You have a nice looking website. You’ve got your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter account setup and you’re starting to gather a following. Your copywriting blog is helping to boost your search engine ranking …. So where are all your clients?
If you’ve asked yourself this question you could be committing the single biggest mistake freelance copywriters make online.
A real story to illustrate. I was shopping a few years back.
The store I went to didn’t have what I was looking for so I moved on. Before I committed to driving across town I thought I’d call the next store to see if they actually had what I wanted. I whipped out my phone and went online.
The website wasn’t optimised for mobiles so it was hard to navigate, but that’s another blog post. I looked for their phone number on the homepage but I couldn’t see it. I looked for a contact us page and eventually found a link in the page footer, in a grey font on a white background.
You know what? That was too freaking hard.
If you make clients jump through hoops before they contact you, they won’t.
You might think that by making prospective copywriting clients click on more pages, you have more opportunity to market yourself. But all you’re really doing is pushing them to your (easy to contact) competitors.
But never fear. The fix is easy.
If you want copywriting clients to contact you:
1. Put your primary contact details on the homepage and make them clickable
2. Make your other contact details easy to find
3. Make your social media icons visible and clickable
4. If you have a contact form, include an email address as well
5. Make sure every platform has your contact details so people know how to contact you regardless of where they are
See? Easy peasy.
“But I hate being on the phone!” I hear some of you cry.
Me too. The pain is real. The truth is that if you want new copywriting clients you have to be reasonably available to them during regular office hours. That means:
- Answering your phone during business hours OR having a voicemail message that explains when you will return their call e.g. This is my writing time but I will return your call with 24 hours.
- Responding to email and social media enquiries relatively quickly (again, during business hours).
Following these steps will make it easier for a potential client to transition from being an interested browser to an engaged buyer (without sacrificing important boundaries to your personal life).
Now, this isn’t the end of the story by any means. To keep your sales pipeline full you need to court your target market with real value. But if they can’t figure out how to get in contact with you, they won’t. It’s really that simple.
Well, this is awkward
You might notice that my website doesn’t have my phone number. My business cards don’t either. Why aren’t I following my own advice? My copywriting clients and students are scattered around the world. That means I have received phone calls at very strange hours, simply because it’s business hours somewhere else in the world.
I also have two small children so when I do answer the phone, it’s usually with a cacophony of background bedlam. I want my first conversation with a potential client to be a little more pleasant. So I control the circumstances.
So, right now, phone calls need to be scheduled. With that restriction, I make sure I’m contactable in other ways and that I’m really responsive. It’s a compromise and a judgement call. And that’s okay to make.
How does your online presence stack up? Does your website make it easy? What about your social media? Can your customers figure how to contact where ever they are?
You’re so right Belinda… and it’s staggering the number of websites that make it damn near impossible to find their contact details.
As always, it comes down to putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and considering their needs first. If you’re giving them what they need, they’ll not only stick around to explore further, they’ll keep coming back (and maybe even give you referrals!).
With such a competitive marketplace, it sure does pay to give yourself every advantage.
Thanks for your thoughts Anna. Naturally I completely agree! Knowing what’s important to your customers is at the heart of all successful marketing (and not just guessing… ).
Hi Belinda, you would think a post like this wouldn’t be necessary! But unfortunately, it is—even by a lot of companies and people who should know better.
I just helped redesign our church’s website, so it was nice to get a comment recently from someone who was happy to see the address, phone and email right at the top of the home page! (The info is also on the contact page, but we wanted to make it really easy.) Some people notice!
Thanks for the reminder 🙂
That’s such great feedback Mitch – you must have been chuffed! When make it easy and people do notice and like you a little more because of it.
Good advice Belinda.
I added my email contact form to the side bar on my services page to encourage enquiries – I actually get more from that form than the one on my contact page, probably a ratio of 4:1.
You absolutely need to make it easy, peasy for clients – don’t give them an excuse to move on!
That’s amazing Bridie! I mean it makes sense really and is the perfect example of making it super easy to move your visitor from “hmmm that might be worth looking at” to “hey Bridie let’s talk”. I am going to look at this website now to see if that’s what I need to do!
Hey I’d argue that it’s not a brilliant idea to splash your email address all over the place on your website, as strange as that might sound. There are evil bots out that crawl websites looking for email addresses to add to their evil lists that they then send to evil spammers. If you’re going to have an email address put it in a graphic so it’s not visible to bots.
Alternatively include a short form, just a few fields not some great long survey so that people can contact you easily without needing an email address at all.
Thanks for the excellent tip Kate! Web users united against evil spam bots! Is that why some people have their email address as belinda [at] copywritematters [dot] com [dot] au? I’ve always wondered about that.
I personally don’t like having forms without an email address as well although I might be a bit irrational on that front. I think it’s the idea that the form goes to a generic inbox (which it doesn’t always) and I’ve had enough no-replies from businesses that I get suspicious of the form only option. Impatient? A bit.
The information shared under “If you want copywriting clients to contact you:” makes much sense.