Quality Over Quantity

LessIsMore.jpg

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Choose quality over quantity.” It’s often used in a consumer-oriented context, i.e., if we buy a few high-quality items (shoes, bathroom towels or furniture), those items will last longer and bring us more satisfaction than if we purchase a greater quantity of lower-quality goods. In fact, I can hear my dad’s voice, saying, “Less is more” and I still believe him.

Yet, “quality over quantity” also applies to how we work, how we play and how we practice.

On the work front, as a business owner, I definitely subscribe to the business model of “Less is more.” That is, I am happier (and more successful) working with a fewer number of clients at any given time. Rather than saying, “yes” to every client and project that comes along, I’ve learned to be selective, allowing myself the time to really get to know my clients and their needs. And, since I’m not overcommitted, I’m able to provide them a higher quality of service.

I can parlay this to my social life, as well. By choosing my friends carefully, I can pretty much assure that my leisure time is spent wisely. A few smart, interesting friends who challenge me and make me better are all I need.

As a marketing consultant, I have worked with business owners in a wide variety of industries. Typically, I encourage companies to limit their service offerings.

Whether on your website or in your sales pitch, instead of listing every single service you can possibly provide, my recommendation is to focus. Focus on a few key products or services that represent your core. Focus on the offerings that you do best and that you enjoy doing. Not only will you deliver at a higher quality, you’ll make the buying process easier for your prospects.

In today’s highly competitive world, less is definitely more.

by Rebecca Cochran

When It Comes to Websites, Simple Is Still In

Google

Thanks to Steve Jobs, Google (and others), simple is here to stay. It may not be easy to accomplish, but I believe it’s worth striving for — in our home lives and our work lives.

Keeping a website simple is a constant challenge. As our businesses grow and mature, it can be so tempting to add another page, another client testimonial, another case study, another accolade, another bullet point to the already too long list of services we provide. Of course, we’re told that the more content, the better — if nothing other than to attract the almighty search engines.

My advice? Don’t do it. Continue to keep your site simple. Your clients will thank you for it. Your authenticity will shine through. Yes, relevance and authenticity still count.

How do you keep your site simple? Here are 7 key tips:

  1. Focus on your most essential product and service offerings. Your site visitor doesn’t need to know everything you’re capable of. When you later connect with that prospective client, you can fill in the blanks, as appropriate.
  2. Reduce the page count. Most visitors need just an overview of who you are and what you provide to decide if they should contact you.
  3. Limit the number of tabs and navigational choices. If we offer visitors too many choices, we paralyze them. I equate this to the cereal aisle in the grocery store — too many choices and, hey, do I really need cereal this visit?
  4. Keep your most important content above the scroll. The majority of site visitors still don’t scroll (at least on desktop devices). Contact info should definitely appear high up on the page.
  5. Choose a palette of 2 or 3 colors. If we use any more than that, we confuse the eye and dilute our brand identity.
  6. Write content for your human audience first. Yes, keywords still matter, but ultimately, once you “get found,” you still need to be able to convince your visitor to buy from you. Keep things relevant and use your authentic voice.
  7. Continue to simplify. Sure, we all need to add content as we grow and evolve, but remember to subtract content that may no longer be important or relevant to your business today.

Don’t we all prefer to do business with people who are authentic and uncomplicated? Your clean and simple website can help you project an image of polished professionalism. Less is definitely more.

by Rebecca Cochran

 

4 Quick Steps to Effective Marketing

Profits.jpgToday, effective marketing is more about brains than it is about budget. Whether you’re a start-up or an established company, you’ve no excuse not to jump into the fray. Here are 4 quick steps to finding your marketing sweet spot:

  1. Prototype like crazy. Faster experiments mean better results.
  2. Measure, but don’t over-measure. Use your gut, too.
  3. Re-tool and correct. Adaptability is key.
  4. Repeat.

The bottom line? Just get started. Today’s pace doesn’t allow for stragglers.