Trying to build your service-based business online? Your website has to convert.
As a service-based business, your website has to convince your potential customers that not only can you solve their problems, but that they need to spend a lot of their money with you.
More than that, your website should be an investment. An investment that should at some point, generate revenue for you.
If you want your website to generate leads and sales for your service-based business, then you absolutely need these 5 key elements.
The best part – these are all things that you can work on yourself.
Write Like Your Customer Talks
You might have great content, the most entertaining podcast, or super fun-to-read blog posts – but if you’re not thinking about who your ideal customer is and how you can help them, then no one is going to be paying attention.
If you want to attract your ideal customer, then you need to write like they talk.
What does that mean?
Getting out of your technical jargon and instead focusing on how your customers actually describe your services, even if it sort of feels wrong.
Mirror Their Terminology
It’s very easy to fall into how we would discuss our services and our expertise through the lens of our technical jargon.
But that doesn’t mean that your customer actually understands what that means.
Take a bookkeeper. They know that they’re going to reconcile your books using QuickBooks Online and perform other tasks.
But what do you as the customer understand?
They’re going to help you keep your finances organized so you know where your money is going.
Where Do You Find Their Lingo?
One of the hardest things for many of us is getting outside of our own heads and expertise and thinking differently about what we offer.
So how can you actually learn what language and terminology they’re using to describe your business?
Join their conversations!
Dig into Facebook groups where your ideal customer is hanging out (that’s honestly a gold mine), look through the comments on big influencers in your space, do some LinkedIn research, and even go back through and see how your customers are talking about you and your services.
One of the best ways to really understand how your ideal customer thinks is by joining in the live conversations in these online communities or even getting them on the phone. You have to really talk to them to understand them. The same goes for discovering how they talk about their issues.
And of course, the best way that you can do this? Get a couple of your favorite clients on the phone and ask them. You can offer a Starbucks gift card as a thank you for their time and just spend 15 minutes asking a few questions about their needs and why they came to you in the first place.
Perhaps the most important piece? Ask them what transformation you’ve helped them achieve.
Share Your Benefits, Not Features
Now that you know how your customer talks, you need to get their attention in a way that they’ll actually care.
Great, you provide financial cleanup, but why does that matter to me?
All of your website copy should focus on the benefits you provide your clients, not the features of your services.
The great thing about digging into your customers’ lingo first is that this actually becomes pretty easy because they’re going to be far more focused on their actual needs and the benefits they want anyway.
No one really cares that you create contracts for them. They care that you’re protecting their business and their intellectual property with your contracts.
What Transformation Do You Help Customers Get?
One of the best ways to reframe your thinking here is to focus on the transformations that you help your customers achieve.
Where do they start when they come on as a client and where do they grow to after working with you for a while?
These transformations don’t have to be massive either.
Think about it – a restaurant’s “transformation” is just helping someone get a delicious meal and some quality time with loved ones.
Your transformations are your benefits. What you’re helping people achieve and grow to with your services is far more important than how you do that (your features). And yet, so many of us as service providers want to list out all of the services we offer like it’s some kind of menu anyone cares to make a selection from.
Back-Up Your Claims
When you reframe and refocus how you talk about your services so you are on your customers’ level – that’s powerful.
But when you have other people backing up you actually do what you say you do?
When you want to get conversions from your website (or honestly, any of your marketing), you have to persuade people that you will actually do the things you’re saying you will.
What’s better than letting your other happy clients speak to that for you?
Having a third party verify your expertise is called social proof. That social proof is essential when you run a service-based business online.
Adding Social Proof to Your Website
We dove deep into social proof in last week’s episode about building trust online, but in case you haven’t listened to that yet, let’s talk about it for a minute.
Social proof doesn’t have to be huge case studies with lots of stats and figures. It can just be a quick testimonial from a happy customer about what it’s like to work with you.
My favorite way to add social proof to a website is to use testimonials. That’s because they’re in a real person’s voice and they’re describing the service the way that your prospective customers might.
They’re often going to focus on the things that matter most to your customers, but most importantly, a good testimonial leads directly to conversions.
How to Ask for Testimonials
Here’s where most of my own clients get tripped up: the ask.
