Today’s Copy Blitz is focused on writing your Services page on your website. Yesterday we focused on our About Me page…which was actually an About Them page. But really, when we think about it, your whole website is about them and what they get from working with you. Your Services page is no exception.
I’m going to take you through things to bear in mind when you’re coming up with your Services page (this applies equally if you offer products, not services.)
But first, we should think about a few traps you might fall into, so that we can avoid them.
It can be tempting to fall into the client education trap. You know, where you tell them what translation or interpreting is, rather than what it will mean for them and their business. It’s not your job to educate them on your website. Your Services page is not the place for the dictionary definitions of our profession.
I get it. You’ve been at this game a long time. You pride yourself on how much you know about the industry and you want to showcase your expertise. You feel that it would be reassuring to clients to get a flavour of just how much you know about translation or interpreting. What starts as a snippet of “fidelity to the source language” here turns into a feature-length movie on “fuzzy matches” there and, before you know it, you’ve lost your audience.
The aim of the services page, heck, the aim of every page, on your website, is to connect with your visitors. If you’re using your web copy to try and convince them that they need your services then you’re probably going to fail. Think about it. Think of those horrible, shouty ads you see on TV or online – you know, the ones screaming “You need this product in your life!” I don’t know about you, but my instinct is to think the exact opposite if somebody “tells” me I need something. So let’s just agree to not doing this on your services page – or anywhere on your website.
Okay, so that’s what not to do on your Services page….
How about what you should be doing? Well, it all goes back to thinking about your (ideal) clients and their problems and needs. Thinking about the challenges they’re facing in their businesses and how you help solve them was the starting point this week, when we looked at writing a one-liner about your business….and this thread has carried through all the blog posts this week.
But before we do that, I’m going to let us indulge our selfish side, just for a second.
Let’s cast our minds back to Monday, and the questions we asked ourselves on what we like doing…and what we hate doing. Have you got them clear in your mind? Okay, so how do those tasks or projects fit into services you might write about on your services page? Here’s a bit of inspiration….
Do you offer any of these services? Do you offer a lot of these services? Think carefully about the difference between these two statements for each item on your services page:
I can do this.
I love doing this.
I urge you to only include the services that fall into the latter category. Working on things you love really does make time fly. It took me a long time to realise that by offering fewer services I was actually offering more value to my clients. Why? Because by offering only translation and copywriting services I was enjoying every second of what I was doing, so I was more productive and inspired. Win for client. Win for you.
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t be afraid to get really detailed on the services you offer. Do you offer editing services for academics who are publishing in a second language? Say so.
Back to problems and needs
Now that we’ve established the services we want to feature on our services page, we have to answer some questions on how these services solve our clients’ problems. For example, I provide copy and content writing services, but if I just say “I provide copy and content writing services“, how does that tell a potential client that I can help them? Well, put simply, it doesn’t. So what problems do I solve? What challenges might my ideal clients be thinking about?
Now it’s your turn. Can you think of 5 problems your clients might be thinking about? Try to get away from generic problems like, “I need a translation.” Think about the problems you’ve solved for recent clients.
What was it about your service that made them sigh with relief?
What item did you take off their to-do list? Need some inspiration on this? Study recent testimonials or recommendations – they’ll give you some great direction on what you’re doing right.
It’s all about benefits, baby
So you’ve now got a stunning list of 99 problems (okay, maybe 5) that you’re clients might be experiencing. Now you’ll want to translate (see what I did there?) these problems into benefits, i.e. what does your client actually get from working with you.
It’s actually kind of useful to think about buying a product at this point.
Imagine you are buying a pen (remember those?) You’ve Googled “buy pen” and you visit the first website that comes up. You select “ball pen” and come to the product description and features…amongst these is the phrase “Chequer engraving for easy grip.”
Now, not being a pen expert, and really, just wanting something that enables me to write a list on the back of a receipt, I’m not interested in the fact that it has “chequer engraving”, in fact, I may not even be totally sure what that is…but that’s okay because the description tells me why it’s relevant, i.e. the benefit.
Telling me the benefit of the product (or service) means I am reassured and informed. Two extremely useful qualities in a potential buyer.
So when you’re writing your services page, think of yourself as a pen. Yes, you may have fancy engraving after your name – but what benefit does your client get from your fancy engraving?
Tomorrow is the last day of Copy Blitz, and we’re looking at how we edit our own work. In my line of work, being critical comes fairly naturally – within the realms of translation and copywriting, there’s a lot of drafting, feedback, comments, amends and edits. Having a checklist of my own to “self-edit” before I hit the publish button or send a document off to the client can help me keep my writing strong. I’ll be sharing it tomorrow.