161 – Why don’t you believe in us?

Discussion – Why don’t you believe in us?

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So here we are again, talking about the book ‘Watertight Marketing‘ by Bryony Thomas. This is now the seventh episode focusing upon this book.

Although it’s by no means required (each episode stands alone), you might want to check out these previous episodes in order to gain an understanding about what it is that we’re on about.

Each of these previous episodes tackles a part of the onboarding process for clients. Moments in which we might ‘leak’ those clients and let them slip away. The earlier episodes are going back further into the process of onboarding, and the more recent episodes deal with ways that they might slip away after we’ve got to know them a little.

So onto the episode for today – Why don’t you believe in us? It can be described in one word… trust.

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This is all about backing up the claims that you make about your business with solid, fact based evidence to prove that what you say you’re going to do, you are actually capable of doing.

Both David and I (Nathan), feel that this is an area that we’re pretty weak on, so this is really more of a starting point, not a exhaustive list of all that you might want to think about.

Perhaps the easiest place to start is with endorsements. Perhaps we all know this more as testimonials. Your WordPress website clients ought to be able to give you a glowing review of all the ways that you impressed them during their website build, right? But how do we go about getting them and what do we do with them once we’ve got them?

Is it okay to just bluntly approach your WordPress website clients and ask that they write you a review? In a world where this kind of request is all too common, are we just adding to the noise and frustration that this might bring? Do we risk annoying them and will they consider this a waste of time? Also, how will they know what it is that you need form them? Should we be coaching them, sending them a list of suitable discussion points that you want them to stick to? If this is the case, perhaps we run the risk of getting too many cookie-cutter testimonials… testimonials which all sound the same and lack authenticity. Do people even look at the testimonials on our site anyhow?

We work with technology, so perhaps we can be a little more thoughtful with requesting testimonials? Instead of the ‘direct ask’ approach, we could use the tools that WordPress (and other platforms) offers us to solicit these comments.

What about adding your clients to some sort of funnel sequence? One that is not all about the endorsements, but perhaps more about handing over their website to them. You know the kind of thing that I mean right? A WordPress website is completed… you add the client to a sequence which explains how they might look after their site, what they need to do next… upsell the care plan AND ask them for some kind of endorsement at this point.

I guess that we’ve got to make it super easy for them too. Tell them where you hang out online. If Facebook is your main channel, point them there, the same with LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

I would add at this point that those clients who take this step and make this effort are pure gold. They went the extra mile and did something for nothing in return. Treat them accordingly. Pamper them and make sure that you know that they did this for you and that you really appreciate it.

Leaving the notion of getting the testimonials off clients, what should you do with them once they’re in your possession? I suspect that mostly they end up in a portfolio of similar content on your website. This is what I’ve done in the past, but it all feels a little tired. I have tended to make case studies from the testimonials, but it’s been ages (like years) since I have updated any of this content.

My flow has turned a testimonial into a ‘what the client wanted’ and ‘what we delivered’ piece of content with a link to the website in question. I’m not too sure that this is as good as it could be!

It’s hard for a generalist like me. Someone who makes sites for anyone, but I’m thinking that if you’re working in a specific niche (UI/UX, SEO, Funnels etc.) then you well provide some of the valuable data that you might have, data that proves that the things that you did had a significant impact upon their bottom line.

What about video testimonials? I have to say that I suffer from a severe case of cynicism when it comes to these, although I think that I might be in the minority here! I see such great content created online these days, such great production quality almost everywhere I look. So when I see a poorly shot video, with terrible audio and it’s a testimonial trying to pitch me something, it actually has the opposite effect. I suspect that this says more about me than it does about the effectiveness of such strategies, but nevertheless, it’s a point worth making. Do you need to ensure high quality video if you’re going to go down this route?

So, as I say, this is an area where we’re both feeling like we could have done better. Perhaps you’ve looked at this and got it all figured out? If that’s the case then please leave a comment here or in the WP Builds Facebook Group and let us know what secret sauce you’ve been cooking up!

Mentioned in this episode:

