Are you looking to grow your business?
Maybe you have all the work and revenue you can handle.
But if you aren’t reading this as you sit on a pile of greenbacks and gold coins, you’re probably wondering how you can find the sort of ideal customers who not only bring you repeat business, but become advocates for you and bring even more customers through your door.
On the other hand, perhaps you don’t have any competition.
But if, like almost all businesses, you do have competitors… you can be sure they’re out there looking to win your ideal customers away from you.
And your ideal customer is out there, too, scanning the horizon, searching through what might seem like an ocean of marketing messages. Looking for the perfect business to help her solve some problem or meet some need.
Looking for you!
When a prospect is considering doing business with you, one of the strongest enticements you can use to put your offering over the top is proof.
Whether you’re soliciting your prospective customers through direct mail, email marketing, website content, or any other method, you need to prove, to your prospect's satisfaction, that your business will do for her what you say it will.
There are lots of ways to do this.
You can give statistics about how much your customers have made, saved, or improved their lives by doing business with you.
You can point out the growth of your own business, as evidence that you must be doing something right.
But the best way to prove your case to prospective customers is to let your existing customers do it for you… through their testimonials.
You are the face of your business. You represent it to everyone you meet: customers, employees, suppliers, investors… everyone with a stake in your business from your personal banker to the person who waters the plants twice a month.
But what about those important people you haven’t yet met: your prospects? Your potential ideal customers, upon whom the future of your business depends?
Who (or what) represents you to them?
More than anything else – more than casual word-of-mouth from customers and employees, more than that single-line listing in the phone book, even more than your mom – your chief representative to your future customers is your website.
And, more precisely, your prospects will assess your business more by the words you’ve given them to read on your website than by any other measure.
How confident are you in your web content?
My late mom, who was a true wordsmith herself, had a favorite expression she used to illustrate bad writing… but it’s also an amusing word-picture that describes action without focus.
“He strode confidently to his horse, leapt gallantly into the saddle, and promptly rode off in all directions.”
Not sure where Mom got that… or even if she might’ve made it up… but it’s stuck with me through the years.
And it does describe the scattered, inconsistent marketing efforts of some companies.
Here’s a scenario that’s all-too-common:
One person is assigned to come up with an email marketing campaign… she labors mightily to create the right message, tone, and text, all from scratch. Meanwhile, a colleague is writing newspaper ads, also building the messages from the ground-up, unaware that he’s duplicating (and maybe even contradicting) the work of the email marketer. And a third person might be off in her own silo, developing new content for the company’s website or even a direct-mail sales letter, also unaware of the efforts of the others.
And if they were aware of each other’s exertions, things might be even worse: they might feud over whose vision is best, or even right.
They might all be talented.
But they’re riding off in all directions!
In my world, every day is Christmas.
You might say that, while I’m a professional writer by trade, really, deep down, I’m in The Christmas Business.
I can give you at least three good reasons it’s Christmas every day here in Michael’s world.
First, my fantastic wife of (soon) 25 fabulous years, Kathryn (not pictured; that’s my friend Becca with me in the photo, singing in the snow… more on that later), is the living embodiment of all things Christmas.
Actually, technically, I guess that would be Jesus. But hopefully you get my point: I married Mrs. Christmas.
We have Christmas trees and a few other holiday decorations up all year long in our home, thanks to the amazing Kathryn.