Shopping around.

Think back to the last time you went shopping. What was your reason for shopping? Did you need something specific or were you just passing the time? Did you make a return visit to a favourite shop, maybe somewhere where they know you? Or did you find yourself looking at window displays to see what took your fancy?Our shopping habits vary depending on the situation we find ourselves in. Sometimes we shop from necessity. Sometimes for fun. Sometimes we impulse buy. Other times we are more discerning. (And hey, guess what? Our clients are just the same.)

The elusive search.

Searching the internet is just like shopping on the high street in many ways, and is more likely to be where we go when we’re looking for something specific such as a personal service.

What do you look for when you are shopping for something bespoke, or someone who provides a service? The cheapest option? Instant availability? A convenient location?

Do you look for someone who is an expert in their field? Someone with a lot of experience?

Or are you looking for the right person for you? Someone who’s on the same page. Someone you’ll find it easy to talk to? Someone that simply feels right?

For most of us it is a combination of all of these things. Often we are looking for some sort of recognition or connection to show us that we are in the right place.

Putting out the right message.

Let’s take a look at this from the opposite perspective.

When we own and run our own businesses it is essential to know our target audience and to set ourselves apart so that they can find and connect with us.

When we start out in business we are usually happy to work with any clients who want to work with us. We are not fussy. We are just grateful.

As time goes on, we gain more of an insight into the type of client we attract. This is the perfect time to stop and reflect on why this is, and how we feel about it.

We are all unique and we all have something different to bring to the table. Who we are is as important as what we do. If not more so.

So, who is your ideal client? Do you know? How will you attract them?

Your design is important here. Your images, fonts, and the general look and feel of your website.

Niche or unique?

This is something that we’ve been thinking about a lot lately. There is a lot of talk about niche marketing. There are many good reasons to specialise – it makes it easier to target your market. It makes it easier to find a name for your business or your blog. It also makes it easier to define what you do.

But what if you enjoy diversity? What if you like the challenge of running a ‘general practice’? Or what if your ‘niche’ is not so easy to define? How do you convey that to prospective clients so that they will know you are the right person for them?

It’s all about you.

The About page. Yes. That one. Not your front page. Not your blog. The one about you. This is the place to show who you are so that potential clients can decide whether they would like to connect with you.

(It’s also the page that will be getting more clicks than ANY of the others.)

Why? Well, people are nosy. And also, humans are programmed to be social. They like seeing other people’s faces. (We all do.)

Easier said than done.

So what should you do with your About page? It’s simple (though definitely easier said than done.)

(If you are more interesting than they are you’re sure to attract them and they will want to hear from you more.)

Does the thought of this bring a sinking feeling? That’s ok. We don’t know anyone who enjoys writing about themselves. You know yourself better than anyone but that doesn’t really help, does it?

Here are our tips:

Ask close friends and family what they truly LOVE about you! (What do you ROCK at?)

Imagine your dream reader. Age, gender, occupation. Pretend you are talking to them.

Talk about yourself in your own voice. (And remember you are out of college and you’re not writing essays any more.)

Top tip: Do not write about yourself in the 3rd person. 🙂

Maybe write with a pen and paper before you start to type. Try to avoid looking at other ‘About Me’ pages for inspiration. (Tracy has seen a couple of other websites that seem strangely similar to hers. It’s not cool to copy. 🙂 )

Think about: Where do you see yourself in a couple of years? What kinds of people do you want to work with? If someone was telling a potential client about you, what would you want them to say?

Start with the basics.

Who are you? Where are you from? Where do you live? What do you do? Share a photo.

Show your passion.

List a few things you love doing, eating, reading, listening to or thinking about. How did you get into this field? What do you love about it?

Think of it as a way to introduce yourself. Be personal as well as professional.

Play with the structure and rewrite it until it sounds like you. Be honest. Keep it short and sweet. Is the most important information at the top? Limit sentences to one idea on 20 words or less.

Read it out loud. Is it clear? Does it sound like you? Is every word true?

Keep refining it.

A couple of weeks later come back to it. Does it still reflect how you feel?

Read it aloud to make sure it sounds like you.

Share it with friends or family.

Remember! Tell your readers what to do next.
Make it e-a-s-y for us to contact you.

That’s all – just get out there and let your little light shine!

Just remember, be yourself. (Everyone else is taken.)