In our first two articles in this series, we began teaching you how to gain a return on your investment of time and energy. When you blog, you can use your words to turn website visitors into paying clients. Our first two articles focused on understanding your audience and creating content that appeals to their needs. In this final article of the series, we will show you a few more tips and tricks that will help you convert your prospects into clients.
Step Six: Use client testimonials.
Have you ever researched a product online, reading reviews from others who purchased the item, before making a final decision to purchase it? If so, then you understand the power of testimonials. It’s basically the old-fashioned concept of word-of-mouth advertising, presented in a more modern context.
Ask current clients if they are willing to provide brief testimonials that you can incorporate into your website. Or, any time you receive a compliment on your services, simply ask if you may quote it in your blog! Most people enjoy being asked for their opinions, and are happy to share their feedback.
One word of caution: Follow compliance guidelines for the use of testimonials on your website/blog.
Step Seven: Create a direct call to action. The majority of your blogs should present useful information that answers questions or solves your readers’ problems. But you can’t expect your audience to read your mind; you have to directly tell them what they should do next. Include direct calls to action on your website, using language such as:
- “Click here to download a free retirement planning guide”
- “Sign up for our email newsletter”
- “Call our office today”
- “Fill out this short form”
- …and so on
Including a direct call to action on your website is the ideal way to gather information on your prospects. Now the ball is in your court; you can use their email addresses or phone numbers to reach out to them directly.
Step Eight: Use urgency to drive action.
Have you ever bought an item because it was the last one in the store, because a sale was about to end, or because your discount coupon was expiring that day? If so, you were driven to action by a sense of urgency. Often we can find ourselves undecided about a purchase, but the fear of missing an opportunity spurs us to make that final decision.
Don’t use blogs to instill fear in your audience (remember our point about creating positive emotions!) You don’t want to be obvious about your tactic and turn off your audience. But a small amount of subtle urgency can work wonders. When you write blogs, support your points with statistics with reliable sources. For example, you might point out the importance of planning for retirement now, rather than waiting too late.
You can also utilize urgency in your calls to action, by reminding viewers that a download is available to the first 100 subscribers, or limiting the availability of a free Social Security seminar.
Step Nine: Don’t be too obvious. At all times, avoid blatant self-promotion. Remember that your audience members are visiting your website because you are meeting their needs. Your blog answers their questions, soothes a fear, or educates them in some way. They are visiting because there’s something in it for them.
When you engage in blatant self-promotion, you risk sounding like a used car salesman. This type of tone will almost always turn off your prospects and drive them away. Your goal is to demonstrate your credibility and expertise, so that prospects gradually build respect and feelings of trust for you. Once you succeed in that goal, you will find that blog readers easily convert into clients.