If you’re a service-based business owner who is longing for a successful, growing business, you’re not alone. That’s why I created a 3-part series on the secrets to growing a successful service-based business.
Here’s the final secret:
SECRET #3: Your website must talk to your ideal client!
This is completely about the image you present to new clients on your website.
I’m not talking about the design either, though having a nice one certainly helps. I’m talking about the things that will either pull clients in or push them away.
First, let’s touch on the 3 things you have to have on your website as a service-based business, and then we’ll go into some of the common mistakes.
When someone goes to your website, it’s because they are looking for something very specific – your services, right?
This is what they want to know:
- What can you help me with?
- How much will it cost?
- And are you trustworthy?
If you’re not hitting them with those 3 things right out of the gate, you can lose them quickly.
- Can they find that information easily, or do they have to hunt for it?
- Are you listing ALL your services or just a few of them?
- Are you counting on them to contact you for a quote or will they know right away what something will cost?
- Do you have testimonials and can they see them right away?
Now before you say, “But, Shannon, I have all those things”, I want you to take a look at these common mistakes, because these could be covering up the 3 essential things that you think you already have.
Mistake #1: Putting a blog on your service business website. Yes, this is a mistake. Of course you should use WordPress to build your website, but you don’t need to have a blog and here’s why:
- Potential clients don’t care what you’re thinking about or doing, and they’re generally not interested in your business advice – if they can afford you, they’re already successful, and they don’t have time to read your ramblings. Now that may hurt… I know you’ve been told you need a blog in the past, but honestly if a potential client is looking at your service-based business website, you don’t want them distracted from the reason they really came there, right?
- Having the home page of your service-based business site filled with blog posts is ineffective and frustrating for potential clients – it’s confusing to arrive on site that’s supposed to offer services and all they can see is how you might try Google Plus. They don’t care; it’s that simple.
Use WordPress as a platform to build your service-based business site; nothing more. (Now isn’t THAT a relief!)
Mistake #2: Promoting tools that you use in your business, or having ads of any kind in your sidebar or on your site anywhere.
Again, this comes back to what I said earlier – your target doesn’t care what you’re using in your business, they’re only interested in how YOU can help them. It’s pretty much pointless to have any type of advertising on your website. Besides, you don’t want them clicking away, getting distracted, and forgetting where they were.
Instead, only give them recommendations when they ask for them.
Mistake #3: Targeting other service providers in your industry. Virtual assistants do this a lot. Other VA’s are NOT your target market, so you shouldn’t have links to information for them, or be trying to help them start a VA business – it’s nice that you want to help, but you’re really not in a position to do that from your own service based business website because you’re supposed to be targeting clients.
Mistake #4: Your “feel sorry for me” about page. Writing an about page is hard, I know, but you have to write it with your target audience in mind. Again, we’re coming back to the “clients don’t care” theme. Not to be mean or shed them in a negative light, but when it comes to business it’s really about business, if you know what I mean.
Unless it serves a purpose, do not tell potential clients that you’re a work a home mom or dad, and you love your kids and your dog, and you started providing services as a way to make extra money. That kind of “about page” really paints a picture of someone who is inexperienced, maybe dabbling in a hobby, and not someone who would make an ideal contractor.
Instead, you need to tell them about your education, your experience in the industry, special awards related to your industry, and include testimonials right on your about page along with a link to your services page so they can get started working with you.
Mistake #5: Not telling people how much your packages are. This one goes back to one of our 3 essentials, and that is “how much does it cost?” For me, personally, there is nothing more frustrating than being told that I have to contact someone to get a quote or to get pricing or find out rates.
I’m busy and in a hurry. That means I have to write an email, send it, and wait to hear back from you before I can make my decision – and to top it off, email is so unreliable sometimes.
Be upfront and post all your rates right on your website.
Or – if you don’t want to do that, at least capture their email address. Set up a mailing list that instantly sends out a PDF of all your pricing and services, AND include a first time client savings coupon.
Your potential client gets a full view of all your services and pricing, plus the savings coupon makes it that much easier for them to make the decision to work with you. And, you’re building a mailing list, which means you can continue to contact those potential clients and work on converting them into paying clients. (By the way, this is exactly what I do!)
Mistake #6: Explain what you do in a ‘stupid way’.I don’t know how to word this mistake any other way but stupid, to be honest. But here’s what I mean: Have you ever gone to a virtual assistant’s or online business manager’s website and seen the ‘What is a virtual assistant?’ or ‘What is an online business manager?’ on the home page. Then the explanation is something they took from a training eons ago saying how they help and how much they save an employer who doesn’t have to pay health insurance, social security, etc.
All I can say is when I read it I cringe. That’s because if I have arrived at your website as a potential client, I KNOW the basics of what you do and why someone like you can benefit me. What I want to know is what you can do for ME!
I know this may seem a little overwhelming and even feels undoable to you – but this is a proven and workable service-based business model that can bring you long term income for years to come. This is about an investment… in you! And if you want to lean more about a step-by-step plan to help you get there the right way, check out Service Providers Reboot.