Do you haveÂ any question about howÂ to buy a towel when you go to Target?
No. The purchasing process is clear at most brick and mortarÂ stores. Owners display a
price for an item. Shoppers select the item and take it to checkout. They pay and walk out with the item.
Make Your Purchase Process Crystal Clear
How do you know how to priceÂ your services?
Potential service customersÂ stopÂ if your purchasing process is tooÂ loosey-goosey. The “not knowing” about costs Â and how payment andÂ services will be exchanged is too big of an unknown for many.
For retail businesses, it’s important that online purchasing is seamless, from impulse to shipping. If a “Buy Now” button takes a buyer to a broken link, that button might as well say “Bye-Bye.”
But for service businesses, the unknowns reside more with the moving parts of services. It’s crucial that you know how you price your services.Â This requires a knowledge of your clients needs and quirks.
For an familyÂ photographer, for example, does the photo shoot cost more if the family has four kids versus two kids? What if they want to include the dog?
For an wedding planner, how does the price differ for a wedding of 200 guests versus 400 guests? What about a destination wedding? Or one where the bride’s sister is doing the flowers?
Try to imagine your client and how their needs arise. Streamline andÂ price your services accordingly.
Decide How You Want to Be Paid, and Share That Info
Do you take checks, credit cards, senior discounts or Apple Pay? Is yours a contract and invoicing structure? Do you require partial payment up front?
Figure out and streamline how you get paid for your services. Then, put that information on the about page of your website.Â
Do you offered tiered pricing?
If not, you may want to consider it. Offering tiered pricing structures widens your audience and has proven to increase a sense of value and control over the services.
If you offer different levels of service, promote this on your website and Facebook page as well.
Do you require a contract for your work?
If you are consulting, contracting (including providing renovating or repair services), or freelancing, chances are you need a contract for your work with a client.
A good contract is written in simple languageÂ and includes
- the parties involved
- dates and timelines
- payment obligations
- the scope of the work, its limits and how it will be executed
- how disputes will be resolved
- circumstances which will terminate the contract
- the state to govern the contract
- signatures of parties involved.
Sites online offer templates which can be used as a jumping off point for customizing a contract that works for you and protects both you and your client.
Why do businesses hesitate in the purchase process?
No one wants to under-charge for their services. Or “scare away” a potential client by quoting what seems, to them, to be an unreasonable price.
Do your research and price accordingly.
Incidentally, did you know that under-pricing can actuallyÂ lead to a lack of #sales? Perception of your services plays a large part in how and what people feel they should pay. This is part of the bigger picture of #communication of brand and value.
If you’d like more information about how to improve your brand and communicate wisely with your target audience, contact me.
#Weekend WorkÂ Task 1:Â Website Review.
Weekend Work is the weekly series of #marketing strategy for business owners and creative entrepreneurs. Weekend WorkÂ is chunked tasks you canÂ complete outside regular working hours.
Â This Weekend’s Task: Website Review
Goal: Determine if you have a website, and howÂ that website is working for your business, right now.
Do you have a website?
(If yes, skip ahead.)
You need to get a website.
Customers use aÂ website to answer questions about you and your products or services when you are not there. It’s a must-have.
Not having a website is akin toÂ not wearing pants.
But hey. There’s probably a reason you don’t have one.
The most common one is: I’m so confused and overwhelmed.Â
Yes. yes. I hear you.Â
Get on with it.
Here’s your “I-don’t-have-a-website-what-now” task list:
- Decide theÂ URLÂ youÂ want yourÂ website to have. Keep it simpleÂ to speak and spell. Try to claim aÂ .comÂ orÂ .netÂ (.org for NFPs) if you can.Â Pick One.
- RegisterÂ the domain(s) now. UseÂ GoDaddy.comÂ to search and find the best domain name. Pay for it now. Set it upÂ to renewÂ automatically.Â Register.
- Determine your budgetÂ on website build. Consider your own willingness to learn graphic design, SEO tools, website hosting and more.Â Budget.
- If you are determined to skip an investment in a professional design and build DIY (for now),Â start researchingÂ “free”Â website design tools such asÂ Wordpress, Wix and Weebly. None of these are truly free but they will get you started.Â Choose one.
