Joy Parks

You are not a pharmacy

In business development on February 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Have you ever noticed that pharmacies are one of the few types of businesses where customers will make the effort to buy something not displayed on a shelf in front of them? No one would ever ask a sales clerk in a shoe store if there are different styles of shoes hidden away in a back room or implore a grocery store employee to check the warehouse for a cereal that’s not on the shelf. But no one thinks twice about the fact that much of what pharmacies sell is locked up in drawers and cabinet and out of view. It’s available only if you (or more specifically, your doctor) make the effort to ask.

Web designers and developers—you are not a pharmacy. If you want to your clients to have written content on their site that works at the same level as your design—meaningful content that is as compelling as all the functionality you build into the site—then you have to let them know it’s available. Writing for online vehicles—websites, enewsletters, social media program or blogs—shouldn’t be an afterthought. It needs to be approached with the same degree of professionalism and skill as the visual and technical elements you worry over. It’s not enough to pull from your client’s print pieces and it’s not fair to ask them to provide content that works with what you’re creating unless they have specialists in-house who can do it. Chances are good they don’t.

Honestly, why wouldn’t you want to offer your clients branded content services? It gives your shop a competitive advantage and can mean a longer-term relationship with clients—and recurring revenues. Think integration, think overall impact, think value-added service. Then think about having a professional writer who can sell, plan and write the content at the very first meeting. Most clients won’t think to ask for the service—it’s something you’re going to have to put on display if you want it to sell.

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