Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Writing for your business: going back to basics

Recently I carried out a website update for a client and I thought it might help to share with you how we went about it. This client has been in business some three years, not a very long period for a business but hers has changed in a number of ways since she started which meant looking afresh at the existing text. When.

To help you I’d like to flag up 3 areas for development we looked at which might apply to your business.

1. The purpose of the website.

When my client began her business, she was an already established illustrator as part of a team but it was the first time she had worked for herself. Proving her credentials as a single source creative was important even given her years of work. Over time her creative output has been proven with her own clients, gained from her previous reputation and now built on.

Because of that her attitude to her website has relaxed in terms of proof needed. Now she is ready and able to offer more services, that are additional proof of her growing personal reputation.

If you are a creative or a consultant coming out of a team, then your business might go through a similar process and at some point you need to check if the balance of proof is correct.

2. How to extend what you offer to visitors

When you start your business, there are 101 things you have to do. Your overall strategy will work best if you can divide it into time periods where you can add in extras. As far as your website is concerned that means ongoing editing but major revision will follow partly in response to your market’s possible needs but also according to your strategy.

For instance you may have decided that a blog is a good idea, but have neither time nor maybe writing experience to make the best of such a tool. Adding a blog at an appropriate point for you can be part of your strategy but it could also come as a response to requests from possible clients to know what else you are involved in.

3. How to strengthen what you can show about your achievements.

One of the areas I see new businesses mishandle in the information they offer prospective customers is not explaining clearly what they do. There is a tendency to assume that because we as the expert know what we do, other people can immediately grasp the same level of detail.

That’s not the case and it often takes many approaches to your market for them to be comfortable with what you offer. This is particularly the case if you have a new product or service.

Eugene Schwartz the great copywriter, divided markets up into different categories and concluded that the most difficult one to write for was the new product market. With every new product or service you’re moving people out of a comfort zone, always a tricky thing to achieve.

So you need to be aware of the maturity of the market for your product or service as part of your strategy of offering information on anything you’re adding on to your current range.  As your business grows, you will have different challenges to meet in all areas of your business; for example recruiting staff, financing your business and so on. It’s no different writing for your business but just as your passion for what you do helped you to gain customers who trust you, so your increased confidence will help you take your customers with you as your business grows.

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