‘Watertight Marketing’ by Bryony Thomas

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your hosts, David Waumsley. Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there, and welcome to the WP build podcast. This is episode number 161 entitled, why don't you believe in us. It was published on Thursday the 9th of January, 2020 my name's Nathan Wrigley and I will be joined a little bit later by David Waumsley from David Waumsley.com so that we can have our discussion.
If you listen to this podcast regularly, you'll know that we flip flop alternate weeks. One week we do an interview and one week we do a discussion with David Waumsley and I so. This week it's the discussion, and next week it will be an interview with a plugin theme or notable person in the WordPress space.
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And we do thank all of our sponsors for helping to support the WP Builds podcast. Okie dokie. What have we got in store for you today? Well, the episode is called, why don't you believe in us. It is yet another of our explorations into the water type marketing book by Briony Thomas. This I think is the seventh episode in a row.
Discussion episode that is, they're all listed in the show notes, and in this one we're tackling the thorny issue of why should clients even trust that you can do what it is that you say that you do. Now, if they come to you as opposed to another agency . Proof? Do you offer that? What you claim to do, you are able to do?
So we talk about things like endorsements, testimonials, how you might get those, where you might put them, how you might repurpose for them, how you solicit them and things like that. And it's a nice, nice episode. I hope you enjoy it.
David Waumsley: [00:03:39] Hello, this discussion where call calling, why don't you believe in us?
And it's another discussion that is based on the book of watertight marketing by, Bryony Thomas where she discusses 13 leaks where our businesses can lose potential customers or clients. So through these discussions, this is, we've been working up an imaginary tunnel starting at the narrows point at them.
Bottom, which is where our existing customers aren't working up. Customers are working up to the top where there are people who don't know us. So we've already discussed a few things. So we started with forgotten customers. They're the people we may have neglected. We talked about onboarding, where we think we might have their clients on board, but they're not yet committed.
Not having an emotional gateway, not having brand identity that customers can relate to, not having a gateway, no trial or a product ladder to our big offering. No critical approval. That's counter in the third party objections. And now we're moving onto. No proof. So this one I think is going to be a fairly short one.
Do you think Nathan? Yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:04:44] largely because neither of us, when we did our little preamble chats before we press record, it would appear that this is something that we're both quite bad at. So, you know, there's a lot to talk about, but we just don't come from a point of experience. So I suspect during this episode we'll, we'll beat, there'll be a lot of guesswork.
A lot of kind of thinking, why didn't I ever do that? I don't do that. I don't like doing that. That feels wrong, and all of those kinds of things, but certainly lots to talk about. By the way, this Brian E. Thomas book, do you know how, how, how old is it? Is it a sort of fairly recent publication or is it going back a decade or more?
Do you know. Mm,
David Waumsley: [00:05:21] I think it's 2014 don't quote me on that. Yeah. So it's, yeah, it's a bit old now. But, I think this, I think what I like about the book is it's quite practical. It gives you this kind of framework and I think it's ageless. Rarely cause she's not really getting into the sort of digital side of things.
But there is actually something we should mention because there are factors we leave out with just taking these top picks that this. A funnel that we're working up does have kind of different levels. And we, on this discussion, I'd talk talking, I guess at the point where people on their journey to buy something cause it's starting to get critical rather than, it's not an emotional judgment.
They're starting to get into that thing where they, they need some evidence to make that purchase. So this is the start of that. So yeah, no proof is very much about, just showing that we. We literally are the real deal rather than just our general marketing is when people are starting to look at us and say, well, are you really that?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:06:20] Yeah. I suppose if you're a bricks and mortar shop and you're selling, I don't know. I keep using the analogy of shoes or something just by, by dint of the fact that you exist. You are a shoe shop, you sell shoes. You don't really need to prove anything else. I mean. You know, you probably need to work hard on your customer service and all those kinds of things, but there you are.
Whereas we sell something which is far more ephemeral, you can't really grab hold of it. You certainly can't sort of see it in a shop. So we have to go to, well, we have to try to go to different lengths, try different techniques in order to, generate, I suppose, confidence that we are, we're actually capable of doing what it is that we claim to do.
And also. The fact that from a technical point of view, it is quite tricky. You know, if you want to put a website together, sure enough, you can go with a, you know, a quick and easy paid solution like Squarespace or whatever that will function. But we're, we're proposing, I presume that we can do something slightly better, slightly different, and there's a lot of moving parts.
And so we have to, to build up that trust. lots and lots of times I've had chats with clients who literally have asked the question, are you able to do this? In other words, they're actually saying, yes. Technically, can you do it? I know it's possible, but can you do it? so yeah, definitely important. I
David Waumsley: [00:07:36] see.
Interesting. Also, you just raised a point, which is really in the book. She. Really highlights that this is for those major purchases where people do have to process and over time that their decisions. So she talks about the fact that it's not, it's not applicable in cases where she bought handbags, she says the other day there was no, no thought went into it.
It was in her costs, saw it. She'd like, she bought it. There was no decision make it needed to be there. So it is really for people like us who it is quiet as they have to go through a process to get to the point of saying, yes, I'm going to let you build my website.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:14] Yeah. Not just from the point of view of the fact that it's a lot of money, you know?
I mean, we all charge different amounts, I'm sure, but at the end of the day, it's not the cost of a pair of shoes to build a website. It's going to be more, could be considerably more. And also the fact that at some point during your process, you have made them aware that there's actually a lot of. A lot of work that they need to do to prepare for this.
It's not like, can you please build me a website? I'll come back in five weeks and you'll have finished it, won't you? You know, they've got to have some skin in the game. They've got to understand, how their business works, what it is that they want to be getting from the website and all of that kind of stuff.
So it's, there's a lot going on. and so, you know, they're going to probably shop around and you've got to be able to justify your existence. your proposal, whatever it is, your contract against the rivals who are going to be up against you. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:09:06] And I think. Well, a lot of what's talked about by her is about getting endorsements from people because I think she says something in the book of, along the lines that, you know, you might have the greatest salesman or whatever.
