The web design industry is quite a marvel. Its non-existent barrier to entry and industry within the industry (template services, PSD to XHTML services, etc) mean the web design marketplace is flooded. As a web design company, it's important to differentiate your product
. A large portion of differentiation is credibility.
Why Credibility Matters
Actions speak louder than words - especially when money is involved. While great marketing can convince someone to value your services, only trust can facilitate high-risk transactions. If you work with small businesses, most likely anything over $500
will be viewed as "high-risk". With consumer trust wavering
, rampant price wars
undervaluing our services, negative perception caused by numerous scams
, it's no surprise the gap between "interested" and "convinced" is widening. By providing accurate information about your services, you help combat these negative consumer influences.
"While great marketing can convince someone to value your services, only trust can facilitate high-risk transactions."
Don't Offer Services Outside Your Capabilities
Many web design companies feel pressured into offering almost any type of service related to the internet. The most common example is Search Engine Optimization
. Many web design companies offer SEO simply because they feel they should
. When you start claiming you can fulfill a need without having the capabilities, you're setting your company up for a disaster in one of two ways: First, you might try to freelance the job out and mark up the price. In the event the freelancer can't deliver either
are still responsible and have to answer to the client. Second, you might give the job a whirl yourself. If you fail, that $2,000 or so you picked up won't help you recover the potentially tens of thousands of dollars in reputation damage
caused by negative word-of-mouth.
"When you start claiming you can fulfill a need without having the capabilities, you’re setting your company up for a disaster..."
Basically, if you provide SEO as a service, don't let this happen to you.
Create Content That Sells Your Skills
So you make websites, eh? So do a lot of companies. Heck, so do we. How is a business owner supposed to choose which firm to go with? By creating quality content related to your industry
geared towards prospects, you can educate them. This not only decreases anxiety
(no one wants to buy something they don't understand), but educates potential clients on how the industry works (and sometimes just as importantly, how it doesn't work
Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures
discusses the content marketing cycle
in an article for Search Engine People
, emphasizing the creation of content geared towards clients for the purpose of increasing conversions
"But, then I began to reflect on my own consumer experiences: the shoes, televisions, cameras, and cloths that I bought, or the travel and entertainment I consumed. I realized I was buying products and service not based on price but based on how well I trusted the source. The more information they provided, the more apt I was to buy. That is when content became the focus at our company. Instead of cranking out content, we started following a much more deliberate process in developing content for our clients."
Quality content that's honest, to the point, and provides your clients with a sincerely satisfying feeling of learning something new establishes a huge
relationship built on trust and excitement. You can, in fact, make PHP or jQuery exciting for potential clients. You just need to show why they should care.
Cite Your Sources
I can't tell you how happy to be rid of MLA Format forever. However, even though the days of strictly formatted bibliographies are the past (High School to be exact), citing sources in the content you create is a great way to strengthen the validity of your claims. Additionally, stopping by the page you cited and informing the author about your article can create beneficial networking opportunities.
Your content should function as a way to retain customers who may be browsing. When they consume your content, your competitor's probable lack of content will definitely influence their thought process. Building trust by maintaining your credibility is an intuitive, effective method for differentiating yourself in the marketplace.
February 17, 2011