Selling products is a bit easier than selling services. With products you can demonstrate how your widget works, what it looks like, how durable it is, and other popular features. When offering services, you are asking potential buyers to trust that you will deliver what you promise. They need to feel certain that your experience and expertise will greatly benefit them and solve their problem.
There are unwritten rules for each service industry that enforce the accepted norms and expectations each corresponding target market. The colors, images, and overall feeling of your service brand should fit within these guidelines. If you go to Chuck E. Cheese’s website, you know what you will find. The site will be filled with images of Chuck E. and children having fun. There will be specials offered and an overall feeling of fun and excitement. Anyone who wants to compete with Chuck E. Cheese’s will have to show more of the same.
In order to convince your visitors to hire you for the services you provide, you need to have anuncluttered balance of information that includes:
- knowledge-based information about your area of expertise
- a persuasive description of your services including your standard process
- biographies and photos of core team members and board of directors (if applicable)
- testimonials from satisfied customers
- case studies that detail how your services helped others
The call-to-action should be very prominent, clear, and repeated often. You want to create a moment in which your visitor becomes convinced that it would be advantageous to get in touch with you. When that moment occurs, it is important that they have a quick and easy way to act. If the next step is not clear, you could easily lose your chance.
Take some time to check the website designs of leaders in your industry. You will notice that there are commonalities in the organization of information as well as the ways that information is delivered. These common characteristics represent what your visitors will expect so you should use it when planning your site. If you choose to do something very different from the established norm, make sure that you have a marketing strategy that justifies it.
Attention to Detail
In addition to recognizing what is common among industry-leading websites, you should be careful to see what is missing. If you are in a highly-regulated industry, such as finance, insurance, or real estate, you may already be aware of government regulations that dictate what you can and cannot include in your marketing messages. Very often though, there are also subtle rules in these and other industries that, if broken, may expose you as an amateur. Look for blogs and industry forums that talk about what should and should not be included and why.
Service based businesses most often solve problems or take action to avoid the potential of future problems. For this reason, it is critical that the content of the site be compelling and persuasive. Clear call-to-action buttons are a must. Be sure that the organization and content of your site is similar to other industry leaders. Being different can be a good thing if it is done with purpose but, more often than not it demonstrates a lack of mastery and therefore negatively impacts your credibility.