Have you gone to write your website’s words before knowing exactly what you’re offering the world? Have you decided you want to go into business, or have an online presence, but as yet you’ve not been entirely clear what you offer or what the point of your website is?
I’ve seen it before. They’re the websites that come across as pretty but a little vague. The copy is flat and goes nowhere; but you can tell that they’ve had a good time bringing some graphics together and playing with wordpress. I want to go on a magical ride through people’s websites; exploring and finding more wonder with every click. Don’t you?
People can spend an inordinate amount of time theorising the field that they want to work in, and the people they want to work with and for, even developing a logo with the right, clever metaphors but they fail to think about what exactly, what specific product or service they will offer in that space. Don’t get me wrong, all of the above is REALLY important (and can be fun), but it’s part of a process that leads to what I’m talking about in this post: website writing works best when you can say what people can buy from you.
So now that you have a name for your business and website, you’ve had some fun thinking about a headline that’s really to the point and abundantly clear, and you’ve thought about who you’d like to sell to or work with, it’s time to get out some ideas for the exact things people can “Add to Cart” or complete a client application form for.
The number of times I have sat down with a creative business person and asked “So what are your products?” and they’ve rattled off some garble about “well, I do a but of this, and I do a bit of that…” Another one I hear is “Well I have done this kind of project before…” or “Well I have skills in this area…..” Hmmmm. Doesn’t really answer my question, does it? What can I buy from you? In what form can I hire you?
It’s a completely natural thing to avoid nailing down exactly what you offer. It’s scary. I did that for ages. My first website said that I offered services in about fifty different areas of writing for about ten different types of people. It was a terrible website that didn’t know what it was saying. I didn’t have purpose or focus and so neither did my website’s writing. People didn’t really know what I was on about.
It is not at all helpful to try to write your website without having quite a specific clutch of things people can buy from your website. Products and services need to be specific and in that clarity, writing about those offerings becomes much easier.
The standard thing to do for a service style business at the moment is to:
- Offer an opt-in product for free in exchange for people’s email addresses – so valuable!
- Offer an eBook or introductory product at a low price point – maybe a video series, a 30 minute consult or one ticket to a workshop or event.
- Offer one product up from that which is a higher price point.
- Have a VIP or Pinnacle product that’s your main offering at the highest price point.
Imagine the products are arranged in the shape of a mountain and over time people climb up as they go along to the highest price point and value of product.
For me, with website writing offerings, I have the following:
- Two newsletter opt-in freebies / the Purpose Driven Writing Booklet and To Edit or to Proofread – that is the question? The latter is a break down of the difference between copy writing, editing and proofreading.
- Then I have the All About You eBook at the Introductory price of $10.00
- Then I have a $99.00 website review and report product for those with an existing website.
- Then I have the Website Shake Up or Website Set up Product – which is where you work one-on-one with me to get clarity on your website’s words, be clear about your brand’s voice and also make sure you’ve got your business basics in order.
I could easily just have a website that says I offer writing, editing and proofreading services, and that people should just “call or email to hire me”. Fundamentally though, you can’t write for your website without knowing exactly what you’re offering, or what the exact purpose of your website is all about. It’s impossible to get right. If you try, you end up with a vague website that falls flat. People need exactitude to compel them to buy. Vagueness makes them question.
I have a whole page dedicated to the writing about each of these products. I’m not saying you should know the exact landing page words for all of your offerings this early in the series, but I am saying that you need to be really clear from the start, what you’re actually going to be selling or asking people to do or action when visiting your website.
In terms of an object based product, the type of product offerings can be varied. They’re usually in a shopfront and you might have categories of products. How will they be set out and how will you explain them to your visitors?
I have to say that I have a small crush on Tiff Manuell’s designs. You can buy me one here. Thank you, kindly 🙂
Tiff has got her website nice and clear. Her offerings are separated into three sections: Bags, Accessories and Fashion with many sub sections underneath those. “Warrior Neck pieces” and “Omega Small clutches” are some of the product words she uses. They have personality, are simple and indicate what they are. You can imagine her introducing herself…. “Hi, I’m artist Tiff Manuell and I paint brightly coloured original pieces on canvas, and then add those paintings to many products such as bags, necklaces and fashion items. You can check them out on my website.”
Because Tiff is clear about the products she offers, and I feel very clear about her ideal customer (that is, gorgeous design-loving people like me), she can easily craft an elevator pitch for herself.
“Hi, my name’s Alex and I’m the owner of Monk script, a boutique business writing, editing and proofreading firm. I work with small creative businesses to write and develop their website’s words and social media offerings. I have an eBook, I do $99 website reviews and I offer consultations and short courses to help people write their website’s words.”
See? My products help me have a nice and clear elevator pitch. I know what I’m offering the world. It feels affirming and it helps me write and speak with confidence. So product offerings, become one of the pillars that shape what we write about in our websites.
Why not take some time to think about the following below. This is from one of the worksheets I provide clients as part of my pinnacle website writing product.
What are the Products and Services that you offer or will offer your clients?
Smashing out some quick information about the services/products you provide, alongside a consideration of your Special Someone/Client can offer insight into how you might better communicate or target these products to the person you’re talking to.
- How many products do you have at this stage? Is this manageable? How many services/products are you aiming to sell per month?
- What are your services’ titles? Are they catchy but clear?
- Describe and detail what your services/products are. In detail. Get really specific so you’re cognitively clear on what you offer.
- What value does your client/customer get with your specific product/service? I mean, what’s the “something extra” clients receive because it’s from you? How is this important to your Ideal Customer?
- What is the price for these services/products? How did you come up with these charges? Do they fit for your Ideal Customer/Client?
|Product/Service Description||Ideal Customer||Extra Value for Product/Service from you||
Price of Product/Service
Next post in the ‘Write your own website’ series is “Purpose and Values Driven Webcopy”!