In business, we all know that the customer comes first. They’re the one with the money, and every business needs money, so we do what they say most of the time. But what if I told you there was a pattern among small businesses especially, that actually deterred the customer away from their website? What if this mistake was so common that it goes unnoticed all over the internet?
Well I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is I’ve found it for you. The bad news is that you’ve probably lost a ton of clients from it.
So what is this “Business Blockade” I’m talking about?
Simple, your site is about you.
“But it’s MY site; it’s supposed to be about me!”
No, it’s not.
We need to backtrack a little here to explain my point. The first thing you need to do when initiating a presence online is to figure out who the prospect or potential customer is. If you don’t know who your website is for, how can you effectively create one?
Many people don’t even think about their customer when designing and writing content for their website, and that my friends, is the fatal mistake.
Unless you’re a celebrity or public figure, people don’t come to your website to find out about you, they come to solve a problem that they have. They don’t care who you are or how awesome your business is, all they care about is whether or not you can solve their problem.
So with that in mind, here are 3 things to avoid when setting up a site to stray away from the Business Blockade:
#1) – The Super Corporate Look
If you are a small business, chances are you want to be a big one. That’s ok….hell something’s wrong with you if you DON’T want it to be a big business.
The problem stems from small businesses trying to look big and corporate online.
How do I know this? From personal experience. That’s right!once had a super corporate look that I thought was amazing, but it actually deterred visitors.
I forgot about the important fact that people like to do business with people, not businesses.
When you look at it from that angle, it makes sense, so showcase your small business in a way that promises exceptional customer service. When a client makes a purchase with you, they want to know that you fully stand behind your product or service – a claim which is often made but never kept by large corporations.
In a world dominated by Wal-Mart, people have opened their minds and begun to embrace the small business, so don’t hide it. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
You can have a great looking website without trying to look big and corporate. There’s nothing wrong with the look per say, but it’s the stock photos and lifeless dullness that kills the site.
Spice it up with color, and be yourself.
#2) – Content all about you
So what’s wrong with content about you? It’s YOUR website right? But you didn’t put that site up just for you to look at, now did you? That website was put up for a specific person to see, so the content that is on the site should be about them.
Think about it, if you are a lawyer and someone found your site on a search engine, and all they are reading is piles and piles of text about how awesome you are, chances are they’ll raise a red flag pretty quick.
Instead, put content specifically tailored to the needs of your visitors. Not every business has the time to keep an updated blog, but just a simple article or two on something your prospects can find useful will go a long way.
Using the lawyer analogy, what if you wrote an article on how to avoid getting ripped off by a lawyer?
That would not only aid them in finding a lawyer, but it establishes you as a professional and as a credible candidate to their need. That’s all because you helped them first without them having to take out their checkbook.
I guarantee you will blow your competitors away if you have helpful content and they don’t. If they rank higher on search engines, those doing research often go through the majority of the first page. If they flip through boring site after boring site and stumble upon yours with tons of useful info, who do you think they are going to choose?
Them. JUST KIDDING! They’ll choose you like Pikachu.
#3) – Response Time
I’ve seen it WAY too often. I send an email to the support team of a small business during business hours, and they reply 24 or 48 hours later. WHY?
Whether you run your own business, or you have a team to help out, there is no reason why you shouldn’t send out a response the same day, or first thing in the morning the next day.
I know what it’s like, you read the email, and you just think “Ehhh, ill reply later”. Later comes way too late, and you lost the business.
Some of us procrastinate. The more likely scenario is that you want to look busy though. IT’S OK! I’ve done it before too…but I realized it was killing my business.
You should reply to an email or phone call as quickly as you can. Even the exact minute you receive it…I have no clue why so many people refuse to do that. Customers appreciate a quick response time. The quicker you get back to them, the quicker you can help them out and make some money.
So what have we learned? DON’T ACT BIG AND BAD. I get it, I really do. Especially when you are starting out, you don’t want people to see that you haven’t been in business for very long. The thing is, people usually end up over-compensating, and the result is a customer deterrent.
So what about you? Have you ever done any of the above?
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