Wouldn’t it be nice if getting clients through your website was easy?
I (along with many others) have always said that your website should be your best employee. After you’re all set up it should take care of a lot of the hard work for you. Unfortunately, getting everything just right can be one of the hardest parts of starting your business.
You’ve heard all what I have to say on the topic, so today I brought in 20 experts to tell us their secrets. Let me tell you, you’re gonna want to read through all these because there is some absolute *gold* in here!
I asked them all the same two questions:
- What is one way you use your blog or website to gain clients and customers?
- Optional: What do you think is one big mistake beginners make that keep them from gaining more clients through their blog/website?
Here’s what they had to say. Enjoy!
I focus on tying my blog posts to my clients’ pain points and offer a solution. Clients love it when their pain points are validated, and they go crazy when you provide them with a solution (or several solutions). Tweet that
Posts like “4 Reasons to Hire a Designer” or “7 Ways to Blog Consistently” focus on pain points and offer a solution. In the case of “4 Reasons to Hire a Designer”, the four reasons listed would be clients’ pain points. The solution in this post is obvious: hire a designer. In “7 Ways to Blog Consistently”, the pain point (lack of regular blogging) is implied. The solutions are what take center stage here.
New bloggers and freelancers often create content for themselves. They’re not used to looking outside themselves to ask what their clients need and what they get from blog posts. Asking the question “How will this benefit my clients?” is a good starting point for shifting that internal focus towards prospective clients.
Ardelia Lee – Content Consultant at Ardelia Lee
The biggest client attracting thing I do with my blog is converting my readers into subscribers via opt-in offers. THAT’S where the real trust building magic happens. Get em on your list, and then court them like the gems they are. Brand building boomjuice, baby! Tweet that
Andrea Beltrami – Brand Stylist + Visual Strategist at The Branded Solopreneur
My website is my main hub, where anyone can go to learn more about me and the services I offer (I am a social media strategist for small business owners). My blog serves as a tool not only to educate people, but to show people my experience in working in the social media industry. I’ve had clients find out about me from Pinterest (yes, really!), guest blogging, and other social media platforms. If I didn’t have a website and blog though, none of them would have become clients.
I think many people are too scared to start. I’ve suffered through my fair share of perfectionism, so I know the feeling, but sometimes you need to start before you’re truly ready (and to be honest, you’re probably more ready than you think!). My advice is to just start your blog, launch your website, put your services out there…and if you do the work, eventually everything falls into place! Tweet that
Brittney Lynn – Social Media Consultant at Brittney Lynn
One way I use my blog and website to gain clients and customer is infusing it into my sales funnel. So instead of relying on my website to do the heavy lifting I guide my audience to my content and create a journey so they can eventually become a customer or client. Tweet that
And not using your website within your funnel would be the big mistake beginner bloggers/business owners make.
If you think of your website as your home, eventually you want to invite your friends over. Whether it’s a housewarming party (launch) or just to hang out because you make the best sangria (new content published), you want them to come to you. The easiest way to make that happen is being sure your website (home) is consistently pouring with enough conversation (content) to make them stay. Then, tie everything you do outside of your website (social, emails, partnerships, giveaways, etc) right back to your content and begin funneling (building the relationship) to gain the sale.
Caressa Lanae – Business Strategist at Caressa Lanae
One of the best ways to gain clients is to write content that attracts and helps them. By sharing useful advice and how-to’s on topics that interest your audience, you build trust which is the most important factor for them to work with you.
Another great way to build trust is by using powerful visuals that breed familiarity, convey your brand’s message and increase brand awareness. The more they connect and associate with your brand visually, you become a familiar friend to them who they will not think twice before investing in!
In the eagerness to build a successful business quickly, many beginners don’t invest time into building strong relationships with their audience which can hurt their chances of gaining clients. (Tweet that) You need to pour into helping, educating and building relationships with your people, it’s a non-negotiable. You can do this by providing insanely helpful content and value to them in an authentic way. Give, give and then give some more.
By developing a genuine relationship with your audience, you’ll make them want to work with you – you don’t even have to ask!
