This is the type of conversation I still have with people here and there that I used to have more often just 10 years ago. I’m not surprised by it anymore, but I am astonished that what I consider as some of the basic lessons of having a website still aren’t understood.
Do you know what they’re selling?
One of my side hustle careers was as an internet marketing consultant for small businesses. I was also a member of the local chamber of commerce. I’d meet people at mixers and such, I’d tell them what I did, and oddly enough it was the only local career I’ve ever had where people wanted to talk to me (it seems health care and leadership weren’t part of their norm lol).
In any case, here’s an example of the types of conversations I used to have:
Other: “I have a website, but I’ve never done anything with it, and it hasn’t done anything for me.”
Me: “If you haven’t done anything with it, what were you expecting it do for you?”
Other: “I don’t know. I thought I’d have people calling me for business, but it’s never happened.”
This is very common for business across the board even now, but especially for small businesses. I’ve done okay with my main business website over the years, and I’ve received contacts and some work through my SEO processes. I like to think I have an idea of what I’m talking about.
Me: “Can we take a look at your website?”
We look at the website, which is or isn’t pretty depending on how much they paid for it.
Me: “Tell me again what you do for business. I know what you do but I want to hear it.”
Other: “I offer business solutions for people and help them solve their efficiency issues.”
Me: “No, that’s a result of what you do. What do you do?”
Other person thinks for a bit, then gives me a different version of the original statement.
Me: “What you just told me isn’t on your main page. It’s not on your second page either. It’s not in your bio. You told me what you do but your website doesn’t tell anyone what you do.”
The other person thinks about it for a bit, looks at the website, and probably feels a little sheepish.
Me: “Can I show you my page?”
I show my main page, which has changed a bit over the years. That makes sense as I’ve had the domain for almost 19 years.
Me: “See what mine says?” I show what my first paragraph is; I’d share it here but y’all aren’t interested in that. lol “In the first line I mention what I do and what type of consulting I do. I mention specific projects that are my specialty. Then I highlight my biggest success. True, most people around the country won’t understand any of that, but my target market does because I ignored the ambiguity and straight out told them what I do.”
Conversations always go that way; the words might change but the intent’s the same. I ask a question, I show them something, then I basically send them home to think about it. Some people do something about it; others leave it alone. I haven’t advertised doing that type of work in years; maybe I should think about it. 🙂
What I haven’t done is expressed the same thing to people about their LinkedIn profiles. It makes a lot of sense that if a person can’t get their website correct their profiles are going to be a mess. More than half the people there use their resume as their profile; please, don’t do that!
Half of the rest spouts platitudes of nothingness that are meaningless. I tend to share those with others without sharing their names, asking them if they can tell me what the person actually does; they never can. That last 25% gets it and tells people what they do and what they can do for a client. It’s not quite SEO in an online sense, but it’s definitely SEO in a common business sense.
This should be is a business concept that’s taught to all new businesses and business people. It should probably be a class taught to people who wonder why their websites never generate any inquiries. If you don’t tell people what you do, then they won’t know. If people have to drag it out of you, then things may never get to the point where they’ll know if they could have used your services. This happens at networking meetings, it happens with websites, it happens with business cards and it happens on LinkedIn.
I recommend that you take another look at your business website and see if you’ve actually told potential customers what you do and what you can do for them. Do you have a place where you talk about a success or two? Did you do the same for your LinkedIn profile? Does your business card quickly cover your business skills?
It’s all business SEO concepts that even bloggers need to know and push through on a continual basis. It could help increase your business and be just what you need to succeed in a way to generate a nice income. It’s at least something to ponder… right?