Are your website, your emails, your flyers and your conversations about you (and your business) or about your (prospective) client and their business?
Robert Middleton has written a blog post on turning your marketing around to be more effective. That is, stop talking about your business services and features and find out about your client’s business and how you could help them.
By listening to people you become more personable and interesting to them and you get more insight to help their business succeed.
Think about it – do you care that I run a writing and communications business? Or do you care that I can save you time and worry by managing your communications project?
You want to know how you will be impacted by my services – and your clients want to know how you can help them reach their goals.
Have you ever analysed your blog posts for their content?
How many posts are about what you do or your products? And how many are giving information or tips that would help your client?
Are case studies or client stories about what you did? Or are they about your client’s problem and the results of solving their problem? The difference may seem subtle but one is me-centric and the other will be more effective at engaging your readers.
Robert asked the question ‘how often do you see a website that’s “you-centered” instead?’ and it’s worth thinking about.
Do you prefer a homepage that rambles on about awards won, pride in service, years in business and pompous language, or one that addresses your issues and questions?
Have you looked at your own website and thought about its appeal to others? If you can’t see it objectively, ask others (friends, clients and professionals) what they think, what your site is communicating to them.
Even a few tweaks to your homepage could make it more appealing and therefore more effective.
One simple improvement you can make is to remove we/I and rewrite those sentences to include you instead.
For instance, someone I know recently ended a project because his client gave him insufficient and contradictory information. This client had prepared a brief but work done to match that brief was rejected!
1. specify anything mandatory – e.g the logo must always be on a white background or the newsletter must be ready by the 1st of each month
2. explain your ideas - a rough sketch is ok as long as it is labelled
3. avoid jargon unless you are sure the supplier understands it the same way you do – that includes using their jargon if you aren’t sure of it yourself!
4. write or talk as if they are a customer – clearly, concisely and politely.
Have you had client projects where poor communications made the project a dreaded chore instead of challenging and interesting?