Use Your Website To Grow Your Business
Your Ideal Customer Is Looking For You Right Now. Will She Find You?
Are you looking to grow your business?
Maybe you have all the work and revenue you can handle. But if you aren’t reading this as you sit on a pile of greenbacks and gold coins, you’re probably wondering how you can find the sort of ideal customers who not only bring you repeat business, but become advocates for you and bring even more customers through your door.
Your competitors are certainly out there looking to win your ideal customers away from you.
But if you give your business a superior web presence, you can beat your competitors and win the business for yourself.
First, you need to realize that your ideal customer is actually looking for you. Right this minute.
Your first step to winning the business is to make that customer’s search as easy as possible… and to make the journey end at your business’ door.
The Customer’s Journey To Your Business: A Story
Sue Williams has a best friend, and his name is Percival. He’s a short-haired tabby who’s as precocious as he is handsome. And he means the world to Sue.
Sue wants to keep “Mr. P” around for many, many years. To say she’s always been meticulous about his kitty health care would be a dramatic understatement. Percival gets regular shots and check-ups, and lots of TLC from both “Mommy” and his long-time veterinarian.
So when the time came for Sue to take a job in a new small city, the first chore on her list (after unpacking the litter box and cat food) was to find a new vet for Percival. It might take her months to find a doctor for herself… but Mr. P is due for shots in a week, and finding a great animal clinic is her top priority.
A glance at the local phone book would tell Sue there were at least six clinics within easy driving distance of her new apartment… but Sue doesn’t start with the phone book. She starts with the computer, like everyone does these days.
Of the six nearby vet clinics, only four come up on Sue’s search… the four businesses that have a web presence.
Two clinics – either of which might be a great choice for Sue and her beloved Percival – have already been eliminated as contenders. They may have decided to save a little money by skipping the whole website thing. But neither saved nearly as much as the lifetime value they might’ve gained from an ideal customer like Sue, who was actively looking for them.
Who Will Win The Business?
In a way, Sue’s a little unusual in that she will be just as meticulous in her search for the best vet for Percival as she is with the rest of his care. So she goes through the four websites with a fine-toothed comb.
The first site that pops up looks great. Tons of information to direct her to exactly what she needs… but, being thorough, Sue doesn’t want to miss anything, so she decides to quickly look at the other sites for comparison before coming back to Clinic A to read their site in detail.
Clinic B has a beautiful website, but it takes forever to “load” onto her screen. And the first click on the site – to an article about regular pet check-ups – takes even longer. Sue gives up and moves on.
Clinic C’s site looks okay… but it’s riddled with errors and inconsistencies. “How can I trust them with the important details of Mr. P’s health,” Sue asks herself, “if they don’t even care about the details of their own website?”
And Clinic D has a “cookie cutter” website – little more than an online business card. No real content. Certainly nothing to persuade her to look deeper into their business.
Especially since Clinic A’s fabulous website is still there, waiting on the first tab of her browser.
How The Best (Customer) Was Won
Sue devours the website for Clinic A (we’ll call it “Happy Critters Animal Care Center”).
First, Sue reads a brief but crystal-clear description of Happy Critters and their unique philosophical (and operational) approach to pet health care. In just a few well-chosen words, Happy Critters persuades her to read further. They’re different. And they’re very clear about what they do, how they do it better than anyone, and (importantly) why they do it.
Nearby, Sue sees a section of the website inviting her to join the Happy Critters Happy Family, to receive updates and an e-newsletter that promises helpful pet-care tips. She can’t type her email address into the box fast enough. The site even tells her she’ll get a free copy of a special report, “Seven Tips For Helping Your Pet Settle Into A New Home.” Bonus!
Sue explores the “About Happy Critters” tab on the site, and finds great, upbeat bios on the doctors and aides who make up the Happy Critters staff. The blurbs are both personable and credible. Sue starts to feel like she knows these folks. Their stories resonate with her. In fact, at times, it almost seems like she’s reading about herself!
Soon, Sue spots buttons that take her to the social media pages for Happy Critters. The staff have posted some helpful things there (Sue recognizes some of the titles from the brief description of the blog articles on the Happy Critters site)… but she’s even more impressed with how active the clinic’s clients are on their social sites. Pictures! Stories! “Wow,” Sue thinks, “these people love Happy Critters!”
Suddenly, Sue remembers another “chore” she needs to knock out – she needs to find out where in the new town she can get the special treats and toys Mr. P loves. She opens another browser tab and types in the brand names… and quickly finds that her search leads right back to the Happy Critters site and their helpful pet supplies directory! She makes a quick note about a couple of stores to check out. And she sees ads on the search page that offer a free consultation for new patients at Happy Critters.
By now, of course, Sue is sold. But before she reaches for the phone to make that first appointment, she lingers on the Happy Critters site to read several rave reviews and testimonials from other members of the Happy Critters Happy Family.
Even before she makes that first appointment, Sue Williams Is a member of that family!
More Than Just A Sale Can Be Won
Over the next few weeks and months, Sue and Percival learn that Happy Critters is everything its web presence suggests it is: the best place in their new “world” to get the TLC they both deserve!
Sue delights in being a “member” of the family. She eagerly consumes every message she gets from Happy Critters, from email promotions to the e-newsletter to the helpful articles she reads on the clinic’s web log (or “blog”). She promptly and frequently posts her own photos and upbeat messages on the clinic’s social media pages, and she tells every pet parent she meets about the wonderful service at Happy Critters.
The clinic’s staff notices. Less than a year passes before they have someone call Sue to interview her and write a “case study” – a sort of super testimonial – about Sue and her experiences with Happy Critters. When she sees the case study on their website a few days later, she can’t keep from grinning!
Sue has become more than an ideal customer for Happy Critters – she’s an ambassador, and one of the best “salespeople” the clinic could’ve hoped for. And they don’t have to pay her a dime. She pays them! And she’s thrilled to do it, every time.
Your Business Can Win, Too
Who knows? Maybe Clinics B, C, and D are equally awesome. Maybe the two “not pictured” clinics would’ve been great choices for Sue and Percival, too… maybe their vets were even better than the fine staff at Happy Critters.
We’ll never know.
What we do know is that your ideal customer is out there, looking for you, right now.
And your competitors, Brands X, Y, and Z, are hoping she runs into them first.
But you can beat them. You can win.
In the coming installments, we’ll talk about how you can build the sort of mighty web presence enjoyed by our friends at Happy Critters Animal Care Center. And we’ll inspire you with the simplest and most cost-effective ways to do it.
Your Sue is looking for you. Right now. Don’t let her fall into the clutches of your competitors.
Make sure it’s as easy as possible for her to find you.