Why It's A Bad Idea To List The Services You Provide On Your Website (Pt.2)
Updated: May 22
Seven days ago I did a very “naughty” thing. I forced you to live in the mind of a confused client, the client of an expert. I expressed how their encounter with an unfocused brand is like when two different radio frequencies collide. So, now that I’ve focused your attention on the problem poor positioning can create, you’re probably wondering, what would cause someone to willfully misrepresent themselves online?
Most of the time when the average client approaches a web developer, they have a basic idea of what they want (a website), but a scattered view of what they “need”. They think everything is important and want it to be illustrated. Designing aside, if the developer is unable to provide valuable insight to focus the client’s attention on what they should be doing when taking up residence online, the result will be a misrepresentation of the client.
For clients with a diverse work background, who aren’t necessarily experts in any area with the exception of what they currently do, the reason for misrepresentation is knowledge and experience. They assume it’s enough to qualify for expert status but…
True Expertise Is Also Understanding And Process
Knowledge does not equate understanding it only shows that you know a lot about ‘a topic’ (you’ve probably even read it in a book somewhere). Experience, while it proves that you’ve done something for a specific period in time, it fails to provide clarity on how good you actually were at it.
The topics mentioned below are some of the things that should be focused on when building an effective website. But, the issues which surround them are shrouded by the two mentioned above. If they (the two mentioned above) aren’t isolated and managed, it will hurt your online presence.
What Is It?
“Your logo is your brand”, “Your tagline is your brand”, “Your visual brand is your brand”, “What you do is your brand”, “The services you provide is your brand”…I could go on and on about the numerous prevailing misconceptions that exist amongst the local small business community on what a brand is. I don’t care how many books you’ve read. With thoughts like those mentioned above, clearly it’s difficult for you to get a pulse on what these books are actually communicating.
Think of the homepage of a website like the cover of a book and branding as the title.
“Choosing the right book title can be the difference between getting noticed or not in a sea of other books by an editor, agent and even reader.”
(Jasmine — bookboundretreat.com).
So how do you begin looking for your “title”? First, denounce the idea that focusing your voice somehow diminishes everything else you do. Then, once you’ve gotten over that hurdle, you can really approach answering that question uninhibitedly.
Questions or Answers
Are You Selling Services Or Are You Selling Expertise?
If you’re a service provider, it would make sense why you would want your services listed on your website: You rely solely on the client’s input to do your job. Experts function differently. They are well acquainted with their clients problems since they are problems they personally faced, and acquired the answers to over a period of time. And to save their clients from learning the hard way, they cut right to the chase by providing the answers. In this case, these clients aren’t looking to list all the things they do, as it undermines their credibility by grouping them with service providers who sell questions as opposed to the experts who sell answers; and that’s an important distinction to illustrate to this type of client.
Packaged vs Productized Services
I am sure many of you can relate to offering packaged services. You categorize it and fill it with a list of deliverables that is usually related to your area of expertise, to provide the client with a measure of clarity on what they’ll get if purchased.
One problem with that, the client isn’t an expert in your field and instead of making the investment easier for them by addressing their problems (cutting to the chase), you’re once again attempting to ‘school them’ on all the areas of your expertise that goes into a job (#serviceprovider). How can a client fully appreciate the depth of your explanation which is clearly outside their linguistic environment. Clarity does not revolve around you explaining everything you do, confusion does.
If you want to improve your efficiency online as an expert, it’s best to offer a productized service where you’re able to compartmentalize your skills as steps in a process, illustrated as solutions for specific problems. This way, the client experiences the value of working with you, instead of learning about all the things you offer.
I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB
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