Pinning Down the Wasps. Why Writing Your B2B Website is Such a Pain and How to Ease It.
Even writing a simple business-to-business website can be painful. They should be easy… a shop window, a way of making prospects interested enough to get in touch. They end up being a hard, endless time-suck.
Why does this happen?
A new website means asking the big questions about the company’s written identity. Like; who are we, what do we do, why are we here? You start by needed to refresh the website. A few weeks later you find yourself awash with ideas and questions, but with no clear route out.
So, how can you ease the pain and tell your best story? Start with two things:
- Face up to your big questions.
- Remember the bucket!
Face up to your Big Questions
Bring your ideas out. Stick them up on the wall and stop them buzzing round your head like wasps round a cocktail. You’ll see gaps, stronger ideas, ones that are under-developed, things you hadn’t connected, thoughts that won’t work on the website, but will work elsewhere. It may feel a bit of a mess, but hopefully the buzzing has stopped.
Now you can start to marshal these ideas and spark others. Here are four key questions you can work through:
- What do you want your website to achieve?
It seems counter-intuitive, but let’s start with the call to action. What do you want prospects to do when they get to your website? Should it generate leads, or showcase your opinions and successes?
- What have you got to say?
What are your three key messages that show the benefit for your prospect? Can you support your claims with examples, statistics, case studies? What do you think about industry issues? Write more ideas down and stick them up next to your earlier thoughts.
- Who do you want to hear it?
You’ll have lots of audiences; prospects, partners, talent… Can you narrow down your focus to one or two? Can you match the messages to the audiences? Also ask; what does the audience want to hear (not just what have you got to say).
- How shall we say it?
So it’s a website, but how will it sound and look? What is your tone? Are you chatty and informal, or more corporate and polished? Do you want show proof in testimonials, case studies, product descriptions? Do you want to share resources like webinars, whitepapers, how-to videos? Is that what your audiences want to see?
Hold these ideas for a week or so. Leave them up on the wall and let them settle. When you come to work through the questions again some ideas will stay and resonate, others will have dropped away.
Drill down on the proof. In this second stage, you need to work hard on supporting your claims with proof. Some ideas will seem less relevant or not ready yet. Think about showing your prospect what you do, rather than just telling them. What are you going to put in those case studies…?
Have a clear-out. Your wall may look a bit of a muddle by now. You can’t say everything you want on your website, so try and narrow the focus. Cast out some messages, or save them for the sales deck, a new business pitch, a blog, (the bucket!). Work on creating two or three robust claims you can support.
Remember the bucket!
After a certain point, all new ideas go get lobbed into the bucket. Writing your website can seem like an endless (thankless) task. One way to ease the pain is to set parameters. There will be messages that are harder to clarify, proof that’s harder to find. These may have to wait til the next round. Go with what you can show now.
Keep a bucket of ideas for the next round. It gives you somewhere to put them and stops them buzzing round your head. Then, in a few months time you can empty out the bucket of extra ideas and begin the process again 😊
Or, if none of that works for you, just write 200 words about your business and add a large CONTACT US button at the bottom.
At Word Savvy we run lively workshops to help you gather your thoughts and tell your best story. It works for websites, and sales decks too. Give Kate a shout if you’d like to talk through your ideas.