Chaitra Radhakrishna – Designer, Developer + Photographer at PinkPot Design Studio
Every piece of my website contributes to what I like to call “The Raving Fan Formula”. You’re always either attracting new people with opt-ins, amazing them with your free content, or asking them to take the leap to work with you or buy your products. There are elements on my website that contribute to each part of this formula including sign up forms, content-rich blog posts, and sales pages for my offers.
The big, big, big mistake I see most entrepreneurs making is that they create a website that they think looks good without considering strategy and user experience. Your website is a marketing tool. It can be pretty AND strategic! Tweet that
Courtney Johnston – Copywriter at The Rule Breaker’s Club
I think of every blog post as a way to share knowledge / demonstrate expertise, but also use content upgrades as a way to encourage readers to opt in to my email list where they can get even more value on a regular basis.
Trying to sell paid products / services to first time visitors is a big mistake I see – most people are not going to read one blog post and decide to hire you. Rather than pitching services right away, it’s more effective to try to develop a long term relationship with potential clients so they have time to grow to know / like / and trust you! Tweet that
Elle Drouin – Content Marketing + Instagram Strategist at Wonderfelle
I use my blog as a preview to content for my courses and products—and to see what questions people have around a certain topic. This lets me gauge interest in different topics, and attracts clients and customers who are interested in what I blog about.
It works for them because they get a free look into my head, and if they like my blog posts, they’ll likely like my products or working with me, and I am able to test different topics and see how my audience responds to them. Whether you sell products or services, blogging is a great way to test the waters, and attract clients by giving them something for free!
Too many people keep a broad audience for too long. While it seems good to try to appeal to a lot of people, it actually has the opposite effect. Niching down lets potential clients know that you understand them, and can actually help, instead of just providing generic advice or principles which may or may not work in every industry. (Tweet that) Choose an audience and stick to it–the time you’re about to give up is likely the time you’re starting to get recognized and remembered for your niche!
Erin Flynn – Systems + Client Communication for Designers at Erin E Flynn
I use my blog as the starting point to our relationship. I write blog posts that my dream client will enjoy from a personal point of view and will find valuable on their own blogging journeys. I write posts that will get their attention and will help them get to know and trust me.
One mistake I use beginners make is to blog for their peers. I think over the last year or so there has been a big shift to showing how much we know on our posts, which is great. But there’s a thin line between writing posts that will attract your dream client and posts that will attract fellow creatives in your industry. (Tweet that) The key is finding that balance of showing your expertise but still directing everything at your dream client.
Fran Gulick – Web Designer at Freeborboleta
I use my website and my blog in a few ways – but the most important is that it helps to build trust and establish myself as someone with knowledge and skills that can help potential clients. Of course I want it to look good, sound good, and be entertaining, but the most valuable thing that blogging can really do is build that trust and recognizability as someone valuable. I write posts that are helpful and informative, I give away free content and workbooks and other related items to so that people have the opportunity to see my work, and I make a point to interact via comments.
This is the first thing I tell anyone when they ask me where their website could be improved: does everything have a purpose and direct someone viewing your website to whatever it is that you NEED them to do? Similar to a regular sales funnel, I view websites as a funnel (or an experience) that should ultimately have viewers land on your sales page, or services page, or opt-in, or whatever it is you ultimately want them to do.
I think a mistake beginners make it just going through the motions thinking “I need a services page and an about page, etc.” but not really considering the goal of each of those pages and what we want a viewer to do on that page (and how they’ll move to the next). Tweet that
Kaitlyn Kessler – Branding Expert at The Crown Fox
The purpose of my blog content is to educate readers but also demonstrate my authority to potential clients. I include calls to action in each post, whether it’s a simple prompt to sign up for my email list, or something more elaborate like an invitation to an upcoming webinar or a valuable content upgrade.
Ultimately I want my target audience on my email list because that’s where the magic happens. I can use my emails to further establish know/like/trust and show subscribers how I can help them.
