When my daughter was little, she was crazy for a pair of shoes that lit up when she walked. Every time her heels touched the floor, a splash of colour shot out.
She was not happy when I inspected the shoes, found they didn’t have enough support for her feet, and left them in the store.
We had a rule that whatever we bought had to look good and be well made.
That way, my daughter would never have to wear something ugly yet functional, and I would never have to pay for something super hot but poorly put together.
Many websites don’t care about clients
Those shoes weren’t made with care to delight — and support — a growing child, just as many websites don’t seem to be written in a way that shows they care about clients.
Either the site is deadly dull or it’s full of hyperbole and a presumption of intimacy that hasn’t been earned.
Every business owner is trying to stand out online, to draw clients to their small patch of real estate. To do so, they’re trying to figure out the ROI of human connection.
The ROI of human connection
But that’s just it; we’re human. We want to matter to someone we can trust. We want meaningful experiences, not just products or services.
The secret to successful human connection is meaning.
To stand out online, show that there is meaning behind your message:
#1: Show that your website is about them, not you
Those flashy shoes were designed to make big profits for the company. It was all about them.
The same goes for content that seems to be all about the business owner. You see it on sites where they talk primarily about themselves and their company on their home page. Or they over-share on their about page.
Maybe the entrepreneur likes to remind clients about her six-figure income, show photos of her lovely home or talk about her world travels.
Perhaps the intent is inspiration, but it gets old quickly when potential clients are still in the thick of things. They can’t relate.
Be subtle. Only share as much about yourself on your website as is relevant to clients. Put the focus on them; it’s why they came.
#2: Show that you are in it for the long haul
Show that you want to build a lasting relationship with prospective clients by becoming a reliable source of great advice they can put into practice right now to get results.
Stay on top of trends in your industry so you can educate and empower your clients with the latest information.
Share some of your challenges with them so they’ll feel that progress is possible. So that they’ll feel less alone. Give them a taste of what it would be like to work with you.
#3: Give more than you get
Companies that sell shoes like the ones my daughter liked, give as little as possible for the biggest possible gain.
But if you give without the expectation of getting – for the joy of serving — then clients will put you first when it comes time to do business.
You’re building a long-term relationship. Make clients feel better for having stopped by.
#4: Be yourself, online or off
Many entrepreneurs freeze up when they present themselves or their business, online.
They worry about appearing vulnerable or unprofessional so they suppress their true personality. They guard, rather than share, their life and work experiences.
As a result, their website is just as bland as any other in their industry.
Or, they go in the opposite direction, not trusting their own voice and filling their site with copy that screams insincerity.
In either case, they aren’t there.
Sharing who you are on your website, makes you relatable (someone clients want to know).
Sharing your challenges makes you relevant and credible (someone clients want to work with).
There is nothing like the rush you get when you’ve helped a client, when you know they’re better off than they were before you met.
To create the opportunity for your business to help more clients, you need online messaging that connects with them on a human level, on the level of meaning.
If you want to stand out, that will make all the difference.
How do you make sure your website is building a real relationship with clients?
Share your tips with a comment below.
If you need to tweak your message a little, head over here to see how I can help. Talk soon!
c 2014 Kathy Barthel