small business

Beware Unsubstantiated Claims On Your Website

Your audience is too educated and weary of companies who have unsubstantiated claims on their website. Unsubstantiated claims include “We’re the best at Customer Service” or “#1 in the Canada” – you’d better have an award, or a link to your QA/QC process for ensuring better customer service if you’re going to claim that. Or you will discredit yourself entirely.

Other ways of building evidence on your website:

–         Awards, Certifications

–         Guarantees

–         Examples (Anecdotes, customer’s words, case studies)

–         Statistics from collected polls (internal or external)

 

How to Improve Your Website Content and Build Your Business workshop

Jan 31st, 2012: “How to Improve Your Website Content and Build Your Business” – Kingston (KEDCO) 9am to 3pm

– a light lunch  will be provided
*Workshop fee is $85 dollars*

Here’s a full day workshop to help you transform your website into a powerful sales tool. You’ll have the whole day to learn and apply 5 strategies to make your website content compelling to prospects. Understand how people read online, discover how to share your expertise, and get feedback on your writing all under guidance of an e-literacy expert and website copywriter.

Learn from multiple examples, asking questions and time to rewrite your website homepage. So you will leave the workshop with:

  • A Storyboard of your website content
  • Headings and subheadings that work more effectively
  • Content focused on your customer (WII.FM?)
  • Guidance on language and online writing styles
  • A plan of action to start relationships with your website visitors

BONUS inclusions for this workshop:

  • Same-day feedback on your business website
  • “How to use Twitter for your business” e-book
  • The How To Business Blog Handbook
  • Register today

Feb 2nd, 2012: “How to Improve Your Website Content and Build Your Business” – CFDC, 26 Chemaushgon Road, Bancroft, Ontario: 9am – 3pm

Your Website Content Exposes Your Business

There’s a reason some companies are leaders in their industry.

I was recently researching Merchant Services in Canada. The majority of the holders I came across had poor customer service. I wanted to find out some basic information in my own time, but I couldn’t get the answers I wanted from the Merchant Services Company websites.

Then I found a company whose website content reveals their business values. And because they are a company who believes in making a product which is simple and easy to use for business owners, their website is simple and easy to navigate for business owners.

  • The Quickbooks website is interactive, easy to read, and lets me easily flip back and forth between questions I might have.
  • All of the copy is directed towards what I am looking for. I know exactly what their values are and because I have all of the information I need to learn about the company, I can judge for myself whether their product matches up with what I want.
  • For once, I didn’t have to call (and wait on hold to talk to someone!) just to answer a few basic ‘show-stopper’ questions.

So how can you improve your company website?

  1. Make it easy to see how you think on your website. Do this in your website content, and use your business blog to answer questions they might have.
  2. Respect your prospects’ time. Only make a prospect call if you need to determine something about them before you answer their questions.
  3. Don’t hide parts of your business to your prospects. Be clear about what you stand for in your website content. Articulate exactly how good you are and empower your prospects to choose you. But don’t forget WIIFM (what’s in it for your customers)!

Avoid being called “expensive”: Explain what you offer and build trust

Today at 4:05 p.m. my Skype phone rang. It was my friend Natalia, from Ormiga Design. We had set aside time to catch up today and I was looking forward to it. We seem to get each other’s creative synapses firing.

We got onto talking about problems our customers have. One thing small business owners tend to struggle with is how much should you charge? You want a pricing system that attracts people, but that recognises your hard work. In my industry, customers want to know: how much you should pay for creative services? If you speak to three different copywriters or five different website and graphic companies–which quote should you choose?

Everyone is always looking for the best deal, and why not? People will always compare on “trust” and “price”, because it’s one thing we all understand. So you need to make sure you tell customers more about you than your price.

Help customers trust you so they see your price is justified.

Do you clearly explain to customers what you’re selling? Here are a few tips to help you be more explicit about what you offer to build trust:

  • Itemize all of your services. A Tangible Words creative brief will help you make sure you don’t forget to communicate all of the value you provide customers.
  • Use headlines and sub-headlines on all of your documents; or,  your website and brochures will be hard to read. Headlines help people better find and comprehend your messages.
  • Give away information about your company on your website so customers can come to trust you. I use this blog so you can see how I think, and remind you of how much we know at Tangible Words. Are you doing the same on your company website?

If you only list a price, or if your website, newsletters and brochures don’t fully explain why you’re the best choice–you’re forcing customers to judge you by price.

Of course, you can play the “under price” game, but that might mean you forsake quality. That’s not something I would ever want to do. (I want happy customers like these every time.).

In an effort to be transparent to our customers, we’ve made a product and pricing chart. It’s available by email (which you can send spam-free here).

Related Reading

 

 

Here’s how brand consistency makes money

P10101881-150x1503 Here's how brand consistency makes money

See the power of brand consistency

When customers know what to expect from you, they’ll want to use your services again. So when people click off your e-newsletter onto your website, your website should reflect the same tone and language of the newsletter. Or, you risk confusing your customers instead of sending the same message consistently.

