Whether you plan to sit down and schedule time to write your own sales copy, or you've reached out and got a professional copywriter on board- make sure you have a clear answer to these 5 questions. By doing so, you've saved yourself a lot of time and effort. Plus you're already a long way towards achieving written content that's a smash hit with your audience, with sales results to match:
As somebody who specialises in writing for businesses just like yours and professionals just like you, what I'm about to say might come as a shock:
Words do wonders for your SEO.
They do wonders for enabling your leads and existing customers to understand you.
They do wonders for establishing valuable relationships with your target audience- relationships that bring you profit, prestige and premium pricing.
But…take it from a copywriter:
YOU STILL NEED VIDEO!
Nowhere is this more crucial than in your testimonials. Sure, your happy customers can write glowing words about how you provided the miracle cure/ amazing product or astounding service. But people today crave authenticity. People are more likely to watch (and believe) a testimonial video than a written review about you.
In short? You can never have too many video testimonials!
So here’s how you collect great testimonials, in just 8 steps:
1. The “Before and After” Story
Right from the start, your testimonial client needs to explain their “before and after” story (e.g. “My backyard was an unkempt mess and I didn’t know where to start, until Dave’s Landscaping came along and within a day my house had become a castle once more!”)
2. Benefits Galore
Make sure your endorser talks about how your product or service has changed their life, solved their problems and improved their productivity.
3. Can They Relate?
The testimonial should be from someone your target audience can relate to. Choose customers who are obvious examples of your target audience.
4. Who’s Who?
Your video testimonial must have the name and any descriptive title of the person, so that viewers know the comments came from a real person.
5. Measuring Up
It’s always a bonus if your testimonial is comparative, where the customer tried another product or service like yours previously and found that it failed to deliver the expected results. Whereas, when this person tried your product/ service, the results were stunningly different, providing significantly extra benefits.
6. Hit ‘Em Up When They’re High
Get the testimonial when the client is upbeat and on a high, so that you are benefitting from the natural passion they have at the time (straight after someone has enjoyed their hair salon experience or maybe just after the auto detailer has finished restoring the showroom shine to their car).
7. Keep It Fair Dinkum!
Don’t ask the client to go overboard with their personal recommendation. Keep it natural and believable- keep it fair dinkum!
8. Remember- Your Audience Is Smart
The can detect a testimonial that has been manipulated or coached by you. By all means, let your clients provide a personal recommendation, but don’t let them get “corny”. Just ask them to be real.
The beauty is that you don’t need fancy camera or editing equipment to capture a glowing testimonial. You only need the camera app that virtually all phones come equipped with these days. Keep it natural, follow these 8 steps and let the red-hot recommendations roll in!
You might not realise it but right now, as your read these words, there are people looking for you.
You might not know who they are and that's a pity, because you should.
Because once you got past the “getting to know you” bit, it could turn into a glowing, mutually beneficial relationship that lasts for years. So why isn't this relationship happening?
They don't even know you exist!
You might just be two ships, passing in the night. But you have the ability to change this and become like a light house they'll spot from a distance. To do this doesn’t require an elaborate plan or a serious dent into your marketing budget. It’s just a case of addressing three words:
Search Engine Optimisation.
Here’s 5 ways you can boost your SEO rankings and get found- so easy you'll kick yourself for not having thought of them already!
#1. Research Your Keywords
You want to use the same keywords your target audience are using when they search for you. So if you own a real estate agency in North Lakes, you'd want your main keyword phrase to be something like ‘Real Estate North Lakes’ or even ‘Realty North Lakes’. Sure, you might have a lot of competition covered by the main keywords- but what about the secondary search terms? This is where your area of speciality comes into play. What do you provide that your competitors don’t? What sets you apart from the rest? Overall, your priority here is to understand the language your target audience uses when they go searching for a business like yours.
You want to have a reasonable amount of quality content on your website and across your social media platforms. I’m not talking about stuffing your content full of keywords (the bad old-fashioned way), although it might help if you update your meta tagging to include terms that are reader-friendly.
I’m talking about including a page for legitimate testimonials from happy customers (get video testimonials whenever you can), a Q&A section and a page with profiles for each of your staff. Content like this is useful for your site browsers but also for online search engines like Google.
If you’re a local business, you definitely also want to include a ‘Contact’ page with a business address, primary phone number and an embedded GEO site map (which can be done easily, here: http://www.geositemapgenerator.com)
#3. Google Local
Local Google+ pages gives you more exposure, while also helping you to open up a two-way communication path with your customers by responding to reviews and creating post updates. You can find out more on Google+ here: https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2293053/google-places-for-business-vs-google-local
Inconsistency can have a negative effect on your online presence, which is why you need to be consistent when you list your business name, contact number and address across all of your online pages. This makes search engines like Google happy, and it also makes your customers happy. Make it as easy as possible for them to know who you are and how they can get in contact with you.
