The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Engagement

Content Questions

Your potential customers come to your website hoping to find a solution to their problem…

But before they feel ready to buy from you, they will have questions about your products and services.

You need to adopt the beginner perspective and make sure your website answers their questions, ideally by integrating them seamlessly to the rest of your content.

Convention says you should have a section of your site titled Frequently Asked Questions.

Here’s a more creative alternative: answer their questions with your content.

Questions your potential customer needs an answer to:

  • What if it doesn’t work? What if I don’t like it? What’s the refund policy?
  • Who are you and how did you get to know about what you do? How do I know I can trust you?
  • What does the process look like? Are there appointments? How many? How long do they last?
  • My life looks nothing like the testimonial you have on your site, will this still work for me?
  • How do I know that I need this product/service? And how do I know which product/service to buy?
  • What’s the difference between what you do and your competitors? How do I know I want you and not them?
  • Do I need to prepare beforehand? Or do I need to buy some other product first?
  • How long will it work for? What guarantees can I expect?

5 Bonus Questions

Sometimes it helps to get into specifics. Even if you don’t offer the following services, think about how these questions reflect the concerns of your own customers.

  • If you’re an Acupuncturist: Does it hurt? Do I have to get naked? Will it cure my migraine / back-ache / anxiety?
  • If you teach Yoga: But I’m not bendy / thin / young enough, what do I do? What do I wear?
  • If you’re a Health coach: I want to eat healthy, but I don’t want to eat nothing but kale.

Don’t Forget These…

  • Compassion and understanding. Some of these questions may seem obnoxious, but that’s because your potential customers are scared. It’s your job to reassure them. If you can show them you get them, they will connect with you instantly.
  • Remember: you are the expert. It’s your job to explain to your potential customers how you can help them with your services and products. Try clarifying the concepts, ideas and jargon in your industry, as this will put your customers one step closer to buying from you.
  • If you need perspective on your own products and services try this: check out the website of someone offering a service you want that is unrelated to your industry. Notice the questions that come up when you’re considering hiring someone.

You want to make it easy for them to buy from you by addressing any doubts that stop them from saying yes.

Bizarre Ways to Use Twitter

Most people use Twitter to follow the news, stay in touch with friends and stalk celebrities.

Brands, meanwhile, use Twitter to engage their followers by sharing interesting content.

That’s all well and good. But there’s so much more you could be doing with Twitter. As Nancy Reagan once said, “There’s a big, wonderful world out there for you.” Don’t miss out.

Here’s what you could be doing on Twitter…

Get to the Front of the Queue

When Christi Tasker’s flight from Chicago to London got severely delayed, all the passengers around her started making phone calls to book a new flight. Not many of the were getting far.

Christi, instead of making a call, turned to Twitter. Christi explains:

Ann, American Airlines’s sweet Twitter customer service agent was remarkably helpful. If only I could say the same for the airline attendant who was yelling at passengers… Fortunately, Twitter paid off there, too. When I showed the flight attendant the tweet advising me to move to the front of the plane so that we could deplane sooner, the flight attendant declined. I told Ann, who then suggested I show the attendant the request again. Then she complied.

This won’t work with every company – it depends on how much they’re using Twitter for customer services. But increasingly, it is a way to get fast results.

More and more consumers are turning to social media to complain, and they expect a fast response. Recent research found that 42% of customers expect a response to their social media complaint within one hour. Businesses are aware of this trend – and of the public nature of social media – so many of them are upping their game.

Learn How to Write Concisely

Concise writing is a vital skill in the digital age. If you can’t grab attention and make an impact with just a few words, your readers will go elsewhere.

Tweets are always 140 characters or less. When writing tweets, you’re forced to sift out the chaff and focus on what matters. That’s excellent practice for all types of online writing.

Want to see for yourself exactly how much punch you can pack into 140 characters? Check out the winners of Copyblogger’s Twitter Writing Contest. Also take a look at these attempts at Twitter fiction by some famous writers.

Talking of concise writing, @cookbook shares recipes in 140 characters. Why not follow @cookbook to learn how to cook and how to communicate big ideas in as few words as possible?

