When a potential client asks you about your business, how do you answer? If you focus on the facts about who you are and what you do, you’re missing out on opportunities. The same applies for your website.
I go to a lot of face to face networking events and am continually surprised about how few people can clearly and succinctly introduce their business in a way that captures the attention of those around them.
Too often you’ll hear something like “Hi, my name is x and work for x. We do a, b and c and our office is located in suburb d”.
Ah, right-i-o, lets move on
Granted that networking is a skill that is improved with time and experience, but, good preparation also goes a long way. As does following the marketing principal of focussing on “What’s in it for me”.
Features versus Benefits
Features are characteristics of your product or service. Things like the specifications, colour, size, requirements etc
Whereas benefits show how the feature can be advantageous to the potential client. For more information, read this great article on Features versus Benefits.
When I start working with client on their web copy, in order to drill into the benefits of their product or service, I always ask
“What’s special about you? What are the things that are important to your customers that make you stand out from your competitors?”
Give it a try. Imagine that there are three businesses that all offer a similar product or service to you, and all businesses are based in the same location.
Next, think of three reasons why I should choose your business over the others.
The reasons that you come up with are the things that set you apart from the rest. So be clear about what they are! If you need help defining the unique benefits that your business provides, ask for input from your trusted customers and business partners.
Focus on these benefits when marketing your business at networking events, in face to face meetings and via your website.
Benefit driven web copy sets you apart
Just as people might get bored talking to you if you’re not interested in what’s important to them, people may stop reading your website if you don’t make your product or service stand out. Anticipate your clients problems and show how you can solve them; that’s a great benefit to offer!
Take the example of a printing company.
The company website could say:
We print stationery, business cards and flyers. We are located at X Street, Y Suburb and we’re open from 9am to 5pm.
I’m sure all printing businesses do something similar.
Or the website could say:
We specialise in meeting the printing requirements of small businesses with tight budgets; big jobs and small. Conveniently located in central Y, you can also save time by placing your order online. And if your job is urgent, rest assured that we will get it done. Fast.
The first description stated the facts and nothing but the facts. The second description anticipated problems that their target clients might have – tight budget, being time pressured and needing a job urgently – and showed that they can help solve those problems.
Which company would you prefer to do business with?
Generally the features of your product or service can be included somewhere on your website. But, it’s the benefits, and how you can solve your clients’ problems, that give your web visitors a reason to care about what you do.
Take a fresh look at your website copy. Does it make you stand out by focusing on the benefits that your products and services offer to clients? Or does it simply explain the facts?
Any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below.