Red on Marketing Blog

Tips on Building a Hard Working B2B Website

b2b websitesTogether with author Virna DePaul, I spoke at the Sept. 14 Sacramento Press Club Seminar on "creating a killer writer web site that attracts editors."

I suggested that the journalists, non-fiction book authors, and fiction writers in attendance think in terms of marketing their small business' writing services. With that in mind, good goals for a writer's website include:

  • Start relationships with prospective clients (editors, publishers)
  • Build reach (add subscribers, followers, fans)
  • Market research on story ideas
  • Build referrals
  • Ramp up new clients faster
  • And even... get paid faster

Notice that I didn't say “branding” and “awareness.” They might be good reasons… but only if they will drive the goals above.*

Four fundamentals

To accomplish these goals, there are at least four things we must do. They're interrelated, and we can think in terms of a cycle to repeat and check against, to ensure we have a hard working web presence. The four things are:

  1. PROVE: Build strong business case (why trust me)
  2. PULL: Attract best visitors (where are my clients)
  3. ENGAGE: Start a relationship (>1 way to engage)
  4. NURTURE: Ping with permission (what do they need)

I've evaluated dozens of small business websites, and in general they are weak in all these areas - so produce little or no return on investment. If we're trying to raise ROI from a website, the place to focus first is #1 (PROVE).

Why believe you?
Here are the types of content that can build prospects’ confidence that what you say about your services is true:

  • Decision guides
  • Case studies
  • Samples of work
  • Testimonials
  • Statistics
  • Bios/profiles
  • Degrees/certifications
  • Awards
  • Affiliations...

Here is a copy of the seminar slides (286 KB PDF).

Any comments or questions on the ideas we discussed in the seminar? Please chime in below.

*Credit: Mike Volpe, 2008 slide deck about inbound marketing, re right and wrong reasons for marketing
Blog home page ›
Topics: Performance Design