Ask Alex @ Orndee: Converting Content to Clients
Alex, I am getting a lot of hits on my blog posts, but these don’t seem to be turning into new clients. I am writing new posts a couple of times a week, I add pictures, and I link my posts through social media. I thought the hard part was supposed to be getting eyes onto my page. So, why doesn’t increased hits equal new clients? - Brad
Hi Brad, I took a quick look at your blog. You are doing a terrific job of posting content. But it seems that you are making some of the most common mistakes when trying to use content to create a new client base. You are getting hits, but you aren’t getting the right kind of hits
Here is why:
1. INCONSISTENT MESSAGE
Your content should organically link to your brand. So you really need to have a clear picture of what that brand is and how you want to be viewed.
As a dentist, people who view your blog, or go to your web site, or follow you on social media, have an expectation that your content will be about dentistry and your success as a dentist. That doesn’t mean that you can only talk about the basics of your profession. In fact, you can and should develop and “round out” your brand by creating posts that provide information, highlight your expertise, carve out your particular niche, challenge your reader to think or act, establish your success, and confirm your good karma.
Since your web site suggests that you specialize in reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry, you should have a tremendous pool of topics. You can provide information about implants (not in a selling way…see below), you could discuss your views on the different types of composites available, perhaps talk about mouth care and how diet contributes to oral health. You could even challenge prevailing beliefs and talk about your views on common procedures. In addition to dental related photos, you should have sporadic photos of you at dental conferences, tasteful and friendly photos of your staff and office, and photos showing your good pro bono work.
The point is, people connect with you initially because they want more information about a particular dental procedure and stay with you because they trust you and want to hear what you have to say…about dentistry. When you go off message, especially when you add controversial topics to your blog, it detracts from your brand and makes you seem unprofessional. That doesn’t mean that you can’t express your opinions or deviate from dentistry. It simply means that you need to keep your brand…and goal of more clients…in mind when you select a topic.
Is your post consistent with your brand? If not, think twice.
2. INFLAMMATORY, INAPPROPRIATE OR MISLEADING HEADLINES
Creating inflammatory, offensive, or misleading headlines, especially if they are titillating or designed to shock, will likely end up in increased views. But not only will it not generate more clients, you may well be turning people off.
Unless you are engaged in the business of politics or religion or sex, these topics should really be off limits. You are of course entitled to your opinions, but that doesn’t mean you need to share them with potential clients. People want a dentist who is passionate about their teeth, they want to read your posts and feel more confident with you as a professional.
Views that you get from inappropriate or misleading headlines don’t translate into new clients. It is much better to have a smaller pool of readers who are potential clients then a huge poll of readers who are just their for the shock value.
3. POOR PHOTO SELECTION
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures accompanying blogs can increase readership tremendously. But the size and quality of pictures should be consistent. Just having a blurry photo attached to your blog doesn’t help you one bit.
By the same token, photo content is important. A person who comes to your blog to read about dental implants will want to see pictures of dental implants, not of your wife in a skimpy outfit, not of a sunset, not of your dog. There are certainly places where sharing pictures of your family and your life are appropriate and encouraged. But the photo should match to subject.
4. EPIC POSTS AND RANTS
People want succinct information that is easy to digest. When you write posts that stretch past 5,000 words, you insure that people become disinterested in what you have to say. When you add a tone that is preachy, judgmental, or ranting in nature, most people won’t get past the first few paragraphs.
5. TECHNO JARGON, LEGALESE, AND PLEONASTIC SENTENCE STRUCTURE
It is important that your content is conversational. People who come to your blog want you to be competent, but they also want you to be friendly, confident, and trust worthy. People who use a lot of technical jargon or legalese, when it isn’t necessary, don’t seem educated and informed. Instead, the reader often sees this as pretentious, condescending, and even dishonest.
Before you hit publish, read your post out loud. If the words don’t flow as if part of a friendly conversation, you might need to tone down the techno.
YOUR goal may be to sell your product or services, but engaging people is about THEIR goal. And the goal of most people who click on your blog for the first time is information.
When your posts sound like infomercials or used car salesmen pitches, people turn off. They don’t believe what you are saying because they feel that you are just telling them something to entice them to buy.
Instead, educate, inform, and share. People who trust what you have to say are more likely to reach out to you and ultimately become your client.
SO, HOW DO YOU CONVERT YOUR CONTENT READERS TO CLIENTS?
1. Provide frequent blog posts that are consistent with your brand
2. Seek to educate and inform, not sell or preach
3. Include relevant, high quality photos and graphics that illustrate your post
4. Talk to people in a friendly, confident, conversational tone
5. Make sure that people who want to connect with you, to make an appointment or ask a question can do so easily.