Great Copy Helps Your Ideal Customer Find You
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!
If your business has a website, that’s great. In fact, it’s pretty-much required these days. Just as the new entrepreneur was “legit” back in the day if he had a printed business card, and not if he didn’t, well… a basic business website is kinda like the modern-day equivalent of the printed business card. It’s a box you have to check if you want people to know you’re serious about being in business.
But remember: Your competitors have websites, too.
And if they’re smart, they have marketing budgets, and they’re looking to use that dough to fuel those websites with strong, persuasive content.
You need to be at least as smart.
Only when you fuel your website with superior content – great, professionally-written copy that has the power to ignite your business – can you beat your competitors and win the business for yourself.
Your Ideal Customer Is Looking For You Right Now
A story (and not an uncommon one)….
Sue Williams has a best friend, and his name is Percival. He’s a short-haired tabby who’s as precocious as he is handsome. And he means the world to Sue.
Sue wants to keep “Mr. P” around for many, many years. To say she’s always been meticulous about his kitty health care would be a dramatic understatement. Percival gets regular shots and check-ups, and lots of TLC from both “Mommy” and his long-time veterinarian.
So when the time came for Sue to take a job in a new small city, the first chore on her list (after unpacking the litter box and cat food) was to find a new vet for Percival. It might take her months to find a doctor for herself… but Mr. P is due for shots in a week, and finding a great animal clinic is her top priority.
A glance at the local phone book would tell Sue there are at least six clinics within easy driving distance of her new apartment… but Sue doesn’t start with the phone book. She starts with the computer, like everyone does these days.
Of the six nearby vet clinics, only four come up on Sue’s search… specifically, the four businesses that have websites.
Two clinics – either of which might be a great choice for Sue and her beloved Percival – have already been eliminated as contenders. They may have decided to save a little money by skipping the whole website thing. But neither saved nearly as much as the lifetime value they might’ve gained from an ideal customer like Sue, who was actively looking for them.
Who Will Win The Business?
Speaking of businesses that are “penny-wise and pound-foolish” when it comes to helping their customers find them, not all websites are equally effective in achieving that basic aim.
There’s a big difference (at the bottom line!) between entrepreneurs who invest in winning, persuasive copy and those who don’t… as Sue Williams is about to learn.
In a way, Sue’s a little unusual in that she will be just as meticulous in her search for the best vet for Percival as she is with the rest of his care. So when she finds four veterinarian websites in her new locale, she decides to go through each site with a fine-toothed comb.
(That’s good news for the vets who hastily threw together their own web copy… most prospects won’t even aspire to the thoroughness of a Sue Williams.)
The first site that pops up looks great. Tons of information to direct Sue to exactly what she needs, starting with a wonderful headline that hooks her and immediately lets her know she’s come to the right place. But, being thorough, Sue doesn’t want to miss anything, so she decides to quickly look at the other sites for comparison before coming back to Clinic A to read their site in detail.
Clinic B has a beautiful website. Lots of photos in a slide show and a beautiful, creative logo… but not much content at all. There’s only one thing on the site that looks interesting to Sue: an article about regular pet check-ups. She clicks to it… but ends up wishing she hadn’t. The article is poorly written, and thoroughly generic. It doesn’t really tell Sue anything meaningful about Clinic B… and certainly nothing that attracts her. The article doesn’t tell her anything she doesn’t already know. In fact, she quickly concludes that she could probably find this same article on dozens of websites if she cared to do so.
A busy woman, Sue gives up and moves on.
At first glance, Clinic C’s site looks okay… but it’s riddled with errors and inconsistencies. How can I trust them with the important details of Mr. P’s health, Sue asks herself, if they don’t even care about the details of their own messages?
And Clinic D has a “cookie cutter” website – really nothing more than that “online business card” we mentioned earlier. No real content. Certainly nothing to persuade her to look deeper into their business.
Especially since Clinic A’s fabulous website is still there, waiting on the first tab of her browser.
Ready to welcome her. Ready to help her.
Ready to win her!
How The Best (Customer) Was Won
Sue devours the website for Clinic A (we’ll call it “Happy Critters Animal Care Center”). There, she's delighted to find:
- A Unique Business Proposition. First, Sue reads a brief but crystal-clear description of Happy Critters and their unique philosophical (and operational) approach to pet health care. In just a few well-chosen words, Happy Critters persuades her to read further. They’re different. And they’re very clear about what they do, how they do it better than anyone, and (importantly) why they do it. Sue's intrigued.
- An Attractive Invitation. Nearby, Sue sees a section of the website inviting her to join the Happy Critters Happy Family, to receive updates and an e-newsletter that promises helpful pet-care tips. She can’t type her email address into the box fast enough. The site even tells her she’ll get a free copy of a special report, Seven Tips For Helping Your Pet Settle Into A New Home. Bonus! Sue's involved.
