Will they Buy? Communicate the Purchase Process

stairs-to-nowhereDo you have any question about how to buy a towel when you go to Target?

No. The purchasing process is clear at most brick and mortar 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 price your services?

Potential service customers stop if your purchasing process is too loosey-goosey. The “not knowing” about costs  and how payment and 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. This requires a knowledge of your clients needs and quirks.

For an family 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 and 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. 

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 language 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 actually lead to a lack of ? 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 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.

  … Read on…Will they Buy? Communicate the Purchase Process

Build Your Website Class CT

Building Your Website, and a Business

[caption id="attachment_486" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Build Your Website Class CT 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

[caption id="attachment_482" align="alignleft" width="205"]Build Your Website Class Elizabeth Howard Here’s me teaching[/caption]

Mark and I designed the course “Building Your Website for Artists & Creatives” (even for beginners!)  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 teaching others how to build their website (and their business) so special to me?

Here’s why:

  • 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! You would not believe the beautiful stuff I have seen by the most unassuming people. 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 website gives an artist 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"]Website Class Wide_Mark Hannon Props to Mark Hannon for the detailed slides he created for the 4-week course.[/caption]

    Learn Flex Earn. I won’t knock you if you decide to spend your days stretching your brain on 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-entrepreneurial 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,  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. Since I work in social media and marketing for artists, my business is yours. Teaching you a consistent model for sharing and promoting your work and events makes my job easier. It makes it easier for me to promote you. So I it’s only a little bit selfish

Mark and I have been very happy 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.

P.S. We’d also like to thank the B-Hive in Bridgeport, which is such a gorgeous, dynamic and inspiring co-working space. … Read on…Building Your Website, and a Business