- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 06/29/2009
- Writing for the Web
Online marketing can help independent professionals reach more clients with less effort. If you offer a professional service or own a service business, your web site, blog, squidoo page, tweets and posts will usually attract all the clients you need. At the same time, professional services often face unique challenges when they take their first steps to online marketing. It is important to remember that online success calls for a unique set of programs, skills and techniques. Suppose you are going full speed ahead with online marketing without seeing the results you hope to achieve. It’s easy to assume you have targeted one of the few remaining markets where prospects will not be searching online. But these days, even massage therapists, health care providers, and financial service professionals are marketing online. Clients bring 3 types of pain (or problem-solving challenges) when they come to your website. More likely you need to revise your copy – the words on your page – to connect with your clients in three critical ways. On the Internet, many people buy when they’re feeling desperate. They face challenges causing physical, financial or emotional pain: anything from a corn on the toe a house that won’t sell to a boyfriend who’s losing interest.
As a professional, your online marketing challenge is to connect with your prospects on these thre
e levels. Each level of connection represents a copywriting and strategy challenge. First, your clients bring you problems to solve. Here’s where they draw on your expertise and knowledge. They want to save a failing business, lose the toughest ten pounds or find a soul mate. You connect with these clients on the home page of your website. For example, suppose you are an immigration attorney. Your clients want to find a way to stay in the United States. Or maybe they want to marry a non-citizen and make sure they can live together legally. Second, your prospect feels considerable fear around hiring you to perform a service. Are you an interior decorator? Will you paint the walls purple with orange polka dots? If you are an attorney or a therapist, your prospect may be concerned about cost. They also fear being judged: “Will he think I’m stupid because I got into this mess?” Finally, your clients fear commitment. Why now? Can’t we put it off till next week? After all, signing on the dotted line gets pretty scary. Your client is agreeing to a course of action that can change her life and probably her bank account.
You can connect on all three levels by the way you write your copy for your web site or blog. For example, you can help your client deal with fear about hiring you by the way you set up your “about” page. You can add additional sections to your home page and your services listing so clients will feel comfortable and ready to act immediately.