Refining Your Presentation Skills For The Internet

“You know what they say about first impressions…” Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Well yes, practically everybody has an opinion about ‘What They Say’, but that old saw doesn’t always hold true for all occasions, nor for every circumstance, especially on the Internet.

For every visitor to your website whose initial excitement died down in a hurry, there are more who stay to browse. And the Internet being a huge place, you have a lot of chances to make a good impression, you just have to make sure your customers know where to find you. And that takes some presentation skills.

There’s a high probability that a majority of your customers stumble on your site through search results, or found it mentioned on a forum somewhere, or perhaps were referred by their friends. Base it on your own actions. How many times did you look up a general service or a product on the internet and click on the resulting links, only to find out for the first time about this specific product, or that particular service, from one particular company?

Good presentation gets attention. Effective presentation guides your customers into taking a course of action that is in your favor: it gets your customers to give you their email address, sign up, or buy a product.

It gets you ‘liked’ and followed.

Then you follow through on the unspoken deal by giving them what they expect: value.

Not for nothing do we use the words “highlight” and “showcase” in these circumstances. To get readers’ or customers’ attention, you need the chance to catch their eye. When you display your products in a very good light, it’s the customer who does the rest of the work, because at that point, it’s their decision now on whether to accept your offer or not. And when they like what you’re doing, they’re likely to keep tabs on it.

How do you keep things fresh?

  • Keep customers interested with frequent updates – signing up for your RSS feed, newsletter or alerts means people are interested in what you are doing. In this case, setting expectations is crucial. If you say something on the internet, it follows you forever, so better make sure you can back it up.
  • Be ready to interact on a regular basis that you have established (a weekly post, or regular tweets, just as an example), and communicate that to them. Fresh stimulation in the form of new articles, information about upcoming events or new products keeps their attention, and gets them to come back and look around for what’s new.
  • Give enough good value that they would trust you to keep giving them good value…whether in the form of signing up to your newsletter or setting out free e-books, etc.

Don’t show off everything you have in one go. TL; DR.

  • People don’t really need to see everything on your website. They’ll visit for specific information, not a lecture. And besides, what would keep them coming back? Leave something for them to discover – whether you do it through the write-up about your services and products, topping with testimonials or customer pictures, or just leaving intrusive pop-ups out of the picture.
  • Leave them something to come back to -“Come back soon to see our new product line coming out later this month!”- and make sure you update regularly so that they do come back to look.
  • Break down your message into digestible chunks. Don’t brain visitors with a wall of text, or assault them with a barrage of flash and auto-loading videos. The first is tiring, the second is annoying.

Start as you mean to go on.
Starting up is definitely a good time to strengthen and reinforce good business habits: building up a repository of articles, for example, or a vault of freebies with real value. Set professional, high-quality standards right from the start and keep at them.

Take advantage of events.
Plan events out through-out the year. You can check a yearly world calendar for the well-known holidays, and even the lesser known ones.

Every day is an event somewhere on the planet — there are birthday blow-outs, early bird sales, seasonal sales –many retailers factor in moving out the old spring summer-fall-winter-stock, right?

You can announce a contest, or plan a promotion around events like Black Friday sales or Christmas in September (Beat the rush!) and birthday promos. Use your imagination.

Have a well thought-out website.

  • Reduce ‘clutter’ (pop-ups or complicated, overlong flash intros ). Keep the flow, and look at your website from different perspectives (and in different browsers, just to be sure).
  • Make the landing page interesting and pay attention to scroll space.
  • Direct traffic with careful spotlighting. Make products as accessible and as few clicks away as possible.
  • Mark prices clearly – and make any other fees show and accurate totals up-front; surprise fees just at the very end of the check-out process can be a huge turn-off.
  • Part of being professional and establishing yourself as one is including your business contact numbers and email addresses. Of course, this differs on the nature of your profession. A copywriter and romance author are both writers, but privacy concerns can differ widely for both.

Helpful articles:
The Top 20 Things You Can Do To Make Your Website Accessible
Great Web Design 1
Great Web Design 2

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