Is your creative business still relying heavily on word-of-mouth referrals? Getting referrals is great, but it leaves you totally out of control when it comes to choosing your clients or (gasp) increasing your prices. If you would like to land more high quality projects and increase your pricing, then read on.
The web audience is harsh
Here’s a fact nugget for you: You only have 10 seconds to impress your website visitor. If they don’t immediately see what they want to see, they will leave and never come back.
Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial that you use this space to make it immediately clear what you have to offer and who you are offering it to.
But it’s not only that – you should also be able to distinguish yourself and stand out. You should strive to be memorable and create a connection, not blend in with the rest.
This is easiest to do when you have a strong value proposition and a brand that sets you apart from other businesses similar to yours.
It’s your brand that will take your business from being just another provider of services to being a one-of-a-kind personality that jumps out from the overcrowded noise of your competitors by virtue of your character and voice. To get to this level, you must identify not just the face (the visual aspects) you hope to show your customers, but also who you are as a business, and what you aim to bring to each project.
This is especially important when you want your customers to become repeat customers (and who doesn’t want that?). People want to do business with companies that they “like”, and it’s often the small things that make up your brand that creates this “likeability” factor. When you can offer a service that makes people happy and feel comfortable or special, then they will come back over and over again.
Without further ado, here are 6 reasons why it’s worth to look further beyond Wix, Squarespace, Fiverr and other cheap resources, and start thinking about taking the leap to becoming a brand instead of a provider.
1. Make your virtues known
You want to have a good reputation and you want to be known for the quality of your work and your integrity. Sometimes you have to work hard to undo damage done to the client by previous bad service providers. If you fail to communicate your virtues to your audience, then you risk becoming placed in the same undesirable box labeled “bad experiences” before you’re even given a chance.
This means you should be able to tailor your website, advertising and marketing materials so that you can connect with your audience in meaningful ways. Without a strong brand and the right tools you can easily waste days, weeks and months trying to get your message right and your website looking like you want. That is valuable time wasted when you could be focusing on your work.
Letting a professional take care of your website and working on your branding together with a designer will not only save you tons of time, but will also bring a valuable addition to your team. With your designer, you can discuss not only visual solutions but also marketing strategy, tactics, and business philosophy (and funny cat videos, of course).
Most people start looking for businesses online, so if your website is somewhere on page 4 or 5 of Google it will not be found. If you don’t have a website, you don’t seem as credible in the eyes of customers. Your website is a very cost-effective form of advertising, once you get it on the first page of Google and optimized to attract quality clients who want to do business with you.
You can gather a lot of information about the habits of your visitors. By using Google Analytics, customized landing pages, A/B split testing and facebook pixels, you can find out everything from the age range of a typical visitor to where they live.
You can use this information to further refine your online presence, so you can focus your marketing efforts more efficiently to your target audience. You can even test different images and copywriting to see which one performs better and tweak your marketing accordingly.
4. Looking better than your competition
Does your competitor have a designer website? They might be ahead of you. If, on the other hand, their website looks just like the next photography studio or tattoo shop, you can get a leg up by making your website and brand look different.
5. Content marketing
If you have a blog to support your web content, then you really should only be using WordPress. It is the most powerful and customizable blogging platform on the web, and it makes other platforms look like complete amateurs.
If you have a blog, you can tell which topics your visitors are the most interested in, and then write more about that. It will draw in more organic web traffic as well and position you as an expert.
You can also take the relationship a little further and offer a valuable “freebie” for your readers, such as a free guide or a free consultation in exchange for adding the visitor to a mailing list. Then you’ll have a way to stay in touch with them by sending out more valuable content and building your relationship. What’s not to like?
6. Webrooming and reviews
Even though you have a brick and mortar store or a studio where your clients make their purchases, many people have started doing so called “webrooming”. It means customers turn to the internet before making a purchase in a store.
Customers want to know more about you and they want to see the premises before they decide whether or not it’s worthwhile to come knocking on your door. They want to do their research, and then go to your store armed with knowledge.
At this point you also want to make sure you have taken care of your reviews. About 90% of people say they check online reviews before deciding to buy. On your website, you can add testimonials and links to sites with positive reviews of your business. This can make or break you. You need a strong, enticing website for this reason alone.
If you need help managing your online presence, ask me for a free consultation or request your free quote today! I’ll be happy to help your business rise to the next level with beautiful branding and purposeful web design. We can also help you get more authentic 5-stars reviews and give you tips on how to weed out the bad ones.