Is your website Just a "Selfie" or a real Business Marketing Tool?
You see them all the time on social media - the ubiquitous selfie. There are some people that post only selfie-photos, of themselves - often taken in the mirror doing something unusual like wearing some costume or drinking in an upscale location - that express their vanity. Unless it's a well known person or celebrity, for most people on social media add no real value to user experience.
Unfortunately, a lot of people try to create "Selfie" websites. For example, recently, I had read about a beauty business client who wanted her website to be all about her, not her business,It would be a vanity site rather than a client - centric site. It was all about who she is, not what her clients want to see when they visit a site. Many tried to dissuade her but she wouldn't be moved. Then someone built the site and she decided they were right, and she wanted to start all over again.
The experience got me thinking: People are naturally vain. We don't like that word applied to us but think about it. Everyone's favourite subject is themselves. They love to hear their own name and talk about themselves. They have their favourite colours and favourite image(usually about themselves). They have specific ideas about who they are and what they can do (and it's usually not from their clients' persepective). And, of course, they think their business idea is the best ever conceived and they'll have absolutely no competition even on the web.
But, can you get away with displaying all that self love across your web marketing strategy? Is your web presence really about you? Here's how you know if you've made yours an unprofitable exercise in vanity. All of these examples are based on actual experiences with clients.
All the content is about you, not your business or your clients. You've dedicated most of the content on the site about who you are and what you've done, not objective information that differentiates you from your competitors. There is little content that actually helps your clients. Of course, there are lots of selfies - pictures of yourself doing whatever it is you do but your not an actor, book author or entertainer. In fact, you own a service - based business.
You brag about how wonderful you and tour product or service is but provide no proof. You've been in business for years and we see all your awards and accolades on your site but no real information about how you have helped past clients or served them well. Real testimonials are absent or out dated. And, again, you talk about your favourite subject - yourself - ad nauseam but provide no real value to the visitor with content they can use and will share.
You use testimonials from people you seem like you paid off or who don't exist. These gush, talk about how fabulous the experience of working with you was but have no real substance or no names a visitor can Google and find or contact directly. They don't have any credibility and they don't give you any either.
You insist on using poorly written self - authored content or poorly shot photos of your location. And, you do this because you really believe that this is great marketing content since you created it yourself. You neither will hire professionals (or qualified ones, anyway), even though you can afford to, nor take advice from the website design firm you hire to build your site. You tell them they don't know what they're talking about and, because you are paying them, simply expect them to "make the content work" even if they tell you it won't. (Then your angry when it doesn't work)
Your website is in your favourite colours and has a logo you love but neither represent industry standards for your profession or audiences preferences. You have little understanding of how colour science affects visitor experience and you choose colours that are off-putting for your target clients. And, your logo may be poor quality, out dated and old-school and unattractive to anybody but you yet use it anyway and expect others to like it because " it represents me". However, when your web designer tells you those colours won't work for your industry, they mean something different from what you should be conveying or your logo doesn't reflect the quality of the service you say you provide, you blow them off and insist your site should "represent you". You sincerely believe visitors care more about you than whether you can professionally provide the product or service you're offering.
The rest of your web marketing replicates the strategies above. On social media, in your newsletters, on your podcasts, or in your video content, it's all about you.The content your create is about making you the centre of attention and you're not a book author, entertainer, actor or other prominent person. Even those people don't get away with arrogance or conceit on the web but you think you will. Of course, you don't listen to any professionals you hire and wonder why your web marketing strategy isn't working.
Now don't get us wrong. Of course you should build a website you love and have content on it that tells your story or that of your product or service. But,it's clients really determine the truth and value of your brand.Your brand is the sum total of the experiences your audience has with your business.Yes, you can guide your brand vision and reflect it in your inbound marketing. But, ultimately, your audience will then determine the success of your inbound marketing strategy by whether or not they buy from you. If they come to your website or social media and they hate what they see, they will leave. You have under five seconds.....that's right , five seconds....to convince them to stay.
Make your web presence about your visitors. Take advice of those you hire to help you develop your web presence because they are the objective professionals. And, by all means, if you're not a professional web designer, developer or content creator (photographer, videographer), don't "do it yourself". Trust us, visitors can tell. A self focused web marketing strategy that's not specifically meant to promote an individual is an unprofitable one.
Save your selfies for your personal social media. Create business web presence that's professionally - focused, branded to market your business based on the audience you serve. Make sure it's one that provides useful information both about your product or service and that can help your visitors immediately gain perspective on or even solve a problem they're visiting to your site to solve. Your business website should not be about yourself. Otherwise, prospects will find your web presence as annoying as you probably find a flood of selfies on your friends social media. And, that will cost you business.