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Are you taking your customers on a journey?

Take your customers on a journey.

I know, I know, I sound like I’m about to start banging on about the X Factor or something. Not a chance. My Saturday nights are currently spent watching the Marvel movies with the kids. (There’s also the fact that watching Chris Hemsworth unleash lightning is much more my idea of fun.) When I say journey I mean the one that takes new people from finding out about your business to becoming a customer. It’s always important to get this right, but when your customers are already gearing up to buy their Christmas presents it’s absolutely essential. So, here’s my guide to getting it right.

Are they ready to buy?

The first time someone lands on your website they’re probably not going to be ready to hand over their hard earned cash. There could be any number of reasons for that. They might be in the research phase, looking for ideas so they’ve got a few options to consider. Maybe it’s not a decision they can make on their own or perhaps they’re just waiting for payday.

Your website copy needs to tell them they’re in the right place, but what then? How do you prevent them from wandering off and never returning? Encouraging them to sign up to your email list or follow you on social media means you get to stay in touch.

What if they have questions?

So, you have a potential customer looking at a product they really like but they need to know more before they buy. Put as much information as you possibly can in your product descriptions (along with a bit of personality). Don’t be the person that loses a sale because you didn’t display the price or because you were vague about sizing. (That sounds obvious, but even major retailers get it wrong.)

There will always be customers with questions so make it easy for them to ask. Have a contact form on every page or make sure your Messenger button is clearly displayed. Part of a successful journey is making it simple to answer queries.

Making it easy

This might sound obvious, but if you want customers to buy you need to make it as simple as possible. The last thing you want is for their customer journey to end because they can’t find the ‘add to cart’ button or don’t understand how to order. If you offer a standard product, this should be relatively easy. Where there are different options on a single product you can include a drop down menu on the order form. If it’s something truly bespoke, is it simple for customers to start a conversation?

It’s simple really. If it’s easy for your customers to place an order, you’ll get more customers.

What next?

Once people have bought from you, what then? Do you want them to wander off into the ether, never to be seen again? The truth is that it’s easier to convince someone who’s already bought from you to do it again than it is to find a whole new customer. You’ve already taken them on the journey, built the trust, wowed them with your service and sent them a product they love. If they’ve already signed up to your mailing list or follow you on social it’s easy to stay in touch. Tell them about other stuff you think they’ll like. (How to do that without being cheesy is a whole other conversation, but if you need help with it get in touch.)

Is your website ready for Christmas? If your product descriptions could do with some extra shine book your discovery call to find out how I can help. Or sign up to my mailing list for writing hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.

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Why your website copy matters

Getting started writing website copy.
Image by Bongkarn Thanyakij via Pexels

Creating a website for your small business can be pretty daunting. If you’re doing it yourself you need to decide which platform to use and how to make it all look great. If you’re not, there are loads of different professionals out there who will build it for you, but which do you choose? Even businesses who employ web designers to create their site for them often decide to write the website copy themselves. After all, how hard can it be? Or how important is it really? Here’s why your website copy matters and why you need to get it right.

You need to talk to your ideal customers

When a new visitor lands on your site you have less than 15 seconds to show them they’re in the right place because you have what they need. That means it isn’t about you. It also means that you need to use language and images that speak directly to the kind of customer you can help. I know that small business owners are sometimes reluctant to do this. They worry that they’re excluding people. The truth is, if your website tries to talk to everyone you don’t hit the mark with anyone. When you’re specific about who your products and services are for you’ll get customers who love what you do and that you’ll enjoy working with.

You need to sound like you

Your website copy will work better if it’s in your voice. OK, maybe a polished version of your voice. Your personality might be the difference between a website visitor choosing you or someone else. The way you do this in practice depends on how you work. You might want to sound professional and approachable, completely down to earth or a total eccentric. It all depends on your brand and how you want to come across. It’s especially important if your service means they’ll deal with you one to one. If there’s a massive disconnect between how you come across on your website and the way you are in person you can lose the trust you’ve spent time building.

Using keywords well

I know we’ve all heard about SEO and the importance of targeting the right keywords so you get found in searches. The thing is, the way you use keywords in your writing is really important. There’s no point using all the right keywords to bring people to your website if the site itself is unreadable twaddle. There used to be a school of thought that website traffic was the only important thing. It resulted in lots of blog posts and website pages that made no sense. Thankfully, times have changed and Google now prioritises content that’s actually useful. Your website copy should include keywords but the most important thing is that it’s easy to read and helpful.

