I find the hardest thing to convey when discussing content is how important it is to say the most obvious things about your business and tell people why you are saying it. People forget that it is the basic details which are necessary to say loud and clear…and again and again!
I am here to remind you of all of the basics and take you back to “school day essay writing” most likely! What you need to tell your clients across your website, on your social media pages (i.e. the About section, the pinned post, in Notes/Articles) and in your print media, like leaflets or booklets about your business are ‘the basics’ and these can be summarised simply as the 6 Ws (well, sort of, with all of the weird spelling in English you would think they could spell ‘how’ like ‘Whow’ or something so that they all start with a ‘wh’!!!!):
If you can check all of your main marketing materials and find the answer to all of these about your business then you are at least telling clients the important things about your business.
It seems unlikely but it leaves me speechless how often I find that it is not actually immediately obvious what a company or business offers. People spend so much time thinking about a catchy or unique name for their business and then, when you visit their website or Facebook page, it is impossible to understand exactly what they offer.
I am not just talking about a generic name like ‘electrician’ or ‘printer’ but more than that. What services do they offer? What do they specialise in? …even, what they do not do! Make sure it is clear and obvious. After all, there is nothing worse than getting lots of enquiries asking about services you don’t provide…and having to reply to say that. Make it clear. And if you are quite flexible and all-encompassing then make that clear too.
I really like to know who I am going to be dealing with. I know that in a big corporate this might be impossible, but the joy of dealing with a small, independent business is that there is that possibility of personal service and personal interaction. It’s an oft repeated phrase but ‘people buy from people’ . So say who you are! You don’t have to offer your life story and personal details about your family, but consider the power of putting your picture and your name prominently on marketing materials advertising your business and telling people who you are and the experience, talent and passions you possess. Equally, if you have a team of people, say who they are too!
…in this age of much more conscious purchasing, it is becoming even more important to explain your why.
Just like knowing who is behind a business a ‘unique selling point’ of the business is often the why. Telling clients why you are business and why you do what you do can really help build trust and build a relationship with potential clients.
It is also great to share why you make certain decisions about your business – why do you offer certain services? Why do you choose certain suppliers or products to sell or make items? Why? Why? Why?
People have a thirst for knowledge and, in this age of much more conscious purchasing, people considering the environmental effect or ethical background of a product or service, it is becoming even more important to explain your why.
Similar to why, explaining how you work is really important to many potential clients. If you sell products, clients will often be keen to know how something is made, how long it will take to arrive, how it will be delivered…and, possibly, how to get a refund! For a service-led business, how you work, including what clients may expect and what their ‘journey’ will be, is also important for converting a lead in to a sale.
So, don’t be shy to state all of which may be obvious to you but really explains how you work to those reading your materials. Being open and transparent, making everything explicit really helps with ensuring your potential clients know what to expect and will make both of your lives a lot easier!
This may only seem essential if you have a physical shop, office, cafe or restaurant, for example, that you want people to visit. If you do, then this is absolutely essential that your ‘where’ is front and centre. As a potential client, it is no good learning about delicious cakes and the beautiful location of a cafe, if you have no idea where the place is…or if you are based in Edinburgh and the cafe is in Southampton (well, unless you are off down south on your holidays!!!). It’s also great to know if there is parking and whether a business is located near to public transport links.
Personally, I like to know where a business is based even if I do not need to physically visit. It is nice to have contact details at the very least! It can also be important for correspondence. For example, if I am dealing with a business in a different time zone, I understand if an urgent email is not responded to until hours later. If there may be a language difference, this is not a deal breaker, it doesn’t matter but I would rather know – and be a lot more understanding of a grammatical error or two or potential misunderstanding. Equally, it is nice to know if the possibility of meeting in person, should the need arise, could be a reality or not. Obviously, you do not need to publicise your full home address, but local town is useful and if you do offer any form of mobile service or are happy to travel, consider stating where and how far you are willing to go.
Finally, it is a good idea to answer when you are open for business. Even if you want to convey that you work 24 hours, you may go on holiday, so remember to state when you are not available, as well as when you are…everyone needs a break some times! It is also a lot better to manage expectations by stating regular working hours! If you do only work part time hours, don’t pretend you have a team who is going to be on call 7 days a week. And for your own sanity set your own reasonable hours (and stick to them) ….says the girl typing this blog at 9.45pm 😉
You may also have seasonal commitments, services or products – so again remember to state when these are available (or not). And you could also mention when you started your business – it gives people a good sense of your experience if it has been for a while.
Have you answered your ‘Ws’?
This really is a simple check list – go through your marketing materials and ask all of these questions…and, if you haven’t answered them then do!
Want help writing up your what, who, why, how, where and when? Please get in touch!