At the 2019 NZSTI annual conference, Stephen Caunter ran an interesting workshop entitled ‘The digital demands of the client in 2019, and how to grow your own business’. As a Business Training Manager at ANZ, he has provided advice to a range of clients on how to achieve business success at little expense.
Be where it matters
First, Stephen explained that everyone is a customer. You are a customer, as is everyone around you. So as a business you need/want to be found by customers looking for your type of service. Refine and define who your target customers are and save money by knowing who you do not want to reach. Think about your customers and their primary language. Are they old or young? Businesses or individuals? Where in the world are they? The old ‘be everywhere’ style of marketing has changed to ‘be where it matters for your business’, so this information is crucial. Ensure your website appeals to your target customers in terms of colours, images, font size, etc.
The ideal website
Websites should grab your customers’ attention, generate interest, create desire and spur to action. Your landing page should have all the basic info and make it easy for customers to find what they want. Make sure your NZSTI profile lists your website too!
Your web presence needs love and care to work. Often we leap to ‘go’ but what we actually need to do is assess, plan, get the tools and then go. Think about who is going to do the work. You or someone else? Remember that websites need to be updated to interest the search bots, otherwise they slip down the rankings. Also check how your website appears on different devices (using free online tools). Having a good website substantiate word of mouth recommendations. People buy based on word of mouth, recommendations and testimonials. So think about what you look for when buying and what sways your decision, then apply those criteria to your own website.
Websites need to attract customers then convert them to sales. How many contact channels are available to your customers? Check they work so customers can easily contact you. A quick response from you significantly increases your chance of converting the query to a sale. In our line of work, the customer’s need is generally urgent so a quick reply is valued.
Nurture your client base, as it is easier to retain customers than to find new ones. Consider emailing them, sending out newsletters, having VIP perks, etc. Ask them how they found you. If a colleague or other professional recommended you, take a moment to call that person to say thanks. They will be more likely to think of you next time.
Being found in search engines
Now let’s focus on Google. Language is key here, so you need to consider if you are using your customers’ language and terminology, as often our industry terminology differs from what the general public would use. How many times have we all had to explain the difference between translation and interpreting! So think about what words or sentences they might use when searching for your services and ensure those appear on your website. Make sure you define the Google snippet that shows under the link to your website on the search page, otherwise a snippet of text will appear, which might not convey the right message about your business. And create new content as Google likes it and will rank you higher.
If you post videos, make sure you look at the camera, not your screen! You will also need microphones for audio quality. And ensure you get to the point quickly. In videos where the person takes too long to get to the point, you simply get frustrated or bored and close it. Videos are great for customer reviews as they are quick to do and show someone enthusiastic about your product.
Professionals who enjoy their work
Stephen looked at a range of our members’ websites and one of his specific recommendations was for the ‘About us’ page. There was too much personal information and “faff”, and not enough professional photos of the actual translator or interpreter looking happy. Customers like to see who they are dealing with, so if you have no photo or a poor quality one they are less likely to trust your business and choose you. And you may enjoy playing tennis, but customers do not care so keep your text professional.
Stephen’s workshop was full of so much information and wonderful tips, so make the most of them and boost your business today!