Find a New Job

Did you know that more than half of jobs are never publicly advertised? They’re in the hidden jobs market. The best way to find these jobs is through networking.

The key is to network with people inside companies you’d like to work for. Twitter makes this easier than ever before.

Forbes writer Susan Adams explains what to do when you’ve found people to follow in your target companies:

Once you’ve built up a good roster of people to follow, start retweeting (forwarding) intriguing tweets by those people. You can also write notes to them, using the “@” symbol and their Twitter handle. This is a good way to build relationships.

Test and Refine Your Blog Post Ideas

Writing a blog post takes a ton of time and effort. So when you write something that fails to connect with your audience, it’s a double downer. First, because it hurts to be ignored. And second, because of all the time and creative energy you wasted.

Fortunately, there’s a way you can test blog post ideas before you write them up. You’ll find out which ideas resonate with your audience, so you can focus your creative output on those.

Growth hacker and entrepreneur Andrew Chen explains how he does this:

Recently I’ve been running an experiment:

  1. Tweet an insight, idea, or quote
  2. See how many people retweet it
  3. If it catches, then write a blog post elaborating on the topic

Next time you’re short on ideas, why not test a few with your audience, and see which take off?

Write a Book

Thousands of people have used Twitter as a way of writing and publishing the novel that we all have inside. Perhaps unsurprisingly, few of them have garnered much traction.

Far better to use Twitter to get ideas and insight while you’re writing a book.

Author Don Miller suggests four ways to use Twitter to help with book writing:

  1. Tweet a chapter idea and ask if anybody has given the idea any thought. If you hear crickets, skip that chapter.
  2. Got a powerful one-liner? Tweet it and see if it gets re-tweeted. You might turn that one-liner into a complete paragraph or more.
  3. Stuck on an idea? Tweet and ask anybody if they’ve read an interesting article about it. Twitter is a great resource tool.
  4. Use Twitter to summarize an idea. The great thing about 140 characters is it makes you condense your thinking, which is often the essence of good writing.

Network at Conferences

We’ve previously covered how you can use Twitter to sneak into conferences. It looks like a lot of fun – we recommend it!

But you can also use Twitter when you’re attending conferences, as a networking tool. Follow the conference hashtag, and see who’s tweeting about the conference. If you see someone interesting, send them a tweet and ask if they’d like to meet for coffee. It’s a really easy way to expand your circle of contacts.

Wandering Off Topic

 

We all want to be seen as experts. So we end up believing we need to find our niche. We tell ourselves we need to focus on “one thing”, one service, one topic.

Yet hitting a single note over and over can make your website… boring.

And no matter how talented you are at creating content, you will eventually run out of ideas.

Going “off topic” while staying true to your brand can be a very effective strategy.

Rats, Boobs and Labour Unions

Here are 3 examples of people writing “off topic” while staying very much “on brand”:

Why You Should Veer Off-Topic

Going off topic adds heart to your brand. If you have a brand centred around you (ie: a personality brand), then focusing on other topics helps people connect with you.

You want to inspire people to see you as a friend, not just someone who is an expert on one thing. You are a three dimensional human being, not a collection of facts and expertise. People will connect to your heart, so it’s good to share with them what you care about.

It’s a great way of bringing people over who have no immediate need for your product. People connect to each other for the strangest reasons. Focusing on something you are passionate about gives people the opportunity to say “me too!” and instantly want to join your orbit. It’s up to you then to make sure they stay in your orbit afterwards, by providing super useful content.

Taking the example of Paul Jarvis: rat lovers will likely stumble upon his article and join his mailing list long before they have a need for web design.

Off Topic But On Brand

You don’t have to stay “on topic” all the time if you stay true to your brand. Your brand is bigger than one product or one service. If you get clear on your brand’s values, you can approach almost any topic and make it yours.

Danielle LaPorte focuses on entrepreneurship and spirituality, but “holistic” is a core value of her brand, and so a holistic take on beauty tips fits in perfectly.

Another approach is to focus on a topic you care about and tie your message at the end. In Paul Jarvis’ example, he started off writing about his rats, then he finished his post in a marketing lesson.

Going “off topic” every now and then might feel risky at first, but chances are your fans will care about the things you care about.

And you might even make some new ones…