If you're a small business providing a personal service, you are your product. You need to make sure that your website reflects that.
Every aspect of your site, from the choice of imagery to the language, will influence how your potential customers will feel about your business.
Many small business websites fail to give visitors a chance to get to know the person behind the business.
I've recently come across a lot of these sites whilst looking for suppliers for a wedding. For an event like that, getting the right person is essential. It amazed me how many websites for sole traders like photographers or DJs give no impression about who you’re potentially hiring.
If your business is based on you providing a bespoke, personal service, that can be a strong selling point, so don’t hide it.
It can be tempting, if you're a sole trader, to use a company name, always refer to the business in the third person and start substituting 'we’ for 'I’.
You might worry that your business will seem less reliable, trustworthy or professional if you use your own name. If you think that your potential customers might have concerns about working with you, tackle them head on.
Generally, people would much rather deal with a person than an anonymous company. Getting your personality across on your website will help customers decide if you're right for them.
Being small should mean that you can build strong personal relationships with your clients. Those good working relationships will mean your customers get a better experience. It'll also mean that you're more likely to get repeat business or recommendations.
It’s not just the language you use on your website which has a role to play in getting your personality across and building trust with potential customers.
Research confirms that people are more likely to trust a small business when their website gives an idea of the person behind it. A study carried out in 2014 showed that people trust a small business whose website features an image of the owner over those that rely on stock or generic imagery. They could also tell the difference between a real picture of the business owner and a stock image of someone from the same industry.
Start building that personal relationship with your potential clients as soon as possible. Your website will often be their first contact with you, so make sure it allows them to start getting to know you.
Get in touch to discuss how I can help you ensure your small business’ website can really reflect your business’ personality.