I often volunteer in my daughter’s school, and love helping out when I can. As the school year came to an end, I received a stack of thank you notes from the kids. For the first time in my life, I was told:
“You da bomb!”
Of course after my daughter translated for me, I figured out being “da bomb” was a good thing.
People communicate in different ways. They think differently. They talk differently. And they search differently.
It can be a difference in ages. Or a difference in communities. Or a difference in cultures.
When you’re communicating one on one with a person, you can compensate for the difference in words and phrases.
For instance, I was on a business trip in Boston a few years ago, and asked a woman if there was a pop machine near by. She had no idea what I was talking about until I finally corrected myself and said “soda machine”. I could see her confusion, and changed my wording until we came up with familiar phrases.
Online, you can’t see your prospects confusion. You can’t tell what they want, or what would make them understand what you have to say. You have to know your business well enough to understand what they want ahead of time, and share that information online.
1. Just because you understand what you sell, doesn’t mean your prospects will. Take a look at your site through your clients’ eyes. Better yet, talk to people that aren’t connected with your business, and find out what they think of your site. Is there any confusion?
2. Give people what they want. Some people love statistics. Some people love long stories. Some people want just the facts. Some people are visual and want lots of graphics. Provide different pages with different things, and give people the choice to move around for more information. People read what they want and need to make a decision.
3. Make your copy speak to your target audience. Don’t use technical lingo, or industry related material that your prospects won’t understand. Don’t use slang or phrasing that might not make sense in different cultures. Be as plain and matter-of-fact as you can be.
4. Get started. Your site doesn’t have to be perfect at the beginning. The important thing is to get it out. Build from there. Everybody has to start somewhere, and having a five-page site is a great starting point. You can always add the detail as you go along.
5. Don’t skimp on the information. You don’t have to put up a five-page brochure site and leave it unchanged for years to come. Instead, get your site online, and build supporting pages as you go along. Your first “services” page might describe all of your products. Over time, create detailed pages on each product, and describe it thoroughly.
6. Never assume your prospects will understand. You understand your business. You live it every day. But your prospect may be brand new to the industry, and know nothing about the details. Websites have the potential to describe and define as they go along by using description boxes, and linking to other pages for further explanation. FAQ pages are also good starting points for people that need further information.
7. Ask questions. Find out what made your prospects turn into customers. Use this information to add and change your online strategies.
Above all, be flexible. Marketing isn’t something you do once. You work at it month after month for as long as you’re in business. What works today may not work tomorrow. But if you’ve developed a large variety of tools, you’re more apt to capture the attention of a new visitor. And turn them into a customer.
Then YOU will be “da bomb” too!