B2B Service Providers’ Online Presence Is A Daily Job Interview
Eoin feels that interviews are a little stressful, but they are all about presentation. As a B2B service provider, the information you output to the world goes through the interview process daily, but with a focused online presence, the stress can be reduced.
Job interviews are stressful, whether you’re interviewer or interviewee. They’re uncomfortable and awkward, but necessary chores. While factors like social media and personal branding have done a lot to streamline the hiring process and help people avoid unnecessary interviews, the final face-to-face meeting is always necessary to confirm an appointment.
The same is true with B2B service providers. A prospective client will research your service online, identify potential providers and choose ‘candidates’ to meet. As online resources have grown, that original research portion is becoming more and more important. Prospects can find out so much about you before they ever meet you that they often don’t need the first meeting to make up their mind. Meetings are just opportunities to confirm opinions created online.
More and more, the ‘interview’ part of the process is being shifted into online research. Meaning that, as a B2B service provider, you attend multiple ‘interviews’ every day. Or your online presence does. In order to succeed at these interviews, you should actually follow the same advice you’ve often heard for face-to-face interviews.
If you wouldn’t turn up to a face-to-face meeting in jeans and a t-shirt, then why do you insist on creating a website filled with ‘cool’ images and flashy navigation? Your entire online presence, from your website right through your social media channels, should give a unified image of your business. That image should reflect your professionalism, your enthusiasm and your investment in every potential conversation. In the real world that means a shirt and tie, as an online B2B service provider it means sensible design and on-message social media activity.
“Tell Us A Little About Yourself”
Interviewers ask this question all the time. It’s designed to ease you in to the conversation and let you tell your story, your way. For similar reasons, your prospects will often go straight for your ‘About’ page when they find your site or your bio on social media. They want to hear you tell your story, because they’re looking for something to connect with. When you create an 'About' or bio, don’t just list your services or talk about dedication to client needs, put your personality and your business values on display.
Demonstrate Your Knowledge & Experience
Content marketing has become a vital part of B2B marketing, because creating content gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of your industry and the skills you have to offer. When you create blogs, whitepapers, infographics, videos and other content, make sure to fill them with well-researched information that demonstrates just how skilled and experienced you are. When a prospect finds you online they want to know how good you are, so tell them in every way you can.
One piece of content that is particularly effective for B2B service providers is the tried and trusted case study. By packaging real world examples of your work, outlining your success and highlighting positive commentary, you give prospects strong reason to trust you. More than that, you let them see you through the eyes of a previous client and provide a better understanding of the value you have to offer.
“Do You Have Any Questions For Us?”
Every interview ends with the same invitation. Interviewers do this for two reasons. They want to know if the candidate is engaged and interested in the business, and they want to give the candidate as much useful information on the position as possible. When a prospect visits your site, they may not want to invite questions, but, having reviewed your content, they may be interested in giving you some useful information. While you shouldn’t push prospects to share information, you should give them regular opportunities to share contact details through contact forms or content downloads. B2B service providers rely heavily on lead information to generate business, well-placed conversion points with valuable content offered behind a form can help you to gather that vital data.
Interviews can be stressful. Although not everybody who attends an interview falls to pieces on the way in the door. Candidates who prepare properly and present themselves well carry that confidence into the meeting. As a B2B service provider, your online presence should do the same job.
You've read the blog, and now you feel unsure if your website is ready for the "interview"? We can help! Apply for our free, live website evaluation to receive feedback about your page.
Post by: Eoin Keenan