You’ve probably heard the adage, “don’t give away the store,” but when it comes to professional service providers (attorneys, accountants, coaches, consultants and the like), being generous with information on your website and through social channels is a great way to grow your business.
Is it a case of the more you give, the more you’ll get? Recently I had the opportunity to interview online marketing expert Davina Frederick of D. Frederick Media & Marketing, LLC. When I asked her that question, she said yes—and gave five reasons why:
1. People are accustomed to easy access to information through the internet and search engines, and we need to meet that expectation if we want to be taken seriously as service providers. “The expectations of our prospects and clients have changed. With one Google search on our phones, we can find the answer to just about any question we have—for free. If we want to be taken seriously as service providers, we need to meet this expectation of providing useful, valuable information at no cost to our prospective clients. When they are looking for answers, we want to be their go-to resource. Be generous, and it will come back to you ten-fold.”
2. Quality content on your website enhances your credibility and automatically positions you as an authority and expert in your field. “When we provide high quality, valuable information on our websites or social channels to help prospective clients solve nagging problems, we do not have tell them we are experts. If they do what we say and it works, then we’ve just shown them what we can do for them. Showing is so much more powerful than telling.”
3. Providing information, especially in your own voice through blogs, video, audio and images, lets prospective clients get to know you. “People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before. The more we share of ourselves—our thoughts, our voices, our facial expressions—the easier it will be for them to get to know us. Even though we may never have met in person, we feel like we have.”
4. Accurate, clearly presented information builds trust. “Trust is not an automatic thing, even when somebody likes you. Trust builds over time like lots of tiny little deposits in a bank account. The more credible, valuable content we share, the more credits we are adding to our ‘trust’ account. When we finally ask prospects to invest and become clients or customers, they can feel confident they are making the best decision.”
5. Demonstrating what you know through your website and social channels increases your value when that prospect becomes a client. “Before you ever ask to be paid, your website has helped your prospect feel confident that you know what you’re doing, you’re credible, you’re a trusted advisor, and you’re worth hiring. When you show your value that way, you’re in a position to demand higher fees and your clients will feel confident you’re worth it.”
So does this mean you should “give away the store”? “Absolutely not. I spend a lot of time with potential clients before they ever decide to hire me. I get to know them. They get to know me—sometimes in person, but sometimes through the expertise I share freely on my site and through social channels. We each invest in our relationship. By the time we decide we are ready to work together, they are so confident in the value of my services, fees are a non-issue.”
Of course, though more is better when it comes to website content, never sacrifice quality for quantity. Be sure everything on your website is accurate, well-written, error-free and, preferably, original. If you don’t create the content yourself, be sure you have the right to use any material you get from another source.
Update: You can read my full interview with Davina Frederick in my ebook Put Your Website to Work: How Lawyers, Therapists, Coaches and Other Professional Service Providers Can Turn Their Websites Into Money-making Machines. It’s available for immediate download for just $2.99. Click here to get your copy now.