Ashley has worked in the tech industry since the late 1990's. He's obsessed with new technology and it's implications for small and medium sized businesses.
A few months ago I was considering hiring a new techy for the Stratoworks team. The role was for a very specific programmer and finding a recruiter with specialised knowledge would give me a massive advantage. Of course I turned first to my network on LinkedIn and within a matter of minutes I found the right recruiter, local to me and specialising in exactly the role I was looking to hire for. I clicked the link to his website and something I wasn't expecting loaded: it was bland, looked like it was designed in the 90's, and worst of all made no mention of her company’s niche. If I'd visited straight from Google I would have left immediately.
In my experience one of the biggest mistakes companies make with their websites is to assume that visitors will take the time to understand what their business is about, but in reality you have their attention for 15 seconds – if the first lines of text on your website don’t clearly explain who you are, you might as well have no website at all. Here are a few suggestions that will help you communicate your message:
- Your message should be written to appeal to your ideal customer, so make sure you know who your ideal customer is first, and make sure your website designer knows too – hopefully they’ll ask you
- Don’t be afraid to own your niche – it’s been chosen or developed over time and gives you a competitive advantage, make sure your website visitors know about it straight away
- Make sure your website designer puts your message right at the top of your home page and repeats it on other pages that visitors land on
- If you don’t have a message ask your website designer to help – if they can’t, have you chosen the right company?
- Companies change over time, your products, services and clients aren’t static – put a date in the diary to review your marketing plan at least annually and as part of that consider whether your message is still the best one for you
Establishing an effective message is worthy of far more attention than I have the time and space to provide here, I’ll return to it another day, but it should communicate:
- What your business is about
- What differentiates you
- What values you stand for
Returning to my erstwhile recruiter, I contacted her and she really did have fantastic, specialised industry knowledge. During our conversation I realised that she was being held back by a fear of becoming too specialised, a fear of owning her niche. Instead she chose to look like every other general IT recruiter. It’s a fear I can understand, but it was unfounded, her specialised knowledge would be invaluable to thousands of businesses small and large, if only they knew she existed. A good website designer might just have helped them find her.
I have been very impressed with the final results and have found the process easy and straight forwardSarah Seagar, Alan Mitchell Financial Recruitment
Stratoworks Technology Ltd
Telephone. 020 7096 1109