• Matching Your Place to Your Online Space: The First Handshake


Bob the Butcher has a successful butcher shop. When people walk into his storefront, he greets people with a smile and salutation:

“Welcome to Bob’s Butcher, the only place to get Baltimore’s Best honey ham & fresh cuts of steak! What can I do for you today?”

For the last 25 years, it’s Bob’s charm, wit, and quality products that have won over countless customers. Bob knows he needs a website these days, but is concerned his shop’s success will not be represented well online.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

Many small business owners, like Bob the Butcher, have been struggling to stay afloat in the quickly changing digital marketing world. They know they need to create a website to stay relevant and be found, but some are intimidated or are nervous about the technology. Others fear the charm of their brick-and-mortar business won’t translate well to the web.  

Without a strong brand strategy, it’s difficult to create and develop an online presence, even for a well-known local business. Because of this, many small business owners make the mistake of creating an online space that is not consistent with their physical store – which is what made the business successful in the first place!

The goal of having a website in the first place is to be found online, by both new and existing customers. Whether you’re a local butcher shop or a neighborhood insurance agent, your online presence needs to match the face you present to customers in the real world. If your customers can’t recognize your brand from your website, you haven’t transitioned to the web successfully.

Creating your website should be simple; take your physical space and give it an online face.

Communicating your brand online relies heavily on how you introduce your business in person. Much like how you greet people in your store or office, when you translate your brand’s introduction online you need to start with the basics: make the first handshake with your customer.

Introduce Yourself

30 Second Elevator Pitch: Thirty seconds isn’t much, but it’s enough to keep things short and sweet and make an impactful first introduction. Start with the basics and ask yourself these following questions:

  • Who are you?

What is your business? By what name do your customers refer to your business?

  • What areas do you serve?

Where is your business located? Where do you draw most of your customers from? To what areas are you willing to travel?

  • What do you do?

What services or products do you provide? Highlight your defining products or services. Think of it this way; what are the most profitable asoects of your business?

  • What are you known for?

What’s your competitive edge? What makes you different from other businesses in your area?

How Bob the Butcher converts his storefront greeting into a homepage:

  • Step 1: Get your visitors’ attention! Make a bold first statement using the answers to the ‘who you are’, ‘what you do’ and ‘areas you serve’.

“Bob the Butcher: Baltimore’s Premier Butcher Shop, serving the finest cuts of meats and famous cuts of honey ham for over 25 years!”

  • Step 2: 30 Second Elevator Pitch. Put it all together, and focus on the answering the ‘what products or services do you provide’ and ‘what are you known for’ questions.

”Bob’s Butcher has been Baltimore, Maryland’s quality butcher shop for over 25 years. Bob’s Butcher is located in the heart of the Meatpacking district where the freshest cuts of meat are delivered daily. From pre-packaged marinated steak tips and fine cuts of lamb to a full selection of delicatessen meats, we are your one-stop butcher shop!”

  • Step 3: Making it stick. Pulling your introduction into bullet points is an effective way to get your message across to your potential customers. Focus on key items customers might like to know at a glance.

Bob the Butcher’s Quality Meats:

      • Fresh meats made to order
      • Delicatessen
      • Famous honey ham
      • Catering options available
      • Delivery in the Baltimore area  

On your homepage and throughout your website, you need to identify who you are, what you do and what you are offering your customer in a way that clearly resembles your physical storefront and message. By making your online introduction engaging and concise, you’re inviting people to dive deeper into your site, and ultimately, into your front door.

This first handshake with your online customer is the first step in creating an online brand for your business and an effective homepage. Just remember, whatever you do in your physical place, make sure it carries over to your online space!

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

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