**It** doesn’t really matter to the buyer.
1. The buyer is not here to measure the length of the sales page
2. The buyer is not here to count the number of words
3. The buyer is not here to admire the beauty of your design. If the design is fab, they’ll definitely admire it. But the sole purpose on the page is to **know** the product.
Your potential buyers are here to see if they’re:
2. Is it worth the money – even if it’s a tripwire product
3. Who’s the creator? Is the creator credible?
4. What kind of results have past buyers seen?
5. What am I really getting if I buy this product today?
6. What will I lose if I don’t buy this product today?
7. What can I do with this product? The ROI?
8. What big worry can this product get rid of for me?
9. How much time can I save per week if I use this product?
What should you keep in mind before writing a Sales Page
2. What’s their biggest worry right now? What are their current roadblocks?
3. How are they looking at solving this?
4. List of product features + benefits
5. Prove your authority and credibility as the product creator
6. List of Frequently Asked Questions so that you don’t leave them frazzled at any point
7. Ample social proof to back up your claims and offer
8. What’s the purpose behind the purchase of a product like this?
9. Address the possible objections to buying this product
10. How can I speed up conversions and maximize sales?
Premature positioning without translatable proof crashes your credibility.
The job of a value proposition is to gravitate your prospects towards your business.
Humans are constantly looking to benefit. Use this behavior to your advantage.
Let’s look at the value propositions of various websites and audit the copy for conversions.
Stop defining your company with a weak adjective
The above value prop is – braggy.
Also, I had never heard of Cypher learning until now. Adjectives like best, world-class, and high-quality mean nothing.
High-quality just means high-quality. There’s no other way to say it or measure it. Because the one thing that defines this word is “quality” which is subjective.
That is why your value proposition should never depend on adjectives to define it.
Adjectives can never communicate the real value your business offers. Behead the adjectives out of your value prop and focus on bringing the outcomes to the forefront.
Why your value prop is not your USP
Few days back, Peep Laja, the founder of ConversionXL tweeted how the concept of USP is obsolete and I agree with him.
Because in 2020, it’s impossible to be running an extremely unique business.
Especially, if you’re in a SaaS market – you know how crowded this industry is. So describing your brand as unique in 2020 is definitely not a good idea.
What the absence of a value proposition does
My first thought goes – how do you make your results colorful? Colorful pie chart? Colored graphs? Rainbow data?
I feel confused and I start wondering about what the product actually is.
Unfortunately, it’s a web development company.
Solution: They could have actually spoken about the approach they mention in the CTA and position their brand with a clarified message.
Why it’s important to state the biggest benefit – FIRST
Nobody actually needs more data in this data-saturated world.
So saying “Need more data” in one of the headings is not only useless, but also intimidating.
And having data is not a benefit. It’s actually a liability to deal with if you don’t know how to tackle the data overflow problem every company faces today.
So if you’re a company offering a solution to analyze, organize, optimize and monetize your data, you should as well state this fact in your value prop and lead with it to bring in conversions.
Otherwise, you confuse your readers. And confused readers get off the wagon ASAP.
Lesson: Lead your value prop with your biggest benefit
Keep your first screen clean
Again, here’s another value prop starting with an adjective. We know what the problem is. So let’s talk about the UX here.
The goal of a business website is to make your reader’s job easy.
You start with clean websites. The screenshot of a login portal to the left is confusing and meaningless. It doesn’t add any value in to the message.
The objective of your message is to take your reader from one awareness stage to a deeper, better understanding of your brand.
When you add screenshots like these, that make the reader think hard, they panic and quit the page.
Conclusion: The reader cannot grasp what this company is about until they read the tiny text that uses two keywords (AI and data analytics) in an unnatural sentence.
Solution: A hero section with no image is better than having a confusing, deviating image with an unclear value proposition.
Avoid writing unprofitable value propositions
It’s narcissistic to state your own name in the value prop.
Instead, take this opportunity and use your online real estate to own your message, connect with your audience and bring them closer to your brand.
3 simple ways to make your brand more approachable
- Write an engaging value prop with a call to action with an immediate value add like in the below example. Appsumo doesn’t waste a second in adding value to their audience.