If you're going to say about your product, no one really is going to believe you because you know, it's always going to be better if it's going to be a third party endorsement. that's going to help to sway people. So her regime, I mean, it's a very simple topic we're discussing here. We do need to get endorsements from other people.
We do need to show, perhaps on our websites and in other places that we prove the things that we claim, you know? So we need to highlight those with things like, so testimonials that are obviously our endorsements. And for a lot of us, a portfolio is. The way that we prove that we've done the work.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:56] Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, you only have to look at the amount of WordPress themes that come pre-installed with the portfolio posts type to, to realize that this is quite a crucial thing in many business areas, not just in web design, in just about everything. You know, you want to be able to show all the stuff that you've done.
And, you know, like I said, many, many themes come pre-installed with this in it, and no doubt most of us then unpick that and try to get rid of it. But, yeah. The. The, the test, the whole testimonial thing is interesting because I've spoken about this a lot before. For me, the best testimonials are the people in real life.
So the word of mouth, the actual people meeting, over a, you know, a social event or, I don't know, some kind of networking meeting where face to face they describe, Oh, well, I. Used a David Waumsley, you know, he was great. It was a really good service. That stuff I think comes at the top of the tree. I, I find it hard to think that anything could beat that.
But if your business is more national or international than mine is, cause mine is very much a local business. And so that, that stuff can happen fairly meaningfully and have a, have a good result. But if you're, If you're more national or international, you've got to try something different because the chances of your potential clients actually in the real world meeting your previous clients is vanishing to say the least.
Yeah. so yeah, the testimonials thing. I have tried this. I tried it. I was saying to you earlier, I think probably five years ago, I just decided that I needed actual testimonials, not just, and what I mean by that is little quotes, to go on the website that were written by people who'd worked with me before.
So. I vary quite courageously for me cause I don't normally like doing this kind of thing. But I, I just penned an email which essentially said, you know, you've worked with us in the past. I'm wondering if you've got five minutes out of your day to write me, maybe three lines about how you think the service went and so on and so forth.
kept it short because let's be honest, if you're going to do a testimonial, I think in most cases it's not going to be much more than a few sentences. Nobody's going to sit down and pour over it. And I was really surprised. I would say that. At that time, maybe half of the people that I was working with got back to me and I picked the ones that seem to fit best with the messaging that I wanted to put across.
So that was really effective, you know, by making it very quick and three lines only that, you know, if I'd left it open ended and said, can you just write me a testimonial? Anything you like, maybe I would have had worse results, but I kept it short. And, and it was great and I was able to use those no idea if they made any impact.
My guesses, because I am local and in my community, it's not that much of a stretch to think that somebody could know the person that appears on my website giving a testimonial. It might have done. Because let's say for example, John Smith is on my website because I built his car, garage, a web, you know, a website phase card or auto trading.
. the chances are that many people will actually know him from where I come from. And so seeing him on the website might just work. But, you know, I don't know how trustful I would be going onto a website and looking at a testimonial from somebody that I've never heard of in a place that I've never been.
Yeah, exactly. I think if
David Waumsley: [00:13:17] you've got a local audience, then you've
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:19] just got to do that.
David Waumsley: [00:13:20] I, I've held off from asking people because I just don't know what I do with them because I don't believe most testimonials myself.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:28] So
David Waumsley: [00:13:29] yeah, it's not going to connect to, I mean, it might help a little bit because a lot of my clients came from the area I grew up in, and perhaps that at that might be, in fact, I should do it.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:41] Yeah, I'm going to do, I can't see the, I can't see the objection, especially if like we've just been discussing the, the people might actually know each other in the real world. I think that has a real, a real potential of having an impact, but I'm, I'm exactly like you. I haven't really made the decision that I was distrustful of testimonials more that I just completely ignore them.
I just don't read them. And they're always presented in a very similar fashion, aren't they? And I confess, I've . You know, don't exactly the same thing. You know, there's a picture often in a, you know, a masked to be a circle of somebody's face, and then it says the person's name. This is John Smith, and he works for X company, and here's what he has to say.
And usually there's quotes at the beginning and quotes at the end, or it might even be in a, I don't know, it might even be in a speech bubble itself and all of this kind of stuff. And we'll just see that and immediately think. Okay. It's a testimonial. Move on. I don't know that person. There's no reason for me to gain trust from that, but also, this is maybe getting a bit cynical.
I've no real confidence that that testimonial is legitimate. Real, yes. Could be completely written by the people running the website. Yes.
David Waumsley: [00:14:57] And the one I talked to you about this earlier, the one that made me smile the most was one of the GPL clubs out there. So if anybody doesn't know what they are, they're basically sat in on a premium plugins.
And, so the developers. Not getting anything. And they've got these nice little icons. They haven't got testimonials or search, but there's the icons that I don't have featured in places. And they were, they were WP sort of blogs, well-known blogs, and of course they were featured. They didn't link to it, of course, but they were featured.
Same. Keep away from GPL clubs,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:33] you know? So
David Waumsley: [00:15:36] I, it just made me smile so much. They just kind of turned it on their head.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:40] Yeah, that's really interesting. The, I've, I've noticed that actually quite a lot. That seems to be a bit of a, a trend that, you know, you go to a website and you'll notice sort of halfway down on the homepage.
I mean, I think by, by this point, I'm probably already beginning to suspect because the website sort of somehow looks a bit weird and then you get to this, usually a. you know, a horizontal row of icons from major blue chip companies, you know, like McDonald's and Coca Cola and, Dyson or whatever it might be.
