6 Ways to Be More Specific On Your Site (trust me– success will follow)
You may or may not know Halley Gray of Evolve and Succeed. She’s a content marketing badass and creator of the highly acclaimed Be Booked Out program. (Side note, that was the best group program I’ve ever taken and I highly recommend it to any service-based creative entrepreneur).
Anyhoo, I mention Halley because she was the first person to teach me about the power of specificity. It really is the key to everything in online business and I’m going to tell you why.
The 6 areas where you need to be über specific on your site:
Specificity with WHO you serve:
Remember that post I wrote about the "Know-Like-Trust Factor" and how the know part of it is really about getting to know your dream client? Ok, well, you might want to revisit it. But the gist is this: you want to know how her current situation (or struggle) is making her feel and what that feeling looks like in her behavior.
Specificity with WHAT you do:
- Start with the general one-sentence statement about what you do. For example, “I’m a web design strategist.”
- Now let’s pretend that we’re talking to an astute-but-curious 6-year-old and she asks, “What does that mean?”. My answer, to continue the example, would be, “It means I help people to create websites that look really good and get really good results for their businesses.”
- Like I said, she’s a curious wee-one and goes in for another question, “What kind of results?”. She’s right, I wasn’t specific enough. Ok, here goes, “Well, that depends on the business owner. I work with her to list out 1-3 goals that she wants her website to achieve and then we design the site around those goals. So, if I’m doing a good job, results mean that she’s achieved the business goals that we wrote down in the beginning.”
You’ll notice in these examples that I’m not specifying the WHO (because we covered that in step 1) or the HOW (because that’s coming next, so don’t rush me).
Specificity with HOW you work:
- How you work, also known as your process, can be a major point of differentiation for you from any would-be competition. You can approach this one in a couple of ways:
- You can start by listing out every single step involved when you work with a client for your signature service. Then you can write a sentence or two summarizing the method in your madness.
- Or, imagine you’re talking to that precocious little one (I pretend I’m having these conversations with Trixie from the TV show Lucifer). And she wants to continue the above conversation by asking, “So… how do you do that?”. And then you just explain your method in the simplest way possible.
Let’s pause here for a moment before moving onto the final 3 areas for specificity. Because those first 3 steps are what you’ll use to craft your unique selling proposition (or USP). This is different from your big brand message because it’s more about the HOW (whereas your brand message is more about the WHY). Other than that, they can be very similar.
There are a couple of things to ask yourself when crafting your USP:
- Is it useful? Does my ideal client understand the usefulness of what I do?
- Is it urgent? Does she feel called to learn more because this hit upon a pressing pain or desire?
- Is it unique? Does this sound like all the other [insert your industry] businesses online?
- Is it über-specific? Remember that clarity wins out over clever every time. This one should be a “duh” because you’ve gone through those first 3 levels of specificity above.
Ok, let’s get back on the Van Damn bus and keep moving.
Specificity with your brand tone:
- Create 3-5 brand words, which will inform everything else you do.
- For example: Creative, Rebellious, Liberating
- Once you’ve established those tone words, you can apply them to your color palette and visual style as well as your web copy and customer responses.
Someone that does a great job of expressing her brand tone is Caroline Zook of Made Vibrant.
Specificity with your CTAs
CTA stands for “call to action”, which can be a link or a button. It’s basically the action step that you want your potential client to take next and it serves as her side of your copy conversation.
We want to be very clear with our button text and feel free to inject a bit of personality into it too.
Now for the examples!
Instead of an email link that simply says, “Click here” (because why should I?)...
...tell them specifically what happens when they click.
...or work the link into a specific sentence.
Instead of a newsletter signup button that implies a domineering relationship (“Submit!”)...
...ask them to join the party.
...or offer them something of value that they’re excited about.
Instead of a sales page button that speaks to the benefits for you, like, “Buy Now” (read: “give me money”)...
...speak to the benefits for them.
P.S. You can give potential clients even more clarity by including more details above and/or below your CTA button (like in the example above).
Here’s another example of adding specificity around the button:
Specificity with your visuals
The last layer of specificity on your website is with your visuals. By visuals, I mean any icons or illustrations, photos, or other graphics.
Here are 3 questions that you can ask yourself for each visual element to determine if you’re getting at a good level of specificity.
- Are they clean (think: “clean lines”)? By this I mean, are they the proper size? If there’s text on them, is it easy-to-read? Do they look professional? Are they visually distracting from the content? Does adding them to the page enhance the overall look and feel?
- Are they clear (think: “understandable”)? So, is it clear what we’re looking at? If it’s an icon, is it clear what that icon represents? Is there something you could add or remove that would improve the clarity? Is it clear why that image is being displayed?
- Are they contextual (think: “adding value”)? Are the images used to complement the message within the content? Are they used to supplement the content (by providing further information that may not be spelled out in the text)? If we removed them, would the page feel incomplete?
Being specific – whether it’s with a niche market or your brand words, or the graphics you share on social – really is the key to growing a business and brand that gets you noticed. I’d go so far as to say I’ve uncovered the formula for online business success.
( Specificity + Consistency ) x User Research = Success
Of course, there are other things that help for even faster growth, but I’m all about keeping things simple!