Create a successful business and website by being yourself. We Make Media shows you how

Thrive by finding your own lane - be the only business that does what you do in the unique way that you do it

I recently had a conversation with a new customer. We were discussing writing the copy for his new website. He’d spoken to his son who had told him the best way to write text for his website was to use ChatGPT which, he explained, is able to scrape 100 websites, pulling the content from each and reworking the text into new, unique content. My client (the dad) previously told me one reason he chose We Make Media to produce his website is because of our publishing background. I knew he was saying this slightly tongue-in-cheek, but nonetheless I could also tell that the question was put forward to challenge me: why should he pay a professional writer when he could get the same job done by AI?

ChatGPI can scrape 100 websites and it can reword it in new content. However, think about the usefulness of a website that says the same thing as every other website (albeit in a slightly different way).

Your potential customer, previously faced with 100 companies to choose from, is now faced with 101. Have you helped them? Have you made it easy for them to choose to work with you? No. You are no closer to securing that potential customer than you were before you invested in your new site.

If the purpose of your website is to persuade a person to work with you, you must give them a compelling reason to do so. Explain what makes you unique. What do you offer that competing businesses don’t? By answering this question you become the only business in your field. Your customer no longer has the difficulty of choosing from 100 businesses. You are the only business that they want to work with.

So how are you unique? It can be an intimidating question. Sometimes it’s easier to think about what you are not. Think about your competitors and perhaps what they do wrong (in your opinion).

What is your ultimate reason for being in business? Author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek says: “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it and what you do simply proves what you believe.” 

Don’t aim to be the best. When several businesses compete on the same level, any competitive advantage is temporary. Take the food industry as an example, in recent years a locally sourced menu has been a common feature. But what does locally mean: within 20 miles, or 10? Or 5? The race to become the ‘most’ local puts everyone on a collision course.

Unless you are a ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ business, avoid competing on price. You will devalue your products and services as you try to secure the sale. You didn’t work this hard to convince your customers that what you do has little or less value.

When you have worked out what it is that makes you different, weave this into a compelling brand story.

Focus on connection. If a customer is considering a small business rather than a large corporation, it could be because they want to feel connected to the businesses that they buy from. Get to know your customers, understand their problems and struggles and the solutions that they are looking for. Answer these questions in your website copy. New customers will feel like they share something in common with you.

Be authentic. We don’t write and speak in the same way. The spoken word tends to be colloquial and casual, but when we write we often feel the pressure to sound more formal or use bigger words. Read your copy aloud, if it doesn’t sound like you, rewrite it.

If your business has a social purpose, use it to differentiate yourself. Evidence suggests that if the quality and price are equal, the leading purchase driver is social purpose.

Be transparent. A recent Accenture Strategy survey found that 66% of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand. Transparency doesn’t mean sharing every detail of the inner workings of your business, but it does mean sharing important information about your motivations, products, services and operations in order to prove to people that your business is genuine.

Build Trust. Consumers are sceptical. According to the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, only 61% of those surveyed trust businesses. Sharing reviews and testimonials is a powerful way to build trust, as well as sharing our expertise and knowledge through the content that we post on our website and social platforms.

We’ve been helping brands tell their story for 25 years, in editorial features in our magazines, through content marketing and through the websites that we create. We also help them to tell their visual story with photography.

If you need help sharing your authentic self and creating a strong brand story for your business, perhaps we can help. We Make Media is a Devon-based media company and we’ve been helping small businesses grow in the West Country since 2010. We would be happy to discuss how we can help you achieve the small business success you’ve been looking for. Book your free discovery call.

Jeff Cooper. 5 November 2023

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