And, and the, the implication is absolutely that we have worked with these people, but when you actually inspect it, it's just somehow they've managed to force it onto the website in a way that basically says, we could work for these people cause we'd fit right in with them. But they're sort of trying to persuade me that they have already, which I've seen that so many times recently, and I find that a bit off putting in fact, that would have exactly the opposite effect on me, but maybe people who are just scanning through it creates some sort of, I don't know, psychological reassurance that, Ooh, look at those logos.
I recognize those and they just move on without giving it any more thought.
David Waumsley: [00:16:51] Suddenly I think it does work, but yeah, we can, I mean it's, it's often with partnered with, and you know, I think, you know, I could
Nathan Wrigley: [00:16:58] probably, yeah,
David Waumsley: [00:17:00] yeah. That could use a McDonald's. Cause me and my wife talked about working. What we have is having a burger one day, you know,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:07] McDonald's, Walmart.
So you borrowed that shared use that shared wifi and bolts of burgers, sat down and did some work. So yeah, stick it on them. No, but I think, I think all of that stuff, that, that kind of thing doesn't really work for me. I mean, maybe, maybe if I came across. So let's say for example, you and I, obviously we work in the, in the WordPress world quite a lot.
And there were a few characters who pop up in the WordPress world and you know, and. You've decided over a period of time that they're to be trusted. They put out good content and you'd like what they say. If I saw them, I, I'm kind of regarding them a little bit more like my friend, you know? so their, their endorsement might work well on me.
I can think of a few people in the WordPress space where if I see that they've used the plugin that I'm thinking of buying and they are. Credible, and it really does sound like they've used it and it's not just some sort of copy that, has been, you know, just made up very quickly. I suppose it does work.
So although I am cynical, I think I'm cynical to a point if I know people and trust people that it does have an impact. Certainly I would say there's no need not to do it. I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't put testimonials on. I just think you've got to be, be careful who you put the, you know, who the testimonials come from.
David Waumsley: [00:18:26] Can I just ask you did, when you got your testimonials then and put them on the site, when their name was mentioned, did you also link to the website?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:34] Yeah, yeah, that's exactly what I did. I, I put it so it was a portfolio of websites. So the, it's now long since gone this, this doesn't exist anymore, but the, the way it worked was you, there was a testimonials item in the, in the main menu.
You would click on that and then it would show, the company's branding, you know, like the logo. And then you could click in that, and then it would give you like the brief, and I would explain what the project was for, and then I would write about six lines, and then I would put something like the outcome, can't remember how I worded it and what we did, and then I would move the quotes of the person next to it all.
So that it all sort of tied together with, with pictures of what the website looked like. Yeah. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:19:19] Yeah. I mean, I thought about this and how we might. Go about the other side, the sort of, presenting our work and it's gonna vary, isn't it? Depending on what we focus on, I think. So if you're more of a designer and you're going to attract people because you do very attractive work, then your portfolio is going to help you.
And I don't have one because? Because I'm mostly accommodating what clients want. it's not necessarily an aesthetic that I might like, so that puts me off, put in a portfolio. On my side, I've got nothing. I'm terrible. So designers can do that. I think. of course clients may be, can wreck their designs later, but our guests, they can always put something in that shows what it looked like.
But I mean, if you're a developer, I guess you've got there show examples of. Things like you said, can you actually do it? You've got to show examples of where you've created the certain functionality. So if somebody comes to you and say, I want a real estate site, you know, you can easily show them, well, I've done one.
It's here.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:20:16] Yeah. I think that's important for me. That kind of process could be in the real world if you know what to mean. Now, if they came back with the query of, you know, Kelly, can you build a real estate site? I think I'd probably. Either say, well, I'll go away and think about it because I've never done it before.
Or I would say, yeah, of course. And, and here is one that I've done before. So the testimonial is kind of working in the real world, if you know what I mean. I'm showing them something I've built before. And I know there's this kind of like ongoing debate about whether or not you should put your company's name.
In the footer of the website. And I think the debate is over in terms of whether it should be linked. So I think Google have made it quite clear that don't put a link. I'm not sure what it means to have your, just your name in the footer of the website, you know, so for example, you know, David Waumsley.com or whatever in the footer, but no links whatsoever.
Then I suppose at least you can show that. look, that was me. It really was me, because what would be stopping me from. Finding a superb example of a real estate website and just going, Oh, yeah, yeah, we, we built that. I mean, obviously I'd be, fingers crossed that they didn't actually fund them up and, and check, but, which they'd be well within their rights to do, but you know, that, that can at least overcome that slight problem.
David Waumsley: [00:21:34] Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I'm, I think I'm swaying a little bit more towards the idea of putting the name in the footer if clients will allow it.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:21:42] You know, I haven't done it. Yeah, no, I think, I think there's a. I think that's probably the only reason I can think of that it might have some use. I think apart from that, it probably doesn't serve any purpose.
I actually have had clients before who were phoned up other clients. They've asked for their telephone numbers. I don't know how those conversations went because in some cases, I, I won the contract and never asked. And in other cases, I never heard back from them again. So, you know, my God, exactly the opposite way, but, it has, it has happened.
You just remind me all the time of
David Waumsley: [00:22:15] some of the benefits of just, you know, working in a certain community, you know, that you're going to see a lot more. I imagine you're going to see more of that than you would do internationally, but,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:25] yeah. Yeah. It works in my favor, I think. But I can imagine that, you know, if you've got aspirations to grow huge.
It's, my model is hopeless. You know, it's never gonna allow me to be enormous, but it allows me to, allows me to lead the life that I wish to lead. And, you know, and, and it works for me, but yeah. Anyway, so yeah, testimonials I believe are probably worth using, but I think they probably have more impact.
What about things like. You know, video testimonials. These to me smacks so much of kind of JV zoo stuff, or you know, like landing pages that go on and on and on and on, and you see these videos of people who are raving about the product. This on a personal level, this just doesn't sit well with me. I don't like that too much.
