There are certain elements of websites – particularly online marketing/business sites -that are so ubiquitous, they border on cliche.
After all, chocolate chip cookies have the same basic ingredients and only vary slightly. Deviations or additions to the recipe are usually slight and only change the texture rather than the taste.
But even though a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe can be a bit boring, they usually work. I hope to incorporate these ingredients to grow my virtual assistant business.
1) Freebies. Typically it’s an e-book, weekly newsletters or a consultation, depending on the type of business.
What Tastes Bland: You’re familiar with the stereotypical e-book site, correct? They tend to make me cringe. It’s one long, poorly designed page with videos, testimonials and overblown selling points varying in color and font size that finally lead to a “Click Here To Buy Now” button.
What Tastes Great: The best way to modify this element is to do something crazy – actually make the freebie worthwhile! I am sure you have grown skeptical of giving someone your e-mail address, only to download useless or rehashed information, stretched out into a 59-page e-book. I’ve rarely encountered an e-book with interesting or compelling content where Iactually learn something. When I do, I’m sold.
2) Social Media. It is so easy nowadays to add buttons to share posts and sites onto Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites. Also, the person/business has a presence on every major social network imaginable.
What Tastes Bland: Often, keeping track of a business via multiple sites can be of little use to consumers. The same coupon, blog post or graphic you get on Twitter was posted simultaneously onto Facebook and Pinterest. If you are a social media junkie like myself, this gets repetitive. You either lose interest in their posts or stop following them altogether.
What Tastes Great: Yes, you should use Hootsuite or other social media marketing tools to expand your Web presence. But I read a great blog suggesting that there should be a focus, a strategy – perhaps this means using less social media sites. And, of course, the posts should vary from site to site.
The basic ingredients you want to add to the usual cookie-cutter (pun intended) online business or services site are:
- Stellar design
- Engaging content
- Constant consumer interaction via social media
Of course, I got these ideas from checking out other “recipes” – blogs and great virtual assistant sites that are successful. The important thing is to be unique without changing a winning formula.
Besides, my pretzel chocolate chip cookies are out of this world.