Your website has great potential as a selling tool for your architecture firm. But is it performing like it could?
Maybe you've thought of your website as an online portfolio, or a place where clients and consultants can look up your phone number and email address. It can do that, but with the latest internet tools, much more is possible.
Here are 3 ways to use your website as a sales tool, and not just a digital business card.
Tip #1: Encourage interaction
Selling professional services involves careful listening and understanding a client's concerns – you know this, you do it every day. Each positive interaction with a client or prospect builds trust and committment.
A website is a great place to promote interaction. Here are a few suggestions for encouraging visitors to interact with your website:
- Have an articles section on your website where visitors can post comments.
- Have a FAQ section where visitors can ask questions
- Add a survey to poll visitors to your website on a particular topic.
- Add sharing and “like” buttons so people can interact with your content.
The goal is to have your visitors engage with your website, not just see it as a static object. Allowing visitors and potential clients to interact with your website will draw them to you and make your website stand out from your competitors. Thoughtful implementation of these tactics can turn your website into a bustling community instead of a ghost town.
Tip #2: Add social proof
Professor Robert Cialdini includes social proof as one of his 6 psychological “weapons of persuasion and influence”. If your prospects can see that others have had success with you, they will feel more confident about doing the same.
Testimonials are a great way to help people trust you more and establish credibility. Other industries use testimonials with success, architect's websites can do the same.
If you already have client testimonials as part of your marketing literature it will be easy to turn them into text for your website. Additionally, your website has a powerful advantage over print media because it can host video and audio content. Adding video testimonials to your website is a powerful way for people to get to know, like and trust you more.
You should get client testimonials at the end of every successful project. Here are 3 online sites where you should encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews, adding to your social proof: Houzz.com, houseandporch.com, and Google.
Tip #3: Add downloadable, educational content
How many people are visiting your website? Do you know who they are or where they come from? How long do they stay on your site? Are they looking for an architect or browsing for other information?
One way to capture the information of interested prospects that visit your site is to add a form where prospects can request educational content like a free report or project planner.
This gives your prospects a less intimidating option to interact with you if they are not ready to talk with you about their project yet. After you get a prospect's email address, you should put it into your email follow up system.
These three architect website tips will make your website a better platform for selling your services. And while a website shouldn't be your only selling tool, it can be a powerful arrow in your architect marketing quiver.
Encouraging interaction, adding social proof and downloadable content will boost the effectiveness of your website. Getting even one extra project from your website can pay for the investment of making these changes.