TL:DR - Thinking from your point of view rather than the perspective your customers could be losing you leads and sales. Rather than focusing on features, expertise, or services, shift your mindset to figure out what you can do for your customer.
They have a problem. You need to prove to them that you can solve it. Focus on the outcome they desire rather than what your business does.
What do you do?
Ahh, the classic ice-breaker question that makes you wish your drink was stronger. Of course, everyone answers it, usually in a standard way by talking about your job, your activities, your expertise, and so on.
This is how many business owners and sole traders think about their business. “I help improve SEO”. “I provide marketing services”. “I develop apps”. They think from a personal perspective; "this is what I do".
Here's the problem: Talking about the list of services you provide isn’t what’s going to convince people to buy. If you're getting carried away talking about your expertise and what you can offer your customer, you're forgetting to think from your customer's point of view and what problem they are having.
Rather than thinking "this is what I do", it's better to focus on the outcomes for your customer, as in "this is what I can do for you".
This change in perspective means that you're thinking about what your customer is struggling with, what's important to them, and what they need to know before they spend money on the service you are providing.
To fully understand what their true problem is, you have to ask a lot of questions. If you have no stakeholders to talk to, imagine what it is like to be in the customer’s shoes as best you can.
Here are some things to think about:
By asking these questions, you can get a better understanding of what problem they are looking to solve, and how to show them you can solve it. It's much easier to sell your customer something if you can show them what their situation will look like after their problem is solved.
Dentist appointments always seem to be too damn expensive. If I told you of a place where you could get a checkup that is as cheap as $20, but is a 2-hour drive from you and does a sloppy job, would you go? Of course not.
The price tag on your services is not the only important thing to your customer. There are many things that your customers care about, and if you want to prove that your service is worth the price, you have to tick all the other boxes that your customer cares about. I'd be happy to pay $100 for toothpaste if it actually whitened my teeth in two weeks.
Here are some examples of what could be important to your customer:
Thinking about what's important to your customer also includes talking like them.
If your customers are of high profile, you don't want to use any slang that makes you look unprofessional. If they are small businesses, you don't want to use industry jargon that they won't understand. Show that you understand them and their needs by writing copy that speaks to them.
You want to be able to answer every burning question your customer might have when they get to your website. Unanswered questions leave customers confused and frustrated.
Your customers might be thinking:
What about the questions you don't want to – or can't – answer straight away? For example, let's say you don't want to put pricing on your website as you're afraid it will scare customers away. Rather than leave it out completely, find a different way to answer the question.
A good solution in this example could be a pricing section that says "our pricing is flexible and varies case by case. Feel free to give us a call or email us and we can figure out the right price package that suits your business". This way you can guide them through why the price is what it is.
Every customer is coming to you with a problem that they need solving. When they get to your website, you want to make sure that you have the best chance of selling to them. The best way you can do this is by understanding their problem and what is important to them, explaining how you can fix the problem, and showing them what their situation would look like once it’s solved.
Think like your customer. Talk like your customer. Solve for your customer.
So, what do you do?
Before you start your next big website project, it's always important to grasp what goals you intend to get out of it.
Rather than focusing on your website's content, you should focus on how that content relates to your customers.
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