The overwhelming majority of practitioners’ sites that I see are making this big and expensive mistake. Are you?
Just for a moment I’d like you to put yourself in your prospective clients’ shoes and go to your website. You’ve landed on this site hoping you’re going to find a solution to….(fill in the blank)… You think “Hmmm, this looks interesting, I must give this person a call”. Then the phone rings, a child starts crying, you get distracted and it’s time for dinner anyway. You think “I’ll give them a ring tomorrow”. The next day you’re really busy, you don’t get around to it. The following day you start thinking “Well maybe my problem isn’t so bad at the moment. After all, there’s that bill that needs to be paid and I’m behind on the other one. I’ll call them another time. I know where they are now”.
Six months later you can’t remember how you found that website in the first place, you’ve lost the brochure you had with their number on and you can’t even remember where you got it from to go back and get another. You talk to a friend about your problem and she says “Oh, you should go and see (let’s call this practitioner Zelda) I’ve heard she’s very good at dealing with that issue”. You think “Ah well, I liked the look of that website but I’m so busy I don’t have time to go searching for it now, I’ll give Zelda a call” and off you go.
The scenario above gets played out all the time. I’m sure you’ve done it yourself, I know I have; found a really interesting website I wanted to come back to, never bookmarked it, out of sight is out of mind, I couldn’t remember how I found it and it seemed too much trouble to go searching for it again so I opted for another solution that seemed easier to access when I needed it.
Now put yourself in the situation of the website owner above and see how this could have worked out very differently for you. Instead of having a visitor come to your site one time and never return, which happens all the time; your visitor arrives at your site, likes the look of it, reads your all-important ‘About Me’ page and likes the look of you.
She decides “This looks really interesting, I like this site”. She sees that you’re providing a free report, free video, free chart etc that she thinks would be really shelpful to her. She puts her name and email address in the box provided and when her phone rings or the child cries she leaves your site, never to return.
She sees on her phone or when she goes back to her computer later that there’s a welcome email from you along with whatever the offer was. She reads the report, watches the video, or prints the chart, hangs it on the wall and she thinks “Yes, this person understands where I’m coming from, what I’m going through and what I need”. Now she’s looking forward to hearing from you again because you provide value to her. You keep in contact with her by email, through which you send links to articles you’ve discovered which you believe will be of interest to her or helpful tips drawn from your own vast store of knowledge and experience.
Occasionally you read a book or come across another resource that you think “This would be really helpful to my clients and prospective clients” and you send her the link to it. Your recipient by now has learned to trust that you really know what you’re talking about. With all the information that you’re freely sending her it’s easy for her to see that you are a true expert in your field and if you recommend something it must be good. She feels appreciation and a warm feeling towards you for the fact that you care enough to send her this flow of information she’s found so helpful.
Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!
Six months later she talks to her friend about her problem who suggests she goes to Zelda but now your prospective client thinks “Well hang on a sec, why would I go to Zelda? After all, even if my friend has heard good things about her, I’ve been getting all this helpful information from (YOU!) who’s clearly shown me she’s not only an expert but she’s someone I feel I know a little bit now and who I feel I can trust. She obviously has my best interests at heart or she wouldn’t bother sending me all that stuff.
As you’ve been communicating with this lady she’s always had your number to hand. Six months after that one time brief visit to your website, she calls you to make an appointment. You now have a new client and joyfully anticipate all the other clients you could serve as a result of the word of mouth promotion she will do on your behalf if she’s satisfied with the service you provide.
One of the most DEADLY mistakes you can make on your website is to not have a free compelling offer that provides value for your prospective clients in exchange for their permission to send them more relevant information that will be of value to them.
I’m aware this blog post is getting a bit long now. You can see this is something I regard as being of prime importance to you! I shall write more on this topic in future posts. Seriously, can you see how much it could be costing you and your clients every year if you don’t know how to attract clients in today’s minimal attention span world?
You owe it to yourself, to those you know you can help, to your calling, to realise that now it’s not enough to put your shingle out, get found online, have a beautiful looking website, create gorgeous posters and flyers for your workshops or pitch your services and events endlessly on Facebook. In today’s world you need to offer value to those who are interested in what you do and what you have to say, then stay in touch with them and continue to offer value.
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