Most Services Pages suck
We can all agree that there are few things harder than writing about yourself, right? Whether it’s your About Page, your Services Page, or anything else where you have to articulate your value, things get really hard, really fast. Right?
The problem is that our deepest insecurities crawl out from every corner of our minds to challenge every single statement we’re ready to publish.
When I first wrote some copy for one of our software products, I wrote something like, “an excellent option for you if…” and my boss asked me what it would take for me to write, “the best product for….”
His take was that if I had trouble believing we were the best, how could we hope our customers would feel the same way. He was right. But that didn’t make things easier.
So we can agree that these pages are hard to write. But can we also agree that most of these pages suck?
- Some of these pages are just a list of services – like just a bulleted list.
- Some of these pages are filled with jargon and buzzwords.
- Some of these pages barely say anything.
- Some of these pages talk non-stop about themselves.
In the end, it’s easy to get this page wrong. Today I want to share with you the problem and how you can get around it in four steps.
The Problem is one of Perspective
When we write a services page, we often go into it from an insider’s perspective. We’re in the company. We know what we do. So now we just write it down. Our job is simple, right? Tell the world what we do.
But in this approach, we’re talking from the inside and taking it out to the customer – we’re seeing this from an inside-out perspective. And as a result, we’re doing a lot of talking about ourselves.
Ever been to a bar, met someone, and listened to them talk about themselves for the next 30 minutes? Feel like spending more time with them?
I didn’t think so.
What we need to do is flip things from an inside-out perspective to one that is outside-in.
When we flip things, we start outside, with the prospect and bring them inside. Imagine being at the same bar and someone asks you a lot about yourself (but not too much). And then connects the dots between what they’ve heard and what they want to share. Sounds like someone you’d want to spend more time with, right?
It’s common sense. I’m not telling you something new. But it’s the challenge we all face. We start from the inside by default. And as a result, we tell the wrong story.
So here are the four steps I suggest as you start working on your new Services page.
1. Articulate your Perfect customer
I live in San Diego. When I moved into the house I’m in today, a new home that was built just three years ago, I knew I wanted a pool. As you likely know, you can spend $20,000 on a pool. But you can also spend $200,000 on a backyard with a pool. And in case you didn’t know, you can also spend $2,000,000 on a backyard (in some neighborhoods in San Diego).
The folks that build pools are just like the folks that repair cars, or folks that help you with your site’s SEO. They are service providers.
The worst part about looking for a service provider is that they all say the same things on their services pages. They tell me that they build pools. Or that they help my site’s SEO. But they don’t help me know if I’m the right customer for them. I have no idea if my particular problems fit in their wheelhouse.
The first thing you have to get right is a way to help your prospects know if you’re right for them, and if they’re right for you. So be clear about your perfect customer.
These three pool contractors are very different, right?
“We provide discerning customers with luxury environments that function as resort-quality experiences on their own properties.”
“We have a track record of helping families make the most of their backyards with our quality pools and customizable options.”
“We specialize in providing cost-conscious buyers multiple options for your family to enjoy a pool in your backyard, regardless of your budget.”
Without naming customers by their segment, you can still make it clear who is your preferred customer. Not because you think one is better than another, but simply because you know your process will work better with some prospects than others.
2. Articulate your Process
Imagine that your company builds websites for people. Guess what? So do a lot of other folks.
But let’s dig into that a bit. From a process perspective, imagine if I wrote this down as our process:
- We’ll look at other sites you like (from a design perspective)
- We’ll create your own design
- We’ll iterate/ tweak designs until you’re happy
- We’ll code it up
- We’ll launch it – within four weeks of our first meeting
Now, consider this other articulation of a process:
- We start by digging into your business to understand the key drivers of success for your site
- By defining key metrics and baselining data, we can design features based on driving metrics forward
- We show you our designs and iterate over them, constantly linking them to our key business drivers
- We’ll code it up
- We’ll launch it – within four weeks of our first meeting
Both are five steps (mind you, I’m not suggesting you write your process this way). Both take 4 weeks. But after reading them, do you have a preference for one or the other?
I bet you do. And the crazy thing is you and I might disagree on which one is better. Because we’re different people and we react differently to different things.
But the point of what I’m saying is that you should be clear about your process (while not going too deep into details), so that you attract the right customers.
They’ll self-select based on which process feels better to them.
3. Articulate your Pricing
When I land on a services page, I may find that everything is perfect. But I may still not know if your service is $500/month or $5,000/month.
I once, a long time ago, called a vendor to ask about pricing. He casually said, “a buck fifty.” I knew he didn’t mean $1.50 but I had no clue if he meant $150 or $1,500. I didn’t have any clue because I was asking about something I had no experience with. And he sure wasn’t helping me.
Depending on what your service is, you might not be able to create a price list and publish it. The point here isn’t to tell you to publish your prices. The point here is to help you understand how important clarity about your pricing is.
Even if you don’t publish you’re prices, you can provide a lot of clarity about your pricing simply by what you do actually write. Don’t skip the topic.
Let’s say you offer SEO services. Notice the difference between these three offers:
- While we’re not inexpensive, our customers have benefited from an investment in our services.
- For less than the cost of a single full-time employee, our entire team will fix and enhance your site on a monthly basis.
- Your subscription will cost you less than a single one of your Facebook Ad campaigns and make the rest of them worth it.
There’s not a single price there, but each one tells me a lot about what I might expect as the cost. And that helps me know if this is a service provider I can afford. Or if it’s someone I would prefer not to engage.
4. Articulate your Past Performance
I would have told you that you need testimonials and case studies, but neither of those words start with a “P.” So instead I’ll say you need to be clear about your past performance.
When you write a services page, you have to know people are thinking about making a buying decision. They’re in evaluation mode.
That’s the perfect time to present them with evidence of your past performance. (say that five times fast!) Quotes and testimonials should be placed on this page. But don’t stop there. Create a place for a couple of clear case studies.
What you’re saying is, in essence, “We’ve done this for folks just like you. Are you ready to have us help you?”
Which also means I should end this without telling you to make sure you have a clear way for people to take the next step. End each testimonial or case study with a call to action.
Make it easy to hire you, once you’ve convinced them you’re the right partner for your prospects.
Writing your Sales page won’t be easy. You’ll have several drafts. And you’ll likely need a friend to read it to validate that you’re thinking about things from an outside-in perspective. But if you do the hard work, the result is a page that converts better. And that’s what it means to write a Services page that works. Lead creation. More opportunities for you and your team to close.
If you have a fifth or sixth thing you think I’m missed, let me know in the comments. If you want to talk more about your services page copy, reach out and I’ll recommend some people who can help you.