Article #88, December, 2009
"Your Website Should Make People Cry"
Do you improve your clients’ lives with your service? If you are a wedding planner, professional organizer, life coach or therapist (or other personal service business), your marketing needs to really touch your prospects in a compelling and emotional way.
Most service business owners are passionate about helping their clients, and feel the need to talk about that in their marketing – a lot. This is natural, but is usually not effective. In fact, it is often quite boring!
When starting your business, you probably made a website that showed visitors what you do and told them how qualified you were to do it. You have a presence on the internet, but not much more than that. It is unlikely that this type of website will bring you many clients.
When people visit your website, they usually have a problem or a need and they are coming to you to for information on how to solve/fulfill it. If you want to be their solution, you need to talk about their problem, not your qualifications. At this point in time, they just don’t care about you.
For example, let’s say you are a wedding planner. When a bride is looking for her planner, she wants someone who really gets her – someone who understands her needs and her problems and can communicate well with her. If your website is a laundry list of how smart you are and how much training you have, she cannot get a read on who you really are and if you are right for her.
If, on the other hand, your website is all about your target market’s religious and style needs and gives her tips on how to get what she and her groom want without offending their grandparents from Ukraine or Cambodia, now she’s hooked!
Talk about how beautiful her wedding will be and how happy everyone will be – describe it so well that it makes the bride cry just at the thought of how perfect everything will be for her. She is truly not interested in how you planned your own wedding and did such a bang-up job that you started your business. She wants to know what you can do for her.
As a professional organizer, if your website is all about how you turned this kitchen (insert before picture) into this kitchen (insert after picture) and how the owner was able to finally have her grandchildren over for Thanksgiving for the first time since the first one was born, 12 years ago, you will get your visitor’s attention. If her kitchen currently looks a lot more like the before picture, you could make her cry just thinking about how long it has been since she was even able to have a friend over for tea.
When prospective clients first visit, they do not care about your memberships, training and affiliations.
Your personal philosophies and mission also have no place on your home page. Sometimes your personal story is a good choice for the home page, but only if it is very compelling and completely relevant to the service you are offering. For example, I had a credit repair client who, after going bankrupt, was able to purchase a house only 18 months after filing for her bankruptcy. That is a compelling story, and is completely in alignment with what her target market wants to accomplish more than anything!
However, telling the story of how your parents abused you and through your own journey through therapy, you knew you had to help others in the same way – is not so compelling.
An additional way to use stories is through testimonials. Having other people talk about how wonderful you are is very effective. Use some testimonials right on your homepage, placed within relevant content.
Just remember that until they get to know you, your website visitors really only care about themselves and their own needs.