Focus on what’s important

As I said before, your website isn’t about you. It’s really about your customers. You might be incredibly excited about the new product or service you’ve created and want to tell everyone. That’s great, but you need to pause. Ask yourself what your customer will get out of this. What are the benefits? How will it help them go from having a problem to an easy life? Your copy needs to show them that. It needs to take their aspirations, values and beliefs about themselves and wrap it all up in one clear message. When you can do that, you show them that you understand them on a personal level. That’s what turns them into customers.

Does that sound complicated? If you need some help, get in touch. I can help you edit what you already have or write your website copy for you. Alternatively, sign up to my mailing list for handy hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.

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5 business Christmas gifts for your favourite business owner

Business Christmas gift

Have you made a Christmas list? When you run a business, Christmas gifts can start to shift towards practicality, or even become completely intangible. For most of the small business owners I know, the list goes something like this:

  1. More sleep.
  2. Even more sleep.
  3. Snacks.
  4. Financial security.
  5. Gin.

Does that look familiar? Now obviously that list is only useful if you’re happy to drown in snacks and alcoholic beverages. Actually, now I write it down that doesn’t sound too bad. But what if your loved ones would like to get you something that will really help your business? I promise that business Christmas gifts don’t have to be boring. So, if you’re being asked for suggestions (or if you’re reading this looking for ideas for the business owner in your life), here are my top 5 ideas.

1. A Kindle

I resisted getting one of these for years, mainly because I love actual books. Then when my husband suggested a Kindle for my birthday I remembered how many times I’ve run out of books on holiday and been forced to browse the local charity shops or the selection on the hotel bookcase. Obviously, I jumped at the chance. In business there is always something new to learn and loads of business books to teach you virtually anything. An e-reader is the perfect business Christmas gift because you can take it anywhere and learn on the go. There’s also the fact that no-one can see the cover so you could look completely professional on a train while reading the latest chick lit.

If you already have a Kindle and would like something to read that will help you get your blog writing on track you can buy my eBook ’50 blog post ideas for your business’ here.

2. Stationery

Stationery addiction is real and occasionally necessary. I get through notebooks and pens at a ridiculous rate so tend to shop at the budget end of the market. (Anyone else longing for the days when we could go to expos and get them for free?) However, one of my favourite gifts was the beautiful (boxed) pen and pencil set that sits on my desk and gets used every day. It’s such a huge part of my working day that I had a small (OK big) panic when I mislaid the pen the other day.

It’s a small thing that makes life better. You could opt for lovely pens or a classic Moleskine notebook. You can even get fab digital notebooks if you prefer.

3. Some business support

No-one can buy time, but if you’re struggling you can buy help.  If you want to work with a particular VA/graphic designer/writer but can’t afford it, you can drop some heavy hints. Like sharing this post on Facebook and say ‘if anyone wants to buy me a Christmas present, Kirsty does gift vouchers for her blogging packages [or other service of your choice]’.

It might sound like a bit of an odd present, but by buying you help for Christmas they’ll get to spend stress free time with you, so everyone wins.

4. Useful gadgets

When it comes to gadgets, the world is your lobster. They’re often the easiest business Christmas gifts to buy because they’re more in the realm of traditional presents. If you’re thinking of buying tech for a business owner, think about what they’ll actually use. Maybe they need a portable charger because their phone is always running out of juice. Perhaps a coffee maker will help them get going in the morning. If they work in cafes or a co-working space a pair of noise cancelling headphones could be just the ticket.

5. Time off

I started my business because I wanted to work flexibly around my children. In practice this often means shoehorning everything in, or being unable to switch off at night because my brain is always ‘on’. Some business owners subscribe to the hustle culture where you don’t take any time off until you’ve ‘made it’. To me, that’s a recipe for burnout. If you feel as if you haven’t had a proper conversation with your partner recently, or if your interactions with your kids consist of homework and shouting, ask for a present that helps you to change that.  A voucher for a meal, a family ticket for a day out or even a couple of hours free babysitting could all help.

What do you want to ask for this Christmas? Leave a comment and let me (or your family) know!

Further reading

For more specific ideas, have a look at this post from B Plans

Or, to get your 2021 marketing off to a flying start, sign up to my mailing list and receive your free guide to getting your business seen online.