David Waumsley: [00:23:14] Yeah, me too, because he seems, I don't know. You're the, I, I've seen it on some products where you can almost tell that person who provided the service of help that client to hostage to do it. So it's been at the end of a build and they've stuck the camera in front of them and say, you see, nice. Yeah.
Things about me while I'm standing here. You can feel it. and then I also feel that it doesn't seem that genuine does it? It's quite a big ask for most people to say, will you stick yourself on camera and, and give me a testimonial. So I don't know. I just find, I don't believe him, cause it's not a step that someone would take.
I'd much prefer someone just said something nice in their social media, genuinely about us.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:24:00] Yeah, yeah. The whole social media things. Another completely different angle. and again, not something that I follow particularly carefully. You know, I do not at the end of a project ask people to, to tweet about it.
I'm just not a very heavy. Twitter user or, you know, I use Facebook a lot for, to the WP Builds Facebook group, but that's, and a variety of other groups. So that's kind of where my, where my involvement with Facebook goes. I'm sure that stuff's really powerful, but I just haven't really experimented with it.
You know, asking clients to Twitter just launched a website with the fabulous dah, dah, dah, would, yes, it would be great if you, you've checked it out and whilst you're at it, give them a call. You know, I don't know.
David Waumsley: [00:24:43] Yeah, but just natural conversation, the, I think the, the videos, it seems unnatural. It seems like, I don't know how I'd have that conversation.
Would you mind recording something for me to put on the website about me? It seems, I couldn't imagine myself asking someone to do this. So when I see it, and also there's another side, and this is, this is not the nice side of me. When I'm looking at these people, I start judging the people, giving the testimonials and whether I connect.
With them. You know, whether they're my type of people.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:12] No, no, no, no. Very normal. I'm sure.
David Waumsley: [00:25:17] Yeah, exactly. So I think it can, I don't know, work against, I'd rather pop myself up there because that's who they're going to work with and just talk effectively, give my own testimonial by explaining what we do and they can judge me and the person I am seems better than asking a client to do that for me.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:36] There are of course like solutions to all of this that are both things. Like for example, LinkedIn. Strikes me as like a really good solution to this kind of stuff. You know, getting endorsements and seeing what kind of work you've done, where you put together the best version of yourself on your LinkedIn profile or LinkedIn business page or whatever.
But again, just through lack of lack of time or interest, I've just never really updated LinkedIn or made an effort to make the LinkedIn side of things look polished. But I suppose that might be, yeah. A useful way, and I know for a fact that a lot of people gain a lot of work via LinkedIn.
David Waumsley: [00:26:15] Yes, indeed. I remember many years back, I went on a course that was about Google analytics and it doesn't present in, that course.
Wasn't that great, but they kept saying that, well, they don't really use it themselves because they just use, they get all their work from LinkedIn and their connections there, but this was some time back and I just haven't engaged with that. But I do wonder whether this, you know, it's become phony. I don't, you know, I don't know if I trust recommendations through LinkedIn.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:42] Yeah, I suppose it's also just the fact that your profile, if you, if you spend enough time on the platform and you massage your profile and make it really good, I suppose the idea is that eventually it works for you. You know, people start reaching out to you because of the content you've shared on there and the expertise that you've demonstrated on there.
And you know, so in our case it would be talking about WordPress websites and. In the end, it would be hoped that that, that would work in your favor. People would start communicating towards you, on, solicited toward you, about WordPress websites, but not having, I mean, I have a, I have a LinkedIn page in much the same way that I've probably got a page on just about every single platform that's ever existed, but I'm just never, ever kind of got into LinkedIn or.
Gained any immediate benefit from it when I started using it so quickly, kind of fell off the wagon and never really went back. But I know that we'll probably get a bit of feedback about this because I'm sure that a lot of people use LinkedIn to enormous effect. Yeah,
David Waumsley: [00:27:44] I bet they do. I don't know how that translates
Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:46] so easily for, well, maybe people like us who are just
David Waumsley: [00:27:50] trying to get a website job or not the entire package we want.
Don't we want to do everything for the client where I can imagine LinkedIn works well
Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:59] if you want to
David Waumsley: [00:28:01] link up with people who've got transferable skills, so say you want somebody to do a certain thing for you on the project that you're working on. I can imagine that's how that works quite well. So you say, you know, the developer already could do with some filter in on this site that I can't make work, you know, that they might be the person to pull in, but that's not the word I'm looking for.
So that's my how. I imagine LinkedIn works well when you can just put your, yours is basically your skills that you put there. I just don't think. Clients go to LinkedIn looking for their web designer?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:33] No, no. Again, no experience really of that. I'd be interested to know what people think. I'm sure there's a place for it and I'm sure people genuinely do go out and do cold outreach on LinkedIn and, and get work with each other.
But, yeah, it's, it's not worked for me in that regard. What about kind of like paper based materials? So, you know, let's say, cause we're in this period where we've, you know, we're moving up this funnel and we're at that point where. we're trying to change it from emotional, I can't remember the word you used.
What was it? Emotional list turning into.
David Waumsley: [00:29:06] Yeah. Tell them this is where people are getting more logical and logic. Exactly what said, but
Nathan Wrigley: [00:29:10] you're so emotional. Emotions become logic. because there's many, many times where I've been, so this has nothing to do with WordPress. Nothing to do with websites, but where you've, you've been engaging somebody so.
An example might be, I don't know, you want to get some windows or something fitted in your house and you go, and the first thing they do is throw a load of paper at you, you know, glossy brochures of things that they've done in the past. And look, here's a, here's a mansion with 658 of our windows in it.
And look, is a conservatory just like the one you want, in, in the back garden. And, and it is, it's quite effective. You know, you, you leave the building, you take it with you, you know, it's probably got a business card in it and so on and so forth. Just because of the fact that I, I like the paperless life.
And that's one of the things that drew me to working on the internet in the first place. I think. I don't, I don't produce any sort of glossy. Paper based materials that I can give to people, but it strikes me that in certain situations that would be quite useful. I just point them at URLs and hope that they look at them, but that's very much when they're sat at the desk with the computer switched on.