- Connect with the ideals of your audience. Connect with a belief your audience stands for. Meetup does this so well! Their value prop says – “The real world is calling”, which connects with us on so many levels because we’re all fighting this digital age and screen toxicity. We’re all striving to make our lives a little bit more outdoor-ish. The gist is – to find out how you can match with your audience’s mindset and convey that.
- State your why loud and clear just like 450GSM. They’re not afraid to break the rules. The moment you land on the homepage, it’s clear where you have come. No clever tactics, no desperate messaging to sound badass – only clear messaging.
Action steps to writing a clear value proposition
- Avoid adjectives – because adjectives repel clarity and are subjective
- Highlight the biggest benefit
- Use social proof to write your value proposition if you can
- Connect with the values and beliefs of your audience
- Connect with your reader’s mindset and intent
- Clean UX around your value prop means higher conversions
- Stop trying to be unique and focus on being useful to your readers
Any questions? Ask me in the comments.
Is maintaining your business blog becoming a terrifying nightmare?
You know what the internet world calls a business owner with a stale blog? Non-existent 🙁
You have seen wrong writers, littered content calendar, that pressurizingly blinking cursor, the content marketing gurus who force you to take care of alt tags, meta descriptions and other robotic parameters you don’t understand and you think it is better to let it go?
Take a seat. I’ll be your blog-therapist for today. And in the end, I’ll leave you feeling good + a cheeky grin guaranteed!
You are tired of deception from the so-called “helpers”. You download all the free content creation calendars that promise you to take away your blogging woes.
But then, you end up staring at a blank worksheet that asks you the exact same questions … you have been digging the mud for??
And you graze your face exactly like that witch from a horror movie…That’s okay, swallow your snot. There is something more horrifying than this….that blank screen…it feels like your voice is being throttled. But sometimes, you go on a rampage and type out that entire paragraph like a solo engine taking test rounds around the station…and then when you read it, you press the backspace until you go back in time…to an intimidating-blinking cursor. Story repeats, yeah?
So, you make up your mind and you try to hire a “writer”…but, you end up scrapping all the work you were DELIVERED. You look at the chunks of kooky words that hang like your most ill-fitting garment catching dust. When you hit the sack, you are having nightmares where your prospects are barfing on your website. Eiks!
Forget all of this.
One fine day, you recover from all of this drama because it was a Sunday morning! You’ve had a fantastic week and now that you have an interesting incident to share with your audience, you decide to blog on your website. You grab your mug of fresh green juice and sit in the sun with your biz machine aka your laptop. All was good until you fall back trying to avoid the glaring sun … having no clue where to start, build context or structure your writing. Agghh, too much work! And you quit, right?
Or maybe you wrote it off that evening and then 11 months have gone by, your blog dons that stale blog.
If this is your story, there is help coming soon.
Look boss, I agree, you have challenges! You wanna go smash those sales figures, rock those goal-sy meetings, attend networking events, figure out the perfect funnel, grow your email list, hunt for the tech wizards who can set things up for you, go live on that podcast and the list never ends. You have A LOT on your plate!
But, are you putting your blog on the back seat because your time is TAKEN up?
Psst…aren’t you making a mistake big gun?
Tossing your blogging plan backward means you’re chapping up your business plan. Wanna know why? Here are 7 reasons (out of 119 reasons btw) to keep your blog active.
Blogging cuts down your sales time by 50%
Your blog is the place where your prospects get to know you, learn about your personality and identify your voice. It is where you show them who you are, instead of telling them what it is about you that they should know to buy from you. I mean, that’s what you do in a sales call, right?
By reading one piece of writing on your blog, your prospect has a registered impression about you. Now, it is up to you to build the tempo from here. A job well begun is half done? Obviously! You are already half your way through in winning that prospect. So, go blog darling!
Blogging gives you fodder to feed your social media profiles
You cannot go live 14 times a week to share your thoughts on social media. But, you can have blogs written to let the world (your customers) know, what your opinion on an issue is.
Now, why do you want to lose a stream of high-quality traffic just because you lack a blog?
Why do you want to send back those interested prospects to your competitors?
I repeat, why leave money on that frickin’ table?
