

Now it’s time for your call to action. What steps do they have to take now to start making their ideal scenario a reality? Is it to call, email or buy now? Do they need to go to another web page, book a consultation, request a quote or download something? 

Work out exactly what action you want them to take then call them to do it while offering them an incentive or emotional pull.
 
By taking your target market through this process, you allow them to have an emotional experience with your product or service before they even try it, a very powerful marketing technique that will result in more enquiries and conversions.

Amanda


How to get testimonials that convert sales

You saying you’re great is one thing, but a customer saying you’re great? That can really help to get sales over the line.

Testimonials and case studies can be incredibly powerful. Not only do they give your potential customers an example of how you could help them, the customer giving the testimonial is doing the sales pitch for you, and chances are what they loved about you will be what potential customers are looking for.

So how do you get more testimonials and make the most out of the testimonials your customers give you? Here are four tips to help you get testimonials that will convert sales for you.

1. Request testimonials after you have delivered value

The best time to ask for a testimonial is after you have given your customer value. It could be saving them money, reducing their expenses or stress, or making their life easier. Don’t make the mistake of asking them just after they’ve signed up, not only will you face more resistance, the testimonial you receive won’t be as specific or powerful.

2. Ask for testimonials in person or over the phone

When asking for a testimonial, always ask in person or over the phone. People are more likely to say yes to giving a testimonial when you have spoken to them, they also tend to send it through quicker.

3. Know what you want from a testimonial and be prepared to give prompts

To make testimonials work in your favour, you need them to answer all of the regular objections a potential customer may have with your business and industry. To do this well, you normally need to provide the customer you’ve requested a testimonial from with a guide of what you want.

It could be as simple as sending them a quick email thanking them for agreeing to do a testimonial and including a sentence like “what we are mainly looking for in a testimonial is how you enjoyed working with us. This could include the level of service, ease of contact, the quality of our work and what you thought of the finished product (plus any other specifics you want to include).”

4. Encourage customers to publish testimonials on a social platform

Once they have agreed to give you a testimonial ask if they would mind giving it to you on a platform like LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook, Twitter or a review site where others will see it.

It’s one thing seeing a testimonial on a website, but seeing a testimonial given by a real person publicly? That adds a whole new level of reality and credibility, especially when you know the person giving it.

Plus with many review sites and LinkedIn requiring testimonials to be uploaded by the person who is giving them, it allows you to increase the number of testimonials you have on these platforms. It also, still gives the you the ability to copy and paste them into your other promotional material easily.

Amanda


Questions to ask when writing or reviewing your website copy

The words on your website can be the difference between a website browser and a new customer. With more and more potential customers heading online to find and buy products, your website copy has never been more important.

To make your words count, here are seven questions to ask when you are writing or reviewing your website copy.

1. Does your copy appeal to your target audiences?

Are you writing for your target market or about you? Good copy is all about your target market, it addresses their frustrations, solves their problems, gives them the benefits and answers their question “what is in it for me”?

Once you have written your copy, read through it and count how many “you’s” you have versus how many “we’s”. You should be talking about your customer at least twice as many times as you are talking about your business.

2. Is there a benefit driven or emotionally appealing headline on each page?

Don’t underestimate the power of headlines. With 5-10 seconds to capture the attention of your target market, your headline will help you make an impact and connect with your reader, and if done correctly, encourage them to keep reading.

3. Are sub-headlines easily identifiable and do they guide readers through the page?

Most of your website readers aren’t readers at all, they are scanners. This means they will be scanning through parts of your copy to find what is relevant or of interest to them. Sub-headlines are great for drawing attention to certain parts of your copy and make it easier for scanners to find what they are looking for.

4. Is the critical content above the fold?

In sales copy your most hard-hitting, benefit-driven information needs to be first, with as much appearing above the fold (where your reader doesn’t have to scroll down) as possible. When your reader lands on your website they want to know “what’s in it for me?”, good copy will always give them the answer straight up.

5. Are testimonials or case studies used to prove the value?

To back up claims you make in your copy, include testimonials that demonstrate benefits and results you have generated for past and present customers. Remember, no-one sells your business better than a happy customer.

If you claim your products or services can boost sales or minimise expenses by a certain percentage within a particular timeframe, provide a testimonial or case study that proves your claim. You will add credibility and build trust with your readers if you do.

6. Is there a call to action on every page?

Are you creating a sense of urgency by giving a compelling reason to act now on every page? Your website should be an extension of your sales team and be converting readers into leads and buyers. To do this, each page needs to have a strong call to action.

When establishing your call to action, ask yourself “what do I want my reader to do once they have finished reading this page?”

7. Is there a way to capture your readers contact information?

Have you provided an irresistible offer that compels your reader to give up their contact information? In addition to wanting your reader to respond to your call to action, you also want to get their contact details. This way, you are in control of how regularly they hear about your business.

To do this, you need to offer them something of value. It could be a checklist, an e-book, a cheat sheet or a template of some sort. Whatever you choose, make sure it is easy to sign up for, if there is too much effort involved you may limit your sign-ups.

Amanda


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