I know that a lot of people on like you and I like to, they like to go home and switch the computer off. My computer is pretty much on all the time, but you know, they're not going to be looking at your stuff. From five o'clock onwards. So, but they might look at your glossy brochure, which you've given them, and they can just leave on the coffee table.
David Waumsley: [00:30:36] Mm.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:37] How, how would that work
David Waumsley: [00:30:38] when somebody shows some initial interest? You could just,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:42] well, the, the, the situation that I'm imagining is when I'm like, gone to do a proposal because at that point I'm still, you know, I'm hoping that they've liked what I've said, but I'm also well aware that I'm eminently forgettable.
You know, soon as I walk out the door, I don't know when the next person's coming in. and they might do a pitch, which is. Worse than mine in every respect. But they came later and for some reason they just got along better, and that's often enough to swing it right. but if I leave them some papers, stuff, it just kind of, it's like a nagging thing, isn't it?
It's just sort of sitting there. acting a little bit like, look, here I am. Here I am, you know, use me. He picked me, he picked me. I've never done it. So I don't know the effectiveness on it, but I know that in all sorts of industries, that's absolutely standard stuff, isn't it? Like when was the, if you go into a bank and even mentioned that you're thinking about getting a bank out here, mr Wrigley, you have nine tons of papers to peruse with all of the different options.
Just take those and. You know, will come back to us. It's just standard procedure, but I never do it, but I thought maybe it would be possibly effective. The thing for me is a, it's paper and I'm trying to get away from that and be, there's a gigantic upfront cost in producing that stuff. You know, it's not worth probably not worth printing warn or two, but it might be worth printing a hundred.
And I'm honestly, I'm not going to get through a hundred in, well, probably in the, the remainder of this century.
David Waumsley: [00:32:09] Yeah. No, I think it's a really good idea. At least it'd be quite
Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:11] different, right. Well, we've got we've got an actual takeaway from this episode for once. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:32:19] Well, it was one of the thought that I had, and I've been doing this a little bit, don't, don't judge me too harshly on this, but there are things now like, WP portfolio, which is where you could show all the premade astrocytes.
So I've been doing some landing pages for, so different kind of niche markets to sort of send some things out. And I'd be mixing those in with some templates that I've made as some examples of sites on this. So I wonder, you know. Can we just, you know, does that work too? Because it's like a brochure, isn't it?
A types of sites that you could have and they're really beautifully designed, you know?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:54] Yup. I think that would totally work. I suppose it comes down to the level of commitment, doesn't it? You know, whether somebody is actually prepared to go off and spend the time. You see. Again, just illustrating how different your working environment is from mine.
I don't really have anything like that built, but should I have something like that built? That's exactly the sort of thing that I would take a client through when I was sitting next to them in their office, I'd say, okay, so just to give you an illustration of what we can do, Here's, here's one that I prepared.
You know, you must understand, this is a, it's a fictional company. It doesn't really exist. But look, here is, there's there, there's their windows, and you can see all the filtering and the searching options. And, and here's another one with a, with a different way of laying out entirely. You'll notice that we've got the logo slightly bigger there, and you know, it's a slightly longer page with more, more emphasis on the text or whatever it might be.
That would be great in a one to one situation, but I'm. I know for my just just the way I behave is that I would probably look at one or two of those and then just close the browser down unless something was really compelling me to look at the next one and the next one on the next one, but I think face to face or on a Skype call or something, that would be awesome.
David Waumsley: [00:34:10] Yeah, yeah. This is my theory. And I often thought that rather than just portfolios, which featured that the basically the aesthetics of a design, which we'll show in, I thought maybe it should do more case studies and those clients of mine as well that do case studies on, their sites as well about, you know, how they put together certain furniture and stuff.
So. They do that, but I often wonder how much, because when I've looked at people's case studies, I get bored just like you do and why I haven't bothered taking, making the effort to talk about some jobs that we've done and some of the benefits and some of the issues we have. Because I just think probably just somebody to look at whether there's some pretty size to not just say.
They'll just send me a quick email and just saying, we senior, how much is it going to cost for this?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:57] Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:34:57] I don't know if it's worth the time. I don't know how much people will take the time on your website to make those decisions, whether that's where they go for the proof or whether the proof needs to be there when it's that first contact and then you back up.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:12] know, I've just had what I think is quite a good idea. Whilst you've been talking. What about if on your portfolios, these, these templates that you've created, what if you put something like logic hop or if so, and send them a link which would, which would make all of the places where the, where the name of the company appeared appear.
So it looks like you've made it for their website, general domain, so that instead of it just sort of saying, Oh, I don't know, company X, it's actually got the name of their company and a few details that you could pre-populate elsewhere as well. That is a good idea.
David Waumsley: [00:35:55] Yeah. That is a good idea
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:57] that they see, we're gonna have to edit this out and go and make a plug in David at the end.
I just thought that might be a nice way of, you know, if you send them those links on the first one that they click on, Oh. Goodness me, it's got my company name at the top. That's fascinating. That would definitely make me sit up. Yeah.
David Waumsley: [00:36:15] Well it would, wouldn't it? But the problem is then you get kind of, well, that would work for maybe the kind of client that I'm trying to go for, cause I'm going for the sort of low budget.
But it'd be quite tricky then to try and sell somebody a big redesign after them seeing that. Wouldn't that, yeah, that's true.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:31] Yeah, I think, I think the, the already the shine of the idea is worn off. It's a rubbish idea. Moving on.
David Waumsley: [00:36:40] It's one for me. I like
Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:41] it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe you're the only person that can benefit from that, but yeah.
Interesting. Do you ever, do you ever send like. Surveys out to your customers, asking them to sort of like rate to you so that you can like, gauge how well that you've done. And you know, maybe even put some of that on a website. I don't know. I've noticed, I can't remember what they're called, NP, NPR or something like that, where you give them.
