February 27, 2018 International Business
Websites, Social Profiles, and Reviews: How to Make Sure Your Online Presence Isn’t Losing You Sales
We all know your presence on the web is crucial to earning you sales. This is especially true if you’re a digital marketing firm, because your future clients are going to want to see how you, well, market yourself digitally. If you read our last article on American Business Culture, you know that sometimes doing business with Americans can be unique compared to your experiences with businesspeople from other countries and cultures. Creating a top-notch web presence that will reel in American clients has its peculiarities as well. We’ll go over some top tips for you to ensure that your online web presence is perfect to make sure your potential American clients aren’t turned off by your site.
7 Steps to Optimize Your Online Presence and Stop Losing Business
If you’re like most outsourced digital marketing firms, your current web presence is actually losing you sales from prospective clients from the US. Yes, it’s happening right now. Customers are going to your website, social media profiles, and online reviews, and are deciding not to work with you based on what they see there. Luckily, these 10 steps will help you solve this problem, and turn those “no’s” into new clients.
1. Get Your Website Proofread
Wow, big surprise, a proofreading company recommending we proofread our website (cue eye roll). We know, it’s a little self serving, but it’s also super important if English isn’t your first language. There’s a very good chance that, right now, you have tons of uncaught mistakes on your website, awkward sentences, and wrong word choices that distort the meaning of what you want to say. Your potential customers are going to see this, and they’re going to leave your site.
And, lest you think we’re biased (and we are :)), independent studies like this one, this one, and this one, and not so independent studies like this one all state the importance of clear, correct writing in business. People simply don’t want to do business with companies who make tons of grammar mistakes. It harms your credibility and makes your company look unprofessional. And doesn’t it make sense that if your potential American customers see errors on your website, they’re less likely to trust you with activities like, I don’t know, blog writing, creating ads, making social media posts, and improving their website? It makes sense to me anyways. This study from Stanford shows the errors most likely to attract negative attention, if you’re interested.
2. Get Your Social Media Profiles Proofread
“Another one?! Come on guys, this is ridiculous.” We know, but it’s really important!
“But, but… I use Grammarly, my writing can’t have any mistakes!” Trust us, it still does. In our experience, Grammarly misses 80% (yes, 80%) of the mistakes non-native English speakers make. Meaning if Grammarly recommended five changes, there’s probably 20 other mistakes and issues with clarity and fluidity still in your writing, and your customers are reading them right now. Until robots learn to speak fluent English (and they have a long way to go), you’ll have to go to a real person, like at Writesaver, if you want your writing to be perfect and sound native. OK, now the self-serving part is over, we promise.
3. Have Relevant Case Studies on Your Website
Relevant means IN ENGLISH! You need to realize that the United States has the highest Ad spend per person of any other country in the world, and its not close. This means that Americans are constantly inundated with marketing messages, and we learn to tune them out after a while. Your new potential clients know this, and they know they need to be exceptional to stand out. American marketing content is also very different than content elsewhere in the world (we’ll be talking about how it’s different in a later article). Americans want to hire someone that understands this and has done it before.
What if I don’t have any American customers, or I’m just starting my digital marketing firm?
If you don’t have case studies to point to, highlight your experience that makes you right for the job. Offer to do a little bit of work pro bono (for free) or at a discount so that your new client can see for himself how good you are. Who knows, maybe they can become your first case study!
If you’ve never worked with a company that uses English as their business language, you’ll likely need to start with smaller projects with a new American client and build trust slowly before they realize you’ll be effective in the American market.
If you have done it before, show it! Give examples of ads you’ve created, blog posts you’ve written (in perfect English, please!), and results you’ve achieved for your clients. Your American leads will appreciate this and will be impressed with your achievements. Americans, especially those in startups, value creativity, viral marketing, and marketing efforts that show you achieved huge results with low resources. If you’ve done those things, definitely let your clients know (and send us an email too :)).
4. Tell your Customers You Work with Startups and Small Businesses
Are you willing to work with low-budget clients? Maybe you love helping small companies take off and grow. Many firms won’t take on clients with a marketing budget of less than $15,000-$20,000 per month, so if you do, mention it! Your potential customers need to know you’re willing to work with companies of their size. This is especially true if you’ve worked with big companies and have them listed on your website. If you have Ferrari, Marriott, and Apple listed on your site, chances are most startups are going to think you’re only for big companies (read: very expensive), and won’t come back.
5. Mention Your Pricing Structure
If you do work with startups, mention your pricing structure. You don’t need to say upfront how much your services cost, but something like “we work with customers at all budget levels”, or “we work on a monthly, hourly, and commission basis” gives the client lots of information, and will help them understand if your services are right for them.
6. Make Sure You Have Social Media Content in English
It’s amazing how many digital marketing firms, who work in English, only post on social media in their native language, whether it’s Russian, Polish, Turkish, or Spanish. Your English-speaking customers are going to look at your social media pages. Of course they are, they want to see how you manage your social media pages before they trust you with their own.
They’re going to look at your social media pages, see that it’s all in a language they don’t understand, and assume either you don’t work with English speaking customers, or you don’t know how to write social content in English.
Don’t make this mistake! You don’t need to write all of your content in English, but if you want to win American customers, at least 25% of your social content should be in English. And the content that is in English should be insightful, useful, and written in clear, fluent, perfect English. Again, we can help you with that.
7. Collect Positive Online Reviews in English
Put yourself in your prospective client’s shoes for a moment. Whether they work for a huge company or a small firm, they’re trying to find someone they’re going to work with for a long time, who will bring them results, and who will make their boss happy (or themselves happy if they are the boss). Optimizing your website and social profiles is necessary, but it’s nothing compared to the power of real, positive online reviews. Resist the urge to have friends and family write reviews, or from buying reviews online. It’s usually super obvious and transparent that these are staged, and will just lose you trust and credibility.
Instead, ask your current clients for positive reviews on popular, third-party platforms. Platforms like clutch.co have reviews of outsourced digital marketing agencies, and you can bet that your future clients will be searching for them and reading them all before making a decision. Having lots of positive experiences listed on a review site will give you a huge leg up over your competition.
Importantly, make sure these reviews are in English! If your future client can’t understand the review, it probably won’t help your cause too much.
Optimize your Web Presence Now!
Now that you have some tips to optimizing your web presence to win more sales, go implement them and watch your sales skyrocket! Next, we’ll be talking about how to create a killer outreach plan for new clients, including what your first message should say, and how to get your agency to the proposal stage.