Newsletter no 9 - December 2012

hollywreath200It’s Christmas!

Can’t quite believe it’s here again so soon. The shops and television and internet advertisers have been doing Christmas for a couple of months and my friends Zoe and Ria have had all their presents bought and wrapped weeks ago. I’m a last-minute Christmas shopper but I’m starting to get in the swing of it. I’m humming Christmas songs and oohing and aahing at the lights in the trees and tonight I’ll be baking shortbreads and mince pies. We all love Christmas and it’s a lot to do with all the stories that surround it.

There’s the traditional nativity – and whatever your beliefs it’s a really good story which has stood retelling for 2000 years and been recreated in film and television and every primary school at Christmas. Then there’s Santa Claus and all his elves and reindeer and the Christmas fairy and any number of films with a Christmas theme. We love to hear them and retell them again and again and never get tired of them because they are really good Stories.

So my last newsletter of 2012 is about

Using stories on your website.

When setting up your website it’s often quite difficult to know what to include. (The great thing about a website is that it is very quick and inexpensive to change content if you change your mind.) You want to say what you do, how you do it, why you’re different from all the businesses similar to yours. But you don’t want to have a lot of lists like “death by PowerPoint”. Remember that your website visitors are people so talk to them from your website as you would on the phone or face to face.

One of the problems I often find is that businesses focus on their own qualifications or on their professional processes using terms which, to them, are very precise, but which the general public – including potential clients – don’t understand at all. We can all get carried away when talking about what we enjoy – our profession and our business. Try to envisage what questions your potential clients will ask, what they are looking for and how they would express their needs.

Try to explain how you can help your customers using a Frequently Asked Questions section. This gives you an opportunity to cover topics which might seem obvious to you – but may puzzle your prospective clients – without seeming too condescending. Use responses you have given to real email requests and phone calls as a source of questions and answers.

Think about a particular client and how you helped them – and create a Case Study. Visitors reading your story will understand better what you do and whether you can help them.

Tell your own story in an About us section of your website. This is where you should certainly include your qualifications and affiliations. You can also tell how you got into your current business, what you like about doing it, and what drives you to provide the best service or products for your customers. That gives people a good picture of you and what they can expect from you without a lot of clichés about “customer service”.

 

This is my last newsletter on “Making Your Website Work for You” for 2012. I’ll publish the next one in January when we’ll be in 2013 and already wondering if those New Year’s resolutions are achievable!

Thank you for reading my newsletters during 2012 and I wish you an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas and a happy and successful 2013.

Sandra Dillon

If you found this useful and would like me to include any specific topic in a future newsletter please let me know sandra@realcom.co.uk.

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If you are considering a website for your business or organisation or would like professional help with an existing project please email me at sandra@realcom.co.uk or call on 01530 440000

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