Conversion: actually turning website visitors into paying clients is where the rubber hits the road.
I‘m sure you know the old saying: Turnover is vanity, Profit is sanity.
It's the same thing for websites: Visitors are vanity, Conversions are sanity.
Now, if you're a consultant or coach wanting to convert visitors to clients – you need to think of two stages of conversion.
You see, you're never going to convert a first time visitor into a paying client in one visit. Not for the kind of intangible, high value, high impact services you deliver.
Even if they come to your website desperate for help, they'll need to build up confidence in your capabilities and trust that they can work with you. That's not going to happen instantly – they'll need to interact with you repeatedly.
Unfortunately, the chances are that even if your content is brilliant, most visitors won't be back. They'll make a mental note to come back. Maybe even bookmark your site. But then the real world will take over and they'll forget you.
If you want to be successful, you must take this process of regular interaction into your own hands.
You must get them to “connect” with you somehow. Give you permission to proactively communicate with them.
Then you can keep in touch, build credibility and establish your trustworthiness without relying on them remembering to come back to your site.
Connecting on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin can help with this.
But by far the best way for someone writing a blog is to get visitors to subscribe to receive regular communications from you via email.
People still pay more attention to emails (as long as they're not considered spam) than social media. You might chat to a friend on Facebook or tweet some gossip. But if you want a serious 1-1 discussion online, you want to send an important document, or make a complex point: you use email.
Many businesses have an email newsletter. But usually it's awful. Full of me, me, me information about them, what they're doing, their products. Nothing of value to the subscriber.
In fact “newsletter” is a bad name for it. You shouldn't be sharing news. You should be sending information of value. Like the blog posts, but even better. Personally, I refer to mine as an “Insider Strategies email”.
So although your long term goal should be to convert visitors to clients. Your interim goal should be to convert visitors to subscribers.
Because subscribers are the people who are more likely than any others to eventually become clients.
You'll see on this site that I give many opportunities for people to sign up to my regular communications. There's a box in the header, in the sidebar and at the end of every post.
And I have a “bribe” to encourage people to sign up. Subscribers get free access to my Client Breakthrough training videos and detailed report on how to attract and win more clients.
But the key is that I stay in contact with weekly emails that to the best of my ability are both entertaining and provide valuable information. So that over time my credibility and likeability grows.
Only a small percentage will ever become clients, of course. To everyone else the emails and blog posts are a gift.
But get enough subscribers, keep in touch with great content, and your client base will grow.
Next time…some advanced conversion tips from online marketing expert Derek Halpern as he reviews my site live on video (gulp)…