Four stories you should be telling on your website
Poking around online one night I came across a web designer in Norwich I didn’t know. I was curious and looked him up.
Him, I say. How sexist of me. It may have been her. Or them. There was no way of knowing – the contact page revealed nothing, and even the email address went to ‘inbox.’ An impressive portfolio of work suggested stuff gets done, but there was no one standing behind it – it felt like I was calling out an echoing “Hello?” into a deserted shop.
It turns out the guy – and it is a guy – is real. A colleague of mine really rates his work. But I wouldn’t hire him, however good his work or his rates, because his website gave me the impression that one of two things are going on:
In either case, if he’s not putting his name on it, then he’s not standing by his work. And an awful lot of customers these days are looking to work with experienced craftsmen who’ve made a name for themselves.
Pretending to be big
Rant over, of course I understand why a small company or a start-up might avoid putting their names on their website. Giving the impression you’re bigger than you are feels like you’re increasing your stability. And when it’s just a few of you, you can’t risk sacrificing potential customers due to being small.
But at the same time you’re trying to look big, the multinationals are actually scrambling to catch up with you – and no matter how much money they chuck at it, they’ll never match your energy, flexibility or ideas. The fact is, you’ve got the edge over them, because being personal is exactly the core advantage you bring to your work.
Four stories you can use to quickly bring real life to your website
It can be really simple to bring person to your site – I love how Jan at Motherly Love stands by her product (scroll down on her homepage). These four simple stories bring depth and character to your business, add professionalism and humanity, and give people reasons to want to work with you.
Customers’ buying choices do not just come down to price or even quality. They buy from brands and people whom they warm to, when they think they have something in common.
Only two choices
As a small business, you have two choices about how you approach your marketing:
Every decision you make, including what you choose to say, either reinforces or undermines your brand. If you’re after authentic relationships with customers, there’s not much choice there, as far as I see it. Have a look at how stories are built into the very building you do business in.
Have you found that being honest about your company’s small size worked to your advantage? I'd love to hear about it.
Next week I’ll be writing about blogging – the best way of getting your stories on your website on a regular basis. Dave, Sarah and Rebecca: this is for you!
Member since: 23rd September 2013
I’m Director and Shop Manager of Kett's Books, a social enterprise bookshop in Wymondham, and I write the White Dot Business Writing Blog. Life in the bookshop keeps the business writing advice real.