- If you have a budget,Â put out feelers for a website designer and content creator. Start with your local Facebook groups or other area business owners whose websites you love. Ask them who they used and (more importantly) if they were happy with the service.Â Â Contact them.
- Make notes.Â Keep a notebook orÂ Evernote logÂ of what you think your customer wants when they come to your website.Â Add to it whenever you can.Â Organize.
Q. So you DOÂ have a website?
Conduct your website review. Open an email draft and be ready to typeÂ notes to send to your website administrator.
- DoÂ you “Ask them to act”?Â That is, do you haveÂ a call-to-action buttonÂ and/or textÂ on your website where you ask your visitorsÂ to hire you or buy your service? Add it.
- See any brokenÂ linksÂ or missing photos?Â Click them and fix them.
- Read the website for errors and outdated info.Â Send corrections.
- Social media links. If you have social media, these sites need to appear on your website. Link them.Â
- Is your contact form working? Test it.
- Wait… Do you evenÂ have a contact form? If not, add one.
- Do you have an About Page? Do you know whatÂ Mistake No. 1 on Copyblogger’s post “Are you making these 7 Mistakes on Your About Page?” is? Have a look. (So, yes:Â Add an “About” Page.)
Hey, I think that’sÂ enough for thisÂ initial WebsiteÂ Review.
There’s more to think about Â when it comes to marketing strategy andÂ your website as the face of your business. Is it writtenÂ for yourÂ target client or customer? That’s a topic for another week.
If you have questions or would like further information or support, feel free to reach out to me. I’m here to help.Â … Read on…Weekend Work for Small Business: Website Review
[caption id="attachment_486" align="aligncenter" width="620"] A student website, in the build stage[/caption]
I’ve been a bit quiet lately. The good news is it’s for a good reason!
I’ve had the pleasure of doing a real cross-section of work with graphic and web designer Mark Hannon. He and I also happen to be on the board of the Coastal Arts Guild of CT, together. It’s how we met actually.
The latest project we’ve done is one I think is really important: teaching other artist-entrepreneurs how to build their business, by building (and maintaining) their own websites on Wordpress.Â[caption id="attachment_482" align="alignleft" width="205"] Here’s me teaching[/caption]
Mark and I designed the course “Building Your Website for Artists & Creatives” (even for beginners!) Â as a way to teach artists of any age that — YES — you can create and maintain your own website. And you should.
Now, I’ve been busy on other projects these days in my role a content and social media specialist, for wonderful clients. And I do enjoy that. And this work is building MY business. And that is very good.
So why is teachingÂ others how to build their website (and their business) so special to me?
- Don’t fence me in. It’s no secret that I’m wild. I don’t want to feel constrained. That’s the artist in me. Other artists I’ve met are the same. They are constantly exploring, trying new media, new techniques, no matter the age. So Mark and I wanted to offer that opportunity to artists who may be reticent to explore the backend of a webpage.
- The world needs to SEE this!Â You would not believe the beautifulÂ stuff I have seen by the most unassuming people.Â Artists invest time, love and passion into their work. But they can’t haul their canvases and their sculptures around in their back pocket. Building your own websiteÂ gives an artistÂ who needs, wants, deserves exposure and reach the chance to spread the LOVE — the ART — into the world.
[caption id="attachment_487" align="alignright" width="300"] Props to Mark Hannon for the detailed slides he created for the 4-week course.[/caption]
Learn FlexÂ Earn. I won’t knock you if you decide to spend your days stretching your brain onÂ Lumosity. (Hey, I have that app). But if you want to spend time keeping your brain in shape, why not do it learning a skill that will also add value to your artist-entrepreneurialÂ life?
- The Real Deal. Nothing is more local and more real than the work of an artist. If you buy a product or service from an artist or creative, Â it is the definitive real deal, handmade from the source. That’s the truth.
- My Business is Yours. This last one is strange but true.Â Since I work in social media and marketing for artists, myÂ business is yours. Teaching youÂ a consistent model for sharing and promoting yourÂ work and events makes my job easier. It makes it easier for me to promote you. So I it’s only aÂ little bit selfish
Mark and I have been very happyÂ with the result of our first workshop. We had the gamut of students in the class, from terrified luddite to a tech teacher. All of the students have worked hard and progressed through the class, to create a functional, beautiful, searchable, website to share.