As a solopreneur providing services to existing clients and a steady stream of new clients, my website is one of the most valuable assets that I have. It acts as my receptionist, allowing clients to book and adjust appointments and sending out reminders. It acts as my bookkeeper, handling all payments and billing and reports. It acts as my storefront, where new and existing clients can learn more about me and get some of their questions answered. And it’s my first point of contact with new potential clients, where they get their first impression of me.
As one of my most valuable assets, I’m constantly tweaking it trying to optimize it and get the most out of it as possible. I also do a major overhaul of my website most years as my business grows and changes.
As a small business owner providing a personal service, I have always striven to be accessible. So I’ve always clearly provided my email address and cell number and invited potential clients to call, text, or email me directly if they have any questions.
However, I always avoided putting a contact form on my website. I don’t know if it’s a Millennial thing or just me, but I just can’t stand them. I will always spend more time digging through a website looking for an actual phone number or email address rather than fill out one of those forms. I just want an actual email address; I guess I feel like I’m communicating with an actual person that way.
And I had assumed that everyone else felt the same way. But I was wrong. On my most recent overhaul of my website, I finally caved and included a contact form. It’s been six months now and I haven’t received a single email, text, or phone inquiry from a new potential client, even though my email address and cell number are still prominently displayed on my website. Instead, I get several inquiries each week through the contact form. The contact form just works.
There’s no doubt that I have lowered the barrier for new potential clients to reach out to me, because they’re all choosing to use the contact form rather than email or phone number. I’m pretty confident as well that there are some potential new clients who are reaching out who wouldn’t have reached out before I put the contact form on the website. Both are good for business. Now I’m kicking myself for forcing clients to reach out to me on my terms for all those years instead of allowing them to contact me on their terms.