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How to Set Up Your Web Site Quickly and Easily:

The Three C's of Your Web Site

by Michael Declan Dunn

Copyright © 1998 Michael Declan Dunn. All rights reserved.

Your Web site is where you interview your prospects. If you want to quickly generate inquiries, then keep your Web site simple, direct, and to the point.

The purchase decision of your customer is what is important. It takes a lot less thought to spend $30 than it does to spend $15,000. Your Web site should reflect this difference and focus on:

1. Generating leads via email, fax, and phone.

2. Setting up personal consultations on the phone to talk to clients, identify their problems, and offer your solutions.

For most, a Web site can be a simple, five-page sales tool that introduces you, explains what you do, shows that you know what you're doing, and backs it up with credibility. Use your home page as a simple table of contents to show all of these.

Build Your Business With the Three C's of a Web Site

Contact: one contact Web page for them to email you, and one free report Web page.

You're meeting the customer for the first time. Treat your Web site like an interview and get the customer to contact you, by offering a free consultation/evaluation, and/or a free report.

Make sure your professional image and message come through your site. Keep the colors simple, put in a few graphics to decorate, but focus on your message. Use a form (through which people type in information and email you) on your site to generate response. Don't just use your email address; ask them a question as you would in an initial interview. I use this trusted question:

What are the three main challenges your business is facing?

This open-ended question elicits a response, lets me know what my visitors are looking for (so I can tell if my marketing online is getting me the leads I want), and gives them a reason to email you. Reward them with a free report for submitting the form and you will maximize your initial contacts into emails.

Credibility: one bio/résumé Web page, one Web page with testimonials, reviews, interviews, etc.

Focus on your business and don't try to entertain them. Have one Web page with your credentials, a résumé or bio, your mission statement, and your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Use testimonials, reviews, interviews, and whatever else you normally use to show that you know what you are talking about, on a separate Web page. Be sure to use your picture so people can see you; introduce yourself in person.

Convincing: one page that acts as your sales letter, your call to action.

Most Web sites fail to ask the customer to act now. Create a page that outlines exactly what you do and convinces them to contact you immediately. This should act as your call to action, your sales letter, summed up as quickly as you would like. Be direct, to the point, and use lots of bullets. People scan online, and want to get to your message.

Your Web site is an interview that should lead customers to the decision to contact you via the telephone. This is where you will close your deals.

The Secret of Internet Interviews

Why treat live prospects like they're reading your magazine ad?

The Internet does strange things to perfectly intelligent people. Visit Web sites online and you will find so many looking like a brochure, or a bad magazine ad.

They keep screaming out about their products, about their service - about themselves. If you want to generate leads, you must understand that no one wants to listen to you endlessly talk about yourself.

To develop that trust and credibility, and initiate telephone contact, you have to treat your Web site as a live interview with your prospects. Imagine if someone met you in person and all you did was throw a brochure at them and brag about how good you are?

To succeed online, you have to take your prospect through the buying decision. This often does not happen on first contact, as in your normal business. Knowing this, you can guide your visitors to contacting you with a simple, tested process:

Step 1: Give Them a No-Sale First Contact

Your visitors have to take an action by clicking on links or, more importantly, sending you an email, for anything to happen. Your lead item is the key to doing this. For consultants, most often this means a no-sale first contact where your lead item is a free report, or a free evaluation.

If you do want to qualify your online clients, consider using an audiotape or workbook that you sell for a low introductory price, likely under $40. This gives you some measurement of how qualified your clients are, and can be used as a tool to sift through leads.

If you do charge for a lead item, make sure you reserve this as a free gift for those highly qualified clients that you target and invite to your site. Charging for a lead item, and giving it away to select clients who interest you, is a wise marketing expense.

Make sure that you reward your visitors for answering questions. Otherwise, they likely will not.

Step 2: Whatever You Do, Deliver Digitally

It is amazing how people will set up a Web site, then demand that people contact them by phone or fax. Use email to elicit immediate leads. Deliver your free report, or even ones that you charge for, as Web pages with password-protected access. Don't mail it and let them forget you!

You can deliver reports as Microsoft Word files or PDF files (PDF is used by the government and others, with a free piece of software by Adobe; many people don't have it), but frankly, these don't always work. A Web page is viewable on anyone's screen, and the download is free. This allows you to eliminate paper costs and immediately reward your visitors for contacting you.

Step 3: Drive Them to a Phone

The second biggest mistake online is to try to conduct everything via email. Many treat the Internet as a way to avoid their clients, and use email as a buffer. Email is an excellent lead generator, and can get a dialogue started between you and a prospect.

Nevertheless, to close the deal, pick up your phone; use your Web site and email to arrange a telephone call. Insist that this is uninterrupted time, devoted to the consultation. Many times the early morning or late afternoon work best for this.

Your Web site can be a powerful tool if you use it right. The interview is crucial to selling your services. Be sure to start the process with your Web site.


Michael Declan Dunn is a Web publisher/trainer/designer online with a newsletter called The Web Letter. Stop by his other Web site, A Cybrary of the Holocaust.


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