Going back and asking for feedback is rough. It feels just a little bit weird to ask your clients to say nice things about you. Maybe you’ve asked for testimonials before and they’ve not responded.
The key here is to make it super easy.
We send out a quick form to my main clients every year and then after a project to ask for a review. We don’t just ask for a testimonial, we also want to know how they felt about us as a whole and if there’s anything we can improve.
But then we also ask for permission to share that feedback as a testimonial and give them the ability to write it out.
You can also ask for specifics, like why they chose to work with you, what transformation they saw in their own business, or what they liked most about you and your team.
If you want to have testimonials that talk about specific things you do, you just have to ask for it.
And honestly, the worst thing that can happen is you learn where you can make improvements in your business.
Make Contacting You Easy
Want conversions on your website?
Make it easy!
For most of us service-based businesses, your customers aren’t going to add your service to a cart and checkout.
I offer a couple of audits that way, but if someone wants to work with me to build a website or create an entire marketing foundation, they have to get on the phone with me.
And here’s the thing – most of the customers coming your way don’t know exactly what they need so they’ll want to get on the phone with you anyway.
Hiring a service provider is a bit more intimate. They’re going to work with you for longer and want to know that your vibes match theirs. And really, don’t you want to be sure that they’re the right fit for your business, too?
All this to say, reaching out to talk to you should be really simple.
Use a Scheduling App
One of the best things you can do in your business is use a scheduling app to book these calls.
You don’t have to email back and forth to find a time that works for everyone, you can set specific times to take calls, and you can even require they fill out a simple form first.
While I use the scheduling option in Honeybook for my own business, you can easily add a Calendly form or another app to your website. Most of them come with an embed code that you just drop in and it takes over the hard work for you.
Of course, if you want calls, you need to make it easy to find the page to book those calls. Adding a button in the top right corner of your navigation bar is a great way to highlight it.
Use Clear Calls to Action Throughout
Now, what happens when someone gets to the bottom of a page on your website? What do you want them to do?
You have to tell them!
Using clear calls to action and telling them to go book a call, fill out a contact form, or even just provide a click-to-call phone number is a great way to encourage your prospects to take action.
Make everything super simple and almost annoying about how they can contact and get in touch with you.
Offer a Valuable Freebie
Not everyone who comes to your website is going to be ready to work with you right away. Especially for a service-based business where they might be spending thousands of dollars with you, they’ll need some time to really see who you are and how you work.
Give them the incentive to stay in touch with you by offering a freebie in exchange for their email address.
This is often called a lead magnet and that’s because it’s literally driving them to keep in touch with you.
They know that they’re giving you their email address and you’re going to be emailing them later, but if your freebie is valuable and gives them a quick win they’ll be all too happy to oblige.
Types of Lead Magnets
If you’ve never offered any kind of lead magnet before, it can feel a bit overwhelming to try and decide what you want to create and give away for free.
I dug into this deeper back into episode 45, but one of the easiest ways to go about this is to ask what quick win you can help a client get.
What can you teach them that feels easy and helps them get a little bit of movement?
Then, you can put that lead magnet in many different forms like:
- A checklist
- PDF Guide
- Hidden podcast episode(s)
- Video walkthrough
Go back and listen to that episode to learn more about how to create a lead magnet people actually want to download.
Keep Emailing Them
The most important thing here is that once someone joins your list, you’re sending out consistent emails every week.
These should be valuable and could lead back to your weekly content (like a podcast or blog article), a special you’re offering or even talk about a recent lesson you’ve learned in your own business.
When someone joins your email list, it’s a powerful way for them to get to know you on a deeper level, build trust, and turn into a sale down the line.
Don’t underestimate the leads you get through a freebie. They could become your best customers later on.
Your Website Should Get Conversions
Are you missing any of these things on your own website?
Your website should be the foundation of your online business. It’s the place that you’re sending everyone back to when they’re ready to work with you.
You can have the best social media strategy, but if they hit your website and you’re not making it easy for people to connect with and convert, well, they won’t.
Work on your messaging first and then finesse.
And don’t underestimate the power of getting real-life people on the phone and talking to them! Their feedback will be invaluable.