I think a lot of people treat their blog content and their marketing for potential clients as two separate entities, when in fact they should go hand in hand. Your blog is a marketing tool, so it’s important to make your content, your categories, your images, and everything you do, work harder for you. Tweet that
Kirsten Thompson – Email Marketing Pro at Sweet Tea, LLC
I use my blog to share content related not only to my niche but to what my audience needs help with. By making sure that I’m covering both sides with my content, I’m able to show my expertise in areas relevant to my audience, which makes them more likely to come back and buy from me when they need help with something related!
I definitely think a big mistake that beginners make is trying to do it all and also very little at the same time. There are those who start out writing about everything under the sun and those who write about very specific topics, and both sides of that can be pretty limiting. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone or being the expert even though you’re just starting, pick a few areas that you already know a bit about and work on refining as you go! Tweet that
Kory Woodard – Creative Coach + Designer at Kory Woodard
If your blog is under-performing it’s natural to look for a new design as the solution. But speaking as a former web designer who’s worked with hundreds of small business owners, most websites and blogs suffer from the same problem: they’re cluttered and unclear.
The main way that I use my website to gain clients and customers is by blogging helpful content on an ongoing basis. But that strategy is only able to work because my website isn’t cluttered, and it’s clear how I help my readers – and your site can work harder for you by accomplishing that too.
My website clearly shares that I’m a business coach & digital strategist, which immediately helps people understand what I can help them with. Your banner is on every page of your site, so make sure it answers the question, “Am I in the right place?” for readers who have no context for who you are or how you help.
If you’re a stylist, be more specific: do you style hair, people or houses? If you’re a trainer, be more specific: do you train fitness buffs or golden retrievers? You can’t over-estimate how your knowledge about your work changes what you see when you look at your website, so ask for help from a friend with a different perspective.
I work hard to remove as much clutter as possible, so when you visit my website it’s clear what the next most important action to take is. My nav bar offers just a handful of options, and I try to help my clients get to 3 – 4 maximum. On my pages, there’s information on how to find my services or sign up for my newsletter. I use clean fonts that are easy to read at a glance.
Focus on what’s essential and remove the distractions, and soon your blog or website will be your favourite team member. Tweet that
Kyla Roma – Business Coach + Digital Strategist at Kyla Roma
The best way to use your blog to gain clients and customers is to answer questions they actually have and use your blog as the base marketing vehicle for other marketing strategies like social and your newsletter.
I have had the most success with this by using Facebook groups to find questions people are actually asking. I set aside time each week to browse Facebook groups and find questions. I’ll then write blog posts that answer those questions. Not only can I then be sure that the posts I publish are actually solving people’s real questions – but I can then go back to the person that asked that question and share the blog post with them as the solution.
This works even better when you see questions being asked over and over. This gives me the perfect opportunity to share it whenever the question comes back in the future and I make a point to search groups for people asking questions I already have the answer to in a blog post (the group search bar is fabulous for this). Not only will that person visit the blog post, but other people that see the post and have that same problem will too.
The biggest mistake I see beginners make with their blog is writing about what they want to write about rather than the things potential clients need to know. That’s why solving a problem and answering a question you see people ask is the best way to approach every blog post. Your blog should always be solving the problems of the people that could potentially hire you – and ideally, the problems they encounter before taking the step to hire you. Tweet that
Leah Kalamakis – Founder of The Freelance To Freedom Project
As a content writer, I use my blog to show potential clients what my writing style is like and how actionable my posts are. They might not necessarily be on the same topic as the client’s brand, but the client can easily get a feel for my writing and can see that I have a deep understanding of online content.
Not being consistent is a big mistake I see! Consistency is the number one way to build trust and authority. (Tweet that) I see a lot of beginners posting about anything and everything (like what they had for dinner, then a post about social media, then a post about their trip to wherever). Not only do you want to be consistent in the content you’re posting – A.K.A. content that revolves around a similar theme – but you want to be posting on a consistent schedule, too.