- An Instant Affinity. Sue explores the “About Happy Critters” tab on the site, and finds great, upbeat bios on the doctors and aides who make up the Happy Critters staff. The blurbs are both personable and credible. Sue starts to feel like she knows these folks. Their stories resonate with her. In fact, at times, it almost seems like she’s reading about herself! Sue's influenced.
- A Business That's More Like A Family. Soon, Sue spots buttons that take her to the social media pages for Happy Critters. The staff have posted some helpful things there (Sue recognizes some of the titles from the brief description of the articles on the Happy Critters site)… but she’s even more impressed with how active the clinic’s clients are on their social sites. Pictures! Stories! Wow, Sue thinks, these people love Happy Critters! As she reads on, Sue starts to feel great about this clinic. She wouldn’t consciously articulate it this way, but… it’s almost like they aren’t really in the pet care business so much as the “happy family reunion” business! Is that even a thing? Sue's inspired.
- An Anticipated Need. Suddenly, Sue remembers another “chore” she needs to knock out – she has to find out where in the new town she can get the special treats and toys Mr. P loves. She opens another browser tab and types in the brand names… and quickly finds that her search leads right back to the Happy Critters site and their helpful pet supplies directory! She makes a quick note about a couple of stores to check out. And she sees ads on the search page that offer a free consultation for new patients at Happy Critters. Compelling! Sue's informed.
- And A Great Collection Of Success Stories. By now, of course, Sue is sold. But before she reaches for the phone to make that first appointment, she lingers on the Happy Critters site to read several rave reviews and testimonials from other members of the Happy Critters Happy Family. She even reads a beautiful story about a family whose beloved doggie was “saved” by the extra love and care he received from everyone at Happy Critters. Her eyes begin to water! What a wonderful testament to this business. Sue would’ve paid to watch a movie based on that little story. Sue's In!
Even before she makes that first appointment, Sue Williams Is a member of that family!
More Than Just A Sale Can Be Won
Over the next few weeks and months, Sue and Percival learn that Happy Critters is everything its web presence suggests it is: the best place in their new “world” to get the TLC they both deserve!
Sue delights in being a “member” of the family. She eagerly consumes every message she gets from Happy Critters, from email promotions to the e-newsletter to the helpful articles she reads on the clinic’s web log (or “blog”). She promptly and frequently posts her own photos and upbeat messages on the clinic’s social media pages, and she tells every pet parent she meets about the wonderful service at Happy Critters.
The clinic’s staff notices. Less than a year passes before they have someone call Sue to interview her and write a case study – a sort of super testimonial – about Sue and her experiences with Happy Critters. Just like the one she read about the rescued doggie, the day she made her first appointment for Percival! When she sees the case study on the Happy Critters website a few days later, she can’t keep from grinning.
Sue has become more than an ideal customer for Happy Critters – she’s an ambassador, and one of the best “salespeople” the clinic could’ve hoped for. And they don’t have to pay her a dime. She pays them! And she’s thrilled to do it, every time.
Your Business Can Win, Too
Who knows? Maybe Clinics B, C, and D are equally awesome. Maybe the two other “not pictured” clinics would’ve been great choices for Sue and Percival, too… maybe their vets were even better than the fine staff at Happy Critters.
We’ll never know.
What we do know is that your ideal customer is out there, looking for you, right now.
And your competitors, Brands X, Y, and Z, are hoping she runs into them first.
But you can beat them. You can win.
Make sure you invest some of your marketing budget on winning words. It’s an investment that pays big returns, as the entrepreneurs who’ve made that investment will attest.
Whether you write your own stuff (possibly from a professionally-prepared Key Message Platform), or hire it out (so you can focus on what you do best), you need the best content out there. You need to hook your best prospects and bring them into your business “family.”
And a professional Website Content Analysis can go a long way toward helping you take a look at your business through your ideal prospect’s eyes, to see what they see when they find your messages. Would you want to join your business family? Or would you be wooed by Brand X?
Your Sue is looking for you. Right now. She’s scanning that ocean of marketing messages, hoping someone will help her. And she’s busy. She doesn’t have much time to “shop.”
Don’t let her fall into the clutches of your competitors (those pirates!).
Don’t let your very best customers get lost at sea.
Author’s Note: The technical aspects of your web presence are important, too. Your site’s content could be great, but if your site isn’t attractive and technically sound, few prospects will ever read it! Michael wrote another version of this story – from the web design customer’s point-of-view – for our friends at Max Height Web Solutions in Denver. You can read that version here.