In 2010, after 10 years of steady growth, I found myself in competition with a lot of local marketing firms. Business strategy was in order, so I spent some time deciding how to differentiate our services and use my website to market smarter. Here are seven strategies I used to find more leads to fill my pipeline.
- I niched. Up until 2010, I described my business as a marketing and full service graphic design studio serving nonprofits, corporations and small businesses. This was way too broadly focused because it put me in competition with every other marketing and graphic design firm in DC. I found it difficult to write effective website copy. I was trying to sell too many different kinds of services (logo design, website design, publication design) to too many types of prospects. So I studied my portfolio, looked at my most profitable clients and decided to split my company in two – each offering a distinct service to a specific prospect. The Mighty Little Web Shop was born (websites for businesses) and MillerCox (publication design for non-profits) was repositioned. With two separate marketing websites, its much easier to speak to each audience. This strategy has been very effective.
- I publish articles. The blog posts and articles I write each week are intended to answer the questions my clients typically have, while at the same time, credentialing my firm. And these articles are filled with keyword phrases that attract prospects. I added a lead capture box to my website to help me build a list of people who might be interested in my services.
- I speak to my perfect prospect. My site used to be all about us. “We are highly experienced graphic designers and our creative director studied at the school of visual arts at Penn State and has over 20 years of experience — just look at our portfolio!” I realized that those seeking my services weren’t interested in the work I had done for other clients. My prospects wanted to know what I could do for them. Now that I knew exactly who I was trying to reach (because I niched), I rewrote all of my website copy to address their needs, challenges and business goals.
- I let my clients sing my praises. Just because we say we “deliver the best service” or we are “highly-trained” doesn’t mean my business phone will ring. After all, what firm would claim that they deliver terrible service? Instead, I ask my clients to talk about the quality of my service by requesting testimonials and including them on my website (and on LinkedIn). This has been a game-changer for us. We use this framework:
- What were things like before?
- What are things like now?
- What was your favorite aspect of working with our team?
- I simplified my home page. Pre-2010, website home pages looked a lot like bulletin boards with multiple columns and tiny font sizes, as businesses attempted to fit as much content “above the fold” as possible. My website now has a lot more white space with larger font sizes. Web visitors expect to scroll these days, and often times would rather scroll than click.
- I’m now mobile-friendly. In 2010, a large percentage of visitors started to view my site on their mobile devices, so my design needed to respond to different screen sizes elegantly. This took a bit of work and redesign, but was absolutely essential, especially when I’m presenting and speaking and attendees are checking out my website right then.
- I added a brand video to my website. Video was not wildly popular before 2010 by most professional services firms; yet, video is an incredibly effective way to tell a story. In a very small amount of home page real estate, I can help prospects get to know, like and trust me, and convey a lot information about what I offer and who we help.
These seven strategies have made all the difference in the world in attracting more clients. I now have a steady stream of inbound leads, many of whom have become ideal clients! If you are looking for some help with your next business website, we might be able to help!