There's nothing more frustrating than putting your heart and soul into your business and still getting lackluster results. How often do you scroll social media, see what others are doing and how their businesses are growing, and wonder where you're going wrong? We all know comparison is the thief of joy but we often can't seem to stop ourselves from comparing.
So, instead of putting your head in the sand, why don't we see what we can learn from what others are doing that could benefit your business?
These could be a few reasons why you may not be getting the traction you need:
Your website isn't as beautiful as it could be:
Remember what web design looked like when the internet started? Most websites were awful to look at with way too much text and fonts that were difficult to read. I think Comic Sans belongs in a design graveyard but that's a topic for another day. Users are accustomed to seeing beautiful websites and they have no patience for sites that aren't aesthetically pleasing. They will bounce before even reading your copy.
Creating a beautiful website used to be time-consuming and expensive, but not anymore. Small business owners can use site builders like Wix or Wordpress to create great looking sites relatively quickly. It doesn't cost a fortune either. Our webiste was created with Wix. It started off as a simple site and over time we we added animated graphics created in Adobe After Effects. It can be as simple or complicated as you'd like it to be. This is another example of a site I created in Wix. Once you get the hang of it, it's super simple to do. There just isn't an excuse for an ugly website.
You don't sell your products online:
If your products are not available for sale online you're missing out on a substantial target market and you're leaving money on the table. Selling online comes with its own set of challenges like building an e-commerce platform and managing distribution but it might be worth it . It's certainly worth exploring. Your reach is far greater online than it will ever be in a brick-and-mortar shop. Consumers are changing their shopping habits. I bought nearly all of my Christmas gifts online last year and I was a little annoyed that I actually had to set foot in a store to buy the items that weren't available online.
You don't offer a warranty:
If you and your competitor are selling the exact same product but they offer a warranty and you don't, guess who is going to make the sale? One of my lenses recently got stolen out of my bag at an event we were covering. The price of photographic equipment has increased so much that the insurance payment wasn't enough to buy a new lens. Thankfully I have a relationship with a camera store where I often buy demo models. They offer a one year warranty and they sell online. It was a no-brainer. The store had a lens for sale and I bought it trusting that I'm covered in case anything goes wrong.
There isn't enough information about your product or service:
By the time your customer contacts you, chances are good they've done their research and have a good idea of what they need. Don't frustrate them by having insufficient information on your website. The psychology of buying is complex and people often take their time to decide, especially with larger purchases or when booking services. Make it as easy as possible for your ideal customer to find the information they need and to make the decision to buy from you. If you're a service-based business your website should either have a dedicated services page that describes exactly how you work, a thorough FAQ, or both.
Your products aren't photographed professionally:
I can't stress this enough. You're damaging your brand if your photos are badly lit and unprofessional. Most of the big online fashion brands photograph one item from four or five different angles so that their customers know exactly what they're buying. You don't need to go to those lengths, but product photos on a white background will always be popular and have its place in marketing and advertising. It's the best way to create a clean looking catalogue (printed or online) that displays your products timelessly.
It's not always possible to photograph all your products in one go but you can always shoot a few products per month and build up your library that way. We can help you with that. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like us to photograph your products.
Building a brand that people know, like and trust is a marathon, not a sprint.
I hope you're inspired to start implementing a few changes that could lead to growth in your business this year.
Until next time,