As business owners we have all heard the term know, like, trust in reference to creating good working relationships with potential and ongoing clients. It’s easy to see where these principles apply in face to face networking, but how can you build on this useful tool with your online and written content?
Tell the truth
I can hear cries of ‘well..duh’ heading in my direction already. But it’s not quite as obvious as might first appear.
Firstly, as tempting as it may seem, never promise something until you know that you can deliver on that promise. It could be as simple as next day delivery at a set price. Have you checked that the price point and deadline stated are realistic? Does it apply to every customer regardless of location? If not, say so. As a customer, it’s not nice to be promised something only to find out that it doesn’t apply later in the customer journey.
Secondly, be transparent. If you make every effort to source your materials locally/seasonally etc then shout it from the roof tops. However, if you know that your 9 inch screw nails always come from China because right now you can’t find a better alternative, or demand for strawberry jam means that you also need to buy strawberries out of season, then say that out loud too. You never know, someone might have a useful suggestion that helps you solve your sourcing problem.
Lastly, make the most of your previous experience as and when it’s useful. But don’t fall into the trap of inflating your CV. If you claim to have more experience than you actually do someone will call you on it eventually. You really don’t want someone publicly pointing out a white lie on your LinkedIn profile now do you?
Make good use of your ‘About’ page
As a writer I am passionate about the power of a well written ‘About’ page. Another great name for this section on your website could be ‘Why Us’ and this sums up perfectly why it can be so useful. There are many ways that you can approach the ‘About’ page but here are a couple of examples.
If you are a sole trader working alone then your background, the series of events that led to you starting up and the personal ethics/ambitions which drive you in moving the business forward can all make great copy. Write down as many ideas as you can on a piece of paper, then look at them from the perspective of your ideal client. Which aspects will they be able to relate to? What will resonate with their own priorities and life goals? Demonstrate to them why they should choose you over and above the competition. Let them see the whites of your eyes and make them care.
As a small business with employees you might like to take a slightly different approach. Many of my larger clients choose to start with a paragraph about the business itself – when it got started, how it has changed over the years and the values that drive that business in the decision making process. Remember, while this is about you, keep your ideal client in mind when writing the facts. This can then be complemented by a gallery of the core staff – from MD to customer service assistant – along with a little quirky information about each one.
Find the right place to tell your stories
From Twitter to Instagram via Facebook and LinkedIn, social media can be a very useful tool for building brand awareness. You probably don’t need to be everywhere, so think carefully where your ideal client can be found and focus your attentions there. Nothing is to be gained by spreading yourself too thinly.
Other opportunities might include a regular blog on your own site or guest blogging for someone else, advertorials or press coverage, even local radio. The important point to remember – wherever you choose to hang out – is that customers want to be entertained, not have their precious time broken up by heavy selling. Remember the 80/20 rule (or jab, jab, right hook as a marketing friend of mine calls it). If 80% of the content they see from you is interesting, useful and relevant to them they will tolerate and even engage with the 20% that is direct sales. And there’s no reason why you can’t include a great call to action at the end. You are a business, after all.
I am a freelance writer with a passion for people and the conviction that great stories can rock their world. With my copywriting, editing and workshop training I will help you find a voice and tell the right stories to the right people. Call Claire on 07928122079 for an informal chat about how I can help you move forward with your business copy.