How to talk about your web business so that you set yourself apart

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Sitepoint visitor Michael writes:

I really need to differentiate myself from the
competition. Most people I meet hear I’m a web designer and the
response I get is, “Oh another one”. Can you give some
tips/hints/ideas on how to help define this in an upcoming blog?

Great question, Michael! First, please continue to send questions my way so we can keep this blog interactive and interesting to you.

Now to an answer:

First, stop describing your business in terms of what you do. As soon as you say, “I’m a web designer,” you become a generic vendor.

You need to introduce yourself with what marketing folks call a “hook.” A hook is a compelling way to get somebody interested in what you do. A solid hook answers three questions:

1. Who is your target market?
2. What problem do you solve (preferably in emotional terms)?
3. What benefits do you get?

Here are some examples:

“I help furniture retailers who are struggling to attract more customers grow their business with a powerful web presence.”

“I help resource-starved non-profit organizations use the web to get all the donations, volunteers, and support that they need.”

“I help lawyers get more clients by helping them look more professional, credible, and knowledgeable than their competitors.”

Once you get their attention, you need to answer a few more questions:

1. How are you unique compared to everyone else?
2. How do you do it?
3. What’s the proof?

Here are more examples:

“Unlike other web designers, we focus exclusively on lawyers. In fact, we’ve worked with the top five law firms in the area. We have a proprietary methodology that covers the six points every lawyer needs to have in place for an effective web presence.”

“Unlike other web designers, we go way beyond design to provide a turnkey solution. We can tie your web presence to your accounting system, customer relation system, and outbound lead generation and follow up process. I have a stack of references, tesimonials, and case studies of clients talking about the results that this approach has got for them.”

“We’re the only web firm that offers a money-back guarantee. In fact, you don’t pay us until you tell us that you are delighted with our finished product.”

Michael, I hope this helps! Everyone: Aside from posting some more questions, please give some more examples of how you talk about your web business to set yourself apart…..

Andrew NeitlichAndrew Neitlich
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