by Melodye Hunter | Featured Contributor
Want potential clients to see you as the expert they’ve been looking for?
You could get on Oprah, publish a best-seller or polish your home page to position yourself as a top authority.
Sounds simple I know but the truth is your website can be a constant source of new clients or a constant source of embarrassment. And believe me, a sloppy website can send potential clients running to your competitors fast.
It doesn’t have to be that way for you. Here are 8 strategic ways to use your home page to elevate your expert status.
Have you been featured anywhere notable? Include logos or mentions to brag worthy accomplishments like features in the media and awards you’ve won in a prominent place on your site.
People associate logos with credibility immediately, and that’s what you’re looking for, so think industry associations you belong to, certifications you’ve earned and other logos you can display on your home page to establish instant credibility with your visitors.
2. Feature Your Clients
Using testimonials and case studies to show the success of your clients is great promotion for them and helps potential clients understand how awesome it is to work with you. Testimonials and case studies of your clients work best when they share the results clients get from working with you and include a full name and photo.
Make getting testimonials and creating case studies a systemized part of your sales cycle and do what you have to do to get them. Call, email or stalk your clients and get them to share their results from working with you. A well written testimonial will bring you clients for years.
3. Show Social Proof
Got a ton of likes or followers? Use a social plug in to promote it on your homepage. Social proof is another form of testimonial, likes on your fan page and how many followers you have are like getting a stamp of approval from someone’s friend.
A word of caution: Social profiles can be a distraction to visitors so use them strategically.
4. Communicate With Good Design
You wouldn’t show up to a networking event in a homemade blazer and slacks and you shouldn’t show up like that online. Even if your site is homemade, it shouldn’t look like it. Add a header with your logo and colors, make sure your fonts are consistent and align images and text on your page.
Use your home page as an opportunity to show your personality through your design and branding. The colors you choose, the fonts you pick and the images on your site all create emotion and communicate subconsciously with your visitors working with a pro to polish the look and feel of your site will build your credibility and your confidence it’s worth it to make the investment.
Have a goal for what you want visitors to do, whether it’s to sign up for your newsletter or schedule a consultation with you, make it clear what the next step is and make it easy for them to take it.
Your calls to action should be super simple and short. Use the least amount of words you need to tell the visitor exactly what to do. For example:
- Call us for a free quote.
- Download your special report.
- Buy now.
6. Use Your Own URL
For the obvious reason, professionals can afford web hosting, and the more subtle reasons, sending people to www.HotShotBizOwner.FREEHOSTING.com is so ghetto unprofessional. Who wants to promote that URL to potential clients? Spend the 5 bucks a month to have a professional URL. You also get email addresses when you set up hosting so you can have a branded email address to match your URL. I use and recommend Bluhost..
7. Polish Your Copy
The words on your site need to speak to your audience in a way that shows you understand their problems. Make sure you proof read repeatedly. Get another set of eyes or use a professional copy editor. Even tiny mistakes, like spelling errors and using the wrong word, can turn off potential clients.
8. Show Them Who You Are
You’re the owner of a business, to most people that’s pretty impressive. So use your ‘celebrity’ status to your advantage and give people an experience of you by adding a personal video or audio message so your visitors can really get a feel for you.
People are always curious about who’s behind a website. Don’t hide yourself or your team. Include a short teaser bio on your home page to build trust with your visitors that links to your dedicated about page. Adding your head shot is a nice touch too.
What else can you do?
Implementing any of these tips can dramatically boost your credibility with potential clients. So pick a few and get started today.
If you need more than a few tweaks to whip your homepage into shape and want more guidance to position yourself as an expert online check out my website design packages.
Melodye Hunter is a seasoned website designer and online marketing strategist who empowers savvy entrepreneurs with the tools to stand out online and claim their expert status. Melodye is the author of the forthcoming book 3 Insider Secrets to a Website that Rocks and founder and chief creative officer of personal branding firm, Melodye Hunter Creative Media, where she creates stylish + strategic personal branding websites and online marketing plans for entrepreneurs. Every week Melodye publishes Be Savvy, a free online action guide teaching entrepreneurs how to build their brand with class and authenticity online.