Give people a rating out of 10 very quickly and hope to get some meaningful data, and then they you, you say, why did you put seven out of 10 and so on? Do you ever solicit that kind of stuff? I know that we talked about testimonials earlier, but you ever asked for any other data back.
David Waumsley: [00:37:19] No, I'm sure you know that the answer was getting no on that.
It shouldn't be the thing that I do because I mean, my background before, my job before was all in statistics. So you would think that would be the first thing I would think of, but no.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:31] Yeah, it just strikes me. That might be quite a nice way to round a project off, is to not only ask for the testimonial, but ask for feedback.
Both good and bad. yeah. So that you can not just puts that stuff on the website, but you can also make decisions about, well, all right, I think I'm quite good at this, but this person thinks that the communication between us was lousy. You know, the process was stretched out over far too many weeks, or it was all too quick, or whatever.
just strikes me that as you, as you're closing things off, that'd be a good time to get that information.
David Waumsley: [00:38:06] Yeah, it would, and I think this is just the
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:08] problem of sort of
David Waumsley: [00:38:09] quantitative research. If you know fast people get tick boxes, you often miss out the gaps. I think the idea is a good one. I did we not mention this before, actually about a kind of a.
An end process where you get feedback, but I think that's much better when it's more discursive. You know, when you can get qualitative information, they actually sort of tell you about their experience and where you could improve. I think rather than trying to put people into boxes, if I'm always getting into this, being invited to rate people on the survey, but I always feel that.
It does. I don't know what they're going to get from it because I really can't express, you know, the experience that I, I'm just randomly clicking boxes.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:50] Yeah, yeah. I know what you mean. I'm very, I suppose it just, it's because of the fact that we're certainly in the UK, we're deluge with this kind of stuff, aren't we?
You know, we have . People phoning us up out of the blue, asking, asking us to buy things and wanting our opinion on things, and people stopping us in the high street wanting us to fill, fill out a quick three minute survey about your mobile phone package or whatever. And as a result, I'm pretty cynical about that kind of stuff.
So if anybody asks me to fill out those kinds of things, how basically never do. And that's mostly because it's a stranger, but I wondered if there was a benefit in it because you might have worked with this person or people quite closely, and maybe even dare I say, it built up some kind of friendship between them over the previous month or several weeks, and it might be that they're willing to do that because you know there's a connection there.
I thought,
David Waumsley: [00:39:39] you know what? I think that's another great. A addition to this. Actually, I think that is important to try and have that conversation is, I think it's just the way that it's done. You know, the friendship thing. If they can just tell you honestly what they thought of your survey, and if they say something great, you're going to learn something about you're all bad as well.
You're going to learn how to change, but you could use, you said, you know, can I, the thing that you just said there, can I actually use that as a testimonial? Yeah. I think that's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:40:04] so candy. Yeah. I don't see why not most, most of the things that, that I put on the website, this is the previous one that was on about a few years ago.
The, the actual name of the person went with it, you know, so it actually said first name and surname and that lend lent some credibility. Obviously I asked permission for it to go on the website and received it. But, I think some people are reluctant with those kinds of things as well. You know, they don't want their photo going on a website.
They don't want to be associated with something that, you know, they've got no control over. So, having, having an option to, I don't know, put mr T. From, from the 18. No, mr mr P from such and such a company, allows it to happen. But then of course, the flip side of that is that, I distrust it even more because now it's not a real person.
That's just mr mr P. yeah, exactly. Definitely asks for that stuff. You know, and again, this, we're not trying to express that we're doing any of this stuff cause I don't do any of that stuff, but I'm, I will try harder.
David Waumsley: [00:41:03] Yeah, I've got to think a lot more about that. And I think if it's, the problem is if somebody asks me to rate their service through some, you know, system, some email when I go and click on something and I have to give them a star rating on each of these different sections, there's something that just sort of feels annoying, needy about it, and I don't get to communicate.
And I think if we're offering a personal service, there must be a point. Yeah. Somewhere and we should maybe build it into our process where we do have a, just a genuine, a genuine chat with them as real people about our service and explain why we want to know. We want to know, because we want to be able to tell other people about the good things and we want to be able to correct the things that we could improve on and make it more, more human, you know?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:44] Yeah, I do. I'll tell you what though we've missed, we're, we're really deeply into this topic now, but we've missed probably the one that. Clearly resonates the most with both of us, which is gaining, gaining trust by producing content. So in your case, you've got a litany of videos that you've made about all sorts of WordPress related things, and they all go up on YouTube and, and that's you.
I think it's fair to say you think that that. Has worked and hopefully will work for you in the future. Just by putting content in the area in which you're claiming to have some expertise and hoping that you know in some way that you have no control over, people will see that content and then come to you and hopefully wish to subscribe to your, your service.
Yeah, definitely. What we
David Waumsley: [00:42:34] both got there. Suddenly it's not working in my favor so much at the moment because when I've been doing videos, it's been about what I've just learned to do and I'm so when I am getting people to talk to me, usually it's because they, they've got stock, they're doing the site themselves and they got stuck and they think I might know more.
I know wrong.
And, you know, and it's lovely. And I think that's the same because if you're, if you're putting out content, people do believe that you've got some kind of expertise. And, even if you just say, as we often do, we're just regular people and learning, but, but it's not getting the people that I really could ideally do with.
It's not attracting the kind of people that I want to do a full project. We're done. I need to, but I think I can change my content to meet those people more. And I'm going to do that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:23] Yeah, I was going to say, that seems like, just a, a product of having a different kind of content. If you were to produce different material and you know, have the correct SEO key words in there, you could, you know, quite easily produce content about your business and on that, I'm sure that would work really well in my case because, because I produce content about WordPress, yeah.
