If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that our attention spans have gotten increasingly short. You have about 3-5 seconds to grab someone’s attention when they visit your website, so you have to put a plan in action that makes them stick around and want to know more!
I’ve been doing free evaluations for creative entrepreneurs lately (it’s so fun!), and while I’m so excited for the types of businesses they have, there is one element missing from a lot of their websites: a clear path to hiring them. I see health coaches, copywriters, photographers, and other business owners with excellent backgrounds and skills who are losing out because they are not efficiently guiding people into their circle.
Let’s face it, people don’t like to figure things out for themselves. I know I don’t. If I’m going to hire you, I want to be led to it willingly and in a seamless way that makes me think I discovered you on my own! Too often I’ve seen entrepreneurs’ websites where it can be confusing how to take the next step.
You want to create a clear-cut path for your potential clients to hire you, and while there is no one way to do this, here are some guidelines for doing it in a way that feels right for you.
State what you do as soon as you can
Remember that 3-5 seconds rule? It comes into play more on your home page than anywhere. I recommend stating who you are, what you do, and who you do it for right away, usually under the main header. Double points if you have a professional photo of yourself to go along with your introduction.
People like to do business with people, not entities. The more you can introduce yourself and humanize your business, the more trust potential clients will have in you.
Having an informative About Page or section is another place you can introduce yourself and reiterate what you do and who you do it for. State this very clearly first, then move on to describing your experiences helping others like them. After that, you can move into a more personal, biographical story. An ‘About’ page is a bit of a misnomer, it’s actually not about you, it’s about your clients.
Tip: Students of my email course ‘Your Creative Business Up & Running’ get a free Website Content Planner. Get on the list here to get up & running!
Show them what they can expect
Take some time to define your business and try to put your services into concise packages. Be wary of listing ALL the skills you have, and instead roll them into a few really cool offerings that anyone looking for your kind of service can’t refuse.
Tip: If you are listing more than 4 services you offer, it’s probably too many. We tend to get confused when there are too many choices in front of us. By streamlining what you do into packages, you make it easier for your potential client to take the next step toward hiring you!
Now that you have packages in mind, sit down and write down every single step that is involved in that package. Now, on your ‘Services’ or ‘Hire Me’ page, you should outline exactly what they can expect from the process when they hire you. When writing this out, focus on the transformation that will take place, and talk about the results. This may sound harsh, but no one cares about your background; what they care about is how you will help THEM get to where THEY want to be.
Create a custom onboarding method
Don’t rely on just a simple contact form with name, email, and message fields. This doesn’t prompt visitors in the right ways, and you will inevitably spend time corresponding back and forth over email answering questions that could have been answered from the beginning.
Create a custom form with questions you would like answered before you speak. Think back to your process and devise ways of getting the initial information you need. To create custom forms on your WordPress website, I recommend the free plugin Ninja Forms. You can build an awesome custom form easily using a drag and drop interface, then put it anywhere you like by using a shortcode.
On my own custom form, I ask potential clients questions about what they are looking for in a brand and/or website, and I ask them how I can help them. Some of my questions are:
Is this a new website or a redesign?
If a redesign, what is the current URL?
Please describe the service(s) and/or product(s) you provide.
How do you see a website helping your process or making your business better?
Asking specific questions like this ensures that I have at least a general understanding of the project before we get on Skype or the phone, saving tons of time for both of us!
This post is a sample from my free course, Your Creative Business Up & Running. If you are an entrepreneur that needs to go from creative idea to online presence in a calm and focused way, this is for you.