On the face of it, with over the half the adult population not owning a Will, you would think the potential for attracting new clients is relatively straightforward. Yes, there is a steady flow of business, but it requires marketing skills to convince clients to pick up the phone and make an appointment.
Willwriting is not a corner shop business where customers return to buy essential goods. Once a client has signed their Will and the Willwriter has tried to convince them to register a Lasting Power of Attorney or take out a funeral plan; there isn’t much call for repeat business unless there is a change in circumstances or the inevitable probate.
The call of the Willwriter echoes around the market place in the hope that someone hears it and decides to do what they should have done months or even years before.
Local newspaper advertising, talks to libraries, groups and associations are all tried and tested means to keep the Willwriter’s name in the public domain. Targeting housing estates with leaflets, Yellow Pages and ‘online directories’ and even TV screens in doctor’s surgeries have all been tried with varying degrees of success, or otherwise.
The Internet however seems a more obvious marketing opportunity. Most Willwriters have a website displaying the professional image of their company, the customer testimonials, the services and a contact form. However, without regular maintenance to keep it fresh most of the websites become pages of information and do little to attract new business.
At the very least, websites need blogs, ‘social media’ feeds, news items and any other fresh content to compete for the first page in the search engine battlefield. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is as baffling as it sounds, but that, so they say, is what we need to do!
At this point, maintaining the website, for most Willwriters, becomes un-interesting. However, help is now at hand.
Over the years I have debated these issues with my IT expert, Nick Watts of Urban Haze, and at last we think we have come up with a solution to generate qualified leads using the Internet and at a reasonable rate of return for the subscription.
We are inviting Willwriting businesses to join a co-operative website where all the technical functionality is taken care of by an IT expert and all the administration work of SEO, blogging, social media etc is provided by an administrator who knows the Willwriting business.
The website is called www.willwriters.org and the aim is put the site on the first page of search engines when a potential client is searching for a Willwriter (or LPA, probate etc). The potential client will be presented with a website containing all the member Willwriting businesses. A powerful search facility will allow the client to select a company and they will be directed to the company page to review the service offer. From here there will be direct links to the member company’s own website, or a contact form to send an email or direct phone line.
The website will make use of additional technology, for example ‘chat’ and provide statistics and reports. The maintenance through blogging, social media and customer referral will be managed by an experienced Willwriter to ensure the content is uploaded and communicated. The use of the chat facility ensures that a client who has a Will related question can get a response that is accurate, fast and will be directed to a member company.
For more details of the website and the ‘early bird’ offer please visit www.willwriters.org