If you are to convince your target audience that you have the right stuff to solve their problems, you need to have a powerful website. Since the hompeage is usually their first website encounter with you, this article details 10 main elements of the homepage needed for speakers and consultants. Included are high quality resources to help you along the way.
1. UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION (UVP) or HOOK - When a visitor lands on your homepage, they must immediately be able to tell if you are exactly what they need. Your expertise must be conveyed so that they know you can solve thier problems.
Get this right and you've hit the jackpot in terms of connecting with your audience.
To figure this out, I recommend Conversion XL. It's a leading expert in showing businesses how to grow online. You can find step-by-step instructions HERE. You'll also find excellent examples.
Here are the three main components of a UVP:
- An explanation of how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation (relevancy).
- The specific benefits (quantified value).
- Messaging on why your ideal customer should buy from you and not from the competition (unique differentiation).
2. CLEAR NAVIGATION. Labeled so visitors know exactly how to find what they need. HINT: Label one tab for a service or free offering you're promoting, such as the DIY Website offering on my website seen below.
3. CLEAR CALL TO ACTION. Ask for what you want. Be it an email address in exchange for something valuable or the promotion of your new online course. Do it and make it easy to understand.
4. TESTIMONIALS. Showcase a few allowing website visitors to see that you've helped people just like them. Need help in getting testimonials? Follow this two- step process for getting quality testimonials:
Subject: Why Us?
Email: Hello "Client", I hope doing well and enjoying your business.
If you don't mind me asking, I'd like to know why you chose me to complete your project (or be the presenter at your event).
Could you tell me what made you decide that I was the right choice?
It will help me to be a better consultant (or speaker) and make my service
offering (or presentation) even better.
STEP TWO - Send this reply email.
Subject: Why Us?
Hello there! Thanks for the feedback, it was very
helpful. Would you mind if I use this as a testimonial on my website?
5. BLOG HIGHLIGHTS. A section with excerpts of a few articles and corresponding images. Include a button that clicks to the full article.
6. AWARDS CERTIFICATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS. Display logos or badges of accomplishments and associations. Include links to boost believability and Google rankings.
Expressing emotion allows your audience to connect with your and your business. The desired result is your audience will develop a belief in you and your products or services. One powerful way is in your bio normally placed on your About Page.
Bios that Express Emotion
Bios can tell interesting stories about ourselves and in a clevery way, allow prospective customers, visualize how you will deliver your products and services.
To see if your bio can use some sprucing up to be more compelling and interesting, answer the following questions:
1. Does your bio state the type of people you work with? For example, my bio states, I'm a "techno-savior" for solopreneur speakers and consultants...
2. Does it state what you do? How you help your target audience. Again, my bio states, "...who want to be smart and savvy with their online marketing so they can attract and retain the right clients for their business".
3. Does it add a bit of personality, so that people can relate to you? State what you do in your off hours, such as spending time with family, biking, surfing, cooking or whatever else that adds interest and relatability.
For a more detailed and free resource on writing your bio, check out Melissa Cassera's website HERE. She has excellent resources to quickly revamp your bio.
Your website is one place where your products and services are promoted and sold. So, how do it to get the results you want (more sales!!)? Check out the six ways below:
- YOUR SOLUTIONS ARE SPECIFIC. This is a secret weapon. Describe your products and services in a way that resolves their pain point. For example, prospecitve client is a professional women who fears speaking up in meetings. A communications consultant's solution is described as helping her have a sense of accomplishment after attending meetings because she now has the confidence and knowledge to speak up.
- PROVIDE PROOF OF SERVICES. Your audience wants to experience your products or services as much as possible before buying. For books, DVD's or CD's, a nice, graphic image of your product works best. For consulting or speaking services. a sample report is helpful or a free download of a presentation builds credibility.
- SIMPLE CONTACT US PAGE. A simple form to for visitors to send an email. However, it's more important that you have a system to respond to inquiries in a very timely fashion. You may also indicate on your form when inquiries can expect to be answered.
- GET LISTED IN LOCAL DIRECTORIES TO GET GOOGLE TO SEND YOU MORE WEBSITE VISITORS. You need to have completed profiles in at least the top three directories. Below are the directories and their links.
- IN PERSON NETWORKING TO SHARE YOUR SOLUTIONS. Be strategic. Target groups where your prospective customers hang out. To learn more about networking, check out this article by American Express Open Forum.
- ENCOURAGE REPEAT CUSTOMERS AND REFERRALS. Make sure you have a method for allowing current customers to easily recommend you. You'll also want to have methods in place for up-sells and cross-sells. An up-sell is introducing a more expensive item, once a customer has made an initial purchase. A cross-sell is offering something different after an initial purchase. Melanie Duncan has detailed information on this topic, in addition, there's a free download to help plan and design your products.
