On this crazy rainy day I'm heading off to e-Women's Network’s holiday networking event in West Hartford. Fingers crossed I'll win a spot to deliver a mini "Ted Talk"!
Prepping got my wheels turning about a favorite subject > aligning your "in-the-flesh" self with your "virtual" self. Why does it matter? What difference does it make? How can you achieve it?
Let's dig into the answers with a real life story...
Salt Marsh Opera's performances brim with excitement and scrumptious singing and music. However, they had a big challenge.
A number of their 70 and 80-something patrons were shifting priorities and even moving away from Southeast Connecticut. SMO required an infusion of younger blood to grow and thrive.
But their website—the foundation of their virtual presence, and springboard to their marketing and ticket selling success—was holding them back. Flat. Dark. Tired—it looked nothing like their gorgeous productions.
And their home page opening invitation, “Formed in 2000, Salt Marsh Opera’s mission is to stage the finest opera productions in the region while expanding, exciting and educating our audiences for this grand art form.” perpetuated every abysmal myth that opera is stodgy and out of touch.
Yikes. There was a big disconnect between SMO's exhilarating in person presence and what people experienced online.
“Please,” my friend Kathy, an SMO board member asked, “Please help us recreate our website and find the words to draw in our new audience!”
So Heather, another dear friend and a divinely gifted artist, redesigned SMO’s site. Clean and beautiful, it’s now the perfect backdrop for their juicy images.
And after deep exploration of their keen passion and wit, values, offerings and audience, SMO’s written voice and message aligns with their true nature.
For example, here’s their re-crafted Home page copy:
The curtain rises. An aria soars.
Your blood begins to race.
Magic steals you away and off you fly
To a land of music and story.
Transfixed and transported
You can’t get enough.
It’s Salt Marsh Opera!
Bold, glorious and natural.
Open your heart and welcome the joy.
Since transforming their brand image this summer, SMO has reveled in expanded patronage, sold out performances and vigorous fall fundraising success. Woohoo!
You have music and story in your heart.
And when ideal prospects meet you for the first time, they feel your passion and integrity! They’re drawn to the magic you do to solve their problems and make their lives better.
But keep in mind—about 60% of a prospect’s buying decision is made based on what they discover online. That’s why it’s crucial your virtual presence reflects the real you.
You can’t afford a disconnect between your in-the-flesh self and your virtual self.
For instance, you’d never show up at a fancy holiday networking event dressed in old clothes, then talk, talk, talk someone's ear off with me, me, me conversation, right? Of course not! You'd drive people away. Instead you dress for the swanky occasion, lend a compassionate ear, and let your sparkle and goodwill shimmer forth.
Likewise, you only have one chance to make an awesome online first impression, and about 6 seconds to do it. So you’ve got to make your ideal audience feel excited and appreciated, or they’ll look elsewhere for help. And that can cost you leads and sales.
Remember: Stepping out into the virtual world is no different than showing up in person.
Want your business to succeed?
Ensure your virtual world invokes the experience your ideal customers should expect from partnering with you.
Shine the light of your message on your ideal customers—address their needs and concerns, goals and dreams.
And don’t hide behind fuddy-duddy formal English. Compose copy from your heart! Let your bold, glorious, authentic self—your music and story—dazzle through.
Time to take action!
Open your website and ponder it from your ideal audience’s perspective. What impression do you form? Is it:
Stale or Fresh?
Lifeless or Enlivening?
Self-centered or Customer-centric?
Not sure? Ask a trusted friend or professional to take a peek. Then tell me what you discover in the comments below.
Wishing you every blessing and joy this holiday season:)
P.S. Wondering if there's a disconnect between your "real" and "virtual" selves? Call 774-644-1965 or email me now for a 45-minute complimentary discovery session!