Lizzie Davis – Freelance Writer at Wanderful World
For me, the best way to use your website to gain clients is by showing your experience and knowledge of your business. (Tweet that) Whether that’s by using a portfolio or creating a detailed services and about page. It’s also important to use your blog as a way to contribute to your audience, while sharing what your business is about, without sounding salesy.
Not having a specific plan for your web design and branding can be a huge problem. If you don’t know exactly who your target audience is, you will have a hard time creating cohesive branding for your business and this will have a direct impact in your visitors. Define those elements and focus on giving your potential clients what they need.
Maru Ramirez – Web Design + Branding at Fashiony Fab
Guest bloggers are a great way to gain clients and customers. I encourage guest bloggers to share and then track those via a fb pixel that visit my website and then target them with fb ads. Works like a charm 😉 Content upgrades in my own posts also convert really well!
A big mistake I see beginners making is that they don’t think through the endgame. They treat their website or blog as though it’s just something to visit and the visitor should be so wowed that they just call them up immediately and throw money at them. It doesn’t work that way. Each page, each action, should be carefully curated to lead to your desired outcome. Tweet that
Another mistake is with the wrong kind of guest bloggers. There are guest bloggers who act as though they are doing you a favor instead of as it being something mutually beneficial. That’s a waste of your time and won’t get you the traction you’re after in the long run.
Meghan Maydel – Brand + Biz Strategist at Meghan Maydel
My website is my home on the internet. I have all kinds of information about me and my services. I get to take control of my messaging and the tone we use. My blog is where I get to educate, empower and state my opinion as it relates to my work.
All my posts are filtered through my business values of PASSION. PRODUCTIVITY. POSITIVITY and PURPOSE. If it doesn’t hit one of those in helping creative entrepreneurs accomplish the goal of having a heart-centered, sustainable business, it doesn’t get written. From the blog post, we craft Sunshine Mail which we send out each week. I talk about similar content on Periscope, create social media posts around it, and post it in various Facebook groups to gain engagement around the topic. My goal in writing blogs isn’t to make money directly; it’s to increase people’s awareness of what we do, how we do it, and what we believe.
I think what beginners don’t understand is that you can’t just create content and expect for people to find you. The put it out and they will come mentality hurts you because you believe that people will flood your website and that’s not how it works.
Another point I want to make is that you need to speak to one specific person. Not trying to cover ALL the bases.
Once you’ve written your article, go tell people about it in a way that’s genuine. (Tweet that) Don’t plaster the interwebs with the link. Have conversations with people about how they might be struggling with whatever topic you’ve written about. Go with the mindset that you’re trying to make friends. If you’re trying to make a friend, you’re not trying to sell them something first, now are you?
Reina Pomeroy – Life + Business Success Coach at Reina + Co
I’m always telling my clients that the whole reason to have a blog is to capture email addresses! So it is really important to have an irresistible Lead Magnet that you give in exchange for the reader’s email.
As a matter of fact, the one big mistake that I see a lot of beginners make is NOT having a Lead Magnet. They just ask for the reader to “sign up for my newsletter”. That may have worked 5 years ago but it doesn’t anymore. (Tweet that) Creating a cheat sheet or template or toolkit will make the difference in how many readers you will get to join your list.
And make sure to include opt-in forms in at least 3 areas of your website. For example, a feature opt-in box, like Krista created on my website, a great footer, like Krista’s, and/or a Hello Bar, like Dre’s at The Branded Soloprenuer.
Sue-Ann Dunlevie – Blogging Strategist at Successful Blogging
The majority of customers for my course are gained through my sales funnel. It all starts with someone signing up for my free Pinterest course that I promote everywhere I can on my website (homepage, announcement bar, blog posts, etc.). Once they are signed up, they are able to login to the course site, and receive daily emails with valuable Pinterest tips. The funnel ends with with several emails that specifically promote my paid course, and give a special offer to those who take action. I love being able to provide valuable free information, while also driving sales of my paid course pretty much on auto-pilot! Tweet that
Summer Tannhauser – Pinterest Expert at Lady Boss League
Weren’t those tips amazing?! I’d love hear your biggest takeaway in the comments!