Blogging makes you that money-making list
How else do you want to grow your email list? Yeah, you can tell me we have chatbots. But you know what? The chatbot is a vulnerable media. One click and poof, your messages are muted. You wanna talk to deaf ears? Nah…
I’d love to know if you have another method to grow your list (I am curious)
So, listen to me, get your blog up and going. Because honey, in that list is your money!
Nurture your authority. Earn respect as an expert
Imagine you are an authority figure or an influencer in your industry. If I meet you downtown and won’t stop admiring you and your work, how’d you feel? Mind=Blown!
That’s why, grow your authority. And this is a no-brainer. Come on, you are an expert already, and that’s why you are running a business. IT’s not just about someone admiring you. It’s the recognition that fetches you reputation. Your reputation is everything when you’re in business.
I’ll show you 5 easy ways to build authority…right here, right now
- Recommend products you use (clink clink..already making money from affiliate marketing? Nice uh!)
- Give your audience helpful tips that they can ACT upon (they’ll thank you forever and feel indebted to you even if they are paying money to get your secret tips and saucy advice)
- Get yourself featured on elite publications and look at how clients swarm your doorway. (In case you don’t know, check out my piece on the prestigious Thrive Global that got me 3 new leads within a week of posting it)
- Make powerful connections and flaunt them. This isn’t hard at all. All you have to do is one round-up post on your blog featuring influencers from your industry and you have an invaluable network in your back pocket.
- Once you do these 4 steps, you become a “credible source of valuable information” naturally. You become more authoritative.
Now, all you have to do is, share information + ideas consistently.
Blogging brings Traffic + SEO
If you have a website and do not want traffic, you are mad. I mean, not you you..come on you obviously want traffic. Imagine leads come and land on your website and they head to your services page and end up hiring you. All because you shared a blog post of yours on social media. And, if you have kickass copy + a fantastic funnel, nobody can stop you from building your list, growing your biz and making a ton of money.
Plus, there is a lot of noise out there. You can cut through that noise by talking to people in your voice on your blog, on your uncluttered space. So, my dear, get a blog!
Tip: If you need more information on SEO, check it out here.
Strike conversations with your clients over a blog post
Your blog can act like an intense knowledge dissipating FAQ repository. The information can itself act as sales objection tackling mechanism which puts your prospects in your pipeline. Having your would-be clients in your digital vicinity is cool, right?
Also, who doesn’t want an opportunity to talk to clients isn’t it?
Offer YOUR solutions (services) to your clients’ problems (opportunity)
Imagine talking about a meeting in your office that sped up productivity that leads to you landing a high-ticket client. If you talk about those innate occurrences and unique experiences, you are making your clients believe you are a real, working breathing human being. And they trust you enough to buy from you.
To conclude, your blog is not just beneficial for your business, it is your creative asset. It helps you capture your voice and your reader’s attention.
Your blog is the virtual bridge that connects you with your customers. If you want to resonate with your clients, build your personal brand, grow your authoritativeness, drive traffic to your website and benefit from all of the other advantages it comes with, get your blog running.
P.S: If you are totally convinced that your blog has to have a game on but you do not have the time or capacity to maintain your blog, click here.
Before you think you don’t need a content calendar, tell me if you do all of this:
- Scroll Facebook endlessly in the name of networking?
- Wander on Twitter not knowing what to do?
- Being there on LinkedIn but you don’t know whom to connect with?
Do you do all of this as a freelancer or solopreneur? I bet you do.
Do you know you are wasting days and months and may be years sitting behind your screen and think why your other peers are doing good as freelancers while you are lingering around social networks for work?
It is because you don’t have a content calendar.
How will a content calendar solve your business woes?
Your calendar is like your ideal manager. If you do things according to what your calendar says, you will stick to a schedule and your productivity shall spike.
It is very easy to get distracted and also stay there. I have done it. I keep reading meaningless posts where the group admin asks, “What are you baking today?” and there are 256 comments talking about the Thai curry they tried to bake. Now ask yourself, where is this Thai curry going to help you in your career? It won’t. It only boosts the engagement profile of that FB Group and you will be bombarded with more of such meaningless posts that waste your time. This is why social media gets overwhelming.
On the other hand, imagine having a robust calendar that tells you what to do? No brain damage.