The, the only, the only benefit. To my business for that is one of like a, like a big testimonial. Really. It's one where I can, you know, prospective client comes to me and I can sort of say, yeah, I really, really am interested in WordPress and I can prove it. You know, I'm not, I'm not doing this, for the last couple of weeks and I can show them the, the, you know, the WP Builds website and all of the content that we produce.
And obviously it doesn't speak to my competence, but it does speak to my. Interest on the fact that I've been doing it for a while. So from that point of view, it, it kind of lends it massages a bit and it lends a bit of Q dos and, what's the word? sincerity. Authenticity, something like that. But it doesn't, it doesn't obviously make me any better or it doesn't prove that I can do a particular thing, but, but it does demonstrate that I've, I've got skin in the game and I'm, I'm deeply into WordPress.
David Waumsley: [00:44:45] Yeah, I think it's helped in directly. in fact, I just got a job from someone, they, who I've kind of seen around in the communities for some time, but
Nathan Wrigley: [00:44:54] I'm sure it probably helped the
David Waumsley: [00:44:55] fact that they knew I did these videos and they knew I did this WP bills because they knew all the selves committed to what we do.
And, you know, I definitely, yeah. It's helped and you know, WP Builds helps me because I mean, even though you did the interview with Matt Mullenweg, a lot of people know what WordPress is. A lot of people know who he is and it's wonderful. The fact that most people seem to think did the interview with him.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:45:19] That is amazing. It just about, we should probably explain, I did an interview with Matt Mullenweg about, or just over a year ago, and the amount of times that people. congratulated David on his wonderful interview. It was, it was hysterical. Really awesome. It happened quite a few times. the acute also, I suppose the only thing about producing, content is that it's a bit of an ongoing battle.
that is to say, it. You know, we're always told you have to constantly be creating new content, and if you're in it for SEO purposes, I'm sure that's true. You know, if you want to rise to the top on a particular keyword, you'll have to keep producing that content. But if you, if you just want to produce content as a way of illustrating your competence.
Then you don't, you could produce it on whatever time scale you've got available to you, you know, one piece, one short piece a month, or a large piece every couple of months, whatever. if you're simply just trying to use it as a, okay, if you've got any doubts, just go and have a look at, I don't know, this, this series of blog posts or this YouTube channel, which shows you, you know.
10, 10 different ways that you can achieve a certain thing in WordPress, then that's fine, but, but it is more cumbersome than getting a printer to produce like some leaflets for you, or writing a quick email hoping to get some testimonials back. It, it definitely takes more work. but I, you know, I think it's, I think it's been worth it from my point of view.
David Waumsley: [00:46:44] Yeah. The danger is it just takes over, doesn't it? You need quite a bit of time to produce content and it's something you need to get. I know as soon as I have a slight break from doing something, then I, I, it's almost like have to learn again. I have to sort of really push myself to start up again with content.
So it needs to be something as all of these. I think that this book we're talking about is all about trying to build in things which are systematic. So you don't lose these people along the way. So you kind of pick the thing that's going to work for you. Can I just mention one thing else that she mentions, and I don't, I don't do this, but, do you identify any of the people who might be your top referrals?
People who probably will talk about you the most and. Do anything for them?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:28] in a word no, but I can see the intelligence of that and why I would, I mean, I, I think I probably anecdotally know, the only, like I've mentioned before, the only thing that I've done in this regard is, is I ask people how they.
Came to me and if they mentioned somebody's name, I, and I know the Mike on their previous customer, I send them a bottle of wine or take them a bottle of wine round or whatever. But no, I don't, I don't kind of figure out, Oh look, John Smith, he's been a, he's been pretty good referring me. I'm going to go and have a chat with John and see if we can step this up a gear.
Don't do anything like that. No.
David Waumsley: [00:48:02] Yeah. And you know, something that just crossed my mind on that. I've never done this. Probably maybe a bit cheesy, but I don't on clients own social networks, I don't tend to engage in conversations on their networks. And if I did, you know, it might just inclined to mention that I'm the person who does their website, which would then reach other people who are on their network.
I've never done that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:48:24] No, I should, I suppose if you've got like some sort of affiliate system. You know, especially if you're selling like a product or whatever it might be, you, you can look at those metrics and it would be fairly easy to see who's referring you the most actually converting business or just giving you the most referrals.
I suppose that would be fairly easy to do. And then you could reward, in kind, you know, give them a bigger percentage or whatever it might be. But no, no, I don't. I don't . We've gone on David, we're now at quite a lot of minutes, so I'm thinking, unless this is a brand new thing that you want to introduce, we should probably knock it on the head.
David Waumsley: [00:49:00] agree with you. Yeah. Okay. So I'm to go.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:02] Yup. Alright. Have a nice week. We'll see you soon. Well, I hope that you enjoyed that episode. It's certainly interesting talking these things over many, many ways to elite clients, and of course not having the credentials, the proof that you are in fact capable of delivering what it is that you say you're going to deliver could be crucial.
As we said in the episode, and I said in the show notes, David and I both feel that this is an area that we lack in. Maybe the whole testimonial portfolio thing is getting a bit tired. Maybe you've got a perfect solution. You've got a perfect way of proving that you are in fact legit. If so, please add some comments to the WP Builds.com website or go to WP build or com forward slash Facebook.
Join the Facebook group and you could maybe comment over there instead. I hope that you enjoyed the episode anyway. The WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by WP and UP one in four of us will be directly affected by mental health related illness, WP and UP supports and promotes positive mental health within the WordPress community.
This is achieved through mentorship, events, training, and counseling. Please help enable WP and UP by visiting WP and UP.org forward slash give. Okay. We'll be back this time next week for another podcast episode. But do remember we also, on a Monday, have a WordPress weekly news. I release a 25 30 minutes or audio version of the summation of the WordPress news for the previous week, and then at 2:00 PM UK time, we do a live version with two or three notable WordPresses.
You can find [email protected] forward slash live. That's at 2:00 PM UK time. So yeah. Plenty of stuff coming from WP Builds this week and I hope to interact with you in some way during this week. Anyway, I'm going to fade in some awful cheesy music and say, bye bye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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