#5. Get the word out there
Collecting reviews from happy customers on Google+, or via video testimonials, is one of the most traditional (and most authentic) ways to stand out online. Make it easy for your customers- let them know they only have to write a review once (if writing one) and if they don’t have a Google+ account, that's ok. Let them give you their glowing review via Facebook or even LinkedIn instead!
Whether they want to write your praises or speak them out loud, the most important thing to remember is: always be authentic. Don’t bribe them or ask for positive reviews. People can spot a fake easily. You're better than that, anyway. The best word of mouth is when it’s genuine.
I’ll leave you with these easy action items to think about (and act on) for now- but next week I’ll have a further 5 tips that'll do wonders for your SEO rankings. In the meantime? Let me know how you go covering these 5 steps! Sharing your success stories is always welcome.
Lately, all I’ve been hearing about is Pokemon Go. People wandering around like zombies, staring at their screens- and I’m the uncool one sitting here at my laptop and writing? I feel like I’ve time-travelled back to the late 90’s, the way so many people my age are out to “Catch ‘em all”. It got me thinking about another old craze that I couldn’t get into…
Come with me now, back to the mid 90’s. Paul Keating is PM, flannelette is in fashion (hang on…), Oasis and a guy called Hootie (with his Blowfish) are getting major airtime on the radio, only a handful of people you know have internet access and the most valuable stock owned by your average Primary School kid is their collection of basketball cards. But personally? I don’t get the hype about them. If you dig basketball you’d buy a ball or the jersey of your favourite players or wear your teams’ cap. I’ve got a ball and a hoop above the back patio at home, myself. But why throw away money on glossy pieces of cardboard with player pictures on them? This is an early case of me feeling “different” from my peers. I’m never ostracised for not embracing the fad- I just don’t understand the fuss...
...Then my Scout group plans to hold a special “Collectors Night” where we all bring in something that we collect. I imagine that (like at school) I’ll be one of the only kids who doesn’t care about having Shaquille O’Neal, John Stockton or Vince Carter’s image on pieces of glossy cardboard. But I’m 9 years old and slightly worried that if I bring my collection of model cars- a collection I take great pride in- that the guys will think I’m weird or “a baby”. I don’t lose sleep over this scenario, but lamenting how “everybody else will have basketball cards” is enough for Mum to actually go and get me a pack of cards to take along. Should I pretend to care about basketball cards and blend in? Or should I take my big plastic container of model cars to Collectors Night and risk standing out? In the end, I decide to take my modest and freshly bought pack of cards along...
But I only have these as back-up. I figure taking something different- something like my crate full of model cars- might actually be worth the risk?
So there I am at our Scout Collection Night, with my big plastic container of Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Micro Machines and Burago models. And they turn out to be a hit. I get into a discussion about Formula 1 with one of the Scout leaders, the other guys all go through my collection and admire the condition I’ve kept some of these cars in. Even Scott (who has the biggest collection of basketball cards in our Scout group) checks out my haul with genuine interest. In the end, I don’t even need to get my basketball cards out. My crate of cars ends up being the biggest and most keenly examined collection on the night...
That night was over 20 years ago so the exact details have been erased by time, but I still recall my pleasant feeling of surprise at how popular my collection turned out to be. It felt like I was in a strange dream where everybody found my collection as interesting as I did- except that it was really happening.
The older I’ve grown, the less I’ve felt the need to “blend in with the crowd” for the sake of it. Still, as a young business owner sometimes I wonder if doing it “my way” is worth the risk? But in a world where people tip-toe carefully and allow the fear of rejection to straightjacket their true expression and flair, we crave people who dare to stand out with spotlights, fluros and fireworks. Don’t hold back from sharing your real passion with people. Let it shine through in your marketing, your branding and your interactions with them all. If you want to be that bright light who attracts leads, you’ve gotta be somebody who stands out from the masses of beige. And the key to this is daring to be authentic about what you love. Not everybody will be your “type”, but people will take notice of you- and respect your authenticity. Not only will you breathe more easily knowing you don’t have to pretend- but next time your leads are ready to spend big on someone who sells or does what you do? It’ll be your name that flashes into their mind. Not bad when it equals money in the bank, huh?
If you'd love to be 100% authentic with your leads (no tricks, no smoke-and mirrors, no bullshit) and command top dollar in the process, then let's arrange a consultation. It's free, so get in while slots are still available. That's if you're the rare type who'll dare to be different...
In the words of W. Clement Stone, "Do it now":
Ben is the founder of Scribe Copywriting.