Being an expert
Unless you happen to be in the unlikely situation of being the only company in the world that does what you do then the chances are you have competitors!
So how do you differentiate yourself?
Generally we compete either on price or quality. There are benefits to both.
For the industry we are in and for most of our clients there will always be someone cheaper who has better economies of scale or just is happy to produce inferior goods or services.
So the more logical conclusion and that of a company which takes pride in its work is to be better than the competition.
You don’t need to be the cheapest but if your work is excellent then clients come to you and recommend you on because they value quality and want to continue the same values to their client base.
Having taken the decision that this will be your business strategy then everything you produce, do or say should be about establishing yourself as expert in your industry and a bastion of quality that will be reflected in the work you do.
Your website (there was a point to all of this) is an excellent opportunity for you to establish yourself as an expert to your client (and perhaps even more importantly potential client) base.
Think about (or talk to your web designers about) how you can best use your website and general online marketing strategy to show the world how much you know about your industry, how much you understand about your clients and their requirements and how much you care about getting it just right.
It may seem counter intuitive but don’t be afraid to broadcast useful free information. Don’t just sell. Nobody likes to be sold to (at). What we like is to be offered useful interesting free learning that we can take away and apply to our businesses.
The fact that via your website, blog, tweets, Facebook page, enewsletter etc you give out useful tips and facts that will enhance the businesses of your clients but also complete strangers who may never even contact you, let alone become paying customers, doesn’t matter.
You will gain from it. Your existing customers and potential new ones will see over time that you are a valuable fountain of knowledge within your sector and even if they don’t need your services now, that day will come.
And when it does, and in our case they are looking to commission a website to support a new business endeavour, do you think they will go onto google and search for “cheap web designers London” or adopt the more shrewd strategy of contacting the company who they have been following for the last year anyway, reading their blog and absorbing the quality free information they have been broadcasting?
Your website is an excellent opportunity for you to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and your company as a provider of quality.
This will generate enquiries from motivated buyers who feel they already know you and are looking for a reliable supplier and a no risk project.
What’s a Gravatar?
Well this is what they say on www.gravatar.com:
A Globally Recognized Avatar
Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?
You may have noticed on blog sites forums etc that many users have a small image (usually of themselves but not necessarily) next to any posts or comments they make whereas many other users just have a default grey image or similar.
Well the users with an image haven’t done anything different on that particular site. They have once set up an account on the Gravatar site and that’s it.
Your image is related to your email address so anywhere you go on the Internet and post, comment, write etc and submit your email address as part of the process, your image will automatically get included.
When writing on forums or engaging with other members of a particular community, it’s all about relationship building (just like real life) so any extra that makes you more real, tangible or easier to relate to is only going to work in your favour.
And because it’s online and you can choose the image there is some scope for artistic licence.
If you aren’t that photogenic or are a bit older, greyer or more rotund than you would like to be (as opposed to being too young, thin or beautiful…) then that image taken by a professional photographer at your sister’s wedding or a web generated caricature (more about them in another post) could be just the ticket.
In summation, if you want to be heard, then you should be prepared to be seen. People are more likely to remember you from your image than from your username.
New Carciofino site
It might seem a bit bizarre that I’m writing a post on the website about the new website being live.
After all if you are reading this then you are already here – so you already know!
Well not necessarily and that’s the point. Yes if you are reading this on the website then you must have noticed it but part of the value of this is in sharing content to other users via the social networking sites and so forth.
So please feel free to use any of the social networking icons below to share this content with your network and make them aware of the free information that we will be offering on this site.
It should be of interest to any small to medium sized business or anyone else looking to grow their presence online or utilise their website as a business tool.
A post from my iPad
Ok so at this point in time in this is just an experiment.
I am writing this on my iPad using the WordPress app and with any luck it should post directly to the website.
All very clever really. If you want to be able to post to your WordPress blog directly from your iPhone / iPad then just give us a shout and we will teach you how.
In all likelihood there will be a small amount of configuration required.
It means you can post on the move without having to properly log in to the website though.
Just type and go!
Got something to say – well say it…