Have you ever imagined how a certain business develops engaging content day after day, every day, even on a Sunday? This is how they do it.
How to design a Content Calendar?
Hubspot has a very cool way to get you started.
Hubspot’s content calendar is based on a concept called the content cluster. Now you don’t need to start off with a platform like this, to begin with. I used a plain excel spreadsheet to design my calendar. It is distraction free. The less the application is polluted with features, the more it will help you accomplish your goals. The more it will help you turn your ideas into executable tasks.
But, I am using the concept of the content cluster to design my content strategy. It gives a good perspective and the approach is holistic. You get to design an overview of your strategy instantly with something like this.
Content Marketing further branches out to:
- Market Research
- Customer Persona Design
- Business Blogging
- Social Media Engagement
- Email Marketing
Below is a picture with the core idea in the center. I named it content marketing because that is my core service.
You could be a freelance blogger, yet you will need all the other branches of content marketing to be successful.
You will need Market Research to find out who your customers are so that you generate content accordingly.
After you gather information about your prospects, you need to design Customer Personas.
Based on the Persona, you need to write web copy that will attract your audience.
With the help of web copy and lead magnets, you capture email ids.
Then begins email marketing to grow, retain and engage your lists.
Meanwhile, you promote the generated content on social media to gain visibility and attract traffic.
This is how the content marketing cycle runs. At every step, you evaluate the results to see what is working for you and what is not.
I shared a blog post about writing content in 50 minutes by putting up appropriate and trending hashtags. I increased my Twitter followers by 150% in 3 hours.
I could do this because I made use of the right hashtags on Twitter.
How to identify the right hashtags for your business?
- Choose the hashtags most relevant to your content.
- Choose the hashtags that are trending at the moment.
- Choose the hashtags that carry relevant semantics.
This is what Content Strategy can bring to a marketing business. Content Strategy is also about retaining inbound traffic with the help of content clusters.
I generate content around these clusters to stay in tune with my niche. Isn’t this an efficient way to manage your content, be productive as well as not get overwhelmed with all the (mis)information you come across?
Advantages of having a Content Calendar
By having a definitive content guide,
- You will not feel lost about what to write in this wide, web world bursting with information.
- You get to focus on subjects that boost your industry authority.
- You will save 2 hours of time in a day. How many times have you wished for a 26 hour day as an entrepreneur?
- You can plan content according to events like Women’s day or Black Friday.
- You can outsource social media promotion to a VA or teammate and be rest assured that this won’t get messed up.
- You can easily upcycle content by clubbing two or more topics depending on the need.
- You can also design FREEBIES based on the topic so that the freebie stays relevant and can garner maximum lead capture.
Now, are there any reasons you don’t want a content calendar? I follow a weekly content calendar that keeps me organized. It also helps me come up with new content to write. Do you want to know how I do it? Download my Content.
You cannot write anything from sewing to coding on your business blog.
Your web content needs a strategy that aligns with your customer’s goals.
Your blog needs a plan that builds the content network to establish authority in your industry. It needs content mapping to build that network.
What is industry authority?
Before I explain industry authority to you, you need to know who you are writing for and what you aim to achieve writing for your audience.
Let me give you an example, I aim to create simple guides that help aspiring writers or online business owners learn to write effective web content.
Who is my audience?
► Aspiring Content Writers
► Online Business Owners
► Freelancers who are DIYers
What do I do for them?
► I help them write web copy and content.
► I help them write content that elevates their goals.
What is my industry?
►I belong to the writing/blogging industry. You can also call it the content industry.
How do you stand out in a competitive industry like this?
► By holding the ropes of authority. You have to create content that showcases your expertise. If you are a website designer, your blog should display arrays of articles that solve website woes. For example, you may write posts on installing Google Analytics plugin, fixing the dangling hero on the homepage or enabling clean margin spaces on a web page etc.
By doing this, you are establishing industry authority. This tells your audience that you know your work inside out. Your audience will trust you to solve their problems because they have seen you doing that.
If you are a web design expert and if you write about your favorite pet or your favorite travel destination, it is not going to work.
Establishing authority can help you earn a loyal audience who will trust your work.
What is Content Strategy?
