5 Tips to Take Your Business From Creepy Ghost Town to Client Allure City?

In this day and age almost everyone knows that it is a good  idea to have a website.  But it seems that fewer people know that you actually have to maintain a welcoming online presence in order to actually get new clients and customers. Ghost Town

Have you ever stumbled upon a website that looks like it has been deserted for years? You know the ones–the sites that have a copyright date from 2001 (and look like they haven’t been updated since), blog posts that are older than my children, and no signs of life.

When I end up on a site like this, I get goose bumps and an eerie feeling that I’m alone and something heinous is lurking in the background–like SPAM monsters, a fatal virus, or some spooky internet scam.  The last thing I want to do is hang around and see what might be in store for me on the next page.  In fact, I click away as fast as I can before something scary happens.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” well scaring off your prospects is not a good first impression.

And guess what. You have less than 3 seconds to make that first impression.

Having a dreadful online prescence is much more frightening to your potential clients than you probably ever imagined and it’s killing your bottom line.

So what do you do to take your business from Creepy Ghost Town to Client Attraction City?

Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Update the copyright date in the footer of your website.  If your copyright date says 2001 and the current year is 2012, it makes your site seem like an ancient relic.  Hyphenate your copyright date with the year it was first published and the current year ( ex. Copyright © 2001 – 2012).
  2. Update your blog regularly.  Strive to update your blog at least once a week.  If that’s pushing it, at least update your blog once a month.  If I see a blog that hasn’t been updated in a month I start to worry that maybe the owners had to close up shop, they’re on a long vacation, or someone passed away, etc–all sorts of things run through my mind but never the thought of handing over my credit card.
  3. Speak in a language your prospects will understand.  Sometimes I feel like I have been abducted by aliens when I land on a site and the language is very technical or too “airy fairy.” Don’t get me wrong, I like reading statistics,  using big words,  accessing my inner wisdom, and overcoming limiting beliefs just as much as the next gal, but give me some tangible outcomes that I can understand, otherwise I’m just going to look at you like you are a martian and click away. Speak and write in such a way that your prospects know exactly what you mean without needing translation–in  other words, speak their language.
  4. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date and respond to comments or inquiries in a timely manner. If I try to contact you and the phone number is disconnected, I’m going to think that you stole someone’s money and had to skip town or your business imploded.  If you don’t respond to my inquiry or email within the time-frame stated on your site, I’m going to think that you’re too swamped to handle my business or you went out of business.
  5. Show some social proof.  Your potential clients and customers want to know that you are who you say you are, and that your are going to do what you say you are going to do.  Let’s face it, any crook or scammer can throw up a website these days. Having someone else speak to your awesomeness or your expertise goes a long way in building your credibility.  Here are some ways to add social proof to your online presence:
    1. Add testimonials to your site
    2. Gather comments for your blog
    3. Add a portfolio or client list to your site
    4. Have respected guests speak to your audience or write for your blog
    5. Get endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn
    6. Have a person of influence endorse or promote you
    7. Speak to another organization or person’s audience
    8. Network both online and offline to build relationships with real people
    9. Create a seamless referral system
    10. Actively engage with your audience through multiple channels (ex. newsletter, social media, traditional media, etc.) and let them know what you’re up to on a regular basis so they never have to wonder if you went out of business, moved out of the country, or decided to hibernate in your basement for eternity.

The reason many businesses are stuck in Creepy Ghost Town instead of Client Allure City is because they neglect the upkeep. Consistently maintain a welcoming presence and hospitably take care of your ideal clients and you will have a profitably populated business for years to come.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, please leave me a comment below.

About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Great tips, Tiffany. Especially the one about updated the “year stamp” on your website.

  2. Great article. I do review my website on a regular basis and finally incorporated the blog into the website so that I could keep content fresh and current.

    Thanks for the tips on social proof ideas.

  3. All great tips and I know what you mean about the creepy ghost town websites… scary just in time for Halloween

  4. As always outstanding advice and some good reminders. I plan to share this excellent post with my friends on twitter and LinkedIn. Thank you.

  5. Tiffany,
    Great post! I agree wholeheartedly. It’s so important to put your best foot forward online and that means updating your site with relevant, engaging content, regularly. The “set it and forget it” mentality simply doesn’t work.
    Write on!~
    Lisa Manyon

  6. All these tips are valuable and will save people a lot of time.
    They just need ot follow your advice!

  7. Great tips to assist business owners to really think about their brand and image – none of us want that to reflect that we are a ghost town!

  8. This is a really great list of tips to keep your site looking fresh and current – thanks!

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