I was listening to a podcast from the excellent Freelance Jam the other day – it was an interview with Sarah J Bray.  In what was pretty much a throwaway comment from Sarah she delivered a terrific insight that, in eight years of freelancing, had never been put to me so succinctly.  I’m paraphrasing from memory here, but this is the gist:

When people arrive on our site, they are unlikely to be in a position to buy at that moment. What we have to do is form a relationship with them so that when they are ready, they buy from us.

That sounds obvious and, clearly, she’s talking about sites offering services rather than widgets, but it is something that is often overlooked.

I sell services that typically cost anything from £2000 to £10,000 … it’s not enough show people a portfolio and hope they remember me.  They need to have opportunities to form a connection with me – I need to encourage that and to nurture the relationship once it’s there.  Whether that’s through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, my email newsletter, or RSS feeds, or whatever.

When we build these relationships we’re able to cultivate a buying mindset with our potential customers.

I feel like that when people arrive here it’s too easy to say ‘looks nice … but now I’m going’ – there aren’t the simple opportunities to connect or enquire that there should be.  That’s going to change in the New Year!