A great way to demonstrate your expertise, there are two main benefits of maintaining a blog:
• Search engines will make notice your consistent writing and deem it relevant to your audience. This makes it easier for your potential customers to find you.
• Your audience will continually see your dedication to addressing their needs. In effect, building your credibility.
We all need more time to get things done so I've created this one-page formula to help you write blog posts. DOWNLOAD IT HERE.
A few tips for time management:
1. Block off time in your calendar to write on a consistent basis.
2. Keep a notebook or use your phone to record ideas as they pop up.
3. Don't worry about perfection. Most readers will skim the article so make sure to highlight the important points. They will appreciate quality information over perfection.
4. As you continue with consistency, it will get better and easier.
CONTACT INFORMATION - Create a strategic form that will weed out the tire kickers and get more qualified prospects in your inbox. Key aspects of your contact form should contain the following:
1. A way to explain what they need. HINT: Guide them by including your services.
2. Email and phone number.
3. A call to action (what you want the visitor to do such as schedule an appointment, send you a comment or question .
4. Link to your social media account(s).
5. Don't forget to say thank you and when you'll reply.
Here's a link to my simple yet highly functional contact page. CLICK HERE.
A Speaker Onesheet provides an overview of your speaking capabilities, topics and helps you to get hired.
Here are the seven main elements, needed for a persuasive Speaker Onesheet:
1. A description of your target audience who is best served by your presentation or speech.
2. The benefits gained from hearing your speech or presentation. Be specific in terms of the benefits for different groups in your audience, for example:
- the leaders of an organization
- the members of an organization
- event planners, meeting organizers, etc.
3. A description of your expertise your ability to bring about positive transformation for your clients and/or audience.
4. Your qualifications such as certifications, degrees, career experience, awards, and past clients.
5. A description of past clients. One or two is great and focus on the positive outcome you provide.
6. Feedback from previous presentations or speeches.
7. Finally, never forget your contact information.
Case studies show off your expertise by detailing your your work and results with previous clients. The purpose is not to list everything you did on a project but to tell a story that speaks directly to the needs of your target audience.
If you’ve never written one before, use the three main elements as listed below, from the MOZ blog.
- The conflict or problem. What goal did the client want to accomplish?
- The resolution. How you solved the conflict.
- The happy ending. What did your resolution achieve?
A great way to show off your skills and fortunately as a consultant or speaker your have a number of ways to easily do this.
Examples of you in action:
1. Videos of you giving a speech or presentation or conducting a workshop. If you don't have videos of yourself yet or you’ve never been on a podcast, use something you already have. Your phone.
Use it to create your own video or even an audio. Hearing the passion and expertise in your voice is all your audience needs to believe in you.
2. Links to some of your popular presentation slides. If you don’t have any presentations yet, create one. Focus on a problem or issue you know your audience cares about. TIP: Create a FREE account with Slideshare and upload your presentation to share with others. It’s a big boost to your online presence.
3. Your podcasts as a guest or host.
4. Books and articles.
5. Your Speaker Onesheet and/or resume.
SOCIAL MEDIA - Links to your social media account should be prominently displayed throughout our website. If you don't have any social media profiles yet, start wth Facebook or LinkedIn. They are excellent platforms for speakers and consultants.
Here's a FREE tool that creates the social media icons that you can use to link to your social media or share content on your website. You can see them on the left side of this page. The tool is called AddThis and you can find their website HERE.
I realize that doing ANYTHING related to the internet can seem overwhelming and honestly, annying. But it's a necessity.
Nowadays, maintaining a productive online presence is integral for any type business, solorpreneurs are no exception.
So, here's three action items to help you stay on track.
- Manage your MINDSET. Do what's necessary to keep it positive and moving forward. It's easy to get sidetracked by taking on too many tasks. We want to write the perfect e-newsletter or make our website look good. The list goes on. Just stay focused on YOU and what will move YOUR business forward.
- Review all ten tips, then prioritize no more than three. If your unique value proposition needs work, choose that as your number one goal. Add a couple more that are relatively easy for you to complete. Get the wins and keep going.
- Put the rest on your calendar. Prioritize anything else that needs to get done, list any new resources you'll need and put them on your calendar. The secret is to work on it over time within your schedule. You'll be chipping away at the list and improving your website. Good stuff!
Gaining and keeping the attention of your ideal client requires a productive and dynamic online presence. These 10 ways will get you well on your way. However, most non-techie profiessionals might feel overwhelmed by how to accomplish this. My advice is to review the list, then determine where your online presence needs the biggest improvement.