Unfortunately, many small businesses try to write their content in-house, losing business and wasting valuable time. (The same is true for website copy and website design–they must work together or else you’re missing out on a powerful sales tool).

Three Ways Professional Writers Make A Valuable Asset To Your Brand’s Impact:

  1. You can ensure consistency by having a technical writer create a Style Guide.
  2. Improve all of your documents with a copyeditor enforcing your Style Guide.
  3. Even more, you can ensure the consistency of all emotional messages to customers by having a copywriter oversee all documents as part of your Sales Process.

When you see the power of brand consistency, and the money is rolling in, you’ll only be sorry you didn’t get a professional writer sooner!

Copywriters: good or bad?

I was surfing the web recently and I came across what I considered an interesting headline: “Never use a copywriter for your website.” The article’s author Tony Hetherington is a copywriter. And he has four reasons for why a copywriters ruin your website. Interestingly (and probably on purpose) his article stands as a great testament for why a small business SHOULD use a copywriter.

Why small businesses need copywriters:

1. You could waste time finding a copy writer you’ll be happy with, or you could go to a BNI and find a copywriter you trust. It’s hard to find any B2B service. Or even just a skilled a grocery bagger (I hate it when they put hard stuff on top of the soft!) for that matter.

Picture-14-300x118 Copywriters: good or bad?

Copywriters: good or bad?

But how did you find a great accountant or a lawyer? By networking more effectively, you overcome so many potential problems. Meet  a person face to face and have a conversation about a real topic.

2. You could waste time briefing copywriter, or you could miss out entirely on the value of a Brief and the IP it provides your business. The Brief is a great chance for any small business to improve their marketing. Marketing is all about communication. And The Brief is like a workshop for strengthening your ongoing communication. The Brief helps you understand your features vs your benefits. On Friday I got yet another client thanking me for doing the Brief in 45 minutes. As usual, we booked in a time and they really enjoyed the chance to explain their business; they realised they previously hadn’t been doing a very good job explaining their business to customers. This external perspective on your business is another reason copywriters are good for your business. Copywriters don’t just save you time, copywriters help you sell more to your customers.

3. You could be disappointed with your new copy or you could not realise how poor your previous copy was. At Tangible Words, we communicate all writing decisions and as a standard, give one set of edits to our clients.

You see, copywriters have expert writing knowledge. Even people who have done a short copywriting course or read a copywriting book might not realise how much more effective copywritten copy is, so we explain it to you.

Plus, copywriters stick to the business owner’s Brief–what the business owner tells the copywriter. The website owner will only be disappointed if they struggle to articulate their business. And that’s a good pick up that could save you a lot of hassle and heartache.

Copywriters help small business owners make sure they are giving the right, best information to their target audience.

4. You could risk a copywriter lacking in-depth knowledge of your business or you could risk your customers not understanding why they should buy your product/service. Tangible Words takes care of both problems. Before a text is ever written, copywriters do a lot of research on your industry. Also, because we have so many copywriters we are able to find the copywriter with the best experience to write your copy.

Most businesses get caught up in explaining their technical expertise on their website. But this is a big mistake.

While customers want to trust you’re an expert, they don’t want to know everything you know! That’s why they’re paying you—so they don’t have to have the expertise to do it themselves.

5. If you use a copywriter, will you get a website that isn’t yours…? Copywritten content comes from the ideas communicated by the business owner. If you are going to outsource  the builidng of your website, or the designing of your logos, trust an expert to write your copy.

I would have left all of these points as a comment on the article, but there wasn’t a space. But don’t worry, you can leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

How to get web developers to build the website you want – on time

One of the things plaguing many small businesses is getting a business website designed, built and online on-time.

Not having a business website isn’t every small businesses’ problem, for instance, if you’re tech-saavy  you’d already know you can get a WordPress website (which is free blogging software allowing small businesses to  create their own business websites and business blogs), and I’ve previously posted about how to set it up with your business web address (URL).

I’ll continue to give you support on how to set up your own business blog or website, and you can always get LIVE help from the Tangible Words Twitter site.

But if you are paying a web designer to  design your business website from scratch, you might be stuck in big $$ contract–frustrated that your business website is not finished as quickly as you need your business website to be and might not be the website you want.

Don’t miss out on driving more business because your company website isn’t online yet

To help prevent this happening to your business (whether your web developer is building your business a brand

TW-Website-Brief-Photo-201x3007 How to get web developers to build the website you want - on time

Download TW’s website brief–for free!

new website or refreshing an existing business website) use this web design brief as a communication tool between web designer terms and layman’s terms. This design brief would also work for small businesses wanting a blog, and all small businesses should be getting a business blog in.

You can download this web design brief for free, and by all means, share it around. B0th web designers and other businesses will thank you for sharing this web design brief. Don’t forget to ask your web designer about content writing. If they are not offering it, make sure to ask about having your online content written by a website copywriter.

If you complete this free web design brief BEFORE you meet with your web designer, you are guaranteed to have greater success in communicating your ideal concepts, functions and due dates ensuring your business website (or blog) is completed on time.

Click on the image, or download your business website design brief here: Web Design Brief Template provided by Tangible Words.