A clear path to working with more customers |

My last two articles described how to connect with prospective customers in a meaningful way on your website’s home page. We simply show that we understand their pain and convey how we are uniquely qualified to help. We need to speak directly to our customers without sounding like we are selling. So now that you have connected the dots for your website visitor — and they are ready to work with you, what should they do next? Providing a clear path for someone to work with you is a great way to grow your business, and this involves two steps:

1.    Making sure they understand the investment/cost of working with you

I’ve had a lot of heated debates about whether a professional service firm should include pricing on their website. Here’s my take: I know that once I’m serious about working with someone, I wonder if the cost is in line with what I’m willing to invest. For instance, my editor sells blocks of her time and the more time I buy, the more I save. It’s clear and simple. When it was time to invest in her services, there was no confusion. I didn’t hesitate to purchase a package because I understood the cost and I had a need. I’ve visited other writers’ websites and left because I didn’t understand how we would work together — and what my investment needed to be. Do you find it helpful to see pricing on a website as you consider purchasing a service?

After years of answering pricing questions with “it depends,” I did the hard work of creating price packages. Are they perfect for everyone? No. But packages are a great way to start a conversation and reduce confusion. Experience has shown me that clients love packages. You can see how I did mine here. As the saying goes, “a confused mind never buys.” Can you distill down what you do and wrap a price around it? While this was incredibly hard for me, this deep dive helped me to better articulate exactly what I’m selling. Is what you sell complex? If so, package pricing is a great opportunity for you to distinguish your business.

If you’re not ready for package pricing, including case studies can reduce confusion about how you work with your clients. Case studies can include your process and the investment required for these outcomes. Your website is a great place to suggest minimum service fees (we do this here, for MillerCox). As service providers, we sell intangibles, we sell a promise, and we sell something invisible. The more tangible and clear we can make our services, the more effective our websites will be at helping our businesses to grow.

2.    Providing a clear path to connecting

An incredibly important home page element is referred to in marketing as the “call to action.” Once a business owner views my web packages, they are presented with a big button that says “get started” and they are redirected to a very short form that asks them how they found me. If they would rather not fill out the form, I provide my phone number and email directly underneath the “send” button. I’m providing three clear ways to contact me. When I’m on a website and I can’t figure out how to contact the owner, I wonder if this person might be too busy to take on new work. Is this a part-time business? Is this person moonlighting? Is this person always hard to reach? It introduces doubt into my mind.

I include my phone number as the call to action on the “sweet spot” (top right corner) of my home page (actually, on every page). I also include my phone number at the bottom of every page as well as on my contact page. I provide plenty of ways to contact me — my goal is to make it easy. My pricing is clear and if someone is ready to have a discussion, I want to make sure that getting in touch with me is effortless.

Next up: Strategies you can use to capture the names of people who visit your site, but are not quite ready to work with you yet. In the meantime, let me know what you think about these tips. Just email me at [email protected].

Your website should provide a clear path for your prospect to walk in order to work with you. Hint: pricing and contact information are critical!

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