In short, Content Strategy is the master plan behind establishing industry authority through the content on your web. You need to devise a plan that creates a unique content network on your website.
A network cannot have broken links. Likewise, your content plan should connect each piece of content to a smaller goal.
A collection of smaller goals pointing towards a bigger marketing goal is the purpose of your website hosting a business blog.
What are marketing goals and how do you set them?
You set goals because we identify the need to prioritize. If you do not prioritize, your business will be as disorganized as an addict’s backpack. Full of stuff, but nothing vital.
Setting marketing goals becomes a need when you see shortcomings in building your brand. You see shortcomings when you evaluate your work or abilities. Have you identified your immediate business objectives? Do you have a list of tasks that elevate your business?
For freelancers or small businesses, a long to-do list is the biggest productivity killer. The overwhelming list helps you procrastinate and lose the game.
Set short goals. Have goals for the day. Beginning this month, a social media manager’s goals could be to get high paying clients. Wrong.
That is a redundant goal even though that is the ultimate result every business wants.
Make workable goals.
A social media manager should master the art of persuasion (Of course, not in a day!). She is given a limited word count. And that word count is her only opportunity to persuade as many readers she can to click the link she is posting.
So her main goal should be to master persuasive writing. She should know how to make an instant connection with her audience. She should know how to walk her audience and convince them that the link is a valuable resource.
So, the workable goal here is to learn PERSUASIVE WRITING.
Is this goal helping her meet her marketing needs? Of course, she can make use of the same persuasive methods to tell her prospective clients how good she is in her work.
Now do your marketing goals align with your content? Oh yes!
How content mapping boosts your business?
When you own your reader’s problems and turn them into solutions they need, consistently, it means that your strategy is on the right track.
How do you provide solutions?
- A high-value blog post that gives a step by step plan your reader needs to meet one of his objectives.
- A workflow that helps one of your readers arrive at a solution.
- A motivating piece of statistics that will inspire your readers to take action.
- An infographic diagram that explains the core subject in bite-sized chunks that is easy to consume.
You succeed in your content marketing goals only when you bring demand based solutions to your blog. Your readers will not want solutions to problems they do not have or are insignificant to them. Do your market research.
What is the best way to know what your customer needs?
There is no way you can read your customer’s mind. You are not Edward Cullen. Even if you are, your customers are many a Bellas. They are emotionless when it comes to your pain points even though you are trying to solve their problems.
When I started out in marketing and began searching for my ideal client, I would crack my head.
How can anybody read their customer’s mind to know what she wants?
I would sit for hours taking guesses. It is a stupid thing to do. Why not just ask them? By asking your customers about their problems, you are surely providing solutions to problems that EXIST.
I attended a marketing event organized by one of the startup hubs in Hyderabad. Business owners introduced themselves and spoke about how they made dollars and there were some who did not. There was one entrepreneur who invested nearly $25000 in his venture and failed. He crawled into debt. The first question the host asked was, “Did you carry out a market research before you built the product?” and the answer was “NO”. He was confused. He built an app that targeted the education community. But before building the app, he did not ask one person from the education community about the necessity of such a product.
Products are not made of ideas. Products are built, reinvented and customized to suits the market’s needs.
So, offer solutions that are needed. You will be left bankrupt if you spend your money on unwanted solutions. That is the position of market research in business.
Mapping content to your marketing goals
Now that you know what the customer wants, aim to build products around their needs. Before you sell your products, build a knowledge base that dissipates bite-sized information that solves your customer’s little problems.
How do you release the bite-sized solutions? Through your business blog, email marketing and promoting this content to the world through social media platforms. Although there are other social platforms, your business blog is the major bridge between your customer and your company that emerges as a true brand community.
Now, devising your content flow is gathering all the input points that land to one central point of focus. The CTA.
It is the CTA that helps you accomplish your goals as a marketer or a small business owner. You can easily call it that tangible element in this virtual world. Is the content leading to CTA compelling enough to catalyze the reader’s action? Has the content brought engagement that builds customer relationships? These are the factors that you need to visit with agility and work till you get there. Content Strategy is not a one-off item on your content marketing checklist. It takes experimentation to beat the odds and focus on the right channel, right method and right type of content that aligns with your goals. The point is, have you set the right goals?