Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hey Entrepreneurs! Design Your Website for Your Clients, Not for YOU

I attract my fair share of inquires almost daily from entrepreneurs about how to design a good website. The email or phone call usually starts off with “What information should I include on my website?” when the question should really be “How do I design a website that my clients will love?”

These days, if you don’t have an online presence you either are brand new in business or you just never got around to it. If you’re at the stage where you realize how important it is to have a website, this is a good blog entry for you.

First off, you need to think like your TARGET CLIENT. What do they want to see on your website? Probably not huge photos of you all over the place. If you’re stumped as to what they want here’s a handy list:

Services - What are you selling? How can you help them? What are the benefits of your product or service? Don’t lump all your services on one page. Give each service a separate page so that you can give as much info as possible about each area you focus on (this will also be good for your search engine optimization).

Resources – What tools and tips can you provide to help your visitors? You can write articles detailing solutions for common problems experienced by your target client. You can provide case studies telling visitors how others have received benefit from using your product/service. What tips sheets can you give freely? Are there great books you can recommend in a Suggested Reading area on your website?

Events – What’s going on in your business? Are you giving any seminars? Holding any networking events? How can your clients experience meeting you out there in the business world.

FAQ – This is really important. You need to provide the answers to questions you most commonly receive about your business. This will cut down on unnecessary communication.

Pricing – According to MarketingSherpa.com, the number one piece of information that visitors MOST WANT to see on your website is HOW MUCH? Put yourself in their shoes. How frustrating is it when you spend a lot of time on a site learning about the business but nowhere can you find out how much it costs. This is common in the coaching industry and it’s VERY annoying. I have my pricing listed right on my site. It serves to separate the serious enquires from the “just kinda wanna know”.

Your Company’s Background – Put this page as far away from services as possible. Although visitors will want to know the history of your business, that’s not their first concern. They first want to know HOW you can help them. Then they want to know if you’ve got what it takes to help them. See Bio below.

Your Bio – Let your target client know about your personal background. I have a challenge for you however – try to word your bio so that it shows how your experience can help them. What’s in your background, credentials, and training that will give them what they want?

Your Photo – Visitors DO want to know what you look like. Please get a professional photo taken of yourself. The one that Aunt Edna took 12 years ago on a family outing won’t help you here. You need to be dressed professionally and have a pleasant expression on your face. Make it trustworthy while you’re at it.

I could go on and on but it’s getting late so I’ll end here. The one piece of advice I have for entrepreneurs everywhere is to think like your target client. What can you give them that they most want to know?

Grow Your Business and Prosper!
Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs & Financial Advisors

Monday, February 11, 2008

Readers are Leaders - What it takes to make it as an entrepreneur

Today I was talking to a new client about building his business. He's a well established entrepreneur who wants to step outside his comfort zone and try new ways to market his business. When I asked if he likes to read he chuckled and said "It's not my favorite activity."

Business owners come to me to establish new behaviors. Truthfully, if my clients continued doing everything the way they've always done them, nothing would change. So why hire me?

To reach new heights of business success we all need to try new things. If you're not used to reading, you may want to get into the habit. What's on your reading list right now? I have a stack of books on my bedside table and I tend to go through about two per month. I also read quite a few periodicals including business journals, financial magazines, health related magazines, coaching related materials, and my all time favorite Entrepreneur Magazine.

Does all this reading give me a competitive advantage? You bet it does. I am always well versed in what's going on in the business world. I'm up on new tools and technology, and the latest techniques in my field.

So what's your entrepreneurial vision of where you want to take your business? Readers are Leaders. What reading materials could help you?

This is just one of the activities I encourage my clients to take make a part of their day so that they can make it as an entrepreneur. So, did my client decide to do more reading? Of course!

To learn more, click here to read an article I wrote about 10 Tips to Make it as an Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business and Prosper
Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors